"Otherwise Unharmed: Evan Arden Trilogy #3" by Shay Savage

NOTE: This book is suitable for adults only.
EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Otherwise Unharmed:
Evan Arden Trilogy #3
by Shay Savage
Otherwise Unharmed is the final book in the Evan Arden Trilogy. Also available: Otherwise Alone, Otherwise Occupied, and Uncockblockable.

  

Otherwise Unharmed is currently on tour with MaE Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt. You can also enter the giveaway for your chance to win books Shay Savage books. Please visit all of the other tour stops as well.
Description
After Evan Arden was imprisoned by the enemy for a year and a half, he returned from the desert as a military hero. He’d suffered some minor injuries during his captivity, was discharged from the Marines with a touch of shellshock, but was considered otherwise unharmed. Now he wonders how he ended up where he is – incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for using his sharpshooting expertise to take out the neighborhood park with a high-powered sniper rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition.
Lia Antonio, the woman he rescued from the desert heat the previous year, is the only person who can bring him out of his sleep-deprived psychosis and mounting PTSD. When she does, Evan knows he can’t just let her go again. He’s never considered leaving the business before – who retires from the mafia? – but he’s determined to get both Lia and himself out of harm’s way.
Evan faces overwhelming forces from multiple directions as a deal to get him out of jail turns more dangerous than he imagined. With a mob war on the horizon and the feds holding evidence over his head, Evan has no choice but to throw himself into the middle of another warzone.
In his efforts to make things right, Evan crosses the wrong man and finds himself on the business end of the crosshairs. With his acute perception and intelligence, he tries to stay a step ahead of his former co-workers, but this time, it isn’t just his own life on the line – he’s got to protect Lia from the man who once called him son.
Excerpt
I resisted the urge to pull out the Beretta and shove it in his face.
“I assume I have you to thank for all of this,” I muttered back.  “What the fuck do you want?”
“Just wanted to make sure you weren’t packing up to leave town or anything stupid like that,” Trent replied.  “I also wanted to make sure you realize I know exactly where you are and what you’re doing—at all times.”
I watched him closely.  He crossed his arms as he leaned casually against the door – too casually.  He was making a point of looking nonchalant, which meant he didn’t completely feel that way.  My eyes searched for other clues about him, but he was practiced in the art of being a complete and total asshole, which was throwing me off my game.
In an attempt to gain some ground, I snapped my fingers and pointed to Odin’s bed.  He quickly moved from my side and went to his place but continued to growl low at the federal agent.
“I told you I would take care of it all,” I reminded him.  “Fuck off and let me do it.”
“You’re quite the conversationalist,” he said with a snide laugh.
“I don’t converse with feds,” I snapped back.  I was immediately pissed off at myself for letting him get to me.
“Just don’t forget to take your dick out of your slut long enough to get your job done.”
I clenched my teeth and glared, trying to keep myself from just walking over and beating the living shit out of him.  I had no doubt that Johnson was nearby, and assaulting a fed in my apartment while I was out on bail wasn’t the very best idea.
“Are you going to spend a lot of time keeping me from getting shit done?” I asked through my teeth.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time making sure you are getting shit done,” Trent retorted.  “If I feel like you’re stalling, I’m going to take it out on her.  What do you think of that?”
“I think that’s an invitation to an underground party.”
We locked stares for a long moment.  Trent eventually cracked half of an insincere smile and then nodded.
“I’ll be seeing you around.”  He turned and walked out the door.
I dropped my ass on the couch and rubbed my temples.  Odin assumed he was free to leave his bed because he came up and leaned his fuzzy mug on my knee.  I rubbed at his head and tried to calm myself down a bit.
None of this was going to work.
Book Trailer
Review
I just finished reading it. It’s one of those stories that really submerges you in its plot. It made me feel everything with its characters. I laughed, cried, it made me so angry at times and then happy again. It was a real roller-coaster and that’s what makes a good story, in my opinion. It’s a hard story to read at some points, but if you have read Savage’s stories before, you know that’s just how she rolls. I’m not a person that is easily surprised, yet she manages to do it with every single one of her stories. This story has action, love, sexy times, distrust, revenge; pair it with Evan’s psychological distress and this story blows up. If you read the other two books, you MUST read this one.
I couldn’t be happier with the conclusion of this series. It does feel final. The story comes to a full circle, but there is hope for Evan and Lia. I liked that given the circumstances, they manage and move forward. Evan even gets a treat at the end 😉
About the Author
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for your chance to win Shay Savage books.
Links

"Come Little Children" by D. Melhoff

NEW RELEASE and GIVEAWAY
Come Little Children
by D. Melhoff
Come Little Children is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The author stops by today for an interview. You can also read my review. Please visit all of the other tour stops and enter the giveaway below.
Description
A hidden town. A paranormal rumor. A family secret.
After graduating from the mortuary program at Mount Royal University, Camilla Carleton moves to a secluded town in the northern Yukon for her first job at a family-run funeral home. Her new employers, however, are the town’s most controversial citizens, and when strange occurrences begin happening around the morgue – including late night visits from children who were thought to be dead – she won’t stop until she uncovers the truth behind these paranormal events.
But unraveling the funeral home’s secret is just the start. When Camilla is faced with life and death decisions of her own, she must fight to undo a horrific chain of events while struggling to outsmart a serial killer, save her family, and escape the morgue alive.
Book Trailer
Review

