Tagged: Thriller

Assassin 13 – Review

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Brian reviews Tom Reppert's Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13
Brian reviews Tom Reppert’s Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13

About the Book

Assassin 13; Tom Reppert 
Adult; Historical Sci-Fi; 424 Pages

Helen’s Sons Publishers March 15, 2018

In the dystopian 22nd century, Lauren Ramirez is an Assassin 13, the best at her profession. Betrayed by her employer, the President of the United States, on an off-planet op, she escapes when her spacecraft hurtles through time and crash lands in 1927 prohibition Hollywood with its silent film stars and bootlegging gangsters.

She finds herself an alien in an alien land.

Becoming friends with Pauline Windsor, one of Hollywood’s top actresses and girlfriend of mafia chieftain Benny Sorrentino, thrusts Lauren into the middle of a gangland war. Even as she clings to her burning need for vengeance in the 22nd century, her relationship with the people she meets, stunt pilot boyfriend Remy Garnett, Pauline, and Pauline’s young children Rolly and Emmy, all begin to change the hard surface of her heart.

Now she must decide whether to use her 22nd century talents and technology in their defense or abandon them to the vicious thugs and slip back into her own time to wreck vengeance on her enemies.

About the Author

Author Tom Reppert

I’m an army veteran and former teacher with a BA in English and History, as well as MA in Creative Writing and Professional Writing. I spent twelve years in Africa and Asia teaching English Literature and Composition, History and a myriad of other classes. This was an extraordinary experience. In Africa, I taught at the International School Moshi on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Waking up each morning with that massive snow-capped peak out your window was beyond stirring. The mountain, the land, the people brought to mind images of earlier storied generations in Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Kenya. “Oh, God, not another bloody sunny day.” I loved the constantly sunny days. One day on a trip to Ngoro Ngoro crater our vehicle broke down in the middle of a pride of lions. We had to get out to push it to get it jump-started. But then that’s another story.

I taught ten years at Bandung International School in the highlands of Indonesia. There could not have been a more wonderful community with which to live and work or a more beautiful country. Truly a marvelous experience.

My novels on Amazon and at selected book stores are The Far Journey, and The Captured Girl, and Assassin 13. The Far Journey is on Audible.com with Assassin 13 coming soon. Morgan’s Captivity is a short piece only on Kindle detailing Morgan O’Connor’s captivity among the Cheyenne.

Currently, I live in Sandpoint, Idaho on idyllic Lake Pend Oreille, where I’m working on my next novel, another time-travel effort. To contact me: Repptomauthor@gmail.com or my Facebook page.

Facebook Author Page Twitter Author Goodreads

Brian’s Review

When this book was first presented to me, I had my doubts.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it and wasn’t sure how a science fiction novel would go with a historical novel, but I thought I’d give it a try none the less.

Assassin 13 did not let me down.  It was beautifully written and the cross-genres were masterfully mashed together and blended very well.  I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a strong main female character and this Lauren is not only that but more.  Strong, smart, witty, and I like to think above average on the looks, Lauren is an ideal role model for any young lady. Okay, maybe not the ideal role model, but if you look past her sneaky assassin side, she’s at least an above average role model.

Tom did an amazing job moving Lauren from the future to the past, keeping it simple but at the same time very mysterious. My only regret in his decision on time travel is, well not wanting to give spoilers, missing. Confusing?  Don’t worry, read the book, you’ll understand what I mean.

This book left me wishing one thing. And that is I hope Tom decides to bring Lauren back someway, somehow in a follow-up book.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a full series dedicated to Lauren.

If the 1920s is to your liking, and yet you love a little futuristic dystopia, then Assassin 13 is a great book.  If you are like me, and not really sure what to make of something mashing two things together history and dystopia, you know kind of like mixing tomato and chocolate, then read Assassin 13, cause Tom is a master at making a classic out of a something I don’t think the writing Gods ever thought possible.

Brian reviews Tom Reppert's Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13
Brian reviews Tom Reppert’s Time travel/ Science Fiction novel, Assassin 13

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook and paperback formats here.

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Interview with Charley Pearson – Author of SCOURGE

*Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. You can read the legal stuff here if you’d like, but know that we appreciate you supporting Thrice Read Books by using our links to buy.*

Thrice Read Books interviews SCOURGE author, Charley Pearson

On this edition of “Between the Lines”, we sit down to talk to author Charley Pearson about his writing career, life, and new release, Scourge.

