Category: Partners In Crime Tours

Guest Author Joshua Graham

Today we have a special guest, Amazon #1 bestselling author, stopping by to talk about his newest book while he tours with Partners In Crime Tours.  Please welcome Joshua Graham!!!

ABOUT JOSHUA GRAHAM

Winner of the 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, and Amazon.com #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling novel BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.
BEYOND JUSTICE, THE ACCIDENTAL EXORCIST, THE ACCIDENTAL HERO, THE ACCIDENTAL HEALER, and DEATH AND TAXES, have reached the top of multiple bestseller list on Barnes & Noble topping titles by John Grisham, Linda Fairstein, Scott Turrow and James Lee Burke, Ted Dekker and Steven James. Soaring to the top of the Barnes & Noble lists, BEYOND JUSTICE recently hit #1 in the Legal Thriller and Christian Thriller categories, topping by John Grisham, Joel C. Rosenberg, and Michael Connelly. It has also remained on the Amazon.com top 100 bestselling Kindle bestseller list months after its release.
Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.
His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)
Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as:
“…A riveting legal thriller…. breaking new ground with a vengeance… demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”
Connect with Joshua:
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE DESCENT INTO HELL IS NOT ALWAYS VERTICAL…
 Sam Hudson, a reputable San Diego attorney, learns this when the authorities wrongfully convict him of the brutal rape and murder of his wife and daughter, and sends him to death row. There he awaits execution by lethal injection.
If he survives that long.
In prison, Sam fights for his life while his attorney works frantically on his appeal. It is then that he embraces the faith of his departed wife and begins to manifest supernatural abilities. Abilities which help him save lives– his own, those of his unlikely allies–and uncover the true killer’s identity, unlocking the door to his exoneration.
Now a free man, Sam’s newfound faith confronts him with the most insurmountable challenge yet. A challenge beyond vengeance, beyond rage, beyond anything Sam believes himself capable of: to forgive the very man who murdered his family, according to his faith. But this endeavor reveals darker secrets than either Sam or the killer could ever have imagined. Secrets that hurtle them into a fateful collision course.
BEYOND JUSTICE, a tale of loss, redemption, and the power of faith.
“…A riveting legal thriller…. breaking new ground with a vengeance… demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“…hits the ground running…handled by a deft hand.”
Adrian Phoenix, BENEATH THE SKIN (Pocket Books)
“This tense, fast-paced story of outrageous injustice, insidious evil, and looming disaster has everything the savvy reader should expect, and more. [Graham] belongs to a new, emerging wave of writers who dare to color outside conventional lines. And he does so with style!”
Glen Scorgie, THE JOURNEY BACK TO EDEN (Zondervan)
Book Details:
Genre:Adult, Suspense,Mystery,Thriller
Publication Date: July 5, 2010
Pages: 448
Purchase:Amazon~Barnes&Noble

DISCLAIMER
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties

Guest Author Alan Williams

Today I have a very special guest stopping by.   I have met the nicest people since I started reviewing, blogging and now with Partners In Crime Tours and Alan is one of them.  Today I hope is the beginning of this author’s dreams.  You will learn more about him in the remainder of this post and my review.  So let’s get started and  please help me welcome Mr. Alan Williams to the CMash blog!!

ABOUT ALAN WILLIAMS

Alan Williams is a UK based writer, environmentalist, naturalist, allotment holder, dog owner and blogger.   He is also a reviewer for Partners In Crime Tours!
You can visit Alan at his website, Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A killer is stalking London; a banker is already dead, killed in an explosion, and there are more victims in the killer’s sights.
Techno geek and Internet journalist, Wil Jackson becomes inadvertently embroiled in the investigation when he interviews one of the murder victims, and the killer starts communicating with Wil via the Internet.
Can Wil help the police stop the killer before the body count increases further?

