Deadly Gamble – Connie Shelton

This is book #1 of the Charlie Parker Mysteries. I randomly came upon it while searching through books on Amazon.

Deadly Gamble Cover Image

Charlie Parker is an accountant who shares office space with her brother, who is a private investigator. While her brother is out of town, she decides to take on a case for her ex-best friend (the best friend who married her fiancé), and a missing watch turns into a murder investigation.

I loved the idea of this story, but I could not finish it. There were so many plot holes that I could not handle it any more. I literally spent as much time rereading to see if I missed something, as I spent actually reading it the first time around.

On page 12 she talks about using her inheritance to help open the business with her brother. What inheritance? Who left her money? Why was her brother not left money? Yes, I get it could have been a husband that died, friend, etc. But come to find out later, it was her parents. The same exact parents as her brother. But we don’t know what her brother did with his money.

Another plot hole? Her part time secretary asks who was just in the office. Charlie states “A friend from school but you wouldn’t know her and there is a good reason why.” End of conversation. A bit further ahead, Charlie and her secretary are deep in discussion about this ex-friend and all the horrible things she did, but she hasn’t yet told the secretary any of this.

Minor issues? Maybe. But when I am engrossed in a story, and all the sudden read something that has me saying…. “Well where in the hell did that come from?”… I go back rereading what I read only to see I did not miss any information; it was never there.

So there you have it. I see there are several books in this series, and I hope this issue was due to it being a first book.

If you’ve read this series and love it please let me know!

The Innocence of Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton

I likely would have never found these charming stories if not for my habit of binge watching British television shows on NetFlix (Bless you NetFlix!).

The Innocence of Father Brown cover image

After going through the entire series of Midsomer Murders, Rosemary and Thyme, and Keeping Up With Appearances, it was time to give Father Brown a try.

A quirky Catholic Priest with a close circle of a couple of friends to help him with his sleuthing, or as the local DCI sees it, his butting in, Father Brown solves the crime while granting forgiveness to those who desperately need it.

Anyhow, back to the book.

This book is filled with several short stories. They are of course written in the fashion of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s (when G.K. Chesterton lived), so it can be a bit jarring for some when you have been reading current novels. I personally love reading older books like this, and after you get through the first couple of pages, you have a firm feel of the style of writing and it becomes much easier to read.

Mostly murderous, these stories are a quick read and most have you guessing right until the very end. I was a bit surprised and the graphic details for a book from this time, but it is certainly nothing I haven’t seen before. This would be a great book to keep on your nightstand!

Have you read (or seen) Father Brown before?

Guest Author Andrew Joyce

I am thrilled to feature Andrew Joyce, author of the newly released “Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups“.

Hello, my name is Andrew Joyce and I’m here today to try to sell a few books.

I have a new book out entitled Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. It is a collection of short stories I’ve written over the years. Inside Bedtime Stories you’ll find tales of fiction and nonfiction. There are all sorts of genres within its pages, from westerns to detective stories to love stories and just about anything else that you can imagine. One of my stories—included in the book—was granted the honor of being included in a print anthology entitled The Best of 2011. Some of the stories are dark and some are lighthearted, but I hope you’ll find them all captivating.

There’s a whole lotta material in the volume—700 pages; enough to make sure you get your money’s worth … and enough to keep you reading for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, here’s one of the shorter stories from the book.

Treasure

He stumbled upon the treasure quite by accident. He was exploring the vicinity when he happened upon it. His first thought was, This cannot be real. He cautiously approached it. Someone might be playing a trick on him. Maybe he was being observed. But no one sprung from a concealed location—no one yelled for him to halt his advance. It seemed safe to move forward. When he arrived at the treasure, he bent down to touch it, just to make sure it was real. After one touch, he fled to better-known and safer environs.

That night he could not sleep for thinking of what he had discovered. He thought and thought of ways he could explain it to members of his tribe. If he suddenly showed up with the treasure, anything he said would be suspect. One does not find treasure of this sort every day. No, he would have to think this through.

The next day he went back to where he had found the treasure, but dared not get too close. Instead, he peered at it from a distance. It was still there and untouched. But for how long would it stay undiscovered? A fire burned within him to possess it. If not for the taboo placed on matters of this sort by the Law Giver, he would claim the treasure as his own. But no, the Law Giver would never allow it.

As he tried to sleep on the second night after his discovery, he thought perhaps the Law Giver would understand. Perhaps he should approach her, and tell her of his find. No! If she forbade him from keeping the treasure, it would be lost forever. Conceivably, he could bring it to his village and hide it from the Law Giver. But … where could he hide it? The Law Giver was all-wise; she knew the secrets of his heart.

Quite unexpectedly, he overheard the Law Giver speaking of the place he had found the treasure. This is what he heard: “When they moved out, they told me they left a few things behind, and if we wanted anything, we were welcome to it. I’ve been too busy to go over there, but I think I’ll take a look this afternoon. Maybe there will be something Billy might like.”

Something I might like. Something I might like! Was she toying with him? Did she indeed know of the treasure? Later that afternoon, his mother called Billy to the front of the house. He was not allowed far from home because he was only five years old, so he appeared right away. His mother said, “Look what I found next door where the Simms used to live.” And there it was—the treasure!

His mother handed little Billy the bright red toy fire truck that had caused him to lose so much sleep. You see, Billy had been afraid his mother would think he had stolen it, even though it seemed to have been abandoned. And in his home, stealing was the one thing his mother, the Law Giver, would never tolerate.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups cover image

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

 

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.

Judas: The Iscariot Warrior Series (Book 1) – Roy Bright

Disclaimer: This book has grammatical and punctuation errors throughout. I talked to the author personally, and the book is currently undergoing a 2nd edit. It is nothing unbearable that does not allow you to read the book; I have seen far, FAR worse than this. I loved this book so much I am recommending you read it before the 2nd edited version gets uploaded if you have the time.

