Tag Archives: Sage’s Blog Tours

Welcome Back, Jack – Gritty, Gutsy, Good!

jack bannerREVIEW:

Welcome Back, Jack starts as a slow moving police procedural that subtly wraps around you like a constrictor, keeping you snug and comfortable with the story and characters. . . until it starts to squeeze. By then it’s too late because you’re morbidly fascinated by this psychological thriller bordering on a horror novel.   You can’t put the damn book down.

I admit, my love affair with Welcome Back, Jack did not start on the first page . . . or even the first chapter. While I usually enjoy attention to details, I felt the story stalled a bit as author Sweeny set the stage. Granted, there is a gruesome murder with graphic descriptions of the mutilated bodies. No one is going to sleep walk through that! But the initial investigation and introduction to the many characters seemed to take a long time and did not reel me in as quickly as I like.

However, once you get past the slough, this is an intriguing tale with some darned good twists. The story starts off like a gumshoe detective novel but soon gets in your head and stays there until the final page. Jack is a gruff detective who smokes too many cigarettes and keeps his emotions under lock and key. His wife, Mary might be the only one who truly understands him since she hails from a family of cops, but even that is debatable at times. As the investigation unfolds, clues reveal something even more terrifying – the killer is tied to Jack’s own biological parent’s murders from years earlier.  Things go from murky to dark, spiraling to a conclusion that will leave you breathless.

Fans of police procedural, crime or horror/thriller novels will want to put Welcome Back, Jack on their must read list, as well as anyone who likes dark psychological whodunits. It’s a good read.

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Want An OMG Moment? Read “The Frailty of Things” by Tamsen Schultz

REVIEW:

I love good Romantic Suspense so discovering a new author AND series is like experiencing Christmas morning all over again! THE FRAILTY OF THINGS is Book 4 in the Windsor Series by Tamsen Schultz. I’ll be honest – until recently I’d not read anything by this remarkable writer but I certainly plan on amending this oversight .

THE FRAILTY OF THINGS is an intriguing story but more than romance and more than suspense. It’s a riveting tale riddled with mystery and intrigue, spiced with witty dialogue and boasting an incredible cast of supporting characters. The main characters ain’t so bad, either. Kit Forrester is an internationally acclaimed author who has some trust issues and a few dark secrets in her past. When Kit unintentionally falls on the bad side of some war criminals, her brother’s partner, Garret Cantona, steps in to offer protection and ends up losing a bit of his heart in the process.

Sounds like a typical formula for romantic suspense . . . but it’s not. THE FRAILTY OF THINGS is a notch above  genre offerings with well developed strong characters, a superb plot and intelligent action. I was concerned about starting the series with Book 4 and not knowing the back story but Ms. Schultz aptly layers in just enough past history to bring new readers up to par without bogging down the action packed thriller. That being said, I’m still eager to catch up with the rest of A Windsor Series. If the first three books are as good as this one, and I’m told they are, I will be a lifetime fan of Tamsen Schultz.

This is easily a novel I can recommend to readers of mystery, suspense or action thrillers. You won’t be disappointed.

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The Frailty of Things

By Tamsen Schultz

Genre: Romantic Suspense

296 pages

 Amazon   Barnes&Noble

Book Blurb:TFOT Final Cover

Independence. Kit Forrester is a woman who wears her independence like armor. Despite keeping secrets and hiding her past, she’s built a life she loves and is accountable to no one. Until, that is, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals sets his sights on her and she must weigh the risk to one against the chance of justice and closure for many—a decision Kit couldn’t make on her own even if she wanted to.

Certainty. As a man who makes his living in the shadows of governments and wars, certainty isn’t a part of Garret Cantona’s vocabulary, and he’s just fine with that. But when Kit walks into his life, he realizes he’s never before been so sure about anything or anyone. Suddenly, he finds he’s looking at the world, his world, in a different light. And now that he is, he’s determined to protect it, and her, in whatever ways he can.

