Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Russell Brooks Hosting Contest with Latest Novel Coming Tomorrow!

RockyImage by Rainbowfly 
"Who's Darwin?" yelled Eddie.
But it didn't appear that she heard
him. Instead she let out a scream
that resembled a war cry as she
rushed them, holding the axe the
same way a baseball player would
hold a bat..."
Chill Run


By Russell Brooks



Author contest! 

Details as follows:

1. Every person that leaves a comment with their email address (Important) is automatically entered in the draw. 
2. To be sure that the contest is fair and impartial, Clinton (my cat) will select the 10 winners for a free eBook copy of CHILL RUN.

The contest will run from Sunday November 27, 2011 to December 1, 2011 at 9PM. The winners will be announced via my blog and my page on YouTube the same evening. http://russellparkway.blogspot.com/2011/11/win-free-ebook-copy-of-chill-run.html 


For those of you who read Pandora's Succession and, like me, would be prepared for a similar, new thriller...

You're in for a real surprise...and a treat...once you adjust to the story line. I admit that at first, as I started to read about "sexual doms" I didn't know what was coming, but soon I started to smile, laugh, and imagine just how an idea like this could be born--our world thrives on such things after all!

For Eddie Barrow wanted to become a published author. His first novel had been sent out and rejected so far, but he was still optimistic, even though his family had never supported his chosen profession, other than one aunt, and had never even asked to read any part of his manuscript. Eddie had left home because of the constant turmoil and lived with his best friend. However, Corey was going through a major depression because he had tried out for a Canadian idol contest and had been judged and publicized across the world as the world's "worst"... (You can see how readers are quickly smiling and feeling sympathy for the characters!)

Behind on the rent, Eddie first loses his girl and his job. And Corey hasn't been able to pay for his share of rent for months. After having dinner at home and getting even more negative feedback, he had left swearing he'd never returned. Perhaps if none of Eddie's financial troubles had happened, Corey's girlfriend, Jordyn, wouldn't have introduced an idea to him. In doing so, she identified herself as a fem dom, while quickly explaining that there was no sex involved in the activities. She suggested that Eddie act as a dom and, perhaps with a little whipping and smacking around, his client would be pleased and he would be paid big bucks.

Eddie was extremely hesitant, but finally agreed to meet with a woman who was supposedly a CEO of a major corporation. But, their plan was to have the press be notified, break it up--and, of course, Eddie would gain lots of notoriety as a "sex scandal" broke! Reluctantly, Eddie agreed...

I had to share all of this because the circumstances was just too good, not to pull me in. By this point, I was hooked and hoping Eddie could get through this without too much pressure. 

But before he left that hotel room, his "client" had been murdered...

Eddie and Corey quickly decided they had to turn themselves into the police and explain what had happened. That is, until Eddie saw them all already on the news...

Eddie, Corey and Jordyn wind up on the run...Though the chase is hot and heavy, Eddie knows that if they don't try to solve the case, and gain sufficient evidence, they will never be free...but the twists and turns seem to be ending, only to start over!

Russell Brooks has given us another great ride--thrills galore, but this time, with a very sympathetic wannabe novelist as the main character, together with two close friends who support him throughout. Loved the characters, the concept, and the thrills of this Chill Run! Highly recommended!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Latest in Darryl Billups Mystery Series Becomes Favorite!

EyeImage by aepoc via Flickr
"Hudson reminds me of that joke about the man
whose wife catches him buck naked in their bedroom
with another woman. After swearing up and down
that nothing is going on, the man asks his wife, "Who
you gonna believe--me or your lying eyes?"


Don't Believe Your
  Lying Eyes:


A Darryl Billups Mystery


By Blair S. Walker






I was pleased to have the opportunity to read the latest novel written by Walker and hope that the series continues in the near future. Darryl Billups is a good man, an investigative journalist who, because of his skills, got promoted, but then decided to return to the streets to continue using his very real talents in helping to solve crimes--I appreciate when a character is drawn so that his moral integrity is visible and used to move the story along. 


Like the realty shows now playing on television, a local collector has purchased the material in a storage area which had been sold for nonpayment of rent--a big mistake made through a clerical error that resulted in the uncovering of a mummified woman's body, dead for many years. And the injured and dead body count increases quickly immediately after the body is found; i.e., before the body itself is stolen from the office of the medical examiner! It was later determined that not only had the lady been somewhat of a local celebrity, she had also been engaged to a man who was now a powerful leader in local politics.