By Lynda Dickson

Camilla Carleton, a recently-graduated mortician, travels to the Yukon to start her first job in the Vincent Funeral Home, run by the strange members of the Vincent family. A soaking wet six year old boy shows up on the their doorstep on Camilla’s first night, but that is only the beginning of the strangeness. Camilla starts speculating about what’s going on, but none of her imaginary scenarios can possibly prepare her for what is happening in reality. What dark secrets is this family hiding?
When a tragic accident threatens to ruin her life, Camilla must make a difficult decision and put her trust in Peter, the youngest Vincent. This sets in motion a chain of events which will forever haunt her.
This story starts of slowly, but stick with it. Once the action starts, you won’t be able to stop reading. Full of gory details of dead bodies and morticians’ practices, this book is moody and atmospheric. It is also darkly humorous, as evidenced by the hilarious comedy of errors that nearly sees Camilla fired on her first day of work. Come Little Children is extremely well-written, and the author has an impressive vocabulary. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future works by this debut author.
Interview With the Author
Hi D. Melhoff, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Come Little Children.
What age group do you recommend your book for?
Come Little Children is for 18 and up (mainly for violence and “mature situations”), but let’s get real. We were all reading that kind of stuff much earlier on, so I’d probably slip it to a 15- or 16-year-old and say, “Go for it.”
What sparked the idea for this book?
Drugs. Sort of.
I had jaw surgery a few years ago, and I was flat on my back for almost three weeks solid. One of those afternoons, I remember watching a TV special about the funeral business (or at least I thought I was watching a TV special, maybe it was a hallucination from all the painkillers) and it hit me that a morgue would make the perfect setting for a story I’d been kicking around for a while. Plus, I’ve always wanted to write about morticians, so the morphine gave me the extra push I needed.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
It differs by project. In the case of Come Little Children, Camilla waltzed into my head out of nowhere, a fully formed image of a beautiful and intelligent mortician. The story was built around her.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Getting the start of the book right was challenging. For one thing, I had to introduce this main character who has a very strange – and distinct – view of the world, as well as a sense of humor, while simultaneously taking readers to places they’ve never been before (the Yukon, the town of Nolan, a funeral home, etc.). When you have that many unfamiliar elements at the start of a novel, there’s not a lot of common ground that readers can draw on and use to form a clear image in their head, so you have to be careful you don’t lose them.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope they enjoy the thrill ride and realize that not all horror is purely about blood, guts, and gore – some of it is much more subtle. Consequently, I hope they go around recommending it to friends who might not usually read this genre.
I sure will! How long did it take you to write this book?
Two years, part time.
What is your writing routine?
6:15am – 8:00am – Wake up, get ready, commute to the office (I have some co-working space downtown)
8:00am – 8:15am – Deal with e-mails
8:15am – 12:00pm – Write, research, talk with editors and publishers
12:00pm – 12:30pm – Shovel lunch down my throat
12:30pm – 5:00pm – More writing, more researching, etc.
5:00pm – 8:00pm – Commute home. Eat, drink, and be merry.
8:00pm – 2:00am – Anyone’s guess. Sometimes I’ll take the evening off if I feel I’ve had a productive day, but most of the time my mind wanders back to my current project, so I’ll just keep writing. Personally, I like working late. There’s something special in the air when the rest of the continent goes to sleep and no one’s awake to bother you.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Take criticism as objectively as possible. Work in the good feedback; forget the trolls. Take breaks, but go hard and give your project as much time and attention as you can afford. At the same time, don’t stress about the aspects you can’t control.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Play chess and take in live theater. I wish I could say I’m a thrill-seeker in my personal life as well as my writing life, but alas, it isn’t so.
What does your family think of your writing?
Many of them died in a tragic fire, so thank you for bringing it up.
Only joking. They’re very supportive.
I never do know when you’re joking! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
All right, Dr. Lecter. I grew up in a small city that has since turned into something of a ghost town. My mother is a psychiatric nurse and my father owns a brew pub (unfortunately, I had neither free alcohol nor therapy growing up), and my grandparents own a farm roughly ten miles north of the city limits.
My father was athletic in his day, so he tried to enroll me in every sport he enjoyed. Hockey, baseball, soccer – you name it. Sadly, I wasn’t very good at any of them. In fact, I stunk. I’d usually show up to the locker rooms with a book tucked under my arm, or find myself day-dreaming in the outfield during all my minor league baseball games (which is actually a good place to day-dream, seeing as kids at that age aren’t usually good enough to whack the ball past second base). My sports career ended around sixth grade, which is roughly the time I started writing.
Did you enjoy school?
I was good at school, and I enjoyed some classes, but I wouldn’t say I’m an academic. The only reasons I got good marks were because: 1) I have a good memory for facts, and 2) I’m comfortable with public speaking.
I graduated from university with high honors and great distinction, but oddly enough, I hate research and academic readings. Warning: If you want more on my perspective regarding the flaws of our current post-secondary system, we’ll need to start an entirely separate blog post.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Absolutely. Anything by Roald Dahl, Robert Munsch, and R. L. Stine.
What was your favorite book as a child?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I liked the idea of being a writer early on (high school), but it took a while to finally get there. I dabbled in screenplays and poetry in university, then eventually moved on to novels.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Sure, but don’t our childhoods influence everything we do? I guess far as direct influence – such as sticking certain settings and people into my books – I’d say yes, I probably draw on some inspiration from when I was little. But don’t get the wrong idea and think that my childhood household was anything like the Vincent Funeral Home.
I should hope not! Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A lot of them finish my first book and immediately ask, “What’s next?” Which is a good sign, I guess. Most of them just like the posts on my Facebook page (#shameless_plug).
That said, what can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a summer camp horror story, which I’m very excited about. Nothing paranormal in this one, just my own take on the classic “summer slasher” story (with a few new twists, of course).
Sounds great! Thanks so much for stopping by today. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you for the interview.
About the Author
D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.
Come Little Children is D. Melhoff’s first commercial release.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for your chance to win one of five paperback copies (US only) or one of five ebook copies of Come Little Children by D. Melhoff (international).
Links

