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Title: The Code
Author: Sean Keefer
Publisher: Rivers Turn Press
Pages: 319
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Legal Thriller

It should have been an otherwise uneventful Sunday morning for Charleston attorney Noah Parks. Perhaps a trip to the beach or a run with his new Australian Shepherd, Austin. But with a cryptic voicemail, everything changes.

A client has vanished, leaving nothing behind as a clue to where he may be. Neither his family, friends, nor neighbors are able to provide help.

Turning to his friend Emmett Gabriel, Charleston’s newest police detective, Parks can only watch as what started with a simple voicemail takes on a sinister life of its own. 

Parks soon finds himself entangled in an affair that spans centuries, going back to the time of Charleston’s birth.

With a focus on learning his client’s fate, Parks will soon find himself facing a mystery that will not only be a test of his wits but leaves him challenged in ways he never imagined.

Facing down twists, turns, betrayals, and traditions of honor, will he break The Code?

Release Date: October 7, 2022

Publisher: Rivers Turn Press

Soft Cover: 978-0998575575; 319 pages

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3IETRpM 

Rivers Turn Press: https://bit.ly/3V9725u  

Excerpt:

He looked into my eyes with something that could only be described as desperation. Suddenly, his look of despair faded as if a veil was lifted from his face. He stopped speaking and stood straight. His hands stopped moving, and he looked at each of them, turning them over, back to palm, as he examined them. He raised his head back to my eyes. As he looked at me, in an instant, the fearful look drained from his face, replacing it, a blank, expressionless gaze took hold of his features. He moved his eyes to my hand on his bicep, then shifted his gaze back to my face. He slowly twisted his arm from my slight grasp. He spoke slowly and methodically.    

“No, Cash didn’t call. No one called. There was nothing from Cash.”

“But you just said…”

“I didn’t say anything. Nothing,” he said as he turned and faced the rear of the lot. 

Meet the Author

Sean Keefer

Sean Keefer is the award winning author of three legal thrillers, The Trust, The Solicitor, and The Code, all set in and around coastal South Carolina.

He is also the author of Mediation in the Family Courts of South Carolina, a legal treatise on family law mediation.

He lives and writes in Charleston, South Carolina.

In addition to his writing, Sean is a recording and performing guitarist/singer/songwriter of Americana and Alt-Country music. Watch him sing Carolina Sunset which was inspired by his latest book, The Code. Listen here!

For more information about his writing and music, visit SeanKeefer.com and ADogNamedBear.com.

Follow him on Facebook @theNoahParksMysterySeries and @SeanKeeferMusic. Follow him on Instagram @NoahParksMysteries and @1ADogNamedBear1 

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ALTERED

By Rob Kaufman

1. “Alters” is short for “Alternate Personalities”

2. Justin’s son, Dylan is named after the son of one of Rob’s best friends

3. Mandy Wright, Justin’s wife, works in the same building Rob worked in twenty years ago

4. Justin’s son, Michael, is loosely based of one of Rob’s closest childhood friends

5. A person living with DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder – can have as many as 100 alters

6. Names of alters often have a symbolic meaning. In altered, Frank (the host personality) means “free” 

7. Frank’s last name (Devlin) is a play on the word “devil”

8. Justin Wright’s Type A personality is based on the author’s personality, with a little OCD peppered in

9. The title ALTERED has two meanings: 1. A person who lives with a number of personalities 2. Lives that have been changed (altered) due to horrific experiences. 

10. The book cover was created by a designer in the UK

Rob Kaufman novels are known for having characters with whom people can relate, while at the same time, bringing them on a journey from which most people would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from everyday events.

Rob’s books are perfect for those who enjoy thrillers but also need strong emotion to keep them deeply involved with the characters.

“All my books hit home for me,” says Rob. “There are always parts that make me laugh out loud as I write them… and many, too many, that make me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of my books experience the same emotions.”

Rob’s books receive both national and international praise with most reviews noting that his storylines are extremely “unique” and “sobering” and the twists and turns are “masterful”.

Website or Blog:  www.authorrobkaufman.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorKaufman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobKaufman

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/745558.Rob_Kaufman

Title: Being Present: The Gift of Experiencing Life As It Happens
Author: Keith Sykes
Publisher: Chosen Pen Publishing
Pages: 104
Genre: Memoir

Being Present details my life growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of 8 children. It gives the reader an intimate look at the relationship between me, my parents, and my siblings. It discusses life and death, joy and pain, and strength and perseverance. The book talks about love and loss and is an optimistic look at overcoming the obstacles of life.

Being Present talks about how I dealt with life after my parent’s death and how joining the military completely changed my life. It gives a glimpse into how the military inspired my love for travel and the many places that I was able to visit as a result. Read about my life after the military and the challenges I faced that shaped the man I am today. Lastly, the book will provide samples of my photography and discuss how it was inspired by my travel.

Release Date: ‎ January 5, 2023 

Publisher: Chosen Pen Publishing

Kindle: ASIN: ‎ B0BRT7CRWH; eBook $1.99 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jWFLpw

Excerpt:

One evening, while visiting my mother, her physician pulled me aside to ask what my short and long-term plans were, and I told her I wasn’t sure. I let her know that I was in college, but other than that, I had no plans beyond school. She insisted that I make a firm plan because she didn’t expect my mother to be around much longer, and she said if I needed anything, let her know. I remember sitting in the room that night, and when it was time to go, I didn’t want to leave because I always had this thought in the back of my mind- how long is not much longer? It was tough sitting at my mother’s bedside, knowing that my time with her was coming to an end. She was my everything. What would I do now? I had no clue. I didn’t think that far beyond my sophomore year, and now I had the rest of my life staring me in the face in one night.

