15 Apr 2014

NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: “THE BONE CHURCH” by VICTORIA DOUGHERTY

3 Comments Book Reviews

Today I have the privilege of announcing the brand new release of 
21457935“The Bone Church” by Victoria Dougherty. This is her debut novel but Victoria has established herself already as artful writer with her blog COLD.

I was lucky enough to get hold of an ARC. Here is what I thought:

The book is a gripping and atmospheric historical thriller that intelligently weaves two narratives into one another: One is set in 1956 and involves a rescue mission to get a woman out of Czechoslovakia, aided by the Vatican while another plot line is set in German-occupied Moravia and Prague during WW2.

Both plots involve Magdalena, a Jewish woman, and her gentile husband Felix, under-ground hiding and resistance fighters, an assassination plot. The suspense will keep you close to the edge of your seat. The book is both, entertaining with its dramatic curve, and also educational and insightful for those of us who have only basic knowledge of life in Czechoslovakia during and especially after WW2.

Dougherty skilfully portrays life and its difficulties for Jews, Czechs and gypsies under the Nazis with excellently drawn characters, while also providing some lesser known facts and historical events in Czechia and Slovakia; in particular a show trial in 1952 really showed me how little I knew about the post-war period.
Although the level of suspense is always high in the rewarding way of great underground spy thrillers, it never loses sight of the seriousness of the times.

The bone church of the title is a small Roman Catholic chapel in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic and contains artistically arranged bones from skeletons to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. Its symbolism and function as returning focal point for the story contributes to the artful and ever so stylish canvass that the author is painting on.

Dougherty has a sharp and observing mind that can quickly draw a picture, scene or a character with only a few well-chosen words and attributes, but her descriptions go beyond bare skeletons and show how well-researched the book is and how competent the writing.
Her understanding of the human psyche makes her characters either likeable or laughable but always memorable. Her dry sense of humour and wit liven the novel in a welcomed, understated way. Corruption and underhand dealings are seen for what they are, as is naivety. It is hard to pitch irony in a serious novel but the author has done a perfect job at it.

The writing is authentic, stylish, realistic and very addictive. 

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Find the book on Amazon: http://bookShow.me/061598052X

her stunning website
Victoria’s twitter name:
My previous feature on Victoria:
About this author

Victoria Dougherty has for nearly twenty years distinguished herself as a master storyteller, writing fiction, drama, speeches, essays, and television news segments/video scripts.

In Prague, Ms. Dougherty co-founded the acclaimed Black Box Theater, translating, producing and acting to sold-out audiences in several Czech plays – from Vaclav Havel’s riveting “Protest” to the unintentionally hilarious communist propaganda play “Karhan’s Men.” Black Box Theater was profiled in feature articles in USA Today, International Herald Tribune, and numerous European publications.

Currently, Ms. Dougherty lives with her family in Charlottesville, VA, and has recently completed a series of thematically linked Cold War spy thrillers. She is represented by Josh Getzler of Hannigan Salky & Getzler

28 Feb 2014

NEW RELEASE: RUNE: EPISODE IV: ENTOMBED by J.H. Glaze

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“RUNE (Episode IV: Entombed)” by J.H. Glaze is speeding things up in this enchanting paranormal adventure series geared at young adults and young at hearts.  51iXd7LfU9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_
Our trio of protagonists are 18 year old Jake, his girlfriend Maire and Pete, a demon trapped in a dog’s body. Hunted by evil demons the three of them have an exhausting and action packed journey ahead of them. Jake Rune has recently gone an ominous transformation and has acquired super human powers. Hunting down scrolls is part of their mission…and of course simply surviving, too.
Glaze has created very meorable and likeable characters who are great leads to bring and keep the story alive. They are chasing and are being chased in what might become a tour of the Southern States. Jake’s arch enemy Seraphine has joined the hunt for out young heroes and adds more colour to the story.

Of all four books this is the fasted and most action packed. After setting up the scene and characters and after getting us used to his originally created world Glaze now invites his readers to a moreadrenalin-fuelled episode that will be continued in Episode V.

Masterfully written, with natural dialogue and great pacing this is an easy and solid read.
A hugely enjoyable feast for fans of fun and suspenss-filled paranormal fare.

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Amazon: amazon.com/author/jhglaze
Facebook: facebook.com/JHGlaze.author
Goodreads: goodreads.com/JHGlaze
Twitter: @themostcoolone
Website: www.jhglaze.com

J.H. Glaze is a versatile storyteller, born in northeast Ohio. As a young adult, Glaze traveled the
country, frequently hitchhiking, and always looking for adventure and new opportunity. Much of
the quirky plot lines inherent to J.H. Glaze’s tales were informed by the experience of these early
years. Readers will appreciate his accessible, “Hey, I know you,” phrasing, and the everyman voice
that will seem so familiar, drawing them in before providing an unexpected twist. With a blend of
horror and humor, he delights in giving the reader a kick in every chapter of every book.

