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Pic_8_-_Die_in_Paris_ebook_cover (1)Full Name: Marylin Z Tomlins
Title: Die in Paris: the true story of France’s most notorious serial killer
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10:
 1482752808
Genre: Serial Killer/War/France

Review by guest reviewer Susan Keefe

Wartime Paris and the life of a serial killer.
When we think of the war years, our focus tends to be with the horrors of wartime battles, and it is easy to forget that for ordinary people in occupied lands other crimes still happened.
In Paris, under occupation, the French people remained strong. Their ability to keep quiet and forget incidents when convenient was very necessary, and the resistance managed to save many thousands of people because of this. However, under this cloak of secrecy, other crimes were committed, but none as horrendous as the mass murders committed by Dr. Marcel Petiot even now France’s most notorious serial killer.
This book is a thoroughly researched and an interesting study into the life of this serial killer. In its pages, we discover the making of the man, his relationships, and how he evolved into the cold, callous monster he became.
The detailed descriptions of life in Paris at this time and the thoughts and lives of its people make it a fascinating read for anyone with a love of wartime history.
In conclusion, this book makes you yearn to be able to wander down those same streets now, look at the locations and imagine being there then, stepping into the scenes which the author has so clearly laid before you.
 

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A native of Chicago, former police detective Chris Karslen grew up with a love of history and books. An only child, she spent a lot of time reading, developing ‘fictional friends’, and getting lost in the world of stories.

Naturally, her love of reading and books led to writing of her own, and when she retired from her police work she finally decided to fulfil her lifelong secret desire. In 2003, she sat down and wrote her first line—and she hasn’t looked back since.

ImageNow a fulltime writer, her mission is to entertain readers with her stories. “I want to share my love of certain things, like places, history, and time travel. It’s my way of saying, this is why I love England or Turkey or history, etc. I like using the characters to present a ‘what if’ question and have the reader join me in asking it to,” states Karslen.  

Karslen enjoys writing romance and adventure and her stories are full of action, mystery and suspense. Her latest novel, Byzantine Gold, is a romantic thriller set in Cyprus and the sequel to her first book in the series, Golden Chariot. For this series, she interweaves history and archaeology into her fiction. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, something that no doubt has had an influence on her work. However, besides her modern romantic thrillers set in exotic locations, she also writes time-travel historical romances.

“I am not a fast writer,” says Karslen about her writing habits. “I have so much research with all my books that I start with an outline. That helps me set the parameters of the story. It also helps me to know what research I’m going to need the most and I can narrow what I have down. Once I begin writing, then the story changes as I go along. I’ll see an event on the page and a question will arise and I’ll build in a scene or character or problem that didn’t occur when I worked on the outline.”

Karslen tries to write every day and makes an effort to run errands and do other personal or household business in the morning and then sit down to write by midday. She writes until 5:00 or so. “That doesn’t mean I write all I’d like to put on the page, but I try.”

ImageShe advises aspiring authors to join a critique group, take classes, and go to conferences and seminars to learn the craft. She recommends the following books: Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction by Don Maass, and Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Deb Dixon.

She also advises to develop a tough skin and accept the fact that your early drafts may not be ready to submit right away. “Every new writer believes what they’ve written is perfect. Perhaps there’s someone out there this is true for but I can’t think of any. Hemingway said, ‘There’s no such thing as writing, only rewriting.’”

Her favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Joe Wambaugh, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, and Deanna Raybourn. Among her favorite books you’ll find The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, The Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell, The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, the Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long, The Prey series and Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford, The Harry Bosch series by Mike Connelly and the Hollywood Station series by Joe Wambaugh. 

Karslen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse. Currently, she’s finishing the third book in her Knights in Time series, which she hopes to release this late spring.

Learn more about Chris Karslen and her work on her website and blog.

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A native of Chicago, former police detective and now romantic suspense author Chris Karslen grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents loved traveling, a passion they passed on to her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

Though her desire to write began in her teens, Chris spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies before she decided to pursue her dreams. Chris is the author of the romantic thrillers Golden ChariotByzantine Gold and numerous other romance novels.

Now a fulltime writer, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Learn more about Chris and her work on her website and blog.

Read my review of Byzantine Gold here.

Her mission as an author…

I want to entertain the reader with my stories. I want to share my love of certain things, like places, history, and time travel. It’s my way of saying, this is why I love England or Turkey or history etc. I like using the characters to present a “what if” question and have the reader join me in asking it to.