The whodunit is not so much a surprise, but the later twists and unexpected ending does provide a quite satisfying solution to the mystery and, of course, Darryl is right there finding out what is needed and working to solve the case, alone if necessary.

But this time he is joined by a new female cop, Thelma Holmes, who is now partnering with Scott Donatelli. I loved Thelma and do hope to see her becoming closer to Darryl in the future--even closer than they get in this novel...and, that, readers was all "on the job...!"

Quite a bit of personal fluff starts the novel and provides a different humorous side to Walker's writing. Darryl and Yolanda are having dinner at her parents' place to announce their engagement. Yolanda unfortunately invited Darryl's sister, who doesn't think Yolanda is good enough for her brother, and when she starts sniping during dinner, it not only turns funny (for readers), but finally leads to blows being exchanged... And...almost immediately, Darryl decides that this was the last draw and declares the engagement over. Both throw out anger and hurtful claims but there is a gentler ending later so that readers feel everything worked out...


And, of course, the breakup allowed Darryl to consider the charms of Ms. Thelma Holmes when, in joining forces (actually, Darryl had used business as an excuse to ask her out), they are kidnapped and held hostage!


While this crime investigation was not so thrilling, I enjoyed the overall lighter story, looking into the personal lives of all the characters. Walker effectively shares the total picture of each of those he has created so that we feel a connection--we're invited into dinner conversation that probably should never be heard by anybody outside of those who are fighting...and later we suffer with and see the strength of character of Thelma and Darryl as they work together to free themselves, only to be unsuccessful...


Of the three, this was my favorite from Blair Walker--but I hope it is not my last! I'm already looking forward to what Thelma and Darryl might get into on their next case, or on a more personal level... Loved this one!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Humor Reigns in Autopsy Coroner Exchange With Dead "Client"!

A Scene in the New York Morgue -- Identificati...Image via Wikipedia
Martin nodded. "Occipital blunt force trauma resulting in
cardiopulmonary collapse due to massive brainstem injury,
presumably the result of falling from the bridge onto the back
of the head..."
"Hi, Matin," I said, and from the terrified expression on his
face I could see that he'd heard me again, or at least somehow
sensed me, because when I write here that I "say" something,
this of course has nothing to do with the production of sound
waves, since for that one obviously needs vocal cords. Mine,
however, were cut up into little pieces inside the dissected
throat of the mincemeat corpse in Morgue Drawer 4.
Morgue Drawer Four


By Jutta Profijt
Translated by Erik J. Macki






I'm not a fan of a lot of "humor" thrown out these days, however, I was totally "into" Jutta Profijt's brand in her novel Morgue Drawer Four. Imagine a great stand-up comic spouting totally relevant one-liners...seemingly for the entire time it takes you to read a book. Of course, the comic was a ghost--a recently deceased car thief and he was not happy to wind up living in a morgue drawer...

Would you?


And the straight man for the comedy? None other than a coroner--the coroner who had his "client" speak to him just at the point when he was about to be relieved of a very important part of his body... "Dude, get your monkey beaters off my...!" had been roared with the greatest urgency! Martin would never be the same!

And, of course, neither was "Pascha, the guy in Morgue Draw Four."

You may have guessed by now that Pascha's death was not accidental, although the autopsy findings would lead to that conclusion. But Pascha had been pushed and quickly concluded that he was there to stay until the mystery of his murder was solved...

It had all started when he had been contracted to steal a certain type of car. As always, he was busily searching the car for anything he could take and later sell. But opening the trunk, he had discovered a woman, a naked, dead body... Deciding to ignore the potential future surprise for the customer, Pascha had gone on to deliver the car.

Now he was dead... And he needed Martin to help him find the killer.

At this point on, readers will be pulled into the usual investigation for finding a criminal--usual, that is, if a medical examiner and a ghost are usually involved in such investigations... In fact, Martin was not happy with anything that was happening, but was intelligent enough to realize that helping might be the only way to ultimately have Pascha leave!

Let me just say that Pascha had Martin traveling into many dangerous parts of the city and there was not much Pascha could do to help when Martin got into tough, dangerous situations. I don't know how it all continued to have a humorous twist to it, but it did! Martin might be the typical scientific genius that is excellent at his job; however, tracking down car thieves and potential murderers is something he would never undertake on his own. Still, he proved to be committed and almost brave in his actions.