The Rune series marks Glaze’s début into the world of young adult fiction. In the style of a television series, each episode is a novelette that ends with a
cliffhanger requiring the reader to wait until the release of the next episode to learn what happens
next. In the first episode, the main character, Jake Rowan, experiences a mysterious transformation
on his 18th birthday. Fortunately, he meets up with a dog, later named Pete, who guides him into
what he learns is his destiny. As the series continues, Jake and Pete are caught up in a quest to save
humankind from the demons that have plagued them for more than a thousand years.

J.H. Glaze’s writings include the full-length novels, The Spirit Box, NorthWest, and Send No Angel,
which make up “The Paranormal Adventures of John Hazard.” Glaze has also developed a short
story series, “The Horror Challenge,” affording him the opportunity to interact with his readers who
are invited to suggest a word or phrase that he will use to twist into a theme or prop in one of his
engaging stories.
Glaze’s talent as an author with a sincere love of storytelling shines through as he transitions with
ease from spinning tales of horror that thrill to a heart-warming romantic novella, The Life We
Dream. All the while maintaining his compelling storytelling style, Glaze thrills again in Forced
Intelligence, the novelette that peeks into the moral dilemma of using animals in experiments for
scientific or military advancement.
A self-published author, J.H. Glaze is called one of the New Kings of Horror by fans. He currently
lives near Atlanta with his wife, Susan, two dogs who are crazy about him, and a Senegal parrot
that merely tolerates him.

 

22 Jan 2014

Guest Blogger Dianne Harman: “THE MAKING OF TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY”

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Today I have the pleasure of welcoming the wonderful Dianne Harman, who just released TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY. Dianne has already been my interview guest on this blog [Link to this interview ] and today she is letting us look ‘behind the scenes’ of her new book. Scroll down for my excited 5 star review! 

Author Dianne Harman on

THE MAKING OF TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY

(for my review and the Amazon link scroll down)

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          A common question writers get is whether or not the people and events in their books are real. If one is writing about events and people in the now, I don’t think they can escape from bringing in parts of themselves, knowingly or unknowingly. In other words, we bring to the table the sum of our experiences. Certainly, that’s been true for me.

          I wrote Tea Party Teddy after I’d been seated next to one of the most bigoted, biased politicians I’d ever met at two dinner parties two nights in a row.. And since my husband was a California State Senator and the number three man in the Republican Party in the California Legislature, I had met my share of them. We entertained Congressmen, Governors, Legislators, and Lobbyists of all political persuasion. I was one of the few people privy to the inside workings of politics, and trust me, it’s often not a very pretty picture.

          After I sat next to this politician, I began to wonder what his wife and family were like. I was also curious why he hated the illegal immigrants and even the legal immigrants. Where did that come from? His views were not “politically correct.” The story I made up in my mind became the book. The response to Tea Party Teddy was huge. Political papers and blogs featured it. People loved him or hated him and reviews reflected it. There were even a couple of low reviews from people who didn’t like my husband’s politics! My poor husband was never part of the book other than to read it

          What so many people missed was that the book was essentially a satire – a look at a minority of people who have a stranglehold on one political party. But make no mistake, money is mother’s milk in politics, and this minority can be counted on for big bucks! The book tells of a man whose fall stems from the need to get money to finance his campaign.

          I remember a Saturday morning many years ago when my husband mentioned he had a coffee meeting with a constituent in an hour. He’d just returned from a week of meetings in Washington, D.C. and I told him I thought he needed to take a break. His response: “So and so is a very heavy contributor to my campaigns. If he wants a meeting, he’s paid enough to get the meeting.” In other words, if they pay to play, a politician will listen to them – and probably vote for whatever it is they want.

          Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy was a natural offshoot of the first book. Nina and Bob, Teddy’s ex-wife and arch enemy, fall in love and get married. Bob decides to run for the California Legislature against a minister who has the same political beliefs and ethics of Tea Party Teddy. True? Not really, but some traits of politicians, donors, and aides I’d known found their way into the book. There are many good politicians and I made sure Bob was one of them. There’s a line in the book about politicians willing to trade their first-born if they could win a political race. Often, this is sad, but true. Legacy was probably motivated by a need to show there are still some honest politicians. I’ve noticed that once a politician gets beyond the local school board level, the monies they’ve taken to move up the ladder usually means they’re beholden to someone. If you doubt it, look at some of the bills that are passed, locally and nationally, then look at the politician’s voting record and check out his/her supporters. There’s usually a very clear nexus.

          I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Slade Kelly, the lovable reprobate private investigator. So many people have told me he is their very favorite character in my books. Since none of us is perfect, we can all probably identify with a less than perfect character – which may speak to why people love it when a politician is caught in a scandal. And those scandals are only the ones that see the light of day!  I’m in the midst of writing my third book in the Coyote series, and due to public demand, Slade Kelly is the pivotal person in the book!

