Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tour_OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Darcia Helle

Out of the Darkness

by Darcia Helle

on Tour March 1-31, 2019


Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help. Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac. Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense Published by: Indie Publication Date: February 12, 2019 Number of Pages: 300 ASIN: B07KJGZY9F Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2 Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Joe put the few dishes in the dishwasher, made himself another cup of strong coffee, and said, “Okay, Gus. Let’s see if we can figure this out.” He walked out of the kitchen, Gus’s voice trailing after him. “Where are we going?” “My office.” Joe stepped into the room that was the smaller of the two spare bedrooms. He crossed over to his desk, opened his laptop, and switched it on. “This is your office?” Joe sat in his padded leather chair. “My home office. I have another, professional place, with an assistant. No need to go there, though, particularly since she doesn’t know about—” He waved his hand in Gus’s general direction. “—you. This.” “She doesn’t know you talk to ghosts, is what you’re saying?” “Right.” “Afraid she’d think you’re crazy?” “No. It’s just not something I feel like sharing.” “You banging her?” “Jesus. No.” “Huh. I thought all guys banged their secretaries.” Joe heard the dry humor in Gus’s tone, though the statement still irritated him. “No, all guys don’t. And I said assistant, not secretary.” “Same thing, isn’t it?” “No. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m a one-woman man.” Joe opened a browser page, then the Tampa Bay Times website. He typed ‘Angus Smith’ into the search bar and clicked the Enter key. “What are you doing?” Gus had a gruff way of asking a question that made it sound more like an accusation. One minute Joe felt bad for Gus, and the next he wanted to punch Gus in the face. If he could see Gus’s face. If Gus even had a face. Did ghosts have faces, or were they just invisible blobs of energy? Joe was too tired to deal with this. “I’m trying to find out how you died,” Joe said. “Why?” “I don’t know, Gus. Because it’s a place to start? Figure out how you died and maybe I’ll figure out why you’re stuck in the dark? Unless you have a better idea?” A huff, then, “No. I got nothing.” Gus kept silent while Joe scrolled down and clicked a link. Gus’s photo stared back at him from the screen. Seeing the person for the first time was always an odd experience. He couldn’t help but form a picture of each ghost in his mind, based solely on the voice and the little he knew about who he or she had been. Sometimes he was way off. Other times, like now, he was pretty close. “That’s a crapass picture of me,” Gus said. Joe studied the grainy image accompanying the article. Buzzcut. Deep brown eyes. Tattoo snaking down the side of his neck, disappearing into his shirt. He seemed to be snarling at the camera. The article put him at 6’3”, 230 pounds, and Joe could see it was all muscle. He didn’t address the quality of the photo, ignoring Gus while he read through the article. He double-checked the date on the article, then said, “You’re missing.” “What d’you mean, I’m missing? I’m right here.” “I mean, you were reported missing. Last Friday, so three days ago.” “Missing? That makes no sense, since I’m dead.” “No one appears to know you’re dead.” “Huh.” “Do you remember where you were when you died?” “No.” “Were you sick? In an accident? Traveling somewhere?” “I don’t know!” Joe leaned back and closed his eyes. He forced himself not to react to Gus’s abrupt tone. The guy had every reason to be upset, though this mess sure as hell wasn’t Joe’s fault. “Who reported me missing?” Joe opened his eyes and scanned the article. “Cat Loring.” Silence. Joe waited a moment before adding, “Says she’s your live-in girlfriend.” “Yeah.” “Do you remember the last time you saw her?” Joe felt a cool wall of air pressing around him. “Are you leaning on me?” “I’m trying to read the article.” Joe suppressed a shudder—barely. “It doesn’t say much. You left the house at your usual time on Thursday morning. You’re not answering your cell phone, and no one has seen you since.” “I don’t remember.” “What’s the last thing you remember?” Silence. “Gus?” “The very last thing? Hell, I don’t know. I might’ve been at a bar with some buddies. I might’ve been driving my truck. Or having sex. It’s all a jumble.” “Did you and Cat fight the last time you saw her?” “I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe.” “Could she have killed you?” Gus snorted a laugh. “Cat? Kill me? That’s funny, Mr. Detective.” “Yeah? Why is it so funny?” “She just wouldn’t.” Joe rubbed at his burning eyes. “Tell me about your relationship.” “Why?” “Maybe it’ll trigger a memory. Help me figure out where your body might be.” “Well, shit.” *** Excerpt from Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle. Copyright © 2019 by Darcia Helle. Reproduced with permission from Darcia Helle. All rights reserved.
Darcia Helle