Read an excerpt:

As Wil walked up his front path, he heard the gate open behind him and a voice ask, “Mr Jackson?”
He turned. “Yes, that’s right, how can I help you?”
The person asking the question was tall and well-built, although it looked all muscle, not a streak of fat. But for the pink polo shirt and linen trousers over deck shoes, the guy would look quite frightening, as he filled the gateway on his way through it.
“I’m Detective Chief Inspector Price, Metropolitan Police. I’d like to talk to you about a Mr Arthur Trent. Do you know Mr Trent?”
“Yes, but I wouldn’t say that I actually ‘know’ him, as such. I interviewed him a couple of days ago for a piece I’m writing for a website. What’s this all about?”
“It would be better if we spoke inside, Mr Jackson – the situation is a little delicate at this moment in time.”
“Sure, come around to my office; we can talk there. Follow me.”
Wil led the Inspector around the side of his end terrace and through another gate, taking him into the back garden and towards his living-ark office. He unlocked the door and slid it to one side. The cool air from the inside washed across them.
“Seems like it would be more comfortable to talk in there,” Price said. “Air-conditioning?”
“No, it’s all part of the design. Stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, perfect for working in, an office away from home, although not quite. Pretty geeky too, isn’t it? Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Err…yes.”
Wil raised an eyebrow in enquiry.
“Sorry. Yes to the tea, and your shed. Milk no sugar, please.”
“Come in and take a seat.” Wil waved towards a smart red leather sofa centre-piecing a wall of his office. “I’ll put the kettle on.”
Price relaxed into the plush sofa and had a good look around the interior. It was clearly, first and foremost, an office of sorts, although from the outside, it looked a little like something out of a science fiction movie. One wall contained a work bench with monitors, telephone, computers and a printer, as well as a disarray of paperwork scattered across the surface. The side where Price was sitting was mostly taken up by the sofa but also had some bookshelves with a mixture of what looked to be science fiction novels crossed with text books and other works of non-fiction. Price watched Wil as he moved towards the back corner of the room, where there was a kettle and a coffee maker. As with the computer hardware and other paraphernalia in the room, these looked rather sedate, but apparently functional. There were a further two doors on the back wall; Price guessed that one probably led to some kind of bathroom, but had no idea what might lie behind the other. In between th! em stood a wood burning stove with a polished, galvanised chimney, which rose to the ceiling; it was showing some blueing from heat at the joins.
Price continued to watch Wil; he didn’t look to be a very likely murder suspect, more like an out of place schoolboy. Somewhere between nerd and geek, he hardly looked capable of blowing someone up – although appearances could be deceptive, and judging by the amount of technology and other bits and pieces in this one room alone, he wouldn’t be at all surprised if Wil Jackson had more than one skeleton in his closet.
Wil turned from his tea making duties with a cup of steaming brew in his hand, which he passed to Price. After taking a second cup, he settled into his office chair at the work bench.
“Now, what’s all this about Arthur Trent?” Wil asked, raising an eyebrow.
“When you saw Mr Trent, was it in his office, Mr Jackson?”
“It was, down in the Docklands. That big tower, owned by the bank he worked for – great view from forty-four floors up. I still don’t understand what I can help you with, though, Inspector, err, Price, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s right, Gavin Price. Mr Trent is dead, sir – murdered by the looks of things, and we’re trying to establish who he saw in the last few days of his life. That’s why I need to speak to you. It seems as though you were one of the last people to actually see him alive.”
Suddenly it all made sense to Wil; the news report, and now the policeman on his doorstep asking questions.

Read my review here.

Amazon link for Killer Bytes: A Novella of Intrigue by Alan Williams

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties

Guest Author Bill Walker

Today is a very special day for me.   And what better way to spend my birthday then with an old (and not chronologically lol) friend.   I read and reviewed Bill’s first book,  A Note from an Old Acquaintance, for another tour company back in March of 2010 .  He then emailed me asking if I would post my review on Amazon and we kept in touch.  Then in August of 2010 he bestowed on me a great honor and entrusted me to read and review his rewritten manuscript of Titanic 2012.  Today, not only is he stopping by to kick off his tour, but he is kicking it off with Partners In Crime Tours.   I will be reposting my review because, as you will see, that was what I promised to do.  So please help me welcome my friend and author, Mr. Bill Walker.

ABOUT BILL WALKER

 A graduate of Emerson College’s prestigious film school, Bill wrote and directed his first feature film, Pawn, while still a student. After graduation, he co-founded Newbury Filmworks, Inc., an award-winning production company renowned for making high-quality corporate films and commercials.

In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. In addition, Bill is a member of the Authors Guild.

He has won awards for his screenwriting, his two short story collections for Mid-Graders, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites, and his first novel, Titanic 2012 was enthusiastically received by readers. His second novel, Camp Stalag was released in 2001. Bill lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, and their sons, Jeffrey and Brian.
You can visit Bill at his website or Facebook.
You can hear his interview on Blog Talk Radio here.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Best-selling mystery novelist Trevor Hughes has no idea that attending his twentieth reunion at Harvard will forever change his life.

