Opening Day by Joe Perrone Jr.

AMAZON

While out fly-fishing for trout on his favorite stream, Roscoe police chief Matt Davis stumbles across the remains of a body, barely recognizable as human, killed approximately six months earlier. With no physical evidence, no I.D. and no suspects, it’s up to Chief Davis to not only find the murderer, but to also discover the identity of the victim, a young girl.
Follow three potential victims prior to the murder – any one of whom could be destined for death – as they make there way toward Roscoe.  Only two will survive, but which two?
Opening Day is the second in the Matt Davis Mystery Series, and picks up where As the Twig is Bent left off and is a 2012 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree.
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Joe Fishing 2012 squareABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe Perrone Jr is an author whose diverse background includes time spent as a sportswriter for a prominent New Jersey newspaper, the Passaic-Clifton Herald News, and also as a freelance advertising copywriter. In addition, he has had numerous short stories published in the Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. From 1989-1999, Joe was a professional fly fishing guide on the historic Beaverkill River in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York State. The nearby town of Roscoe, dubbed Trout Town USA, serves as the setting for Joe’s latest novel, Opening Day, which is the second in the Matt Davis Mystery Series (the first was As the Twig is Bent, published in early 2009). The third Matt Davis Mystery, entitled Twice Bitten, was published in January of 2012. A fourth Matt Davis Mystery, Broken Promises, will be released in 2013. Presently, Joe lives with his wife of nearly 30 years, Becky, and the couple’s two cats, Cassie and Callie, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Readers can visit his website

Review Henry Wood Detective Agency by Brian Meeks

AMAZON

This is what could be a really nice read if not for a sudden appearance of a time travel closet that delivers tools? Really? I mean, it distracted me immensely from the otherwise decent detective story. As if the author felt his book needed something more than the mob and a detective solving a case the ordinary way.

Don’t get me wrong, if you forget about the closet and the non-story related clues, this is an old-fashioned detective story. Think Philip Marlow or any fifties mob and detective movie kind of story, but instead of doing old-fashioned detective work, he gets clues, which aren’t really clues at all, from a closet.

Like I said if not for that, it would be a decent read. The characters are well set, dialogue works like a charm. I could imagine them having their discussions and see the scenes. Nothing wrong there, but that silly closet that doesn’t really have a purpose as I suspected from the start.

Book Blast and Giveaway – Portals by Maer Wilson

portalstourbanner copy

I’m glad I can help Maer Wilson on this happy day with the release of …
PORTALS

Portals cover Sm

AMAZON | PAPERBACK

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For supernatural detectives Thulu and La Fi, “normal” is a relative term. La Fi is a medium, Thulu is a finder, and their usual clients are already dead.

But when their friend Reo is shot, and a group of stranded angels show up at their house for help to find a missing child, things are striking too close to home.

And now the portals that let the magical races return to Earth have started opening on their own.

With trips off-world, a kidnapped psychic and changes to their own abilities, Thulu and La Fi are hit with a lot more than they usually handle. Of course, their magical friends are there to help, but even they may not be enough to save an increasingly unstable Earth.

Portals is the sequel to Relics and is Book 2 in The Thulukan Chronicles.

I am reading it at the moment and to give you a heads up, my review will be, and I’m not even finished yet, a big, phat, five star one. Wait for it to show up on here, my site, Amazon, Goodreads, Booklikes, The Writer’s Shack, and The Book Junkies Weebly Review site.

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Let me tell you a bit about Maer

Maer Author

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, MythBehaving and writes for two gaming fansites. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Portals is Book 2 in The Thulukan Chronicles. You can find all books and novelettes in The Thulukan Chronicles at Amazon. You can visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.

But you can also find Maer on:

AmazonFacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest.

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I love reading excerpts before I decide to buy a book, or not. If you do too, below is a part of the book for you to peruse. Let us know what you think after you’ve read it.