Link to the book on your Amazon website: http://bookShow.me/B00HWXB8WC

Tea Party Legacy

My Review:

“Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy” by Dianne Harman is a great political thriller about the election campaign for the California State Assembly. Bob Silva, hero of the first book, Tea Party Teddy, runs against far right-wing Reverend Jim Thurston. Silva’s wife used to be married to Tea Party Teddy and is now heavily pregnant.

Harman sets up the rivals brilliantly within a short space of time and with excellent eye for details, background and characterisation. When Silva retreats from the election campaign for private reasons the Reverend needs to step up his game by all means necessary.
With dry wit, great observational skill and humour and with clear knowledge of political processes the author has delivered another excellent story that exposes greed and hunger for power and the extent to which some individuals will go to get what they want.
The term `legacy’ from the title reverberates throughout the story – a well-chosen title. The story is relatively short which is perfect for the tightly edited plot. Nothing is superfluous in this story, this is a well-paced and skilfully narrated novel full of suspense. A compelling and intelligent read that I most enjoyed. 5 enthusiastic and well deserved stars.

11 Jan 2014

Bob Rector “Unthinkable Consequences”

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“Unthinkable Consequences” by Robert Rector is a well written noir thriller with a great deal of action, suspense, character depth and development.
Set in 1959 middle aged Paula has started an extra-marital affair with Kurt, a muscular hunk that fulfils all of her physical needs. When he proposes they run away together she is surprised at his feelings for her and only reluctantly agrees. Her own life is empty since she is no longer feels loved or needed but she is not yet ready to let go of her old life for an unknown new one.
Kurt is involved in some dubious criminal activities with some detestable ‘business partners’ and is scheming to get away from it all, together with Paula. Unfortunately for him his plans are not working out quite as he has hoped, both with Paula and with the con he is planning.
The story has a lot of erotic scenes since the basic attraction between Paula and Kurt is sexual. However, they both get to evaluate their lives and their feelings new, which are portrayed in slow motion as the lovers undergo their individual paths and personal development. Written with great insight into the human mind and psyche Rector gives his characters a lot of room in the story, deviating from a straight forward romance or thriller format and giving Paula and Kurt time to explore their desires and needs.
Paula’s mother falls ill and needs care while Paula’s husband and his mother start to show their true colours towards the woman in crisis. Kurt also needs to reassess his plans so that the lovers can be together on the right terms.
The book has all the ingredients for a best seller: Action, plot, romance, sex and believable and interesting characters and all in the right measure to cater for the fans of each genre. The writing flows easily and makes this a worthwhile and entertaining read.

Interview with Bob:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

I started writing professionally in 1970 for a nationally syndicated TV show called The Now Explosion. It was the first program made up exclusively of music videos and preceded MTV by ten years. I was a one-man band. I wrote the scripts, directed and shot the film, then edited them – five films a week. It was a crash course in filmmaking and especially storytelling. I’ve been making TV shows, stage shows, and various film and video projects ever since. Personally, family and work define my life. I’ve been married for 38 years to my best friend. We have two grown sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a German shepherd/beagle mix.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written? 7359474

Storytelling is in my genes. Both my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother were wonderful storytellers that kept us grandkids spellbound for hours at a time. I started writing not long after I learned to write. I started writing professionally, as I mentioned, in 1970.

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

“Unthinkable Consequences” takes place in S. Florida in 1959. I grew up in N. Florida in the 50s. I was 12 in 1959 and was beginning to look at women differently, not just as moms and teachers. The women’s movement hadn’t begun yet – men still ruled the world. Many women lived in gilded cages, locked in loveless marriages. I became aware of a sexual tension vibrating just beneath the skin of these ‘high-spirited’ and frustrated women. Finally, one of them made a break for it. She was never heard from again. My story is based on what I imagined might have happened to her.

How did the characters come to you? Why this setting?

I wanted a setting that was hot and sensual and somewhat untamed. The Florida Keys in 1959 fit the bill. As for characters, Paula and Kurt and all the others in “”Unthinkable Consequences” are based on real people I have known at some point in my life. It’s the only way I know of keeping my characters honest and have them speak convincingly.

Who would play the characters in the movie – if you could choose any actor?

Paula is a strikingly beautiful and tall redhead, voluptuous, sensuous, athletic, fiery, determined, loving, funny, artistic, big-hearted, and vulnerable.
Christina Hendricks.

Kurt is a six-four monument to man in his most primal state, heavily muscled, moves like a jaguar, roguishly handsome with a perpetual shit-eating grin and a heart of gold – to those he loves.
Josh Holloway.

Do you have a favorite genre to read yourself?

I’m a mystery/thriller/suspense guy. But I like any well-told tale, regardless of genre, as long as it stays ahead of me. I hate predictability. .

