Tag Archives: CIA

Shadows in the Aftermath by Marianne Scott (Book Spotlight)

SHADOWS IN THE AFTERMATH by Marianne Scott

 
Ruby Draker has found new strength and is ready to move on after Felix Szabo devastated the Draker estate in Nice, France. Three Drakers are dead leaving Ruby in grief and with thoughts of revenge. The Drakers are a family built of survivors; each rescued from Felix Szabo, a psychopath, who sought to murder his former agents at the CIA whom he believed betrayed him. The Drakers’ sole mission is to stop Szabo from adding more victims to his list, and although he also perished during the invasion, his legacy continues to haunt them. When the Drakers learn that Robert Draker, presumed dead since the shoot-out at Robert’s farmhouse, may be alive and at a rehab clinic in Portland, Maine, the Drakers know it could be a setup, but they have no choice but to try to nd him and bring Robert home.

​Shocked that Robert may be alive, the family head from France to America to find him. It’s only when they arrive in the west that they realize finding Robert won’t be as easy as they thought. Szabo has found a way to terrorize the Draker family, even after death. His outstanding debt with a Corsican crime family means the Drakers must now find and deliver a shipment of plutonium, which will likely be used by terrorists to create a nuclear bomb, to get Robert back. As Ruby struggles with the decision to save her brother or North America, she must also evade the CIA, who are trying to stop the Drakers from delivering the plutonium. 

 

BUY THE BOOK:
Friesen Press Bookstore
Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Marianne Scott

Marianne Scott is the Canadian author of four mystery thrillers and is currently finishing an edit on her fourth novel, a murder mystery. She has a BA and a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, CA. She studied creative writing through Conestoga College and Humber College. She enjoys writing workshops such as those offered by Brian Henry, publisher of the blog, Quick Brown Fox, and One Lit Place, a writers’ hub by creator/editor Jenna Kalinsky. She has an author’s website and blog is the president of The Cambridge Writers’ Collective and is a member of the Guelph Genre Writers. In September of 2018, she completed a fourth-year course in Writing Fiction at the University of Guelph under the expert teaching of Lawrence Hill. Her novels, Finding Ruby Draker and Shadows in the Aftermath are self-published. She is actively seeking representation to break into the traditional publishing world with her third and fourth novels.  
 
 
connect with the author: 
website twitter twitter facebook ~ instagram 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Finding Ruby Draker by Marianne Scott (Book Review)

Kathleen Jones has lived a protected and typical suburban life, nothing unexpected in her carefully controlled and planned existence. She’s about to complete her college degree and is ready to start a successful career but after completing her last exam she comes home to find her world has been turned upside down. Her home has been torched and her parents and little brother killed.

If that’s not bad enough, she is kidnapped and drugged unconscious by strangers posing as a police officers. When she awakes she discovers that everything has changed – her face, her name, and everything she believed to be true.

But things get worse. Hardly recovered from surgery, she is whisked away under the cover of darkness as more men storm the clinic with guns. It seems that the men who abducted her are not her greatest threat. Now on a private charter on its way to Nice, France, her abductors are calling her Ruby – Ruby Draker!

Finding Ruby Draker is a novel about knowing yourself, accepting change, embracing danger, and taking risks. You never know what life is going to throw at you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Kathleen Jones lived a typical twenty-two-year-old’s life. Her major stressor was passing her college exams, which she did. She was on her way home from her final college exam before graduation when her life exploded. A house fire took everything from her – parents and sibling. Things went from bad to worse when she was kidnapped and woke up with a new face. 

You’d think the kidnappers would be the villains in this tale. They were not. People she was conspiring to run away from were, in time, the same people she found herself running towards. 


Finding Ruby Draker by Marianne Scott had had numerous people dying—on both sides of the battle. I was saddened to see some of the heroes fall. I wish I could name names, but I don’t want to ruin it for other readers. 


Finding Ruby Draker took a weird love triangle towards the end, which I still can’t wrap my head around. I don’t want to say who was involved, but I didn’t see the point in the weird shift in the two characters’ dynamic. It read strange, and even the other characters in the story were shaking their heads at the behavior of that certain female. Yes, I am being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers. 


