Friday, March 27, 2020

March Book Reviews

I'm fortunate that one of my favorite pastimes is hiking. And since Missouri State Parks are still welcoming visitors to the outdoors, I have a few hours of my social distancing already covered each week.

It's still a little early for our blooming trees, as you can see from the shot above. But we have all the tiny streams that only run in the Spring to enjoy.

I get a few more hours of social distancing from getting lost in some great reads. Hope you find something in my March reviews that will do the same for you.

  • A crime mystery (She Wore Mourning);
  • A cozy mystery (Name Your Poison); and
  • Occult horror (The Everett Exorcism).

Happy reading,

She Wore Mourning (Zachary Goldman Mysteries Book 1) by P.D. Workman

PI Investigates His Own Demons as Well as the Crime’s 

In She Wore Mourning, Private Investigator Zachary Goldman takes on a gut-wrenching case when he investigates the drowning death of a five-year-old boy. Ruled an accident by the police, the boy’s grandmother wants closure and hires Goldman for a second opinion. Goldman has his suspicions, but he has nothing sufficient for law enforcement to re-open the investigation. Things seem at an impasse, then someone tries to kill him. But is the attempt on his life because of this case or some other that he’s working? He can’t be sure. And if it is this case, who’s responsible for the boy’s death? A pedophile who abducted the boy from his unlocked, backyard and then killed him? One or both of the parents? A forensic scientist in training who seems a bit too interested in Goldman’s case? Even the grandmother doesn’t escape Goldman’s scrutiny. Kudos to the author for keeping the suspense high, dangling several viable suspects in front of our eyes.

For the complete review, see:

Name Your Poison (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 3) by Lolli Powell

You Can’t Beat this Heroine for an Imaginative and Humorous Murder Investigation

Author Lolli Powell continues her winning formula for bar owner and amateur sleuth, Erica (Ricki) Fontaine, mixing a hyperactive imagination with a cynical sense of humor in this third installment of the Top Shelf Mysteries, Name Your Poison. Above all, our heroine has near-boundless imagination. Before the police have the forensics report on the cause of death, Ricki has already decided it was a murder. Not only that, but she’s sure the victim wasn’t the intended target and her newspaper reporter friend, Logan, was nearly killed only as collateral damage. And while that’s quite the deductive leap without a net, she becomes really creative on motives. Before a tense (and unexpected) finale, Ricki suggests the murder was motivated by everything from retaliation by a sexually harassed Hollywood starlet to an attempt to derail a movie that was to be shot in her hometown. All the better to keep the reader guessing … which I did.

For the complete review, see:

The Everett Exorcism (World of Shadows Book 1) by Lincoln Cole

Bad Things Happen When Your Exorcist Doesn’t Believe in Demons

When ‘occult’ and ‘paranormal’ are the sub-genres of a horror novel, I don’t necessarily expect to be scared. Often after loosening the constraints of reality, the authors become embroiled in creating ever more hideous creatures or discovering increasingly horrendous ways for people to die. The result is that the stories can end up being as humorous as they are scary. The Everett Exorcism, however, is NOT one of those books. It is quite creepy … in all the right ways.

For the complete review, see:

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Celebrate (Almost) Spring with A Couple of Giveaways

I've been flattered by several recent messages and emails concerning one of my books. For example, one of them read "BTW, everything that’s going on with the coronavirus reminds me of the background of the world of Killer in the Retroscape." 

While I am glad that my depiction of a world-wide pandemic reads true--something I strive for to build suspense--I'm also happy that my story is fiction. The coronavirus is life. Please listen to health officials and stay safe.

The notes I received also reminded me of an article I read recently about how government and business were tapping into Sci-Fi literature to plan for the future. Realism can serve more than suspense! I thought you might be interested.

Happy (almost) Spring,

Now to the free reads.

1. The Book Review Club

Take a look at more than 55 free books in a variety of genre, including my dark, techno-thriller, Of Half a MindFind your next favorite read and consider thanking the author with a book review.

2. The Whodunit Mystery Giveaway 

Pick up free stories from more than 20 mystery/thriller/suspense writers at the Whodunit Mystery Giveaway.

A word of clarification about this one - although the download site calls all of the free offers "books", there are also samples from novels and short stories, including my short story. And if you think my entry, Amie and Alex: A Love Story isn't a mystery, then I'd guess you haven’t read it yet!

