Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday's Books I have read

The Demands
Mark Billingham

The Crime The customers in a London convenience store are taken captive. Among them is young mother, Detective Helen Weeks. She is told her life depends on the co-operation of one of her colleagues - detective Tom Thorne. 

The Demand Akhtar is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in prison. He is convinced the death was not an accident and forces the one man who knows more about the case than any other, Thorne, to re-investigate. 
The Twist What Thorne discovers will upend everything he thought he knew about the fate of those he's put away...but will it be enough to fulfill the wishes of a grieving and potentially violent father?

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fridays Featured Author



Will Zeilinger

Photographer Ben DeCastro drives in sports car rallies on weekends.  He discovers an abandoned rally car in the California desert with a headless corpse in the trunk.
As a volunteer firefighter, he joins in the search for the missing drivers.  His life veers off course when their fingerprints are found on his garage door.  The FBI looks at Ben as a suspect. This hurts his professional reputation, and cramps his dating efforts with the women in his building.  An assortment of friends and neighbors try to help him with his circumstances, but cause more problems in the process.  How does he get out of this mess?


“You are such a party pooper Ben DeCastro.” slurred out of her mouth as I sat her down in the passenger seat and buckled her belt. I was hoping the ride back with the top down would provide enough fresh cool air to clear her head. But as we headed down the hill toward the long stretch of road at Bolsa Chica State Beach she started singing the theme from “Green Acres” - an old TV show on the retro channel and waving her arms above her head in the slipstream.
Suddenly she leaned over and wrapped her arms around my neck, “I love you Ben.” followed by three more choruses of the theme song. Then she started to cry.
“Are you okay?” I asked as she wept on my shoulder.
“No.” she mumbled, “You didn’t say you love me too.” and started to cry on my shoulder again. I thought maybe I should drive a little further up PCH. Maybe she needed more air and because I couldn’t imagine myself getting her up to her apartment in this condition. I reached over to smooth her skirt back down because the wind had bunched it up on her thighs.
“Ben, Ben,” she shook her finger at me while at the same time parting her legs slightly. “Just what do you thing we are doing?” slid out of her now smiling mouth.
“I’m just trying to put your clothes back in place. What are you doing?”
“Who me?” she pointed at her chest, “I was just helping you.”
“Just sit still, Jessica.” I got her skirt back where it should have been so anyone in a vehicle taller than mine wouldn’t get a free show. “I think you have too many Mojitos in you.”
“You think so? I’ll fix that.” With that statement, she turned away from me and threw up over her side of the car. “Sorry Ben... but I don’t feel very well,” and did it again.
I know it sounds selfish but that put the lid on anything further with Jessica tonight and I could just imagine what the outside of my car looked like. I turned around when I got near the roundabout in Santa Serena and headed back to Seagull Beach. Jessica put her head back on the seat and closed her eyes for the rest of the ride back home.
She was fast asleep as I pulled up to the garage. Her side of my car looked and smelled like I’d imagined so I took her keys out of her purse. Luckily she was light for someone around five-foot six. I picked her up and carried her to the elevator. Her shoes were missing and probably still in my car. This woman sleeps like a log but while waiting for the elevator I looked at her face. It was very pretty - even with the little bit of drool on her cheek. The elevator chimed and the doors slid open. There was Molly. Her eyes grew wide as her mouth dropped open.
“Hi Molly.” I tried to act like everything was normal.
“Hello Ben?” She backed around us and stood by the open door staring while I turned sideways and slipped into the elevator with Jessica, who’d stopped singing, in my arms.
“She’s asleep - not feeling very well.”
Molly fanned her hand in front of her scrunched-up face, “Yeah, I can tell. Whew!”
As the doors closed, I said, “Well, I’ll see you around... G’night.” Jessica stirred in my arms a little and snuggled her face into my shoulder. I managed not to hit her head on the wall when I carried her down the hall to her door. Juggling her keys I opened her apartment door and took her inside.
I hadn’t been inside her apartment since she talked to me at the door when we met. It was very neat and clean. Her bedroom door was open so I took her in and laid her on the bed. Her eyes were still closed when her arms came up around my neck and she moaned, “Oh Ben, don’t go.” I didn’t say a word as I carefully peeled her arms from my neck and quietly slipped out of her apartment, locking the door behind me. As I turned around Molly was standing right behind me in the hallway.
“Did you follow me up here?”

