EGO – Everyone’s Got One

I’ve often wondered at what point A-list celebrities become jaded to their success. Recognizable folks from any walk of life are at risk but since the world (especially Americans and Brits) obsess over the antics of the rich and famous, it must happen more quickly with those prominent, newsworthy folks. However,  even photogenic “beautiful” people have flaws.

Authors are a different lot for the most part, perhaps because we hide behind our characters. I seldom see that nose-in-the-air snootiness with a well-known author. Oh, there’s a few, don’t get me wrong. I won’t name names but every aspiring or mid-list writer knows who they are. Unapproachable. Kiss-my-ring, peon attitude. “I’d be happy to speak at your event but I must have Evian water and no red M&M’s at my table” type requests. “Certainly I will be a keynote speaker but keep those autograph hounds away from me.” Sadly, I’ve even met some of those ego driven folks at chapter meetings for various author organizations.

Sad, isn’t it? My parents stressed that I should never forget my roots – which came from an archaic middle class, hard working, respect your elders, have pride in your work, look at those less fortunate and say “for the grace of God, there goes I” type upbringing. That being said, today’s world requires caution when dealing with the public because the values I was raised with got thrown out with the bathwater.

Old habits die hard. I’m a writer. A good writer but not the best or most recognized writer. I’m not sure I would even classify myself as mid-list. I love spinning a good yarn and am flabbergasted when others seem to like it, too.

Today I received a 5 star review for one of my older books. A book I considered irrelevant to today’s market. It’s not graphically sexy. My characters are not as contemporary as those written by my peers. It’s kinda hokey, I guess, but back when romantic suspense was popular, it did okay. I like it. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. A nice blend of things I love like strong men, sassy women, Native American culture, and a bad ass (IMHO) villain. I actually thought about taking this book off my availability list. But now, because of one kind and expressive person who cared enough to leave a short review saying they liked it, I will keep Red Hot and Dangerous active in hopes someone else might find respite form the craziness between its pages.

Thank you to all my reviewers. Remember, most authors are an insecure lot. It makes us feel good when you enjoy our hard work that probably took months, or even years to release. Writing a novel is like giving birth to a child. We carry it inside us for ages, allowing it to grow and nurture. When our manuscript finally takes its first breath as a published work, we are proud.

If you don’t like it, there’s no reason to be cruel. Just let us know what you think would have made it better. The majority of us want to know. Believe it or not, we listen – and also realize it’s impossible to please everyone. But as writers, we’re probably still going to try.

 

Advertisements

Paper Doll – A Mystery With So Much More

51-lvAPX9sL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_REVIEW:

PAPER DOLL (Jana Lane Mystery Book 1) by Joe Cosentino should be on everyone’s summer reading list – not just because it’s a well written mystery thriller but because it’s fun! Quirky. Refreshing. And will keep you guessing to the end.

I loved the cast of characters. Each eccentric soul is motivated by their own agenda and it’s often not what you think.

Start with little Jana Lane, famous child actress who walked away from fame after a heinous attack. Now she’s all grown up with a family of her own and living nicely on residual income . . . but still haunted by nightmares from her past. Her hunky husband is struggling to overcome a bankruptcy but is doing okay with his new landscaping business – much to the aversion of his father-in-law, an aging movie star who wants to use Jana to resurrect his own career. And then there’s Jana’s delightful BFF who is openly gay and openly lusts for husband but would never breach their friendship. Or would he?

PAPER DOLL is a mystery but in many ways, more of a character driven satire. Joe Cosentino has crafted an engaging tale of secrets, lies and deceit set in that crazy, ego driven scene called Hollywood. As much as I enjoyed the glimpse of glamour and glitz, it was the insightful presentation of diverse personalities that kept me hooked.

I admit, the ending caught me off guard. I identified the villain but was surprised by some of the outcomes with the supporting cast. And that made me love this book even more.

I think you will, too.

MY RATING – ★★★★★

Available at AMAZON

Paper Doll 

Jana Lane Mystery – Book 1

Joe Cosentino

  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press LLC (March 5, 2015)
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00THKODUC

Book Description:

Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.

About the Author:

JoeJoe Cosentino is the author of AN INFATUATION (Dreamspinner Press), PAPER DOLL Jana Lane mystery 1 (Whiskey Creek Press), DRAMA QUEEN Nicky and Noah mystery 1 (Lethe Press), A SHOOTING STAR (Dreamspinner Press–releasing this September), A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (Dreamspinner Press–releasing this December), THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press–releasing 2016), PORCELAIN DOLL Jana Lane mystery 2 (Wild Rose Press–releasing 2016), DRAMA MUSCLE Nicky and Noah mystery 2 (Lethe Press–releasing 2016), and THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, INFATUATION and NEIGHBOR, were performed in New York City. He wrote “The Perils of Pauline,” available on CDROM (through Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe received his MFA from Goddard College in Vermont, and MA from SUNY New Paltz. He is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

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.

frailty banner

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: Come Little Children

Book Description:

The Nolan morgue is more than just an ordinary funeral home.

When their newest employee uncovers a supernatural conspiracy connected to a string of child murders, she must use every shred of her intelligence to stop a new breed of serial killer and escape the morgue alive.

Come Little Children

D. Melhoff

come little childrenGenre: Horror, thriller, supernatural thriller

Publisher: Bellwoods Publishing

Cover Artist: Carl Graves

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nM0QAA607yo

AMAZON

B&N

iBooks

 

 

Review:  5 Stars

If you like horror . . . thrillers . . . twisted characters disguised with eccentricity . . . then you absolutely MUST read “Come Little Children” by D. Melhoff. This novel grabbed me from the very first scene – an autopsy or so I assumed by the detailed description. Funny how an author can set the stage and then pull the rug out from under you. The slicing and dicing is done by a middle-aged woman who calmly disposes of the young boy’s body in a pond. This brought new meaning to “whistle while you work”.

The story then took off in a new direction. I was mentally and emotionally hooked, captivated by the introductory scene with our main character, Camilla Carleton. I found myself sucked right in to the story. Again. She arrives at the mortuary, a new place of employment, and spies her first corpse. Dismayed by the disheveled appearance, Camilla approaches the old man lying on the slab and begins to tuck his shirt into his pants, hoping to make the dead man appear more presentable. As soon as her hand brushes his crotch, he opens his eyes and screams. I think Camilla did, too. I know I did – even though it came out more like a snort, something between a squeal and a giggle.

Yeah, it’s that kind of book. Spooky. Surprising. Riveting.

“Come Little Children” follows Camilla’s journey to the small town of Nolan in the Yukon Territory where she uncovers a series of child murders at the Vincent family morgue. The owners are controversial, to say the least, so when children who are supposedly dead start showing up in physical form, Camilla suspects there’s more to the strange events than meets the eye. She’s right – but her love for one of the owner’s sons, Peter, convinces her to keep the family secret. Restoring life to dead children is a gift. Isn’t it?

Camilla and Peter bring a young girl, Abigail, into their lives, unaware of the horrific consequences of their actions. As things begin to unravel, Camilla realizes there is only one option, she must kill Abigail or die trying.

This book reminded me at times of The OMEN and Dax, the evil son who brings death and mayhem to everyone’s life. D. Melhoff is a master of description, blending details into the story with such subtlety that it becomes part of you, just like the fast paced intensity in “Come Little Children”.

I rate this book  5 stars. It’s an amazing story, beautifully written, and tempered perfectly between horror, suspense and supernatural. Buy it. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.

 

About the Author:

Dcome little children. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.

www.dmelhoff.com

www.facebook.com/dmelhoff

@dmelhoff

Spotlight on Thrillers: RULER OF DEMONS

Ruler of Demons Banner 450 x 169

Ruler of Demons

A Samuel Roberts Thriller

Scott A. Lerner

rulerofdemonsPublisher: Camel Press

Release date: December 15, 2013

ISBN-10: 1603819053

ISBN-13: 978-1603819053

Paperback: 214 pages

Genre: Paranormal Suspense, Thriller, Holiday Horror

Book Description:

Human sacrifice and an impending apocalypse sure can throw a wrench in the holiday season.

Only eleven shopping days till Christmas. And less than a week to save the world.

Three nuns–in Chicago, Paris, and Jerusalem–have been killed in a religious ritual. The choice of victims and the macabre details of their deaths indicate that someone is following a recipe provided on an ancient text–a recipe to unleash the forces of hell on earth. The final sacrifice must occur on the Winter Solstice.

Samuel Roberts, a small-town attorney in Urbana, Illinois, knows a bit about the supernatural, having triumphed at least once over the forces of evil. Thanks to a friend who is aware of Sam’s little known previous efforts on behalf of mankind, Sam is hired by a big Chicago law firm to take on a sensitive case. His mission? Nothing less than halting the impending apocalypse.

