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Review: Murder Over Kodiak by Robin Barefield

25368273“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. — John Muir

Alaska is what happens when Willy Wonka and the witch from Hansel and Gretel elope, buy a place together upstate, renounce their sweet teeth, and turn into health fanatics. — Sloane Crosley

I love Alaskan mystery/suspense/adventure tales. There is just something about the landscape, the breathtaking beauty, and unusual characters that calls out to the wannabe homesteader in my soul. The person who could be perfectly happy in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by beauty on all sides, wild creatures, the scent of spruce, cedar and pine, the sound of an eagle’s cry.

Of course, the whole, “damn it’s COLD!”, the snow higher than the eves, and the mosquitoes larger than 747’s, and the idea of breaking a leg and being eaten by bears in the woods is rather off-putting . . . Grin. But I can still get a vicarious thrill from authors like the marvelous Dana Stabenow. And now, Robin L. Barefield. Ms. Barefield’s Murder Over Kodiak” is her second book, and it holds great promise as a new series for my lists.

There is much to recommend Murder Over Kodiak, and not just my rather obsessive love of Alaskan fiction. Dr. Jane Marcus is a research biologist posted to Kodiak Island. Located off the south coast of Alaska, separated from the mainland by the Shelikof Strait, Kodiak is the largest island in the Kodiak Archipelago. Isolated, often cut off from the continent by fog and vicious storms, Kodiak is a quiet island of oddballs and academics, rather boring but for the gossip. Until, that is, things start to fall apart.

Three people have died from PSP, paralytic shellfish poisoning, a saxitoxin found in shellfish, one of the more popular foodstuffs on the island. As a biologist for The Kodiak Braxton Marine Biology and Fisheries Research Center, it is Jane’s job to not only help develop a test for PSP that can be easily administered by those who dig shellfish for their dinner, but to identify the strain of toxin that killed the victims. When Jane sends Craig, her student and assistant, on his first solo trip to gather shellfish for testing she isn’t worried. Craig is methodical, cautious, and knowledgeable about the dangers inherent in the wilds of the island. Bears and poisonous plants abound, but Craig is more than competent. He can handle anything.

Anything, but the bombing of the airplane he shares with an oddly assorted cast of characters. Though Craig hasn’t an enemy in the world, all of the others, including the pilot, have their own set of enemies, any of which could make them the target for a devastating bomb. A much hated corporate raider, known for destroying companies and their owners. His Senator wife, involved in a hard fought reelection campaign with a possible Mexican drug cartel puppet. The much hated Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge manager, bullying others about the rules of the park but breaking them continuously for his own aggrandizement with his political cronies. And a local cannery owner whose bitter wife may or may not be involved. Then there is poor Bill, the sweet young pilot, whose ‘girlfriend’ is the epitome of a disturbed teenage girl. Any could be the target of  the bomb. But who was its intended target?

Things get even more ‘interesting’ in the Chinese manner as Jane’s life is threatened, the press arrives in a voracious hoard, and the suspect list grows. From the decidedly self-centred son of the Senator to possible Mexican cartel hitters, the terror cranks up to an unexpected, highly appealing climax.   Barefield uses her knowledge of Kodiak, its people, the ‘Alaskan Mindset’ and the ecology and weather of the island to create a beautifully crafted, and unexpected, novel.

The only thing that really bothered me about the novel, as with so many other self-published books, is the lack of editorial oversight. I am perfectly capable of immersing myself in novels, losing all sense of time. However, though it seems a small thing, improper adverb placement was completely distracting, bringing me crashing out of the story in irritation every few pages. Another issue I often see? Relying on spell check. It is a tool, much like a wrench or a screwdriver. It relies upon the wielder to utilize it correctly. Ms. Barefield could have paid a bit more attention. A few other issues, but minor.

Even given the editorial issues, this book touched the aspiring Alaskan in my soul. I will be reading the first book by Ms. Barefield when I can, and will watch for others by her. If you want to learn more about Kodiak and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuse, visit Ms. Barefield here.

I received “Murder Over Kodiak” from StoryCartel in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

DSC_3769I live an incredible life in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.  I hope to share my life with you and talk about Kodiak wildlife and the beautiful, and sometimes challenging, environment in which I live.

