Tag Archives: thriller

Book Review: Divide and Rule by Rachel McLean

23 Oct

 

Jennifer Sinclair’s fight to save her political career, her family and her freedom has failed. Traumatised by prison violence, she agrees to transfer to the mysterious British Values Centre.

Rita Gurumurthy has betrayed her country and failed the children in her care. Unlike Jennifer, she has no choice, but finds herself in the centre against her will.

Both women are expected to conform, to prove their loyalty to the state and to betray everything they hold dear. One attempts to comply, while the other rebels. Will either succeed in regaining her freedom?

Divide and Rule is 1984 for the 21st century – a chilling thriller examining the ruthless measures the state will take to ensure obedience, and the impact on two women.


Purchase Links:

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/Divide-Rule-prove-loyalty-Division-ebook/dp/B07GNNR556

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Divide-Rule-prove-loyalty-Division-ebook/dp/B07GNNR556

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My Review

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

I read A House Divided, the first book in the Division Bell Trilogy, and found it interesting and a little scary. Jennifer Sinclair was a minister with the government and ended up in prison because her teenage son associated with the wrong crowd and he was staying at her place in London. Because of the new laws and the way that they’re currently interpreted, Jennifer is convicted of harboring a terrorist! 

Divide and Rule begins with Jennifer being transferred from prison to a different facility, the British Values Centre,  that is supposed to be better. She’d been having problems with her cellmate so she’s willing to try it. It ends up being better than living with that cellmate, but she finds that they are trying to brainwash everyone to conform to the will of the government. The longer Jennifer is there, the more horrified and hopeless she becomes. She also realizes that she can trust no one.

My interest was captured immediately in Divide and Rule and it kept my attention throughout. Rachel McLean’s writing flows well and the characters are well developed and complex. I felt like I was right there was these poor women. The ending was a surprise and I’m looking forward to reading the third book and finding out what happens.

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Author Bio 

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rachelmcwrites

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rachelmcwrites/?hl=en

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Austin Paradox by William R. Leibowitz

6 Sep

Book Title: The Austin Paradox by William R. Leibowitz
Series: The Miracle Man Series Book 2
Category: Adult Fiction, 461 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Release date: May 2018
Tour dates: Aug 6 to Sept 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Some profane language, some use of the word ‘g*ddamit’, mature subjects including pandemic disease, terrorism, sex abuse, suicide)

Book Description:

The Austin Paradox continues the remarkable saga of Robert James Austin in a gripping emotionally-charged thriller that explores the most compelling issues of our time.

Having lost his extraordinary intellectual powers in a laboratory explosion that was intended to kill him, Dr. Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in history, whose medical cures saved countless millions, struggles to find meaning in a life that has become devoid of purpose.

As he embarks on a journey of self-discovery in an effort to regain his abilities, Austin battles private demons, otherworldly forces, and a government obsessed with controlling him. When ruthless political and business interests align to pose an existential threat to humanity, Austin is thrust into the maelstrom.

Doubted even by those who love him, Austin is confronted by a harrowing paradox as time runs out to save mankind from extinction.

The Austin Paradox is the sequel to the critically acclaimed, award-winning novel, Miracle Man, which was named by Amazon as One of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, a Top 10 Best Selling Thriller and a Top 10 New York Times/Amazon Best Seller.

To read reviews, please visit William R. Leibowitz’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

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.

At the end of Miracle Man, Bobby came out of a coma and had lost his genius. Now, he and his wife Christina are living under assumed names and are under government protection. They actually have a “normal” family life…at least that’s what they thought for a while. Bobby’s genius returns and it’s obvious that his daughter has inherited his genius too.

All Bobby wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is use his genius for good. He cured several diseases in the past but now he’s up against the same forces he was before; not only his own demons and the government but more. 

I liked Miracle Man, but I liked The Austin Paradox even more. The characters continue to evolve (or devolve) and although this isn’t a thriller in the usual sense, it’s still a page-turner. I definitely recommend reading Miracle Man first. There’s a lot that happened in the first book and this is a continuation. Although it touches on what happened in the past, there was so much in Miracle Man that puts occurrences in The Austin Paradox into perspective. 

Based on the end of the book, there could be a third book on the way. I hope so!

 

 

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Meet the Author

 

William R. Leibowitz practices law internationally and prefers not spending too much time in any one place. He is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Law School.Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Book Review & Giveaway: Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon

4 Sep
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Book Title: Death Never Sleeps by E.J. Simon
Series: Michael Nicholas Book 1
Category: Adult Fiction, 291 pages
Genre: Thriller & Suspense., Technothriller
Publisher: Endeavour Media (UK)
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Aug 13 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (contains f-words, religious profanities and crude language)

 

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Description

Where does life end, and death begin?