Author Bio:

  Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

Catch Up With Ms. Helle On: darciahelle.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

My review:
Out of the Darkness (Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2)Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joe Cavelli used to be a normal private investigator. That was before his encounter with the ghost Max. He wasn't expecting Max, but both their lives have undergone an immense positive change. Now Joe is some kind of Super P.I., solving murders and other cases like never before. But when an amnesiac spirit contacts him, demanding help, unable to explain what happened to him or where he is and scarcely recalling his own name, Joe is puzzled to the maximum. It's one thing to work with a cogent ghost, quite another to deal with the impatient and secretly frightened Gus.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS is a warmhearted and engaging paranormal suspense thriller, the sequel to INTO THE LIGHT.


Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Darcia Helle. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2019 and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: The Winner Maker

The Winner Maker The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

High school teacher Fiske has been a larger-than-life figure and individual for decades; but as with any charismatic individual, there are those who love and admire him, and those who because of misunderstanding, fear, or jealousy want to see him fail, perhaps even wish him to stop existing. This novel reminded me of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, in regard to its focus on a teacher who is one of a kind, admired yet denigrated, and the lengths to which some will go to stop him. WINNER MAKER has a really twisty plot, with turns I certainly didn't expect. In that, it qualifies as a suspenseful page-turner thriller.

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Review: All Time

All Time All Time by Mack Leonard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First in the ALL TIME Series, beautifully lyrical science fiction with the flavor of excellent fantasy. 24th century Miranda Hawking (apropos surname!) grows to maturity in a refuge for burnt-out channelers of artificial intelligence--those who "step down" vast philosophical, astrophysical, mathematical concepts to a level puny-brained humans can understand.

Unexpectedly Miranda finds herself in the dark night of consciousness, the Dark Ages. Even more unexpectedly, she finds herself falling in love--a love for the Ages.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega Alpha and Omega by Harry Turtledove
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

No matter what one's religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) I thoroughly believe every single adult should read ALPHA AND OMEGA. I cannot remember a work of fiction that has had this much impact on me in the matter of religion and the psychology of religion and of Eschatology. I believe Harry Turtledove to be a genius. He has taken the religious, social, ingrained, ancestral, and contemporary beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and of various ethnicities espousing those beliefs (particularly throughout the Middle East and in the U.S.) and has created a tapestry that weaves the unbelievable, the believable, the matters strictly of faith, the matters of science, and the impossible, together and created a syncretic synthesis that is greater than the sum of its components.

In Jerusalem, members of a team of archaeologists (some Israeli, one an American secular Jew, one an Israeli Muslim) excavate below the Muslim Dome of the Rock, where Judaism believes the Second Temple to have been. What they discover issues in a book that is mind-exploding and spiritually uplifting and terrifying (simultaneously). I am definitely not the same reader I was before I read this book. I started it two evenings ago and have not been able to stop. It is making me examine who and what I am in a way that is life-changing.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review_HOUSE OF SAND by Michael J. Sanford

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41031604-house-of-sand" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="House of Sand" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1533250848m/41031604.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41031604-house-of-sand">House of Sand</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14809505.Michael_J_Sanford">Michael J. Sanford</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2722066612">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review of HOUSE OF SAND:<br /><br />I read this and the sequel, DEAR TRAGEDY, in succession. I'm still in shock. I've read Horror and Mystery and Crime and Supernatural fiction all my long life. I've read extreme horror. I've read terrifying stories. But this series: exploded my head. Seriously. These plots (which are actually an extended plot as Book 1 carries on into Book 2) are so "out there" that even I (jaded as I've become) am going to sleep with all the doors locked and every light in the house on (I am not going to say "burning") and I still won't be able to sleep without nightmares, if at all.<br /><br />Definitely and distinctly NOT for the faint of heart, weak of stomach, or sensitive of heart or mind. If, however, none of these apply to you, and you like horror that knocks you senseless and kicks you when you're down and cowering, try these.
<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7302570-cats-of-ulthar-february-weird-fiction">View all my reviews</a>

