Friday, January 20, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Flash Crash by Denison Hatch

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Denison Hatch will be awarding a copy of Flash Crash (U.S. only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


When a rogue quantitative programmer intentionally crashes the gold index, it seems that Wall Street's worst nightmare has come true. In truth, the crisis has just begun.

Across town, an armored truck filled with $120M of gold bullion is hijacked by an ingeniously crafted electromagnetic crane and seemingly driven into thin air.

Programmer David Belov discovers that his virtual "Flash Crash" was simply a required stepping stone towards the largest physical gold robbery in history, and that's he's been framed for the resulting chaos, the lives of his beloved wife and son on the balance...

With brooding, hardboiled detective Jake Rivett and the NYPD's finest operators from the Major Crimes Division actively seeking to locate and arrest David, and other, darker elements nipping at his heels, David is forced to confront his own past in order to have a future.


Suddenly there was a faint whooping noise in the distance.

“Did you hear that?” David asked.

“No. Do you hear me?”

David pulled Marina in for an embrace. “You have to trust me. I know what I’m doing . . .”

“He’s a scorpion.”

“What?” David asked as he scanned the horizon, searching for the source of the mystery vibration.

“Your mom’s favorite story. I’m sure you remember. A frog needs to get across a river, and there’s a scorpion sitting there at the riverbank. The scorpion helpfully offers to carry the frog on his back. So the frog says to him, ‘Well you’re a scorpion. Why should I trust you? How do I know you won’t just sting me?’ And the scorpion answers, ‘Because you have my word. I promise that I won’t bite you.’ So the frog takes the ride. And just as the two of them are about to reach the safety of the other shore, the scorpion suddenly stings the frog. As poison runs through his body and he lays there dying, the frog asks the scorpion one final question: ‘Why’d you do it?’ And the scorpion says, ‘Because I’m a scorpion.’ Vlad’s stung you before. And he’ll sting you again.”


Denison is a screenwriter and novelist. He has a number of feature and television projects in development, including his original screenplay, Vanish Man, which is set up at Lionsgate. A graduate of Cornell University, he lives with his wife and a big dog in a little house in Hollywood. He is presently working on the third Jake Rivett thriller.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Straight Reading from the Library: The Sage Stone Prophecy by N.S. Wikarski

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Where do you hide a mysterious artifact that could change the course of history? You scatter clues to its whereabouts across the entire planet. Five objects buried beneath the rubble of lost civilizations point to the hiding place of the fabled Sage Stone. A secret society and a fanatical religious cult vie against one another in a global treasure hunt to claim the prize. The Arkana wants to preserve it for posterity. The Blessed Nephilim wants to exploit it to create a terrifying new world order. Only one faction can win. More importantly, only one can survive.


This book is the final adventure in the Arkana Archaeology Adventure Series and completes the story that was begun in The Granite Key. If you haven't read the other books in the series, this book can still be read as a standalone.

What a ride N.S. Wikarski takes us on in this final volume--definitely enough twists to keep this reader on her toes and kept her turning the pages to see what else is going to happen.

I loved all the characters and it was so awesome to see them finally reach their destinies. The characters are likable and fully drawn--even the "bad guys". You could see their reasoning for what they did, even if you do not agree with it. And, that makes for a fully developed story.

Even with that, it's a very plot-driven story. The author did a great job keeping the reader guessing. If you like thrillers that mix suspense and religion, this series fits right in line with the Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown or Lewis Perdue's Daughter of God.

5 stars.


Hannah heard the key slide into the lock just in time to throw her e-book reader inside a dresser drawer and bury it under a pile of stockings. She whirled about as Joshua entered the room.

His face was grim. “For someone who doesn’t speak, you certainly provoke a lot of chatter among the community. Tongues are wagging about Mother Rachel’s last visit to you and the tragic aftermath. No one can seem to talk of anything else.”

The girl gave a slight smile and shrugged.

Joshua stared at her intently. “You think you’re clever, don’t you?”

Hannah regulated her expression to its characteristic blankness.

“You have them all fooled, not simply my father. No one can believe a child who looks so sweet and innocent could be capable of such monstrous duplicity. But you are, Sister Hannah, and I intend to prove it.”

The spymaster removed a small object from his pocket and set it on the dresser. It appeared to be some sort of digital recording device. He switched it on and then turned back to the girl.

