New Release: “Must Have Faith”

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
MUST HAVE FAITH!

Must Have Faith – A Darling Cove Novel
by Deborah Garland
 

It’s easy to think the jilted groom is probably a jerk.
But what if he’s not? MustHaveFaith_cvrWhat if he’s the good guy?
 

Faith Copeland has moved back home to the North Fork, where she has to live with stares and
whispers behind her back. In Darling Cove, she’ll only ever be Greg Mallory’s runaway bride. 


Darling Cove Police Officer, Gregory Mallory has been living with the scars and shame of
being left at the altar. Since Faith took off, he’s not wanted to settle down, putting the Mallory name in jeopardy.

When his runaway bride returns, Greg’s tough façade begins to wear away. 

Can Greg and Faith deny the attraction still burning inside them after so long? Will they survive this time around if it doesn’t work out?

Roane Publishing – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Smashwords – iTunes

EXCERPT:
 
Plastic, metal and breasts.
Greg mentally inventoried everything he felt against his skin. His bare skin. It’d taken several seconds to process that he was standing in his underwear. With Faith’s body pressed into his chest, his arms around her shoulders prevented her from falling. His Faith. Her fingers twisted around the camera to secure it, causing long fingernails to scrape against his stomach.
“I have it,” Faith whispered as the pressure of her body against his began to wane.
Not so fast.
His fingers settled under her elbows holding her in place. The bottom of his chin brushed against the top of her head. All these years of imagining what he would say if they were in same room was lost to him at that moment.
Her head tipped back to meet his gaze. Months of distant glances all crashed down into a full-on eye locking stare. Smokey colored eye shadow swept across the beautiful blue eyes he’d gazed at for so many years. Pink lips she’d sunk her teeth into while watching him walk around his house as a young man had driven him to distraction. Her mouth…what he’d done with that mouth. Before…and after he took her virginity.
But one day, uncontrollable tears fell from those eyes. The astonishing words that had tumbled from her lips and mouth still burned in his memory after all these years: Greg, I can’t marry you.
He’d been too proud to beg and was brought up that a gentleman doesn’t raise his voice to a lady. There were so many restless nights he’d lie in bed speculating if Faith’s strange behavior a few weeks before the wedding shouldn’t have been dismissed as jitters.
The white-hot anger had melted away years ago, and even the mild taste of bitterness diminished. All he was left with was burning curiosity. He knew why she left. It was how she could leave that left him bewildered. An assignment in Iraq had come up. It’d been scheduled to leave two days before the wedding. She had sheepishly asked if they could postpone. Although he was quite annoyed, he’d been polite enough to hear her out. Until she dropped the bomb that it was a three-year assignment!
That topic however didn’t seem appropriate at the moment as he held her in that small office.
Greg was ready to speak, but Skye stood in the doorway with wide eyes and an open mouth.
“I’ll be out in a minute,” he repeated, but this time over Faith’s shoulder.
It forced her to spin around. “Oh my God.” She broke away to pull the camera strap over her head and took a giant step towards the door. “I just came in here for water.”
“A big tall glass of it I see.” Skye smirked with her arms crossed.
“What’s taking so long? Son of a—” Gwen rushed into the room as well.
It was enough to have a breakdown over! He was standing in tight boxer briefs in front of his two sisters and the woman he almost married. He dropped his hands to cover the nervous erection that liked to pop up at such inopportune times.
“My father’s getting too many calls, we have to get this moving.” Andrew came up behind Gwen and glanced at Greg. The panic he felt must have been all over his face. Andrew took immediate charge of the situation. “Ladies, let the man get dressed. Come on. Out. You too,” he said to his wife tapping her on the behind.
That’s my sister.
Andrew closed the door but stayed inside the room. He walked to the garment bag hanging on the coat rack. “I’ll give you a hand.” The man ran fashion shows and was used to seeing both men and women in all stages of undress.
Still, it was a little unnerving to have him there while Greg was battling his emotions. “I know how to put a suit on.”
“Prada suits can feel awkward at first. I wish you would have given me your exact measurements. I could have had it altered for you.”
“That’s not necessary. I doubt I’ll wear it again,” he said quickly, then inwardly choked, realizing that may have been an insult to the man’s livelihood.
While Greg had been quietly admiring Andrew’s sleek sophisticated look, he preferred jeans, flannel shirts and work boots. And a Glock tucked into his waistband. But he suspected Gwen didn’t want him packing heat in her engagement photos.
“Gwen filled me in on what happened with uh…that woman.” Andrew handed him a tan dress shirt, breaking the awkward silence. “I’m sorry. That must have been difficult.”
Greg had been ready to respond with a touch of sarcasm. Except Andrew had been widowed before he met Gwen. “Yeah. Well. Shit happens.” He tugged the dress pants to get them to fit over his thighs.
Andrew smirked touching his chin. “I have the same problem with Prada’s slacks.”
Greg turned toward the mirror. The fabric stretched tight across his butt. But the waist fit nicely, and the length was perfect. He buttoned up the shirt and stuffed it into the pants. His eyes rolled at the tie. “Purple?”
Andrew opened his arms. “Your sister made me wear a lavender shirt. You’re lucky you only have to wear the tie.” He smoothed his own, bright sapphire blue to match Gwen’s eyes.
A knock pounded on the door and it opened. “Seriously we have to… Oh my God!” Gwen squealed as her hands flew up to her face. “Greg! You look so handsome.”
Considering a former model was standing next to him, Greg took that as a huge compliment.
 
ABOUT DEBORAH GARLAND:
 
Deborah GarlandDeborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and when she’s not writing, she’s either in the gym, or reading, cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.
FIND THE AUTHOR
at her website, on FaceBook, and at Twitter

 

“Must Love Fashion” – Author Interview

How long did it take from when you began writing your manuscript to the book launch?
Thanks, Lynne. This question has multiple answers. Must Love Fashion started out as another novel. It took about one year to get that version of the story written. This is where the story gets a little interesting and juicy. I’d been working with an agent for a women’s fiction novel and when that didn’t get picked up, she encouraged me to write a romance novel. I’d had very little experience with reading romances and the ones I had read were ‘historicals’. But I had the idea of a woman with health challenges who meets and falls for a man just getting over the loss of his wife. I took that idea, came up with a title (Not Must Love Fashion) and a setting. I thought so long as I had an HEA (Happy Ever After), I was set.
I was very wrong and didn’t realize it until I shot it off to the agent. She got back to me a few weeks later with a blistering harsh rejection. After I’d gotten over the initial shock and depression of that (three weeks), I realized I had wasted an entire year. I had been working full time as an in-house interior designer for a large senior living franchise, traveling a lot and was under an enormous amount of stress. So each night I would drown myself in a glass (or two) of wine, eat dinner and then try to write. What could go wrong there?
To make this long story short, I sent the rejected manuscript to a published author I know through one of my writing groups. She got back to me with several suggested changes and a lot of compliments. In short, she felt the story had merit and told me not to give up. I had a new manuscript written in four months. I’d also made the decision to leave my full time job. I’m getting started a little later in life and didn’t have years to make this happen. The time was now!

 What are you currently reading?
After I had submitted Must Love Fashion to publishers, I had decided to pick up another novel I started writing a while back. A vampire romance. One would think when as a writer you have the license to create a world in which anything your heart desires can land on the page it’s easy…it’s not. With great power comes great responsibility. And stress. I hadn’t ever been a ‘huge’ vampire fan. My first bite (no pun) was the Twilight books. And then the Sookie Stackhouse novels, by Charlaine Harris. Those books however are not traditional ‘romance’ novels.
And when trying to swim in the ‘romance’ end of the pool, there are rules. I had to find a few other vampire ‘romances’ for inspiration and guidance. I stumbled upon a book called Vampires Are Forever by Lynsay Sands. It’s part of her Argeneau series. The book helped in that while I was going off in all different directions trying to make my vampires unique with a host (no pun) of various qualities, Sands’ Argeneau vampires (Immortals, as they prefer to be called) were very simple. And that made them elegant. By following her lead, it helped my story not get bogged down in scientific hog-wash and allowed me to really concentrate on the love story between the two main characters.
As it turns out that Argeneau book was the 8th in the series of now 26 books! And I’m hooked. Reading them all.