Her inspiration for Byzantine Gold

Charlotte and Atakan from Golden Chariot—I like them and wanted to show how their relationship progressed. I also liked many of the support characters. I wanted to bring them back. The best way is another shipwreck. I liked using Turkey, as I did in Golden Chariot but also liked the idea of keeping the setting in that region but not necessarily Turkish waters, but someplace a bit different. I needed it to be a place that Atakan still had authority. I set it in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The setting is beautiful and it still, for Americans, has an unusual flavour.

The next thing was what to do with Atakan and Charlotte. I had to resolve the issue of Tischenko and I welcomed the idea of fleshing him out more. I knew I’d set him on a path of revenge but I needed something more for the plot. Terrorism is a global problem. Artifact smuggling is one source of funding for terrorist organizations. I did not want to do the usual Al-Qaeda situation. I chose a terrorist organization that originated in Turkey and is in Iraq and Iran now too, the PKK. The extreme militant wing of the PKK presents an on-going problem in Turkey.

I picked a Byzantine ship because I love some of the art and jewellery from the period.

Her hero and heroine…

Atakan Vadim is an agent for the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He has his PHD in archaeology. Fact: The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has a representative present at all legitimate archaeological sites in the country. Their job is to oversee the safe handling of recovered artifacts along with site safety and preservation.

He is from a middle class family and grew up near the town of Milas in the Mugla Province. His father was a career military man and his mother oversaw the family orchards in his father’s absence. Atakan has a married sister. He’s close to his family but can’t see them often due to distance. Istanbul is over 400 kilometres from Milas.

Atakan is a consummate professional. He is a reserved man unless he knows you well, then he shows his dry sense of humour and with Charlotte his very sensual side. He has a strong sense of honour and ethical code. He’s not a man driven to “obtain or possess” things. His apartment is functional although he has an interesting display of collectibles which are family heirlooms.  His apartment has a beautiful view of the Bosphorus Strait and that is more important to him than high end furniture. Nice suits are his one very expensive taste. He likes to dress well on the job.

Charlotte Dashiell is an American nautical archaeologist who just received her PHD. She’s outspoken and extremely determined in her pursuits, which sometimes disturbs, sometimes worries and sometimes amuses Atakan.

She’s the daughter of a Chicago policeman and a homemaker. Her parents divorced when she was a teen and her father remarried to a Chicago policewoman and her mother is remarried to a wealthy businessman. Charlotte also has an older brother who’s a member of the Chicago Police Department SWAT team She too is close to her family and tries to visit once a year.

Like Atakan, she is the consummate professional when working a shipwreck recovery team. She’s not overtly vain as her job requires her to keep her hair simple, she’s diving most days and not concerned with makeup. Conservation work on the relics is hard on a manicure. That said, she has a jealous streak when it comes to Atakan. She’s not above passing an acerbic comment or two when she’s introduced to a former girlfriend of his. When she has the opportunity, she does take pride in her appearance and dresses nicely.

Her guilty pleasure is belly dancing for Atakan. She takes lessons in Istanbul, where they live. Atakan is a big fan.

ImageAbout the cover art…

The overall concept was mine. Although most of the story takes place in Cyprus, Istanbul has such distinctive architecture and buildings I wanted something of it on the cover so a reader knows the story has a different setting. I wanted the shipwreck and divers because of the nature of the story.   This is what draws the characters to this place. I worked closely with the designer. I asked her to look at my previous cover, and the trailer for Byzantine Gold, which I was very happy with, and to look at my book boards for both this and Golden Chariot on my Pinterest page. She had the idea for the bullets and crosshairs in the lettering. She put all my wishes together and came up with a cover I love.

Her advice to aspiring authors…

Do join a critique group. You need other eyes to read your work. Your family and friends will avoid hurting your feelings and as a result are often not as honest as you need them to be.

Take classes or if you can afford it, go to conferences and seminars to learn the craft. If you can’t afford workshops, then buy books from the experts. Three I like and keep in my desk and reference are: Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction by Don Maass, and Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Deb Dixon.

Develop a tough skin and accept the fact that your early drafts (and that’s what they are, drafts) are not ready to send to an editor or agent or to self-publish. Every new writer believes what they’ve written is perfect. Perhaps there’s someone out there this is true for but I can’t think of any. Hemingway said, “There’s no such thing as writing, only rewriting.” Stephen King in his book, “On Writing,” said, he never lets anyone see his first draft.