I know no book is perfect, and editing mistakes will slip by, but I wanted to mention two that stood out regarding names. Cold Force was spelled one time with uppercase “C” and lowercase “f” but with uppercase every other time. Also, “Ruby” was referred to as “Rudy” on page 82 (print copy). I’m not sure if this will be corrected by the time my review goes up, but I wanted to note it in case it isn’t.


Those two mistakes DO NOT minimize the level of skill it took to construct the plot, characters, and surprise revelations. It kept me on the edge of my seat. 
 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 

Friesen Press Bookstore
Amazon.ca 
 Amazon.com

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author
Author Marianne Scott
 
 
Marianne Scott is the Canadian author of four mystery thrillers and is currently finishing an edit on her fourth novel, a murder mystery. She has a BA and a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, CA. She studied creative writing through Conestoga College and Humber College. She enjoys writing workshops such as those offered by Brian Henry, publisher of the blog, Quick Brown Fox, and One Lit Place, a writers’ hub by creator/editor Jenna Kalinsky. She has an author’s website and blog is the president of The Cambridge Writers’ Collective and is a member of the Guelph Genre Writers. In September of 2018, she completed a fourth-year course in Writing Fiction at the University of Guelph under the expert teaching of Lawrence Hill. Her novels, Finding Ruby Draker and Shadows in the Aftermath are self-published. She is actively seeking representation to break into the traditional publishing world with her third and fourth novels.  
 
 
connect with the author: 
website twitter twitter facebook ~ instagram 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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Nexilexicon by Keith Anthony Baird (Book Review)

NOTE: A story which incorporates similar themes to major motion pictures such as these – JURASSIC PARK, ALIENS, ALIEN RESURRECTION, STARGATE, THE LOST CITY OF Z.

From the sworn oath of an ancient curse a cult rises. She is the ocean vast, its deadly rake, and primal power. Her first ones commune from across the great divide and make their new hive in the emptiness of men. A secret project, born from the ambitions of a young nobleman, transcends the passage of time and reaches through the veil of life and death for her reawakening. Deep beneath a mountain, inside a secure facility at the heart of a covert black op called Nexilexicon, a team of scientists, the military and the CIA are about to punch a hole through to another dimension. What could possibly go wrong?

What begins in the wilds of the Amazon jungle in 1847 culminates in a threat to mankind’s very existence.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

Audiobook – Unabridged Link

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)


This story takes part in different time periods, so I’ve broken up my review into sections to discuss each area. Beware, there are spoilers! 

 

Chapters 1-8

The story begins with Sander van Straten embarking on a voyage. It’s not long before feelings of excitement turn to feelings of dread.

First, a mighty storm struck and they lost a young sailor.

Next, a swarm of insects descended on their ship and the crew had to hunker down below deck.

Then, there were the strange markings on the barrels and several stolen items.

Was the cook correct in saying this voyage was cursed? Even though I found Keith Anthony Baird (the author) long-winded at times, and the story seemed to teeter on the dull side, I was curious about the crew’s fate.

The crew’s trek through the Amazon jungle was quite adventurous, but I’d expect no less. They crossed paths with many exotic creatures, came face to face with a spider the size of a man’s head, and were ambushed by the natives. I wished they’d stayed in the jungle longer. I was thoroughly enjoying their time there, even though they weren’t at the least.

When they went back on the Eva, trouble again struck hard and fast. Rhames overtook their ship, and Eva’s crew members were held captive for two weeks, starved before released onto a small island. No drinkable water, no food, nothing but the clothes on their backs. The men turned into savages. They ate one of their own, had to if they wanted to survive. Sander couldn’t allow himself to partake of human flesh. I’m not sure I could’ve either.

 Life on the sea was hard, but life on land was no picnic either.

 

Chapters 9 -11

We jump forward in time to 1964. For over a century, Eva’s treasure has been lost to the sea but no longer. Wreck hunters have found the bounty and, with it, the curse that accompanies it. These chapters were laced with mystery, intrigue, suspense, death, and left me wondering what the hell was going on.