What is your latest project?.
In Must Love Fashion we meet Gwen’s siblings, Greg Mallory, a police officer and Skye Mallory, an attorney. I had actually intended to write Skye’s story next. Even had the first chapters written. But the more I worked on MLF, I grew excited to tell Greg’s story more. So poor Skye got bumped.
There are plenty of ‘runaway bride’ stories out there. But the stories usually follow an arc where the bride finds new love with someone else. And usually the jilted groom is portrayed as a jerk and the villain.
But I had the idea…what if he’s not a jerk? What if he really is the good guy and what if the runaway bride came back! In MLF, we get a glimpse of what Greg has gone through and how it’s affected him. And at the end of MLF, we meet Faith (the runaway bride) and find out she’s back in Darling Cove!
The heart of Must Have Faith is ‘why did Faith really leave?’ She told Greg why two days before the wedding, but Faith really left for another reason.

I so loved writing this book. Because of what I’d gone through to get Must Love Fashion complete, with all the changes (including even character name changes from ancient drafts), I knew Greg and Faith inside and out from the start. Greg was so much fun to write. A handsome brooding police officer. Alpha male personified. But the man has a heart of gold and he was wounded.
Can Faith repair his heart and redeem herself? Readers will have to wait to find out.

 Was Must Love Fashion the first novel you’d written?
No. While Must Love Fashion is my debut published novel, the first novel I’d written and completed and submitted was a Women’s Fiction novel called Forty Times Platinum.
It was August of 2010 and I’d just finished another failed round of IVF treatments. My husband worked nights and I was probably lonely and depressed. I became quietly obsessed with a singer. Sitting on my laptop at night, I scoured the internet for news about him, concerts and listened to his music for comfort.
I came across a photo of him and an attractive older woman. Hey Now! Upon researching her, I learned she was a music executive who’d written a song for him. But in real life there wasn’t anything romantic between them. But what if there was? And so the idea for Forty Times Platinum was born.
That night, I wrote what became the fourth chapter in the book. And I kept going. A year and a half later, I hit 230,000 words and I thought to myself… this might be too long. Ha Ha. (The average manuscript is about 85-90K) I spent another six months breaking the story into two parts. But it didn’t split evenly. So I had to revise Book One and Book Two. I was writing them together.
When Book One was about 130,000 words, I decided to start showing it to people. And based on the feedback, I felt I’d had something I could do ‘something’ with. It took another year which included the reality check that it needed to cut even further, but I submitted it to agents and signed with one. Unfortunately, the book didn’t get picked up. And that agent was the same one who harshly criticized what became Must Love Fashion, which btw, I submitted to publishers myself and received a total of four offers.
I plan to take FTP and its sequel and try to get that published on my own next year. My dance card for 2017 is full!

 Name and explain two books which inspired you to write in the romance genre?
This is an exciting question to answer. I hadn’t been a big romance fan until several years ago. I suffered from the typical snobbery of the perception of what these books were really about; unrealistic, bodice-rippers, sugary, all that. A friend of mine who primarily reads women’s fiction had mentioned a book series called The Bride Quartet, by Nora Roberts. I have to admit, those books completely dispelled my myths. Of course, I’ve read a few since then that completely enforce those myths. But there are a lot of people on this planet and no two people like the same thing.
But those Bridal books were a bridge I could cross with my women’s fiction ideas and transform them into realistic, relatable happy ever after tales.
Once I started reading romance, I couldn’t stop. For a while, I was sneaking off to Barnes and Noble and gobbling up several a week. The books I had been drawn to however were mostly historicals. Johanna Lindsey’s Malory books drew me in big time. (It’s just a coincidence that my Darling Cove family has the same- but I spelled it Mallory).
When I attend conventions and listen to Keynotes and other speakers, everyone has that one book that not only drew them in, but anchored them to romance. My book was Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day. That book has never seen my bookshelf. I haven’t put it away. While struggling to make edits to Forty Times Platinum based on a proofreader’s comments, I dug through Seven Years to understand what the editor was talking about. Seven Years taught me how to write romance. It opened me up to the elegant way to craft a scene, build it and show…SHOW emotions not just tell the reader about them. And if I can offer one more book to this list which is my current emotional bible, it’s Jennifer Gracen’s third Harrisons Series book, Tis the Season. The emotional punches in that book still have me catching my breath. I’m lucky enough to know Jennifer (she’s a member of my local RWA writing chapter) and I was so glad to be able to tell her how her writing made me feel.
I just hope one day, I can do the same for someone.