About the Author:

Keith Sykes grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana with his 7 siblings; he is the youngest of 8. Keith attended Xavier University of Louisiana where he studied Computer Information Systems and Graphic Design. He lost both parents by the age of 20 and joined the United States Army in 1990 where he completed 20 years of active military service. He continues to serve as a Department of Defense civilian where he works as a Health Systems Specialist at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is a freelance writer, photographer and event planner and is heavily involved in the community. Keith is a cancer survivor as of February 2022 and attributes his positive attitude in dealing with the condition to his mother Violet who succumbed to cancer in January 1990. He loves exploring nature and traveling. Some of his most memorable trips have been to Egypt, Belize, and Cuba.

You can visit his website at https://kasykes.com/ or connect with him at Facebook at www.facebook.com/ikreate4u.

Sapphires in Snow Book Blast

Title: Sapphires in Snow
Author: Amy Schisler
Publisher: Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing
Pages: 406
Genre: Sweet Romance/Cozy Mystery

The little white house on Main Street in Buffalo Springs, Arkansas, is the only home Jackson Nelson has ever known. With college behind him and both his sisters back in town to look after their aging parents, Jackson knows now is the time to make his big move. All he’s ever wanted is to move to New York and lead the high-stakes life of a real estate investor. He’s determined to leave town right after Christmas and never look back.

Cindy Kline has never had a real home or a real Christmas. Abandoned by her father and raised by an unfit mother, Cindy thought she had finally found the family she always wanted when the man of her dreams asked her to marry him; but when his Navy SEAL helicopter went down in a fiery crash before their wedding, Cindy had nothing left to keep her in sunny California. Packing her meager belongings into her old, beat-up car, Cindy drives straight to Buffalo Springs and to the only real friend she’s ever had – Andi Nelson. With Christmas around the corner, Andi, Jackson, and the whole Nelson family convince Cindy to stay through the holidays even finding her a job that may turn out to be a real career.

Just when Cindy is beginning to get into the Christmas spirit, her life is once again up-ended – this time by a series of break-ins and the news that her dangerous father may be lurking nearby. Cindy has no idea that her father’s mysterious past will put her life in jeopardy, and Jackson has no idea that the bright lights of New York are but a flickering flame when it comes to the sparks of the heart.

Release Date: November 11, 2022

Publisher: Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3VsSVst 

Target: https://bit.ly/3uEJVop 

Walmart: https://bit.ly/3UuxwOe 

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3B5L8IX 

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/mZEXgR

Excerpt:

And unto you a child is born!” The child actor belted out the play’s most robust line with all the enthusiasm he could muster. 

It was all Cindy could do not to jump to her feet and applaud. She laughed and clapped along with the rest of the audience. When the play was over, she went with the Nelson family to the town drug store that boasted an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and soda fountain in the back of the store. The proprietor had kept the doors open late to welcome the theatergoers.

“What would you like?” Jackson asked as Cindy eyed the many choices written on the blackboard.

“There are too many to choose just one.”

Jackson laughed. “Andi is partial to anything with peanut butter, and Helena always goes for something super sweet and fruity like cherry or raspberry. Mama likes plain old chocolate.”

She looked at Jackson. “And what do you like, Jackson?”

She saw his expression falter for just a moment, and a curtain of pink danced across his features, reminiscent of the curtains that closed at the end of the show. He blinked and just as quickly as the odd look appeared, it disappeared, and he broke into a wide grin. 

“I always go for a good, old-fashioned root beer float with vanilla ice cream.”

“Would you believe, I’ve never had a root beer float?”

The look he gave her was one of exaggerated shock. “What? That might be the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard.” He clutched at his chest. “A shot to the heart.”

Cindy laughed, and Andi inserted herself between them to grab some extra napkins from the top of the ice cream display case. 

“Is this guy bothering you?” she asked with a mock scowl.

Cindy shook her head. “Not at all. This has been one of the best nights of my life, and I’m going to top it off with my very first root beer float.”

Andi smiled. “I think that’s a great idea.”

On their turn, Jackson ordered for them both then reached for his wallet to pay, but Cindy put her hand on his arm.

“Jackson, no, I can’t let you do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because I can pay for my own ice cream. You all have been so generous already.”

“Sorry, Cindy, but my daddy would skin me alive if he heard that I allowed a female to pay for her own ice cream.”

She frowned and said in a firm voice, “Jackson, this isn’t a date. I can pay for my own ice cream.”

Again, she saw his face redden. “I never said it was a date, and you should accept an act of kindness when presented with one.”

The cashier cleared her throat, and Cindy realized they were holding up the line. Embarrassed for drawing attention, she said, “You’re right. Go ahead and pay, but I owe you.”

“That’s fair. On the next family outing, you can buy me ice cream.”

Cindy accepted her root beer float from the young girl behind the counter and took a sip. She didn’t know how to respond to Jackson. She wasn’t part of the ‘family’ and didn’t know if she’d be there for the next outing. Rather than agree, she concentrated on her float and sat quietly while listening to the rest of them banter about Christmas and New Year’s and the June wedding. She couldn’t help but wonder what she would be doing by then and where she would be.