Persuaded to go by his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Dr. Julia Magnusson, he meets up with three old friends: Solly Rubens, a self-made Wall Street millionaire; Ken Faust, a successful software entrepreneur; and Harlan Astor, New York real estate tycoon and the glue that holds their circle together.

That afternoon, over drinks at the Harvard Club, Harlan drops his bombshell: He is doing what James Cameron did not — he is rebuilding the Titanic, and sailing the ship on the hundredth anniversary to honor those who died, including his great-grandfather, John Jacob Astor IV. Only Trevor is intrigued by Harlan’s audacity. Touched by his friend’s interest and concern, Harlan invites him on the maiden voyage to serve as the official chronicler.

On April 10, 2012, Trevor journeys to Southampton and, along with the hundreds of handpicked passengers, boards the Titanic. He is awed by the immensity of the ship and the feelings that well up in him. His friend has made his grand dream a reality.

During the journey, armed with his iPod Touch and a miniature wireless camera hidden in his glasses, Trevor interviews both passengers and crew, eager to learn the reasons why they chose to sail on the reborn ship.

Nearly every one of them claims to have been profoundly affected by Cameron’s film, wanting to recapture the magic for themselves. And some of them are dying — their last wish to be on the maiden voyage of the new Titanic.

Trevor is touched that his friend has allowed these people to come aboard, and is unprepared when he meets Madeleine Regehr, a beautiful, free-spirited woman who resists his entreaties to be interviewed, intriguing Trevor all the more. Slowly, and inexorably, Maddy draws him out of his shell, allowing him to love deeply and completely, for the very first time in his life.

But Trevor soon discovers a darker purpose for the voyage, a purpose that threatens to destroy him and the woman he loves. In a race against time that pits friend against friend, Trevor must stop the unstoppable or risk a horrific replay of history…

