#Indie Author William H. Venema @WHVenema Releases new Thriller!

I first met William Venema through my daughter, who is an attorney. It just so happened that she and Bill worked for the same company. He purchased copies of my books and we talked some about writing. That was many years ago.

Now he has two books under his belt and I’m happy to showcase them here today!

Death In Panama

BLURB:

Captain Robert E. Clark arrives in Panama on his first tour of duty as a lawyer. He struggles to reconcile his Southern upbringing and West Point training with a strange new environment. Panama is a muddled mix of conflict and corruption, where, among other things, marriage vows don’t mean what they did at the First United Methodist Church of Pemberton, Georgia. When Clark is assigned to prosecute a murder case involving the death of a thirteen-month old little girl, his ambition causes him to neglect his wife and daughter more than usual and—even worse—bend the rules in ways that call into question what kind of man he is and what he truly values.

In this riveting novel, William Venema tells an intriguing, thought-provoking tale of unrestrained ambition and its consequences. Death comes in many forms, each lethal in its own way.

Reviewers say, ““Allows us to see life in all its strange, rich complexity through the eyes of a very human and believable protagonist. . .” “Swept me back to another time and place. . .” “As good a legal thriller as those of Scott Turow and John Grisham. . .”

Pick up a copy today on Amazon! PURCHASE LINK

William Venema’s latest release is:

Dawn In Dallas

BLURB:

Set in the late 1980s, Dawn in Dallas follows the journey of Robert E. Clark, the protagonist from Death in Panama, as he leaves the Army JAG Corps and embarks on a career in private law practice.  He secures a position at Underwood & Crockett, a prestigious law firm in Dallas, Texas, even though his young daughter and ex-wife reside in Pemberton, Georgia, the small town where he grew up. 

Things get complicated when Robert receives disturbing news from home at the same time he is confronted with unethical behavior by one of the senior partners in the firm.  The challenges of his new career and his responsibilities as a father pull him in opposite directions, and he doesn’t always make the right decision. 

Dawn in Dallas has its share of plot twists and interesting characters and along the way reveals some of the darker secrets of life inside a large law firm and the serious deficiencies of the court system.

Dr. Ryan S. Davidson, Professor of English had this to say about Dawn In Dallas, “William H. Venema is able to cross genres to create a novel that is at times a legal thriller, a love story, a tale of morality, a historical look at race relations in America, and a criticism of the legal system that is both poignant and delicate. A perfect story for our times. Venema has done it again.”

PURCHASE LINK:

About William H. Venema

William H. Venema’s legal career spans almost forty years and includes time in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, in law firms, and as general counsel of major corporations.

Death in Panama, published in 2017, was Bill’s debut novel.  The story is loosely based on his experiences in Panama when he was assigned there in the early 1980s as an Army lawyer, including his prosecution of a murder case.  

Dawn in Dallas, published in 2020,follows the journey of Robert Clark, the protagonist from Death in Panama, as he leaves the Army and embarks on a civilian legal career.

In 2006, Bill published a non-fiction book, titled The Strategic Guide to Selling Your Software Company.  In addition, he was a contributing author for two other legal texts and has published over twenty articles on various legal topics in journals such as The Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, The National Law Journal, The Corporate Board, and Bloomberg Law Reports.  

Bill is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was awarded the Thomas J. Thompson Memorial Award for writing and the Freedom Award, Order of Lafayette, for proficiency in French.  He was also inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  Several years after graduating from West Point, he earned an MBA from Georgia State University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.    

Prior to entering private practice, Bill served in the U.S. Army in Germany, Panama, and several stateside assignments.  He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne and Ranger schools, as well as the Command and General Staff College.  

He and his wife reside in Georgetown, Texas.  

Connect with William H. Venema!

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Thank you for stopping by and I hope these two books intrigued you enough to grab your copies today!