I have a master’s degree in fish and wildlife biology and have worked the last 30 years as a wildlife-viewing guide on Kodiak Island.  I am currently writing a book about the wildlife of Kodiak Island, so many of my blog posts will be dedicated to wildlife facts and news.

My husband and I own and operate Munsey’s Bear Camp, a hunting, fishing, and wildlife-viewing lodge.  It is a small lodge, and we only accommodate six people at a time, but these small groups are perfect for viewing wildlife, especially when we hike up a stream and sit quietly on the bank watching Kodiak bears chase and catch salmon.

Our lodge is our home, where we live year-round with our two cats.  We experience the breath-taking beauty of a sunset on a perfect July evening, and the raging 100 mph winds of a stormy January afternoon.

Wildlife biology is my first passion, and my second is writing mysteries.  The first rule of living in the wilderness is to embrace solitude and solitary endeavors.  Writing is the most solitary of endeavors, so it is perfect for me.  Mysteries are what I like to read, so mysteries are what I write.  I currently have one mystery, Big Game, published in 2012 and available at Amazon Kindle.  My second novel, Murder Over Kodiak, was published in April, 2015.

Please join me on my blog and interact in the discussion.  I look forward to meeting you, learning about your life, and sharing mine.

https://i2.wp.com/www.kodiak.org/uploads/gallery_slides/image/.660x390/bears_birds_1.jpg

 

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Review: Memphis Ribs by Gerald Duff

The villain is usually the most interesting part. But it has to be a smart thing. Just dumb cliche villains with a Russian accent and big muscles and a mean face, I don’t know. My Russian accent isn’t that great, and the muscles aren’t that big and the mean face is not enough. You know what I mean? It gets very boring. Tedious stuff. – Christoph Waltz

I grew up in the South. Heat like a wet blanket draped over your soul, bugs and mud. But good things too – Southern comfort food and blues. Good and bad, just as any other place in the world. I still find it interesting to see how others portray the feeling of the South, and will often pick up books set there simply for that fact. The world of the south has changed since my day, of course – change, and bad change, is to be expected these days. And the bad is really bad, as the ongoing problems of poverty continue to spread the issues of drugs and violence into the once safe areas. Gerald Duff is a Texan, which can in a way be called the South of course, though the people there seem to feel themselves their own country (grin). He has lived in all strata of society, from oil field hand and cotton picker to university professor, so he has been able to integrate those experiences into his writing, earning him membership in the Texas Institute of Letters. All this encouraged me to believe that the book would be exceptional.

Sadly, I found the book to be devastatingly clichéd. Marble-mouthed black people living in the projects, just too, too prissy ‘Old Southern Money’, the white Yankee drug dealer come to ‘sippi for the old blues music (and the ink black girl children he can rape). It felt like the author wrote up a list of stereotypes and then built his book from those corny subjects. Overall, it isn’t a “bad” book, per se, but it gave me a headache – probably because I expected more.

Others have enjoyed this book quite a bit, and just because I found it irritating doesn’t mean you will. There are a few laughs to be had, which were worthwhile.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Marked by Sarah Fine – My New Auto Purchase Author!

21805566Stand close around, ye Stygian set,
With Dirce in one boat convey’d,
Or Charon, seeing, may forget
That he is old, and she a shade.
– Walter Savage Landor – Pericles and Aspasia (l. 5–8)

If we do not change our negative habits toward climate change, we can count on worldwide disruptions in food production, resulting in mass migration, refugee crises and increased conflict over scarce natural resources like water and farm land. This is a recipe for major security problems. – Michael Franti

We cannot permit the extreme in the environmental movement to shut down the United States. We cannot shut down the lives of many Americans by going to the extreme on the environment. – George Bush (b. 1924), U.S. Republican politician, president. Speech, May 30, 1992, at campaign rally, California on the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.

