Book Review: The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure by Carolyn Arnold

Book Title: THE LEGEND OF GASPARILLA AND HIS TREASURE

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Series: Matthew Connor Adventure series, Book 3

For centuries, the existence of Spanish pirate José Gaspar has been relegated to legend, but archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor and his two best friends may have just found reason to believe the buccaneer truly existed. They’re in Washington, DC, to mark the opening of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History when a mysterious stranger turns up claiming he may hold the key to the mythical pirate’s treasure and invites them to join in his quest to find it.

Rumored to have sailed and plundered the Gulf of Mexico and the Spanish Main during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Gaspar would have amassed a vast fortune. But with only the stranger’s word and a token of proof, Matthew is intrigued but not sold—until it becomes personal. There’s an interested third party, and they’re willing to kill for the pirate’s bounty.

What ensues is a globe-trotting adventure that will take Matthew and his friends across the world and back again. Danger lurks around every corner as does betrayal, suspicion, and murder. Can anyone be trusted, and will they survive long enough to find out? 

Buy Links

 Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords | Amazon Universal

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. This is the third book in the Matthew Connor Adventure series. Since I read the first two books, City of Gold and The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh, I was looking forward to reading this book.

Matthew Connor is a world-renowned explorer whose recent adventures included finding the City of Gold. He now has a book deal and a new exhibit opening at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. While there, he is contacted by a history professor who wants his help finding the treasure of Gasparilla. Matthew and his friends are hesitant because no one really knows if Gaspar was an actual person or just a legend. When the professor gives them a little proof, they still aren’t fully on board until two goons with guns hunt them down and chase the four of them through the streets.

The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure is full of adventure and with that adventure is, of course, danger. It also has murder, mystery, and suspense. The characters are unique and interesting. Cal, one of Matthew’s best friends, used to annoy me, but he’s grown on me. He’s always negative even when he shouldn’t be! Mel, the professor who wants their help, is hard to read. I felt like he wasn’t telling them everything. I felt the same way about Angelica at first.

I enjoy Carolyn Arnold’s writing and look forward to the next Matthew Connor book. The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure does stand on its own. If you like adventure and suspense, you’ll like all of these books. This one is my favorite Matthew Connor book so far, though.

About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Websitehttp://carolynarnold.net/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Medellin: Acapulco Cold ( Rick Fontain Book 3) by Bill Fortin

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Publisher:  Cold War Publications (May, 2019)
Category: Action/Adventure, Cold War, Military, Crime, Historical Fiction
Tour dates: July/August, 2019
ISBN: 978-0996478670
Available in Print and ebook, 356 pages

 Medellin Acapulco Cold

In March 1987, the CIA’s Operation Acapulco Cold took on the Medellín cartel. The journey would be dangerous. The alternative for not recovering the nuke would be too horrible to imagine.  

A theft occurs as a result of President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev’s treaty agreement in January 1986. Russian SS-20 medium-range missiles were removed from Eastern Europe and their nuclear MIRV packages removed. A shadow group inside the failing Russian government steals three of the nose-cone assembles.

A Russian named Geonov is charged with selling one of these devices to the Medellin cartel. The asking price was $40 million dollars in cash. Pablo Escobar did not even blink when he was offered one.  Operation Acapulco Cold is the detailed action taken by the CIA to address this life-altering situation.

Buy Medellin: Acapulco Cold

Amazon
Barnesandnoble
Indebound

Guest Review by Sol A.

An absolute thrill ride from start to finish– I’ve been a fan of the Rick Fontain books from the very first novel and this installment (the third in the series) did not disappoint.  Action-packed and jam-packed with well written, fast-paced sequences, “Medellin: Acapulco Cold” follows Fontain on his quest to recover a stolen nuclear warhead. 

Set in 1987 during the height of the Cold War, ‘Medellin’ perfectly captures the fear and loathing of that ever-present 80’s boogeyman, the Russians. Fontain has to go to work finding the warhead while simultaneously battling the Russians and struggling internally with his own guilt over being partially responsible for the lapse in security in the first place. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go too far into the details, but let’s just say that Fontain’s character develops very interestingly throughout the novel and by the end, I was impressed by the author’s ingenuity and creativity. 