Tell us a little about the history of “Unthinkable Consequences”. How long did it take you to write and publish?

I started work on the story over 20 years ago, originally as a script. Eventually I decided to make it into a novel primarily because I’d never written in that format before. However, we were very busy building a business and raising a family and the project kept getting shoved onto the back burner. About a year ago I dug it out of storage and decided it was time to finish it. So I did.

How do readers respond to the book?

I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. So far, it has received only 5 star reviews. It’s been called a page-turner, sexy, with characters you fall in love with, filled with unexpected twists and turns. My favorite comment was from Claude Nougat who said it was, “a thoroughly modern version of Madame Bovary. Paula is a fascinating character – and equally explosive.”

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

Dialogue was the easiest, perhaps because I’ve spent most of my life writing scripts, including the 3-act play “Letters From the Front.” In a play, dialogue is about all you’ve got to work with.

The hardest was cutting the final draft down from 150,000 words to 120,00, then going through it with a fine-toothed comb to correct grammar and spelling mistakes. Hated that part.

What are your next projects?

A revival of “Letters From the Front.” We toured the world with the play for 15 years and it was the most exhilarating time of our careers. Its been in hiatus for the last few years out of sheer exhaustion but now we’re ready to get it up and touring again. Lots of demand for it but it’s a big job.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life is fun and stimulating, as are the people I associate with. Why settle for anything less? What do I do for pleasure? I’m open. What have you got in mind? As for work, since 1970, I’ve never worked a day in my life.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

The book that did it for me, when I was about 14, was “April Morning” by Howard Fast. Before then, reading was just a way to pass the time.

My greatest influence is John D. MacDonald, the master.
Favorite books: 
anything by MacDonald, Exodus by Leon Uris, Campbell’s Kingdom by Hammond Innes, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. 
Films: Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Psycho & North By Northwest, Ford’s The Quiet Man, Disney’s Fantasia., anything by the Cohen Brothers
Music: Anything by Linda Eder or Billy Joel.

 

What are your views on independent publishing?

 

The verdict’s still out. I’m relatively new at it. I think the potential is great but there are too many participants who do not treat it as a business and are not only shooting themselves in the foot, but the ricochet is hitting everybody else too. For it to truly work, I believe, we can’t position ourselves as trinket sellers at a street stand. We have to establish fair prices reflecting the time and talent involved in creating our books.

 

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

 

Claude Nougat’s Forever Young, Dianne Harman’s Blue Coyote Motel, Simon Okill’s wacky Nobody Loves A Bigfoot Like A Bigfoot Babe, and The Luck of the Weissenstieners by a guy named Christoph Fischer.

 

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

 

I polled a few friends and the consensus was –
Best: Generosity, versatility and tenaciousness. 
Oddest: Rampant eccentricity.

 

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Animal: Dogs – all sizes, breeds, and colors.
Color: Red. Outdoor
Activity: Sipping an adult beverage on the beach, preferably at sunset in some exotic land.

What would you take to a remote island?

My wife. She’s fun.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

The Cohen Brothers. The two most original talents in storytelling and filmmaking. The string of masterpieces they have produced is unmatched by anyone else in the business. They have such an unusual take on American life, I would love to pry into their minds and see what makes them tick.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I have two scripts that I’ve decided to adapt into novels, reversing the usual process. One is another suspense/thriller involving an attempt on a president’s life, and the other is a contemporary adventure/fantasy. I will soon have an author’s website with info on all projects in the works. Stay tuned.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I’ve been fortunate to spend my life doing exactly what I wanted and have enjoyed every minute of it. As for my book, and the films and plays and videos I have made over the years, I hope those who were subjected to them were entertained and felt their investment of time well spent.

 

Bob on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7359474.Bob_Rector

Unthinkable Consequences on Amazon:

http://bookShow.me/B00GXHPE7I

 

Bob Rector’s Unthinkable Consequences is a classic film noir in full-blown hurricane technicolour. Bob has created quite simply a breath taking masterpiece of the basic human emotions and revved them to maximum overdrive in a 1956 T Bird. The two main characters, the neglected housewife, Paula and the dangerous stranger, Kurt are instantly blended like cheap coffee in a sleazy motel. Set in Key Largo, Florida 1959, and like the original film, oozes sex appeal and raw animalistic traits. But unlike the original film, Bob has taken the lead characters to new heights, or depths, depending on the situation at hand. And oh boy do those situations change quicker than a whore on a Saturday night at the docks. The sex is sizzling like bare feet on hot sand, the dangerous criminals lurking in the background are as vicious as scorpions in a frying pan and the tension could be sliced with a chainsaw.
If you like your thrillers hot, sweaty, visceral, plain down and dirty then this FIVE STAR Bogartesque slice of nostalgia is right up your alley with a slug of gin and a slug to the jaw for good measure. And this reader does know how to whistle, and here’s looking at you, kid.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