I’ve been writing for over twelve years. During that time, I took novel writing classes and joined writer’s groups, but what has helps me most are published authors who mentor, encourage, critique  and listen to me while I continue to learn my craft.  I live in Southern California with my wife and we are currently working on a crime novel together. Finding time to write while life happens is a challenge.

You can find Will at the following:

Twitter:  @Will_Zeilinger

Friday, October 17, 2014

Books I have read

Gone Tomorrow
Lee Child
Suicide bombers are easy to spot. They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs. Mostly because they're nervous. By definition they're all first-timers.

There are twelve things to look for: No one who has worked in law enforcement will ever forget them.

New York City. The subway, two o'clock in the morning. Jack Reacher studies his fellow passengers. Four are OK. The fifth isn't.

The train brakes for Grand Central Station. Will Reacher intervene, and save lives? Or is he wrong? Will his intervention cost lives - including his own?

Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday's Featured Authors

Shadows of the Past
Carmen Stefanescu

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Buy Link:
Wild Child Publishing


"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."
Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"
Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.
With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.
"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.
Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.
                             … . . .

          Tears welled in Anne's eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?
Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?
Away from the forest.
Away from Neil, the man who'd betrayed her trust and her love.
          An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.
Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart.  An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
Megan's face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, "Yes, come... I'm waiting... I've been waiting for you for such a long time..."

Carmen was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula.

She graduated the Bucharest University, the Germanic Languages Faculty.Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of communist oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

Places to find Carmen:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance Books

Friday, October 3, 2014

Books I have read

Murder in Retribution
Anne Cleeland

Doyle is assisting Acton in investigating a turf war between the Russian mafia and a Sinn Fein splinter group, with the warring sides in a fight to the death over who will control a money-laundering operation at the local race course. The London CID is racking up a body count and Doyle can dredge up little sympathy for the victims—that is, until she notices there is very little forensic evidence at any of the scenes.

In the second book of the Murder series, Doyle and Acton find themselves trying to outwit enemies foreign and domestic as they work to untangle the reason that the underworld war has spun out of control.
Buy Link:

Relieved that Acton wouldn’t be a witness if she were indeed to be sick, Doyle crouched down again to study the conduit where the body had been found while the SOCO examiners began to systematically scrutinize the area in ever-widening circles. She could guess what they would find; absolutely nothing. For a turf war, there was remarkably little evidence.
The scent of decomposition still lingered on the ground because the body had been there for a time, and she took deep breaths to steady her midsection, annoyed with herself because decomp had never bothered her before. Acton had already known she was pregnant, of course. She should have said something before this, but she was hoping her symptoms were built upon nerves and not upon the presence of the Honorable whomever who had been conceived the night his or her mother had killed a man and then accidentally shot herself for good measure. Nothin’ for it, she thought in resignation; this is exactly why the nuns warned you about sex.
Struggling to hide her irritation, she called to the SOCO photographer so as to double-check that the woman had taken some close-ups of the maggot activity on the corpse.  Doyle was irritated because the photographer had been emanating equal parts amazement and derision when introduced to Doyle earlier, even though her outward manner had been all that was correct.  The general consensus—which Doyle could sense in resounding waves—was that Acton had lost his mind.  Nothin’ for that, either, and this was exactly what she deserved for stepping into the center ring at the circus—not that she would change a thing; best get on with it, the circus was soon to have another act.

Anne Cleeland holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a degree in law from Pepperdine University, and is a member of the California State Bar. She writes a historical series set in the Regency period as well as a contemporary mystery series set in New Scotland Yard. A member of Romance Writers of America, The Historical Novel Society and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children.; @annecleeland

You can reach Anne at: