Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blackwell - Review

Idgie Says:
This is the story of love fought over and what happens when a guy with a really bad temper loses in this love war.  But the more you read, the more you realize that both men are more than little 'temperamental".  

Apparently everyone can be the bad guy in this war. 

A quick, intense read set in the 1800's with an ending  that was quite unexpected. An interesting story, but I stayed outside of the characters - I was never able to become too invested in them.

Hardcover: 300 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (January 17, 2017)

Hell has a new master

In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.

When Magnus meets Jacob O Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.

Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.

Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Romances by Pocket Books

Idgie Says:
Not ready for the holidays to be over?  Here's a few sweet short stories to help extend the Christmas Cheer!


New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books; 1 edition (October 27, 2015)

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead. In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in Twelve Kisses when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle. In By Any Other Name, Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss. In Sweetest Regret, will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.

The Sweetest Regret is also available as a stand alone ebook by Pocket Star EBooks

The Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran 
(11/28/16; 781501147555; Historical Romance)

This Christmas themed novella brings readers to a house party in the countryside, where the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.

Note: The Sweetest Regret is an e-treat to tide readers over until A Lady's Code of Misconduct (2/28/17)—the next steamy historical romance in Meredith Duran’s “wonderfully indulgent” (Publishers Weekly) Rules for the Reckless seriespublishes in mass market.

The Hunting Ground - Spotlight

Cover for the The Hunting Ground 
About The Hunting Ground
A mild mid-winter day draws Chicago newspaper columnist Deuce Mora to a South Side nature preserve where she plans a simple outing to get some fresh air and exercise. But a shocking discovery hurls her into a personal and professional train wreck.

Someone is kidnapping and murdering the city’s children. As the body count rises and the threat creeps in on Deuce, she finds herself in a quagmire of international intrigue.

Nobody seems willing to help her uncover the conspiracy behind the horror. The police won’t act or even talk about the crimes. Neither will the mayor, or the medical examiner, or the Department of Children and Family Services. The very people who should be at the forefront of protecting children seem intent on helping the killers.
It is a deadly dilemma in which the government of the United States could be Deuce’s worst enemy.

About Jean Heller
In addition to writing and publishing The Hunting Ground and The Someday File (Deuce Mora #1), Heller is the author of the stand-alone thrillers Handyman and Maximum Impact; both novels were published by Macmillan/Forge.

Previously, Heller served as an investigative and projects reporter and editor for The Associated Press in New York City and Washington, D.C., The Cox Newspapers and New York Newsday in Washington, D.C., and the St. Petersburg Times in Washington, D.C. and Florida. She has won multiple awards, including the Worth Bingham Prize and the Polk Award. Heller is an eight-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. 

Heller currently lives in Chicago and is available for interviews. Visit her on the web at JeanHellerBooks.com.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Assassins - Spotlight and Q & A

From its terrifying start in the night skies of Afghanistan to its stunning end in the Paris terrorist attacks, Assassins is, in novelized form, the story of the last thirty years of war between Islam and the West. Based on the author’s experiences in the Middle East, Assassins lives this unending conflict from the viewpoints of an American commando, a French woman doctor, an Afghani warlord, a Russian major, and a British woman journalist. Drop by parachute into the deadly mountains of Afghanistan, fight door to door in the bloody cities of Iraq and the lethal deserts of Syria, Sinai and Africa, know the terror of battle inside a Russian tank, feel the power of passion and love when at any moment you both can die – it’s all there, all real, in Assassins.


The World Changes Before Our Eyes in
Mike Bond’s Magnum Opus

How did ISIS grow from a small collection of thugs to an international terrorist organization? Mike Bond explores that question, and much more in Assassins (Mandevilla Press; January 2017), his most ambitious novel to date. Bond spans the 30-year history of radical Islam’s War Against the West beginning in the war-torn mountains of Afghanistan in 1982 to the night of the devastating Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015. It’s a tale of never-ending battle through the eyes of an American commando, a French woman doctor, an Afghani warlord, a Russian major, a British woman journalist, and a top CIA operative.