Welcome to the “THE CHOICE, the unexpected heroes” Blog Tour! @gmplano @4WillsPub #RRBC

Writers create stories within a context. They establish time and place, but this is not done in the abstract. A writer’s personal world provides the unspoken but overarching backdrop to the narrative. I became quite aware of this fact when writing THE CHOICE.

I was dealing with a degenerative neurological problem which ultimately required surgery. During my writing days, every decision was a struggle; I had choices but often they scared me.

In this sequel, the characters from THE CONTRACT reappear and lead the story. They face one difficult decision after another, life and death decisions. Two protagonists emerge and come to the realization that some things are worth more than the physical life and this awareness gives them the peace they need to proceed.

THE CHOICE bears no similarity to my life, but it spoke to the drama I was living. In an unexpected way, the characters helped me with my ordeal, though I was unaware of this fact until I finished the book and looked back through the chapters. I wonder, have you had a similar experience?

Links:  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Z3dUEm 

Website: https://gwenmplano.com/

Twitter: @gmplano

Facebook: @GwendolynMPlano

BIO:

Growing up in Southern California, Gwen Plano loved learning. She earned four degrees and taught and served in universities and colleges across the country and in Japan. Now retired, she is focused on writing. Gwen’s first book, Letting Go into Perfect Love, is a memoir. Her second book, The Contract, is a thriller co-authored by John W. Howell. Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, and when she is not writing, she is traveling, usually to see one of her four children and many grandchildren.  

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Lastly, Gwen is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, 

JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!  

The Alternative – New Release from S. Burke

It is my honor and pleasure to host this author and her new release! I was lucky enough to be a beta-reader for this collection of short stories and I can tell you they are not only compelling but downright riveting! 

Welcome to Day 3 of my Choose “THE ALTERNATIVE” Blog Tour.

With my grateful thanks to my marvelous host.

Thank you for joining me here.

BOOK COVER

BLURB

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

***

Today I’d like to share with you a glimpse of the story behind one of the stories.

Part of my book blurb reads

“There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.”

This story fits within this premise.

Chapter 2. Human Disinterest.

Within the pages of this particular story is someone I knew and loved. And whilst this is a fictional work, the persona of Jenny Thurston is intensely real.

In the story, Jenny runs a charity organization desperately trying to keep the people that found themselves out on the dark city streets, warm, dry, fed and alive.

Jenny takes up a large television network’s offer to do a feature piece focused on informing the public and making them aware of the circumstances that caused these folks to be out there. She puts up one hell of a fight to protect the unprotected.

My Jenny was barely eight years old when I  met her. I was eleven.  Jenny had the oldest eyes I’ve ever seen. We came from different places, she and I, both of them equally painful and dark.

Jenny spent her entire life fighting cruelty in all of its dark permutations. She inspired me to be stronger, she gave me loving arms without judgment to cling to. She opened her wounded heart to all those in need that she encountered.

She helped me to laugh, and she taught me that I was capable of loving unconditionally.

Jenny lost her ongoing battle with life several years back. She had no fight left in her. She took her own life. It was the only promise she ever made me that she had broken.

I hope I have somehow shared a glimpse of her strength, resilience, frailty and warmth within the pages of this short story.

I miss her still.

Here is a brief extract from the opening of Chapter 2. “Human Disinterest”

Jenny Thurston hung up the phone, then sat in her creaking office chair and gazed longingly up at the brief glimpse of sky visible in the confined space permitted to a two-story building surrounded by towers of concrete and glass.

Brad Levinson hesitated momentarily outside the door, and then he walked heavily, the sound of his intrusive feet deliberately loud to gain his boss’s attention.

“’Sup, Jenny?” he asked.

“I had a phone call, just now. CNN wants to do one of their ‘A Day in the Life of…?’ programs.”

“Wow, Jenny … I mean, hon, that is huge!”

“Oh, it’s huge alright. It’s not a focus on me or our work here they’re after; they want to do a three-part series based on interviews with our street folks. They want me, as the head of Street Angels, to gain them introductions after they have carefully chosen their preference. Jesus, Brad … they don’t give a crap. They just want someone guaranteed to spike the ratings.”