Speaking of the author, one of the things I love so much about these books (and the reason I never miss a new one) is Bill Fortin’s cutting sense of humor and talent with words. In his capable hands, a novel that easily could have been another dry spy novel becomes a witty romp. You grow to like Fontain’s character very quickly in these novels for the simple reason that he is a funny guy. Something a lot of thrillers inexplicably leave out for their main character. 


The situations that Fontain gets himself into, the circumstances that he faces with humor and presence are enough to entertain even the most lackadaisical reader and keep them guessing up until the very last page. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and will be eagerly looking forward to the next installment of the Rick Fontain series! I give it a 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Bill Fortin served in the United States Army, 3rd Armored Division, from 1968 to 1970.  He retired from AT&T/Lucent Bell Labs in 2001 and is currently the CEO of Cold War Publications. Bill earned a Bachelor and Master degrees in Management Sciences from the University of Baltimore.

A native of Westminster, Maryland, Bill is an active member of Rotary and retains membership in the Association of the 3AD. He is married to Judy and is surrounded by a host of 4-legged children (Border Collies and cats) plus 2 very noisy feathered companions.

Website: www.coldwarpublications.com
Book Launch Website: https://booklaunch.io/704732506290559/medellin-acapulco-cold
Blog: http://billfortin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.fortin.104
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillFortin

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends August 30, 2019, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Playing with a Lion’s Testicles? Really?

Another actual book that I had to look up on Amazon out of curiosity. Playing with a lion’s testicles is an African saying that means to take foolhardy chances.

 

Description from Amazon (sounds like a good read): 

Melissa, an exhausted executive from the city seeks meaning and purpose from her work, and volunteers for a Big Five conservation project in South Africa. Her boss, an over-zealous ranger, nicknamed the Drill Sergeant, has no patience for city folk, especially if they’re women, and tries to send her packing on day one. But Melissa stands her ground with grit and determination, however shaky it may be.

Conflict soon sets the pace with a cast filled with predatory cats, violent elephants, and an on-going battle of wits with the Drill Sergeant. Even Mother Nature pounds the reserve with the worst storm in a century. But the most enduring and profound conflict is the internal battle going on within Melissa, as she tries to come to terms with the guilt surrounding her mother’s death. When death grips the game reserve, it is the very animals Melissa has come to save that end up saving her.

For the reader who has ever dreamed of going to Africa or knows the pain of loss and guilt, LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES will fill your soul.

Book Review: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold

Book Title: THE SECRET OF THE LOST PHARAOH

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Series: Matthew Connor Adventure series, Book 2

 

Emerald Tablets. Myth says that they possess the knowledge of the universe, allowing humankind to traverse Heaven and Earth, and have the power to bestow wealth and wisdom upon whoever possesses them. But if they fall into evil hands, it could cause a global disaster.

So when a former colleague stumbles across an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic map that promises to lead to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets, there’s no way he’s turning down her invitation to join the dig. He only has one stipulation: his best friends Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers come with him.

The road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one, and their shared dream of recovering the Emerald Tablets is being crushed at every turn. And just when they think it’s all over, they learn there are a few clues they have overlooked. But they’re no longer the only ones searching for the Tablets. Now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and soon they’ll find out that when it comes to hunting legends, they can’t trust anyone.

Buy Links

Amazon US   *   Amazon International   *   Barnes & Noble

Apple iBooks    *   Kobo   *   Google Play

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. This is the second book in the Matthew Connor Adventure series. Since I’d read the first book, City of Gold, I was looking forward to reading this book.

Matthew Connor is a world-renowned explorer and when he is contacted by a former colleague about possibly finding an unknown pharaoh’s tomb, he’s ready to take a plane to Egypt the following day. Because of the intrigue of such a find, he’s able to talk his best friends, Robyn and Cal, into going with him even though their last adventure had been so dangerous. 