An interesting little sideline activity was that Pascha started "learning" from Martin about not only forensics but even basic grammar and language skills, so much so that something like a partnership, though weird, did form between the two! Martin even was willing to turn on the television at the morgue and leave it so that Pascha had something to do during the long night...

I'm hoping that even though his own murder has since been solved that Pascha stays around and Martin gets involved in future adventures! This wise-cracking ghost and forensics phenomenon make a dynamic due unlike any other and I, for one, would love to meet them again in the future! Highly recommended!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tyra Banks Whirls Fashion and Fantasy Into Fun Fairy Tale!

Tyra Banks(cannes)-Image via WikipediaModelland


By Tyra Banks




Take a touch of Willie Wonka, add a bit of Cinderella, and add lots of fashion and accessory savvy and you will be reading Modelland! Fairy Tales seems to be taking a new forefront these days with Grimm and Once Upon a Time taking rave reviews for the latest TV programs... So Banks' choice of presentation for her story is coming at a perfect time for everybody who enjoys lots of fantasy along with a few scary spots and a fable-like moral. I was impressed with the underlying story and support it for our youth...

Two sisters live with their parents in Metopia--Myrracle is a beautiful, graceful young teen who was early on spoiled and pampered, being primed to be chosen to enter Modelland. Tookie De La Creme, her sister, "with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body", has silently been ignored by anybody and everybody for as long as she remembers. Her latest attempt to be somehow recognized, even if she has to be hurt in doing so, is to lie down in the middle of the hallway at school, hoping at least to be acknowledged. But everybody somehow not only does not step on her, they still succeed in not even realizing she is...there! She was a true "Forgetta-Girl..."



Consider, if you will, a world where beauty is paramount and becoming a model is the highest, loftiest goal to which any young girl, and some boys, can strive for. Whereas Cinderella was the only girl that was not going to the ball, in Metopia and across this world all activities evolve around the world of fashion. And, there in Metopia, the fashion capital of the world, anybody who was not destined for becoming a model was forced to work in the many fashion and beauty product factories that supported those few who were beautiful. There were also some questionable activities and experiments that took place on some young girls, although nobody really acknowledged them...

And so the grand annual "call" was to take place. A few were sent special invitations; but people would flock from all over the world to Metopia to symbolically walk the red carpet up the mountain. For you see, Modelland was located above Metopia! It was a secured magical place where, once chosen, the girls would be taught how to find their magical abilities, hoping for as many as possible to gain recognition and stature. Seven would become "Intoxibellas" each year...but many would stay there in Modelland to serve the chosen...

It was rare that anybody left Modelland...although many would have if permitted...

But something happened this year--a rouge Intoxibella! Not only had she gone nuts, she was being hunted by many far and wide. But she was there as a scout that day and, instead of Myrracle, she took Tookie! And once she had Tookie, she went blissfully through the town selecting three more young women who were definitely not the typical model type! In fact, when they all reached Modelland, they were considered as new seamstresses or anything other than new members of the classes that would soon start!

One thing we know about the U.S. is that successful people have the ability to influence--for good or bad. The intent of this novel is important and I think Tyra Banks has done an excellent job of helping young women realize that looks are not what makes beautiful people. She's written what she knows and done it in a way that is fun as well as refreshing in its honesty, albeit in the very fairy-tale world of Modelland! You might find taking advantage of the story will be more important than anything you might say yourself to the young people in your life.

I plan on sharing this with my great-niece to whom I've already told a little. She's watching the two new TV shows mentioned above and enjoying them...in fact, if you are watching these programs, then I highly recommend you consider the first book by Tyra Banks.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Welcome Back To One of My Favorite Poets and Friends! Yay Spencer!

Near The Water
 
When life gets too heavy
and trouble taps my soul
I go visit near the waters
which play a soothing role.
 
When the rain comes pouring
drenches my emotional state
I go visit the flowing ripples
which helps keep me straight.
 
None can tell that voice
any better than I can
The hum of the river
calls out to this man.
 
Even the serenity of a lake
might sing a soft lullaby.
A spring-fed mountain stream
races cares goodbye.
 
Let me be near the waters
an ocean wave ebbing near.
Whispers messages from above
speaking directly in my ear.
 
Oh, I might carry my gear
rods, reels and lots of lures
Fishing is a by product
of my waterways tours.
 
Got to visit the waters
hear its whispered romance.
Knowing upon my visit
I get to have another chance.
 