Yeah. How’s that workin’ out for everybody but you? – Me

 

Lachesis measures out the thread, while Clotho weaves upon the loom, but Moros walks amongst us still, personification of impending doom, drives mortals to their lethal fate, while deadly Atropos cuts the thread. . . OK. I wrote that part, but Sarah Fine’s Marked made me feel poetic. I literally got lost in her words, in her story of Cacy Ferry and her family. The Ferry’s have a secret – their father, Patrick, is the physical manifestation of Charon, the ferryman of the dead. And Cacy and her siblings all carry the weight of the souls they guide to the afterlife. One gold coin for a lifetime of lost happiness. The fee paid to the Ferrymen, and women, to carry out their duties.

Ah, but the fee must be shared – shared with the Kere, scions of Moros, bringer of death through violence and disease. Is it that simple, that these gold coins are the cause in the disruption of the warp and weave measured and spun out by the Moirai? For something is badly wrong in the world, and Cacy and her family are right in the center of the widening gyre.

But they stand not alone. For when Cacy meets Eli and Galena Margolis, what she understood as right takes a sudden turn into shocking – and her life, and her jobs, will never be the same. Nor, possibly, will the existence of the very Fates.

Jobs? Well, yes. For while Cacy could hold a white glove position in her family company, Psychopomps Incorporated, she chooses instead to become an EMT in Boston. Which doesn’t sound all that bad – except for the fact that The Great Flood of 2049 has placed Boston mostly underwater now, massive canals and dams the only thing between the populace and total inundation. Being underwater is bad. Really bad, as disease organisms make the water deadly, and canal pirates make life for most a living hell. Poor to no police or fire protection, minimal power, and the aforementioned pirates make Boston a dangerous place to be. But the fact that it is actually one of the safest cities still extant proves just how bad the rest of the world must be. Running water? He’d never actually seen such a thing. Clean water was like gold in Pittsburgh, and carefully rationed. Eli and Galena are from “The West” – better known as Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh – desert lands. Is Pittsburgh truly the farthest reaches of the US? Is it all a barren desert past Pittsburgh? Or is the country past that desert wasteland, a land of cactus and sand, simply gone – subsumed by rising waters?

So. Two tales here, in this wonderful, wonderful book. On the one hand, a tale as old as life, and death, itself – Eli, Galena, Cacy and her family will find their lives woven together, in a race against time and murder – and possibly to save the tapestry upon the loom – the divine machine that churned out the endless fabric of life. The Fates themselves cannot hold the centre – the warp and weave is failing. Are Eli and Galena the answer? Or will Atropos rule over all?

The second story is just as poignant in its own way – and more terrifying. It is simple to see the story, wrapped within the story, as flooding and desertification take over the world, climate change wiping a brutal hand over what humans have built. Voltaire had it right when he said, “Men argue. Nature acts”. We laugh at the dragon, as Tolkien pointed out. While he was talking of real dragons, we laugh at the dragon of the changes we have wrought upon the world, and in our blindness, we determine our own fate.

This MARVELOUS book is the first in the Servants of Fate series. Book two, Claimed, is waiting for me on my reader and I can hardly wait to get started. I received Marked from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review, but no matter what, I cannot speak highly enough of this book. Life, death, betrayal, horror, romance – it’s all here, and all marvelously written. I highly recommend the series. I also intend to pick up Ms. Fine’s previous series, Guards of the Shadowlands. Sarah is already on my auto purchase list.

If you like my reviews, please mark “yes” at Amazon under “is this review helpful?” It helps my Authors garner more attention!

Review: Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

22072877Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It’s very easy to enjoy yourself. – Tove Jansson

If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary

 Mary Margaret Devlin, Maggie to her friends, has had to be tough in her life. A horrendous marriage, the loss of her family, all have left her alone, and terrified to open herself up to others. But with her boat, the Undine, a good friend in Willow, the owner of Candle Thyme, a potpourri shop, and the home left to her by her beloved father, she live a quiet, peaceful, if isolated, life. Well, as peaceful as it can get when bill collectors are breathing down your neck. With young Billy as her first mate, mechanic and general helper, the Undine keeps her afloat, and her home makes her feel safe.