Jenn talks to Charley Pearson, author of science fiction/medical thriller SCOURGE

Jenn: I was reading your bio this morning while setting up the blog post for Scourge. It sounds like you have a fascinating background in all kinds of science-y goodness. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Charley: Well, I started in biology, moved on to chemistry, then joined the Navy (after protesting the Vietnam War) and spent a career with them as a nuclear engineer. They had to give me extra training for that. Mostly oversaw chemical and radiological environmental remediation after the end of the Cold War, releasing sites for unrestricted future use.

Jenn: That’s an unexpected life choice, going from protester to the Navy.

Charley: I may be unique, for all I know. Gotta defend our right to protest. LOL. I was in the first OCS class post-Vietnam that was 100% volunteers, no draftees.

Meanwhile, raised two daughters and spent hundreds of hours backstage at their ballet studio, on sets and stuff.

Jenn: Biocheminuclear engineer by day, ballet stage-dad by night? And I hardly think you’re alone in the “defend our right to protest” thing. I’ve met a few folks in my years as Army wife and Army civilian that would join you in that sentiment.

Charley: Good. Oh – you’ve heard of soccer moms? The other guys and I called ourselves “ballet dads.” (heh, heh). Wrote a humorous mini-memoir that got published last January by Kallista Gaia Press

Jenn: Ah, yes! You mentioned your humor collection before we began. Before we get into the yummy stuff about Scourge, could you tell us a bit about your humor?

Charley: Well, that ballet thing was separate. The humor collection’s title piece, “The Marianated Nottingham,” finally tells the truth about Robin Hood, by revealing the Sheriff of Nottingham’s side of the story. (Poor guy’s trying to found a national park to protect deer, for goodness sake.) Full-length screenplay. Then there are 24 short things – skits, stories, and ballads (solid meter, strict rhyme, and no redeeming social value). Off the wall and sometimes Pythonesque.

Jenn: Aww… Are you gonna make me add more to my TBR pile? Everyone in the Thrice Read family is a huge Monty Python fan.

Charley: Yay! It is available from Amazon; the e-book is only $2.99.

Jenn: I’ll add a link down below for those interested.

Having read the blurb for Scourge though, this seems to be a huge leap from humorous screenplays, poetry, and skits to intense medical thriller. How did that come about?

CharleyScourge – yes, quite different. I had this idea for the technology back in college, but it was premature. Now that computers are so much better, I dug it out and couldn’t resist finally writing it. The tale includes a recurring theme for me — pragmatism vs. morality (aren’t there at least some situations where ends justify means? Maybe?), plus the idea of someone who decides, dang it, they’re going to do what seems right no matter what it costs them.

Jenn: The Messiah archetype?

Charley: Perhaps. But coming from a flawed character who’s been concealing a dark secret about her Roma clan her whole life.

Jenn: It’s those flaws that really make those characters pop off the page and become real. Now, in reading the blurb… is there a single protagonist? Or do you have co-protagonists (hero and heroine)?

Charley: Ah, there’s a love story subplot about these two geeks who have no clue how to read each other. The woman is the main lead, but the guy cons her into trying something she wouldn’t have on her own. The resolution depends on both.

Jenn: Nerd-love! While saving the world, no less. Very cool.

Charley: So terrorist virus, multiple villains, and FBI who thinks the protagonists are at fault, and health agencies who could never solve the problem on their own.

Jenn: Sounds rather twisted and complex, and a little too close to plausible.

Charley: I have a Kirkus quote, “Imaginative and full of action…continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical.” – Kirkus Reviews

Jenn: So, on the seriousness scale, where would you say Scourge falls, between light-hearted and ultra-serious/dark?

Charley: Hmm, tough one. The science may be achievable someday, which I find seriously worrisome from an oversight standpoint. But the story has a lot of light moments and comic relief. I particularly like the parrot, as will your Monty Python fans.

Jenn: I’m trying not to laugh hard enough to alarm Brian. I can imagine how a Python-esque parrot might fit into the story.

Charley: He’s named Mr. Praline. You know, for the John Cleese character, in the.. well, you know which sketch. 