Friday, March 6, 2020

March Limited-Time eBook Deals

Some entertaining (and inexpensive) reads while we wait for Spring. Hope you find something to enjoy.


(Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 8
Name Your Poison (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 3)
By Lolli Powell
Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

New York and Hollywood come to the Top Shelf!

Ricki and the Top Shelf crew have worked for weeks preparing for the launch party for Logan Parker’s book. Waterton is abuzz, not just about their very own newspaper editor writing what promises to be a bestseller, but also about the movie based on the book that might be filmed on location in Waterton. But when the location scout drinks from the wrong energy drink—well, nothing ruins a party like a dead body!

Ricki’s not so sure the location scout was the intended victim, and Gabe’s not so sure it’s a murder. One thing he is sure of—he doesn’t want Ricki investigating. You’d think he’d know by now that she never listens.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Damaged: a heart-stopping psychological thriller
By Dan Scottow
Psychological Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Journalist Emily Blake is sent back to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of a young girl called Becky Clarke. Emily takes the assignment willingly as the case echoes the disappearance of her childhood friend, Alice Abbott, twenty-five years earlier.

Returning to the village, Emily renews old acquaintances and rivalries. She reconnects with her estranged brother Adam, who has never quite recovered from tragic events from their past.

While she looks into the disappearance of Becky Clarke, Emily revisits Alice’s case but not everyone welcomes her investigation. As lies that have been told for twenty-five years surrounding Alice’s disappearance begin to unravel, Emily is drawn deeper into the mystery. 

What happened to Alice? 
Will Becky ever be found? 
And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 11
By James D. Prescott
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

While investigating hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, scientist Nicholay Panov and his crew mysteriously vanish. Weeks later, when their vessel is finally found, the hull has been crushed nearly beyond recognition.

Searching for answers, glaciologist Sienna Panov reaches out to Ben Fisher, the rich and enigmatic CEO who commissioned the expedition. Ben is the inventor of a revolutionary neural enhancement device. Once implanted in the brain, it has the power to boost both mental and physical abilities to dizzying new heights.

Except Ben has recently suffered a tragedy of his own, after a savage attack robbed him of his memory and left him framed for murder. Working together, Ben and Sienna soon discover a shadowy conspiracy connecting both events.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Murder on the SS Mystique (An SS Mystique Cozy Mystery Book 1)
By Shelly West
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

After Audrey Hughes’s long contract working security aboard a booze cruise ends, she’s craving something different. And what would be a greater change in scenery than a renovated 1940s ocean liner called the SS Mystique?

Audrey eagerly signs up, thinking all she’ll have to do is tend to wealthy passengers and their pets on a quaint old liner. Instead, she boards a ship shrouded in odd superstitions and deadly mysteries.

It wouldn’t be so bad—if not for the two dead bodies appearing right after the ship sets sail. Spitfire Audrey has a few ideas about who might be to blame, but a handsome Officer Gerald is determined to keep her off the trail.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
The Thanksgiving Trip: A Cozy Mystery (A Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery Book 5)
By Kathi Daley
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The entire Thomas family takes a Thanksgiving trip to a mountain cabin after Tess learns that her father visited the area every autumn to hunt and fish before his supposed death in a fiery truck accident. After arriving at the cabin, Tess and Tony, along with Mike and Bree, team up to investigate a suspicious death, while Tess and Tony secretly talk to people who live in the area and once knew her father. Hoping to finally find answers for her unanswered questions regarding her father's current whereabouts, Tess widens her search which lead her to a startling realization.

Meanwhile, a stray dog seems intent on adopting Mike in spite of Mike's insistence that there is no way he has room in his life for an energetic and mischievous puppy.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 9
By Matt James
Sci-Fi Adventure
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

The only thing colder than the Antarctic air is the icy chill of death…

Off the coast of McMurdo Station, in the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean, a new species of Antarctic octopus is unintentionally discovered. Specialists aboard a state-of-the-art DARPA research vessel aim to apply the animal’s “sub-zero venom” to one of their projects: An experimental painkiller designed for soldiers on the front lines.

All is going according to plan until the ship is caught in an intense storm. The retrofitted tanker is rocked, and the onboard laboratory is destroyed. Amid the chaos, the lead scientist is infected by a strange virus while conducting the specimen’s dissection.