“The Brotherhood is in crisis. My father has set us on a path to destruction and I alone can avert disaster. To do that, I must persuade the Diviner that I am the only one he can trust—the only one who has his best interests at heart. And you’re going to help me convince him.”


"There's a 52% chance that the next Dan Brown will be a woman ... or should we just make that 100% now?" --Kindle Nation Daily

Nancy Wikarski is a fugitive from academia. After earning her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she became a computer consultant and then turned to mystery and historical fiction writing. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Society Of Midland Authors, and has served as vice president of Sisters In Crime - Twin Cities and on the programming board of the Chicago chapter. Her short stories have appeared in Futures Magazine and DIME Anthology, while her book reviews have been featured in Murder: Past Tense and Deadly Pleasures.

She has written the Gilded Age Mystery series set in 1890s Chicago. Titles include The Fall Of White City (2002) and Shrouded In Thought (2005). The series has received People's Choice Award nominations for Best First Novel and Best Historical as well as a Lovey Award for Best Traditional Amateur Sleuth.

Her seven-book Arkana Archaeology Mystery Series is a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Titles include The Granite Key (2011), The Mountain Mother Cipher (2011), The Dragon’s Wing Enigma (2012), Riddle Of The Diamond Dove (2013), Into The Jaws Of The Lion (2014), Secrets Of The Serpent’s Heart (2015), and The Sage Stone Prophecy (2016).

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: A Minor Deception by Nupur Tustin

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nupur will be awarding a a free print copy of the book (Open to US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn would like nothing better than to show his principal violinist, Bartó Daboczi, the door. But with the Empress Maria Theresa’s visit scheduled in three weeks, Haydn can ill-afford to lose his surly virtuoso.

But when Bartó disappears—along with all the music composed for the imperial visit—the Kapellmeister is forced to don the role of Kapell-detective, or risk losing his job.

Before long Haydn's search uncovers pieces of a disturbing puzzle. Bartó, it appears, is more than just a petty thief—and more dangerous. And what seemed like a minor musical mishap could modulate into a major political catastrophe unless Haydn can find his missing virtuoso.


Is the Estates Director more worried than he needs to be about the Police Commissioner's visit?

The Estates Director must have had his ear pressed close to the door of the Prince’s chamber for Haydn walked right into him as he left the Prince’s chamber.

“Herr Rahier!” Haydn rubbed his nose where the button on the Estates Director’s coat had scratched it.

The Estates Director ignored Haydn’s protest, and put a firm hand on the Kapellmeister’s neck to propel him forward. “What did His Serene Highness have to say?”

Haydn shook Rahier’s hand off. “It does not concern you. Still, if you must know, the Prince was enquiring about the program of entertainment for Her Majesty.”

“And he made no mention of the Police Commissioner’s visit? None at all?”

Haydn bit back the retort that had sprung to his lips. “The Police Commissioner’s visit is none of my affair, Herr Rahier.”

The Estates Director gazed at Haydn through eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Is it not, Herr Kapellmeister? And yet no sooner had the Police Commissioner left than His Serene Highness sent for you.”

Haydn felt his mouth puckering as he eyed the Estates Director. Why must everyone persist in believing the Police Commissioner’s visit had anything to do with him? Or the imperial visit? Aware that he was holding his breath, he let it out.

“There is no great mystery in that. His Serene Highness is leaving on business shortly. His impending departure necessitated that we meet before mid-day. If it will set your mind at rest, we discussed the chamber music and my principal violinist, and nothing more.”

The Estates Director had been stroking his chin as he scrutinized the floor. At Haydn’s words, he looked up. “What crime can the Police Commissioner suspect that he should come running to His Serene Highness?” he muttered to himself.


Author Bio: A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem. The Haydn mysteries are a result of her life-long passion for classical music and its history. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her original compositions, available on

Her writing includes work for Reuters and CNBC, short stories and freelance articles, and research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three rambunctious children, and a pit bull.

For details on the Haydn series and monthly blog posts on the great composer, visit the official Haydn Mystery web site: NTUSTIN.COM

A Minor Deception: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Ebook (ISBN-13: 978-0-9982430-0-9): $4.99
Print (ISBN-13: 978-0-9982430-1-6): $14.95

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Straight Chatting from the Library: Jason Pere

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

One thing that I will remember for the rest of my life, is the first morning that I spent with the woman that I would go on to marry. She got up to make me breakfast and told me that “I don’t have much but what I do have is yours.”

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

I would pay some bills. Yeah sorry I can’t give you a more entertaining answer. Being an adult is not fun.