Sam and his good buddy Bob travel first to Jerusalem then Paris in a desperate race to save mankind.

Amazon   Book Depository

Excerpt:

“What are we going to do at this wake? Bob asked.

“I want to see the tattoo.”

“Do you realize that is barking at trees crazy?”

“Woof.”

“You intend to turn over a body in a coffin at a wake to exam the dead woman’s tattoo? Not just a woman but a woman with a grieving husband who you believe is incredibly violent?”

“You could make anything sound crazy.”

We found a parking spot easily and walked into the Funeral Home. The front room was large, with the body at the very back of the parlor. To get to it we would have to wait in line and shake hands with Mrs. O’Neill’s husband, a priest, and what I assumed to be ten family members. There were also fifty people ahead of us in line. To make matters worse, there was no alcohol or food being served.

Bob was right. If I tried to flip the deceased like a cheeseburger to look for a tattoo her husband would kill me. Bob and I walked over to a leather sofa in front of a fireplace. I put my head in my hands. I was an idiot.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around. A huge man in a black button-down shirt and Native American-made bolo tie stared down at me. He had an unkempt beard and tattoos covering his arms and neck. He would have been more at home in Sturgis than a funeral home.

“Dude, it’s okay. She is in a better place.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“Don’t you remember me? From high school? Roger … Weasel.”

“Shit, Weasel, I didn’t recognize you. You have grown,” I said.

“Yeah, I have put on a few more pounds. Well, maybe more than a few.” Weasel patted his gut.

“Were you close to Mrs. O’Neill?”

“No, she came in and got a couple tattoos. Did I tell you I am the proud owner of Champaign Urbana’s newest tattoo parlor, Weasel’s?”

“Wow, congratulations.”

“Mrs. O”Neill was one of my first customers. Then she dies. Kind of sucks for business. I felt I owed it to her to pay my last respects.”

I pointed to Bob. “Weasel, have you ever met Bob?”

“Sure, Bobnoxious from school.” Weasel said.

“No,” Bob said, “Bobnoxious was Robert Kesler.”

“This is Robert Sizemore, also known as just Bob.” I said.

“I don’t think we have met,” Weasel said.

“I have put on a few pounds myself,” Bob admitted, “so even if we have met you might not recognize me.”

“You know,” I said. “Bob was thinking about getting some ink. What tattoos did Mrs. O’Neill get?” It was not exactly a smooth transition, but I had to find out about those tattoos.

“She got two. The first was on her back on the right side below the shoulder blades. It was real original—a snake that coiled around to form three rings. Inside each ring was a little flag. I have no idea how she came up with it. It turned out real well. The other was a bird. You know, like the symbol for the baseball team. She put it just below the other. That was kind of generic. I took a picture of the snake one. It is on my phone if you want to see.”

“I would love to!” I said with too much enthusiasm.

The photograph depicted the same basic image as on the dead nuns. This one, however, was not so crudely rendered. I had to hand it to Weasel; he was an artist.

“Bob, if you do come in, I will give you a friends and family discount,” Weasel offered.

“Thanks,” Bob said.

“You know, the last time I saw you was at a funeral,” I said to Weasel.

“You’re right,” Weasel said. “I think it was for Buster. That dude who got killed in that bar up in Chicago.”

The three of us got up and waited in line to see Mrs. O’Neill. When I shook hands with her husband I couldn’t help wanting to hit the son of a bitch. He was tall and losing his hair. He looked harmless. Yet, I knew better.

Mrs. O’Neill was even paler than when I saw her at my office. She wore a white dress that might have been made in the 1890s, with small buttons down the front. The collar and sleeves covered the ligature marks from the ropes.

About the Author:

ScottLernerAuthor and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.

He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of Criminal law and Family Law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cat Fern.

Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction and going to the movies. Scott’s first novel featuring Samuel Roberts, Cocaine Zombies, won a Bronze 2012 IPPY Award.

You can find him online at www.scottlerner.camelpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/ScottALernerAuthor

https://twitter.com/scottlernerauth

MOLLY BROWN – The Crime Thriller sequel you’ve been waiting for!