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is full of adventure and with that adventure is, of course, danger. It also has murder, mystery, and suspense. The characters are unique and interesting but they irritated me a little at times. There’s a love triangle, kind of, that made me think of teenagers rather than adults. And although Cal has the right to be scared at times, his negativity doesn’t help things. They had their good points too, though. I like Cal’s sense of humor even though it isn’t appreciated by the others most of the time. 

I enjoy Carolyn Arnold’s writing and look forward to the next Matthew Connor book. If you like adventure and suspense, you’ll like these books.

 

 

Excerpt

Excerpt from chapter 9 of The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series)

 

Robyn had woken up in a hotel room in Cairo. The time difference had messed with her and disrupted her sleep, but she was infused with energy regardless. Or her mind was anyhow. One of her lifelong dreams had finally manifested. She was really in Egypt. At the moment, she was in the hotel restaurant with Cal and Matthew, their luggage beside their table. Matthew’s contact, Alex Leonard, was going to pick them up in the lobby about seven o’clock. They had about half an hour until then.

Robyn sucked back her coffee, hoping that the caffeine would jolt her body into submission.

“Are you going to make it?” Cal quirked an eyebrow, looking at her over his mug.

I’m in Egypt.

“Of course, I will.” She found herself smiling despite her exhaustion.

“Maybe we should have skipped the nightcap,” Matthew teased and smiled back at her. She envied how rested he looked. He was drinking coffee, too, but didn’t have a death grip on his mug like she and Cal did.

“No.” She shook her head. “Being here deserved a toast…or two.”

“I can’t believe I didn’t think of this until now, especially with everything going on with Sophie, but don’t pharaohs’ tombs have curses?” Cal asked out of nowhere. “I know there was one on King Tut’s tomb.” His words relayed more concern than his expression, but maybe that was just because he wasn’t awake enough to project it. He was prone to paranoia, though.

Maybe she could have some fun with this…

Robyn turned to Matthew. “Is now a good time to tell him that curses are standard for Egyptian tombs?”

Matthew frowned. “Probably not.”

“What?” Cal leaned across the table and threw his arms up in the air. “Are you guys being serious?”

Now he was waking up. It took all of Robyn’s self-control not to burst out laughing. What she had said was the truth, but reality had a way of invalidating the curses’ sway.

Cal scowled, and his shoulders sank. “You think I’m being crazy.”

Matthew pinched his fingers together, leaving a small space between them. “Just a little.”

Robyn glanced at Matthew. His belief that some ancient tablets had the power to destroy the world was about as far-fetched as any pharaoh’s curse. Not that she was going to voice her disbelief out loud at the risk of hurting him the way she had in her office.

 

 

 

About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Websitehttp://carolynarnold.net/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

 

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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Blog Tour: Twenty-One Steps of Courage by Sarah Bates

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Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc.  (Mar 31, 2012)
Category: Literary Fiction, Military Fiction, Adventure, Realistic Fiction
Tour dates: Feb/Mar, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61434-957-0
Available in Print, ebook, & Audiobook 280 pages

From award-winning author. In 2006, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raging, Rod Strong enlists in the Army to achieve the goal his father sought before he tragically died in the Gulf War. His objective: The Old Guard regiment, the elite Soldiers who stand as Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery. Rod overcomes the obstacles that litter his path until an unexpected firefight in Afghanistan changes his life forever.

Purchase Links

 Amazon   *   Barnes&Noble   *   Book Depository   *   IndieBound

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Guest Review by Kate M.

When you first pick up ‘Twenty-One Steps Of Courage’, you may think it is biography of a soldier.   The detail in the research Sarah Bates did make it feel that way.  However, it is a work of fiction that would appeal to those who like to read biographies, military fiction and non-fiction.

Rod Strong’s father dies in the Gulf War when he is young but his stories have stuck with Rod all through his childhood.  Especially those of his father serving his country.  Rod makes up his mind that he wants to be a soldier just like his dad.  His father shared his dream of someday becoming a Sentinel Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery.  He never accomplished this dream, due to his death.

On his 18th birthday, Rod enlists in the Army.  His ultimate goal is to accomplish what his father was unable to do.  However, first he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and do all of the training that he did.  His mother is upset when he told her he enlisted.  His older brother is already in the army, serving in Afghanistan.  Rod’s girlfriend, Beth, is not surprised when he tells her that he enlisted.  He talked about his dreams a lot with her but promised they would marry one day.