Frailty. No one knows better than Kit and Garret that an appreciation for what is, or what was, or what might be, can be born from the uncertainty and fragility of life. But when a hunt for a killer leaves Garret no choice but to throw Kit back into her broken and damaged past, even his unshakable faith in what they have together might not be enough to keep it from shattering into a million pieces.

About the Author:

cover picTamsen Schultz is the author of several romantic suspense novels and American Kin (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine). In addition to being a writer, she has a background in the field of international conflict resolution, has co-founded a non-profit, and currently works in corporate America. Like most lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking (and writing) about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, four cats, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack.

Review – “The Naked Storyteller” by Laura Michelle Thomas

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The Naked Storyteller

by Laura Michelle Thomas

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Comedy

NakedStorytellerCoverBook Description:

Harry Tyke is a flabby, divorced grade-six teacher on the verge of a monumental mid-life crisis when he unexpectedly ends up in a storytelling workshop taught by a creative, free-thinking teacher-turned-storyteller named Olga. The workshop awakens Harry’s long dead romantic side and hurls him into stories from his past, including his decision to give up on his dream of being a novelist to please his parents, a decision this classroom-weary teacher can no longer live with as he sags into his fifties.

Questioning contemporary ideas of what makes a happy and productive life in an increasingly digital world, this romantic comedy––set in Vancouver, Canada––will have you cheering for this unlikely leading man from start to finish.

Purchase Links:

(iTunes) https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-naked-storyteller/id909123422?mt=11

(Kindle Amazon.ca) http://www.amazon.ca/Naked-Storyteller-Laura-Michelle-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00MO0DF9W

(Kindle Amazon.com) http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Storyteller-Laura-Michelle-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00MO0DF9W

Review: 

The Naked Storyteller is an interesting tale of one man’s life as he searches for hope, love and forgiveness after years of living in disappointment. Harry Tyke is an overweight, unkempt, middle-aged teacher on the cusp of an emotional breakdown. He doesn’t like or understand the attitude and actions of his students. He dutifully takes care of a mother who viciously attacks him. He is ridiculed by students and faculty. And he is filled with regret for never pursuing his passion for writing.

His life sucks. But it’s about to get better . . . before it gets worse.

Harry is jarred out of his misery and bitterness at an educational conference by the sight of a striking woman in bright red heels. His best friend, James, is also intrigued and immediately launches a campaign to woo and bed the workshop presenter, Olga. Her training module is entitled “The Naked Storyteller”, sending both men into sexual fantasies about the woman and her red shoes. It is later explained that the title stems from her time in Mexico where she was forced to teach children without aid of books, paper or pens. She relied solely on storytelling and achieved remarkable results.

James is quickly shot down in his pursuit, surprised to find Olga’s attention focused more on his messy, ill mannered friend. Harry is even more surprised than James. As Harry attempts to use his storytelling skills to teach a class of unruly students, he realizes his style is missing something. He asks for Olga’s advice. Through her tutilege, he breaks the barriers and finally garners his student’s attention and respect. Unfortunately, he does so by sharing questionable details about his life including his mother’s stern actions, catching his wife with another man, ejecting her from his house while she is clad in leopard panties and being forced into a teaching career by his parents in return for the ownership of their upscale home. Needless to say, not all the parents are happy with the content of Harry’s “lessons” and soon complain to the principal.

The rest of the novel deals with Harry’s metamorphosis from unhappy to happy and dealing with his mother’s lies and rejection. Along the way, he and Olga must also overcome some relationship issues . . . trust being one of them.

The Naked Storyteller is touted as a comedy but I feel satirical is more appropriate. It’s a character driven tale so the pace moves a bit slower than a story with more drama. However, following Harry Tyke’s bumpy journey from miserable, brow beaten man to someone who follows his dream with confidence is a fascinating study in human nature.

Ms. Thomas has penned a compelling novel that will keep readers cheering and jeering for the unlikely hero while remaining sympathetic to the unfortunate events in his life. You’ll enjoy it.