The scientist didn’t die in the accident. He changed.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Asylum (Touched by the Fae Book 1)
By Jessica Lynch
Young Adult Fantasy
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Black Pine Facility for Wayward Juveniles. The asylum. It's a place where they stick troubled cases like me until we age out or they think they've fixed us.

Newsflash: you can't fix what's not broken. And I may have been thrown into Black Pine when I was barely fifteen, but I'm not crazy. I'm cursed.

Because of the fae? They're real. Gorgeous, ethereal, mythical creatures who can't lie but are experts at twisting the truth. Just one touch, that's all it takes. Just one touch and the fae have power over you. Just one touch and your whole world can go up in flames.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 10
Damned From Birth
By Jon Athan
Horror Suspense
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

While attempting to abduct a teenager from her home, notorious serial killer Victor Brooks meets his match: ten 9mm bullets. In a puddle of his own blood, sprawled across a stranger’s kitchen floor, Victor’s life begins to flash before his very eyes. He sees the living and the dead, peace and carnage, friends and foes, success and disappointment, love and hatred. He sees a life defined by anger, pain, and sorrow.

The light at the end of Victor's tunnel is red—red with blood.

WARNING: This novel contains graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 11
Edge of Eons: A Cultivation Novel (The Adept Archives: Book 1)
By Darren Hultberg Jr
Young Adult Dark Fantasy
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

In the realm of Eon, strength is the rule of law.

In daylight, the realm is ruled by the adepts, a group of mighty cultivators that use their spirits to wield world-bending, mystic power. These adepts live in constant strife, fighting for control of relics that hold the divine powers of ancient gods.

In twilight, the realm belongs to the darkbeasts, nightmarish creatures born of a mysterious fog known as the veil. These creatures are drawn to power, hoarding relics in their dungeons and slaying any adepts that dare venture too close.

Together, these opposing forces create a grim balance of power, one only survived by those with strength, cunning and a bit of wit. But balance is not easily maintained...

Start Date: NOW  End Date: March 9
Shadow of Oblivion (Avenger Book 1)
By Richard Tongue
Cyberpunk Sci-Fi
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

For decades, tensions have risen between the resurgent Terran Republic, formed from the ashes of a century-long conflict, and the Belters, colonists who left Earth at the height of the fighting to build new worlds among the stars. When war erupts, the heart of their battle fleet is Goliath, the largest battleship ever built, the result of years of work in hidden shipyards lost in the depths of space. Earth has no answer to her, no ship in her fleet a match for the overwhelming power of the warship. Defeat seems inevitable.

Until a renegade Admiral concocts a final, desperate plan.

Only one ship, an experimental warship, the Avenger, might possibly stand a chance against the might of Goliath. One ship, with a crew with nothing to lose and everything to gain, gathered from the dregs of Earth’s space forces. The last hope for the Terran Republic. The last, desperate hope for victory.

Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by Amazon:  linking to and affiliated sites.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Book Reviews

For your consideration:

  • Some historical fiction (Living in a Star's Light);
  • A paranormal romance, of a sort (Franny’s Fable); and
  • A British satire (Curmudgeon Avenue #1).

Hope you find something for your library,

Living in a Star's Light: A novel based on the life of Miss Lotta Crabtree by Steve Lindahl

1870-80s Celebrities Had Their Posses Too 

From the complete book title, you know that Living in a Star’s Light is based on the life of American actress, dancer, musician, and philanthropist Lotta Crabtree. She made her name primarily in the 1870-80s, starting her career at the age of six dancing in the gold-mining camps in California and ending in quiet retirement and philanthropic work at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, some 70 years later. But as is often the case with historical fiction, Ms. Crabtree is not the center of this book. Rather, she is a notable, historical figure around whom the fictional characters circulate. In this case, it’s Walter Cain, his wife, and their friends. They are her number-one fans; they provide her feedback on her performances; they reassure her when things go wrong; they worry about her. In short, they are her crew, her entourage, her posse. 