Del Cano 2006 October

 



If Only For One Night


She kept saying,
"If only for one night".
Yet, after 25 years
she remained in sight.

So much time passed
though I had not seen
Life went by us
like on a video screen.

She kept on saying,
"if only for one night".
I didn't run her away
loved her with all my might.

Now that she's gone
though not out of sight.
It's me who keeps saying
"if only for one night."

Del Cano May 26, 2011






A Well Spring Of Emotions


There's a deep-seated need
in how I am craving you
perhaps a substitute of sorts
it penetrates me all thru. 
I have no idea all the reasons
but accept one as a fact.
Since having you in my life
my soul is coming back.

Feelings which I thought
had long been buried
now are springing up
like bouquets being carried. 

You touched something inside
a wellspring of emotions.
Now you have me smiling
with all the inner commotions.
 
Thank you, dear, I gotta say
feels like a new arising
how you reached in and touched
so very very surprising.
 
Life had done its thing
reeked havoc beyond knowing
till you came along with your love
spread it on me like snowing.
 
Del Cano



Spencer is an ongoing
contributor to Book Reader's Heaven!
I'm so happy to have him back, doing better
after recent surgery. Please extend thoughts
and prayers to my friend...

Find Spencer on Gather.Com and Facebook! 
He is not only a wonderful poet, but is an 
active community leader (in my book!)...




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Annechino's Edgy Medical Thriller Challenges Whodunit Lovers!

The SurgeonImage by 905bosun via Flickr
"From this moment forward, everything
held sacred about his life, career, his
relationship with family and friends,
and his conception of the Hippocratic
Oath would forever change. Once he
found the courage to press the scalpel
against her sternum, he could never go
back.
"He forced himself to focus on the most
important goal of the research:
global recognition. He longed to be
validated as a pioneer among surgeons."
Resuscitation


By D. M. Annechino




If logic leads you to hurt someone in order to achieve your life goal/dreams, 
then, frankly, you are...just...wrong...




Lovers of medical thrillers should certainly consider Annechino's new novel, Resuscitation! The tension and suspense is thick with innuendo of who is doing the unspeakable... The details are gruesome, but not horrendously detailed. And it includes a very important moral--that our personal goals sometimes quite easily over-power what we all know to be logical and right...

His expertise and experience was superior and he knew he was on the edge of an important discovery...

Then he received word that his grant from the Global A-Fib Foundation would not be refunded based upon his application. They needed more data, and they wanted it within months! "His only hope to complete the research was to work on live subjects with no limitations..."



The first surgery was very hard for him to perform. He was operating on his own, in a less-than satisfactory environment. On the other hand, he was able to choose strong, young healthy...research victims that should allow him to better evaluate what his options were... Getting his $10Million grant had required that he make this choice...

His Mantra became: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

But even that quickly became obscured as he was tempted by his victims to have sex rather than to be killed. Later, as the police investigated, he realized that he had made a major mistake by only operating on the heart and leaving the bodies to be found... His expansion to dissection of other body parts, sexual and other abuse was necessary to protect himself--not because he was beginning to need and want to do what he was doing...

Sami Rizzo had hunted a serial killer before, but had left the police, haunted by what she had gone through. But when she first heard that a body had turned up with the sternum split with precision, strangely redressed in high-priced clothes, she found she wanted and needed to get involved with this investigation. And as the number of victims increased, the police and even the mayor cut through bureaucratic tape to get her back on staff quickly and taking over the lead to find this killer.

In addition to a solid complex investigation story, Annechino adds the twist of both lead police officers having medical issues in their family to deal with, pulling them between duty and love for their family members. Having determined that the serial killer is surely a skilled medical clinician adds a complex tension to the overall quest for just who is guilty. I didn't even come close to identifying the killer and Annechino does not leave clues for his readers--this whodunit will keep you in on edge until the climatic ending! The doubt of "who" might be that killer is so realistically presented that I think you, too, will be caught in the web of suspense that has been so successfully woven by D.M. Annechino.

I first met Annechino with his novel, They Never Die Quietly--Click to read my review. I thoroughly enjoyed that story; however, I'd say that Resuscitation has surely demonstrated that his writing is becoming stronger and his ability to emerge readers into the reality of the criminal mind is extraordinary. We see the confusion and turmoil of how an individual finally succumbs to what he wants, leaving behind all that he formerly believed in and held close to him. This adds plenty of psychological suspense to the medical thriller that just might mean for many of us that this book is a must-read! I know I'm happy not to have missed it!