“Well, that would have been a fast conversation. You didn’t threaten them, did you … Jenny?” He looked at her face and found his answer, “Oh, Jenny … not again?”

He was trying hard not to laugh and failed miserably.

“Winter is coming fast, Brad. I don’t have time for this shit. You know we stand to lose a few. The donations always slow down around now.” Jenny smiled and then said, “Anyways, I made them an offer.”

She stood then and stretched her lean frame. “Let’s go over those rosters again for tomorrow night. You know it’s going to get crazy. Friday night and a full moon both at once. I’ll need our most resilient on duty. Can you contact the guys for me, please?”

“Whoa, go back a second, you made them an offer? Please tell me it wasn’t one they couldn’t refuse.”

“Yeah … Don Corleone, I’m not.”

Brad just grinned and said, “Coffee first?”

“Always.”

He laughed again. Jenny was like this most of the time. The other times weren’t so hard to witness, knowing that this Jenny … his Jenny would always come back.

***

Thanks so much for joining in my New Release Promotion. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Again my sincere thanks to my host, and to the great crew at 4 Wills Publishing for organizing my blog tour.

“The Alternative” NOW Available Amazon.com

Author Bio:

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

Suzanne Burke is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

Cusp of Night – New Release from Mae Clair

Hi, Jan! Many thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I have a new release I’m thoroughly jazzed to share with your readers. Cusp of Night is a mystery/suspense novel that weaves timelines of the present with those of the past. Dual timelines are becoming trendy in fiction today, a pattern I’m more than happy to embrace. As a reader I’m thoroughly besotted by the idea. As a writer, I found it challenging to undertake.

Writing a book with dual timelines means you’re not telling one tale, but two. That means two sets of characters and two plots.

In Cusp of Night I have a mystery involving an assault and a mysterious “creature” set in modern day. Running parallel to that story is another tied to a murderous creature and the Spiritualist movement of the late 1800s. Both mysteries have to dovetail into a tidy bow at the end.

Challenging? Yes! Enjoyable? Thoroughly!

I had a blast working on this novel and can’t wait for readers to discover it. My lead character in the present is Maya Sinclair, a woman who has recently relocated to the town of Hode’s Hill to accept a job as a reference librarian. Maya is readjusting to life after a near fatal accident that left her clinically dead for the span of two minutes and twenty-two seconds.

In the past, Lucy Strick, and aerialist in a seedy carnival is eking out a living, when a strange enigmatic man offers a proposal. This short excerpt—which sets the tone for her future—is the moment when they meet:

Vintage circus poster advertising a performance by the "amazing Blue Lady" of the air

May 1, 1897

“Hello. Have I come at a bad time?” A tall, thin man strode into Lucy Strick’s tent as if he were an invited guest.

“Who the hell are you?” She lurched from the stool in front of her small dressing table, knocking a pot of face paint to the floor. Damn. Where was Burt? The roughy was supposed to keep cretins away. May Day always brought a good take for the circus, but seedy folk showed up right along with the local farmers. Sodbusters, she could handle. Rubes in colors as drab as the earth they plowed, slow and simple as mules.

This man didn’t look anything like them—or the lechers who thought the entrance fee to her aerial act bought a free grope on the side. Put her visitor in an audience and he’d stand out like a sleek crow in a flock of cowbirds. Fancy frock coat, weathered face, hair and eyes as black as the coal her brothers dug from the Blind Boy Mine. Odd sort. He might have been as old as her pap or as young as Anton, the Strongman.

“You ain’t answered me.” She hadn’t liked people staring at her when she was a kid and wouldn’t tolerate it now. She wasn’t a freak, no matter what her kinfolk said. “Who are you?”

He didn’t hesitate. “A man who finds you extraordinary.”