LauraAbout the Author:

LAURA MICHELLE THOMAS is an author with an opinion on just about everything she thinks is wrong with contemporary life in North America (which, in her opinion, is just about everything). Harry Tyke, the 52-year-old protagonist of The Naked Storyteller, is who Laura might be if she wasn’t the author of her own life and had a beard. When she’s not writing and telling her family to buzz off and let her work, she’s runs a very busy website through which she fosters the development of young writers around the world through free annual writing contests, young writers conferences and other inspirational stuff. With the assistance of her team of junior bloggers, editors and artists, Laura has the privilege of being publisher and senior editor of an international e-zine for young writers called jaBlog! To find out what novel project Laura is working on now, please visit her website (www.laurathomascommunications.com) and click on “Novels by Laura Michelle Thomas.”

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PollyWantstoBeaWriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraThomasComm

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7329741.Laura_Michelle_Thomas

 

“Shrink Rapt” Will Command Your Attention

” This book belongs on the shelf next to the works of Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie! . . .”
“. . . A very tightly written and engaging work. It kept me riveted, and it’s not my genre of choice.”

“. . . The ending has a surprise twist followed by a chilling epilogue. . .”

        – Amazon Reviews

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Shrink Rapt

By Freda Hansburg

Genre: Psychological ThrillerShrink Rapt

A little hypnosis can be a dangerous thing.

Psychologist April Simon reaches that conclusion when four of her most unstable patients begin to violently unravel following the murder of their psychiatrist, Lowell Morgenstern, April’s arrogant department chairman.  She suspects it’s no coincidence that all four were subjects in his research project.

As April tries to undo Morgenstern’s mayhem, she finds her colleagues turning resentful, her career on the line, and the chairman’s killer closing in.  Who can she trust?  Maybe Sam Perone, the attractive, cynical detective who seeks her help in solving Morgenstern’s murder – that is, when he’s not treating her as a suspect.

Purchase on Amazon: http://amzn.to/14wUQ5l

Author Bio

FredaFreda Hansburg is a psychologist who lives with her husband in New Jersey.  She is the co-author of the self-help books PeopleSmart and Working PeopleSmart.  Shrink Rapt is her first novel.

https://twitter.com/FredaHansburg

https://www.facebook.com/poospress

http://fredahansburg.com/

Dark Seed by Lawrence Verigin – A Must Read Thriller

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REVIEW:

As someone who is very concerned about GMOs and what they are doing to our physical health, I was interested to see if Lawrence Verigin had the guts to write about this controversial topic in a truthful way. He did.

DARK SEED is a gripping, fast paced thriller that will keep you riveted to the edge of your seat from start to finish. The characters are interesting, the dialogue realistic and snappy and the plot too real for comfort. With a style reminiscent of James Patterson’s early days, Mr. Verigin weaves an interesting tale about a supplier of GMOs – known to cause health issues in humans- and the Big Pharma conglomerate who provides medication to keep the maladies under control. But not cured.

The story reeks of evil, fueled by corporate power, greed and corruption. And since American rule has shifted to an oligarchy, it rings with unsettling comparisons to current events.

As Nick Barnes and Morgan Elles begin to decipher her murdered father’s scientific journals, they grow increasingly alarmed by the implications of corporate conspiracy. Be prepared for some twists and turns because just when you start getting comfortable, the story takes another spin, leaving you reeling in the aftermath. I don’t want to give away a lot of details about the plot because even the tiniest spoiler will rob you of the chance to experience it first hand.

If you are a reader who craves thrillers, suspense or mysteries, and enjoys plots woven around relevant issues, DARK SEED is a must read.

Dark Seed

Lawrence Verigin

Dark Seed coverGenre – Thriller, Lab-Lit

Publication Date – December 1, 2013

Publisher – Promontory Press

Book Description:

A disillusioned journalist and the grieving daughter of a murdered scientist uncover an immoral and destructive global plot by the largest developer of genetically engineered seed and its parent pharmaceutical conglomerate.

Nick Barnes and Morgan Elles learn that the goal of the man behind these organizations is the complete control of human existence. He eliminates opposition and interference without hesitation or remorse.

The couple quickly find themselves fighting for their lives. And yours.

Grad hold for a wild ride with this exciting, high concept thriller that tackles one of the big issues of our time.