Lynne, thank you so much for the opportunity to tell you about myself and my debut novel MUST LOVE FASHION published and available to readers everywhere.


Here’s an Excerpt from Must Love Fashion:

“Sometimes you don’t realize what a hole you have in your life until someone fills it.”

Annoyed, Gwen roughly draped her scarf around her neck and put on her coat. But those frayed edges once again caught on one of her charm bracelets. “Son of a…” Her free hand reached up to loosen the scarf from her neck before it strangled her. But it snagged on the clasp of her necklace and twisted; trapping her as if she were in a straitjacket. “Are you kidding me?” she growled.
Furiously, she shrugged out of the coat, sending it flying across the office.

“Excuse me.” A deep gravelly voice drifted in from the doorway.

Gwen swung around and locked eyes with the most devastatingly handsome man she’d ever seen. Andrew! “Oh hi!” She held up her hand revealing the tangled mess she’d made of herself.

“Looks like you’ve gotten yourself tied up there.” Andrew put down his bag and moved toward her with powerful long legs covered in what she knew had to be a pair of Prada dress slacks. In an instant, he was touching her hand and…her neck. “What’s caught on what here?”

“I can do it.” She backed away. It was startling to be so close to him. That photo did not do this man justice. He was even more stunning in person. He was so tall and broad. Heat radiated from his body; removing the chill that clung to her all week from the drafty window.

“I think you’ve done enough.” Andrew snagged her wrist again. His commanding hold made her feel like Lois Lane when Superman rose up, caught her and said, I’ve got you.


Author Bio:

 

Deborah Garland.png
Click for website

Deborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and when she’s not writing, she’s either in the gym, or reading, cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.

 

Author Links:
Facebook     Twitter     goodreads_icon     RomanceReviews

Hounds of the Underworld- authors’ interview

Aren’t writers supposed to be solitary?

cover_Hounds of the Underworld
Cover designed by Daniele Serra

 

  • Dan Rabarts: That’s just a myth we like to maintain so we don’t have to invite anyone to our parties. Writers are actually about as social as spider monkeys, and we like to do many of the same things when we’re together: eat our bananas upside-down, groom each other for tasty insects, that sort of thing. But we keep this top secret because if everyone knew, everyone would want to be writers and come to our parties.
  • Lee Murray: It’s not exactly a party! There’s definitely a myth circulating that writing is a solitary occupation, and yet I don’t know any successful writer who works entirely in isolation, even those not writing in collaboration. Obviously, there are times when you have to glue your bottom to the chair, put your head down, and churn out the words, but most writers will contact experts to support their work, send early drafts out to a critique group or writing buddy, and then, when draft is completed, beta-readers and editors move in, all of whom contribute to the work in different ways. As far as I can tell, writing a novel is always a collaborative process.

How did you come to collaborate with each other?

  • Dan: A little book called Baby Teeth kicked it all off. I had a crazy idea and got some people on board and realised I’d bitten off more than I could chew, no pun intended. Lee stepped up to help pull it all together.
  • Lee: I think with Baby Teeth – a charity project ‒ the way the anthology came together was atypical, with stories coming in from both established and emerging writers, so from an editing perspective, it was always going to be a challenge. Professionally, Dan and I brought different skill sets to the table and we tried to make it fun and not too intimidating for the newbies. Ask any of the writers: it was like a comedy routine going on in the margins, the pair of us battling it out, trying to find the best way to polish the text. On the way we both learned some new techniques, which we carried over into our individual projects. By the time Baby Teeth went on to win the Australian Shadows and Sir Julius Vogel awards it was clear the partnership was something we should explore further. I threw it out there, and Dan said, why not? But ours is more than just a professional arrangement. On a personal level, we clicked from the get-go. We’re friends: I love Dan’s sense of humour, his can-do attitude, and his wonderfully weird and twisted way of thinking. And the great thing is, our families get on too ‒ we both have incredibly supportive long-suffering spouses ‒ so when we can, we get our kids together, crack open a few drinks, and fire up the BBQ. It’s not all work.