"The Reunion (Beneath the Trap Door Book 1)" by A. A. Pencil

NEW RELEASE
The Reunion
(Beneath the Trap Door Book 1)
by A. A. Pencil
To celebrate the release of A. A. Pencil’s debut novel The Reunion, during the months of November and December, 1% of the gross sales of all novels with Lavish Publishing, LLC will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America. The donation will be made in May 2014 in honor of A. A. Pencil and National Lupus Awareness Month. Visit the other stops on this book blitz brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours. Make sure you come back here on 22 December when the book tour stops here for my interview with the author.

Description
C. Moore Catholic High School’s 10-year reunion was organized as many reunions are; to reminisce, to see who had made a success of their lives, and in truth, to gossip on who had not. But this party in the secluded, 1890’s mansion once owned by a long dead, paranoid WWII Veteran, was to become anything but typical.
After a horrible accident within the mansion, the alumni realize they are locked in and fighting for their lives. Instantly, tempers rise and fingers are pointed as the number of living alumni begins to rapidly decrease. Theories range from there being a murderer in the midst to the mansion possibly being haunted by the previous owner’s ghost.
Who or what is responsible and will anyone make it out alive?
Find out for yourself in this combination of a mystery and psychological thriller, with a twisted ending!
Book Trailer
Review
There are no reviews as yet for this NEW RELEASE. Be the first to review this book after reading your copy.
About the Author
A. A. Pencil works part time as a school nurse at an all-boys Catholic school in New York City. As a Lupus survivor, she uses writing as a significant part of her therapy and you will see influences from classical writers such as Agatha Christie and Edgar Alan Poe in her work.  When not working or writing, she enjoys cooking, shopping and walking. She has sponsored a child in Mexico for over three years with a children’s organization. She currently lives in a borough of New York City with her extended family who are her greatest supporters.
Links