Review: Dear Tragedy: A Dark Supernatural Thriller

Dear Tragedy: A Dark Supernatural Thriller Dear Tragedy: A Dark Supernatural Thriller by Michael J. Sanford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Probably the most visceral knock-me-senseless reader's hook I have ever encountered commences this sequel to HOUSE OF SAND. I wasn't too fond of some of the characters in the first book, but really, nobody deserves this, especially innocents. There's evil and then there's--well, you have to read it to see.

I reiterate what I wrote about the first book in the series:
Definitely and distinctly NOT for the faint of heart, weak of stomach, or sensitive of heart or mind. If, however, none of these apply to you, and you like horror that knocks you senseless and kicks you when you're down and cowering, try these.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: On This Day: Homeland Thriller Series

On This Day: Homeland Thriller Series On This Day: Homeland Thriller Series by Oak Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked the protagonist in this book. Despite some failings, he is a person of integrity. Doesn't always know what's best for him, but who does? Certainly his determination to uncover Truth is to be applauded. Thankfully, since this is the first of a series, Brant Discher will return.

ON THIS DAY purports an interesting and possibly accurate premise. For some years, the number of children and adolescents orphaned by the Middle Eastern strife has increased tremendously. Some Americans have adopted adolescents via international adoption agencies, whose regulations may not be as strict as those in the Western countries. That's all very charitable, but the premise here is that some of these adolescents are "deep sleepers." (Manchurian Candidate, anyone?) Trained both in their Islamic faith and also in violence and terrorism, they are sent to America as new adoptees of upper-middle-class families. Eventually, when the time comes, they will break cover and incite terrorism and high numbers of fatalities.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Review: Lever Templar

Lever Templar Lever Templar by Matt Gianni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

History has always amazed me with the ways in which various religions can drive individuals and groups to incredible heights (or depths). Witness as one example the Inquisition. Another example is the Knights Templar, an incredibly dedicated order willing to fight in the Crusades, to battle to recover Jerusalem, against an equally dedicated army from another strongly-motivated religion. The secrecy of the Knights Templar and the Order's purported treasure have also kept readers and historians spellbound for centuries. In LEVER TEMPLAR, the premise is that the Order keeps secret a scroll which gives leverage over the then very powerful Roman Catholic Church. The ramifications apply not only to the 14th century, but also to today. LEVER TEMPLAR is a well-written and fast-paced thriller combining history and contemporary religion and cultures.

View all my reviews

Review: Sleepless Nights: 168 Thriller, Horror, Suspense, and Mystery Short Stories

Sleepless Nights: 168 Thriller, Horror, Suspense, and Mystery Short Stories Sleepless Nights: 168 Thriller, Horror, Suspense, and Mystery Short Stories by Tobias Wade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think that many consecutive nights without sleep would lead to psychosis. Nevertheless, you can enjoy scaring yourself with these tales, which collect 4 of the author's already published collections:
Running the gamut of horror, author Tobias Wade provides stories to chill every fan of the genre. Settle in, make sure all the lights in your house are on, and enjoy.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 15, 2019

Review: The Serpent Waits

The Serpent Waits The Serpent Waits by Bill Hiatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE SERPENT WAITS is the first novel by Bill Hiatt that I've read, but it's certainly not going to be the last I read of this prolific author. THE SERPENT WAITS is a glorious combination of magic, magical realism, fantasy, and even science fiction and legend and mythology, drawing on a vast number of cultural legends across the globe. There's all you've heard of and very likely some you haven't! Amy is an investigative reporter in L.A. who receives a tip about a ti small community called Santa Brigidia, located near Santa Barbara, California. On the surface it seems to be a Utopia, but according to the terrorized informant, people disappear, the weather behaves bizarrely, and it's all due to one woman, a philanthropist and developer named Carrie Winn. When Amy gets approval to investigate, she goes "undercover" and applies for employment, only to discover that her worldview no longer applies, to anyone at Santa Brigidia nor even to herself. This is a stay-up-all-night-to-finish story.