The details of Rod’s training were very detailed and kept me glued to the book.  I read the ebook which is a good thing, because the cover and pages would have bent and creased with my grip!  The book read like a movie in my mind and I felt like I was in it.  The characters are well written and the sense of place is bang on. This book is a masterpiece and should be made into a movie!  I highly recommend it for all!

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About the Author

Award winning author, Sarah Bates’ fiction has appeared in the Greenwich Village Literary Review, the San Diego North County Times (now the Union-Tribune) and the literary magazine Bravura.

She is the author of ‘The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’, published in 2016, and co-author of the 2005 short story collection, ‘Out of Our Minds, Wild Stories’ by Wild Women. Bates was an English Department writing tutor at Palomar College in California for ten years. She privately tutors academic and creative writing students and is writing a new novel.

She is a Military Category Finalist for ‘Twenty-One Steps of Courage’, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, (2013) and 2nd Place Finalist, for ‘The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’, Unpublished Novel-Category, San Diego Book Awards (2015). It has since been published.

Sarah Bates lives in Fallbrook, California.

Website: http://www.sarahbatesauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bateswriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahbatesauthor/

 

 

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie

 

Book Title: The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie
Category: Children’s Fiction, 48 pages
Genre: Fantasy / Nature
Publisher: Page Publishing
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Jan 22 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: G

 

Book Description

Popcorn and Jellybean had never ventured down the path beyond the big tree. But since they never really did anything exciting, and even though it made them a little nervous at first, they decided it would be a fun adventure for a couple of days. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turned out, if the explorers were not prepared! Join them as they take on new challenges each day, learn how to survive by following the behaviors of the animals they encounter, and go where Mother Nature leads them. And who knows, maybe we could learn as well! 

Buy the Book:
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean is a fun book for children but it also teaches about nature. Popcorn and Jellybean are bored so they decide to go on an adventure. They’ve never been further than the big tree so they decide to pack up their tent and some supplies and go on an adventure for a couple of days. They get lost and end up spending five days in the forest rather than just two.

During their adventure, Popcorn and Jellybean learn to watch the animals to see what is safe to eat. Even though they’re lost, they learn that they don’t need to be scared and can take care of themselves until they find their way home.

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean is a fun book for children to read or for parents to read as a bedtime story.

 

About the Author

 
Bob has spent more than 13 years as a wildlife conservation educator sharing information and animal encounters with audiences of all ages. He has a passion for teaching about a wide range of topics nature related and loves passing it along to his two sons. His youngest son, Colton, was the inspiration behind The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean, where it all started as a simple bedtime story. Bob currently resides in Carlsbad, California, and works as a professional interpreter guide at a world-renowned conservation organization.
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Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Feb 10, 2018

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Audiobook Review: The Case of the Cursed Dodo by Jake G. Panda

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Author: Jake G. Panda

Narrators: Full Cast

Length: 2 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Woolly Family Studios

Released: Oct. 3, 2016

Genre: Family Audio Drama

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Listen up. If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve found it. His name’s Jake G. Panda and he’s a wildlife investigator. This hard-boiled bear works at a flophouse for endangered critters called the Last Resort. He’s the hotel snoop. The resident fuzz. It’s his job to keep these unusual guests safe and outta harm’s way.

This hilarious first installment of The Endangered Files is a wild and woolly mystery involving a missing guest, a green bird, and a bunch of double-crossing critters all hot on the trail of The Cursed Dodo. It’s designed to introduce young listeners to the subject of endangered species in a fun and informative way.

So join this tough talking panda detective and a cast of endangered creatures on a globe-trotting audio adventure that will appeal to young and old alike.

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Amazon *  PulpRadio.net

 

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Jake G. Panda is a wildlife investigator. A hardboiled Winnie-the-Pooh. He likes bamboo and saving endangered animals. He is the author of The Endangered Files, a mystery series about his misadventures in the protection business.

