Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: Six Years by Harlan Coben

SIX YEARS

Six Years
Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Dutton Adult (March 19, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953487
E-Book File Size: 568 KB
ASIN: B008EKMBW8

Six Years

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Classic Coben! I absolutely loved this story! Wow!

The entire story is told from Jake’s point of view and we get to know everything he is feeling from confusion to joy and every other emotion you can conceive. A character with layers and we get to peel them away and really understand his life. To love someone so quickly and so deeply, then to have them just slip away, later realizing all the lies and deception, and knowing that if he delves any further to get to the truth he is putting himself and people he cares about in danger.

This complex story is very unique and perfectly paced. I loved the romantic twist in this suspense filled novel, spiced with just a bit of humor – Coben style. Readers are taken on a wild ride from the first page to the last.  You will not be able to put this book down so plan accordingly. Harlan Coben keeps getting better and better! I don’t know how he is going to top this one! Pre-Order your copy today!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
cobenWith over 47 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last three consecutive novels, Caught, Long Lost and Hold Tight all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His next thriller Live Wire will be out in early spring 2011. His books are published in 40 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award—the first author to win all three—international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His most recent novels, Caught, Long Lost, Hold Tight, The Woods, Promise Me, The Innocent, Just One Look, No Second Chance, Tell No One and Gone for Good have appeared on the top of all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, London Times, Le Monde, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY.

To find out more about Harlan Coben and his book check out his webpage here. You can even read the first chapter of Six Years,

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts

Special Guest – Peter Leonard – Back From The Dead Virtual Book Tour (Giveaway)

special guest blueBACK FROM THE DEAD

This is the 3rd Peter Leonard novel I have had the pleasure to review.
I am thrilled to have him here today as my guest.

Pete-040 iaLori thought you would like to hear about how I research a book so here’s a bit of my process.

Research

I do most of my own research. For Voices of the Dead I visited Dachau concentration camp, which is a depressing experience, and walked the streets of Munich, trying to get a feel for this city I was going to use to stage parts of my story. I also spent three weeks at the Holocaust museum in Farmington Hills, Michigan, reading about the extermination of six million people from different points of view: survivors, Nazi top brass, camp guards and ordinary Germans.

Voices 5Online I found maps and photographs of pre-World War II Munich. I researched Jewish neighborhoods, and found out where people bought their eggs and milk and where they bought their meat and vegetables, the names of the stores and the streets they were on. I found out where the Munich Jews worked and where they went to school, and what they thought as Hitler emerged on the political scene,initially as a curiosity and later as a threat to their very existence.

I finished Voices, and a week later I thought of an idea for a sequel. I wrote one-hundred and forty-three pages of Back from the Dead, and put it aside because I had a chance to hang out with Detroit Police Homicide. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. For about a month I talked to homicide investigators, visited crime scenes and read old cases that had been solved. Based on those experiences I came up with another idea for a book called Eyes Closed Tight. The main character is a retired homicide detective named O’Clair from my second novel Trust Me. O’Clair buys a motel in Florida, and one morning finds the body of an attractive young girl on the beach in front of his property. The girl was killed in a way that reminds him of a murder case he had solved years before. I wrote one-hundred and fifty pages and my editor e-mailed and asked how I was coming on the sequel to Voices of the Dead. So I put Eyes Closed Tight down and finished Back from the Dead.

To research All He Saw Was The Girl, I rented an apartment in Rome two blocks from the Spanish Steps. I brought my son Alex along and we walked around the city looking for locations. Alex took photos and I made notes. We would stop for lunch and have pasta or grilled fish and a glass of wine. At some point it occured to me that what I was doing was work and I was getting paid for it.

Most of what I’m looking for I find online. Things like how to steal a car, how to get out of handcuffs, the Arizona prison system, bow-hunting, white supremacists, the U.S. Secret Service, firearms and more.If you write about guns make sure you get it right, or some gun expert will tell you about it.

~Peter Leonard

To find out more about Peter Leonard and his books visit his webpage here.