YA/NA oriented but entertaining and enlightening for us older folks too!

View all my reviews

Review: The Spread: A Zombie Novel

The Spread: A Zombie Novel The Spread: A Zombie Novel by Sean Deville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE SPREAD is a lovingly detailed account of a very real near-future probability: a pandemic involving an unidentifiable and unstoppable virus. Not only does it kill seven billion population; it's also a resurrecting virus. Yes, zombies are created by it. I enjoyed the "backstage" look at "The Other Government," a UK department of Military Intelligence, which performs what Americans call "Black Ops."

If you prefer your Apocalypse implacable, surely you will marvel at the Lazarus virus. It's undefeatable and indefatigable--or is it? Seven billion think it is.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cassandra

The Cassandra The Cassandra by Sharma Shields
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading THE CASSANDRA is a monumental Reading Experience. I read it in a matter of hours because I couldn't turn away, I couldn't stop reading, and I thought about it all night afterwards. This literary historical novel was my first introduction to author Sharma Shields, and it "blew me away." I'd long been interested in the World War II history of Hanford, Washington, so I was excited to discover this novel, but I received far more than I expected. Not only is Sharma Shields an incredibly gifted writer, she also paints so capably the history, the individuals, and yes, "the product," the driving force and rationale for the military installation at Hanford, once a village and home of a native tribe who fished the Columbia River. Before World War II, the air there was pure and the Columbia safe from pollution. That was soon not the case. Ms. Shields very subtly draws on the damage, both to the region, to the inhabitants, to the personnel at the installation, and of course to the end result: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

She also weaves in prophecy (hence the title), reflections on humanity as a species, and individual terms, and metaphysics and psychology. (Whether it is one or the other of those last two likely depends on one's perspective.) Protagonist Mildred Groves (her life still makes me shudder) is a plain, rather plump, young woman from a small Central Washington community, caretaker of an ailing mother. Mildred may have psychological issues (if so, that is quite understandable); or she may actually be a seer, a prophetess. In order to escape her life, she applies as a typist at the new Hanford installation, and indeed she is highly skilled in stenography and typing. However, her personality is not strong nor stable enough to withstand the constant stresses, and just as many of the men break under the constant wind if they are assigned outdoors, so does Mildred lose control of her prophesying, and just as in school, she again becomes known as "Mad Mildred."

This is just one of the layers of this complex story. There is also rqcism, sexism, sadism, and the horrible nature of state mental hospitals, militarism, rape culture, patriarchy. Even though this is the story of one individual, it is also the story of a time, of a process, of horrifying consequences, and a prediction of a vitally bleak future for the globe. I cannot recommend highly enough THE CASSANDRA.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review: Black Wings

Black Wings Black Wings by Megan Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLACK WINGS is a totally engrossing psychological thriller, with implications for civilization's future. I identified with multiple characters (a rare event), including the focus character Briella, and her beleaguered but well-intentioned mother Marian. BLACK WINGS sets out on an intriguing, yet possible, premise; and becomes horrifying in its implacability. While many science-fiction stories cope with the "dangers" of Artificial Intelligence, BLACK WINGS examines the possibilities of a child with clearly genius-level intelligence, a child Stephen Hawking without adult maturity and stability, a child developing a wild and willful temperament to match the high intellectual capability. BLACK WINGS is a novel impossible to put down till the end.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: The Playing Card Killer

The Playing Card Killer The Playing Card Killer by Russell James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in Tampa, Florida, THE PLAYING CARD KILLER is a twisty psychological thriller with a murder mystery entwined plus elements of the Paranormal. Poor Brian, adopted young, has always since early childhood suffered with anxiety disorders. Put on a court-appointed therapy and medication regime at thirteen, he is nearly twenty now. He has a decent, if unexciting, job, a new girlfriend, and an apartment. He also has occasional dinners with his adoptive family, which is enough to give even a person with anxiety disorder trouble. But Brian's real trouble begins when he decides to give up the medications, which make him fuzzy and out of touch. Then the nightmares start; then the daytime hallucinations; then the real trouble, as he has nightmares of being a horrible killer. Worse yet, he's targeted as the Playing Card Killer. Brian doesn't know what to think, and for quite a while, the reader is puzzled too because the real cause is something seldom, if ever, occurring. Plenty of twists and thrills in this mystery!