“That so?” She snorted. Indelicately. “Well, that uppity accent don’t impress me none, so you best skedaddle ’fore I holler for Burt and have him bend you fifty ways backward. I ain’t unarmed, you know.” She groped through the silks, feathers, and tinted creams on her dressing table. “I got a knife.”

“I don’t. I’m not armed, dear lady.”

“Lady?” She’d never heard the word attached to the likes of her. Charmed, she shoved a curtain of black hair from her shoulder and eyed him openly. “You got a strange way of talking. I bet you’re a snoop, huh? This ain’t no fleece or racket joint, mister. Oliver’s Emporium and Traveling Show is on the up-and-up. Just ’cause we pull up stakes after a spell don’t mean—”

“You’re wasted here.”

She clamped her mouth shut. Even soaring through the air, the ground a death trap below, she remained in control. But this man threw her off balance with his bold comments. Dumb slug. Didn’t he realize what she was? Didn’t he have eyes?

“There ain’t nowheres else for me.” She’d known the truth every time her ma held her down and scrubbed her skin till it bled. Every time her pap cuffed her and called her Hades-spawned. When she was twelve, a preacher slathered her in whitewash while her pap watched stonily and her ma prayed for her deliverance. Lucy had run off that same night, stumbling over Ollie’s traveling circus two days later. She’d never regretted her decision in the eight years she’d called the carnival home.

Raising her chin, she stood her ground. “Ollie takes good care of me.”

“Yes. It must be gratifying to go from backwater town to backwater town, eking out a meager existence.” The man’s voice lowered, his cultured accent crisp with reproach. “Do you enjoy the way men leer at you? The barbs women toss behind your back, labeling you devil-witch and daughter of demons?”

Lucy stiffened. Pious folk were the worst. Hiding behind crosses and Bibles, as if the Good Lord loved her any less because of her appearance. Maybe Ollie traded on her unusual looks, but he treated her like family. Far more than her own blood kin.

“You need to leave.” She hated being reminded of what she was.

The man’s expression softened. “Child, I don’t see you as any of the ignoble names you have been called. I see you as special. Do not be ashamed of your exotic beauty.” Looming over her, he turned her fingers toward the light. The kindness in his voice almost made her believe she was attractive.

Until she looked at her hand and saw the same damning color that covered every inch of her body—blue.

Tears threatened her eyes. Crying was a weakness she hadn’t embraced in years.

“I see the pain on your face.” The man tightened his long fingers around her hand. “Memories of cruel taunts and unjust words. Leave here with me, and you will never be ashamed of your lovely blue skin again.”

Oh, to believe!

She stared into his eyes. There was something hypnotic about his gaze, the rich timbre of his voice. Even his touch spoke to her, his palm not smooth as she’d expected, but lined with callouses earned by a life on the road. “Who are you? What do you want?”

He smiled, his eyes flashing with lightning and promise.

“My name is Simon Glass. I want to make you famous.”

Banner ad for cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by author, Mae Cllair
BLURB
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

Release date is June 12th
PRE-ORDER FROM ANY MAJOR BOOKSELLER HERE

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

bio box for author, Mae Clair

 

The Alternative by S. Burke – Cover Reveal!

 

Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

“The Alternative”

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

The Alternative

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date: Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology. “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

Presenting “The Alternative” A Thriller Anthology.

“The Alternative”

THE ALTERNATIVE COVER IN HIGH RESOLUTION BEST

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Suzanne Burk is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

#RRBC Spotlight Author – Vashti Q

Each month, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Spotlights one of its most supportive authors. The Spotlight Author spot for January is occupied by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

VASHTI

Please show your support by purchasing her book, The Fall of Lilith, reading and reviewing it.

FALL

BOOK INFO:

 In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels. 

 If you think you know their story, think again.

 Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

 Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

 Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

 “[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

THE FALL OF LILITH

AUTHOR BIO:

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of fantasy, horror, and suspense/thriller. When she isn’t creating extraordinary worlds or fleshing out powerful characters, she enjoys reading, traveling, kayaking, photography, and seeking adventures. She lives in Florida with her husband and fur baby, a Pomeranian named Scribbles (who’s also her writing buddy).