That night Parker had popped in to wake us at two in the morning to tell us our best friend, Reo, had been shot. The young ghost was distraught and panicked.
“They’re on the back porch! You have to go help.”
“Where is he?” I asked groggily, as I jumped out of bed.
Thulu was instantly awake beside me, although he didn’t seem any more alert than I did.
“Back porch.” Parker enunciated each word in slight exasperation. “Go, please!”
Thulu looked at me, and I told him what Parker had said. Thulu can read lips, but even with a night light the room was too dark.
Thulu threw off the sheet and we both ran from the room. I was briefly glad we’d been wearing PJs.
Heart pounding, I took a few precious seconds to check on our three year old son, Carter. His night light showed him blissfully unaware of anything. Whatever happy dreams he was having made him smile slightly in his sleep. I sighed in relief that he wasn’t having another of his nightmares.
Downstairs, Thulu had turned on the kitchen and porch lights. In spite of the panic moments before, none of the three people on the porch seemed frantic when I joined them.
Thulu looked relieved, Reo was on the floor, but seemed stoic, and Sloane knelt beside him, brow furrowed only slightly in concentration as he dealt with the wound.
My heart rate slowed down and my own fear started to slowly dissipate. My heart gradually dropped from my throat back to its accustomed place in my chest. Still my hands were shaking, and I felt the slight chill from outside. The porch was screened in, and the late August day had been hot, but the night brought a cool breeze that made its way along my arms.
The scent of flowers from the backyard didn’t quite mask the smell of the blood that pooled on the porch floor around Reo. Sloane, his partner and an elf, had already removed Reo’s jacket and shirt. A bullet lay on the floor, and I could see the shoulder wound was already healing and closing up. In a few moments, only the blood would remain as evidence that he’d been shot.
Reo’s face was white. The strain showed around his brown eyes and his handsome face had the sheen of sweat on it. His short brown hair that was usually spiked, lay damp and flat against his head, but he gave me a shaky smile.
“Bastard ruined my favorite jacket.”

Since Portals is the second of the Thulukan Chronicles you might want to check out the first too. You can find the first book ‘Relics’ at Goodreads. See what others thought of it, or get your copy straight from Amazon (paperback or Kindle edition).

You can watch this interview about Relics with Maer on DailyMotion to see for yourself why you should get into this series.

Maer Wilson – Relics by talkstorytv
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And then there is the Rafflecopter giveaway.

ENTER TO WIN!!!!

Sorceror by David Menon

Today I present a book I am actually looking forward to reading despite the misspelled title.premade exclusive book cover 271 ebook (1)

AMAZON | KOBOSMASHWORDS | E-SENTRALANGUS ROBERTSON | CHAPTERS.INDIGO 

The remains of three bodies, one of them an infant, one of them a child, are found in an old house close to Manchester University. The house used to be a care home for teenage boys and Detective Superintendent Jeff Barton and his team uncover a horrific period of brutality and abuse that took place there. Twisted family secrets point to one man and one woman who are traced to a villa in Spain. But Detective Jeff Barton who is a single Dad following the death of his wife and who balances a demanding job with the care of his five year-old son Toby, begins to see what nobody else can. A determined and audacious plot by a former resident of the home, a former victim of the abuse, who is now hellbent on revenge. And if he’s right then Jeff and his team have to act quickly before justice is taken out of their hands.

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IMG_4936 ed (1)Let me introduce the author to you.

David was born in Derby and has lived all over the UK but now he divides his time between Paris, where his partner John lives, and the northwest of England. He retired in 2009 from almost 25 years as cabin crew for British Airways to devote himself to his writing career and has now published six books, including the DCI Sara Hoyland series. ‘Sorceror’ is his seventh and is the first to feature Detective Superintendent Jeff Barton. He’s now working on the second Jeff Barton novel as well as a stand alone story and has almost completed the first in another series this time featuring Sydney-based private investigator Stephanie Marshall. To supplement his income he teaches English to foreign students and works for a consultancy helping UK firms at the European Parliament in Brussels. He’s politically active in Britain’s Labour party, he keeps up to date with current and international affairs, and he’s into all the arts of books, cinema, TV, and theatre. He’s an avid fan of the American singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks and a great lover of Indian food.
If you want to find out more about David, and his other books, or let him know you enjoy reading his work, leave a reply to this post or follow him online at:
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Just to give you a little taste of the book I’ve included a sample. Have fun reading.