(Clip from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Season 1 episode 8, aired 12-7-1969)

Jenn: Oh, my!

Charley: Sometimes I have a difficult time avoiding humor, even when writing serious stuff. Sigh.

Jenn: I personally like a little humor in the suspense I read, because I get heavily invested in the really good ones, and that makes for some disruption in the real world. And I know several readers that are the same way.

Charley: Yeah, the pacing is essential in any tale.

Jenn: I noticed that your protagonist/heroine comes from a Roma family. When I read that, I think of gypsies. Am I assuming incorrectly? Or could you clarify that, for our readers?

Charley: Ah, yes, Roma = Gypsies = Romani, though the latter is also an Italian name. Some people have used the term Gypsies in a disparaging manner, so it has been dubbed incorrectly occasionally. I tried to clarify the issue in the novel. The clan often refers to themselves as Gypsies, but outsiders vary.

The female lead is in the clan. The guy isn’t. That’s one of the key problems between their ever getting together.

Jenn talks to Charley Pearson, author of science fiction/medical thriller SCOURGE

Jenn: Okay. Major intercultural hurdles can make for some delicious tension.

Charley: Hey, my mother (mixed English/Irish/Belgian/who knows ancestry) faced prejudice from my father’s parents (3rd generation pure Swede). It’s amazing how stupid prejudices are.

Jenn: It is. And yet they persist, sadly. Hopefully, as the literature world starts to come around to diverse books, that will begin to change.

Charley: Yup, diverse should help a lot. The MC in my historical is Japanese-American, and I was really lucky to find a guy born in Tokyo in 1938 to give me a beta-read and advice.

Jenn: Very awesome! That particular generation, while I grew up surrounded by them, they are rapidly disappearing. You’re very fortunate to have that kind of reference.

Charley: True. My dad was the meteorologist on Tinian during the war. Got me interested in that theater and era.

Jenn: And probably gave you a little boost in the direction of a science-based career?

Charley: Undoubtedly. No way he would let me major in music no matter how good a drummer I was. No money in it. Gotta have a productive career. Depression mentality that generation grew up in.

Jenn: Exactly. Although… I think a few drummers have made quite the living, but, erm… I don’t quite think that working in a rock band would have fit the description of “gainfully employed” by his standards?

Charley: LOL – you got it! Hey, I had a great career, so can’t knock his advice!

Jenn: Bingo!

As we reach the end of our time, is there anything else that readers should know about Scourge, or you as an author?

Charley: Well, I’ve got a couple of short stories out in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s fantasy anthologies, if anyone reads those. And I’ve got a YA-historical that’s nearing completion. So don’t count on any consistency from me.

Jenn: LoL! Keep us in mind when that YA is finished! I bet Sam will be all over that.

I’d like to thank you, on behalf of Thrice Read Books and our readers, for taking the time to answer some questions for us.

Links for your published work and your social media are down below, so readers can find you.

Charley: And a humongous thank you back at you! Most fun, and truly helpful for getting the word out to potential readers. Here’s hoping they like it!

Jenn: May your launch be successful, and your book sales through the roof!

Charley’s Social Media: 

             Facebook              Twitter               Website          

 Buy Scourge:

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE     AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     KOBO

Check out Charley Pearson’s

THE MARIANATED NOTTINGHAM AND OTHER ABUSES OF THE LANGUAGE

Aaru – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn's long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog
Jenn’s long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith

About the Book

Aaru, David Meredith (The Aaru Cycle)

Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy 296 Pages

Self Published July 9, 2017

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. 

She is sixteen years old. 

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. 

A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive supercomputer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 

What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

About the Author

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Jenn’s Review

Wow… Just finished Aaru by David Meredith. I’ve had it in my TBR pile for quite a while, as it got lost in a storm of review requests. Sitting around an airport for hours had me flipping through my Kindle files, and I ran across this story, and quickly shuffled it to the top of my (now written) list! And now that book 2 is out… I am trying to figure out how to shuffle some more…

Thirteen-year-old Rose Johnson is dying. She’s tired of life, of pain, of hospitals and endless treatments. In short, she knows she’s run out of time. She doesn’t want to leave her sister, though, as they’ve been best friends all their lives. And Koren doesn’t want to lose her sister, either.