For the complete review, see:

Curmudgeon Avenue #1: The Terraced House Diaries by Samantha Henthorn

A British Farce about “nincompoops and intertwined lives” Told by a House

The author of Curmudgeon Avenue #1, Samantha Henthorn describes her work as a comedy-drama. Drama, for example, comes in the form of the death of the parents of our two protagonists, the elderly sisters Edna and Edith at the start of the book. Comedy comes in the form of the parents dying by being crushed by an elephant thrown from a lorry driven by one of Edna’s exes. The elephant broke free of her constraints because the driver smelled so bad. Even so, he later becomes Edith’s romantic interest when he rents a room in the sisters’ home after a long, roof-sitting protest over being evicted from his own. Yes, it’s pretty difficult to find much drama in this book that’s not wrapped in total absurdity. It is truly the story of a group of nincompoops whose worlds never generate enough momentum of their own to escape each other’s orbits. And if that silliness isn’t enough, the story is told by the house, a Victorian terrace. The book even has some house humor. Speaking of the “tiresome” process of evicting someone, the house notes that it’s “… enough to make one's front bedroom windows glaze over.” Drama? Maybe. A farce? Without a doubt.

For the complete review, see:

Franny’s Fable by Heather Harrison

Kill Your Husband, Rinse, Repeat

As we join Franny in the book, Franny’s Fable, she’s writing the story of her life with husband Jamie. He’s lying in bed in the next room, dead, stabbed through the heart. She killed him. There are authors who could turn the hate, the rage, the desperation that must have gone into such a violent act into a book. But Franny isn’t documenting her struggle for survival. She’s writing about the routine of her life, about something she’s done “more times than she can count” to quote the author’s synopsis. And what she’s documenting is … her love.

For the complete review, see:

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Two Giveaways & A Literary Tidbit

In this newsletter, I have a couple of very different types of giveaways for you. The first is offering a prize package valued at $200 for Sci-Fi lovers. The second provides previews and short stories that span various genres because, as the giveaway says, who doesn't love a sample platter!

Much of my reading is scientific research - I never know where I might get the inspiration for my next techno-thriller. But you can't be in the field without picking up some literary tidbits from time to time. I've included one you might find interesting.

Happy reading,

C.L. Cannon’s Best of Sci-fi Giveaway!
$200 VALUE

Subscribe to some of today’s bestselling Sci-fi and Fantasy authors for a chance to win one hardback of Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi by Marc Sumerak, a paperback of Artemis by Andy Weir, hardback of Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, a paperback of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Expanse board game, a Star Trek Poster, and a Fallout magnet.

Get full details and signup here:

Sneak Peeks and Previews Giveaway

Have a few minutes to try a new genre or a new author in an old favorite? Then, check out these book previews and short stories:

Your next new favorite book could be waiting.

And In the Writing World

Lee Child is turning the Jack Reacher series over to his brother, Andrew. If you're a fan, check out this podcast from Suspense Magazine on the transition.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Limited Time eBook Deals

Some mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction to balance out all those sweet romances you downloaded for Valentine's Day. Hope you find something to enjoy.

(Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 28
Killer in the Retroscape: A Near-Future Mystery
By Bruce M. Perrin
Mystery, SciFi
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

“The parallels to the contemporary world are realistic, frightening, and thought-provoking."  - The Booklife Prize

When Doug Michaels finds his friend dead in 2068, he builds a mental landscape, a retroscape, to find the killer. But as suspects appear, they disappear almost as quickly. It's not the aftereffects of an illness sensationalized in the media as the “zombie pandemic”. It's not an evil artificial intelligence intent on taking over the world. It's not his friend's robot wife, Julia, even if she can't even remember her husband's final days.

And when his retroscape is finished, Doug finds the killer ... in one of the most unlikely of places.

Barnes and Noble:

Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Atlantic Nightmare: The longest military campaign in World War II
By Richard Freeman
Military History
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The battle that Germany should have won?

No other battle of the Second World War lasted longer than the 2,075 days of the Battle of the Atlantic. It raged from the opening day of the war in September 1939 until it ended almost six years later with Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

Vital supplies of food, fuel and the raw materials needed by the Allies to wage war had to be transported in merchant ships in escorted convoys across the Atlantic Ocean where they were at the mercy of German U-boats and warships. At first, many were lost. The fall of France in June 1940 gave the U-boats bases on the Atlantic coast, and U-boat production increased allowing the Germans to now hunt in ‘wolf packs’.

How seriously did each sides take the battle? How far were they able to innovate their way out of problems they encountered? Who made the crucial decisions on how the battle should be fought? How was the crucial battle for intelligence won?


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 20
The Napoleon Affair: A Sean Wyatt Archaeological Thriller (Sean Wyatt Adventure Book 18)
By Ernest Dempsey
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

When a high-ranking cardinal is murdered in his Vatican apartment over clues he might possess to the whereabouts of a relic considered truly divine, the Vatican calls in the experts.