21 Oct 2013

“Jack Cannon’s American Destiny” by Greg Sandora

1 Comment Book Reviews

 

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“Jack Canon’s American Destiny” by Greg Sandora was given to me for a review by a blog tour operator. Political thrillers are not my usual genre but this has a very interesting main character: An idealistic Kentucky Senator, a dreamer and Democrat, who is determined to succeed for the greater good.
He tells his own story, which adds subjectivity to the story and leaves some room for making up our own mind about him. Do we agree with everything he says? We follow his campaign and the politics of 2016 America in a fast pace and smooth writing.
I probably don’t know enough about American politics to comment, but the descriptions of the campaigning are as much as I would imagine them to be. The continuous threat to a politicians integrity, the temptation in form of his assistant Sandy, a murder plot and the impact of his political life on his family, all of this is well portrayed and makes for some interesting and thoughtful reading.
This is at times a very powerful read and should please the fans of the genre.

 

 For an excerpt please scroll below. I can’t get the Rafflecopter to work today so

please leave a comment and I will make sure your details are entered in the Tour Rafflecopter.

Jack Canon’s American Destiny

by Greg Sandora

I’m originally from the Portland, Maine area and lived and worked there for years before moving to Southwest Florida. I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Canon’s American Destiny – which will be titled Jack Canon Clean Sweep. The sequel will be available in about three months.

My Dad and Mom were artists, my father painted and my mother wrote poetry and loved to garden. Most Saturdays we loaded up the 1970 Chevy Impala to trek to a one man show somewhere or other. I took a different track graduating with a business degree; owning and operating an Award Winning Franchise Fitness Center. Currently a professional manager I am living in Florida with my beautiful wife and children, and following my passion.

Some of my other projects include a children’s book called Sammy the Sea Turtle – about an infant sea turtle taken from his nest the night he was to find his way to the sea. Sammy lives with the family until their son – the boy who took him, graduates from high school. On that day Sammy, backpack in tow – begins the long journey home.
My second project in the works involves angels – a man during a visit to Bar Harbor Maine encounters an angel; quite accidentally, he is told – she was not supposed to make him aware of her existence. Only three others have ever seen the real thing. Naturally he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature.

Excerpt:

The only thing that gave me a worse vibe than these two was Gene’s taste in decorating. The ceilings were about 30 feet high and three walls held books up to about the first 15 feet, after which was a very large landing around three quarters of the room. The wall opposite the door was made up of five floor-to-ceiling arched windows. The bottom six feet of each had colonial muttons and were partially opened, allowing the outside winter cold to fight with the heat in the room. On the landings above the bookshelves were housed various artifacts of torture.
Gene saw me noticing, “These are from the collection of King Henry,” he boasted.
There were guillotines and stretching racks and other devices all made of aged wood and black iron. Some had big weathered chain links hanging from them and leather straps. There were black iron turning wheels, the sight was gruesome.
Gene motioned to a large axe with a semicircular blade and an unusually long, thick handle.
“This is my prized piece of the entire collection – the axe used to behead Katherine, Henry’s youngest bride.” Mounted next to the axe, on a polished cherry post, was a scrap of parchment.
Next to it, carved in gold lettering over black onyx, was inscribed an onlooker. The parchment had faded to an almost illegible degree and was kept behind glass.
Gene said, “The onlooker’s account is sealed in helium, just like the Declaration of Independence, to preserve it. I’ve had it authenticated by historians, expert in the period.” The words were transferred onto the stone.
The eerie account told of the misty morning when the helpless fair-haired teenager, a mere girl, forced to lay under the weight of the wealth of England, was led to her death.
I read the inscribed: Queen Katherine emerged just before nine in the morning. A rain the night before had turned the courtyard muddy to our ankles. The streets containing the foul smell of chicken scratch and horse urine slurried into the mix. Gawkers’ pushed for position and strained to see the delicate fawn-like Katherine as she walked barefoot, clothed only in a very plain and simple linen dress. The exposed skin of her upper chest was so pale I could see the ghostly blue vein patchwork just beneath. The last time I had seen the young queen she was amazing, the most beautiful woman in all England.
Fancily dressed and bright, riding in an open coach smiling sweetly waving to her subjects, I fancied the thought our eyes might have met for a second.
“Spill her blood!” A spectator called out. I thought, what cowards this mob, content to stand by and watch. Greedily clinging to their own lives–any one of which could be wrenched from him in a second.
This bitter gray morning, the little Queen made her way slowly up to the old worn wooden steps, pausing briefly, turning sad doe eyes back to the crowd. A pitiful thin waif of a child so helpless and demure, Katherine continued up the stairs carefully gripping the railing as if it were her mothers hand, that somehow she might be swept away from all this.
Once upon the platform, facing the crowd full on, her tiny limbs were exposed and pale, a simple dress hanging over her nearly shapeless frame. She wore no jewelry. Her one remaining vanity, long hair, perfectly combed. The henchman placed her firmly against the block and with a blank and helpless stare Katherine moved her beautiful locks to one side exposing her slender neck.
I waited for her to jump to her feet and scream out in defiance, “What have I done that your precious King isn’t guilty of?”
Laying her head sideways on the block, she awaited her fate in silence.
The black-hooded killer appeared to us like a giant standing over her. A moment before, even the handle of the axe and the blade had been taller than the living little queen. He drew back.
I heard the neck cracking then a thud as the girl’s head crashed to the platform floor. Steam rose from the blood pouring in a warm pool from the lifeless body slumped behind the block.
Gene Hobbs had acquired the only known account of the gruesome event; one can imagine that onlookers must have rushed to write on whatever they could find to recount the scene. The metaphor of the rich over the poor and the machinery of torture in the room made me shudder. Reading the narrative, I felt sickened by the horror of the day, for lost innocence and the tyranny of the time. What a waste of a beautiful young life; what a disgrace for England.