"Lethal Journey" by Kim Cresswell

ON SALE for $0.98
Lethal Journey
by Kim Cresswell
Kim Cresswell’s latest novel, Lethal Journey, is ON SALE for only $0.98 (save $3.00). You can also read my blog post about Kim’s first novel, Reflection, whose sequel will also be released later this year.
Description
A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York … waiting.
Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.
For three decades, Gino Valdina has led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil, appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.
But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target … and anyone she’s ever loved.
Excerpt
September 1997
Rain pounded down.
Lauren Taylor squinted through the windshield, a backwash of water battered the glass. She flicked the wipers on high and tightened her hands around the steering wheel. With a quick glance in the rear-view mirror she noticed headlights behind her. The vehicle appeared to speed up, fall back, and then speed up again.
Her muscles tensed. “That driver behind us seems to be in a big hurry.”
Her father leaned forward in the seat and peered into the side mirror. “He’s all over the road. Might be drunk or something.”
“He’s crazy driving like that in this weather. I’m letting him go by.” She downshifted the Jaguar and steered onto the side of the road and rolled to a stop.
As the van raced by. A giant wave of water pelted the side of the car.
Her father watched out the window. “Christ, he’s flying”
Taillights flickered and quickly faded ahead into the blackened night.
With a quick glimpse in the mirror, Lauren steered the car back onto the road, her grip relaxed around the wheel. “That’s better.”
Her father repositioned himself in the leather seat and stretched his legs. “The Law Society’s dinner is next week. You going?”
God, the dinner. She’d bought an expensive navy and white designer dress for the occasion and even toyed with the idea of having her hair cut into something more sophisticated and polished for a New York district attorney.
“I’ll have to check my schedule.”
“Not good enough. I want you there, Lauren. My chance to show you off. Do some bragging, big time.”
She couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, Dad. Okay.”
“And don’t forget to bring a date for protection. Don’t want a bunch of drunken seedy lawyers groping you on the dance floor. And by the way, I heard Eric was back in town.”
Her smile faded as she remembered the annual dinner years before. She’d never forgotten a single detail of that night—how Eric held her in his arms and how his mouth devoured her willing lips then pulled away and left her mouth burning for more…
“What else did you hear about him?” she blurted out.
“Not much. Can’t even remember where I heard the news. Thought you didn’t want to talk about Brennan?”
“I don’t. I just wondered when he got back.”
Her father’s jaw tightened. “Don’t know.” His voice turned hard. “Just heard he’s back.”
At one point in their relationship, Eric begged her to come with him and start a new life in Florida. She didn’t have the courage to leave her father and walk away from her job. Four years later, she was taking on the most important case of her career—prosecuting Gino Valdina, head of New York’s crime family, just like her father had done a decade before. But this time would be different. Gino Valdina wasn’t going to get away with murder.
The sky split and lightning lit the wet road. Lauren eyed the exit sign to Hyde Park.
The whining squeal of an engine roared from behind.
Lauren glanced over her shoulder. “God, that van is back.” She clicked on the turning signal and steered onto the off-ramp. Her eyes darted back to the side mirror.
Headlights swerved from side to side.
A shiver drove up her spine. She clutched the steering wheel.
“I’m calling the police.” Her father grabbed his cell phone out of the glove box and turned it on. “Damn it. I can’t get a signal.”
“Keep trying.”
The van’s driver gunned the engine.
The grill came into view, massive and powerful.
Close. Too close.
Metal connected and scraped against the bumper.
The van shoved the Jaguar ahead on the road.
High-beams from the other lane blinded her.
Lauren blinked and turned her head.
The van rammed the back of the car. Metal popped as the back window disintegrated into the back seat.
The seat belt snapped across her shoulder. Her head slammed back on the head rest then forward. “Oh my God!”
The cell phone flew from her father’s hand. “What the—”
“Dad!”
Like a slingshot the Jaguar shot down the slick road.
Lauren slammed on the brakes.
The car slid a half circle and spun out of control. A massive tidal wave of water washed over the roof.
Her father clutched the dashboard with both hands. “The tree!”
She yanked the steering wheel hard to the left.
Wood splintered. Metal buckled, squealed and cracked. The air bag struck her body like a fist, and smacked her head against the side window. She pushed at it, viciously. With every move, fiery pain shot through her face and down her neck. The sickening sweet stench of gasoline and smoke filled her nostrils. Her head clouded.
Lauren heard her own voice, pinched and muffled, cry out. “Dad!” until her words drifted into silence.
Review
High tension, high intrigue, and an angry mob boss put young District Attorney Lauren Taylor on the defensive as she prepares for the biggest courtroom case of her life. All she has to do is stay alive long enough to put the head of one of New York’s biggest crime families behind bars, and the jury is out on whether she can pull that off. Her greatest ally is a man she knew and loved long ago, who shredded her heart as his own demons of guilt tried to drown him in an alcohol induced haze. Lethal Journey by Kim Cresswell hits the ground running and does not stop! Are people as they seem or is there more to them? As the attempts on her life escalate and people close to her go missing, Lauren doesn’t have many options on who to trust. Enter the one man who broke her heart, Eric, a homicide detective who has also felt the burn of getting too close to the mob. Can Lauren trust him? Does she have a choice? It would be so much easier if her heart would stay out of it, wouldn’t it?
Kim Cresswell’s talent shines through again! With a talent for setting the stage, bringing in the characters and cuing the action, she held me from page one. She is not afraid to write a tale that is real, where the good guys do not go unscathed and they are not perfect. There is grit in her style, and when she says you are in a warehouse with a stench, you smell it. The romantic tension runs high, and using character flashbacks to the past not only builds on the development of each character as a flesh and blood entity, but serve to eventually bring everything full circle with an ending that you will NOT see coming!
About the Author
Kim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada. Trained as a legal assistant, Kim has been a story-teller all her life but took many detours including working for a private investigator, running a graphic design business, and teaching computer classes at a local business school. After becoming disabled with Fibromyalgia and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, Kim returned to her first love, writing. For her, writing suspense fiction is an incredible adventure and she’s surprised where the journey takes her. She’s also an avid reader who enjoys playing computer games, ghost hunting and loves anything paranormal.
Her debut romantic suspense, Reflection, has won numerous awards including; UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004) and an Honourable Mention in CARWA’s The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006).
Kim has a few new books in the works including the sequel to Reflection which will be released in late 2013.
Links

"Bad Reputation (North Shore Book 1)" by P. W. Creighton

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT
Bad Reputation
(North Shore Book 1)
by P. W. Creighton
Bad Reputation by P. W. Creighton is on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. Make sure you visit all the other stopson the tour.
Description
The North Shore Sheriff’s Department has a bit of a problem. Someone contacted the local radio station last night and left an alarming confession.
Logan and his friends may be gossiping about it but their only concern is getting through the last day of school before summer vacation. After all, tonight is the party of the year. No one wants to miss it.
But the weight of secrets will have a costly price…
Excerpt
Through the trees I could just barely make out the practice field ahead of me. Another little secret Sara had let me in on. The truant officer tended to make his rounds on the half-hour and kept a close eye on the path through the woods to the parking lot. If I came in from the practice field, no one would bat an eye.
“Then again,” I said aloud.
I thought about grabbing my jacket, but it really wasn’t cold enough. My phone on the other hand, I needed. Checking the screen, it was only a little after nine. Tardy, but not something that would stand out.
There was still a chance to ditch the entire day. My phone gave a brief buzz of notification. I checked it to find a text waiting. It was Hailey again.
“Where R U?”
I groaned. She was pissed at me. If I bailed, not only would Sara and Mom freak on me, Hailey would jump down my throat. I could avoid them, but I needed to take Hailey to the party tonight. I could just stand her up. I let out a heavy breath. I wanted to go though, and if I didn’t take her, she would still find a way to get there. It was just better to deal with her now than to put it off till the end of the day. Maybe she wouldn’t be too pissed.
“5 Min” I texted back and started walking towards the practice field. Old leaves and branches crunched underfoot, keeping my mind off the fact that Hailey was going to rip me a new one, and I had no clue what she was going to want.
The girl could hold a grudge better than anyone I’ve ever known.
I emerged into the open near one of the maintenance sheds. Why was I still with Hailey? She was constantly pissing me off, and she didn’t even hear me most of the time. I turned right to follow the maintenance path. I dumped Jamie for less than what I was putting up with now. I opened the texts from Hailey to scroll back. There had to be some reason.
A few days back through the texts was all I needed as a reminder. It was a ‘selfie’ shot from Hailey angled down at her. She was giving me a playful smile. Straight, platinum blonde hair, a tight low-cut top and a teasing attitude, she was hot. Knowing how she felt silenced any objections my brain could come up with at the moment.
I smiled to myself.
Tucking the phone in my front pocket, I crossed into the parking lot. I couldn’t see anyone over the cars but I didn’t need to push it. I quickened my pace towards the end of the science building.
At the far end of the concrete and faux wood building I walked around the corner to the concrete steps and black railing. I took one last breath of the free air before climbing the stairs to the heavy fire-door. It was always left unlocked so teachers could duck out to the parking lot or students could get to the athletic fields. The cold handle slipped from my grasp as I tried to open the door. I finally noticed the grease and dirt on my hands.
“Ugh,” I groaned.
Review
Bad Reputation is P.W. Creighton best yet! Bad Reputation will make this author a “Great Reputation”! The characters are down to earth, witty, and the events hold your interest from the beginning to the end of the story with plenty of twists and surprises! Don’t miss this book! Another great series and I look forward to the next book in this sequel!
From the Author
Born in California, I have spent most of my life traveling throughout the US. I draw inspiration from my many adventures, turning my strange reality into fiction.
Over the years, I’ve found myself in many unusual situations, ranging from hanging off an 80 foot cliff-face in New York, to sailing off the coast of Salem, Massachusetts. I have had an opportunity to work at an archaeological excavation, and have even reported from the middle of a police stand-off.
When a teacher asked me in the second grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t have an answer. To be honest, I still don’t know. I let my characters make that decision for me.
Links