The man their father brings to meet Rose in the hospital, offers a “cure”, which Rose only truly understands when her body dies. She wakes up in a virtual Paradise, Aaru.

Koren doesn’t handle the loss of her sister very well – she falls into a depression, rebels against everything in her life, and loses all hope – a devastating thing at her young age. So when her father introduces her to the man who helped her sister, Koren isn’t very cooperative. Until they introduce her to Aaru, and her sister, Rose.

It’s a tough moment for Koren, but she’s so happy to see her sister, she agrees to become their spokesperson. Sudden stardom comes with a heavy price, which Koren doesn’t have a lot of say about paying.

This one’s a suspense/thriller, to be sure, but it’s a lengthy and sometimes difficult read. And, I would caution parents about the suitability for their own teens. While nothing explicit happens on the page, the problems of stalkers, child pornography, sex (it doesn’t happen on the page, but it does make an appearance as a problem in the story) and murder are all encompassed in the plot.

Additionally, I struggled with the author’s choice of writing style – this is a personal note, and not a condemnation of Mr. Meredith’s ability. He has a vast and, at times, obscure vocabulary. While this doesn’t pose a barrier for me, the story is mostly told from the perspective of the teenaged sisters, and the word choices the author favors didn’t quite feel authentic for the ages of the younger primary characters. They were fitting for the antagonist, however. Again, this is my own opinion of my reading experience – others might readily disagree.

All in all, I did enjoy the book. The plot, characters, and setting were all well-developed, and the conflicts and plot twists kept the story engaging. This book is for those who enjoy suspense and mystery, though I would suggest a more mature (not quite R rated) audience though, as some of the scenes might be a little too intense for younger teens.

Jenn's long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru, by David Meredith, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog
Jenn’s long-awaited review of YA Science-Fiction thriller Aaru

Other Books in the series:

Aaru: Halls of Hel (Book 2)

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and in paperback editions from Amazon below. [affiliate link]

One More Run – Review

Jenn reviews One More Run by Matthew J. Cox on Thrice Read Books review blog

About the book:

One More Run by Matthew S. Cox     Roadhouse Chronicles Book 1

Published by Curiosity Quills Press      December 4, 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

In August 2021, they tried to disprove the adage that violence doesn’t solve anything―by killing everyone.

No people, no problems.

Fifty years later, humanity has emerged from the ashes. As if nuclear war wasn’t enough, a cruel virus followed on its heels, reducing many survivors to mindless killers.

With no infrastructure left, Drivers are the only link between scattered towns. Anyone with the skill to maintain a vehicle (and the balls to hit the road) can seek riches running jobs for the Roadhouse.

Kevin longs to trade in his steering wheel for a Roadhouse of his own, no longer being the idiot ducking bullets for a handful of coins. He’s one run away from retiring when a strange woman begs him for a ride to Harrisburg. Desperation has a way of getting a man to do stupid things, and he agrees to run a package so valuable half the Wildlands will come after him.

For his whole life, all Kevin cared about was himself―and maybe his car―yet his enigmatic companion makes him wonder if there’s more to life than selling food, booze, and weapons to reckless fools.

Her past catches up to them, stranding Kevin at a fork in the road: fulfill his dream, or let it go for something he never thought he’d want―love.

About the author:

One More Run author Matthew S. Cox

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world, in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place. More recently, he has forayed into young-adult and middle-grade novels. Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humor, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Jenn’s Review:

Mad Max meets Resident Evil in this fast-paced, post-apocalyptic novel by Matthew S. Cox. 

One More Run chronicles the unplanned adventures of Kevin, one of the few bold souls remaining brave enough to act as a courier between the far-flung, terrorized and tattered settlements that make up the former United States of America. 

Kevin is this close to having the cash saved up from his dangerous runs to found his own Roadhouse and retire from driving for good. But just as things are looking like the end of his dangerous struggles, Kevin finds himself in a situation that even his jaded conscious can’t walk away from – watch a woman dragged off to slavery, or stand up and take on a job that risks everything he’s worked for.

As one run after another goes sideways and wrong, Kevin holds onto his goal: Finish with being a courier for good, and settle down with his own roadhouse.  And as situations get more and more complicated, the jaded young man finds his heart softening towards his damsel-in-distress (who is far more than she appears to be), despite lingering questions about her humanity. Together, they dodge zombies, slavers, drug dealers and more, always braced for the next blow that could end one, or both, of them.