How did you split the collaboration process – decide who contributed what?

  • Lee: Hounds of the Underworld is a he-said she-said narrative, with me writing the science consultant Penny Yee, and Dan writing her ex-con brother, Matiu. So while we each contribute to the development of the other characters, it’s as if we have ownership of those particular story threads. In terms of process, the Dan and Lee approach is an odd mixture of planning and ‘pantsting’, with doses of affectionate squabbling. In fact, the sensible big sister and subversive little brother roles of Penny and Matiu apply to our writing process too, where I am the big sister who knows best and Dan has the crazy go-off-on-a-tangent ideas. Broadly speaking, we have an idea of where we want the story arc to go, but I never quite know what to expect when I open Dan’s latest section, exactly where he’ll have taken a scene. Down some dark alleyway, usually! Working with Dan definitely means taking the story to another dimension.
  • Dan: Yip, we manage to keep this balance of driving the narrative forward in our own ways: Lee with solid research and plausibility, and me with random unexplained explosions. But we frequently sit down during the process and make sure that, at least to some extent, we’re working towards the same goal. The push-pull dynamic that Penny and Matiu share to get their results isn’t that far removed from our collaborative process.

Tell us about the most {worrying / enjoyable} part of collaborating?

  • Dan: Worrying? There’s always the risk that one of us will be abducted by aliens or otherwise removed from the process, and the one that’s left will have to not only pretend to be the other writer, mimic their style, fall into their ideas, take ownership of plot points we’ve deliberately maintained some distance from, but also knowing we’d have to maintain the other person’s social media profiles until the aliens release them back into the wild. All those hashtags. So many hashtags.
  • Lee: {rolls her eyes} Lynne, please don’t get him started. I’m going to open up the next section of the sequel and find it has aliens in it now, aren’t I? The downside is that people assume we must be married! No, I think the biggest worry is that our lives keep getting in the way. Family. Work. We’ve learned to be flexible.
  • Dan But enjoyable? That’s the magic of it. It’s having an idea which is only half-formed, and bandying it around with someone excited and committed to the project, invested in the world and the characters. Lee will bring something new to that misshapen idea, an unexpected twist that gives it direction and completion, and you have this synergy going on that leads to cool things happening, taking form on the page. Whole is greater than the sum of the parts, sort of thing.
  • Lee: The thing I like is that I only have to write half the book. Actually, collaborating ends up being more work than writing on your own, but being a ponderously slow writer myself, sharing the work helps me with the word-count head games!

With which other writers would you / have you collaborate/d? Tell us about that…

  • Dan: We’ve both collaborated with other writers, and produced some fairly cool works as a result. I’m part of a writing band called Cerberus, which comprises myself, Grant Stone and Matthew Sanborn Smith, and one of our stories, Dada, has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. We produce some extremely weird fiction. But my favourite collaboration outside of the Rabarts/Murray workload right now is a little story called “The People Machines”, which my ten-year-old son and I are writing at bedtime. It’s a story about two boys who get the power to turn into any machine they can imagine, just in time to protect the world from the evil, machine-eating Corlocks. Fart jokes and witty puns abound.
  • Lee: I have a collaborative YA novella, Mika, with YA specialist, Piper Mejia. We’d already worked together on a number of student anthologies, and when I moved to Wellington, the project gave us a reason to talk every week. With Mika, a Kiwi version of the Wizard of Oz, we wrote alternating chapters and then ‘smoothed’ the final text, so it reads like a single writer. I also have a couple of picture books out on submission, both collaborations with Eileen Mueller. But like I said earlier, all writing involves an element of collaboration.

 

 

Tell us what fun and games went into the cover design…

  • Lee: It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s by Italian artist, Daniele Serra. In terms of fun and games, there weren’t any: we sent in some ideas, just concepts really, and it came back perfectly formed.