9781611880649-frontcover

Back from the Dead
Sequel to Voices of the Dead
Suspense Thriller
Published by The Story Plant (January 22, 2013)
Trade Paperback: 282 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611880632
E-Book File Size: 594 KB
ASIN: B00AJVIXB8

Back from the Dead

Holocaust survivor Harry Levin and Nazi death angel Ernst Hess are back in this conclusion to the story that started in Voices of the Dead. We travel from the Bahamas to Florida, Michigan and Germany as Levin learns that Ness is still alive it is up to him to make sure this time Ness does not come Back from the Dead.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I must say I was surprised that this sequel was written because Voices of the Dead was a great stand alone but  this book is jammed back with the action and suspense that I expect from this author and it was totally believable the Hess was back.  I did feel bad for Harry as it seems he still has not been able to grieve the loss of his daughter. This story picks up shorty after the last one finished in 1971.

The characters again came alive on the page and traveled the world at top speed. Quite a game of cat and mouse with the players constantly changing places. The pages kept turning through some mind-boggling incidents. Leonard writes those edge of your seat moments that suspense readers enjoy so much with ease. 

I recommend you read  Voices of the Dead before reading Back from the Dead.  I did like the first installment just a bit better than the second.

 

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I have 1 copy to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Peter for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 21, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2013 Virtual Book Tour

Cross The Line by Jack Patterson Virtual Book Tour Special Super Bowl Edition

Cross_the_Line_Banner

GEB_CrossTheLine_rd2.indd

Cross the Line
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Publisher: Hangman Books
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1938848148
E-Book File Size: 481 KB
ASIN: B00AA49Y2Q

Cross the Line

The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. For quarterback Noah Larson it is dream come true. The perfect way to end his NFL career would be with a Super Bowl win and all the glory that goes with it. Then he gets the call that stops his heart — his 6 year old son has been kidnapped. If he wants to get his son back alive all he has to do is throw the game and let the Miami Dolphins win.

Sports reporter Cal Murphy, who has covered Larson for years, knows something isn’t right. He knows how the quarterback prepares for games and he is not following his normal routine at all. This is the biggest game of his life, why would he change his prep now? He has an interview scheduled with Larson and is going to find out what is going on.

Cal quickly gets involved over his head and takes friend and photographer Kelly Mendoza with him as they try to save Larson’s son, the Super Bowl and themselves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I did not know this was the second book in the series when I agreed to take part in this tour and my regular readers know I am a stickler for reading books in order. The book held up well as a stand alone but I missed the build up of Cal and Kelly’s history. Putting that aside it was the perfect time of year to read this book and I am a huge football fan.

The premise of the story was very interesting although you need to suspend reality a bit to think Cal and Kelly could do what they did.  Jack Patterson makes this easy to do as the reader is drawn right into the drama especially in Mexico along the desolate roads and to the scary cartel compound. There is also a very surprising twist or two as the story plays out. 

The book is a very fast read. Like another author with the same last name the short chapters just keep those pages turning. You still have a couple of days to pick up your copy to enjoy before the Super Bowl. It may change the way you watch the game.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
The first signs that I might like writing about sports — and be slightly competitive — appeared when my year two (or first grade) teacher, Mrs. Holland, asked my class to write and illustrate our day. Mine read like this: “The Red team beat the Blue team, 1 to nil. And I won.” The next 47 entries covered my exploits on the soccer pitch while growing up in Ipswich, England.

In South Carolina as a teenager, my dad told me that I could get paid to watch sports provided I could write about it. Sounded easy enough and by the time I was 16, I landed a job at my town’s daily newspaper and had a column on Major League Baseball players from our area. I also covered my first riot there at a sporting event — and it’s safe to say I was smitten with journalism.

After graduating from one of the best journalism schools in the country, I took a job as a sports editor in South Georgia and learned firsthand about the passion of high school sports in rural America. I thought I knew before, but I didn’t. This was another world.

I also had the opportunity to cover major sporting events like the Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four. It was a thrill!

But nothing was as thrilling to me as uncovering the truth in investigative assignments. I once broke a story about a prominent southern football team’s NCAA violation — and found out the violating coach had committed suicide only a few months earlier. The story won a national writing award and stoked my desire to write about these issues. It made me realize that the sports world was just another fantastic backdrop for drama.

After writing non-fiction books with athletes, for athletes, and ghost writing for many others, I decided to enter the world of fiction writing. It had been something I wanted to do but never found the time. So, I made the time–and am now having a blast. I hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I enjoy writing them!

Find Jack Patterson on Facebook, Twitter or on his website.

There are 3 more stops on the Special Super Bowl Edition Tour
Feb 1st – Review by Teena in Toronto

Feb 2nd — Interview by Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Feb 2nd — Nicole @ Bless their Hearts Mom

Then the tour returns in March:

Mar 15th — Guest Post by Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Mar 16th — Review by Gina @ Hott Books

Mar 18th — Guest Post & Review with Beth Art From The Heart

Mar 19th Review with Krystal @ Live To Read

Mar 26th — Review by Fenny @ Hotchpotch

Mar 27th — Review & Interview at Martha’s Bookshelf

Mar 29th –Review & Interview @ Kimberly’s Bookshelf

Mar 30th — Review by Wendy @ The Minding Spot

Apr 1st — Review by Mary’s Cup of Tea

Apr 2nd — Review by Suzie @ My Cozie Corner

Apr 3rd — Review at Vic’s Media Room

Apr 4th — Teview by Tina @ Smoochiefrog Reviews

Apr 5th — Guest Post @ Writers and Authors

Apr 8th — Review by Carrie @ Sweet Southern Home

Apr 15th — Review by True Media Solutions LLC

Apr 17th — Review by Yvonne @ Socrates’ Book Review Blog

Apr 18th — Review by Vicky @ Deal Sharing Aunt

May 1 — Review by Heather @ Proud Book Nerd

May 10th — Review by Ashna @ Wanted Readers

 

PIC_badge
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the tour host. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d02013where are you readingmystery challenge

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2013

Political Suicide by Michael Palmer Review and Giveaway!

political suicide

Political Suicide
Suspense – Thriller
Published by : St. Martin’s Press (December 11, 2012)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0312587550
E-Book File Size: 529 KB
ASIN: B008RLTYU6

Political Suicide

Dr. Lou Welcome from Oath of Office returns and finds himself in a heap of trouble. A desperate phone call from his client and friend, Dr. Gary McHugh, just starts the ball rolling. McHugh is a blackout drunk and Dr. Welcome has been trying to help him. It seems McHugh was found unconscious in his wrecked car just down the road from the home of Congressman Elias Colston, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. As he wakes up in the hospital he hears the Congressman has been murdered. He needs Lou to help him figure out exactly happened. Lou doesn’t believe that his friend would kill anyone so he agrees to do a little investigating never knowing the huge conspiracy he was about to unravel or that he was putting a enormous target on his back.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I could not put this book down! A Spectacular Political Suspense Thriller!! 

The political twists and turns in both the government and the military are absolutely scary. While you know the plot can in no way be true, Palmer writes in such a way that that makes the reader almost believe this fiction is fact.  I found my heart racing and breathing quicken as he takes us on Dr. Lou Welcome’s spellbinding adventure. At times Welcome seems almost superhuman but the addition of attorney Sarah Cooper tempers and grounds him a bit, keeping him real in the reader’s mind. He also gets a little help from some unexpected places.

This story is extremely complex with many levels as it evolves but Palmer makes it very easy to follow. The most confusing for me was the area of Washington D.C. and where the military compounds and armories are located. But with a story as faced paced as this one locations seem to just fall away as the action continues.

While this seems to be the second in what I hope with become a Lou Welcome series, it reads alone just fine. Palmer does tease us a bit at the end with what should be in the next installment. The first book Oath of Office did make my Best of 2012 list so I recommend you read that one as well. 

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To learn more about Michael Palmer visit his webpage here.

The author has authorized me to give away 1 Hardcover SIGNED Copy of Political Suicide!!

U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY

You must be a follower of Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book!

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
3 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Posted in Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

The Prophet by Ethan Cross Virtual Book Tour

When a fireman or a policeman would visit his school, most of his classmates’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for Ethan Cross, however, his dreams weren’t to someday be a cop or put out fires; he just wanted to write about it. His dream of telling stories on a grand scale came to fruition with the release of his first novel, the international bestseller, The Shepherd.