Sorcerer One

Pembroke House had once been a care home for boys until it closed in 1993. Since then the building had fallen into what local people thought had been terminal decline until a local property developer had recently bought it having seen its potential in a prime location close to the main Manchester university campus. They sent a team of builders in to excavate it and turn the twenty rooms into apartments for the student market. But the work had been abruptly stopped when the house gave up some grisly secrets.
Detective Superintendent Jeff Barlow of the Greater Manchester police received the call and dropped his son Toby off at school before driving straight over to what had now been closed off as a crime scene and where he met his deputy Detective Sergeant Rebecca Stockton.
‘Morning Becky’ said Jeff after he’d got out of his car.
‘Morning, sir’ said Rebecca. She didn’t let many people call her Becky but Jeff was one of them. ‘June Hawkins is waiting for us inside’.
‘The builders must’ve started early’ said Jeff as they headed for the front door. ‘It was just before eight when I got the call’.
‘Well I was staying over at my Mum and Dad’s last night and they only live at the other end of this road so I was able to get here quickly’.
‘How are they?’
‘They’re good, thanks’ said Rebecca.
‘And how’s Toby?’
‘He walked into school holding hands with his little friend Emma this morning’ said Jeff, smiling. ‘It was so sweet’.
‘He’ll be breaking hearts one day’.
‘Yep. That’s my boy’.
The pathologist June Hawkins had a phenomenal reputation amongst the Greater Manchester force and worked with many of Jeff’s colleagues. She was decked out in her usual plastic zip-up suit covering her normal clothes. She’d set up a temporary laboratory on the ground floor of the building with large square bright mobile lights illuminating a long table. What was on the table wiped the smiles off Jeff and Rebecca’s faces instantly.
‘This used to be a little baby’ said June, her voice more solemn than usual and looking down at the skeleton that was clearly that of an infant. ‘It was found by one of the builders and he’s still in shock. He said it reminded him of his grandson who’s only a few weeks old’.
‘Why couldn’t they have left it where it could’ve been discovered alive?’ wondered Rebecca in a mixture of frustration and sorrow. ‘Why did the poor little sod have to die?’
‘Well that’s for you to find out, honey, but I estimate it’s probably been here a while’.
Rebecca flinched. ‘Where was … it found?’
‘In the same place as the other two skeletons that have already been sent over to the lab’ said June.
‘They’re not babies as well?’ asked Jeff.
‘No’ said June. ‘Although one of them is a child of only about seven or eight years old. The other is an adult male. Now come with me’.
June led them through the door under the main stairs of the house and down into the cellar. It had clearly been used for storage. There were old mattresses and bed frames, chairs, even a small TV set. There were also some old, empty video cassette boxes leading Jeff to mention out loud that they must’ve been there a while because nobody uses video cassettes anymore. Then they followed June through some white plastic sheeting which was covering up what looked like had been some kind of secret door. It was sunken a meter or so back from the wall. June said that a bookcase had been covering the location of the door and the builders had found it when the bookcase literally fell to pieces with one touch. The door, which had now been removed, had been secured using three heavy sliding locks each of which had been reinforced with a padlock. Behind it was a large room and two more smaller rooms going off to the left. Rebecca didn’t know what it was but she felt the most incredible sense of impending evil. There was just something about the walls, the shadows the three of them were creating. It was as if they were bouncing off ancient pain and suffering that was now moving up the years and reaching out to be heard.
‘My God’ said Jeff as he looked round. There were chains hanging from the ceiling with cuffs attached, more chain and cuff restraints hanging from the walls and a bench with leg restraints on the floor beside it and handcuffs halfway up the wall in front. All that was missing was a teenage boy of average height to fill the space. ‘This was some kind of dungeon’.
‘That’s exactly what it was’ said June. ‘I think it’s clear that, given the locks on the doors meaning that somebody didn’t want to know that this place existed, nobody would be allowed in here unless they were given an invitation they couldn’t refuse’.