Where do you get your best ideas?

I get a lot of good ideas at my day job. I work in manufacturing so I am bound to a lot of repetitive physical activity. While it is boring, it is thoughtless work and it allows my mind free reign to roam and flex some creative muscles.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

I think that the characters drive the plot. One cannot exist without the other. Nobody wants to read a book where you have an awesome cast that sits around doing nothing. On the flip side nobody wants to visit an awesome universe that is only inhabited with forgettable faces.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special.

In Calling the Reaper all eight of my main characters die. I don’t think that many other authors murder their entire principle cast in the first book of the series.


The time of the Unity has ended. Now, the realm of man is stranded between Paradise and Purgatory. The Valkyrie and Reaper battle over the fate of all who pass from the land of the living and into the afterlife.

Eight mortal spirits from vastly different worlds tread the same, inevitable path toward their last, crucial decision. Within them all exists the defining conflict every man must face—to look upon the end of their life with glory and honor, or to give credence to their baser longings, calling the Reaper to their own demise.

In this rich, harrowing tale of pride, deceit, honor, vengeance, and redemption, each individual must battle their inner turmoil, facing the sacrifices they have made before their unavoidable end in the land of the living.

But their last day in life is also their first day of death amidst the terrors of the underworld. Lord Master Death wants them all…and the real battle has only just begun.


It was said he could not be defeated. It was said he had slain over ten thousand warriors. It was said he had lived for nine hundred years and would live for nine hundred more. It was said that his father was the strike of lightning and his mother the winter’s frost, that he traded his spirit to a demon for the strength of twenty men. It was said his blades were forged from the teeth of dragons and his armor fashioned from the bones of giants.

No one knew how much was myth and how much truth save for this: he was the Fist of the Shogunate, the finest of warriors and the most brutal of killers. His thirst for blood and glory was unquenchable. His name was Kenji Rei.

In the final days of autumn, the air was filled with the crisp bite of the coming winter. The Emperor’s court found itself covered in the shadow of falling leaves and petals as the morning wind stripped the trees bare. Two men stood before an audience of some of the most prestigious men in the empire, including the Emperor himself.

The first man was a formidable bladesman of impressive lineage. Hoshi Okami was regarded far and wide as the pride of the Kobiko Dojo, the oldest and most exclusive school in all the empire. It admitted no more than four new students a year. Those Kobiko students were all remarkably gifted and skilled warriors in their own right, and they required not only one but two letters of recommendation from the most venerable Senseis in the empire before they could even petition for admittance.

Above any living practitioner, and arguably any practitioner of the Kobiko art who had ever lived, Hoshi Okami stood a paragon of the way of the warrior. To date, he had never declined a challenge and had fought precisely two hundred and eleven duels, winning each and every one of them. He was about to fight his two hundred and twelfth. Hoshi Okami currently served as the bodyguard and principle advisor to General Aiko Mastay. Okami’s opponent, and the second man before the gathered audience, was Kenji Rei, personal champion of the Shogun and Fist of the Shogunate.


Jason Pere is a born-and-raised New Englander. He always had a passion for the arts and creative storytelling. At the age of thirteen, Jason took up the craft of acting for film and theater. He pursued that interest for over a decade until refocusing his medium of expression into writing.

At first, Jason took a causal interest in writing, starting with poetry and journaling. Over time, he honed his direction and finally began writing larger works. In November of 2012, Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet.

Since then, Jason has continued writing on his own, mostly short stories and poetry. Calling the Reaper was his first experience committing to a full-length Fiction title.

In early 2015, Jason became affiliated with Collaborative Writing Challenge (CWC). Since then, he has joined many other writers on numerous collaborative projects. Jason is a regular contributor to CWC and is scheduled to have multiple pieces of his work appear in their publications throughout 2016.

You can find out more about Jason Pere’s involvement and publications in collaborative fiction at:

To connect with Jason, check him out at:

Jason also writes fanfiction for Team Covenant on their Blog of the Pheonixborn, dedicated to the new game by Plaid Hat Games, ‘Ashes’. Go to to read Jason’s flash fiction work.

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Straight Reading from the Library: The Gathering Dark by Charles O'Keefe

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charles O'Keefe will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Newly-made vampire Joseph O’Reily has rejected his vampire lover Cassandra and declared their relationship at an end. Although he loves Cassandra – and she loves him – he knows their relationship cannot survive because she places such low worth on human life and morals.