I am not sure where to even begin. Have I ever insisted you buy a book? I do not recall that I have. Well; I am now. This book is f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! I would label this story as an action and adventure novel. I am also going to try to avoid giving away any spoilers, while at the same time describing just how great this book is.

Judas Book 1 cover image Roy Bright

The plot and descriptions are well written: you get the right amount of descriptions to see the scenes in your mind, without any areas that feel long-winded, drawn out, or just way more descriptive than necessary. There is plenty of action, it is fast paced, and keeps you from wanting to put the book down. I’ll give you fair warning that there is plenty of foul language throughout the story, but it suits the story and is a necessary part of the theme throughout. I also have to add that this is not a “religious” book as you might expect it to be. Hopefully I’ll be able to explain that in the following paragraphs 🙂

Judas Iscariot, thee Judas who was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, has been alive and wandering the world for all of these centuries. He did attempt suicide as we are all aware, but was cursed by God for his sin to live forever, never being able to benefit from anything good, enjoy anything in life, or experience love.

While he has performed various tasks for God throughout the years, he is tasked with the most important one of his life. Charlotte Hope, the 2nd child God is sending to Earth, needs to be protected from Lucifer and his armies until she turns 7 years old, and saves the world from their path of destruction. Luckily for Judas (or unlucky?), this is happening in a time frame of hours versus weeks or months.

Judas is told that the usual restrictions he has been bound with have been lifted, and he can protect this child by whatever means necessary. Also; that if he succeeds he will no longer be punished as he has been for the past centuries. 2000 years of pent up frustrations are about to be let loose, and with the help of a few key characters along the way, Judas is literally in for the ride of his life.

I will say no more, as this truly is a book you need to read for yourself. I have put some important links below, and if you are lucky enough to read this story, I hope to hear what you thought of it!

You can purchase this book at the following links:

From Amazon US: Judas Book 1 (USA Customers)

From Amazon UK: Judas Book 1 (UK customers)

You can visit his personal website here: Author Roy Bright

 

Happy Birthday to the King of Horror!

I wonder how many of us Mr. King has put on the path of reading, that we may otherwise had not found without his writing?

Were you reading Carrie, or It, or The Shining, when you knew if your parents had any idea of what was in that book, they would hit you upside the head with it?

Which book by Stephen King made you decide you absolutely had to be a writer?

And which book have you read over-and-again?

I’m going to spare you the biography on him, as I see there are a lot of posts in honor of Mr. King today. I will say I have read many of his books, but not all of them; yet.

My favorite:

From a Buick 8 Cover Image

I cannot explain what it is about this book that makes me love it so. It could be the actual story; it may be something that was going on in my life at the time I first read it that it gave me an escape from. There really is no other connection within the characters, plot, or even environment where it takes place that would connect with me. But I absolutely love this book the most!

The time Stephen King made me cry:

Bag of Bones cover image

Yes, this book made me physically, ugly-sob cry, and I would never have thought he could do that to me, and it came out of no where! Some of his best writing, in my humble opinion. I have not read this one in quite some time, so I am thinking a good reread over the  Thanksgiving holiday is due.

My Favorite Series:

Yes; I devoured this series by getting each book the day it was released, and having it read within 24 hours. I am currently experiencing extreme sadness that I have no access to the station showing the television show.

So Stephen King, I sincerely wish you the happiest 70th birthday, and cannot thank you enough for the countless hours of joy you have brought me for the past 33 years since I discovered your writing. 

Oh: and for scaring the shit out of me on many occasions where I sat up in bed for the night, with the lights on, and my tv playing loud so I couldn’t hear the noises inside my house. You are truly a master at your art, and for that, I am forever grateful!

 

Don’t Miss Out on This!

In an effort to get more exposure for my book, I’m looking for online blog reviews. If you are willing to read my book and post a review on your blog and in the Amazon book store, I will send you a gift copy of the e-book. I want to make it clear that although […]

via Want a Free Kindle Copy of Time To Lie? — The Phil Factor

Coming Soon; Your October Book Box!

So, I have had this idea bouncing around in my head for the last month or so, of starting a Subscription Box Business. Featuring, of course…books.

And I searched all of the available ones already out there, and there are a bunch! One to never be deterred, I kept the idea in the back of my mind, still bouncing around on a daily basis.

I researched custom boxes, personalized shipping tape, printed tissue paper, what to call this business, how to start a subscription box business, what platform to use, etc. etc. etc.

Trust me, the list goes on, and on.

Do I use my already licensed business name of Books and Opinions, which I have trademarked, paid for, and created a logo for? Probably not. Enter more licensing and trademark fees, creating a new website, and giving myself one more thing to manage.

I have reached out to various authors for buying bulk quantities of their books for a specific month (I have a theme going on here!), and the response has been fantastic!

It is nearly September; school starts again in a minute, my weekly church activities start back up at the same time, and my oldest daughter is getting married the first weekend of October. Never one to give up, here is what I am going to do…

…I love Autumn, Fall, Halloween, October, November, I think you get the idea. So I have to have a box for October. And I do!

I just bought some great mystery books, and mystery magazines (think Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen!). Add some Autumn Spiced tea, gourmet cookies or chocolate, and a handmade gift or two, all in the Spirit of Spookiness! I am still “building” this box, so some more items may be tossed in!

So I have some questions. If you could be so kind as to complete the attached 8 question survey, I would greatly appreciate it! You can find the survey here: Subscription Box Survey

You can also copy and paste the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VYPGX5N

I would also love to hear about any subscription box success or horror stories you may have in the comments below!