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Review: Trigger

Trigger Trigger by David Swinson
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

TRIGGER is a, full-on gritty crime noir set in Washington, D.C., starring a vigilante protagonist, ex-cocaine addict (recovering) and recovering alcoholic,.I former Metro D.C. narcotics bureau detective (how apropos). Frank Marr is now a P.I. in D.C., after being forced to resign from the Police Department and in addition losing the woman he still loves, not so much because of his addictions, but for his years of lies and covering-up. Now he spies out dealers and burgles their stashes, flushing the drugs, pocketing the money. It's still an adrenaline rush, but it's also still a temptation.

If this series had been set in Scotland instead of in D.C., I would compare it to the crime noir fiction of Stuart MacBride. That gives you the impression of what kind of full-bore noir author David Swinson delivers.

View all my reviews

Review: The Laird of Duncairn

The Laird of Duncairn The Laird of Duncairn by Craig Comer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's something special about Fantasy, or Urban Fantasy, or Science Fiction, Horror, Steampunk--any kind of Speculative Fiction really--when it is molded in the hands of a master. The world-building that enchants, the characters who demand and receive all your empathy, the plot that twists and turns, endangering your favourite characters yet enabling their evolution--all that makes a story priceless. I give you the fantastic 'gaslamp fantasy" LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, which happens to be Book 1 of FEY MATTER by Craig Comer (I can't wait to read Book 2). If you don't immediately fall in love with this book, I'd be very surprised (or you've unfortunately become the dread Jaded Reader). I loved it.

Set in alternative late 19th century Scotland, when the Fey are hunted and shunned pretty much in the status of the 17th century Witch Hunts, a young orphaned half-blood (half-Fey) girl who has incredible apport with all animals proves to be the only one who can stop the oncoming Human-Fey Conflict.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 8, 2019

Review: MELANIN by Mike Freeman

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41793117-melanin" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Melanin: The Melanin Chronicles: Book One" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1536604843m/41793117.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41793117-melanin">Melanin: The Melanin Chronicles: Book One</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18602243.Mike_Freeman">Mike      Freeman</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2707903703">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
MELANIN is an absolutely extraordinary science fiction short story that inspired in me more hope than I have experienced in decades. The concept that there could be aliens who are not bent on invasion, destruction, or colonization, not after stealing Earth's resources; the idea that there is anyone in the Universe bent on pacifism and aid--is so compelling that I shall never forget this story. The downside of reading this was its exploration of an America post-Trump, worse than the current climate of hatred and supremacy. Thank goodness the story offers a way out--hope, change, and a new beginning. Mike Freeman has superbly delineated today, the inevitable future, and a potential positive future. I've not been so powerfully affected since reading Walter Mosley's JOHN WOMAN.
<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7302570-cats-of-ulthar-february-weird-fiction">View all my reviews</a>

Review: Fade To Silence

Fade To Silence Fade To Silence by David Bradwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FADE TO SILENCE is Book 4 in the Anna Burgin Series. I've not read the first three, but I am definitely going to rectify that. I discovered FADE TO SILENCE through a review offer at Hidden Gems Books, and I'm very happy I did. This mystery is engrossing, complicated, and the protagonists, especially fashion photographer Anna, are impressively snarky. The author does dialogue excellently, and even better, crafts terrifically twisty plot lines. Anna and her long-term flatmate/best friend, journalist Danny Churchill, are thrown right into the center of the machinations of disgraced, then reinstated Detective Chief Inspector Graham March of London's Metropolitan Police, a man whose fingers are deep into many criminal pies on a large scale, who has too many corrupt friends in high places, and who holds long grudges. Since Danny's investigative journalism and that of Danny's former superior, Clare Woodbrook, exposed March's machinations, the latter is neither going to forget nor forgive, and soon a series of hardships strike at Danny, the kind of frame that he can't escape and can't expose. Additionally, Clare, who long ago "disappeared" and is kind of an international broker and deal-maker, always covertly, inserts herself again into the lives of Anna and Danny, insisting that the end of the Balkan War (this takes place in 1995) predicts massive influxes of black market weapons into the UK, a nation traditionally relatively free from gun violence (unlike the U.S.)