Ethan Cross is the pen name of a thriller author living and writing in Illinois with his wife, two daughters, and two Shih Tzus. In addition to The Shepherd and The Prophet, he has published two novellas––Callsign: Knight – Book 1 (A Shin Dae-jung – Chess Team Novella) and The Cage.

2012dollycas favorite mystery suspense

The Prophet: A Shepherd Thriller
Suspense Thriller
Published by The Story Plant (October 16, 2012)
Trade Paperback: 414 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611880458

The Prophet: A Shepherd Thriller

OLD ENEMIES… Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America’s most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work – and he’s more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.

NEW THREATS… Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive.

HIDDEN TERRORS… Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet – and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine.

With attacks coming from every side, Marcus faces a race against time to save the lives of a group of innocent people chosen as sacrifices in the Prophet’s final dark ritual.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

BAM! WHAM! KAPOW! Ethan Cross has thrown a knockout punch with The Prophet. I stayed up late in the night to finish this one and then had nightmares. Wow!!

Riveting, thrilling, gritty, gripping, enthralling, chilling, edgy, okay you get the idea. Cross’s books tend to make me get a little carried away. The detail of  the descriptions will make you shiver and shake. Cross is a very compelling writer. He PULLS you right into the drama and the mind of a serial killer. Scary!! and not for the squeamish! The way the characters connect is spellbinding on many levels.

Special Agent Marcus Williams worked for a covert agency overseen by the Department of Justice, The Shepherd. Agents don’t come to the group through normal channels. Each is fighting their own demons and is specially selected to become part of the group. Williams story continues to build slowly and soon you will be on the edge of your seat and the tempo reaches breakneck speed.

In a previous review for the  The Shepherd I told James Patterson he had competition. This story surpasses Patterson.  Ethan Cross is the new author to watch in thrilling suspense fiction! If you haven’t read The Shepherd I recommend reading that first.  I also wish I would have read the novella The Cage before reading this as I am a stickler for reading series in order. But  the author has brought forth the necessary facts to allow this to be read as a stand alone.

Ethan, give me a little tine to recover and I will be ready for your next installment. The rest of you need to get reading!!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Murder Takes Time by Giacomo Giammatteo Virtual Book Tour (Giveaway too!)

About This Author In His Own Words
I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.

Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer.

Murder Takes Time:
Friendship & Honor Series, Book One (Volume 1)

Mystery-Suspense-Thriller
Inferno Publishing Company (April 12, 2012)
Paperback: 438 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985030209
File Size: 648 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985030208

Synopsis
A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn’t good.

Frankie has taken two oaths in his life–the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable. Those relationships have forced Frankie to make many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years–and risks losing his life.

In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have a hard time classifying this very unique book. It is a crime, detective, psychological, mob, life journey, suspense thriller, love story.

The author created and developed wonderful characters and we follow them throughout their lives. We they were young they made a pact: Friendship and Honor.

“Friendship means we look out for each other. Nobody ever rats or betrays us.”

“Honor means nobody f***** with one of us and not the others. We stick up for each other. And it means we don’t run, unless we all run.”

Some can keep the pact throughout life – others just can’t! That’s when the story takes off at breakneck speed and the Rules of Murder come into play.

I was drawn into this story quickly. The story is told from several characters point of view and my only complaint of the book was that this was a little confusing at times. But they were all real and engaging – even the bad guys! It is very hard for an author to accomplish this, let alone in the debut novel of what appears to be a series. According to his bio many of the scenes in this book were taken from real life experiences. A fantastic way of writing what you know. Kudos to Mr. Giammatteo. I await your next installment!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The author is allowing me to give away 3 e-copies.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Book would have a strong R rating.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Greco’s Game Virtual Book Publicity Tour 2012 + Kindle Fire Giveaway + Russian Chess Set Giveaway

2012 self published mystery thriller

I often wonder what we did before the internet. You know when we actually had to write letters and make phone calls. But today I am so happy we have the internet, Facebook, and blogs. It lets me share the books I love with all of you but it also helps me connect with the authors who write the books that I love.

Back in June James Houston Turner filled out one of my contact forms telling me about his new book Greco’s Game and invited me to be part of this tour.

This is all I needed to read of the synopsis to know I had to read this book:

Colonel Aleksandr Talanov – the “ice man” – is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experienced: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes. Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction.