As she ate, Cindy felt a peculiar tingling on the back of her neck. She looked around, peering up and down the streets. Other families hovered nearby, eating ice cream, and several couples walked along the sidewalk. It looked like everyone in town had come out to see the play. None of the other theater goers paid any attention to Cindy or the Nelsons, and Cindy had no reason to be paranoid, but she could not shake the eerie feeling that she was being watched. 

Meet the Author

Amy Schisler is a novelist, poet, children’s book author, spiritual writer, blogger, reader, and avid traveler with years of professional experience in all manner of writing-related endeavors. Whether she’s writing novels filled with faith and inspiration, books that children will love, or her weekly blog devoted to family life and faith, she loves connecting and resonating with her readers. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, a romantic suspense, debuted in 2014, and her much-loved Chincoteague Island Trilogy has won numerous literary awards.

Amy lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, Ken, their daughters, Katie and Morgan (and sometimes their daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Anthony), and their dogs, Rosie and Luna. When she’s not writing, Amy can usually be found on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay or hiking in the Rocky Mountains, most often with a good book in her hand.

Website: http://amyschislerauthor.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyschislerauth

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amyschislerauthor 

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/amyschislerauthor

Title: To Catch The Setting Sun
Author: Richard I. Levine
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 320
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.

Book Information

Release Date: August 22, 2022

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Soft Cover: ISBN:‎ 978-1509243297; 320 pages; $17.99; eBook $5.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Rl42Aw

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3BRB0mv

Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/3dVBaBj

Excerpt:

The reflection from scattered tiki torches competed with the moonlight flickering across the black velvet lagoon. Gentle trade winds, carrying the sweet peach-like scent of plumeria, tickled the flames and the palm fronds. Clearly a welcomed reprieve from five straight days of stifling temperatures. A catamaran and a couple small outrigger canoes, their artfully painted fiberglass hulls made to look like the wood of ancient Koa trees, were pulled up along the sandy shoreline. The heavy beat of drums reverberated off the tall palms and set the rhythm for a half-dozen pair of grass-skirted hips dancing on the main stage while vacationers laughed, ogled, and stuffed their faces with shredded pork, scoops of macaroni salad, steaming flavored rice wrapped in Ti leaves, thick slices of pineapple, papaya, mango, and freshly roasted macadamia nuts that were all artfully displayed on wide banana leaf covered center pieces. They sat cross-legged in the sand, sipping Mai Tais from plastic cups made to look like hollowed out coconut shells, lost in a tropical fantasy that came complete with a souvenir snap shot taken with an authentic hula girl—the perfect paradise as portrayed on the website. The noise from the music, chanting, and laughter, drowned out the frantic noise of the nearby kitchen, and it drowned out the desperate pleas and painful cries of Makani Palahia from the far side of the beach at Auntie Lily’s Luau Cove and Hawaiian Barbecue.

About Richard I. Levine

Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii.

Visit Richard’s Amazon Page or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Although she’s an engineer by training, writing has been her passion since childhood. Her other loves include extra-hot lattes, fast cars and binge watching sci-fi movies.

Find out more about the futuristic worlds she creates at sgbasu.com. She can also be reached at sg@sgbasu.com.

Books by S.G. Basu:

The Lightbound Saga series (YA Dystopian Science Fiction)

Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy

Maia and the Secrets of Zagran

Maia and Regency Protocol

The Lightbound Saga 3 Book Bundle

The Firefly League-A Lightbound Saga novella

Elementals-The Serial Thriller (Paranormal Science Fiction)

Population Morpheus (Near Apocalyptic Science Fiction)

Jumpers (Paranormal Thriller)

You can visit the author’s website at www.sgbasu.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Not at all. Writing a book, a book series, and eventually having a full-time career as a writer was never a plan or a dream. I have always been an avid reader and an imaginative child, and I had once dreamed of being an astronaut. But a writer? What? No!

I was a happy, content telecommunications professional with a job I loved and a young family that needed all my attention when the writing bug bit me out of nowhere. Well, I should not say it was out of nowhere. Here goes the story behind the story: I was hooked on an anime show at the time, and its ending (specifically, the arcs for several characters) was a huge letdown for me. I felt robbed of a perfect conclusion and was so upset that I stopped watching the show (to this day, refuse to watch, read, or hear anything about the show). However, after spending a few weeks stewing over what was, in my opinion, an unsatisfying ending, I realized a few things. While I had the right to be upset, the writers wrote their story and ended it as they saw fit. The only way I could have an ending I wished for was if I was a writer, writing my own story. That was when I decided. I was going to write my own story.

A few months of plotting and planning later, the first book of The Lightbound Saga series was born.

How long did it take you to complete the series?

Maia and the Legend of Tansi, the last book in The Lightbound Saga series, was a strange experience. It was an unplanned book. I needed space to complete the character arcs in a satisfactory manner and I did not want to make the fifth book immense and cumbersome. So a sixth book had to happen. It is a 200,000+ words/650+ page mammoth which I wrote in an unbelievable (for me) 101 days.

In comparison, the fifth book in the series, Maia and the Blades of ThulaSu, took a record time of two years to complete. In its defense though, this was when the pandemic hit, and nothing was normal. Anyway, you could say I sort of compensated for that delay with the last book.

Before these two aberrations, each book in the series has taken me about six to eight months to write, on average.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Most days, I am. However, I have to confess that the pandemic had thrown a wrench into my routine. Thankfully, I have recovered now, almost completely.

My writing day starts at 8:30 in the morning after I have dropped the kid at school. A cup of coffee and a few crackers are the only things allowed to come between my laptop and me until 10. This is the time when I catch up on my to-do list, and revise the previous day’s work. Then it’s time for breakfast and until 2:00 in the afternoon, I work on new projects. If I am too engrossed in a project, I keep on writing (with a few breaks for picking up the kid, cooking, dinner, etc.) until after dinner. My day typically ends around midnight, or if I’ve had a super productive day, around 11:00.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book? (speaking a bit about the series here)

Writing a series such as The Lightbound Saga is inherently challenging because of the length and complexity of the story. Any complex story runs the risk of logical and continuity errors. However, in a series, the risk of continuity errors increases with every new book. To counter that, I had to read through every book (if possible, twice) before writing the next. So before starting the sixth, I had 2000+ pages of reading homework. Even then, the first draft of the sixth book was far from error-free. I have an intense editing/revision cycle for The Lightbound Saga in particular which includes two extra rounds of revisions (in addition to my usual alpha reader, beta reader, professional editor, and author revision rounds) to catch any rogue continuity errors. I hope that I have caught them all.

What do you love most about being an author?

Oh, the joy of creation! There is something widely exciting and fulfilling about creating new worlds and more importantly, their inhabitants, making their dreams and wishes come true, and giving them the life they deserve. I love to live in these worlds I create while I’m writing them. Even later, every time I pick up a book I’ve written and read a story I’ve completed, the overwhelming joy comes back. And when a reader finds it engrossing or derives pleasure from it, there’s nothing more satisfying.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

While I’m a hybrid author (both traditionally and indie published), for The Lightbound Saga series, I went on my own and self-published. When I started the project, I was unsure whether to go traditional or indie. I got myself an agent and she queried a few publishing houses. But soon, the allure of indie publishing won me over. I like having control over everything I do and the more I studied the model of self-publishing, the more I liked it. However, that meant even more hard work learning the ropes but I have enjoyed it every step of the way. I am absolutely happy with the decision and since then, I have continued on the same path for most of my books. 

What is one thing you want readers to take away with them after reading your book?

True friendship can transform the world by tearing down the differences with love, generosity, and compassion.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Writing is hard work and the writing business is a marathon. So be ready to put in long hours and be patient. But most of all, enjoy the journey while you are at it.

About the Series:

13-year-old Maia is a land-dwelling Solianese living on the planet of Tansi. She has been raised by her doting grandfather. Her mother, Sophie, supposedly deceased, is accused to be a traitor who fought for the Xifarians who have subjugated Tansi. Loathing her family’s history, Maia has put herself into self-exile, vowing to steer clear of the temptations that led her mother astray. But when she is drafted into a peace summit by the Xifarians, she must walk into Xif, the planet she has always wanted to avoid. Here she meets loyal teammates Kusha, Dani, Nafi, and Ren, as well as Miir, their Xifarian team mentor who is as accomplished as he is temperamental. As Maia and her teammates thwart a plot to harm the underwater settlements on Tansi, she also discovers that her mother, Sophie, was not what she seemed. Sophie sacrificed herself to save Tansi before the Xifarians could destroy the Tansian system.

Maia visits the Jjord nation in their underwater colonies on Tansi. More of Sophie’s secrets come to light while she is in the colonies as well as more of the Xifarians’ plots to rebuild the dark heart of Xif. As Maia’s link with Sophie becomes apparent, Maia soon finds herself in the crosshairs of the Xifarians who kill her family and send her running for shelter across the dead lands of the Solianese. Chased by the Xifarians, Maia barely manages to stay alive with the help of her teammates.

While on the run across Tansi, Maia meets a mysterious man who unlocks a power within Maia. When her mighty Xifarian foes corner her, Maia unleashes the power on them, overpowering everyone, including her former mentor, Miir.

Maia struggles with her newfound power. The team is on the verge of fracturing when Maia reveals she might have killed Miir. Meanwhile, the R’armimon, an ancient and powerful enemy of the Xifarians, are on the way to the Tansian system, seeking vengeance from the Xifarians. On finding this, the Xifarians grow desperate to resurrect the dark heart that would enable them to leave the Tansian system. Maia narrowly escapes the Xifarians’ trap with a mysterious ally but her new alliance takes a toll on her friendships.

Maia is alone and hopeless but she forges on to regain the trust of her teammates and tries to convince the Tansian leaders of the impending threat of the R’armimon fleet. With help from her allies, Maia continues to uncover more of Sophie’s past. Together with her friends, Maia rushes to find the artifacts needed to thwart the R’armimon as the massive Execution Fleet of the R’armimon appears next to Tansi.

Purchase Information for Series

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Tb71xt

We’re thrilled to announce the release of Ashley Fontainne & Janelle Taylor’s Operation DFC today! To help celebrate, we are asking our readers if you can please pretty please pick up a copy at Amazon and come back and tell us how you liked it or leave a review at Amazon? And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this page. Good luck! 

Congratulations, Ashley & Janelle, on your espionage military thriller new release, Operation DFC!

Arriving in Thailand for my first black-op, Operation DFC, as part of an elite team ready to act on recent intel that over a thousand men and/or their remains are still behind enemy lines, Bangkok is our last stopping point before slipping into Vietnam and extracting as many American prisoners as possible.

For me, this is personal. From 1971 to 1973, I was a POW; and now, ten years later, I work for the CIA under the fake identity of John Sims, Field Expert for Crop World, an international firm run by the agency.