Brothers, Alex and Michael, weren’t particularly close in terms of their careers in their later years. But when Alex is murdered, Michael finds it necessary to keep Alex’s business running, at least for the foreseeable future.

With very little knowledge about what Alex actually did for a living, little does he envisage the level of complication this entails. Working closely with his cousins, Fat and Skinny Lester, Michael starts to get a sense of what needs doing … in whatever way Alex would have dealt with things.

But, when Alex’s current wife, and his two ex-wives, surface and start to dish out demands, Michael finds himself going deeper and deeper into Alex’s personal space. All his ex-wives knew there was money left hidden … but only Alex knew of its exact location.

When Russell, an old friend of Michael’s, and Alex’s most trusted person, offers to help Michael find the money, Michael feels he can start closing up on Alex’s loose ends and move on with his own, increasingly complicated life.

Until … Russell is brutally murdered …

Someone else is after Alex’s money … and it’s not a friendly person.

But is Alex really dead? Or is he as dead as he has prepared himself to be?

Michael is beyond confused … is he imaging the conversations he’s having with Alex? But Alex was shot dead in his own restaurant, one filled with policemen. Surely, Alex is dead?

Whichever way Michael tries to rationalize things in his head, Alex’s support is beyond what he needs. Finding himself face to face with a crook, Sharkey, one who has no qualms about killing people, one Alex was in debt to, Michael takes on Alex’s advice … dead or not!

As the number of deaths rise, Michael and his wife, Samantha, are left on their toes. Would they ever feel safe again? Is anyone safe? And how far did Alex go with his new venture?

To read reviews, please visit E.J. Simon’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

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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.

Alex, a bookie, is gunned down while on the phone with his brother, Michael. Michael is the CEO of a big company and ends up having to take over his brother’s business for a while in order to get things taken care of, such as safety of the family and paying a big debt to a mobster. After a murder of a close friend of Alex’s, it looks like no one is safe and Micheal feels the need to find the murderer.

As if all of that isn’t enough, Michael keeps getting messages from Alex. How is that possible? And other mysterious things take place such as the police being notified that Michael and his wife need help, but the message didn’t come through 911. What is happening?

Death Never Sleeps is an exciting page-turner in which Michael Nicholas finds out that he can do more than he ever knew if he puts his mind to it. The idea of AI isn’t new but the way it’s presented here is new to me and quite interesting. The only thing I was disappointed in is the way the book ended. There are still a lot of things left unanswered. Luckily, I have the next book in the series to read soon.

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Meet the Author

 

 

E. J. Simon is the author of three commercial fiction thrillers, Death Never Sleeps, Death Logs In and Death Logs Out. He has just completed his fourth manuscript, Death in the Cloud.

He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America and the North Carolina Writer’s Network. He holds an M.A. in Corporate & Political Communications from Fairfield University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. He lives with his family in Cary, North Carolina in the United States. For more information, visit his website: http://www.ejsimon.com.

Connect with E.J.: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

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Ends Oct 20, 2018

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Cleansweep Counterstrike by Chuck Waldron

24 Aug

Book Title: The Cleansweep Counterstrike by Chuck Waldron
Series: A Matt Tremain Technothriller Book 2
Category: Adult Fiction, 312 pages
Genre: Thriller / dystopian
Publisher: Bublish Inc.
Release date: April 21, 2018
Tour dates: Aug 13 to Sept 21, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Adult language)

 

 

In this sequel, Matt Tremain is back, facing an even deadlier threat. Deceit and intrigue lie hidden behind the collapse of Operation CleanSweep. It’s time for revenge.

Instrumental in exposing the evil behind Operation CleanSweep—a diabolical “cultural cleansing” plot masterminded by Toronto billionaire Charles Claussen—investigative blogger Tremain now faces the madman’s desire for vengeance. Claussen intends to settle the score personally by luring Matt into a deadly trap.

But the clock is ticking for Claussen, too. Fraternité des Aigles, The Brotherhood of Eagles—a shadowy group that secretly financed Claussen’s Operation CleanSweep—wants answers and their money back. Consumed with rage, Claussen risks everything to get to Matt before the Brotherhood gets to him. Tremain is once again partnering with a police detective, Carling. Knowing they are being lured into a possible trap, they decide to face their nemesis, Charles Claussen.