‘Anybody know anything about the history of this place?’ Jeff wondered openly.
‘Well it’s been closed for twenty years’ said Rebecca. ‘Could the remains be that old, June?’
‘Yes, they could’ June answered. ‘But I’ll know more when I’m back at the factory’.
‘I grew up round here’ said Rebecca, looking round. ‘I remember there were always a lot of whispers about Pembroke House. They used to say it was where they sent all the naughty boys. My Mum and Dad used to threaten to send my brother here when he was naughty’.
‘So why would this be a place for your parents to threaten your brother with, Becky?’ asked Jeff.
‘Well it had been thought that the staff at Pembroke had been rather heavy handed in dishing out punishment to the boys in their care. Or at least that’s what was alleged. Nothing was ever proved’.
‘Well it looks like that could be true’ said June. ‘This was the underground lair of some pretty sick individuals. It was set up to cause pain’.
‘To your average teenage boy’ said Jeff.
‘Yes’ June confirmed.
‘Those thick iron cuffs must’ve been bloody painful’ said Jeff, looking up at them.
‘Well I expect that was the idea’ said June. ‘There are spots of blood that have dried into the wooden flooring all over the place. They were obviously brought down here for something that went way beyond punishment’.
‘Looks like the talk about what went on in this place doesn’t go anywhere near the reality of what did happen’ said Rebecca.
‘And did they all get out alive?’ said June as she handed them a stack of black and white photographs. ‘Especially given what you can see on these’.
Jeff and Rebecca were profoundly shocked by the images depicting the most horrific sexual abuse of teenage boys by figures whose faces had been carefully focused out of the picture. The look of sheer terror and pain on the boys’ faces who were all restrained in relation to the cuffs they’d found in room. Various other implements of torture had also been used which made them both feel sick. There were also pictures of boys who’d been strapped down over the bench in the room and not only whipped and caned but also raped.
‘It looks to me like they’re stills from films’ said June, quietly. ‘I don’t think the victims would’ve ever forgotten their experiences but that’s if you can get them to open up’.
‘That’s probably what all the video cassette cases were for’ said Jeff. ‘They made the films and put them in there to sell them’.
‘The trade in perversion is sickening profitable’ said Rebecca.
‘Jesus, what these boys must’ve gone through’ said Jeff, shaking his head. ‘And they were supposed to be in the care of the state’.
‘That’s one of the most shocking things about all this’ said June. ‘Aren’t there supposed to be checks on these places? I mean, we’re only talking about twenty years ago. Surely there were procedures in place to stop something like this?’
‘Yes there were’ said Jeff. ‘But sick minds are unfortunately very clever too and that’s how they get away with their evil deeds’.
A young uniformed PC came up to them with one of the video cassette cases. ‘I went through them all and found this, sir’ he said as he handed a photograph to Jeff. ‘It looks like it had been put there randomly. It was in the fifth one down in a pile of about thirty’.
The photograph was of a toddler, a little boy about two years old. He was smiling into the camera and didn’t yet have many teeth. He was in a light blue polo style shirt and dark grey corduroy trousers. The picture had been taken at the coast, it looked like Blackpool Tower in the background and although he looked happy Jeff could clearly see something less wholesome in his eyes. It was a forced happiness. It was almost as if he was wishing for somebody to find out some terrible secret and then he’d be free. Jeff breathed in deep. It reminded him so much of how Toby had looked not so very long ago before life had dealt them both such a devastating blow.
‘There’s a smile but he looks sad to me’ said Jeff.
‘Let me see’ said June. She looked at it and then looked closer. ‘Don’t you think there’s something familiar about him?’
‘Like what?’ Jeff asked.
‘I don’t know’ said June.
‘Do you recognize him, June?’ asked Rebecca.
‘Well no but there is something about him that makes me think I should do’ said June. ‘But no, I’ve never seen the poor little love before. I wonder what his story is and why there’s a picture of him down here’.