His partner in crime, the fella who helps write these books because, let’s be honest, it’s not easy typing with big, clunky bear paws, resides somewhere in New England. He has written his fair share of stuff, mostly for the big screen. And some of it has actually been projected. He likes to keep a low profile and lets Jake do all the talking.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake G. Panda. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

What a fun book to listen to! Jake Panda is a detective in the business of protecting endangered species. He may look like a cuddly panda, but he’s more of a hardboiled detective,  the animal version of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, or Mike Hammer. 

This is a fun way to introduce young readers/listeners to endangered species as well a popular genre of fiction. Even though it’s written more for children, adults may enjoy listening to it as well. The author is creative and has a unique sense of humor.

Listening to The Case of the Cursed Dodo is almost like listening to a movie. The one thing that wasn’t necessary, though, was the recap of the previous chapter at the beginning of each chapter. The different voices and the sound effects make it fun to listen to and more exciting than many audiobooks.

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Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Dec. 13th:
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The Book Addict’s Reviews

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Book Review: Without a Doubt by L. J. Greatrex

Following the tragic disappearance of his parents and unborn sibling, Jimmy Giddion is torn from his life in the States to a solitary existence in Africa. During these formative years, he discovers a rare talent for computer hacking and decides to use his skills to find his family, but is soon thrown into a world of corruption embroiled in modern-day diamond mine claim jumping. With the reward for his deception intact and his newly-found ally Paul Max, he embarks on an expedition that fires his imagination as a more sinister element to his family’s last encounter is unearthed.

 

My Review

I chose to review this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Jimmy Giddion is a world class hacker and has been hired to infiltrate a diamond company and set it up so that the Mafia can take over the company. Because Jimmy actually has to be an employee of the company, it’s suspenseful since he could be discovered at any time. 

Even though Jimmy breaks the law for a living, it’s hard not to like him especially since the money he earns is going to be used to help him find out what happened to his family. Everyone is sure that they were killed but he wants to find out how and why. He has met a new hacker friend who is impressed with Jimmy and vows to help him find answers.

Without a Doubt is full of mystery, adventure, and lots of suspense. Descriptions of Africa were very good. It’s always a plus to me when an author can describe mountains, landscapes, etc., without too much detail but with enough detail that I can picture it.

I definitely recommend Without a Doubt for anyone who likes suspense and adventure.

 

About the Author

J. Greatrex was born one of three siblings in a small village in the Midlands, having only moved around the same village three times with just a small break when living in West Kirby on the Wirral. L. J.’s career began with General Electric and progressed through to the financial sector of the steel Industry, spending the most recent years with a classic car parts company and today as their Financial Health Consultant.

Over many years traveling the globe with family and friends for pleasure, the ideas developed and used in the Hackers series (which includes Conscious Revenge, Payback and Just Deserts), have been in part attributed to these experiences; that and a vivid imagination has helped create the characters and situations in these three novels.

 

Excerpt

 ‘Got ya, you bastards’, I thought, as at last the whole plan seemed crystal clear. I was ecstatic, overwhelmed, sad, angry, but mostly relieved that after all of this time I finally had a clearer picture, one which I now knew not only involved my parents, but in a weird twist of fate myself. I had unwittingly become the perpetrator of their scam, helping these mongrels to continue to claim jump long after their involvement in my parents’ disappearance. I now saw how difficult this task would have been for my uncle, as without the technology and expertise of a hacker he would have had no chance of success. I suddenly became grateful to have been given the gift, one that at last had unravelled the whole sorry mess. It only left two things now to do, decide what to do about it and discover their resting place!

 

 

“Without A Doubt” by L. J. Greatrex is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon UK and from Amazon US.

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 Contact:  Darin Jewell (L. J. Greatrex’s literary agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
London, UK
darin@theinspiragroup.com
tel. UK +208 292 5163

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Guest Post by Michael Lloyd

Thank you to Micheal Lloyd who has written a guest post about himself and his new book, The Pirate’s Children.

Me

 I went to the Manchester Grammar School where I did not excel except in History and English, which still remain my favourite subjects. I wrote my first short story at the age of 11 and it became a best seller at the school, being a rather lurid story of the Latin Master’s wife. I was severely punished for this!