Twitter -@VashtiQV

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

Website – http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

 

“I once wrote a story that killed a town.”

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the blood moon.

One evening I lifted my eyes to the firmament, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. It was crimson in color and its reflection painted the skies cerise. Afterward, all manner of curious phenomena began to occur and nothing would ever be the same in my small town.

Strange swirls of iridescent colors began to form in the night skies. During the day the sun shone purplish-blue and colored the skies indigo. It was like something had transported us to a different planet overnight.

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces. They walked down the street and entered my neighbors’ homes. Screams and wails disrupted our normally quiet town.

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She sat on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her––to us.

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The feel of the cold metal against her flesh did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide as if she still saw this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

The priest took most of the townsfolk. After his last sermon, the priest instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While they were praying, the priest left the church and locked them in. Then he set it ablaze.

Pitiful man of the cloth, his mind also handled the crisis in a bad way. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was sick, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

I live a few blocks from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and noticed there was no one sitting on their front porches, no children playing hopscotch, no dogs being walked. As I neared the church the screams grew louder. I met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

“What are you talking about?” I backed away from him. “There are people burning alive in there!” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed helplessly. Those were my neighbors. My friends.

“You have to burn! Otherwise, the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He wore a demented expression.

I froze and stared at him with wide eyes and raised brow. Then my hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me.

I held up my shaky hands before me. “Stop! Don’t come any closer!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice was eerily calm. He continued to walk in my direction.

“You’re right!” I bobbed my head. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her. It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life and then take your own.”

He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

I tried to scream as I watched the little flame spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead, I barely escaped the howling priest who floundered, engulfed in flames.

I staggered past him, noxious smoke attacking my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

The very next day, the little men came.

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

***

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

“Well, maybe it is for the best.” His partner nodded. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

“Yes, but how could we know Solution K would have this effect on them?”

“No, we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

“Doctors,” a young man interrupts, “you asked for bottled water?” Both men nodded and each took a bottle. The young assistant leaves.

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Openmouthed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle and it crashes to the ground.

“No!” His partner clasped his hands over his head. “We put Solution K in the water supply seven days ago!”

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople.” His voice wavers as he stared at his partner while rubbing his neck. His body trembles at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves and each other.

The other scientist stared at him, unnervingly silent.

Suddenly, the first scientist recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

“What is the matter with you?” The second scientist narrows his eyes and shrinks back. “Oh––no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

“You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” His partner continues shouting, grabs a lamp and charges.

The scientist wrestles with his crazed partner and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats his partner on the head and back repeatedly with the lamp until the madman finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

The scientist falls back against the wall and wraps his arms around himself. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body and cracked skull, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers fall from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

His eyes do not reflect what lays before him but instead, he sees what his mind perceives.

The flames of hell surround him, while demons dance around and torment him with pain.

Moral of the story––Karma’s a bitch.

For more information about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, visit the website.

 

 

OUR JUSTICE by John Howell – Review #RRBC

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Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a ride!

In this third book of the John Canon series, Author John Howell has amped up the action. Matt Jacobs is determined to capture national hero, Attorney, John Canon, and force Canon to join with him in murdering the President and destroying America.

There are explosions, car chases, harrowing airplane trips and even F18 fighter jet rides in the race to evade capture and/or death at the hands of Jacobs. Canon manages to stay one step ahead and with Stephanie Savard at his side, finds not only an ally and but, perhaps even love. Sheriff Ned Tranes takes the brunt of attacks in his attempt to protect John and when he gets shot, is forced to sit on the sidelines for a while. But, not for long.

In this book, Howell takes us deep inside the mind of a terrorist, Matt Jacobs, and shows how committed he is and how much he believes in his cause. Matt Jacobs sees America as Satan and the president as the leader of Satan and feels fully justified in committing murder to bring the country to its knees. And, in that process, securing himself a place in heaven. Murder in the name of Allah.