While in my hotel room, the unthinkable happens. Bangkok may end up being my greatest challenge as my courage, patriotism, and honor are on the line, and I find myself in the toughest physical and mental battle of my life, wondering if Operation DFC will be my first, and last, covert mission.

Release Date: December 10, 2022

Publisher: Georgia Girl Press

Paperback: ‎ 979-8366909396; 360 pages; $15.99; Kindle $5.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BKSodF  You can also purchase at these retailers: https://books2read.com/u/mg1pBq Book Excerpt:

Rescuing American soldiers out of grimy pits in Vietnam is my life’s mission, yet I’m fully aware it is also a sensitive issue for both governments. Bartering for their return costs money, and the source of the rescue funds and the intent of the mission are both unknown to the American public. They will remain a secret until someone with a higher paygrade releases the information.

No one wants to endanger this crucial operation with loose talk or create an uprising against the VC that could lead to another invasion. If anyone outside the circle of trusted players learns what we are attempting, it will create a stink bigger than Watergate or the Pentagon Papers. Worse, leaked knowledge of our covert op could blast the whole deal to smithereens, and those brave, broken men might never taste freedom again. They would vanish permanently, just as I could have a decade ago if someone hadn’t risked his life to liberate me.

I will not let that happen.

The soldiers, and their loved ones, deserve better.

Pulling out the next piece of paper, irritation rushes over me as I read the typewritten words:

When WM meets with RL and supplies the code, RL will then give LAT/LONG coordinates to the exchange location near Paracel Islands to WM, who will return to BK and page team leader, RD, at 202-555-1717, and send LAT/LONG intel. Ocean transport of the rescued cargo will begin the journey, and the cargo ship, Triumph, which contains the physical funds, will head to location. Exchange of cargo and funds will take place on board.

“What the hell? Now we’re giving these monsters cash? Why did they tattoo the banking code on me? Why did the plan suddenly change this late in the game? I’m bypassing Carter and giving info straight to RedDog? I don’t like this. Not at all.”

On instinct, I re-read it twice, imprinting RedDog’s pager number before flicking the lighter. The ashes flutter to the floor. Rubbing the remains out with my foot, irritation morphs into anger at this last-minute shift of important details.

Reaching inside the bag again, my fingers touch a familiar object—the grip of a pistol. Before I can make sense of why a firearm was provided and how I can sneak it on the plane without getting arrested, burning pain shoots up from my palm and straight to my brain. Dropping the gun, I look at my hand, noticing several tiny needle pricks in the palm milliseconds before my vision blurs.

The room spins as my throat locks up.

Collapsing to my knees, I gasp for air, wondering what kind of poison courses through my veins as a vortex of dizziness overtakes my mind, followed by ebony darkness.

About the Authors

Award-winning and International bestselling author, Ashley Fontainne, has written over 25 books, including the short thriller, Number Seventy-Five, which took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. The paranormal thriller entitled The Lie won the GOLD medal in the 2013 Illumination Book Awards for fiction/suspense. An indie film based on this book, entitled Foreseen, is currently available on video-on-demand. Ruined Wings is about a young woman’s descent into drug addiction and is currently a short film. The movie is free to watch and share with others in hopes of starting a positive dialogue regarding addiction. https://ruinedwings.com/Fatal Agreements won the 2019 Independent Audio Awards for best female narrator, Andrea Emmes. Connect with Ashley to learn more about all her works: Website: https://ashleyfontainne.net  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.fontainne/ 

Janelle Taylor has 9 NY Times Bestsellers and many awards along with over 65 million copies in print worldwide, plus ebooks. She is known as one of the “pioneers of the romance industry,” and one of the “legends of romance.” She is also listed on the Top 100 most famous Georgians. She has won many awards for her books.Follow Janelle on Twitter @TaylorJanelle6 and Facebook. Check her out on Amazon Author Pages: https://www.amazon.com/author/janelletaylor Make sure to visit her official website https://www.janelletaylor.com/ to learn more about all her amazing titles!  

Ashley Fontainne and Janelle Taylor are giving away two Kindle copies of Operation DFC!

Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one copy of Operation DFC.

This giveaway ends midnight December 15.

Winner will be contacted via email on December 16.

Winner has 48 hours to reply.Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Three Small Bones
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 358
Genre: Crime Thriller

Smoke curls from what’s left of the beautiful family home on the edge of the woods. The heat is unbearable as she descends the stairs to the basement, past a set of bicycles––two big, one small. That’s when she sees three little white bones in the cracked earth at her feet, turning her blood to ice…

When firefighters tackling a blazing house in a quiet suburb of Pine Valley, California discover human remains, Detective Katie Scott races to 717 Maple Street. She calls a halt to the excavations the moment she sees the full number and size of the bones; someone has buried a whole family down here.

Working night and day, it’s up to Katie to prove her theory that the fire was no accident, that someone wanted to expose the secret in the basement. Tiny traces of explosives residue found at the scene is all the proof she needs. But the Cross family have been missing for months––leaving friends and loved ones in agonizing pain––what twisted soul would do this now? And why?

The case takes another heart-shattering turn when Katie’s suspicions over recent renovation work on the house leads to the discovery of more bodies in the back yard: two little girls, buried years apart. What other devastating secrets are hidden in this perfect family home?