Across four continents, Claussen sets traps, pursues Tremain, and continues to execute his signature brand of global chaos. When his fiancé’s life is on the line, can Tremain stop Claussen’s madness and still avoid getting killed?

To read reviews, please visit Chuck Waldron’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

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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. I read The CleanSweep Conspiracy a while back and I liked it, so I was happy to read the next book in the series. The CleanSweep Counterstrike stands on its own because it includes plenty of back story. As usual, though, it’s best to read the series in order if possible.

Charles Claussen’s Operation CleanSweep was thwarted by Matt Tremain, police detective Carling, and friends. Although the police believe that Claussen committed suicide, Matt and friends are sure that he had an escape plan and the body that was found wasn’t his. They’re right and Claussen wants revenge.

The CleanSweep Counterstrike is one of those books that is difficult to put down right from the first page. Claussen tries to trap Matt and Carling so he can kill them but at the same time, Claussen is on the run from The Brotherhood. They are a group that he borrowed a lot of money from and when everything went south, he was sure they’d kill him since he couldn’t pay them back. I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book. I had to remind myself occasionally that I wanted Claussen to be caught when he was on the run.

One of my favorite things about Chuck Waldron’s writing is his characters. Many of them are unique and add a lot to the story.

The CleanSweep Counterstrike is an excellent read. Unfortunately, it is in serious need of editing. 

 

 

About the Author

Chuck Waldron is the author of four riveting mystery, thriller and suspense novels and more than fifty short stories. Inspired by his grandfather’s tales of the Ozark Mountains and local caves rumored to be havens for notorious gangsters, Waldron was destined to write about crime and the human condition. Those childhood legends ignited his imagination and filled his head with unforgettable characters, surprising plots and a keen interest in supernatural and historical subplots.With literary roots planted in the American Midwest and South, and enriched by many years living in the fertile cultural soil of metropolitan Ontario, Waldron now resides on Florida’s fabled Treasure Coast with his wife, Suzanne. While keeping an eye out for hurricanes, alligators, and the occasional Burmese python, visitors will find Waldron busy writing his next crime thriller.Connect with Chuck: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 
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Book Review: The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

18 Jun

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Pre-order on Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read The Fourth Monkey in February 2017 and it was one of the best books I’d read in a while, so I couldn’t wait to read the next book in the 4MK series.

Even though the feds are officially looking for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, Detective Porter continues to work on the case at home which gets him suspended. He’s ordered to leave the case alone but he’s unable to, especially when he has a chance to find Bishop’s mother.

At the same time that Porter is on his quest, his team continues to work on another serial killer case. Or is it the same case? 

After reading The Fourth Monkey, I should have known to expect twists but again I was surprised at every turn! I won’t give anything away but I was happy that many questions were answered (maybe, you’re never sure when it’s a J.D. Barker book) but there are still questions that I need answered!

The Fifth to Die could be read as a stand alone but I absolutely recommend reading The Fourth Monkey first. In fact, when the next book in the series comes out, I’m hoping I can find the time to read the first two again because I know there are things that I didn’t catch.

J.D Barker has become a favorite author!

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About the Author

Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.

At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public.

Barker’s indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.

Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.

Twitter J_D_Barker

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Puzzle of Death by Donahue B. Silvis

6 Jun

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Puzzle Of Death: Detective Mystery Thriller by Donahue B. Silvis

Publisher:  D. B. Silvis (December 2, 2013)
Category: Mystery Thriller, Detective, Crime
Tour dates: May/July, 2018
ASIN:B00CCRJS7K
Available in ebook only, 339 pages

 

Private Detective Jake Wayde doesn’t know why he received a letter containing a piece of a puzzle. However, he soon realizes that he’s in the middle of a deadly search for ten million dollars in cash and a world changing chemical formula. It’s now kill or be killed. “People are dropping like flies,” says Wayde, “who the hell is killing them?”

It now becomes his task to stop the killing spree caused by the late, vengeful chemist, Dr. Fredrick Rhineman. The renowned chemist had instructed his secretary, that upon his death, to mail prewritten letters containing a pieces of a handmade puzzle, to the twelve people he hated and the ambassadors of China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia.  As the letters are received and opened, they instruct that when assembled, the puzzle pieces will reveal the whereabouts of a deadly world-changing chemical formula and ten million dollars in cash.