 From when I could remember, I wanted to go to sea, mainly because my father was a cruiser captain in the last World War and we even had tenuous family connections going back to Captain Henry Morgan, the famous pirate who showed that crime pays. Anyway, in the end, my father relented and I joined the naval training ship HMS Conway at the age of 14 and went to sea at 16 beginning a 50 year career at sea. I became a Captain at the age of 31 and sailed the world to almost every country and in every sea. If you do want to know more about me you can Google me as Captain Michael Lloyd.

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 Writing

 During this time I began to write, all technical and professional articles for various periodicals. Eventually, time tapped me on the shoulder and said enough fun, now go and earn a living, so I became the marine consultant for a famous Marine and Legal publishing house where I wrote several textbooks, some of which, to my surprise, became standard works.

 I then decided that the world had enough textbooks and began writing a novel about the sea and those on it of course, as it was the only thing I knew anything about. To my surprise, my publishers took the book and started a separate house to publish it, being the first novel that they had published in their long history.

 Four more novels followed, all based loosely on my experiences at sea and people that I knew. I would claim moderate success for these as they were only marketed through the marine booksellers and to the marine market where they are well known.

Two of my books were shortlisted for the Mountbatten Marine Literature Award.

 While I enjoyed writing these, I felt that that audience was too limited, and not the general public that I wanted to open the door of the real seagoing to and show that adventure still existed. Most of all I wanted to write for children and younger people. I looked at the standard successful books for this group and saw that there was very little written about the sea and most were written by authors with little knowledge of the subject, and often condescending in their tone.

 I wanted to write a book with a unique story. There are many pirate books but none about the pirates family. I blended historical fact with the realities of the times and sea life in the 17th century. Where children as young as 8 went to sea, working and fighting alongside the adults. On the other hand, I didn’t want to write too much about fighting in a children’s book, although a pirate book has to have some and children expect it, rather have an adventure story that could be seen as possible. I then made a young woman the central figure around which all the others revolved. Then I wanted adventure and romance. The result is this book. I don’t know if you have read many sea books but there is a thought that it is all about ships and the sea. Actually, while the sea and ships are featured, over half the book is on the land. I wanted children and people of different backgrounds and colour coming together. Finally, I wanted to make a woman the central figure as, traveling the world, I realised how women are the fabric holding our varied societies together especially the moral society essential in binding us together.

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 The Book

 So we have an elderly aunt, looking after four children who believe that they are orphans, only to find out on the death of their aunt that their father was a pirate and they have inherited an old decrepit ship. They travel to London to see the ship. They hear that their father may still be alive so they decide to sail the ship to the Caribbean in search of him. Eleanor is the eldest daughter at seventeen and makes the decisions.

 Finding a young Captain in a debtors’ prison and a crew made up of street orphans and old pirates, they set sail. On the way, they encounter a slave ship in Madeira and rescue a Spanish ship from pirates before arriving at Jamaica and meeting Henry Morgan and other pirates.

 Kidnap and rescue follow with the children having to fight the ship and sail it without the adults. Then the action moves to Cuba where their father is a prisoner. They achieve his rescue but are caught by the Spanish. Free at last, they encounter a pirate fleet and battle follows with final victory, a return to Jamaica, and then set sail for home.

 That is a brief summary of the story and me. I hope I have managed to achieve a unique story that had the right blend of fact, excitement and humour for younger people, although my wife tells me that it is for all ages as she thought it as my best book!

 It is a pleasure to introduce myself to you and I hope that, if you do choose to read the book, you enjoy it. It is not written to display my erudition, which is limited, or to win prizes, but to give pleasure and keep the pages turning. I hope it succeeds in doing that.

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The Pirate’s Children is available on Amazon.

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review: Girl in the Water by Dana Marton

girlinthewater

After the death of his wife and twin sons, Army vet Ian Slaney is a shadow of his former self. On the path of self-destruction, only his best friend’s disappearance in South America pulls Ian back from the ledge. He rushes to Brazil, only to discover that his friend was murdered. The single lead in the case is also the single biggest obstacle–Daniela, a mysterious beauty very much in need of protection, with a host of secrets hidden in a dark past. As the two of them track down clues and try to untangle an impossible case, they draw the attention of all the wrong people, and danger follows them back to the US.