Read books in the genre you want to write in. This is important. You need to have an idea of how stories in that genre flow, how tension and action and characterization is handled. Literary fiction is generally not the same style as a thriller. The readership of different genres have different expectations.

When you read a scene that is especially moving or well done, or one that stands out to you, then dissect it. See what it is that “makes” the scene work so well for you and try to do the same but with your own spin.

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Book Description

A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.

Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead.

Read the first chapter / Purchase from Amazon 

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ByzantineGold 500x750 (1)Book description…

A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.

Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead.

Read the first chapter / Watch the trailer / Purchase from Amazon  /Author interview

My thoughts…

Being a great fan of nautical archaeology, exotic settings and long lost treasures, I absolutely loved this book. It is pure entertainment from start to finish. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in the series, Golden Chariot, and that was also a great read, but I have to say that this second installment was even better. The relationship between the hero and heroine–American archaeologist Charlotte and Turkish agent Atakan–evolves and deepens and their love scenes are a lot more playful, steamy and exciting. Karslen weaves the exotic aspects of the setting, the sensuality of the sea, and the sights and sounds of Cyprus to add even more thrill to their loving relationship. We also see a more complex human side to cold-blooded villain Tischenko that is quite interesting.

Then, of course, there’s the constant threat and danger, not only from Tischenko with his revengeful agenda but from a Kurdish terrorist who wants to steal the artifacts and sell them in the black market in order to support the PKK. I loved the tension-filled, underwater segments between Charlotte and the terrorist, as they dive together and she becomes more and more suspicious about his identity. He, of course, is pretending to be an archaeologist like the rest of them, when in reality he doesn’t know much about it.

The novel is written in multiple points of view separated by chapters, which works well with this type of thriller, making the action move at a quick pace. The dialogue is sharp and natural and Charlotte and Atakan are good at witty, darkly humorous comebacks and retorts.

If you enjoy romantic suspense or stories about treasures and archaeology set in exotic locales, I highly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

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If you’re interested in the private lives of people who make the fashion world, how they started and how they got to the top, you might want to pick up a copy of Karen Moller’s memoir, Technicolor Dreamin': The 1960’s Rainbow and Beyond.

In her fresh and engaging voice, award-winning fashion designer and consultant Moller takes us on a trip through time, from the moment she was a rebel, restless, idealistic teen in rural Canada and decided to leave home and hitchhike to pursue her dreams, to witnessing and experiencing the counter-culture revolution of the 60s and 70s, to San Francisco, New York, London and Paris and working with such celebrities as Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, and The Beatles, to the creation of her successful fashion consulting firm, Trend Union, in 1985.

The memoir starts in present time with Moller having a conversation with her young niece Adele, who wants to postpone her university education in order to travel and see the world. Moller advises her to read a copy of Kerouac’s On the Road, a book that she read back in the 50s and that had an immense influence on her outlook on life. The book offered young Moller courage in her pursue of creative freedom and encouraged her to hitchhiked her way to San Francisco.

“Kerouac had seemed like some kind of God, a sort of prophet sent to liberate us from the conformist middle class lives we were being programmed to live,” writes Moller.

Moller talks about her childhood, dealing with a mother who had no time for a girl and a father who was irrational, self centered and insensitive. Moller’s dreams and creativity made her different in the eyes of her family. “I became a family joke,” she writes.

It wasn’t easy. She had to work herself through school and at times had little food to eat. But she persevered, and her talent and persistence eventually took her from San Francisco to New York to London, during which time she met and worked with many famous people. At the time, London was in the midst of a cultural revolution. The anti-war movement was at full swing and the city was alive with avant-garde art galleries and art centers. It was here that Moller started designing and printing her colorful textiles. She later moved to Paris, where she opened Trend Union.

Full of interesting anecdotes, the memoir is well written and offers an exciting and colorful glimpse into the world of fashion during the hippie revolution. Moller has a light and lively writing style that makes the reading experience engaging. The book is inspirational and proves that dreams can come true if we focus on what we love, work hard, don’t give up, and reach for the stars.

Author: Karen Moller
Book Title: Technicolor Dreamin’ the 1960’s rainbow and beyond
Web site: www.karenmoller.com
Publisher: Trafford Publishing (June 30, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1412080185
ISBN-13: 978-1412080187
Paperback: 332 pages
Price: $24.00, Kindle: 7.99
http://www.amazon.com/Technicolor-Dreamin-1960s-Rainbow-Beyond/dp/1412080185/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

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