It’s a dead end at every turn as Katie tracks down anyone who knew the family. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, reports of the Cross’s landlord harassing the family before they went missing gives Katie a crucial lead. With a menacing grey sedan following her every move, how many more innocent lives will be lost before Katie can dig up the truth?

“Edge-of-your-seat suspense to the very end! … Clear your schedule… you will not want to put it down!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Love, love, LOVE… I absolutely adore this series!!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Grabbed me from the very first page! It was so intense, and enthralling. I stayed up until 11pm two nights in a row so I could finish it.” NetGalley reviewer

Book Information

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Publisher:  Bookouture

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1803145945; 329 pages; $11.99; eBook $3.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3SQBsZA 

Chapter One

Present Day

Wednesday 0755 hours

A low rumble followed by a crackling snap caused the small, intricate device to ignite a single flame. A low flame at first, as if it were a cigarette lighter, but soon growing exponentially, fueled by accelerant expertly placed on and around the back of the garage. It was also cleverly placed at the far back corner of the house, where the electricity meter was attached, conveniently out of the view of any neighbors. It proved to be a seamless plan as the fire rapidly increased. It only took moments for the house to become immersed in an all-out blaze.

The flames quickly engulfed the empty two-story home, escaping with searing fire tentacles through broken windows. Smoke spiraled fiercely as the intense heat reached the rooftop. Any windows that were intact exploded. Trim around the frames melted. Plants near the front door were scorched and disintegrated. What was once a modest home was now only a burning reminder—blackened and collapsing.

Sirens blared suddenly, overpowering the sound of the blaze and gaining momentum as emergency vehicles barreled down the otherwise quiet street to 717 Maple Road. Two fire trucks pulled up along the curb in front of the burning home and several firefighters jumped out. Each moved effortlessly to their duties. A hydrant was attached to the oversized hoses and two firefighters began to douse the structure from each corner to contain it. Water sprayed out in an arc, shooting directly into the inferno as the men held firm and battled the blaze.

Two neighbors hesitantly stepped from their driveways, one with a cell phone in hand, daring to move into the street to gain a better view.

“Take the back fence area!” yelled Captain Steve Landers. His concern was making sure the fire didn’t ignite the fence or any large pine trees, or jump to any nearby homes.

“Sir, radio from dispatch,” said one of the firefighters, approaching him with a radio.

Captain Landers took it. “Landers.” He paused. “I see. Thank you.” He handed the radio back. He had been informed that the house was empty and had been for several months. It raised some red flags for him—could this be a homeowner’s attempt to collect insurance?

He noticed two Pine Valley Sheriff’s Department cruisers had been dispatched and had pulled up a few houses down. This was the usual procedure as a precaution to help with the perimeter detail or keep bystanders back until the blaze was under control.

The wind changed direction and black smoke began to waft down the street, causing any curious neighbors to retreat back inside the safety of their homes.

The flames were finally settling down and the fire crew had it under control—it would soon be safe for them to enter the premises to continue the fire protocol.

Captain Landers had a gut feeling, which made him want to accompany two of his firefighters into what remained of the house. He had been with Pine Valley Fire Department for twenty-four years and in that time had seen quite a variety of “accidents” that ended up being covers for intentionally set fires.

Once the blaze had been extinguished enough, his firefighters moved to enter the house to search and continue to smother any new flames that popped up.

Carrying an ax, Landers stepped over the broken window glass and then over the threshold, which had once been the front door but now was just a burned-out opening. He immediately scanned left to right as his crew tended to various small fires. There was nothing left. No signs of furniture, personal items, and most importantly—no bodies. It was just as he had been told—an empty rental house waiting for new tenants.

Moving throughout the structure with his mask on, he eyed anything that might represent where the fire had started. No signs of accelerants. No obvious loose wiring. Or a problem with the incoming gas line in the kitchen. Nothing caught his attention.

One of his men approached him. “Sir,” he said, his voice muffled through his face mask, “you need to see something.”

“What is it?”

“I just… you just need to see…”

“Where is it?”

“Down in the basement.” The firefighter turned and led the captain toward the far end of the house.

The captain stepped over burned-down beams and pieces of hot wreckage. Thoughts of how the fire had started still propelled through his mind; some type of clever incendiary device, or a dozen burning candles set up with a pack of matches?

He reached the basement entrance. The door had burned away almost completely and the remaining hinges lay on the charred floor, but the steps were mostly intact and the fire hadn’t ravaged the area as much as the rest of the house.

He went down the stairs behind his colleague. When he reached the bottom, he saw there were several support beams barely affected by the intense heat and flames. Some of the small windows looking out at the ground level were still intact. Obviously, the basement wasn’t the origin of the fire. The floor was mostly packed dirt with some cement blocks around the perimeter. There were strange vertical gouges along one of the wood-faced walls.

He was curious as to why he had been summoned to the basement. He soon got his answer as the firefighter pointed at the floor area in the farthest corner.

“What’s up?” the captain asked.

“I came down to inspect the support beams and to look for any signs of how the fire might have originated… and… I saw… this…”

Captain Landers focused his attention on the floor. There was still smoke in the air, obscuring his vision. He took a moment to focus and gain his bearings. There was an area where the packed dirt had been disturbed—he was unable to tell if it was recent or not. The surrounding cinderblocks weren’t charred and appeared to be in their appropriate places. A wall nearby had some structural damage not caused by the fire.

The dirt of the floor had been trampled by numerous footprints. Some were recent and some had been made over time, muddling the impressions into almost a hieroglyphic pattern. More tracks were to be seen in the area nearest the wall and in the far corner.