Political Thriller Comes to Paperback an Exciting New Release from Itoh Press

Ft Myers, FL — (SBWIRE) — 03/22/2013 — Political thrillers grab readers by the frustrations and give their minds a good shake. In a time when little gets done in real world politics, and the excuses and accusations are lame, the political thriller novel fulfills a need to see change happen fast, concluding with sweeping drama. This week Itoh Press will release the paperback edition of “Jack Canon’s American Destiny”, a political thriller which has gained a word-of-mouth following in its current ebook format

Author Greg Sandora wrote “Jack Canon’s American Destiny” as a first person narrative from the point of view of a liberal politician, Jack Canon, running effectively for President Of The United States, when no one in corporate or political power wants him to succeed. A flawed character himself, Jack Canon must face down character assassination plots and murder attempts, on himself and those close to him, all in an effort to move him off political center stage.

Sandora brings the reader intimately inside the head of Jack Canon, a true-believer, a man in love with two women, charismatic, somewhere between Jack Kennedy and Hemingway, with a passion for his friends and his beliefs. The novel is unlike many political thrillers, though as suspenseful on the intrigue as the best political novels, this isn’t just a political thriller, but a character study, and a study of love and friendship among truly human characters.

The genre of the political thriller serves all shades of the political spectrum. No one character of a particular political color is immune from being cast as the hero or villain in the political thriller. However, it exists as a genre where most practitioners take a conservative leaning, where a clear protagonist is drawn with only minor flaws. The combination of a liberal politician who struggles with his own passions brings a refreshing dimension to the political thriller. That such a person might have political savvy to successfully go up against violent and unchecked powers in the country reflects the best hopes that we as a people have in our political process.

Greg Sandora’s says of his novel, “This is a story I’ve always wanted to see myself. Jack Canon’s destiny is to make things right. The wealthy in this country have picked on the foreclosed carcass of the middle class. Jack Canon is a charismatic leader who goes ‘All In’ to make things right. The climax is so shocking you’ll pull the covers and draw the shades.”

 

www.gregsandora.com

Get the Book Now
See the book trailer by clicking here!

 

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Publisher: Itoh Press
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print |Barnes & Noble

Book Description:

It’s the steamy summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C. just days before the Democratic National Convention. A long and painful recession has left ordinary Americans suffering, spawning the hottest Presidential Contest in history. Jack Canon, a man born into privilege, a witness to great social injustice is going to be President of the United States–no matter what! Desperate and corrupt, the leader of the free world orders a hit to slow him down. The plan backfires–the wrong people are dead–a manhunt points to the unthinkable–The President of the United States.

Rewind one year, Jack’s focus on redistribution of wealth and energy has made him powerful enemies. Once his friends, Rogue Billionaires, Oil Sheiks, the Mob, all want him gone. The current President wants him alive–thinking he can win against an unabridged liberal. A Universal Raw Nerve of wealth vs. poverty is exposed becoming a thrill ride as deep machinations of espionage, geo-politics and deception, even murder play out. Kind and charismatic, Jack’s just naughty enough to have you falling for him like one of his loving circle of loyal friends. Of course he’s flawed, a dedicated family man, faithful to one woman, but in love with two. Is it his fault his best friend is impossibly jaw dropping beautiful? Think the crime and passion of the Godfather meets the romance and innocence of Camelot. A story that could spark a movement, a book that can seed a revolution. A heart thumping climax so shocking you’ll pull the covers and draw the shades! One things for sure, through all the drama and suspense, you’ll be pulling for Jack!

 

About Greg Sandora

Greg Sandora, author of “Jack Canon’s American Destiny“, grew up with parents who followed their passions and has spent his life doing the same. After owning an award winning fitness center in his hometown of Portland, Maine, Sandora moved to Ft Myers, Florida where he currently writes and works as a professional manager.