Jeff knew that he and his squad would be under intense pressure to find answers quickly. The murder of children causes more revulsion amongst the public than almost anything else and the headlines in the media describing the ‘House of Horrors’ had already been fairly lurid. He and Rebecca went back to Pembroke House after the forensics team had discovered a large box containing film-making equipment. It was antiquated stuff by today’s standards, including old cameras and several rolls of 16mm film, but with the box they’d also found a stack of copies of ‘Today’s Filmmaker’ magazine dating from 1985 through to January 1993, a couple of months before the home closed its doors. Someone had clearly been making films down there but they probably wouldn’t have been able to sell them to the Disney channel. But they also needed to look at the history of the home in more detail and Rebecca took that as her job.
The home had been opened at the end of the forties and at one stage it had been seen as a model care home. Representatives from local authorities across the country came to see how it worked and were suitably impressed at the homely feel there was to the place. That enviable reputation continued until 1984 when everything seemed to change. A new manager by the name of George Griffin took over and soon the word got out that he’d thrown away all of what he called ‘the bleeding heart liberal methods of care’ and returned ‘old fashioned style discipline’ to the home. Curfews were put in place, every boy had jobs to do around the home and if they didn’t do them then all the ‘privileges’ such as television and socializing with the other boys were withdrawn. A local newspaper reporter once accused Griffin of running a prison instead of a care home but Griffin had been unrepentant. He said that the country was lacking in discipline and that it usually started with boys from the kind of social backgrounds that he was used to dealing with at the home. He said he adopted his tough regime as a means of preparing the boys to be responsible adults instead of burdens on the state but Tim went on to read that most of the former residents are now, with only one exception, either dead, alcoholics, drug addicts, or in and out of public institutions, mainly prison. Griffin always denied that physical punishment of the boys ever happened at the home but in 2001 a TV documentary about the care of children in care homes interviewed a former resident of Pembroke house called Ronnie Wiseman who said he’d made allegations of physical and sexual abuse in a statement to a police officer in 1989. He’d been sent there after his mother had suffered a nervous breakdown and couldn’t cope with him for a while. He was only going to be there a few weeks but in the end he was there for two years and he alleged that during that time he was subjected to regular beatings, sometimes for as little as taking one chocolate biscuit too many. It had been the sexual abuse though that he claimed had effectively ended his life at the age of fifteen. What raised Rebecca’s eyebrows though was the injunction that was taken out at the time of the documentary by the Greater Manchester police that prevented the name of the officer who Wiseman had claimed he’d given his statement to from being revealed. Rebecca thought this unusual to say the least and she called in a favour with an old colleague that gained her access to the restricted file with the officer’s name on it. When she saw it she went straight in to tell Jeff.
‘You are not going to like this’ she said after walking into Jeff’s office and closing the door.
‘Well give me a clue?’
Rebecca gave Jeff a brief summary of what she’d found out but with particular focus on the allegations made by Ronnie Wiseman.
‘So what happened to the allegations?’ asked Jeff. ‘Were they investigated?’
‘Well this is what you’re not going to like’ said Rebecca. ‘Wiseman told the TV programme that the police officer took everything down in a statement but he never got his day in court because he never heard anything after he’d made it’
‘I don’t understand?’
‘The TV crew tried to interview the police officer to whom Wiseman had made his statement but the Greater Manchester force took out an injunction against his identity being revealed and denied them access to him’.
‘But do we know who the police officer was?’
‘Well the file was restricted but I managed to get a peak’ Rebecca revealed.
‘You’d get in where water wouldn’t sometimes, Becky’.
Rebecca smiled. She loved it when he called her Becky. ‘Well being a pest comes in useful sometimes. Anyway Jeff, the officer was Chief Superintendent Hayward’.
‘You’re joking?’
‘No, I’m not, although he was plain and simple police constable Hayward back then of course’.

If after reading this sample you want more, the book is available at:

AMAZON | KOBO | SMASHWORDS | E-SENTRAL | ANGUS ROBERTSON | CHAPTERS.INDIGO 

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And to come back to the title of the book. I have a few words I always spell wrong and have to actually consciously think about before writing them down. Do you have words that trip you up all the time?

Review An American Detective in London by Tom Conrad

Cover American in London

AMAZON UK | US

Reviewed by Lucy Pireel

This short story read like a train on a fast track to its final destination, only never to arrive there. And that was my only gripe with it.

I loved how I immediately got sucked into the story. How the characters came alive from the moment they appeared for the first time, even the ones that don’t really make an appearance. What I really didn’t like was the fact that it has no end. That this is merely a prelude to more, the more being the full length novel about the main character’s adventures in the big city.

A shame really, where the author could have chosen to give us a full story with a proper end, he chose the leave the end semi-open, even ending it with a “To be continued”.

End verdict? Great read, but I still felt cheated by the author and his way of trying to hook us for his novel to come. When a fully rounded out short story would have done the same thing. Correction, a short story with a complete arc would have done the job even better, because I really, really do not like to be reeled in like this.

(I did not receive any compensation for this review)