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Praise for Puzzle Of Death: Detective Mystery Thriller by Donahue B. Silvis

“There is occasional cursing and sexual situations plus extreme violence. If you are adverse to those don’t read it. If you choose to read it, don’t give it a low review rating for the reasons cautioned here. You were clearly warned.  Puzzle of Death has a large, interesting cast of support characters; there is a U.S. Senator an ambassador, FBI agents, Detroit mobsters, multiple torturers/killers, and Iranian secret agents.  I enjoyed the story and recommend it to readers who can stand the stench of violent death.  The plot is excellent, and sentence structure and character development are okay.”- Vigilant Reader

“Wow! What a fantastic book! I could not put it down. There were so many twists and turns. It was a very different and unique book!”-Musiclover, Amazon Review

“I f you don’t mind the blood and guts, the story line was different and definitely a page turner. 5 Stars”-Janet, Amazon Review

“The “who dunnit” in “Puzzle of Death” did keep you guessing. Clever outcome.”-Hummingbird, Amazon Review

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Guest Review by Laura B.

Upon his death, renowned chemist, Dr. Fredrick Rhineman, arranges for 12 letters to go out to the 12 people he hated most.  In each letter a handmade puzzle piece is included.  He promises that when all 12 people bring the puzzle pieces together, 10 million dollars and the whereabouts of a world-changing chemical will be discovered.

There are a lot of characters to keep straight in this book but don’t let that deter you.  They are well written and engaging.  The plot twists and turns keep the reader glued to the book.  I have read many mystery thrillers and detective novels but none this original.  It was so unexpected and appreciated! 

I must warn the reader that ‘Puzzle Of Death’ has a lot of extreme violence and is not for those with a weak stomach.  There is also sex and cursing so if any of that bothers you, don’t read it.  For everyone else that loves twisting detective novels, I highly recommend it. I give it 5 stars.

 

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About the Author

Puzzle Of Death: Detective Mystery Thriller by D. B. Silvis

Donahue B. Silvis is an alumnus of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University majoring in film study and creative writing.

As a member of Screen Actors Guild (SAG), he has worked in movies as an actor and screenwriter. Donahue has written six novels, three screenplays and one illustrated children’s book. Now retired, he continues writing and promoting his novels and screenplays, while residing in Naples, Florida with his wife, Katie.

Websitedbsilvisauthor.com
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dbsilvis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dbsilvis/
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.ca/dbsilvis5/

Buy Puzzle Of Death: Detective Mystery Thriller by Donahue B. Silvis

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan

11 May

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Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: May 1, 2018

Genre: Action-Adventure

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In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver’s Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

“The age-old adage of ‘write what you know’ becomes very important when you write about a technical subject like scuba diving. When you get all the details right, and throw in just the right amounts of action, humor, romance, and suspense, you have a novel like this.” – Wayne Stinnett, bestselling author of “Fallen Out”.

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Born in East Tennessee, NICK SULLIVAN has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. Nick has been an avid scuba diver for many years and his travels to numerous Caribbean islands have inspired this series. His first novel, “Zombie Bigfoot”, hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.

NICK SULLIVAN has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years, recording over four hundred titles and receiving numerous AudioFile Earphones and Audie nominations and awards. He has worked extensively on Broadway and at many U.S. theaters. His TV credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Divorce, Younger, Bull, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother and Private Life. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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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 Nick Sullivan. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Boone and Emily work for the same company as divemasters on the island of Bonaire. Deep Shadow begins with their underwater adventures and the excitement of taking visiting divers out to explore. But when an odd looking submarine is sighted, their world is turned upside down.

Some of the chapters are about the terrorists and the sub and what they plan on doing with it. Knowing their plans and wondering if someone was going to figure it out was suspenseful.

I like the author’s writing style. I could visualize the islands and the underwater scenes. The characters are well defined and interesting. He also narrated his own book which doesn’t work out well sometimes but he did a fantastic job and added even more to the story by telling it himself. 

Deep Shadow has it all…action, suspense, humor, and even a little romance. I’m glad I listened to it. I’m sure I would have liked it if I’d read it, but this is one of those books that makes good listening. I also enjoyed listening to the author explain at the end how he came up with the idea of the book, that he’s visited the islands, and the effects of the hurricanes in that area of the world over the past few years.