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

The furor in the media had just died down when Solly’s call came that rainy midweek day. I’d been hiding from the wolves of the fourth estate for nearly three weeks, holed up in my book-filled condo/prison in Charlestown, unable even to slip outside for a breath of fresh air without some cookie-cutter reporter, with a paint-by-numbers smile, sticking a microphone in my face and asking me the same tired question: “What was it like?”
As if the whole of my experience could be quantified in a sound bite.
Truth was I was avoiding everyone, even Julia and her earnest attempts to help me sort through the miasma of doubt and pain.
Sweet Julia.
We’ve been on-and-off again for the last five years. And I hadn’t seen her for the better part of a year. I¬¬ guess she thought now was as good a time as any to mend fences. Christ, if she only knew….
And what was worse, the book I’d promised my publisher, the one that was supposed to chronicle all I’d been through, lay like a beached whale on the shore of my imagination. I was standing at the bay window overlooking the harbor, watching the rain sluice down the glass, wondering if I would ever have the courage to write again, when my gaze shifted to the pile of DVDs lying in a scattered heap on the teakwood coffee table.
My eyes filled with tears yet again.
“I’m so sorry, Maddy,” I groaned, knocking my forehead against the cool glass. “I’m so goddamned sorry.”
“You have a call,” the computer intoned in a quiet contralto, making me wince. Even the goddamned computer’s voice reminded me of Madeleine.
“Who is it?” I asked, expecting to hear it was yet another call from the Globe. Hometown reporters were the worst, the most ravenous.
And then I remembered I’d instructed the computer to screen all calls, allowing access to only a select few.
“The caller has an Identity Block in place. Shall I take a message?”
I sighed.
To hell with it. I had to rejoin the human race at some point, even if I felt as if I no longer belonged in it.
“Put it through,” I said, making my way over to the sleek MacBook Pro sitting atop my writing desk. The screen came to life and Solly Rubens’ round face filled the screen. His saturnine looks were etched with concern, an expression that somehow looked ominous on him.
“Hey, Hughes, you okay? How are you holding up?”
The tiny “picture-in-picture” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen showed me what Solly was seeing, rendering his question moot.
I looked as if I’d taken the cook’s tour of Hell: blue eyes¬¬–red-rimmed and puffy–surrounded by dark circles, sandy hair greasy and disheveled, three-day growth of a patchy red-flecked beard, and the same clothes I’d worn since Monday. I looked sixty-two, instead of forty-two. All in all, I presented a picture about as far as one could get from what Boston magazine had called: “The World’s Most Eligible Author.”
“How the hell do you think I’m holding up?” I said, staring back at Solly. His eyes blinked rapidly and I debated whether or not to instruct the MAC to disconnect, when he spoke again.
“Aw, man, I’m sorry. I really put my foot in it, didn’t I?” he said, trying to appear contrite. “Listen, I know we’ve never been the best of pals, but we had some good times back in school, didn’t we? I mean, Christ, we’ve been through a hell of a lot since Harvard. You a hotshot writer. Me hittin’ the big time. I still can’t believe it’s been a year–”
“What do you want, Solly?”
His porcine eyes darted somewhere off-screen, then riveted onto mine.
“Ken and I thought you should get out of the house, maybe meet us at the Harvard Club. What do you say?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You gotta talk about it sometime,” he said, his Brooklyn tenor rising in pitch. “You’ve been avoiding us for weeks, you look like crap, and everybody–and I mean everybody’s–been trying to find out what the hell happened out there. And what about Julia? You shutting her out? You treatin’ her like dirt, too?”
I resented him bringing her name up, only because I knew he was using her as leverage, and not out of any real concern for her feelings.
Not that I was any better.
“She’s none of your business, Solly. Leave her out of this.”
“All right, I’m sorry. But you know I’m right. You gotta get on with your life, for Christ’s sake. If you’re not gonna do it for yourself, do it for Harlan.”
I leaned forward, my nose practically touching the screen. “Where were you when Harlan needed the three of us? Huh? Where the hell were you when the chips were down? Taking Karen to another Broadway show?”
Solly’s lips compressed into a thin angry line. “Okay, I deserved that. But Ken and I have a right to know what happened.”
So, that was it. Like everyone else, they wanted to know the truth about Harlan’s death–wanted to know all the gory details. Christ, they were no better than the goddamned muckrakers slinking around my front door. And why was it so important to Ken and Solly, anyway?
Would it bring Harlan back? Would it bring any of them back? Why the hell couldn’t they just leave me alone?
And then, all at once, the anger passed, as if someone had thrown a switch inside me. Suddenly, I wanted very badly to tell someone–anyone. And perhaps it was more than fitting to do it where it all began.
“All right,” I said. “I’ll meet you guys at the club, Friday night at six.”
Solly cracked a grin, revealing crooked yellow teeth. “It’ll do you good, Hughes, you’ll see.”
“Maybe…. But drinks and dinner are on you.”
He chuckled.
“My pleasure. See you there.”
The screen went dark, and I sat there for a long moment, wondering if I shouldn’t blow them off. And then I realized Harlan would want me to go. I doubted very much, however, once they heard the whole story, it would be any pleasure for any of us….

 

This is my review that was posted on August 16th, 2010:

There are caveats before I give my official review. Back in February I read, reviewed and hosted a “Guest Author” spotlight at the request of Pump Up Your Book, for A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker.   I thought the book was exceptional, giving it a rating of 5/5. You can read my review here. Bill had contacted me, after I posted my review, and asked if I would mind posting the review on some sites, which I agreed to do.   Since that time, we have touched base every now and then as to how things were going with his book.   He told me that he was working on a manuscript (revising, editing, making changes) of a book that he had written and with limited printing in 1998.   I then received an email from him, which amazed me, surprised me and, quite honestly, felt honored to receive this request.   Could he entrust me with this manuscript and give my honest opinion as a reader, consumer and reviewer?

I have not read the original Titanic 2012, that was printed years ago so I can not compare it to the revised manuscript that I recently finished reading.   However, and ironically knowing that I had the manuscript in my EReader waiting for me to read, I saw that another blogger had found a copy of the original and had read the book. Sheila, from One Person’s Journey Through A World Of Booksreviewed this book on her blog.   I also need to say that the revised manuscript edition, is just that, a manuscript.   Bill has informed me that it is now in his agent’s hand, so the revised edition, that I will be reviewing, has not yet been published nor is it available as of this date.   However. I did tell him that since this blog is about books and my honest thoughts and reviews of books I read, that I would treat his manuscript in the same manner I do for all books I read.   I also told him that I pride myself on giving a credible and honest review of every book I read, and that the same criteria would be utilized for his manuscript.   He agreed.   He also promised me that when the book does become available, he would notify me to let my followers, readers and visitors know so that I can give an update.   And now my thoughts and opinion of said manuscript:

 

Titanic 2012 by Bill Walker (revised manuscript)
Final Manuscript Draft
At the request of the author, who entrusted me with his manuscript, a PDF was sent via email to be downloaded to my EReader, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
 

  Synopsis (blurb borrowed from GoodReads for original print): When James Cameron’s vision of a movie, Titanic, made it to the screen, who would’ve known just how popular it would become? Now there’s a new mystery thriller that puts the luxury liner of doom in the near future with suspenseful results. It’s the year 2012, and best selling mystery novelist Trevor Hughes has just about completed his next big book when old friend Harlan Astor announces that he’s spent hundreds of millions of dollars to stage one of the biggest publicity shows in history: he’s built a new Titanic, an exact replica of the 1912 version. This tweaks Trevor’s writerly instincts, and in short order, he breaks up with his girlfriend and heads out for Poland to board the maiden voyage of this colossal remake. Even Kate Winslet is on hand to christen the ship, and the media are eating it up. But why did Astor do this, and why did he handpick the people who are boarding this remarkable ship? First-time novelist Bill Walker rings all the bells and blows all the whistles as he sets sail with his maiden voyage déjà vu, TITANIC 2012.

My Thoughts and Opinion: I have to preface this by saying that I saw the movie, Titanic, on multiple occasions and enjoyed it each time.   Also, there will be no spoilers in this review.   The premise of the plot, at times parallels the movie to some degree, but the story line stands on its own.   The parallels were Harlan Astor, whose great grandfather was lost in the tragedy of the original Titanic, designed the new ship to resemble the original.   He also planned other details to resemble the maiden voyage of 1912, such as the dress of the passengers, the menu, the different classes, the valets.   As the synopsis states, Titanic 2012 is a suspenseful romance.   The author’s words transported me back to 1912 and then back to the present.   I found myself so engrossed in reading this manuscript whereas I became part of the story and unaware what was going on around me.   The characters were brought to life through the writer’s descriptions and each had their reasons for wanting to be a part of Titanic 2012.   As far as the suspense, a page turner.   I apologize for being vague, but there are many aspects to the suspense theme and will not include any spoilers in this review.   The romance perspective profound, yet tender and emotional.
I am sorry for posting this review due to the fact that it is unavailable as of right now. But will honestly tell you, that when it is published, it is a must read.   If you are a fan of Titanic, the movie, you will love Titanic 2012.   Put this one on your TBR list now and hopefully it will be obtainable soon.   And like the movie whereas I saw it more than once, when this is in print, I will be reading it again.   Bravo Mr. Walker !!

 

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

Guest Author Mark Gilleo

Mr. Lou Aronica from The Story Plant has given me the distinct honor to introduce you to today’s guest, who this week, kicks off his virtual tour with Partners In Crime Tours.

I am so excited, thrilled, amazed and enthusiastic about today’s guest.   Since I started blogging, I have reviewed  many books at the request of  The Story Plant and because of it, I have added quite a few “must read authors” to my list.   And today, another author has been added.   I mentioned the word “amazed”.    Truly amazed that this was a debut novel!!!    So please help me give a very warm welcome to Mr. Mark Gilleo.

ABOUT MARK GILLEO

Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, has lived and worked in Asia, and speaks fluent Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His two most recent novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative writing competition. The Story Plant will publish his next novel, SWEAT in 2012.

You can visit Mark Gilleo at Love Thy Neighbor page and  the www.thestoryplant.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother’s diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn’t possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of a terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell – which happens to be across the street – is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark’s quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become o! ne of the most deadly places on the planet, and it’s up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation’s capital.

Fast, acerbic, wise and endlessly exciting, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR marks the unforgettable debut of a startling new voice in suspense fiction.