They enlist former secret agent Sean Wyatt; his wife, Adriana; and his best friend, the renowned archaeologist Tommy Schultz, to help find both the cardinal’s killer and, if at all possible, the missing relic, thought to have been hidden by Napoléon Bonaparte two hundred years ago.

This relic—a ring worn by John the Baptist—is rumored to possess unfathomable power, rendering its wearer nearly invincible, able to wield the very power of God.
And the grand master of a once-powerful order of medieval Catholic knights wants it to help his twisted holy warriors regain their former glory.

They’ll stop at nothing until they possess the ring, kill Wyatt and his friends, overthrow the pope, and enlist believers worldwide into their unholy New Crusade.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Next Girl On The List - A serial killer crime thriller (McRyan Mystery Thriller and Suspense Series Book) (McRyan Mystery Series Book 7)
By Roger Stelljes
Financial Thriller
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Dating can be deadly when your name is next on the list.

It had been so long since she had someone in her life. She thought he was amazing. The perfect guy – the perfect date. His calculated game of seduction and deception worked flawlessly. He lured her into his death trap, then he quietly slid out the door and disappeared yet again without a trace.

What clues are hidden in a picture-perfect murder?

Complex obscure clues woven into intricate crime scenes challenge Mac McRyan, all while a warped mind taunts him and stalks another innocent soul. As time relentlessly ticks down, Mac is forced to fight not only his own instincts but a deceptively treacherous killer in his most mind-bending and dangerous case yet.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
SERIAL (CSI Reilly Steel Book 1)
By Casey Hill
Noir Crime
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Forensic investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California-born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from bustling San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew.

She's arrived in Ireland to drag the Garda forensics team into the 21st-century plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who's increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a past tragedy.

But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. A young man and woman are found dead in a hotel room, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggesting a suicide pact. But as Reilly and the team dig deeper and more bodies are discovered, they soon realize that a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society's norms in the most sickening way imaginable...


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
Ten Years Gone (Adam Lapid Mysteries Book 1)
By Jonathan Dunsky
Historical Fiction
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

She gave up her son to save him. Now she wants him back.

Germany, 1939 - Henrietta Ackerland, a Jewish mother in Nazi Germany, makes a heart-rending decision. She gives her infant son to a friend who is fleeing Germany to Israel.

Israel, 1949 - Henrietta finally arrives in Israel but she can't find her son. She hires private investigator Adam Lapid to find him for her.

Adam Lapid knows it will take a miracle to find Henrietta's missing child. And Adam doesn't believe in miracles. Not after experiencing the horrors of Auschwitz. Not after losing his family in the Holocaust. But he can't refuse to help a mother searching for her lost son.

What Adam doesn't realize is that this missing person's case will soon land him in a heap of trouble. For what starts as a hunt for a missing child soon turns Adam into prey - and of more than one hunter.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
The Body Market: A Leine Basso Thriller
By D.V. Berkom
Organized Crime
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Everything's for sale...

Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing daughter, Elise, last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. At first, police believe the two teenagers are the victims of a carjacking. But when Leine finds their missing vehicle with a mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse.

In the lethal world of organized crime, there’s always a worse.

As Leine races to uncover the reason behind Elise Bennett’s disappearance, she must also battle the powerful interests fighting to keep her from the truth.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 19
The Netherwell Horror
By Lee Mountford
Occult Fiction
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

‘Sis, I’m in trouble. Real trouble. And I need help.’

After receiving a worrying message from her estranged brother, Beth Davis sets out to find and help him, ending up in the strange, coastal town of Netherwell Bay. There, she begins to witness terrifying and unexplainable things, and reports of ritualistic murders have the town panicked.

A sinister cult soon makes its presence known, and the dark history of Netherwell Bay is unveiled. Beth then finds herself in a race against time to stop a doorway to Hell from opening… permanently.

The Netherwell Horror is a Lovecraftian mystery that quickly descends into madness, sickening violence, and chaos. Fans of Silent Hill will love this nightmarish tale, but those of a squeamish disposition need not apply…


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 20
What Happened at the Lake
By Phil M. Williams
Amateur Sleuth Mystery
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

They went on vacation. Not everyone made it back.