Gunnar Wolfe might be able to fix part of Maggie’s problems. Well, at least the financial woes. For he wants to canoe out into the streams and rivers of the Florida swamp, to photograph the amazing wildlife and plants. And to possibly find, and photograph, that most rare of creatures. The ivory-billed woodpecker. Though many believe the bird extinct over 100 years ago, tales still abound of swift and silent visions, there and gone. And if he can get the only nonfuzzy photo, well, National Geographic time for Gunner. A personal and professional coup of immense proportions. But to get that photo, Gunner needs a guide. Enter Maggie. Much against her will, as Gunner is scary as hell. Huge, muscled and beautifully Norwegian blond, Maggie’s blood runs fast – which scares her silly. Men are terrifying – and men who look like Gunner even more so. Wow. Soo pretty!

So. Money good. Hauling huge Gunner around the swamps in a tiny canoe when he has never even been on the water? Hum. . . So, training time. And against Maggie’s hopes and wishes (even though she really needs the money) Gunner does well. But a single discovery in a hidden stream turns their world upside down. Terror and death becomes part of their lives – lives which could be cut short at the hands of a monster.

There is so much to like about Swamp Ghosts that I really don’t know where to start. Well, actually I do. Marcia pulls you into the ambiance and beauty of her beloved Florida swamps. You can almost smell that sharp, almost bitter tang of the swamp, taste the humidity on your tongue, feel the heat against your skin. I could close my eyes and smell the hyacinth and hear the calls of the birds, the grunt of gators in the night, the cries of the creatures who call the swamps their home.

Then, there are her characters. Maggie, strong and yet so hurt. Friendly giant Gunner, with a heart as big as his body. And you can’t have a really good book (well, in my opinion) without the quirky characters who populate the best stories, the ones who fit so well into the landscape you can’t imagine the story without their presence. The cast of characters drew me in, wrapped themselves around my mind and made me laugh, cry and cheer – and yes, my heart definitely raced at times.

This is a wonderful thriller, not overwhelmed by the romances which also exist within the story. Marcia loves Florida, and you can feel it in every word. If you are looking for a book which will draw you in, making you yearn to see all the things that Marcia sees, I highly recommend Swamp Ghosts! Oh, and the next book will be out before long – she says she is working on Chapter 11, so keep an eye out – I know I am!

I received Swamp Ghosts from Marcia in exchange for a realistic review. And yes, Marcia is a friend, but this is still a marvelous book!

Please let me know if you like my review by clicking “yes” on Amazon. It helps my author friends! Thanks.

Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of 29 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order. But her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her two grandchildren, ten-year-old Tabitha Faye, and twenty-month-old Kaelen Lake.At age 69, Marcia wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel, and “Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love.” Her second novel, “Swamp Ghosts,” set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida, was released in spring of 2014. “A Boy Named Rabbit,” the sequel to “Wake-Robin Ridge,” will be available on Kindle by January 26, 2015. And “Hunter,” the sequel to “Swamp Ghosts,” is scheduled for release in late summer, 2015.

In the past year, Marcia has also had her poetry appear in four Silver Birch Press anthologies: “Silver,” “Green,” and “Summer,” all Eclectic Anthologies of Poetry and Prose, and “Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology,” which features a unique form of creating poems from prose.

Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.

You can reach Marcia through her blogs and other social media:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
Who’s Your Granny: http://mmeara.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Twitter: @marciameara
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

A note from Marcia:

I’m going out on the river today with two tours on the Naiad, with

Captain Jeanne Bell & her husband, Doug Little. They are the real life counterparts of Maggie & Gunn, and where I got the idea for Maggie to be an Eco tour boat owner. Perfect for allowing me to really dig into the habitat and wildlife of this part of my state. (The REAL Florida, if you ask me.) They’ve got a large group of folks coming (over 40) and have split the group into two tours to accommodate everyone on the boat, and I’ve been invited to go along and talk for a bit about my book, and do a signing afterward.

Doug has been incorporating Swamp Ghosts into every tour lately, and sells the book from their ticket booth. It’s been a lot of fun for him to read the blur on back and then tell everyone that Gunnar Wolfe is his alter-ego. This is my inspiration for Gunn, of course!

(Chris Hemsworth a/k/a Thor)
Friends are the BEST!

Review: Sweet Deception by Angel Nicholas

Sweet Deception: HarperImpulse Romantic Suspense - Angel NicholasAnyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins. – Franz Kafka

Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. – Bob Marley

Sweet Deception. It sounds like one of those “Boy meets girl. Boy saves girl from minor problem. They all live HEA. The end.”