 

 

Q&A with Author/Narrator Nick Sullivan
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • The interesting thing about my process, having narrated over 400 titles over more than twenty years, is I’ve learned how effective a narrator is at catching typos, clunky sentences, and even plot inconsistencies. My final polishing on the writing occurs in the booth as I record. I have a separate document open where I make notes about what I have decided to change as I narrate; then I go back to the manuscript and apply what I learned in front of the microphone before finalizing it.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I was at an audition and saw a notice on a cork board, asking from actors to narrate books for the blind for charity, for the Jewish Braille Institute. I put the number in my pocket. The next week I was shooting an NYU film, and the actress who was playing my wife said she recorded for Talking Books. I took their number. On lunch break I went to this device that used to exist, a “pay phone” and made two calls. First, to Jewish Braille, offering to narrate that week. Then to Talking Books… letting them know I “had experience narrating audiobooks… although I wasn’t available until the following week. I taught voice and speech at Rutgers and was good at accents, so I was able to convince them to see me. By the end of that next week, I’d made my first money as a narrator, with “A Day No Pigs Would Die”.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • I create a “VoiceScape” for everyone in the book, noting every single thing the author gives me about where a character is from, their physical appearance, personality, speech quirks. Then I just let the information form the voice… though I always go through and make sure I don’t have characters that are going to be too similar side by side.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes. I’ve been diving for twenty years, visiting numerous Caribbean islands. Many things in this book were loosely based on things I experienced (or heard about). I reached out to some folks I’ve dived with, and some authors I’ve narrated for who know the ocean well, for additional inspiration.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Sometimes. It’s interesting, I know so many narrators who have declared “I stopped reading reviews”; and then I narrated a book by a mindfulness guru who sited a psychological study that a “negative occurrence” has about four times the weight as a positive one. And I think that’s true! We all want to be liked… so when you see a negative review, you want to say “Why don’t they like me?” One of the biggest names in the biz (I won’t say who) got all wound up by this incredibly tiny amount of bad reviews. It’s really like everywhere else in life, you can’t please everyone. I just do my best to please the author! I always appreciate “author approval” auditions for title assignment. It’s a good start to know that they chose your voice and performance.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I feel like I hear that less and less every year. It IS a different experience, I’ll give you that. The narrator IS going to influence how you experience the book… and that’s not always going to be a good thing.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Nick the Writer is 30,000 words into “Zombie Bigfoot” sequel… but first I have to narrate a space opera sci-fi, three short romance double headers, and Wayne Stinnett’s upcoming thriller, “Enduring Charity”!
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • The engineers at Talking Books made a “mix tape”: they collected years of actors laughing uncontrollably, narrating extremely steamy sentences, belching impressively, going on a rant about run on sentences. We had no idea they were saving these snippets and it was HYSTERICAL.

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Deep Shadow Giveaway: Signed Book + AudioFile Subscription
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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Curing Begins (Condition Book 2) by Alec Birri

18 Mar

 

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Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 39 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 2

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

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The second in a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.

Discovering an infamous Nazi doctor conducted abortions in Argentina after the Second World War may not come as a surprise, but why was the twisted eugenicist not only allowed to continue his evil experiments but encouraged to do so? And what has that got to do with a respected neurologist in 2027? Surely, the invention of a cure for nearly all the world’s ailments can’t possibly have its roots buried in the horrors of Auschwitz?

The unacceptable is about to become the disturbingly bizarre. What has the treatment’s “correction” of pedophiles got to do with the president of the United States, the pope, and even the UK’s Green Party?

As if the Condition trilogy wasn’t unsettling enough….

 

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Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

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Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

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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 Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

This second book in the trilogy starts with a detective in Argentina who is sent to a village to dispose of evidence of experiments done by an ex-Nazi doctor. He can’t believe the atrocities he finds in the village or the fact that the government wants to cover it up. He decides to track down the doctor to get answers. I didn’t know what this first half had to do with the first book, but I was eventually enlightened.

The second half of book 2 takes place in 2027, and doctors continue to work on a new treatment to cure all of the world’s physical and mental ailments. AIs are also becoming common. With so many improvements so fast, what will happen? How far is too far when it comes to improving and lengthening our lives?

The narrator did a good job with timing and pacing as well as the different voices.

There are a couple surprises and I can’t wait to listen to book 3 to find out what happens. This book could be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the first book to get the full appreciation of what occurs in book 2.

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Audiobook Review: The Final Enemy by Dan Petrosini

5 Mar

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Author: Dan Petrosini

Narrator: Joseph Kidawski

Length: 8 hours 31 minutes

Publisher: Dan Petrosini

Released: Jan. 25, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

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In the face of a death-defying power, what’s the “new normal”?

Like all reporters, Jack longs for a breaking story but is stuck writing obituaries for a small-town rag. As his frustration mounts, it hits him that no one has died in over three days. Jack’s odd observation becomes something far stranger when he connects a meteorite to the bizarre phenomenon.