One More Run was an engaging thriller with just enough romance in it to keep me turning the pages. Clean enough to be a YA read for an older teen, this is also engaging enough for more mature tastes – due to language and occasional sexual references, I’ve shelved this one for Sam a few years down the road. Four stars, and looking forward to diving into the sequel, Redeemed, soon.

Jenn Reviews post-apocalyptic/Sci Fi novel One More Run by Matthew S. Cox on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle or paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

The Redeemed (book 2)

The Window – Review

Thrice Read Books & Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews The Window by Amelia Brunskill - A YA Mystery Novel

About the Book:

The Window     by Amelisa Brunskill

YA Mystery/Suspense 

Published April 3, 2018 by Delacorte Press 

343 pages

Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought. 

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.

About the Author:

Amelia Brunskill writes young adult novels and short stories. She is an unintentional killer of plants and a highly intentional eater of baked goods. She works as a librarian and she lives in Chicago. 

You can visit her at www.ameliabrunskill.com or follow her on twitter @ameliab.

Sam’s Review:

Drama. Mystery. School. Identical twins. Secrets. Murder. All of that and, more star in The Window by Amelia Brunskill. I would classify this as a murder mystery/suspense. Allow me to explain why.

Jess and Anna. Anna and Jess. That’s the way it’s been for all of Jess’s blissful life as Anna’s identical twin, despite them being so different. But, that is changing. And quickly. Jess knows there’s more to Anna’s death than the world let’s on, and she’s determined to uncover every, last secret, no matter what the cost is.

This book had me hooked to the very end, and left me wanting more. And the reason why I’m not putting in any mention of humor is because there wasn’t a whole lot. The end, as I said, left me wanting more, but it was also satisfying. In other words, I loved it!

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features Amelia Brunskill's YA Mystery/Suspense novel THE WINDOW on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

Buy This Book:

Thrice Read Books has one hardback copy of this book in our shop inventory. You can find it here.

You can also purchase this book in Kindle or Hardbound editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Jinx – New Release Promotion

Thrice Read Books hosts Ernest Lancaster's debut novel, THE JINX. New release promotion post.
Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Ernest Lancaster's debut novel, The Jinx.

About the Book:

The Jinx     By Ernest Lancaster

Series: Memphis M.O. Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing     July 24, 2018

Suspense / Action

Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

About the Author:

Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.

In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.

Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.

Social Media:

FacebookTwitterWebsite

Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle versions at these outlets:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore  Barnes & Noble   Kobo   Amazon

Thrice Read Books hosts blog tour stop for Ernest Lancaster's debut novel, THE JINX, available now from Fiery Seas Publishing.

Jenn sat down and interviewed Mr. Lancaster about his debut novel, The Jinx, and published the transcript in our newsletter, Between the Lines. You can read the article here.

Scourge – Promo & Excerpt

About the Book

Scourge     By Charley Pearson

Fiery Seas Publishing     August 14, 2018   

Adult – Medical Thriller

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

~ Praise for SCOURGE ~

“Imaginative and full of action…continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical…succeeds with its scientific intrigue and decisively high stakes.”

– Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction. 

Social Media: 

Facebook     Twitter     Website

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Charley Pearson's new medical thriller, SCOURGE. Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing

Excerpt (w/ permission from author & publisher)

Excerpt, Chapter 9

The blast was louder than the angular man expected. Dirt and rocks burst from the earthen dam. One shard clipped his arm and two of his followers swore at injuries. But water ran through the cove once again, the balance of creation restored, and the night’s mission a success. Or the knight’s mission, for was he not a crusader, the most sterling of advocates for the recovery of nature?

Flow increased as the dam crumbled. Water gushed, pulsed, then poured downhill as the structure gave way. Not exactly smashing down the trees, scarcely more than annoying to the people below from mild flooding, but still acceptable. Sweeping away the village may be what Jamie had promised, but none of his people had achieved such skill.

“It’s not enough,” said a mousy young woman, his latest recruit. “One river at a time, one hamlet’s worth of people, will never get the job done.”

“Yeah,” said another. “Jamie was supposed to get three times that much dynamite.”