I wonder who decided on that title? Because, though there are six five star and one four star very-well-deserved reviews, the people who are expecting a simplistic story are going to be disappointed, and the readers who would pick up a powerful, contemporary suspense/thriller would not normally pick it up offhand. And this is a powerful book. Oh, the whole HEA romance thing is in there – though it might have been better served in another novel. Just my opinion, because I found that it distracted from the overall story line.

Ally Thompson’s life is boring. Go to work in insurance claims, come home, have dinner, pour a glass of wine and read a book in bed. (Hey, that is my life!) Tired of listening to all the fun that her coworkers had over the weekend on Monday mornings, she decides it is time to do something adventurous. Well, not too adventurous, but riding a roller coaster is a start, right? Ensconced in the “special” seat at the rear of the coaster she finds herself seated next to (of course) tall blond and sexy detective “Surfer Dude”. When one of the riders is murdered and thrown from the car, Greg the Surfer Dude saves her life (of course) and thus begins a much more serious contemporary tale than I had expected based on the cover and title. In a word, this is one thrilling book – but it is also excruciatingly current in what is, to me, the best sort of way. Angel Nicholas rips the blinders off of modern issues that many would like to ignore – or pretend don’t exist in the first place.

Drug running, human trafficking, sex trafficking, dirty cops – all play a gut wrenching role in the tale. And this is why I would have been happier with the book if it left out Ally pining over Mr. “I’m too gutless to have a real relationship but I am more than happy to bang you blind – and if you try to have a relationship with anyone else I will stalk you and show up on your doorstep” Guy. Yeah, yeah, he finally “comes around” several months after the end of the ‘action’ – and yeah, yeah, she takes him back. Meh. It detracts from the importance of the book itself as it tries to pull in both the romance and the suspense crowd.

The person expecting a ‘sweet’ romance isn’t going to like this. There is brutality, rape, sex slavery of both adult women and children, (two instances of which Ally is forced to watch, as “training”), and several scenes where the heroine is subjected to the worst kinds of humiliation, though she is not actually raped.

Yes, yes, I know. I get psychotic over books that depict rape and sadism – but my problems with those books are where the actions are presented as being “acceptable”. This isn’t that sort of book. It brings into the light things that society would rather keep hidden, stripping off the blinders and making the reader truly see.

Something else it brings to light? How our government will allow these things to continue to happen as they “build their case” – no matter the suffering that women and children go through as the “case” is built. Sometimes YEARS of torture, rape and sometimes death – which can honestly be a blessing given what they are subjected to day after day. All enslaved  by monsters, of course. But the real monsters? The ones who live next door – who have wives and children and jobs, who attend PTA and host cookouts in the back yard and birthday parties for your children. And who slip away at odd hours to rape and brutalize women – and of course, children the same age or younger than their own little ones.
/
So. My recommendation? READ. THIS. BOOK. But don’t expect “sweet and cuddly.” Expect realism, expect truth, expect good writing (well, except for the romance part – IMO Ally would have been better off sticking with being the strong, wonderful woman she was, and she does create something truly wonderful with her life before Greg comes back around) than sticking around for Mr. “It’s All About Me” but there was finally a HEA so those that wanted it got a sweet ending.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and I am very happy to recommend it! If you like my reviews, please let me know on your country’s Amazon.com! I post to US, CA, AU, UK.

Review: Ashes and Arsenic by S.M. Reine

23505850Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. – Dalai Lama

Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue. – Andy Stanley

Cesar Hawke isn’t really much of a witch in the eyes of his coworkers at the Office of Preternatural Affairs. I mean, come on – the guy has massive sneezing attacks when he comes in contact with magic – nothing like a witch being allergic to magic. And he is a potions witch, not a pumped up spell slinger. Well, he ‘is’ pumped up with strength spells every morning, but that is neither here nor there – after all, being the new aspis for his boss, Director Fritz Friederling (and you really should read the previous book where he was awarded that dubious honour) he needs every leg up he can get.