The Palmers went to the lake for a week of fun in the sun. But Alex Palmer had an agenda. He wanted his brother to reconcile with their hypercompetitive father. He wanted his daughter to break up with her shady boyfriend. Most of all, Alex wanted them to be a family one more time before he faced his predicament at home.

Evil incarnate and a brutal double murder shifted Alex’s focus from wants to needs. He needed to keep his family safe. He needed to find her. He needed to know what happened at the lake.

NOTE TO THE READER: This is a dark psychological thriller that delves into depraved acts of humanity. For adult readers only who can handle these subject matters. Adult language and explicit sexual violence.


Start Date: NOW  End Date: Feb. 21
The End of America’s War in Afghanistan (The Russian Agents Book 3)
By Ted Halstead
Military Thriller
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Three Russian agents are trying to stop nuclear weapons stolen from Pakistan by the Taliban. The Taliban wants to use the stolen weapons to force America out of Afghanistan for good, and return to power in Kabul.

Will nuclear strikes in multiple locations across Afghanistan let them succeed? Or can Russian agents and American special forces stop the Taliban in time?


Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Monday, January 27, 2020

January Reviews and Previews

For your consideration:
  • A sweet romance (Second Chance);
  • A military fantasy (Requiem's Reach); and
  • Young-adult science fiction (The Selection).
Hope you find something for your library,

Second Chance: The Conclusion of the Flowers in December Trilogy by Jane Suen

A Bit of Sweet, Romantic Escapism – I just Worry that the Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots 

By luck, or maybe poor planning, I ended up with several horror novels right in the midst of the holidays. So, when I saw Second Chance, I knew it was my opportunity to balance out the unthinkable with the sweet. And even though it is the third of a Trilogy, the author’s synopsis describes it as “… a standalone sweet romance.” That worked for me.

Second Chance finds Connor Norton looking for—you guessed it—a second chance with Mary Ann. They met before the funeral for Connor’s mother but lost contact when Connor went back to the city where he worked. Both main characters are well-developed, although a bit stereotypic. I found Mary Ann quite likable as the plucky, no-nonsense business owner. She had suffered through an abusive relationship with a stepfather, making her slow to trust men (one of the stereotypes). But she was open to taking a chance with the right person if she could find him. Author Suen goes to great lengths to make the setting and Mary Ann’s background wholesome but hard-earned. Sometimes, however, this theme went too far. At one point, for example, Mary Ann is recalling her experiences with her grandfather, who had to live “… through hard times.” And then, we transition to his parents, her great grandparents, who lived during the Great Depression, a further elaboration that didn’t seem to advance the story appreciably.

See the complete review on Amazon:

Requiem's Reach: A Chaos of Souls Novella (Chaos of Souls Novella Series, Volume 1) by R.M. Garino

A Fantasy as Tension-Producing as Any Fiction Set in the “Real” World

It’s difficult for a fantasy to generate any real tension in a reader … at least, until he/she is totally immersed in the story’s make-believe world. Before that, the threat to life and limb (which may or may not include humans) is often met with a shrug, a roll of the eyes, because, of course, the good guys will have another magical spell up their sleeves to save the day. This limitation, however, is not an issue for Requiem’s Reach. Even without a background in author Garino’s fantasy world, uneasiness rolled over me in waves during the action scenes. Perhaps that’s because these chapters have the feel of a military campaign—gains come only with tremendous personal sacrifice; enemies are allies because they’re less reprehensible than the others. It’s the kind of fantasy you could easily imagine in our world, although you’d rather not. And therein lies the tale’s ability to tie your stomach in a knot.

See the complete review on Amazon:

The Selection: The Forgotten Chronicles Book 1 by Jason J. Nugent

When Humans Take ‘Survival of the Fittest’ in their Own Hands

If The Selection doesn’t remind you of The Hunger Games, then I suspect you haven’t read the books or seen the movies. In both stories, teens from outlying colonies (or districts) are forced to participate in a competition, often to the death. There are, of course, differences. In The Selection, only the males compete and the reason is basically, survival of the fittest. There is an extreme gender imbalance on the planet, with males outnumbering females ten to one. Only if a male survives the process can he procreate. Our protagonist, Eron, sees this devaluation of human life and forced evolution as wrong, instead preferring compromise and letting nature take its course. As the story unfolds, he suffers greatly for these convictions.

See the complete review on Amazon:

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)