“You should talk,” said Jamie. “You were promising poison gas.”

The angular man raised his arms. “Patience, dear ones. We are the best our species has to offer. We shall not bicker amongst ourselves. We shall not accuse. Perhaps Trinity is correct, and the technology does not yet exist to accomplish our beneficent goal. But someday we will prevail. Seek on, and in the meantime, continue your smaller acts of distraction. Ecoterrorism, some may call it, but we know better. Any action to slow the destruction of habitat, to forward the path of Luddism, is honorable.”

A bit of moping, but mostly nods. Glorious people, his disciples. Even that skinny Chad boy, with little academic training to contribute to the cause, could make a fine soldier should they ever need one. It shouldn’t come to that, of course. Peaceful extirpation of the human species was the goal. Well, as peaceful as they could make it. Dynamite made a charming exception now and then.

Time. That’s all it would take. Eventually, one of his people would find a means to secure the final objective. Perhaps Trinity. Far more competent than any other he led, and her dedication grew with time. She had not cried about the necessity of killing people in months.

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The Jinx – Promotion & Excerpt

Thrice Read Books hosts a blog tour stop for THE JINX by Ernest Lancaster, with chapter excerpt
Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Ernest Lancaster's debut novel, The Jinx.

About the Book:

The Jinx     By Ernest Lancaster

Series: Memphis M.O. Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing     July 24, 2018

Suspense / Action

Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

About the Author:

Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.

In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.

Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.

Social Media:

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Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle versions at these outlets:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore   Amazon   Barnes & Noble    Kobo

Excerpt, Chapter Eleven (reprinted with permission of the author & publisher)

Vickie delivered a plate and silverware, wrapped in a napkin, to the booth. She set a cheeseburger with a generous serving of thick, golden fries, and a pickle spear in front of him.

“More coffee?”

Munro edged his cup over. “Sure.” He turned to Loretta. “Want a burger? The kitchen is about to close.”

“You trying to make me fat?”

“We have a salad left,” Vickie said.

“No, thanks. Coffee’s plenty.”

Munro reached for his wallet. “How much do I owe?”

Vickie jutted out her palm. “It’s on the house. We’re glad to see you pass through at night.”

“How much are they usually?” he asked.

“Four dollars.”

Munro counted out bills from his wallet. “Here, take three. I’ll pay half price with a dollar tip.”

“Suit yourself.” She took the money.

Loretta’s gaze followed Vickie as she made her way back to the counter. “You know she just put your money in her pocket. Now she’s writing in her ledger, ‘one free burger to the police.’”

“Good for her,” he said. “I bet she works hard for her money.”

“Had to pay, huh? You have a guilty conscience?”

Munro opened the bun and sprinkled the meat with pepper. “Who doesn’t?”

“Good question.” She watched him with wary eyes as he dotted his fries with spots of ketchup. “So, you’re only half corrupt?”

He looked up. “Half price doesn’t hurt a business. I’m not a Boy Scout, but it helps keep me from straying over the double-yellow line head-on into stuffing my pockets or my belly at the public’s expense.”

“Are most cops corrupt?”

He shook his head. “No. Only a few are rotten to their core. And their stench tends to float to the surface. But on the streets in the real world, good and bad wear more faces than a diamond.” He took a hungry bite out of his half-price burger. “And beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.”

She touched her finger to her cheek and traced the scar down her face to where it crevassed her lip. “How can you be a cop if you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong?”

“Easy,” he said. “The almighty law is written down in black and white for any moron to read. And I do know the difference. It’s just that I’ve been around the block enough to know if you ride tall on a white horse through the mud all the time, the only thing you do is turn the horse black.”

“What about justice?”

“Justice? Whose? Movie heroes chase justice.” He stared out onto Madison Avenue. “Real cops, spilling their souls in the streets, are too busy trying to survive to worry about justice. That and clawing to hold onto a bit of their sanity—on a good day.”

She cocked a brow. “Aren’t you supposed to help people?”

“Don’t you see?” he asked. “I help people every day, every chance I get. That’s what I get paid for. And there’s never a shortage of people down and out on their luck needing it. But too many want help screwing someone in the ground to satisfy a grudge or escaping the consequences of their own foolishness.”