It has been a really bad couple of months for Cesar, Fritz, and the OPA. And things are about to get a lot worse – especially for Cesar. Because his black-sheep brother, Domingo, is up to his old tricks again. And this time? Well, let’s just say death and destruction is once again raining down on Los Angeles – and Domingo is right in the middle of it. Cesar and his grandfather, Pop, tried to save Domingo in the old days. But this time? Well, this time there may be no saving him – or any of those who surround Domingo. Including his family.

Once again S.M. Reine has written a book of beauty and power that is both creative and interesting on many levels. Not only the paranormal writing level, but in her interest in and understanding of the lengths that family will go to in order to protect their members. Even when the member in question doesn’t really deserve their support.

There are convolutions on top of convolutions in this newest book of the Preternatural Affairs series (This is book 6, you can enjoy this one without reading the others, but the whole series is so enjoyable there is no reason not to read them all!)

saraAbout The Author:

Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I’m the New York Times Bestselling Author of urban fantasy known as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). You can usually find me writing on my treadmill desk at 2am whilst listening to dubstep. Yes, dubstep.

If you would like to know the instant I have a new book available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! I’ll only email you when I have a new release, which is generally no more than once a month. I can’t write any faster than that. 🙂 http://smarturl.it/armyofevil

List of my series:

WAR OF THE ALPHAS (coming soon)
Omega
Beta
Alpha

SEASONS OF THE MOON (completed)
Six Moon Summer
All Hallows’ Moon
Long Night Moon
Gray Moon Rising

THE CAIN CHRONICLES (completed)
New Moon Summer
Blood Moon Harvest
Moon of the Terrible
Red Rose Moon
Darkmoon
Of Wings and Wolves
Alpha Moon

THE DESCENT SERIES (completed)
Death’s Hand
The Darkest Gate
Dark Union
Damnation Marked
Dire Blood
Defying Fate
Paradise Damned
Deadly Hearts (prequel short story)

THE ASCENSION SERIES (completed)
Sacrificed in Shadow
Oaths of Blood
Ruled by Steel
Caged in Bone
Lost in Prophecy
Torn by Fury
Sins of Eden

PRETERNATURAL AFFAIRS (in progress)
Witch Hunt
Silver Bullet
Hotter than Helltown
Shadow Burns
Deadly Wrong
Ashes and Arsenic
Once Darkness Falls (coming 2015)

TAROT WITCHES (in progress)
Caged Wolf
Forbidden Witches
Winter Court (coming 2015)

Review: A Cold Day For Murder: Kate Shugak #1 $1.99 Audible

audible

 

A Cold Day for Murder: A Kate Shugak Mystery | [Dana Stabenow]

Written by: Dana Stabenow
Narrated by:
Marguerite Gavin
Length:
5 hrs and 31 mins
Series: Kate Shugak, Book 1
Unabridged
Audiobook
Release Date:
10-18-11
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Regular Price:
$17.49
Member Price:
$12.24 or 1 Credit
Special Price:$1.99

 

Publisher’s Summary

Eighteen months ago, Aleut Kate Shugak quit her job investigating sex crimes for the Anchorage DA’s office and retreated to her father’s homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. But the world has a way of beating a path to her door, however remote. In the middle of one of the bitterest Decembers in recent memory ex-boss — and ex-lover — Jack Morgan shows up with an FBI agent in tow. A Park ranger with powerful relatives is missing, and now the investigator Jack sent in to look for him is missing, too.

Reluctantly, Kate, along with Mutt, her half-wolf, half-husky sidekick, leaves her wilderness refuge to follow a frozen trail through the Park, twenty thousand square miles of mountain and tundra sparsely populated with hunters, fishermen, trappers, mushers, pilots and homesteaders. Her formidable grandmother and Native chief, Ekaterina Shugak, is — for reasons of her own — against Kate’s investigation; her cousin, Martin, may be Kate’s prime suspect; and the local trooper, Jim Chopin, is more interested in Kate than in her investigation. In the end, the sanctuary she sought after five and a half years in the urban jungles may prove more lethal than anything she left behind in the city streets of Anchorage.

State of suspense: listen to more Alaskan mysteries in the Kate Shugak series.

