Tag Archives: crime

Lured by Light by Beth Barany (Book Review)


At Bijoux de L’Etoile, the high-end casino orbiting Earth, anything can happen.

It’s a quiet day for L’Étoile lead investigator, Janey McCallister, until a young woman runs screaming through the blackjack tables. She looks like a victim of abuse, but when her boyfriend turns up dead the next day, she becomes the prime suspect.

Determined to investigate every angle, Janey searches for clues and uncovers a world of high-priced escorts and human trafficking—a world just like the one that took the life of her best friend long ago.

When Orlando Valdez, inspector for Sol Unified Planets, shows up with a new suspect, Janey isn’t sure she can trust the mercurial man who stopped returning her phone calls. But as the threats escalate and she unravels a deeper conspiracy, Janey and her team will need all the help they can get. If they fail, it could be the end of everyone on L’Étoile.

***

Lured By Light, the second book in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys, and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick-ass heroine with secrets.

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

 

Lured By Light didn’t fail to keep me entertained. It had mystery, suspense, murder, misunderstandings, futuristic tech gadgets, more questions than answers, and left me counting down the days until Gone Green releases in 2021. 

As with Into the Black, Orlando Valdez worked his way back into one of Janey’s case and, I believe, her heart. Of course, I’m not entirely sure he ever left it. He’s charming but irritating at the same time. One day soon, I think these two will eventually get some quality time together. Maybe Orlando will wear a costume for fun, not just for his undercover assignments. *wink, wink*

As for the ending, Janey didn’t get everything she wanted. The loose ends mean more books, and I am 100% on board for this.

 

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

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The ‘Janey McCallister Mystery’ Series Reading Order

Into the Black: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Lured By Light: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Coming 2021 – Gone Green: Kindle Purchase Link

Red Running Deep: Date TBD

 

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

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White or Black … Grey (From the files of the BAU) by Joseph Melesh (Book Review)

 
Profilers, from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, uncover the disturbing legacy of a brilliant sociopath.
Agent Christopher Banks must lead his team, as they search for an UnSub, who draws his team into a case unlike any the bureau has ever dealt with.
A troubled teenage girl’s chance encounter with an opportunistic predator force the agents to dig deep, into both their playbook and their souls.
Located on a secluded property outside Evergreen Montana. His team faces a moral dilemma as abhorrent as the crime. Agent Banks and his team employ the latest technology and enter, this UnSub’s dark, twisted world. A world one of them may not escape.
What took decades to develop, the team must race to solve. The UnSub, his victims and a community that will be changed forever.
 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 

White or Black…Grey left me feeling disgusted, appalled, heartbroken, furious, and hopeful. Above all else, I was shocked. 

Shocked at the level of evilness one man possessed. 

Shocked at the horrors the young children faced and the amount of time spent in hell. 

Shocked at the strength demonstrated by victims. How anyone survived that nightmarish environment was mind-boggling. 

Fear. Joseph Melesh, the author, allowed us to experience every second of the prisoners’ fear and pain. I heard the rats, felt their tiny teeth gnawing and pulling on the clothes. I heard the victims scream. My heart broke for them. 

What makes this worse? This scenario is possible. Similar situations have occurred. Remembering this fact makes this story all the more realistic… more devastating. 

This is not a pretty story, but it is a great story. If I could, I would give this story more than five stars (hearts). 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves more!)

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author
 
Joseph Melesh is an Ontario based crime fiction writer and suspense thriller junkie. His unique writing style will quickly draw you into his world.
Tormented by his dreams, he crafts and shapes his characters. Thrusting his heroes and villains into challenges, they could never dream of. You will cry for and cheer on his victims and find yourself in shock as you find yourself feeling the pain that his villains have lived through.
Joseph’s immersive dialogue and vivid scenery, give his readers the movie theatre experience, right there in the palm of their hands.
Pretzel-like plot twists, that keep his readers guessing and incredible reveals, make his books truly hard to put down.
A true storyteller, Joseph Melesh.
 