Jim and I will probably never meet in person but because of all this wonderful technology I have found an outstanding author and made a truly awesome friend.

Let me tell you about Jim before I tell you about Greco’s Game.

A native of Kansas, James turned to writing fiction as a result of his years as a smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. He has been on a KGB watchlist, organized secret midnight meetings with informants, located hidden mountain bunkers, and investigated legends of forgotten tunnels buried beneath the cobblestones and bricks of some of Central Europe’s most venerated cathedrals. Department Thirteen, his debut thriller featuring former KGB informant, Colonel Aleksandr Talanov, was inspired by those experiences and went on to win the USA Book News “Best Thriller of 2011″ award, a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher “IPPY” Book Awards (thriller/suspense), and a gold medal in the 2012 Indie Book Awards (action/adventure).

A former journalist in Los Angeles, James holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Baker University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). His 2011 “Too Ugly Tour” saw him drive 4500 miles across America promoting his books and speaking to thousands of students about not letting the hard knocks of life defeat you, which in his case included years of rejection, surviving cancer, and once being turned down for a customer service job because he was “too ugly” — a reference to the facial scars he still carries from his successful 1991 battle against cancer. He and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, live in Adelaide, South Australia.


Comfort Publishing (September 1, 2012)
Suspense Thriller
Book 2 in the Aleksandr Talanov series *
Paperback: 329 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936695485
E-book File Size: 625 KB
ASIN: B008PFCRTY
*Reads as a stand alone very well

Greco’s Game finds Talanov witnessing the brutal murder of his wife. Convinced the bullet was meant for him and wracked with guilt, he spirals downward on a path of self-destruction, hitting rock-bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles. But in a seedy world ruled by the Russian mafia, all is not as it seems. Was her murder an accident, or was it a carefully-planned strategy? The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess game played in 1619 that Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Wow! This is an outstanding story! Riveting, intense and full of suspense!

You have the CIA, FSB (Federal Secret Service/Russia), LAPD, the Russian Mafia and Aleksandr Talanov, former KGB agent, all coming together in Los Angeles, California. Who killed his wife? Until he knows he can’t trust anyone!

While clues play out we learn that they are patterning a chess game played hundreds of years ago but you do not need to like or understand chess to follow this story. Just hold on tight you are in for a wild ride.

Turner takes us on a journey into the gritty world of human trafficking in a universe where much has changed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Men Talanov knew back in his time in the KGB could be working for anybody. He can’t even trust his former mentor. The author takes us through the clues and strategy at an amazing clip making it impossible to put down. This story would make a fantastic movie.

The author has created rich and colorful characters that just seem to leap off the page. We follow them through chilling car chases, cars crashing through buildings, and cars with surprises in the trunks. Gun blazing, bombs blowing, bouncers dishing out beatings and worse.

I have not yet read Department Thirteen and had absolutely no trouble loving this deadly game of pawns and queens. I did learn James Houston Turner loves to leave us hanging.  He resolves most of the issues but baits us with just a few lines and a bit of book #3, Dragon Head coming in 2013.

This is one of those books I want to shout about from the rooftops!! It is amazing! A MUST READ if you like mystery, suspense, action and thrills!!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You may visit him at www.jameshoustonturner.com

James loves hearing from readers and bloggers. To contact him directly, http://www.jameshoustonturner.com/contact.htm

Follow James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jhoustonturner

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: The Exiled Element by John L. Betcher

The Exiled Element
A James Becker Thriller

4th in Series
Published by John L. Betcher
Available Now

The Exiled Element


Beth Becker takes the lead in this edition as she is called back into active service with the CIA. She is sent to Cairo, Egypt where there has been some trouble and her unique skills and contacts are needed. It doesn’t take Beth long to remember why she retired. All the office “politics”, backstabbing, lies and butt covering makes her want to turn around and go straight home. Ever the professional she sets about her tasks and knows the sooner they are completed she can return to Minnesota and her loving husband.

“Beck” is not sitting at home pining for his wife. He is helping Deputy Sheriff Gunderson (Gunner) prepare security for an important dignitary that is coming to Red Wing. Things do not go as planned due to the out of town security but Beck, Gunner and Bull will try to clean up their mess and not get themselves killed in the process.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Betcher has done it again. A fantastic story with the ripped from the headlines feeling. Hang on to your seats, you will not be able to put this one down.