Read an excerpt:

AUTHOR’S NOTE
(This part is true.)In late 1999 a woman from Vienna, Virginia, a suburb ten miles from the White House as the crow flies, called the CIA. The woman, a fifty-something mother of three, phoned to report what she referred to as potential terrorists living across the street from her middle-class home. She went on to explain what she had been seeing in her otherwise quiet neighborhood: Strange men of seemingly Middle-Eastern descent using their cell phones in the yard. Meetings in the middle of the night with bumper-to-bumper curbside parking, expensive cars rubbing ends with vans and common Japanese imports. A constant flow of young men, some who seemed to stay for long periods of time without introducing themselves to anyone in the neighborhood. The construction of a six-foot wooden fence to hide the backyard from the street only made the property more suspicious.Upon hearing a layperson’s description of suspicious behavior, the CIA promptly dismissed the woman and her phone call. (Ironically, the woman lived less than a quarter of a mile from a CIA installation, though it was not CIA headquarters as was later reported.)

In the days and weeks following 9/11, the intelligence community in the U.S. began to learn the identities of the nineteen hijackers who had flown the planes into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. In the process of their investigation they discovered that two of the hijackers, one on each of the planes that hit the World Trade Towers, had listed a particular house in Vienna, Virginia as a place of residence.

The FBI and various other agencies swooped in on the unassuming neighborhood and began knocking on doors. When they reached the house of a certain mother of three, she stopped them dead in their tracks. She was purported to have said, “I called the CIA two years ago to report that terrorists were living across the street and no one did anything.”

The CIA claimed to have no record of a phone call.

The news networks set up cameras and began broadcasting from the residential street. ABC, NBC, FOX. The FBI followed up with further inquiries. The woman’s story was later bounced around the various post 9/11 committees and intelligence hearings on Capitol Hill. (Incidentally, after 9/11, the CIA closed its multi-story facility in the neighborhood where the terrorist reportedly lived. In 2006 the empty building was finally torn down and, as of early 2011, was being replaced with another office building).

There has been much speculation about what the government should have or could have known prior to 9/11. The answer is not simple. There have been anecdotal stories of people in Florida and elsewhere who claimed to have reported similar “terrorist” type activities by suspicious people prior to 9/11. None of these stories have been proven.

What we do know is that with the exception of the flight school instructor in Minnesota who questioned the motive of a student who was interested in flying an aircraft without learning how to land, and an unheeded warning from actor James Woods who was on a plane from Boston with several of the purported terrorists while they were doing a trial run, the woman from Vienna, Virginia was the country’s best chance to prevent 9/11. To date, there has been no verification of any other pre-9/11 warnings from the general public so far in advance of that fateful day in September.

For me, there is no doubt as to the validity of the claims of the woman in Vienna.

She lived in the house where I grew up. She is my mother.

Mark Gilleo. October, 2011. Washington DC.

* * *

Ariana turned on the nightlight and closed the door to her daughter’s room. She walked down the carpeted hall towards the light stretching out from the plastic chandelier over the dining room table. Her husband’s chair was empty and she quietly called out his name. No response. As Ariana turned the corner to the kitchen and reached for the knob on the cabinet over the counter, eight hundred pages of advertising crashed into her rib cage, sucking the wind from her lungs. As his wife doubled over, Nazim raised the thick Yellow Book with both hands and hit her on her back, driving her body to the floor.

“Don’t you ever disobey me in front of others again.”

Ariana coughed. There was no blood. This time. She tried to speak but her lips only quivered. Her thick-framed glasses rested on the floor, out of reach. Her brain fought to make sense of what happened, what had set her husband off. It could have been anything. But every curse had its blessing, and for Ariana the blessing was the fact that Nazim didn’t hit her in front of Liana. A blessing that the child didn’t see her mother being punched. The reason was simple. Nazim was afraid of his daughter. Afraid of what she could say now that she could speak.

The curse was that Ariana never knew when she had crossed the line. She never knew when the next blow was coming. She merely had to wait until they were alone to learn her fate for past indiscretions.

Ariana gasped slowly for air. She didn’t cry. The pain she felt in her side wasn’t bad enough to give her husband the satisfaction.

“When I say it is time to leave, it is time to leave. There is no room for negotiation in this marriage.”

Ariana panted as her mind flashed back to the Christmas party. She immediately realized her faux pas. “I didn’t want to be rude to Maria. She spent days making dessert. She is old. Do we not respect our elders anymore?”

Nazim pushed his wife onto the floor with his knee, a reaction Ariana fully expected. “You are my wife. This is about you and me. Our neighbor has nothing to do with it.” Nazim looked down at Ariana sprawled on the linoleum and spit on her with more mock than saliva.

“Maria is my friend.”

“Well, her son is coming home and she doesn’t need you.”