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White or Black … Grey (From the files of the BAU) by Joseph Melesh (Book Showcase)

 
Profilers, from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, uncover the disturbing legacy of a brilliant sociopath.

Agent Christopher Banks must lead his team, as they search for an UnSub, who draws his team into a case unlike any the bureau has ever dealt with.

A troubled teenage girl’s chance encounter with an opportunistic predator force the agents to dig deep, into both their playbook and their souls.

Located on a secluded property outside Evergreen Montana. His team faces a moral dilemma as abhorrent as the crime. Agent Banks and his team employ the latest technology and enter, this UnSub’s dark, twisted world. A world one of them may not escape.

What took decades to develop, the team must race to solve. The UnSub, his victims and a community that will be changed forever.

 
 
 
 
 
 
“Stop him? Shit, we didn’t even know this was happening, until —-“
 
“How could you? You’re federal agents, not psychics, right?” The bureau’s stress counselor says to her Tuesday afternoon appointment. “In our first session you said, “My team has never encountered a case this.’ How could you be prepared?”
 
“It’s our job to protect. Fidelity, bravery, integrity. It’s right there, hanging on every wall. But with that look on her face, and on all our faces, when we finally realized what we were dealing with…No matter ow hard I try, I can’t get them out of my mind. I’m numb. Each time I come in here you ask me how I feel? Well, there, that’s how I feel. I can’t sleep. When I close my eyes, there they are, every one of them. When I open my eyes, there he is.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stephanie, Amazon Customer, 5 stars: What a wonderful read. Joseph is an excellent author who has mind blowing creativity. I literally could not put the book down. Many meals were not prepared while I was reading this book, yet no one starved. From page 1, you are intrigued with many twists, turns and surprises. His writing is excellent, easy to read and this book will take you away from reality fast. I’m impatiently waiting on the rest of the series.
 
 
Karen, Goodreads Contributor, 4 stars: I found this to be a real page turner! If you want a suspenseful thriller along the lines of tv’s Criminal Minds on steroids, this is for you – and occasionally that’s the kind of thrill I want to give myself!
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author
 
Joseph Melesh is an Ontario based crime fiction writer and suspense thriller junkie. His unique writing style will quickly draw you into his world.

Tormented by his dreams, he crafts and shapes his characters. Thrusting his heroes and villains into challenges, they could never dream of. You will cry for and cheer on his victims and find yourself in shock as you find yourself feeling the pain that his villains have lived through.

Joseph’s immersive dialogue and vivid scenery, give his readers the movie theatre experience, right there in the palm of their hands.

Pretzel-like plot twists, that keep his readers guessing and incredible reveals, make his books truly hard to put down.
A true storyteller, Joseph Melesh.
 

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Escape by L. A. Davenport (Book Review)

To escape first you have to set yourself free

John, a doctor grieving for the loss of his wife, is recuperating at a glamorous resort in the Eastern Mediterranean, where he falls for Jasna, a brilliant and beautiful young hostess. When she is brutally murdered, John is the only suspect.

To clear his name and find her killers, he teams up with Charles, the elderly hotel manager seeking justice for the death of his granddaughter. They are pitched into a ruthless world of people-trafficking, prostitution, drugs, mafia and murder, where life is cheap and no-one and nothing is what it seems.

Will they gather the evidence in time to stop the killers, or be the next victims in the seemingly endless cycle of violence? And can they trust the police, or are they part of the web of corruption that reaches into every part of life, trapping everything in its threads?

Escape is the debut novel by L. A. Davenport that plunges you into a darkly glamorous world in which John has to overcome his grief and obtain justice for Jasna and the women made victims of modern slavery.

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

 

John, a recent widow, goes to a resort in the Eastern Mediterranean to get away from his sorrow. However, his escape from reality comes with dire consequences. The resort is serving more than fine food and drinks. The gang running the area has its hand in everything, and almost everyone is under their control. John isn’t though, and he proves to be tougher than anyone ever suspected. Petrov, the gang leader, sure did underestimate the middle-aged doctor (John).