"Killing Wall Street" by Sanjay Sanghoee

INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Killing Wall Street
by Sanjay Sanghoee
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Sanjay Sanghoee about his book Killing Wall Street. We also have two paperback copies to give away. These prizes are available internationally, so make sure you enter below.
Description
Killing Wall Street is a timely thriller about the terrible consequences of corporate greed and the unimaginable power of working class rage.
Catherine is a working class single mother whose life is spiraling out of control. Her husband has left her, her daughter thinks she is a failure, her job is in jeopardy, and her savings have evaporated after the financial crisis. When an arrogant banker whom she is dating betrays her trust and threatens to ruin her completely, she decides that she has had enough, and plots a shocking revenge against the system that has victimized her.
Special Agent Michael Sands, a rising star in the FBI, is fresh off a terrorism case when he is put in charge of an unusual investigation. Someone is killing high-profile CEOs, bankers and lawyers connected with a multi-billion dollar merger, and the killer is a step ahead of law enforcement every time. When Wall Street begins to panic at the murders, the race is on to catch the phantom killer. But as Michael investigates, he discovers that the victims were all hiding a deadly secret – one that involves a conspiracy of the highest order and which threatens to corrupt and destroy our democracy forever.
The stakes keep escalating for both Catherine and Michael as they encounter the frightening reality of financial power, and are confronted with impossible moral choices at every step.
Excerpt
I’ve finally found my code.  If you’re laughing now, shame on you.  We all have a code – some of us just take longer to figure out what it is.  Mine is to purge the world of financial violence.  This isn’t just about revenge for Edward’s abuse, mind you – he’s just one guy.  This is because there are others like him, and each day they are allowed to roam free and ply their trade, they suck a little more life out of everyone else, out of life itself.  They plunder and pillage with impunity and no one seems to be able to stop them!
If you’re wondering who I’m talking about, you only need to open the Wall Street Journal on any given day.  They are the CEOs, the investment bankers, the lawyers, the hedge fund managers, basically the big fish who keep smiling and telling us that we’re safe while secretly preparing to have us little fish for dinner.  These monsters abuse and embezzle us out of a living, out of a home, out of a car, out of our peace of mind and still expect us to believe in their trickle-down con-games.  Oh please…I may be dumb but I’m not stupid.
Which is why I intend to kill them. 
I know I can’t get them all but I can get a few, and that’s got to be worth something.  I have lived in fear for too long and I can’t live that way anymore.  If the devil won’t leave me alone, I won’t leave him alone.
Review
Killing Wall Street is not just about banking or bankers. It’s about corporate greed at every level and about the very real pain that results from it for the average man or woman. This book is about consequences at every level – for the main characters, Cathy and Michael, for the bankers, CEOs and others who don’t play fair, for the corrupt politicians out there, as well as for the system itself. The plot line is simple – Cathy is a single mom who gets screwed by the financial crisis that nearly bankrupts her, and in response she decides to hand out her own justice to those who are culpable. In the process, Michael, a cop, is given the task of piecing together bewildering clues to find the killer and uncovers a seedy conspiracy that reaches the highest levels. The crimes are great fun to read because of Cathy’s darkly humorous first-person voice, and the financial plot is credible (probably because the author is a banker himself). In the middle of all this we get to witness a woman going through a midlife crisis and all the challenges that come with being a single parent. It makes Cathy three-dimensional and as a woman myself, I found it refreshing for someone to spend as much time detailing his female protagonist as much as concentrating on the ‘thriller’ aspect! It all leads to one big twist and then one more, and then you realize what a huge price almost everyone in the novel has paid for their choices. As I said, this book is about consequences. RECOMMEND!
Interview With the Author
Hi Sanjay, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book Killing Wall Street.

Which writers have influenced you the most?
I love old-world thriller writers like Frederick Forsyth, John le Carré, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, but I am also a fan of Philip K. Dick, Stephen King (the earlier works), Michael Crichton, Chris Cleave, and Michael Lewis.  So basically a variety of genres and styles.