©2011 Dana Stabenow (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc

Review:

When I noticed A Cold Day For Murder was only $1.99 at Audible, I went back to look at my review here on my site. . . and realized, there isn’t a review here. Hum… Being a HUGE lover of Dana Stabenow, I am somewhat flummoxed that I only have a review for Fire and Ice, which is from her Liam Campbell series, reviewed on site. Well, fiddle. There are nearly 950 reviews on Amazon, so my review won’t make that much difference I suppose – and seeing as how I have over 500 reviews on Amazon (yea!) I am not going to go through pages and pages to see if I wrote reviews before I started SIRTBT. So, here is a short review (Me? A Short Review?! Will wonders never cease?)

Kate Shugak is one of my favorite female characters of all time. Tough and determined, she is also damaged and flawed – in other words, a very real, very human character. Kate is Aleut, raised by her grandmother Ekaterina, a former Tribal Council member and still chief. She grew up in The Park, “twenty million acres, almost four times the size of Denali National Park but with less than one percent of the tourists.” Occupied by Native Aleut and a collection of oddballs and “stay away from them or you will get your ass shot – and you might be dinner as well” types, The Park is a wonderland – and a cold, heartless land where the slightest misstep could mean a brutal death.

The story itself has been well described by others, and you get the gist from the summary. What I want to tell you about is the world of Kate and her tribe. The Aleut have suffered for centuries, first at the hands of the Russians, then the Americans, and Stabenow weaves that story in to her narrative – giving you a good idea of just why the tribal members could really care less that a rich little white boy has gone missing – good riddance to the Outsider with the rich and powerful daddy.

What is truly breathtaking about Stabenow’s writing is her descriptive narrative – her true love for her native land shines out through her writing. And being a huge Marguerite Gavin fan, I am always pulled into all of the Kate stories.

A Fatal Thaw | [Dana Stabenow]Book Two, A Fatal Thaw, is now on Audible, and I can finally add it to my collection! There are 20 books in the series now (Book 11, The Singing of the Dead, is still not available on 271297Audible, but hopefully whatever is keeping it unavailable will be corrected soon.)

I will warn you – if you like the first book, they are like potato chips – you can’t listen to just one!

Review: Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #1) – Alexandra Sokoloff

huntress“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Beware the dark pool at the bottom of our hearts. In its icy, black depths dwell strange and twisted creatures it is best not to disturb.” ― Sue Grafton, I is for Innocent

 

“There are no heroes…in life, the monsters win.” George R.R. Martin had it right. In life, especially in these days and times, the monsters win. And in Thriller Award nominee for Best eBook Original Novel Huntress Moon, Alexandra Sokoloff draws the monsters in all their disturbing reality. The monsters are out there – living amongst us, drawing upon us, eating their victims, body and soul.

“Put just one of these monsters out of commission – the child sellers, the serial rapists, the mutilators, the torturers – lock just one of the breathing, crawling scum away for the rest of their miserable lives, and the entire balance of the world shifts. Who wouldn’t want a license to do it?

Well, that is what Matt Roarke thought from the time he was nine years old. From the time he learned of the horrors that really exist in the world. For that is the day he learned of what happened to five-year-old Cara Lindstrom and her family. Miraculously, Cara survived the slaughter of her family – a slaughter carried out by “It”, by a “Monster”, not a man. But of course, who is going to listen to a brutally traumatized five-year-old?

Years later, when one of Roarke’s agents is killed in front of him in what appears to be an accident but Roarke knows is not, his attention is caught by what at first seems to be simply a witness. But in that moment, he knows she is something else, something ‘more’. And as his investigation grows, the story becomes something more than he expects. Something that will change his very soul.

While some found the story ‘slow’, and of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, I found the book had an almost dreamlike quality to portions of the story – a development of characters and locations which I found ‘rich’ rather than slow. The book is very well researched and written, and beautifully paced. I don’t need to be spoon-fed story development – in fact, I am disappointed when my hand is held and I find myself with bib at throat in mystery and thriller stories. This was perfect.

From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment. — Charles Manson

In a twisted turn of fate, Cara is back in Matt’s life – and the monsters, ah the monsters – human traffickers, drug lords, the darkness abounds. But hope and possibilities intermingle with the dark. And I can hardly wait to read more. The next is Blood Moon – and I am so excited to start it right away!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. More than a five star read – if you are interested in FBI based thrillers, I highly recommend the series. If you enjoy my reviews, please leave a “Yes” at Amazon.com – it helps me help authors! Thank you.