Suspense, violence, mystery, love, friendship, and sadness… Escape sure had a lot going on.

 

As for the mystery aspect of this story, it wasn’t so much as who killed the ladies, but how would the gang be taken down.

L. A. Davenport broke up Escape into nine parts, with each section having three to eight chapters under them. I’ve read stories with 1-3 sections but never nine. Each part also began with Chapter One. That means, there are NINE of them. That seemed odd to me. Why start each part with Chapter One?! While the story was pretty good, this unusual setup seemed unnecessary and made no sense at all.

 

Now, let me talk about John’s love for his deceased wife. It was apparent her passing tore him up. He spoke to her portrait often. Yes, there’s no doubt in my mind he loved her, loves her still, but this is where things turn south for me. He fell in love with another woman, Jasna, quite soon after his wife died. He didn’t  know Jasna. Yes, she was a nice woman, but he didn’t really know the real her. I think he was confusing infatuation with love. 

John also spoke of this ‘demon’ inside him, which wanted John to do bad things. I assumed the demon would come into play later on, maybe a surprise twist, but it did not. That was a bit of a letdown.

 

Even though I had issues with some details of Escape, I do love when the underdog gets the upper hand. If you do as well, then buy this book.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤1/2

Kindle Purchase Link

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L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author.

He sometimes lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.

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Author Showcase / Interview – Renee Miller (Eat The Rich)

 

  1. Welcome, Renee Miller. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Renee)  I’m a Canadian author who lives in a tiny rural town famous for harboring Elvis’s Ghost. I love Netflix and junk food and have too many animals living in my house.

I don’t know if there’s a point where I officially “started.” After years of just scribbling short stories and terrible poems, I decided (in 2008), that I’d write a novel. It was awful. I made a few big mistakes early, but once the rose-colored glasses were off, I focused on learning the craft and the industry. I self-published my first few titles in 2013, and then I signed a series with a publisher who closed its doors shortly after the first book’s release. There was more signing and closing over the past few years, but I kept plugging away, and here I am.

Basically, writing is hard. Publishing is harder. If you want to get anywhere in this business, you have to accept that it will never be easy, but you can’t let speed bumps slow you down.

(Kam) All the trials and bumps in the road of life make us great(er) in whatever career choice we choose. Keep up the good work! 

 

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Renee) If I don’t feel like writing, I edit until I’m so miserable I’ll write about anything just to escape the torture of editing.

I don’t believe in writer’s block. Stress, life, ego, laziness, and all kinds of crappy little every day real life things can affect productivity. That’s entirely different than being afflicted by a condition in which your brain is incapable of crafting a story. We’re always able to do that. We just need to figure out how to get out of our own way.

That sounds kind of arrogant, I suppose. Maybe I’m jinxing myself by saying that, and some day I’ll be sitting here staring at a blank page going, “Shit, it is real,” and everyone will have a good long laugh at my expense.

 

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

(Renee)  I prefer dark fiction, be it horror, crime, comedy or erotica, but I tend to lean toward horror. When I’m not writing, I’m Netflixing, reading, working the day job, or scrubbing toilets and cleaning up pet hair. Glamorous, eh?

(Kam) Hmm, maybe scrubbing toilets and cleaning up pet hair would be glamorous if you did it while wearing a ball gown, heels, and a tiara. I don’t see that happening though.  😆 

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Renee)  I tell anyone who will even pretend to care about my writing. I think some are all, “Oh, that’s nice,” while inside they’re thinking, “Wonderful. Another weirdo who thinks she’s fancy.” My close friends and family, though, are very supportive. Many don’t read my writing, but I think that’s only because they’re worried about what I’ve written about.

 

(Kam) Viewers, please check out these titles by Renee and let her know what you think! 