Seizing the opportunity, Jack breaks the story and after a struggle to control the meteorite’s power is resolved, a swelling population begins to create havoc. With the survival of the human race hanging in the balance, politicians enact increasingly horrific measures and desperate citizens take matters into their own hands.

Jack’s in a position to not just report the news, but change it, and his decisions and observations creates an epic thriller that pits the potential of human immortality against a force designed to change – or obliterate – humanity itself.

Only one man might stand in its way … the man buried in the obits department.

The Final Enemy is a story of social disintegration as well as a saga of survival. Secret plans, starvation, suicide, and a series of events that spiral the human race into a desperate survival mode evolve from a seemingly singular event and leads to a fast-paced action story that delights with its penchant for the unexpected.

In the Matthew Mather and A.G. Riddle tradition, The Final Enemy is a gripping blend of thriller and science fiction that will prove hard to put down.

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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 Dan Petrosini. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Many people want to live forever but have they really thought that through? Dan Petrosini has, and The Final Enemy shows that maybe living forever wouldn’t be as great as you might think. With no one dying from natural causes, suddenly the world population would grow faster than ever before. Where would all of those people live? More importantly, what would happen when they can’t all be fed?

Some of the things that the US government does in The Final Enemy is unthinkable, at least right now. But when people start dying of starvation, how far would we be willing to go? I’m glad we don’t have to find out, at least not in my lifetime. 

This is good science fiction with just a shade of Soylent Green and a lot of politics and the breakdown of society. The main character, Jack, is a good reporter but will he be willing to give up integrity in order to avoid starvation?

The narrator does a good job with timing and pacing. There were a lot of male voices and they would have been difficult to distinguish, but he always included who was talking which helped.

I definitely recommend The Final Enemy. It’s good fiction that will give you something to think about.

 

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Dan has his own view of the world and culture or lack thereof. He is passionate in his belief that people can realize their dreams if they focus and take action. He actively encourages people to break out and live a the life they want.
Married with two daughters and a needy Maltese, Dan splits his time between South West Florida and New York City, where he was born. Dan teaches at local colleges, writes novels and plays the tenor saxophone in a couple of jazz bands. He also drinks way too much wine.
Dan has an active blog at http://danpetrosini.com and has written seven novels.

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Narrator Bio

Joseph Kidawski is a Boston born actor, musician and artist based in Los Angeles California. He is a lover of audiobooks and it is his distinct pleasure to be a part of the worldwide community of narrators. Find out more about Joseph at http://www.kidawski.com

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Company Files: The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan

26 Feb
 

Book Title: The Company Files: 1. The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult Fiction, 251 pages
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Crime Fiction, Espionage
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 12 to March 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (No bad language but there is an attempted rape scene, and some violence.)

 

Book Description

In 1948, Vienna was divided among four powers: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jack Marshall had served with Walker during the war, and now, working together for The Company, they are tasked to do the inconceivable. Could former Nazis really be recruited to assist the U.S. in the atomic race? As their team moves forward, they quickly discover they are not the only ones looking for these men. And the others in the search may just have the objective of murder.

In this tale of historical noir, of corruption and deceit, no one is who they say they are. Who is The Good Man in a world where an enemy may be a friend, an ally may be the enemy, and governments deny everything?

To read reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan’s Page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read The Roma Series by Gabriel Valjan and I liked it so I was looking forward to reading The Company Files: The Good Man.

The Company Files: The Good Man, like the Roma series, is not light reading. It is an international thriller based in Vienna in 1948, post World War II. There’s a lot of history included in the story which makes it all the more interesting.

Walker and Jack Marshall work for The Company trying to recruit former Nazis to assist America in the atomic race. Unfortunately, there is a vigilante who has other ideas. He is killing former Nazis and some of those are on the list of recruits who Walker and Jack are looking for. Can they come to an understanding and possibly work together?

As I would expect from this author, there are many other things happening while the main plot carries out. For example, the vigilante saves a young girl who has nowhere else to go. What will happen to her? And then there’s Leslie who works with Walker and Jack and has many skills. She even infiltrated the Nazis and got a lot of important information during the war. But because she’s a woman, her skills are seldom acknowledged. 

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction, international spy thrillers, or suspense will enjoy The Company Files: The Good Man. It’s not only interesting as far as the history but the characters are well developed and it has a good ending. 

 

 

 Meet the Author

 
Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest
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Ends March 10, 2018
 

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