The Next Target by Marcel Trigueiro – Now on Netgalley!

nexttargetkdpcover
Click for your Netgalley Copy!!

Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Home of some of the most beautiful views:

... most incredible beach cities in the world -> Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 The most beautiful women . . . grown up women, and children as well . . .

Beautiful Brazilian men, of course… 😉

But not everything about Rio is beautiful . . .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is no stranger to terrorist activities. For every beautiful neighborhood in Rio, there are the horrors of the Slums . . . the constant strain on the BOPE, the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais.  Poverty, gangs, terrorism and death is a way of life for many.

alemão favela of rio de janeiro – http://www.dissentmagazine.org
child scavenges for garbage at the Rio Hato landfill in Rio Hato – http://www.washingtonpost.com
Bope Elite Squad Caveirao bope-elite-squad.blogspot.com
wellingtonflagg.blogspot.com

 

Rio de Janeiro’s BOPE Elite Squad http://www.rio-de-janeiro-travel-information.com
Rio de Janeiro’s BOPE Elite Squad http://www.rio-de-janeiro-travel-information.com

 

Rio Riots – pinterest.com
sábado, 25 de septiembre de 2010 fuerzasespecialeselviskenpo.blogspot.com

 

REVIEW:

Gangs. Terrorists. Murder and death and poverty are no strangers to the streets of Rio. But now, terrorism takes an electronic twist. And the terror is all the more frightening for being unseen.

It starts simply enough. The incident is not even that unusual. A group of friends, out for the evening, stop at a red light. Beside them, a motorcycle pulls up – and out comes the gun. Within moments, the driver is dead, the motorcycle gone. Certainly not unusual in a city where gunmen on motorcycles robbing motorists is pretty much a daily happening.

But this shooting is a great deal different than the usual. And what happens next cripples a whole city – and soon, the terror spreads. For there is method to this particular madness. And as cyber crime becomes something more, as the death toll rises, Matheus Erming and his team of computer forensic specialists must find the perpetrators who are using a computer virus as the base for an attack on not only Rio, but the world.

Marcel has penned a tightly scripted story of terrorism in the cyber age, of murder and mayhem and death wrapped within a story of cyber crime written for today’s world.

The reviews on Amazon aren’t that good right now, only because it wasn’t previously edited and the Romantic language of Brazilian Portuguese didn’t translate well to the more Germanic English. Marcel and I took three months to edit and rewrite in order to turn out a better, more readable book. If you have a copy that doesn’t show ‘fourth edition’ be sure to download the newest edition!

 STORY SUMMARY:

When fear is used as a weapon, the panic paralyses the target like a spider web which immobilizes the preys in the last seconds of their existences. Thenceforth, eliminating a life becomes something elementary.

Rio de Janeiro had already experienced the climate of terror at the end of 2010, with cars and buses being constantly torched overnight. Now, a similar climate settles in the city, but this time the targets have names and surnames. Hundreds of thousands of people are progressively threatened by terrorists who seem to know all the details of their lives. Some of them are cowardly murdered, in a demonstration that anyone can die.

Matheus Erming is the Computer Forensics specialist responsible for examining the computers used by the victims and for finding out how details of their daily routines, kinship and friendship relations were taken by the perpetrators of the attacks. The investigations are the starting point of a persecution not only cybernetic, which touches the lower levels of the organized crime and chases for the roots of chaos in the city. During this race, the security of Matheus’ family is also put at risk. When this happens, he knows he has only one choice: to go further, at any cost.

Marcel TrigueiroABOUT THE AUTHOR

Almost five years ago, Marcel Trigueiro started writing a novel. At first, all he knew was that the protagonist would be a Computer Forensics specialist, since a regular programmer or software engineer would be too boring for the plots he could figure. It would be better someone authorized to hold a gun.
Given his Computer Science background, he managed to build a plot based on solid Information Security principles, without forgetting to take advantage of Rio de Janeiro’s geography.

The Next Target is his first book.

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