What’s your favourite way to meet your readers ‒ at book signings, conventions, or other events – and why?

  • Dan: Book launches, for sure. Because that means they might be buying a book. Yay! (Buy books, people. We love you when you buy books.) But otherwise, pretty much anywhere. Bars are good. Personally, I like those impromptu gatherings of a dozen people dropping in on an unsuspecting restaurant downtown somewhere to chinwag and press the flesh and talk books and writing and the deplorable state of American politics while comparing craft beers. Good times.
  • Lee: Any time you meet someone who likes your story. Online. At a launch. Conventions. Anywhere. There’s nothing more uplifting than to know you’ve inspired a reader. I walked into the supermarket once, and a woman came running over to me and said, “You’re that writer lady, aren’t you? You’re doing so well.” That was pretty special.

Red: Thanks, Dan and Lee for the distance interview

Raw-Dogs-Screaming

Hound of the Underworld can be purchased at
publishers {click the logo to go and buy}

 

 

Show No Weakness: Exclusive

2017-04-10 to 14_Show No Weakness

Taylor Sinclair, Joely’s teenaged son, has mixed feelings about his mother’s burgeoning relationship with Cole Dennison. In this exclusive, we “listen in” to Taylor’s phone call to his friend after visiting his father. Note: this is Not in the novel Show No Weakness.
Check the “Released: Show No Weakness” Page for details of the book, released 10th April


“Hey, Taylor, how did the visit go with your dad last weekend?”

“Ah, it was okay,” Taylor told his friend, Nelson. He sprawled out on the couch and thumped his feet up onto the coffee table.

“Really? Cuz, you don’t sound okay. You sound kinda pissed. Did something happen with your dad?”

“Nah.” Taylor frowned and switched the phone to his other ear, then reached for the glass of juice he’d just poured himself. “I’m choked with my mom.” He took several long gulps of juice and put the glass back down with a loud sigh.

Nelson laughed. “That’s been happening a lot lately. What’s up now?”

“You remember that cop I told you about?”

“The one you met when you got in trouble, and now you’re playing basketball with him?”

“That’s right. Cole. He’s a really cool dude, for a cop, and we’re actually, like, friends. But now I find out he and my mom are dating.” Frustration surged through Taylor, and he barely stopped himself from kicking the coffee table.

“Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?”

“Seriously, Nelson?” Taylor couldn’t believe Nelson didn’t automatically see the problem. “What are the chances they’ll stay together? Practically zero,” he answered himself before Nelson could say anything. “And then Mom will hate him, just like she hates my dad, and she’ll stop me from spending time with Cole, just like she’s done with my dad. Where’s that fair? He was my friend, first.” Even he could hear the pout in his voice, but he had a right to be damn mad about this.

Nelson kept quiet for a moment, then he said, “Yeah, but what if he and Joely do stay together? That’d be cool, wouldn’t it? And you’d get to hang out with Cole even more.”

Taylor gave another exasperated sigh. Before he could tell his friend what he thought about him taking Joely’s side, he heard the condo’s hall door open, signalling the arrival of his mom. No way was he sticking around to deal with her staring at him with that disappointed look on her face.

“Look, Mom’s home from work, so I gotta go. Talk to you later, okay?”

He chucked the phone onto the couch and bee-lined for his room without even glancing at his mom. If she didn’t like it, tough. She deserved the silent treatment.

~oOo~

Kill the Next One, by Federico Axat

AXAT_Kill The Next OneWhen I began reading, I was hooked…especially at the double-back. As Ted battles with the enormity of what he has done, and what he may do, I became increasingly meshed with the multitude of dilemmas in which he found himself.

My head spun with the merry-go-round of events as his life unfolds after attempting suicide. What was going to happen next, for crying out loud? The puzzle was so enigmatic, I had to keep reading as events unfolded.

The more Ted learned, the more intricate the tale…fascinating. His fouled relationship with his wife and daughters, his enmeshment in so many complications, the discoveries we find… all gripped me. Definitely a one-sitting read!

An unusual tale, told in a series of twists…which I’m afraid seemed (to me) to wrap up too suddenly, leaving something indeterminate unsaid. The final chapter seemed a bit of a let-down, but the fact remains, I’ve read no crime novel like this before, and I want more from AXAT!