Annechino's Twitter description for himself is that he writes "over-the-top thrillers."  ...Indeed!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Mark Young's Debut Responded To Many Personal Interests - I Loved This One!

Headwaters of the Lochsa River near Powell, Id...Image via Wikipedia
"A dark image flickered over emerald waters. Travis Mays
glanced skyward to see a vulture searching for carrion, its tip
feathers spread like blackened fingers against a hazy-blue sky.
He crouched by the river, listening to rushing water as he eyed
the scavenger winging a path above the Lochsa River...
A woman's light footsteps forced him to smile. Ah, yes. The
river guide, Jessie White Eagle..."
Revenge:


A Travis Mays Novel




By Mark Young









I find I particularly enjoy novels written by authors who have expertise and experience and have chosen to use those skills in fiction genres. Mark Young is an example, as a former police officer for 26 years. He is also an award-winning journalist and a Vietnam combat veteran and has been on major crime task force operations. Experience shows in the detail of books by such writers...and my feelings are that recognition of that special, to me, edgy addition to an author's writing skills should be spotlighted when appropriate. If you enjoy various forms of crime novels, I can fully and highly recommend Revenge!


"Bubbles of white madness hurled around him as
if he'd wandered into a major snow flurry, the storm's
white fury blinding him. A maddening roar of angry
water hurled past. Deanfening. A crescendo finall
offering muffled quietness amidst a horrendous storm.
He felt locked inside the eye of a hurricane and
everything became a quiet road. He locked his mouth
closed, trapping the air inside until he reached the
surface..."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/
1091395687/sizes/s/in/photostream/
Travis Mays had faced a traumatic case, one that he could not forget even though he had been a successful law officer for many years and had, burned out, moved on to become a professor of criminology at the university in Idaho. He had built a cabin and was about to embark on a new personal venture, white-water riding...

Now, right away I was personally hooked! I left a long-term career due to job burnout and now I live in a log cabin that was built by family relations...and I've had one thrilling white-water raft ride that still excites me to remember. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Travis' first ride of the rapids...but, even more, I was intrigued by his cabin. The cabin could only be reached by a over-water carrier or through densely populated woods. He had absolutely no communication with the outside world, which did prove to be life-threatening given what he was about to face! I also enjoy stories about Native Americans and learned about the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho as well!

Travis had met Jessie White Eagle, simply because he had decided to try white-water boating and felt he needed at least a guide to begin. Jessie White Eagle was the one recommended...


Neither of them knew that if he had not asked for a guide that, otherwise, her brother might still be alive...


When Travis and Jessie went for their first trip, Travis noticed that something was wrong and, finally, Jessie admitted that her brother was missing. Later he was found dead. Jessie's father was the tribal police chief and asked Travis to help him solve the crime. Travis was torn but decided not to help, until the chief went to the university and sought official assistance from him. With reluctance, he began the investigation...

And what occurs is a thrilling search, hunt, and rescue series of events that will keep readers riveted from then on! I loved the action taking place in the forest and white water...the tracking...all of it. Add to that a list of major and minor characters that share not only their cultural differences as well as personal relationships, and who become real and important to readers--you have a really wonderful action/adventure novel. Add the thrill and suspense of solving a murder case and you've got a book that will keep you reading until you've finished--Thoroughly enjoyed and satisfied! Don't miss this one! It's one of my favorites for the year!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This is...For the Birds! You're Going to Love It!

Through mountains, rivers, and across the 
rugged Adirondack park landscape, a brutal
 scenario evolves, where the good guys
 aren’t what they seem, and only Ruby’s
 newly acquired “Thelma-vision” provides 
hope for survival.*

For The Birds:


A Paranormal Mystery




By Aaron Paul Lazar









I always say "Yes!" when Aaron Paul Lazar releases a new book! Unfortunately I never even read what his latest one was about...

It took me several pages to adjust to and get into the fact that...this was a brand new series! And the lead character was...female! Now, normally, I love female lead characters...but I must confess, I have a "little crush" on Gus LeGarde and Sam Moore who each have their own series I've been reading since the beginning (and allow me to think of the handsome author behind their characters...LOL, otherwise, I might be considered a groupie for Lazar!)

Anyway, since I do love female lead characters, I was excited to start reading. But I was alert--and will tell you that the author did admirably in writing as a female lead...Kudos to you Aaron--loved those little feminine touches!




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