In the area of question there was a slight rise to the ground, a mound that caught his attention. It appeared to be some strange rocks or dried driftwood protruding straight up from the earth.

The captain bent over and gently brushed some of the loose soil with his heavy glove. He still wasn’t sure what he was seeing—he continued to clear away the loose dirt. The more he saw, the faster he wiped the dirt away. Until he saw a single bony finger poking up, almost as if it were trying to capture someone’s attention. It was an eerie summons from the dead.

The firefighter that had brought this to his attention stood quietly—watching.

The captain stood up straight, sucked in a breath, unable to tear his eyes away from those three small bones. He had seen his fair share of burned bodies, limbs curled beyond recognition, but nothing like this. He slowly bent down again and continued to dust away some more of the loose dirt, his hand shaking. He still hoped that there was some logical explanation and he had been mistaken. He spent another minute slowly uncovering a skeletal arm, which had the badly decomposed remains of a navy shirt. His heart sank. His pulse quickened. His mind raced.

He stood up abruptly. “Step away from this area—carefully. It’s now a crime scene. We need to call the police and detectives now—and alert the arson investigator on duty.”

The firefighter immediately retraced his path to the stairs and took the basement steps two at a time before disappearing.

Captain Landers remained for a moment standing over the remains, unable to pry his eyes away—giving his respects. He stared at a plain gold wedding band that still remained on the skeleton’s ring finger.

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today Best Selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Three Small Bones.

You can visit her website at www.AuthorJenniferChase.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Title: Hotter Than Helen
Author: Susan Wingate
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 201
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Psychological Women’s Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

When Georgette’s old friend, Helen, comes back to Sunnydale, the town begins to sizzle. Is Helen attracted to Hawthorne Biggs, Georgette’s new beau or is it just Georgette’s imagination? But when Helen goes missing, all seems lost. Will they find Helen dead? Does Hawthorne truly have Georgette’s best interests at heart? HOTTER THAN HELEN is a psychological women’s suspense.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Sunnydale, Arizona, 2009

Steel shackles jangled at his ankles, sounding much like the ghost of Christmas future when he shuffled to a stop on the cold travertine floor. Cabling, the kind used on bicycle locks, wrapped around his thin waist and angled off in a Y, snaring each of his wrists. He held his arms close to his stomach, monk-style as if praying, but unlike a monk, he held his head high, not down.

At a thick, red mahogany podium, the orange-clad prisoner stood next to a smaller-framed bailiff. The bailiff’s hand cupped the man’s elbow when someone called out, “All rise. The Honorable Judge Lindon.” The bailiff stepped back to the right, but the prisoner’s eyes shifted left where his lawyer stepped up. The packed courtroom stood almost in unison.

Everyone watched as the judge walked in from a door along the courtroom wall where his desk sat. Sidling behind the wide bench, a dense desk spanned no less than eight feet long and three feet wide of the same rich mahogany as the podium where the orange-clad

man stood.

The judge sat, pausing midway down to eye the prisoner over his black-rimmed reading glasses, sitting slowly before lifting the docket in front of him and reading from the papers.

He looked pissed.

Once settled, he slid his black leather and wood chair under the bench. Everyone else in the courtroom sat. Everyone except, of course, the prisoner and his lawyer. 

The judge wasted no time. “Your sentence, sir…in light of this…” he hesitated briefly, rolling his hand in a circle as he spoke, then continued, “…this new information and these errors,” he glared at the lawyer, “in allowing this new information from reaching the court at the time of your trial.” The judge kept a hard scowl as he looked between both men but mostly at the man’s attorney. “I have no other reasonable choice than to reduce said sentence to a lesser term, no more than two years beginning today.” He slammed his gavel so abruptly he made the stumpy, tightly-combed, gray-haired court recorder jump. She looked up suddenly but went back to typing.

Book Information

Release Date: November 16, 2022

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press

Soft Cover: ISBN:978-1509243501; 329 pages; $15.99; eBook $4.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3VjBCu9

About the Author

Susan Wingate writes about big trouble in small towns. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Washington State where, against State laws, she feeds the wildlife because she wants them to follow her. Her ukulele playing is, “Coming along,” as her Sitto used to say.

Susan’s eight-time award-winning novel, How the Deer Moon Hungers was chosen by The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club as their October 2022 Official Book Selection of the Month. 

Susan has an insatiable appetite for online word games and puzzles. She thinks it might be obsessive-compulsive but is fine with that.

Susan’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in journals such as the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Superstition Review, and Suspense Magazine, as well as several others.

Susan is represented by Chip MacGregor and is a proud member of PENAmerica, Int’l Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

Her latest book is the mystery thriller, Hotter Than Helen (The Bobby’s Diner Series Book 2).

Visit her website at www.SusanWingate or follow her at Twitter and Facebook.

Chances are rare, change is valuable.

Barry Wilker spent forty-three years working as an interior designer for a myriad of clients across the United States. Retirement has provided him time to assemble all the fragments of his wild imagination into this, his first novel. He lived for a number of years in the Los Angeles area and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

www.TheLaponeSisters.com

INTERVIEW:

Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about “The Lapone Sisters” and what compelled you to write it.