Jack Canon’s American Destiny” is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

CONTACT
Greg Sandora
Fort Myers
609-519-8000
gregsandora99@live.com
http://www.gregsandora.com

 

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05 Sep 2013

Mark Louis Rybczyk: The Travis Club

3 Comments Book Reviews, News

 

Mark-Banner

Radio listeners in Dallas/Fort Worth may know Mark Louis Rybczyk better as ‘Hawkeye,’ the long time morning host on heritage country station, 96.3 FM KSCS. An award-winning disc jockey, Mark, along with his partner Terry Dorsey, have the longest-running morning show in Dallas. Mark is an avid skier, windsurfer and traveler. He is also the host of ‘Travel With Hawkeye’ a radio and television adventure feature that airs across the country. The Travis Club is the third book from Mark Louis Rybczyk.

The Plot:

In a cathedral in downtown San Antonio, just a few blocks from the Alamo, sits the tomb of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other Alamo Defenders. Or so we have been led to believe. What secrets really lie inside the tomb and what has a group of misguided activists known as The Travis Club stumbled upon? How far will the city’s power brokers go to protect those secrets?

What would happen if a group of slackers discovered San Antonio’s DaVinci Code? Find out in the new book by Mark Louis Rybczyk, The Travis Club.

 

 Mark card_217902601

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

In the mid 1980’s when I just out of college, I was living in San Antonio starting my career as a morning radio host. One weekend morning, I was riding my bike through historic Fort Sam Houston, an Army post situated in the middle of the city.

I’m one of those kind of guys that stops and reads every historical marker and that morning I must have run into about 10 of them. Little did I know that Dwight D Eisenhower was once stationed there and met his wife while coaching football a local university. Or the the first military flight occurred on the the parade ground with a plane purchased from the Wright Brothers.

On my ride home, I decided to write a historical guide book to San Antonio. I figured there were enough stories that, by themselves would not merit an entire book, but all together would be an interesting read.

It took me three years to write. In 1990, I published my first book, San Antonio Uncovered. The book was a local best seller and sold 5 printings and 2 editions. It was this book that gave me the idea to write my current novel The Travis Club.

The Travis Club features many of the odd, funny and hard to believe stories that seem to be so prevalent in San Antonio including the fact that there is a tomb in the back of the nation’s oldest cathedral that supposedly holds the remains of Davy Crockett and other Alamo defenders. Even today, the church is not sure about the validity of the remains. I thought it would be fun to create a Da Vinci Code type story about the tomb and weave thru it the history and quirkiness of on of this nations oldest and most unique cities.

Are you like any of the characters?

I have been accused by many of my family and friends of being a bit too similar to the main character Taylor Nichols. I will concede that there are many similarities.

What else would you like our readers to know about yourself?

I would like to point out to other writers how much trouble I had getting this book into print and how important it is to be persistent. I first wrote this book and tried to get it published over ten years ago. I ended up putting it on a shelf and started other projects. I finally pulled it off the shelf and reread the entire work. Because so much time had passed and I wasn’t as emotionally attached to the original, I was able to edit the book down, cutting out not essential parts that didn’t contribute to the plot.

Next, I hired and editor to look over the project. Those were the best two things I ever did.

The self editing made the book so much better. The professional editor made the book so much more polished.

The third thing I did was decide to self publish. I decided to wait a few years for self publishing to get better established. I’m glad I waited and I’m glad I self published. The timing was right. I have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming positive reaction from readers. I have received quite a few reviews on Amazon.com and most have been between 4 and 5 stars.

You are never really sure what the public will think about your book until it is published. It has been an exciting time for me.

Are there any changes you would have made to your book?

After it was published, I wish I would have made one extremely minor change. I told my wife about it and she said I was nitpicking, so I stopped worrying about it. Your book will never be perfect, you will always wish you made changes.

One thing I added to the book that no one ever seems to get is the metaphor of the main characters cat. The cat is always trying to get outside to mark his territory, not unlike the main characters of the book, who also mark their territory by appointing themselves the protectors of the San Antonio’s historic treasures. I can honestly say that no one has ever picked up on that metaphor. Next time I won’t try to be so clever.

Will there be more/ a sequel?

I am hoping to write a sequel perhaps a trilogy. Many of the reviewers have mentioned that they would like to see more from the main characters and the other members of the Travis Club. I am excited that people have become so invested in my characters and I want to take it to the next level

I would also like to to write a tour of the places that are mentioned in the book and where to find them in San Antonio. I probably will post them in my blog SanAntonioUncovered.com

 

Website | Metroplexing | San  Antonio Uncovered | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

 

One paperback copy of The Travis Club.