Former pirate and vampire sire Anne Bonny is bored from spending almost a century on a tropical island and makes her way to St. John’s after receiving the last thoughts of her creation, John Snow. Once in Newfoundland she engages with Joseph and Cassandra, both of them surprised to see a vampire that doesn’t wish them harm.

Joseph, who is dealing with his failed relationship with Cassandra and his new one with Anne, has forgotten a human figure from his past, Augustus Green, a pimp and murderer. Green plans revenge for the brutal beating Joseph and Cassandra gave him months ago.

The Emperor Commodus, leader of the vampire council, has commanded his subjects, Count Dracula, Countess Elizabeth Bathory and others, to swell the ranks of his evil army by creating brainwashed vampires. Hope is not lost though as other vampires secretly prepare for the war to fight for their survival and humanity’s.

Anne Bonny devises a plan that would mean the death of the Countess and replacing her. Joseph must make the decision to join Anne on his own. As his enemies gather, so do his friends, and Joseph discovers he has allies he never even knew about. The good side of the Council holds its own meeting that Joseph and Cassandra are secretly invited to.

With Anne and Cassandra at his side, they wage a desperate battle against the Countess, in the hopes of not just defeating her but striking a pre-emptive blow against the forces of evil. Joseph is ready to take on his greatest challenge yet. If he wins, good will prevail. If he fails, he will enable the destruction of the entire world. With a lot riding on him, Joseph can only hope for help from old friends and old flames alike, if he is to turn the tide of destiny.


This is the third book in the Newfoundland Vampire series and while it can probably be read as a standalone, why would you want to? Do yourself a favor and start from the beginning so you can see the growth of the main character over the stories. This is not a trilogy--there are more adventures ahead for these characters and you don't want to miss any of it!

In one sense, it is very much Joseph's story as he deals with the aftermath of becoming a vampire and coming to grips with everything that means. It is also very much a good vs. evil story as he and his friends fight against the vampires who want to take over the world.

The story is well-written, the characters fully fleshed out, and the relationships -- well, they can get interesting. Do yourself a favor-- if you like vampires, pick this one up. 4 stars.

Again he found her, Cassandra. He couldn’t get her out of his head. Everything reminded him of her. He knew it was natural, they had done so much, and he had loved her—or at least he’d thought so.

He needed a break, something lighter. Taking the turnoff towards the Outer Ring Road and Memorial University, he turned on the radio, something modern for a change of pace. Tomorrow was Halloween and he would need to get some candy but for now there was sweet beer and he sure as hell wanted a drink.

* * *

He settled onto the couch and started to work on his first glass of Newcastle Brown Ale, something he hadn’t had in a while. After his beer was half gone the movie started. A Fish Called Wanda, a movie he enjoyed when he first saw it years ago, was on first.

His second beer went down well enough. The movie was about 45 minutes in and he was just about order his third beer when a thought occurred to him. This is how it all started, this is where I met Cassandra and my human life ended. It was two months ago but it feels like yesterday. Now I feel stuck.

Instantly shaking off the intoxication from the two pints, he went up to the bar and paid the tab. He couldn’t plod on as if nothing had changed, because everything was different.

I’m a vampire, damn it! He could do anything he wanted. He was lonely, horny, and he wanted female companionship. He was sick of feeling shy and awkward around women. It was time someone else was on the receiving end of a seductive vampire.


I live in the Canadian province of Newfoundland, where I am a co-owner of a beauty business. I am happily married. I also live with two cats, Jude and Elenaor (see if you can figure out the theme to the names). I enjoy lots of hobbies like walking, Pilates, writing, reading, movies, gaming, television, poker, Ingress - and, of course, vampires (not the sparkly kind!). I am massive geek, huge music lover and I go to as many concerts/plays/shows as I can afford. I love conventions (both attending and as a vendor/guest) and try to attend at least three a year. I would describe myself as Agnostic, an environmentalist and an animal lover. I also love to chat about all things geeky and I’m always up for a good chat. My first novel "The Newfoundland Vampire" was re-released by Distinguished Press in March of 2015 and the second one “Killer on the Road” was re-released in October of 2015. As of January 2016 I became a self-published author with the help of other authors at Four Phoenixes Publishing. The long awaited third book of my series, “The Gathering Dark” was released in July of 2016. "The Newfoundland Vampire" is a series of at least 4 books with the next install to hopefully arrive sometime in 2017.