The Blurb: An audacious psychological thriller where nothing is what it seems. Ted McKay had it all: a beautiful wife, two daughters, a high-paying job. But after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour he finds himself with a gun to his temple, ready to pull the trigger. Then the doorbell rings. A stranger makes him a proposition: why not kill two deserving men before dying? The first target is a criminal, and the second is a man with terminal cancer who, like Ted, wants to die. After executing these kills, Ted will become someone else’s next target, like a kind of suicidal daisy chain. Ted understands the stranger’s logic: it’s easier for a victim’s family to deal with a murder than with a suicide. However, after killing his targets, Ted’s reality begins to unravel. Kill The Next One, an immersive psychological thriller from an exciting new voice.

Publisher: The Text Publishing, Australia  2016
Originally published as La ultima salida (The Last Way Out)2016
Translation © Hachette Book Group Ltd with permission
of Little, Brown and Company, NY

ISBN:
Print: 9781925355871
Ebook: 9781925410259

Other AXAT titles:

  • The Meadow of the Butterflies
  • El aula 19/Classroom 19 (Digital edition)
  • Benjamin

More titles listed at Federico’s site (behind the portrait) Federico AXAT

Federico is also found here…
Twitter: @FedericoAxat, and FaceBook:

Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

cover_journey-vivienne-marshallThis is a moving story of journeys into the afterlife – to which most of us will have at some time given thought. Shannon writes in several genres: literary fiction, suspense/thriller, and young adult. Shannon is a member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. Vivienne’s Journey is a departure from Shannon Kirk’s (The Method, reviewed here) crime genre, proving diversity as author.

Vivienne, after a strolling out into traffic while checking her FaceBook updates, ‘awakes’ near a bridge; at the other end is her long-deceased childhood sweetheart, Noah. He offers to show her the many opportunities she has. She awakens in the hospital, after hours of surgery. Her nurse is Marty, who in her lucid moments entertains her, calms her, and reassures her. She continues to pass between the hospital room and other heavens Noah chooses to show her, or she asks to see: old Lachlan (a child grown to a priest), Armadillo (archer turned artist), her father, Ivan’s (her eight-year old son) future heaven, and more. Her story includes her life, her memories, and her relationships, all bringing us closer to Vivienne.

The author’s concept of heaven being a personal choice is not a match for the Biblical concept of after the final victory over evil, Christians or believers in God Almighty will rise and live on earth, with God among their midst, and no non-believers left. It’s an imagined concept –quite believable, and even comforting. Within Vivienne’s journey, the author does nothing to challenge the Biblical concept of life ever after. It is a simple fiction; glimpses into future lives of people still living, coincidences, and hints of future events, intertwine with Vivienne’s memories.

All in all, a sweet story of love, and loss. If it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you have a cold soul.

First edition published September 2016 by Reputation Books

ISBN:
Paperback 978-1-944387-08-2;    eBook 978-944387-09-9

View the trailer at the Shannon Kirk’s site, and buy via Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

Jan de Hartog’s "The Inspector"

94536

Originally titled “Lisa”

I read this (one of my mother’s books) when in Fifth form (age 15), and have Never forgotten it.

It is a lump-in-the-throat book, a weep-maker book, a drama – based on an Inspector in Europe, post-WW2, who is tasked with supervising the prevention of smuggling Jews wanting to get away from the world of their horrors and make it into Palestine, rejecting his role.
On meeting one young woman whose tale of the tortuous imprisonment moves him deeply, he instead leaves his post and attempts to get her “home”.

(The book was made into a film, which I only discovered a few moments ago.