Publisher: Unnerving (April 10, 2018)

It’s okay to watch. Watching hurts no one, as long as you don’t touch.
Elwin likes to watch. His position as star employee at a real estate agency gives him plenty of access to the homes of his clients. A camera or two hidden where no one will find it, and he can watch as often as he pleases.
No one knows. No one gets hurt.
But it’s hard to look without touching. Touching leads to bad things. Elwin knows this, but allows himself a moment of weakness. 
And then another.
Soon, watching isn’t an option anymore. Not if Elwin wants his secrets to remain buried.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Publisher: Deviant Dolls Publications (September 30, 2017)

La Femme Fatale is a secret travelling carnival full of weird wonders for men young and old. Clown burlesque, a bearded lady, and a snake charmer who is also skilled with a blade. 

You won’t want to come, but you will. 

The ladies are beautiful, their show is erotic, and your climax will be deadly.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Renee)  This is always my least favorite question, because I love so many amazing authors. Ugh. Okay, in no particular order:

Stephen King

VC Andrews (the original, real author, not the after death nonsense)

Dennis LeHane

C.S. Lewis (The Narnia Chronicles will forever be a favorite read for me)

Nora Roberts

Ronald Malfi

Thomas Harris

Anne Rice

Margaret Atwood

Charlaine Harris

 

I’m not even sure if these are “all time” favorites, but they’re the first that come to mind.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?

(Renee)  Another tough one. I just finished Ronald Malfi’s BONE WHITE, and I’d LOVE to see that as a film. He’s created such a vivid world with characters that stay with you, so I don’t think Hollywood could mess it up. As for who I’d like to see casted, I’m not sure. Clive Owen? I just like to see him cast in everything.

As for my books, if I could choose one to be on the big screen, it’d have to be… CHURCH. I think Mads Mikkelsen would make a good Darius, because he’s brilliant at playing villains. My first instinct was to say Tom Hardy, though, because I have a huge crush, but Christian Bale is probably the best option. Something about him is always creepy, so I think he’d take Darius to the next level. In Ray’s role, I’d cast Ed Norton, because he does tortured souls very well. Or maybe Chris Evans. He’s got that baby face and looks so sweet and innocent.

Ray is a Christian, but he loves a woman who follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her from eternal damnation, he joins her church.

He doesn’t realize that indoctrination into the Zabian way is a process that not only breaks a man physically, it strips his identity and shatters his mind. He holds onto his faith at first, but as his prayers for mercy go unanswered, and the pain inflicted on him becomes too much to bear, the void of nothingness promises relief, and tempts Ray to do the unthinkable, even if leaves his soul as damned as the one he tried to save.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US) 

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Renee) I’m working on a book about a lethal brain parasite from another planet (or is it?) and I’ve got a few shorter pieces “in progress.” Oh, and I’ve got a weird fantasy/horror thing that I’m not sure is even worth pursuing, but it’s at 40K words, so I may as well finish it, right?

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?

(Renee)  You can find most of my work on Amazon, but I try to keep my book list updated on Deviant Dolls. Reading order doesn’t matter, although the newer stuff is probably the weirdest.

Amazon Author Page Link

deviantdolls.org

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Renee) You can find me on Twitter (@ReneeMJ) or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorreneemiller/. I also work with a fantastic group of authors on www.deviantdolls.org. Or you can email me at reneemiller(at)bell(dot)net.

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Renee)  I’d just like to say thanks for having me and I’m sorry if I rambled. (No, I’m not. I always ramble.)

(Kam) Please feel free and come back anytime. I love ramblers!  😉 

 

 

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

Ok, I know Renee and I have given you a few reading options above but how about just one more………

 

Release Date: July 13th, 2018

When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.

So does the murder rate.

Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. he tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.

The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.

He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a Plan B:

KILL EVERYONE.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Goodreads contributor, Michael Hicks rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Goodreads contributor, William Bitner Jr. rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐ .

Goodreads contributor, Charlotte rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

 

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