What age group do you recommend your book for?
Anyone over 18 should enjoy the story of a single mother taking revenge on corporate corruption and Wall Street!

What sparked the idea for this book?
The panic that I observed in people in the beginning of 2009 after the financial crisis. People were losing jobs, credit was tightening and people really didn’t know how they were going to survive.  I found that period very scary and wondered if an ordinary American caught in that dilemma could completely snap?  I was also inspired by the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down, which was extremely haunting and showed an otherwise good person caught in a circumstance not really of his making.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
They dovetail with each other as the plot develops.  You really can’t separate the two.

What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Capturing a woman’s voice and reactions (since I’m a guy)!  I wanted to make sure that it is authentic to the way a woman might talk and react to the circumstances in the novel and not just my idea of how a woman might do those things.  I showed early drafts to a lot of female friends to keep myself honest.

How to you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope it makes people think more deeply about the difficulty faced by so many Americans in simply surviving in our capitalist society.  People are very trapped by their paychecks, debt, and other circumstances which kill their spirit and that’s a tragic thing for a nation like America.  We are very advanced technologically and are a rich nation, but I think we are extremely poor in terms of spirituality and empathy.

How long did it take you to write this book?
One year, give or take.

What is your writing routine?
None, but when I’m writing a new book I tend to go into a zone for several months during which I need to be alone and become very anti-social.  My only company are my characters during that period. In terms of a daily routine, I tend to write about 5 or 6 hours a day during the period when I am writing, but it could be anytime during the day and is sometimes broken up.

How did you get your book published?
Through a friend who is an agent.  The publishing landscape has become extremely difficult, though, and readers themselves have a very short attention span.  It’s becoming increasingly about marketing, which is killing good content.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Start by writing short and punchy novels with unique ‘hooks’.  That is the only way to break into the market nowadays.  Don’t go for the ‘great American novel’ right away. Once you’re ready, don’t be hesitant to ask people for introductions to agents and be shameless in promoting yourself.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read a lot obviously but I also write a lot of political and business commentary for the Huffington Post and sometimes other publications.  Otherwise I like to swim and just go and sit on a beach to relax!

What does your family think of your writing?
They love it.  Of course, they wonder sometimes how someone as dumb as me can write smart stuff, but I wonder about that myself too so it’s okay.

Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
It was pretty normal.  I played a lot, wrote short stories since I was 7 years old and was physically active.  My parents were big believers in balance so I did many different things at once.  I was never the smartest academically but not bad either.  There is a cliché that Indian parents push their kids too hard on academics but my parents were pretty liberal and made it a point to make me well-rounded. I always had an imagination, though, and was always cooking up stories…

Did you enjoy school?
Oh yeah, but mainly because I always made friends easily and it was fun.  Not necessarily the academics part – I have always had a hard time sitting in a classroom.

Did you like reading when you were a child?
Even more than I do now.  My parents would buy me books by the suitcase and I would devour them within weeks!  I read War & Peace when I was 10 (true story).

What was your favorite book as a child?
Hardy Boys mysteries.  I absolutely loved them!

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Hard to tell but I don’t think so.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When my father bought me a small red Brother typewriter at the age of 8.  I learned quickly how to type and couldn’t stop…  I still remember that typewriter and recently unearthed my first published short story from around that time entitled The Detective and the Ghosts (don’t ask).

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Occasionally.  I got many emails from readers on my first novel Merger, and they were mostly complimentary.  I really enjoy hearing from readers.  Since I write political commentary nowadays, I have a small following and interact a lot with some of my regular readers, including those I disagree with.  It’s nice to have people reading my work even if they are critical.  I still remember one time when I ordered a rare CD from a small store in Berkeley, California, online, put my credit card info in, and got an email from the proprietor of the store 10 min later asking me if I was the author of Merger?  That was just amazing!

That’s great! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I am thinking of writing a pseudo-Sci-Fi book to talk about the issues of inequality and economic injustice we are seeing in America today, but am also thinking about writing a non-fiction work on the same subject, so let’s see.  Haven’t really worked that out yet.

Thanks for stopping by today, Sanjay. Best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
Sanjay Sanghoee  is a contributor to Huffington Post, Fortune, and other publications on politics and business. He has a wide following for his articles on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Topics that he routinely writes about include corporate crime, Wall Street reform, political gridlock, workers’ rights, and gun control.
He is the author of Killing Wall Street, a fast-paced new thriller about corporate greed and the frightening power of an ordinary citizen’s rage, as well as Merger, a corporate thriller which Chicago Tribune called “Timely, gripping, and original,” and Barron’s Weekly called a “high-octane thriller.”
Sanjay is a former investment banker and worked for several years at a leading multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He currently helps new hedge funds and private equity firms with their launch and operations. He also sits on the Board of a mid-sized Hispanic radio station group.
In addition to his work and writing, Sanjay was a news anchor with WKCR 89.9 FM in the ’90s in New York City, and interviewed notable media personalities including Larry King, Christiane Amanpour, Art Buchwald, and others. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and received an Award for Ethics in Business in 1999.
Giveaway
We have two paperback copies of Killing Wall Street up for grabs in our giveaway. This giveaway is open internationally.
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"Empty Places" by Martin Roy Hill