All my reviews at Good Reads (not many there, actually) Should be found here

Romancing the Memory Collector, by Virginnia de Parté

Romancing the Memory Collector,
Fifth in the series of g-altered characters’ romances
by author Virginnia de Parté
We who have read De Parté’s fourth book in the series, A Stella Affair, have already met and liked Thomas. He is a Customs Inspector who works with a partner “Buster”, a sniffing dog whose abilities are well out-stripped by those of Thomas with his g-altered senses. This is his story, of how he hopes to develop a relationship with Kate after she literally falls at his feet in the airport, and he comes to her rescue.
Kate Bentley, myopic yet able to see the bubbles of people’s lost memories, tries to catch and return them to their owners. Working at a retirement village, she is sometimes overwhelmed by seeing so many lost memories drifting away, beyond her reach. Her absorption in looking after her father and a lifetime of difficulty socialising (due to her myopia) cause difficulties for Thomas.
Thomas  sends flowers, meets Kate’s father and begins an old-fashioned, tender courtship. But intervening events and misunderstandings cause glitches and hitches in communication and understanding.
Thomas, while watching the close and caring relationship between Kate and her father, Colin, in the early stages of Alzheimers, realises he has missed out on having a loving family life of his own. He consults Wills Corban (a character we met in A Talent For Loving) as to the wisdom and possibility of a single man adopting a child. He returns to The Nursery to find a boy to rescue from the mean (as in ‘bare essentials’) existence, to nurture as a son. He leaves with a daughter*.
Regrettably, Thomas forgets to let Kate know. When Kate finds out about his daughter, she becomes distrustful, and almost cuts off the relationship completely. However, when a resident wanders off from the retirement village, Thomas, and his daughter come to help—Thomas to track him, Suzie to sing for the residents—he is able to explain his situation fully.
When Kate’s own father goes missing, she calls Thomas, but they lose Colin’s trail at a bus stop. Wills calls on another g-altered person to help locate Colin. Once his location is known, he “jumps” Thomas and Kate to the city park where Colin has been seen. They hurry  to the nearby pier—on the edge of which Colin is standing, as if waiting for something. Kate discovers the thrilling “jump” has somehow changed her.
Between these and other events in the development of the romance, De Parté weaves in more touches of the background of the family, and other significant back-story elements of the characters. Finally, the way is obviously clear for the tender romance to continue, in Thomas’s old-fashioned courtesy’s way. Virginnia De Parté continues this fascinating futuristic world of the affairs of genetically altered people in her own unique and enjoyable style with this sweet romance.
*Only by reading the book will you learn the daughter’s g-altered talent—no spoilers here—move along. 

You can buy this warm-hearted romance at these locations:

Secret Cravings:  http://bit.ly/1s3SyV6



© Lynne R McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2014 May


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The 9th Girl – by Tami HOAG

The 9th Girl author Tami HOAG

Sam Kovik, investigating detective, has his New Year’s evening exploded from a routing duty to the beginning of a gruesome hunt through new and archived information to track the twisted maniac dubbed Doc Holiday, who celebrates every festive season by torturing and killing a female victim, and leaving the body where it is easily found. Over ten years, across many states, his handiwork shows up. 
The latest is tagged as a zombie, by the limo driver whose vehicle she popped up in front of after she was bounced from the boot (US trunk) of the car in front of him, in party-mood traffic. The tag is picked up by the press (of course), and Kovik is ordered to get to grips with any similar case until tracking down the killer.
In a side story, Kyle Liska, a young teen, separated from the high school “in-crowd” by his artistic nature and empathy with other underdogs, becomes embroiled in a chase after one of his friends who disappears.
For a while it seems the two cases are one, but for the differences – the girl who has disappeared  is not timed to match another holiday season, and it is not a year since the last Doc Holiday kill.
Working his way through old case files and the latest Medical Examiner’s findings of the “zombie” death, Sam and his partner – Kyle’s mother, Nikki – start to notice more discrepancies than similarities between old cases and the latest. Nikki and Kyle are also trying to locate Kyle’s friend.
HOAG lets us view parts of her fascinating crime story from the point of view of the perpetrator, who has delusions (don’t they all) which he plays out to fill an obscure hole in hos state of mind. When we realise that the “zombie” kill is not his handiwork, we are thrown into a more twisted puzzle than before.
There are moments of sickening horror when we examine one family’s life, and more when we see Doc holiday (who soon has decided to use the tag as his own) at his worst work.
Fascinating to read, and a definite draw-card for HOAG’s other works.

Publisher: 2013, London, Hatchett UK via Orion Books imprint
ISBN: 978-1-4091-0960-0

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