Witness the West’s bumbling and nefarious dealings with the Islamic world where nothing is cut and dry or black and white, raising all sorts of questions that need answering. Did the Saudi government finance 9/11? Did the Bush administration let Osama bin Laden escape Afghanistan? Did President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq lead to the rise of ISIS and global fanaticism? Bond knows of which he speaks—throughout the world he has seen the devastation first hand.

ASSASINS is multiple thrillers and frantic loves stories woven into one tale that dissects the history of our geopolitical landscape. It is also a treatise on a warrior’s deep loyalties to those he loves, the men he leads, and the nation he serves.  Based on the author’s own experiences in the Middle East and elsewhere, Assassins is sure to be remembered as Mike Bond’s masterpiece.

MIKE BOND is the best-selling author of Saving Paradise, House of Jaguar, The Last Savanna, Holy War, Tibetan Cross, and Killing Maine. He is a war and human rights journalist and ecologist who has lived and worked in many dangerous and war-torn regions of the world. His critically acclaimed novels depict the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joys of love, the terror and fury of battle, the sinister conspiracies of dictators, corporations and politicians, and the beauty of the vanishing natural world.

Mike Bond
Mandevilla Press; January, 2017
$15.99; 560 pages
ISBN: 978-162704-035-8


Questions for Mike Bond on Assassins 

1.     Was there a moment where you felt compelled to tell a story about the rise of ISIS and Islamic fanaticism with this book being the result?

This is a subject I’ve been dealing with since my teenage years in Algeria, then by being in a number of wars between Islam and the West. Because Islam represents a serious (though often underestimated) threat to our modern Western way of life and civilization, I am consistently driven to write about and report it.

2.     This novel is significant in length being over 500 pages long. How long did it take you to write Assassins?

I began writing it after 9/11, when I realized that our own government had helped to create that disaster and then failed to protect us from it. Over the years I added to it, and finally finished it last winter.

3.     What were you looking to accomplish in providing multiple viewpoints ranging from an American commando to an Afghani warlord?

Everyone’s truth is different; if we can’t understand the enemy (and how we have helped to create them) then we can’t possibly defeat them. Even more importantly, what we do wrong (such as invading Iraq, or letting Bin Laden escape from Tora Bora, or leaving Iraq in 2011 after we had basically won) merely creates more enemies in the future.

4.     How much research went into bringing characters and their various cultures to life?

Very little research. Most of this is straight out of my own life and those of colleagues and friends.

5.     Which one of those characters was the hardest to write?
They were all easy to write, as they are taken from life. They are who they are; I just described them.

6.     Which one was your favorite or most enjoyable to write?

The French doctor. Because I had the hots for her.

7.     Assassins covers over 30-years of fighting between Islam and the West but you have also said that it is an examination on a warrior’s loyalties to those he loves and those he serves. What do you mean by this?

The problem with being a warrior is that you’re obliged to follow orders. Most of the top CIA people knew in 2002-2003 that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (it was a total fabrication of the GW Bush administration), but had to follow the line that there was. Sometimes you go into battle knowing that the strategy and tactics are wrong and are going to cost unnecessary American casualties, but you can’t refuse. If you know a war is wrong, should you fight it?

8.      Why do you write about topics that are so relevant in modern times when it comes to environmentalism, human rights, and international conflict?

What is important to me is the protection and survival of the good against the overwhelming powers of evil.

9.     Why did you decide to end the novel on the night of the Paris attacks in 2015?

It could go on forever; one of my sons and his wife narrowly escaped death from the Muslim attack in Nice last July, but I had already finished the book. The Paris attack was an example of the hostility of the Muslim world to pleasure, joy, sex, music, women, and fun in any form. So it made a good ending, unfortunately.

1.  What do you hope for this novel to accomplish when all is said and done?

To give people a better idea of what’s really going on. Few people know the evils of the GW Bush administration, and the horrors it has caused, nor do they understand the profound evils of Muslim fundamentalism. And as I say in the book, “Anyone who reads the New York Times or listens to CNN, NPR, or any other mainline media can’t possibly have the faintest idea of what’s really going on in the world.” I’m offering a more honest and deeply focused view.