About the Author:

Lawrence Verigin’s goal is to entertain readers while delving into socially relevant subjects that need more attention brought to them. Since 1999 Lawrence has spent a considerable amount of time and effort learning the writing craft.

In his spare time Lawrence enjoys cooking good food, rich red wine, travel, running, reading and numerous rounds of golf.

Lawrence and his wife, Diana, live in beautiful North Vancouver, Canada.

Contact

Email: lawrenceverigin@gmail.com

Website: http://www.lawrenceverigin.com

Facebook: Lawrence Verigin

Twitter: @lawrenceverigin

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qsWlJB

 

 

Review: Francesca of Lost Nation – An Enchanting Story Everyone Will Enjoy

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A BODACIOUS READ!!!

 

REVIEW:

Once in a while a novel emerges that defies genre classification, thus confusing readers who shop for specific content. Unfortunately, those readers often overlook an outstanding story that could lift them to another level. I’m not dismissing genre classification because it’s how most people choose their next title (myself included). I’m simply saying readers sometimes bypass a good novel if it’s not within their search criteria.

I believe Francesca of Lost Nation is such a book. It’s touted as “old fashioned romantic suspense” but what it contains is so much more.

The tale revolves around Sarah, a precocious nine year old and her grandmother, Francesca, a larger-than-life free spirit who infuses the child’s life with countless adventures during one summer together. Amid the eccentricity, family relationships, new relationships and underlying element of danger emerge little nuggets of wisdom like, ““Happiness is a treasure, Sarah, especially someone else’s. It is therefore civilized behavior to think carefully before you set about spoiling it.” 

Set in post war 1947 in a rural hamlet of Iowa, Ms. Crosby presents an accurate description of the era as well as the location, adding zest with an array of colorful characters. It’s a simpler time but the emotional polarities are the same i.e. joy and sadness, confidence and insecurity, courage and fear, love and loss.

The deep connection between grandmother and grandchild is indisputable in this coming of age story. It reminds me of similar titles such as To Kill A Mockingbird but the subplots are not quite as dark. This fearless duo adopts a lost dog, rescues a physically and emotionally damaged pilot, discover a town secret and dodge a vicious arsonist. Dotting the subplots are car races, plane rides and overcoming old hurts.

I’m urging you to go beyond your search for paranormal, fantasy, historical, contemporary, women’s fiction, mystery, erotica . . . or whatever genre you typically read and give Francesca of Lost Nation a try. I honestly think there is something in this captivating saga for everyone. Keep a box of tissues nearby. You might need them.

RATING: Easily 5 stars

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FRANCESCA of LOST NATION

Francesca of Lost Nation

Lucinda Sue Crosby

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Genre: (an old-fashioned) Romantic Suspense

http://amzn.to/1lzM8rg – Kindle

http://amzn.to/1pPmvXN – Paperback

  

Winner of Four Literary Prizes & Author selected as one of “50 Authors You Should be Reading” by The Authors Show online media outlet.

 

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

When a mysterious man named Matthew appears in the small Iowa town of Lost Nation, his sudden arrival raises questions about his past. Quiet with an apparent taste for rum, Matthew makes it clear he doesn’t want to make friends. He isn’t too pleased to be dropped off at Home Farm where the independent and eccentric Francesca doesn’t accept bad manners or booze binges.

Matthew doesn’t want to form personal ties and intends to move on as soon as his damaged leg from a recent plane crash heals. But a series of events draw him into reluctant relationships: One with the feisty Francesca, the second with her 10-year-old granddaughter Sarah.

In spite of her own reservations, Francesca finds herself falling for this brooding pilot but his past looms between the pair and what neither knows is that Sarah, Francesca’s 10-year-old granddaughter, has encountered a stranger of her own … leading to a climatic confrontation that will put her and her grandmother’s life in danger.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Magazine photo

Lucinda Sue Crosby is an International Kindle Bestselling author and award-winning journalist and environmentalist as well as a published and recorded Nashville songwriter. She’s also a former film and television actor, professional athlete and sports commentator. Lucinda Sue has always had a love affair with the written word.