 

Chapter 12

It’s 1973, and an international team has been in the Al-Hajar Mountains for five weeks. Five weeks before the discovery of a chamber’s entrance. What they did find there is an archaeologist’s wet dream: mummified creatures, crystals, and a civilization that thrived and appeared highly evolved and intelligent. Unfortunately, their good fortune didn’t last long. Nobody’s luck remains good for long in this story.

 

Chapters 13 – 15

2012 – Project Nexilexicon was underway, and things were finally getting really good. Using DNA discovered at a dig site 40 years ago, scientists have reanimated/resurrected the creature Sander van Straten saw during his time in the Amazon jungle. The animals had six limbs, around 650 pounds, and had a presumed bite force that would resemble a crocodile’s.

I knew these creatures would escape their enclosure, but I didn’t realize how they would. They were extremely organized and intelligent in their escape. I won’t go into detail, but you’ll be amazed by what these creatures could and did accomplish.

Humans versus beasts… I knew it would be a bloodbath, and I was right. Keith Anthony Baird had the creatures biting heads off and separating limbs from bodies. Soldiers did everything to stop them, even sacrificing themselves for the civilians.

This set of chapters were my favorite out of the entire book. I actually could’ve used more action like this. In my opinion, I would’ve edited out much of the beginning time spent in 1847 and devoted more paragraphs to Project Nexilexicon. What the scientists and government were doing underneath a Nevada mountain range was the only reason why my score became a solid three stars.

 

Overall Impression 

The first eight chapters were mostly bland. Chapters 9-11 were okay. Chapter twelve had great potential but fell flat overall. However, Chapter 13-15 had me on the edge of my seat! I also enjoyed the epilogue because Keith ended with a nice twist. It’ll make you wonder what’s going to happen next for Project Nexilexicon.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

Audiobook – Unabridged Link

 

 

Keith Anthony Baird lives in rural Cumbria, England, with his partner Ann, a mad spaniel, two cats and two goldfish. He’s also inherited two daughters and a grandson. He’s had a varied career, having been a journalist for ten years, and also a designer and a retail manager in his time. The Jesus Man is his first novel, written throughout 2016 and based on an idea he devised just under thirty years ago.

Inspired by such luminaries as H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. G. Wells, his aim has been to deliver stories in a classic vein, but with a contemporary slant in both style and content. He aims to remain entirely independent, producing his works his own way, without interference from traditional publishing houses.

In his spare time, he and Ann indulge their shared love of the mountains by scaling the many peaks of the inspirational Lake District National Park.

Website LinkTwitter Link Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

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Into the Crossfire: First Force Book 1 by Cindy McDonald (Book Review)

Jack Haliday has a score to settle. 

It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs–everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack’s world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for. 

Now Jack has a score to settle and he’s got some friends to help him do it.

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Starting from the end of chapter three, Into the Crossfire was non-stop action. There were kidnappings, gun battles, a knife fight, and a house fire. Basically, Cindy McDonald threw everything at us but the kitchen sink and that’s a good thing.

Honestly, there wasn’t too much I would change. I adored Lil, the 4-year-old cutie pie. Every time she entered a scene she cut the tension drastically and this book definitely needed it. It was an intense read.

 

Other positive things to note:

Cindy McDonald integrated the flashbacks moments featuring Dr. Rayne Lee very nicely into the storyline. She also didn’t overwhelm us with a bunch of team members. She introduced us to only a handful, which means many more books in the series. All in all, a good read.

Recommend: YES!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

 

 

For 26 years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance–she was a professional choreographer. She taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently, she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister, on their Thoroughbred farm know as Fly By Night Stables near Pittsburgh.

You can also find out about her cozy mystery series, Fiona Quinn Mysteries, and her children’s books under her pen name, C.S. McDonald. 

Website Link

Facebook Link

Twitter Link 

Amazon Author Page

 

Into the Crossfire: Amazon Purchase Link
To The Breaking Pointe: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dark: Amazon Purchase Link
To the Brink: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dawn: Amazon Purchase Link
Complete series: Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

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