I love the characters, the dialogues they have will each other, and the little ways they always surprise us. The plot is tight, complex, and realistic. The settings described to make you feel you are right there. You know the author has done the research to make this story come alive. From Red Wing to Cairo and back again, it is a thrilling ride.

I have enjoyed this entire series and each one is better than the last. Betcher has a compelling writing style that takes this ordinary couple into extraordinary situations. I can see myself sitting down having coffee with Beck and Beth never believing how much danger they put themselves in. Retired, no way, I know these characters will be off on another adventure soon. I am anxiously awaiting.


Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo Virtual Book Tour

Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, has lived and worked in Asia, and speaks fluent Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area.

I am pleased to welcome his book tour here today for Love Thy Neighbor.


Love Thy Neighbor
Published by The Story Plant

How well do you know your neighbors?

Clark Hayden, a graduate student, moves home to try to help his mother get through the loss of his father. The neighbors have been doing their best looking out for and taking care of her but her diminished mental status seems to be escalating. He knows it is time to come home. He gets there just in time for her holiday party and gets to thank the neighbors for what they have done. He also arrives home just in time to find out his mother is being audited by the IRS!

As the holidays wind down things turn dicey as neighbors go missing, some are found dead and Clark is learning way to much about secret government operations, deadly chemicals and terrorist cells. This is not the neighborhood Clark grew up in and he may hold the key that could save hundreds of thousands of lives in the nation’s capital.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a very well written story for a debut novel and it has an extremely complex plot with several characters. While quick paced it is not a book you can read quickly. It needs to be savored so you can catch all of the nuances to the characters and the settings. At times the dialogue becomes so graphic it shines in your mind’s eye like a movie.

In the world today, post 9/11, this story could actually happen, which makes it all the more enticing. There is one twist with a character that was extremely unexpected due to what we have learned about about Middle Eastern culture, but I can tell that the author has done extensive research for this novel and that makes the twist very credible in my eyes.

If you enjoy a good mystery I can promise you will enjoy this book. It will keep you guessing until the very end and will stick with you long after you have read the last word. Mark Gilleo is an author to watch, quality this good in a debut novel is no fluke, I can’t wait for his next suspenseful tale.


Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Oath of Office by Michael Palmer with Giveaway!

2012best suspense

Oath of Office
St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 14, 2012

 

When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree killing his partner, staff and two patients and then turns the gun on himself all the blames falls to Dr. Lou Welcome. Dr. Welcome was working with a group that helps doctors regain their licenses. In this case the doctor’s license had been removed for alcoholism and losing his temper with a patient. He had worked with Meacham for years and knew Dr. Meacham was an excellent doctor and advocated strongly to have his license returned. When he learns about what happened he is shocked like everyone else but he believes the authorities are missing something. Dr. Welcome  just can’t let it go so he starts to investigate himself.  What he discovers is truly terrifying.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is quite a suspense thriller. I used the terms “scary good” back in 2010 to describe The 19th Element by John L. Betcher and this story tops that. Betcher’s story was about Al Quada terrorists striking in the Midwestern United States.   Oath of Office is about Americans terrorizing other Americans through products we need to survive.  All in the name of greed and the path leads directly to the White House.

I would say it is Spine-Chillingly Excellent!!!

The truly scary part is that if you do an internet search for the scientific terms in this book they are out there. Hopefully we can trust that they are being used for good and there are regulations in place to save us from something like this occurring. But with all the deregulation talk spinning around Washington could make this story more fact the fiction. 

Michael Palmer is a bestselling author for very good reason. He writes an extraordinary story. This book will hold you in its grasp tightly from the first page until the very last word.

I never thought of myself as a squeamish person but chapter 39 almost did me in. That’s my only caution about this book. The book is fabulous and I give it my highest recommendation. I can honestly say this is the best book I have read in a very long time.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Michael Palmer check out his web page.


Michael Palmer is offering a copy of this thriller to one of my followers.
U.S. Residents Only
You must be a follower of Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book to enter!

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest will end February 10 at 11:59 p.m. CST

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”