But, he underestimates John Canon. And it helps that a bit of betrayal is added into the mix.

This is a nail-biter. Each attack on Canon escalates until there appears to be no hope of survival. But, in true John Howell fashion, there is a climatic twist. If you like thrillers, you are going to enjoy this conclusion to the Canon series when “Our Justice” is finally served.

Author, John Howell, is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and hosts a regular RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio Show.

Follow John on TWITTER    WEBSITE/BLOG   FACEBOOK

Purchase OUR JUSTICE

Other Books by John Howell

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A Cold Tomorrow – Book Review #RRBC

5 star

In this sequel to the first book of the Point Pleasant Series,  A Thousand Yesteryears,  Mae Clair takes us on a fast-paced adventure that doesn’t end until the last page.

Katie Lynch stops to help a motorist in trouble and gets more than she bargained for. Mysteries begin unfolding all around.  A coded message, a policeman that vanishes into thin air and unexplained phenomena galore set the stage for A Cold Tomorrow .

We met the famous supernatural mythical creature, The Mothman, in the first book of this series. But, it is becoming almost as much of a character in these books as are the people. Mae gives us a glimpse into the creature’s mind when it is wounded and Caden  is able to communicate with him. All the characters in this story capture me. The two brothers, Ryan and Caden, both in law enforcement – rugged and good looking, Katie Lynch, a single mom raising a son, Eve Parrish, owner of the famed historic hotel, Sarah who loves digging around in archived historical records, and even Katie’s renegade mom who really comes to life and redeems herself in this novel.

Mae does an exquisite job of weaving this story with lots of unexpected and unpredictable twists and turns. Giving the reader a deeper look into Indrid Cold and Evening Lach, and their connection to the Mothman, only adds another other-worldly dimension to this story. If you like a great mystery with a lot of adventure and a little romance thrown in, you’ll love both of Mae Clair’s books in the Point Pleasant series. Looking forward to the third book, coming soon!

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GOOD NEWS!!!!

You can pick up A Cold Tomorrow right now on AMAZON for only 99 cents! 

Follow Mae on Twitter       Website       Facebook        Author Central

A Side Note – I met Mae Clair through the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB along with a slew of other amazing authors that I now call friends. The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is like no other organization on the planet. It is a community that promotes, profiles and propels authors and their books. Does this sound like a place you’ve been looking for? You can join right now, here today. See for yourself. JOIN RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

My GRL Relaunch by John Howell #RRBC

It is both an honor and privilege to present the fresh new look of Author, John Howell’s re-launched first book in his thriller trilogy, My GRL!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL

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The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of

$0.99

Here’s the blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Here is the link to Amazon for the Kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Paper version

Check them out and read the first few pages on Amazon.

Also, you can check out John Cannon’s other two adventures, as well as, the new My GRL at John W. Howell’s Author Page

 

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Author Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

 

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John is also a SUPER supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

Follow John Howell on

TWITTER        FACEBOOK       BLOG

 

 

PAY-IT-FORWARD DAY #RRBC

Today is a day set aside to stop all self-promotion and give the spotlight to another author. I choose to support Author, John Howell.

He is the author of the John Cannon thriller trilogy, My GRL, His Revenge and Our Justice.

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John Cannon is an attorney who takes a leave of absence from the firm to simply buy a boat and relax on the water. Little did he know he’d find himself in the thick of a terrorist plot. These books are hard to put down once you start reading one and have garnered many 5 star reviews on Amazon.

I invite you to take a look at these stories. You won’t be disappointed!

Author John Howell is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, which is where I made his acquaintance. He is supportive of other authors and always keeps a good sense of humor. He is the host of more than one RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio show and lives on the beautiful Gulf Coast in Texas.

john-resized   Follow John on Twitter  Facebook   Website