Nazim dropped the yellow book on the counter with a thud and went to the basement. Ariana gathered herself, pushing her body onto all fours and then pulling herself up by the front of the oven. She looked at the Yellow Book and her blood boiled. It was like getting hit by a cinderblock with soft edges. When it hit flush, it left very little bruising. As her husband intended. For a man of slight build, Nazim could generate power when a beating was needed.

Ariana took inventory of herself, one hand propping herself up on the counter. She had been beaten worse. Far worse. By other men before she met her husband. Her eyes moved beyond the Yellow Pages and settled on the knife set on the counter, the shiny German steel resting in its wooden block holder. She grabbed the fillet knife, caressed the blade with her eyes, and then pushed the thought from her mind.

Her husband called her from the basement and she snapped out of her momentary daze. “Coming,” she answered, putting the knife back in its designated slot in the wood. She knew what was coming next. It was always the same. A physical assault followed by a sexual one. She reached up her skirt and removed her panties. There was no sense in having another pair ripped, even if robbing Nazim of the joy would cost her a punch or two.

Christmas, the season of giving, she thought as she made her way down the stairs into the chilly basement.

 

Amazon link    B&N link

Read my review here.

 

DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM
 I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com,
Barnes & Noble and/or any other retail/wholesale
outlets either online and/or elsewhere.
I am providing this link solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
I do not receive any monetary compensation from any parties

Review Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo

 

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR by Mark Gilleo

Published by The Story Plant
ISBN-10: 1611880343
ISBN-13: 978-1611880342
At the request of The Story Plant, an ARC digital edition was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.

  Synopsis (from the publisher): Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother’s diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn’t possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of a terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell – which happens to be across the street – is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark’s quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become one of the most deadly places on the planet, and it’s up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation’s capital.

   My Thoughts and Opinion:  Where do I begin?  OK..let’s start off by me proving myself wrong again with first impressions.  I’m thinking this book is going to be another international espionage spy novel (not high up on my favorite read lists), 438 pages (great….this will take me weeks to read…. will probably seem like a lot more because of what I just mentioned) and it’s a debut novel!!!   OK….Let’s get this read.

The novel starts off with an Author’s Note that states It’s True.   And I am hooked!! This debut author has me, but now comes the story, will he hold my attention for 438 pages?   As I continue to read, his writing style is so graphic in detail that I actually had the ability to create a clear and vivid imagery in my mind, almost like I am watching a movie, which continues throughout the book.   He has the same ability of bringing the cast of characters to life and the settings of the scenes as if I was present and a bystander.   Throughout the book there were multiple twists and turns and chapters with mini cliff hangers that made this reader having to “read just one more chapter” but then realizing I was ten chapters later.   The suspense was non stop, a definite page turner.  There were also a couple of scenes (do not want to include spoilers) that I found myself laughing out loud.  A brilliant and compelling read!!!
I found myself thinking several things when I finished this novel. Yes, I was wrong. I could not put this book down, all 438 pages of it.   What I thought was going to take me weeks to read, took me a couple of days because it was so engrossing and kept pulling me to pick it back up.     A masterful written work of fiction, but could it become a reality?   I also thought that this novel would make for a great movie.   And most importantly, this is an author to put on your radar.   His writing is that of a seasoned author.  I say Bravo Mr. Gilleo!!!
DISCLAIMER
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
(2012 Challenges:  Romantic/Suspense, EBook, ARC, Mystery/Suspense, Off The Shelf, Serial Killers, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-Z, Merely Mystery, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)

Reviewers and Tour Hosts

Hi everyone!  And how is your Sunday?  Any fun plans?  Or are you running around finishing your Christmas shopping?  My best friend took me the other day, as it is hard for me to walk around for lengthy amounts of time, and since she is the Queen of Shopping, we were finished in no time.  Plus the fact that I do most of my shopping online.
As you may know, I am partners with Molly from Reviews By Molly, in a virtual PR company, Partners In Crime Tours (www.partnersincrimetours.net).  We are currently looking for more hosts so I thought I would start with the great followers of this blog.  Plus the fact that I just finished reading a book that will be touring with us starting in January to April and it was a 4/5.  I can’t post my review until then but I can give you a synopsis in case you are interested in reviewing it.
As far as becoming a host.  You DO NOT have to read and review every book we have booked.  Only those novels that you think you would enjoy.  All that we ask is this, that once the calendar is created, you choose the date during the tour time frame that is convenient for you to post your review and that we both agree to and that you guarantee that you will post it on said date.  That easy!!  Don’t have a blog?  Do you post on GoodReads, LibraryThing?  Then you can become a host too.
I have 2 books that are touring starting one in January-April (the one I just finished) and another one February-May.
If you are interested in either one and/or both after you read the synopsis, please send me an email at CMash@partnersincrimetours.net with the following information and I will get back to you with more details.
NAME:
EMAIL:
BLOG NAME:
BLOG URL (or GR, LT, etc):
BOOK EDITION:  PRINT OR DIGITAL
WHICH TOUR:

Tour Number 1 (THIS IS THE ONE I FINISHED LAST NIGHT)
Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard
Tour planned approximately end of January/beginning February thru April
Synopsis:
The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.
Brimming with action and dark humor, Voices of the Dead, firmly positions Peter Leonard as a writer ever suspense fan needs to read.
Addendum: Name sound familiar?………It is fast-paced and darkly humorous, a little reminiscent of Elmore Leonard. The latter might be because the author, Peter Leonard, has been influenced by Elmore Leonard about as much as a writer can be – the elder Leonard is his father.

Tour Number 2
Gods and Fathers by James Lepore
Tour continues into the beginning of May
Synopsis:
Nationally bestselling author James LePore has established a reputation as a writer whose vividly drawn characters and morally complex plots have kept readers up to all hours turning pages. His new novel promises more sleepless nights and more nonstop thrills.
Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he’s known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy’s girlfriend.
Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.
GODS AND FATHERS is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore’s signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.

 

Hope to hear from you!!!


 

Announcement EXCITING NEWS !!!!!!

If you have followed my blog, you know my favorite reads are mystery, suspense, crime and thrillers that hold the previous three elements.  You may have also noticed, that lately I have been assisting some indie authors to have a platform for their books, however, it was just on my blog.  Well…………………………………………………………..
I have wanted this for a very, very long time.   Doing what I love!!!!!!

I am now a partner, along with Molly, from Reviews By Molly, and April, from Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews, in a ** NEW ** Tour Publicity Company, PARTNERS IN CRIME TOURS

Our goal is to assist authors with the PR for their books of crime, suspense and mystery only, so that they can put their time into what they do best, and that is writing and creating more books for us to read.

Authors:  please visit us at our new sites: 
Website, Facebook, Twitter

or if you have any questions feel free to contact:
  Cheryl  cmash@Partnersincrimetours.net
  Molly   molly@Partnersincrimetours.net
  April    april@Partnersincrimetours.net
 
And bloggers, please visit us too.  If you are a fan of this genre and would like to be a tour host in the future, please email me with the following information:
  *Name
  *Blog Name
  *Blog URL
  *EMail Address
  *FB & Twitter Accounts Name/Links (approx # of followers)
  *Any other comments

P.S.  This blog will still remain for reviews, memes, blog hopping, giveaways, Sunday’s Shining Stars, and fun!!!

Announcement EXCITING NEWS !!!!!!

If you have followed my blog, you know my favorite reads are mystery, suspense, crime and thrillers that hold the previous three elements.  You may have also noticed, that lately I have been assisting some indie authors to have a platform for their books, however, it was just on my blog.  Well…………………………………………………………..
I have wanted this for a very, very long time.   Doing what I love!!!!!!

I am now a partner, along with Molly, from Reviews By Molly, and April, from Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews, in a ** NEW ** Tour Publicity Company, PARTNERS IN CRIME TOURS

Our goal is to assist authors with the PR for their books of crime, suspense and mystery only, so that they can put their time into what they do best, and that is writing and creating more books for us to read.

Authors:  please visit us at our new sites: 
Website, Facebook, Twitter

or if you have any questions feel free to contact:
  Cheryl  cmash@Partnersincrimetours.net
  Molly   molly@Partnersincrimetours.net
  April    april@Partnersincrimetours.net
 
And bloggers, please visit us too.  If you are a fan of this genre and would like to be a tour host in the future, please email me with the following information:
  *Name
  *Blog Name
  *Blog URL
  *EMail Address
  *FB & Twitter Accounts Name/Links (approx # of followers)
  *Any other comments

P.S.  This blog will still remain for reviews, memes, blog hopping, giveaways, Sunday’s Shining Stars, and fun!!!