Molly BrownMolly_Brown_front_cover_v2_2_
Mrs Jones – Book 2
B.A. Morton

Genre: Crime/thriller/romance
Publisher: Taylor Street Books

ISBN:13 978-1481818612
ASIN:B00ARM6B7C

Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 81.000

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Kdi24jF_jzA
Amazon  Amazon UK

Book Description:

A Child to save.

A Killer to catch.

Tommy Connell’s playing with the bad guys again, but this time the rules have changed…and he still hasn’t learned to play nice!

Connell’s keeping the wolf from the door, rooting out bad cops for his buddy Gerry Gesting. He’s handed in his badge, turned his back on all that, but…
When a weird little kid disappears into the night and no one gives a damn including the cops, he reckons that maybe someone should take another look.

The good cops are busy hunting down a serial killer…good.

The bad cops are busy hunting down Connell…not so good.

The serial killer, well he’s looking for victim number twelve, which is… definitely not good.
And little Molly Brown is about to throw an almighty spanner in the works.

Connell’s dabbling in things that he shouldn’t and it’s not the first time…

Molly Brown Tour Button 300 x 225Excerpt from Molly Brown – Chapter 20

Connell finally realizes that he’s dropped the ball and only he can pick it back up:

The banging on the door woke him. Dragged him kicking and screaming from a nightmare where fear was all he could recall. He kicked at tangled sheets, wiped perspiration from his brow and struggled to his feet. It was still dark out, that murky time just before dawn.

The noise was relentless. He’d dropped the latch the night before, done up all the locks and chains just like he’d promised Lizzie. Now, he couldn’t co-ordinate. His senses confused, the noise, the back taste of fear and broken sleep, all interfering in an essentially straightforward task. He slammed a hand at the door in an effort to shut out the din, so he could think. Four bolts, two locks- where was the damn key?

“Okay, Jeez, I’m coming,” he cursed. “Give me a goddamn minute!”

The banging stopped as suddenly as it had begun and in the subsequent eerie silence Connell became aware of a different sound. A muted sob- the whispered wail of someone so desperate, so alone, that he felt his own throat constrict. His nightmare paled as his fear grew exponentially.

“No – Lizzie! I’m coming. I’m here, babe, hang on.”

When he finally wrenched the door open, she was crouched on the floor. Hugging her knees; rocking on the balls of her feet. She looked up through a curtain of wet curls, her cheeks streaked with tears, her eyes rubbed red. He pulled her to her feet and wrapped his arms tight around her slender frame. She trembled beneath his hands.

“What’s happened? It’s the middle of the goddamn night. Where’s Joe?” He leaned away from her, caught her face gently between his hands. “Lizzie, honey, you’re scaring me. You’ve got to tell me what’s wrong?”

She looked at him and he was stung by the accusation in her eyes.

“You promised me, we were safe.”

He felt it then, a churning deep in his stomach. He dropped his hands, felt the room sway and steadied himself against what he knew was to come.

“What’s happened, Lizzie? Just tell me, honey.”

“They came, after you called…,” she sobbed. The words fractured, forced between desperate gasps for air and normality. “They took Joe and Molly…I tried to stop them. I pleaded with them.”  She took a breath, seemed to draw strength from somewhere deep inside.  “They said you’d gone too far and now it was time to pay.”

He stared at her, looked through her, past her, and the moment hung. The gulf between them widening in front of his eyes, as if he stood at the edge of a precipice of his own making and the only way forward was down. He re-focused and saw that her face was bruised, her lip swollen. When she raised her hand to shield the bruises from him he saw angry finger marks on her pale wrist. She had fought to protect his son and a child she barely knew and despite her efforts she had failed. His nightmare returned with sudden clarity, the fear, the uncontrollable anger and despair. He could not lose any of them, this couldn’t be the end.

B A MortonAbout The Author:

Born in the North East of England, B.A.Morton writes crime fiction and historical fantasy all with a smidgeon of romance thrown in. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to the remote beauty of the Northumberland National Park. She now works part time in the village GP surgery and lives in a cottage built on the remains of a medieval crypt – the inspiration for the medieval fantasy trilogy, “The Wildewood Chronicles”. She keeps chickens and dogs, enjoys country life and can be bribed with chocolate! Her debut novel “Mrs Jones” a fast paced, romantic, crime thriller set in New York, was runner up in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011 and subsequently published by Taylor Street Publishing. The sequel, “Molly Brown” was released in December 2012.

http://bamorton.weebly.com/

http://www.taylorstreetbooks.com/ba-morton.html