NEW RELEASE
Empty Places
by Martin Roy Hill
This is the second of my two-part feature on Martin Roy Hill. Today I feature the author’s newest release, Empty Places. You can also read about The Killing Depths in my earlier blog post.
Description
The year is 1987. America is clawing its way out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Washington pursues illegal and unpopular wars in Central America. In the wealthy desert playground of Palm Springs, storefronts that once catered to the rich sit empty and shuttered. Crowds of bored rich teenagers in designer clothing entertain themselves with expensive cars and cheap drugs, while those less fortunate haunt darkened street corners, offering themselves for sale.
This is the country to which war correspondent Peter Brandt returns. Physically and mentally scarred by the horrors he’s covered, Peter comes home to bury his ex-wife, TV reporter Robin Anderson, only to discover she had been brutally murdered. With the local police unwilling to investigate her death, Peter sets out with retired cop Matt Banyon to expose Robin’s killer. They uncover a shadowy world of anti-communists, drug smugglers, and corrupt politicians, and lay bare old wounds – including Peter’s deep guilt over his failed marriage. In a final, cliff-hanging struggle, Peter faces his own fears – and death in a dark and empty place.
Excerpt
PROLOGUE
Coachella Valley, California
July 1987
A three-quarter moon bathed the dunes with a blue white light. It shimmered through ghostly rays that rose like apparitions from the still warm desert floor and gave the desolate landscape a spectral quality. Shadows moved in the haunting light, and the warm soft breeze gave rise to disembodied voices wheezing through dry, brittle creosote bushes. She turned at every sound, each crack of a broken twig, saw monsters in the movement of each rolling tumbleweed, and shivered in the warm desert night from the chill of her imagination.
Occasionally a car raced down the unlit two lane road, its headlights slicing slivers of light out of the black night. She watched each one approach, wondering if this was the one. Then, as the red tail lights faded into the dark distance, she scanned the road again for the right one, the one that would slow and turn into the narrow dirt access road. Somewhere in the distance, a coyote wailed.
“Never meet a contact in an out of the way place,” Peter once told her. “Always meet them somewhere where there’re a lot of people. People die in lonely and empty places.”
She could almost hear his voice telling her that. After all the years, Peter’s voice still came to her in small phrases. Short fragments of sentences, spoken in his quiet, halting manner, explaining what she should do, warning what she shouldn’t. “Never meet in out of the way places.”
She hadn’t much choice in choosing the rendezvous. The man she was meeting was very explicit: here or nowhere. And there were other conditions. No camera crew. No sound crew. No one but her. If he spotted a van or truck other than her own car, the meet was off. If he saw a helicopter flying over and a video transmission could be beamed to it, she could just color him gone.
In all honesty, she appreciated his precautions. The little she had told him of her findings had obviously convinced him that no one could be trusted. No one, not even those who worked for him. She was certain if anyone knew of the information she had, her life wouldn’t be worth the dirt she was standing on.
She thought of Peter again. Maybe he was right. Maybe the two of them should have left this place together. Maybe it would have been better for her career. Better for her and Peter. Maybe.
The young woman shook her head, and fingered the small tape recorder in her hand. The thought of the recorder’s contents made her mouth twist with distaste. She still felt unclean, but what else could she have done? She was desperate. She needed this story badly and it was the only way she could get the confirmation she needed. She shook the images the recorder conjured from her head and tried to look forward, into the future. This would be the story that lands her a job in a bigger market, she told herself. Maybe Los Angeles. Maybe a network. The indignity would be worth it.
“I just can’t take this place any longer,” she said aloud to no one, not certain whether she meant the patchwork of small communities she lived and worked in, or the empty desert surrounding them where she now stood alone.
Automobile lights appeared at the crest of a hill, then rolled down the incline and raced along the two lane road. The car slowed and turned into the access road, its headlights flaring momentarily as it bounced over a rut. It was a large vehicle, a four door model and, by the way it bounded over the dip, sturdily built. That, and the heavy roar of its powerful, supercharged engine, indicated it was well suited to both speed and the tortuous going of desert driving. It didn’t slow as it approached. Its headlights glared directly at the young woman, growing brighter as it streaked forward, blinding her to all. For a frightful moment she thought she had been betrayed, that the driver was aiming for her with no intention of stopping. She thought of jumping out of the way, but she could not move. In the heat of the desert night, she was frozen stiff with fear.
The car braked and came to a screeching, dust swirling halt just yards from the woman, the headlights still washing her in a blaze of white light. The glare revealed the features of a blonde in her late twenties, attractive but not beautiful, not even strikingly pretty. Her face was a shade too wide in the jaw, the nose too flat to be truly pretty, and her pale skin – bleached colorless by the headlights – was slightly pocked by a severe adolescent bout with acne. Her figure was tomboyish from years of high school and college athletics, but appealing in its slender firmness. Her looks were her nemesis; she could easily attract men, but producers didn’t believe she could attract viewers. So she was relegated to being a reporter, a couple minutes a night face on the local evening news, deprived of the anchor spot she wanted so badly.
Raising her arm against the glare, the young woman tried to see beyond the headlights. It was like trying to see beyond the sun. The car stood motionless for what seemed minutes, then the driver’s door opened. The woman tried to see inside the car, but the interior light failed to go on. The door closed with a loud crump, and a large, dark figure strode forward. At first he was only a dark shadow against the darker night, then a silhouette against the edge of the headlight’s glare. Then he walked into the light, and she recognized the man.
“Miss Anderson?”
“You,” she answered. “Good.”
“You were expecting someone else?” the man asked.