Ian wants the murderers. Daniela wants Ian to acknowledge the hot sparks of passion between them. But convincing Ian to set aside his protective instincts proves more difficult than teaching a water buffalo to tap dance.


TAKE YOURSELF ON AN EPIC ROMANTIC ADVENTURE to another world, with a spellbinding story about love and hate, honor and evil, hope and justice set against the exotic backdrop of the teeming Amazon rain forest.
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My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book from the author.

The Girl in the Water is about Daniela who starts life in the jungles of Brazil as a prostitute. She’s just a teenager and she wants to escape her life but isn’t sure how to do it. Fate brings her to Finch, an American who buys her from Rosa, the woman who runs the brothel Daniela was living in. Finch is kind to her but when he is murdered, she’s again lost. That’s when Ian comes into her life. Ian was a friend of Finch’s and was worried about him when he hadn’t heard back from him after a message from Finch that he was in trouble. Ian doesn’t have much of a life in the US, so he has come to Brazil to save his friend, but it’s too late.

The beginning of the book about Daniela was interesting but as it progressed, I became more and more engrossed in the story. There is action, mystery, love and heartbreak in The Girl in the Water. Daniela has a questionable past but Ian’s past is heartbreaking and he has a difficult time dealing with his wife’s death and the death of their children, especially since it didn’t look like an accident.

The characters are complex and, although their feelings are understandable, I could have strangled Ian once or twice. I didn’t know if he could ever get past being Daniela’s protector even though it was obvious that he loved her more than just as someone he saved.

I definitely recommend The Girl in the Water. It is full of action, suspense, and romance. 

 

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Excerpt

A couple of boats had been dragged up on the flat of the riverbank. Nobody around. Ian sat in the shade of the largest boat and pretended to be watching the barges and tugboats going past him. He stole a glance at the house, hoping to spot Finch. Nothing there, but something rising out of the water maybe thirty feet from him caught his attention. At first, he thought it might be a caiman—South America’s version of an alligator. Caimans were native to the area, although, he had no idea if they lived in this part of this particular river. But instead, out of the river, rose a young woman. She seemed to be struggling with…an anaconda? When the shiny black, long body wrapped around hers, Ian moved, ready to dive into the water to help her, but she had the upper hand and dragged the wriggling beast toward shore with a triumphant smile, and he could see that she had a giant eel. He couldn’t take his eyes off the thing. The eel stretched as long as the woman was tall, over five feet. They wrestled in the mud, the scene stunningly primal and elemental. She had a piece of rag tied around her small breasts, and another around her slim waist, covering only the private parts of her body. She was the most stunning sight he’d ever seen, long dark hair streaming down in wet rivulets. A goddess risen. A goddess in mortal struggle. His western sensibilities pushed him to run and help, but the woman and the eel and their battle seemed somehow the spirit of the Amazon itself, and he felt like an interloper. He felt that he couldn’t take the woman’s triumph away from her. And she did win, dragging the eel to shore, grabbing a rock the next second and smashing the eel’s head. The eel was still squirming when, with the same, sharp-edged rock, she gutted the thing, dumping the insides back into the river. She was not a peaceful goddess. She washed the eel efficiently, then picked up the carcass and carried it, staggering under the weight, up the tall, steep bank, and in through the back door of the house Ian had been watching. Ian’s chin might have dropped a little. Or a lot. In fact, he felt as if his chin just hit his lap. Who on earth was she?
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About the Author

145593I’ve been a writer, one way or another, all my life. Before I could read, I made up poems and my mom wrote them down for me. In elementary school, my teachers almost always let me write poems or stories instead of requiring me to do art projects. Always, I dreamed of becoming a published writer…and that dream came true! I write novels about sexy, powerful men and independent-minded women, and what happens when they find each other and fall in love. My books are sexy and romantic, and they’ve very often full of romantic suspense. I write the kinds of books I love to read, and I hope that makes my readers happy.