He took a slug of coffee like whiskey, and recoiled at its heat. “But if you keep your head down and your antennae up, every once in a while you can climb out of the muck and save some poor schmo who’s buried in disaster. Or make a difference in a kid’s life. Maybe even hammer a predator who deserves it. Those are the things that make it all worthwhile. But most of it is just madness you ride out.”

“Man.” She stared as if he were some offbeat poet ranting in the street. “Your eggs are scrambled.”

Jenn sat down and interviewed Mr. Lancaster about his debut novel, The Jinx, and published the transcript in our newsletter, Between the Lines. You can read the article here.

The Redeemed – Review

About the Book

The Redeemed by Matthew S Cox (RoadHouse Chronicles)

Adult Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic 

Curiosity Quills Press (December 18, 2017)

The worst part about chasing one’s dream is catching it.

Six months ago, Kevin opened a Roadhouse of his own. No longer the idiot braving the dangerous post-nuclear highways of 2073, he thought he’d finally grow old and happy selling bullets, beds, and booze to those still foolish enough to get behind the wheel.

Then, he’d met her.

The white-haired outcast from the xenophobic Enclave crashed into his life, becoming the conscience he never wanted and everything he desired. She couldn’t save the world from the Virus, but she could save Kevin’s dream.

A biker gang calling themselves the Redeemed starts shooting up Roadhouses in flagrant disregard of the Code, shattering the serenity of his humble waystation. When the long-vaunted retribution of Amarillo’s army fails to materialize, Kevin feels more like a sitting duck than he ever did on the road―but it’s not his ‘house he fears losing.

Determined to protect her, he takes it upon himself to enforce the unwritten law of the Roadhouse.

About the Author

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world, in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Jenn’s Review

After being pulled away from the series for a bit, I finally finished Matthew S. Cox’s The Redeemed. The story of Kevin and Tris continues and the mysteries surrounding the events after the end of the world deepen.

Kevin finally has his Roadhouse, his life long goal achieved. Except, his dream is starting to turn into a nightmare. The long-respected Code is being ignored, Roadhouse owners are dying, the Virus is spreading in strange circumstances, and Amarillo isn’t all it once seemed.

Tris and Kevin are pulled in opposite directions, as she tries to unravel the growing mysteries surrounding Amarillo and rescue the survivors of an impossible Virus outbreak.

Kevin has to leave his ‘house in the hands of virtual strangers to chase down then who murdered his long-time friend and mentor, only to discover that things are not what they seemed; and he must reconcile what is with the fading satisfaction of finally having a safe, stable life.

MAD MAX meets DIVERGENT in this post-apocalyptic, science fiction thriller with a thread of romance. Book 3 is due out in a few months; so we won’t have to wait long to resolve the bit of cliffhanger readers are left with. I’d toss this book in the New Adult category, along with One More Run, for some sexual content (book two has less than book one). The language is mild, and there is moderate violence.

THE REDEEMED by Matthew S. Cox, book 2 in the Roadhouse Chronicles - Review by Jenn on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle edition here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in this Series:

One More Run (Book 1)

Origin – Guest Review

Guest Review by Mason Bushell for Origin by Dan Brown

About the book:

The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.
 
Bilbao, Spain
 
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
 
Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown’s most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

About the author:

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and, previously, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and Angels and Demons. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Mason Bushell Guest Review on Thrice Read Books for Dan Brown's Origin

Mason Bushell’s Review (guest post):

In true Dan Brown style this is an in depth and detailed work that challenges the religious belief system. In this case the story of creation and the origin of the human race. It all hinges on a big discovery made by one Edmund Kirsch. Robert Langdon is once again at the centre of the controversy when it falls to him to get the big discovery out to the world whilst on the run from those intent on keeping it hidden. The story is captivating and pacey throughout. It would flow very well if it weren’t for the five sides of the story being told in consecutive chapters. 450 pages encompass a whopping 104 chapters each jumping between different character views and story points. That little niggle aside, the big revelation is intriguing and worth the read for. The book is really well researched and well put together I give it a 4 out 5.

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and audio CD here. [Affiliate Link]

About Mason:A review by Mason Bushell, hobby naturalist and author of the Workhouse Mysteries. Find him and his sleuth Holly Ward in the following places: Facebook    Twitter     Website     Email: masonbushell@yahoo.comAmazon [Affiliate Link]