“No, but -” She turned and looked back at the empty road. “But out here there’s no telling what you could run into.”
Her contact turned and studied the road, nodding as if he admired the desolate location. “That’s true. You never know, do you?” He turned to face her. In the light his eyes looked hard, threatening. She had seen him angry before, but his eyes never struck her as they did now. Cold, dead. The eyes, she thought, of a killer.
“You have the tape you told me about?” he asked.
“I have an excerpt.”
His eyes seemed to grow meaner, angrier. “An excerpt? What do you mean an excerpt?”
She turned slightly on her heel and cleared her throat. “Some of what I recorded was of a – a personal nature,” she said. “I brought you an edited version with the pertinent conversation.”
She showed him the tape recorder, then turned it on. The machine came alive with the voices of two people, a man and a woman. The woman’s voice was her own. It was coy and teasing, the voice of intimacy, the words of a lover. The male voice responded in the guttural tones of male intimacy, yet with the bravado of a small boy bragging of his deeds. The young woman looked away as the tape played, afraid the flush she felt in her face would reveal her embarrassment. The man’s eyes slowly dropped from the recorder to the ground, his mouth turned down in disgust. Then the tape died out, and there was a long moment of silence.
“That’s a very interesting recording, Miss Anderson,” the man finally said. “You have an interesting way getting information.”
“I use whatever means are available to me,” she answered defiantly. She made a production of stopping the tape and rewinding it. “As you can see – or heard, I should say – my methods work.”
“And very well, too.” The man looked back at the car and nodded, then turned back to the woman. “Very well, indeed.”
The young woman’s eyes followed the man’s to the car. The passenger door opened with a creak, and another figure climbed out. She heard the crunch of footsteps in sand, then the figure emerged from the dark. The glare of the headlights revealed his identity.
“My God.” She half choked on the words. “What are you -“
The second man raised his right arm and pointed a large revolved at her. Her mouth formed in an attempt to scream, but the pistol shot cut her off. It was followed by another, each sounding like the roar of a cannon in the quiet of the desert night.
The double punch of the bullets threw the woman backwards. Two dark wounds appeared on her chest. The one nearest the heart spurted bright red blood. The second, farther to the right, oozed darker red. Twin exit wounds burst through her back, disgorging blood, muscle, flesh, and bone. She was thrown four feet before hitting the ground on her back. Then she tumbled several more feet, finally coming to rest against a thick, spiny creosote bush, one arm twisted behind her back, the other cocked under head. Her legs were entwined at odd angles.
His pistol still extended like a shield, the gunman walked up to the body and bent over, examining his handiwork. After a moment he stood straight and turned to his companion. “She’s gone.”
“She’d better be.” The first man stooped and picked up the tape recorder where it had fallen, then switched it on. Disgust twisted his features again as he listened. When it finished, he looked at his partner. The shooter dropped his head sheepishly, like a school boy caught red handed in some misdeed. “Brush this area down, then let’s go,” the first man ordered.
The gunman looked around and found a broken piece of desert brush that he used to sweep away their footprints. The first pocketed the recorder and climbed into the car, backing it slowly down the dirt road as the other man swept away both the tire tracks and his own retreating footsteps. When they reached the asphalt road, the gunman threw away the limb and climbed back into the car. Within seconds, the car disappeared into the darkness.
Robin Anderson, the young reporter, lay in the dirt unable to move. For what seemed a long time she laid there stunned and without a thought. Then she sensed someone near. She tried opening her eyes, but they were as lifeless as her arms and legs. She heard voices and tried to speak, but her mouth was frozen.
Nothing would work, nothing would move. She could feel her wounds, feel the life oozing from them. “My God!” she screamed, but there was no sound save her own thoughts and a deep throated rumble followed by a strange sweeping noise. The reddish light she seemed to sense rather than see faded away, as did the two strange noises she heard. Then there was quiet, pure silence like she’d never experienced before. Even the voice of her own thoughts seemed to be drifting inexorably away, as if falling into some deep canyon.
She realized suddenly her worst fear was coming true. She was dying, alone and without anyone she could call out to, anyone who would hold her, who could save her.
Alone in a dark and empty place.
Review
I was given this book by the author for review and enjoyed it.
Within the darkened world we follow Peter Brandt, already weary of the human condition, who must investigate his ex-wife’s death, he the only one its seems that takes it seriously.
I don’t give spoilers so will say that this story is fast-paced, gritty (if somewhat despondent about the lives we lead and the powers that take advantage) and well written.
Worth reading if you enjoy crime novels with extra dimension.
About the Author
Martin Roy Hill is the author of the military mystery thriller, The Killing Depths, and the award-winning short story collection, Duty.
Martin spent more than 20 years as a staff reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines, before becoming a military analyst specializing in battlefield medical operations for the Navy. His freelance credits include Reader’s Digest, LIFE, Newsweek, Omni, American History, Coast Guard Magazine, Retired Officer Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Opinion Section, and many more.
Much of Martin’s freelance work involves historical topics, especially military history. He was a lead contributor to the 1995 WWII anthology, From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki: America at War, published by the Retired Officer Association (now called the Military Officer Association).
Martin’s short stories have appeared in such publications as Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Plan B Mystery Anthology, San Diego Magazine, and San Diego Writer’s Monthly. His first book, Duty, was named the Best Short Story Anthology/Collection during the 2013 San Diego Book Awards (SDBA). The Killing Depths was also named a finalist in the Mystery section of the SDBA.
Martin’s new novel, Empty Places, a murder mystery, has just been released.
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