Author: I hatched the idea of The Lapone Sisters over a period of almost forty years. Being an interior designer for forty-three years was at times a tedious and sometimes a stressful profession. During downtimes in my business, ideas for the story sprang like seedlings that over time grew and multiplied into pieces I knew someday would be a fully realized story. During those free times, I wrote thoughts about these imaginary sisters on pieces of paper and put them into a folder or squirreled them away in the back of my mind. I am really not sure how or why this novel finally came to fruition. Possibly because of Covid and retirement I suddenly had the time to concentrate on the entirety of the story. I pulled out my folder and separated the scraps of ideas into piles in my home office. As I already mentioned, bits and pieces of the story had incubated for more years. I had stacks of unrelated ideas sitting on my desk. For nine months I began to sew together a story and imagine events that propelled my characters into the story they became. It was a fun, tedious, and stressful time.

M.C.: What is your book about?

Author:  The Lapone Sisters is a smart and seamless coming-of-age novel centered on the lives of three sisters–and a thoughtful and thought-provoking tale that unfolds against a backdrop of a simpler time and place. The Lapone Sisters introduces the reader to three dazzling and decidedly different sisters: Schmellda, Sorina and Esmerelda. They are wildly disparate, wholly entertaining, and mesmerizingly comical individuals. The three sisters are swept up into a whirlwind of adventure when each begins to chart a course toward discovering purpose, meaning and direction for their lives.

In the summer of 1976, the three sisters launch a journey like no other when each begins the task of uncovering her individual course in the world. Schmellda, the eldest daughter, is a frumpy, self-appointed mother hen cautiously setting out on her own for the first time in her life. Middle sister Sorina is a stunning-and-stuttering beauty tentatively venturing out in search of her dreams. Esmerelda is the youngest and boldest of the three who is outspoken, sharp-tongued and an unfiltered fireball ready to catapult from the nest.

Born to loving parents who provided a safe and nurturing environment, Schmellda, Sorina and Esmerelda could not be more different. When the sisters are swept up in an unimaginable spiral of events that change their lives forever, they discover more about themselves and each other than they had ever dreamed.

The girls compete and commiserate. They take road trips and chances. They get makeovers and they make waves. They grow and bloom and blossom. Even though they change, they remain true to their core selves. Most of all, they follow their hearts. They even fall in love. Over the months of a fateful and blissful summer, the sisters cross paths, cross wits and come across a menagerie of misfits, loners, losers and dreamers making for an adventure like no other. For these three sisters, life will never be the same.

The Lapone Sisters is a beautifully rendered tale that celebrates taking chances, embracing individuality, innocence, and the unmistakeable power of love. Resplendent with charm, peppered with wry humor, sometimes seasoned with satire, and replete with a richly drawn cast of characters, their story is destined to stay with readers long after the last page is turned

M.C.:  What themes do you explore in “The Lapone Sisters?”

Author: Individuality. Innocence. The power of love, acceptance, and coming of age. Stuttering and the power of language. The capability of change. The importance of knowing we are all part of and have contributions to make to a community much bigger than just ourselves.

M.C.:  Why do you write?

Author: I write now because I have the time. Being retired, I feel able to do anything. I don’t write for income. I write because I want to write. I wrote this novel because I wanted to show life in an absurdly creative way. I wanted to create a lightness on the surface that opens the reader’s mind to what I consider the truly important themes I mentioned above.

M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?

Author: Since I am not creating beautiful homes for a living any longer and constantly thinking about them 24/7, my imagination is still at full speed. I feel creative all the time.

M.C.:  How picky are you with language?

Author: I am very conscientious about language. I consider my writing to how I performed as an interior designer. I was meticulous with my jobs. It was my goal to execute a beautiful and liveable environment for my clients using the best materials and craftsmen available. Words are now my floor plans, fabrics, art and furniture. I want language to be perfect.

M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?

Author: No. Not in the least.

M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?

Author: When I am a loss for an idea. When I am at a loss for the correct word. When I wake up in the middle of the night and realize that I missed something in a time line. When I am somewhere and I have a great idea and have no way to write it down.

M.C.:  Your best?

Author: The opposite of all of the above . . . the times when thoughts, ideas and the rest flow seamlessly.

M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?

Author: I suppose if my debut novel does not work out for Joe Public. I would not stop writing. I would stop publishing.

M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?

Author: When the three editors and I came to the “Aha!” moment that set my manuscript free to go to print.

M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?

Author: It certainly was an obsession while I was writing The Lapone Sisters. Long ago in school I loved to write poetry. At the moment, writing isn’t quite the obsession it was. I’ve told my primary story. Now I have other loves. I paint, sculpt, read. I am 69 and retired. Now is mostly play time.

M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?

Author: The only part of The Lapone Sisters that connects me to my novel is I was once a stutterer. I still am at times. I really wanted to raise awareness of how stuttering as an adolescent affects a person.

M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?

Author: I don’t agree. I wrote this novel as a contrast to the chaos, hate and negativity in today’s society. I wanted to write a happy and meaningful book that was filled with positive and humorous distractions.

M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?

Author: www.TheLaponeSisters.com. But really, after anyone reads this blog they know more about me than what is on my website. I would like to thank you for reading this and hope that you will read my novel The Lapone Sisters. I also want to emphasize to readers that I have two footnotes in my novel on pages 199 and 300 that reference songs I sincerely hope they will listen to before turning the page. And again, thank you!

Barry’s book, The Lapone Sisters, is available from:

www.ArchwayPublishing.com, www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com,  www.Target.com, www.Walmart.com, www.Booklife.com, www.Bookshop.org and your favorite bookstore.

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