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The Newfoundland Vampire Book III: The Gathering Dark will be $0.99 during the tour.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Worlds Reclaimed by Maggie Mundy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie will be awarding a digital copy of Worlds Changed to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Clare and her group of vampires, fae and werewolves want to live on Earth. To do that, they must heal the worlds they have been visiting through the portals.

Vesi, is an albino vampire and Heln, is a white werewolf. Neither has been accepted by their people. This unlikely couple tries to fight their growing attraction to each other while helping to save two worlds.

On one world, a mist is closing in so nothing will survive. On the other, the High Priestess Sari is at war. Her power is failing and she wants to use Vesi’s blood so she can live forever.

Can Heln save his love and help his friends save both worlds. Will their group ever get to Earth?


Heln ran across the deck as he watched Vesi fall. Everything seemed to slow down and yet he knew it had been only a second since the lightning streaked across the sky and hit her chest. It might as well have hit his chest, for he thought his world was being wrought in two. He knew one thing for certain. If she died he did not want to live. How could he have changed so much in such a short time?

He had grown up hating bloodsuckers. One had killed his mother and the pain still ran deep. He was a soldier and a hard man; he needed to be to survive. All his life he had been an outcast amongst the wolves and more than anything he wanted to belong. He always hoped when he imprinted on a wolf female, the clans would then accept him.

Heln knew that would never happen now as he felt the tug of his heart going towards Vesi. His yearning for her gave him a physical ache in his chest. His acceptance within the clans had always been tenuous at best. The clans considered a white wolf a bad omen and he would have been killed before now if he could not fight so well. His mother always protected him when he was small, but once she was gone he fended for himself. All his life he needed to prove himself to get respect and now would be no different. He would fight these feelings he had for Vesi, and not give up on his dream of being part of the clan.


Maggie Mundy lives in Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia. She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and English at Flinders University. She had a short story published in the RWA Topaz Anthology Little Gems in 2010 called Sea and Vines. She has four books with Rogue Phoenix Press. Two erotic novellas called Blood Scent and Blood Oath and two paranormal romances called World Change and World Apart.

She has also performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance but thinks falling in love can be scary, especially in her stories where creatures of the night exist.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Light In My Dark by William Dresden and Jean Gilbert

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. William & Jean will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Sixteen-year-old Harper Deveraux has longed for an adventure ever since her mother died of cancer four years ago. Much to her dismay, she is stuck in Glen Eden, a small mountain town in upstate New York that does little to fuel her hopes and dreams.

Another year of high school has begun, and with the Moon Dance only a few weeks away, Harper suddenly finds herself torn between the affections of two boys: her best friend Jack, and a new boy from the City named Knes who might not be from this world.

Strange things begin to happen in Glen Eden when Harper uncovers a mystery that involved her mother and a realm shrouded in darkness that lies beyond the wall... A realm that Knes intends to take her to. Only Jack stands in his way.

Light In My Dark, is an action-packed modern YA fantasy, filled with dark forces, love, and self-discovery.


The heat under Harper's sweater disappeared the longer she stared at the house. Goose bumps tickled her flesh. She wrapped her arms around her body, but the chill remained. Even so, her eyes refused to look away from the house.

"Well," she said," in the real world it is said that she fell through the floor in a part of the house that was still under construction at the time. No mystery there. Just an accident."

Jack raised an eyebrow at her. "In the middle of the night? Who goes walking around a construction site in the middle of the night? That's just stupid. What gets me is that's what all the tourists come to see, not the lake or the mountains or anything else that Glen Eden has to offer. Give the house a ghost, and they come running."

"Maybe it deserves a ghost. At least then it would be lived in."

Neither one said anything for a moment as they stared at the mansion.

Finally, Jack spoke again. "There must be over a hundred rooms in there. It'd take days to explore them all."

"It'd be an adventure."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?"


William Dresden is an author and award-winning screenwriting. He spent several years as a script doctor and pursued the dream of writing hollywood blockbusters. Now he mostly writes fiction and enjoys spending time with his family and friends. William currently lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Jean Gilbert is an award winning speculative fiction writer from New Zealand. She is a Core member of SpecFicNZ, and is also the coordinator for SpecFicNZ Central. Jean's novels include the Vault Agency Series: Shifters, Ardus, and The Vault. You can find her short stories Blonde Obsession in Baby Teeth: Bite Size Tales of Terror, and Pride in the Contact Light Anthology.


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