 

 

 

Rafflecopter:

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: Self Published

 

Genre: Mystery

 

Release Date: June 17, 2013

 

Amazon

 

 

 

Excerpt One Short:

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Noel Black sharpened a pencil and placed it neatly back in the top drawer of his glass-topped

 

desk, right next to the other sharpened pencils. He glanced at the clock then straightened a few

 

paper clips and a calculator on the stark, polished surface.

 

11:08 p.m.

 

He knew he’d be leaving soon. So important to stay on schedule. Especially on a night like

 

tonight, when a life would come to an end.

 

Among the abstract paintings of his office was one unframed black and white print. A picture

 

of her. Not a picture of sentiment, but simply of record. A photo that would soon belong in a file.

 

Black fingered the yellowed photograph and could not help but think of childhood visits to

 

his mother’s father, his abuelo. He remembered spending the hot San Antonio summers at a

 

rickety west-side duplex much different than his parents’ ranch house in Dallas. Abuelo’s home

 

was filled with people, music, food and love.

 

As a child, Black would spend summer afternoons within earshot of the front window,

 

waiting for the rumble of his grandfather’s old diesel engine. Then the home would fill with

 

other workers, workers who were grateful to the old lady. All immigrants, they had left Mexico

 

hoping for a better life. The old lady offered them higher wages than the pecan shellers received.

 

With the promise of steady income came the chance to move into a house with plumbing, to send

 

money home, and to send for other relatives. His grandfather loved the old lady and he did too.

 

More recently, Noel Black’s feelings about her had changed. She was a relic, an icon of a

 

past era. Now in her final years of the 20th century, the old lady had outlived her usefulness and

 

had no place in the modern San Antonio that he envisioned. She was in his way. She needed to

 

be eliminated.

 

Of course, this kind of work had to be contracted out. He usually relied on a local contact

 

who understood the procedures. Anytime a life was extinguished, it must be done with precision

 

in Noel Black’s world.

 

 

 

Excerpt Two Long:

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Noel Black sharpened a pencil and placed it neatly back in the top drawer of his glass-topped

 

desk, right next to the other sharpened pencils. He glanced at the clock then straightened a few

 

paper clips and a calculator on the stark, polished surface.

 

11:08 p.m.

 

He knew he’d be leaving soon. So important to stay on schedule. Especially on a night like

 

tonight, when a life would come to an end.

 

Among the abstract paintings of his office was one unframed black and white print. A picture

 

of her. Not a picture of sentiment, but simply of record. A photo that would soon belong in a file.

 

Black fingered the yellowed photograph and could not help but think of childhood visits to

 

his mother’s father, his abuelo. He remembered spending the hot San Antonio summers at a

 

rickety west-side duplex much different than his parents’ ranch house in Dallas. Abuelo’s home

 

was filled with people, music, food and love.

 

As a child, Black would spend summer afternoons within earshot of the front window,

 

waiting for the rumble of his grandfather’s old diesel engine. Then the home would fill with

 

other workers, workers who were grateful to the old lady. All immigrants, they had left Mexico

 

hoping for a better life. The old lady offered them higher wages than the pecan shellers received.

 

With the promise of steady income came the chance to move into a house with plumbing, to send

 

money home, and to send for other relatives. His grandfather loved the old lady and he did too.

 

More recently, Noel Black’s feelings about her had changed. She was a relic, an icon of a

 

past era. Now in her final years of the 20th century, the old lady had outlived her usefulness and

 

had no place in the modern San Antonio that he envisioned. She was in his way. She needed to

 

be eliminated.

 

Of course, this kind of work had to be contracted out. He usually relied on a local contact

 

who understood the procedures. Anytime a life was extinguished, it must be done with precision

 

in Noel Black’s world.

 

11:22 p.m.

 

38 minutes to show time. His instructions were explicit: action not to be taken until midnight.

 

Not a second sooner. Not a moment later.

 

He locked the glass door behind him and walked briskly to his polished black BMW. He

 

knew that he should stay and wait for a call. But tonight, waiting was too difficult.

 

11:37 p.m.

 

He eased the perfectly waxed sedan through the streets of downtown and into the fringes of

 

the west side. “This land is way too valuable,” he mumbled aloud. He slowed down and parked

 

across the street, hoping to be inconspicuous, even though he knew that a European sedan was

 

about as common in this South Texas barrio as a snowball.

 

“Just a quick look,” he told himself.

 

He caught the eye of a shadowy figure in a black hooded sweatshirt. It was one of the locals

 

he had hired to complete the job. Black flashed back the mal ojo, the evil eye. He knew he

 

shouldn’t have come. But deep inside he needed to see her one last time, not to pay his respects,

 

but to make sure the job was done right.

 

11:46 p.m.

 

He started up his engine and allowed his eyes one final glance at her. It was one time too

 

many. Immediately, he noticed something amiss. A glint behind a window pane that made him

 

realize someone must have been tipped off.

 

He felt a rock in his stomach. He knew there would be trouble.

 

 


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