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tour_BLACKWELL by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor


by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor

on Tour February 1 – March 31, 2019


Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor "… an intriguing, dark tale complete with vividly drawn characters, and a uniquely compelling character in Magnus … seamlessly blends mystery, magic and matters of the heart to create an enthralling read. Readers will be engaged from the start of the story to its climactic ending." ~Melanie Bates, RT Book Reviews "A dark story of passion and revenge … A guilty-pleasure read that kept me captivated knowing something sinister is looming in the plot and over the characters." ~New Orleans Magazine
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all. When Magnus meets Jacob O'Connor–a Harvard student from the working class–an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets. Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him. Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery with Supernatural Elements Published by: Vesuvian Books Publication Date: January 17th 2017 Number of Pages: 295 ISBN: 1944109242 (ISBN13: 9781944109240) Series: A Magnus Blackwell Novel 0.5 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Blackwell Trailer:


Read an excerpt:

“We all saw different spirits,” Emily surmised. “How is that possible?” Katie rose from Jacob’s side. “We each saw the person we wanted to see. The person we felt most connected to on the other side.” She came around the table to Magnus, grinning like a proud peacock. “Do you still doubt my abilities?” “No.” Magnus blew out a long breath. “I think we should not do this again, though. I got the impression what happened tonight may be only the beginning.” “The beginning of what?” Emily pestered. Magnus straightened his coat as he turned for the door. “Something very dangerous.” *** Excerpt from Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor. Copyright © 2017 by Alexandrea Weis. Reproduced with permission from Alexandrea Weis. All rights reserved.

Alexandrea Weis:

Alexandrea Weis Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes mysteries, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, action, historical, and romance. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers Association. Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Catch Up With Alexandrea On: alexandreaweis.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Lucas Astor:

Lucas Astor Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face. Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music. One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

My Review:
I admired the attention the co-authors paid to historical detail and references. Examining characters, fashion, architecture, events, even collegiate life at Harvard and Radcliffe, and the underside of New Orleans culture (voodoo and brothels), brought this long-gone era to vivid life. These authors are quite talented at portraying character evolution, or as is the case here, character devolution. I didn't like some of the characters, but their actions and motives certainly did garner and maintain my attention. From the first introduction of Magnus Blackwell as a Harvard freshman, I thought that if only he had been born a century earlier he could have been a charter member of the Hellfire Club. Indeed, the novel's tag line reads: "Hell has a new master," and Blackwell certainly seems to have set out to be just that. But then, his life was the ruination of several other characters, so maybe he should be considered a Pied Piper, affecting adults rather than the children of Hamelin. Certainly if nothing else, his character is memorable, and so are those of Jacob O'Connor, the young student Magnus "adopts" as his pet protege (oh, how well Jacob learned), Oscar Wilde, the infamous English author, a New Orleans voodoo high priestess and brothel owner who ranks right up there with the late Marie Laveau, and all the secondary characters Magnus and Jacob manage to affect. The close attention to detail keeps the reader engrossed, whether or not said reader finds the characters admirable. Like viewing a train wreck, we can't turn away.

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Vesuvian Books. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2019 and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: The Old Man's Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy

The Old Man's Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy The Old Man's Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy by Joab Stieglitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read four books in the Utgarda series, and I adored them all. So much that is resonant of H. P. Lovecraft and other Weird Fiction of the 1920's and 1930's, of that hopeful yet subconsciously disillusioned era between "the War to end all Wars" and the next, possibly even worse, World War, colours this series. For a lover of History and of Weird Fiction, this is a total delight. The characters are well-delineated, the plot is simultaneously exciting and adventurous. Mr. Stieglitz talentedly paints his monsters and monstrous otherworldly settings. I highly recommend this series, whether or not one is already familiar with the Lovecraft Mythos and classic Weird Fiction of the early 20th century.

View all my reviews

Review: The First Time I Died

The First Time I Died The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"You can't go home again." Sometimes that is very apropos. When Garnet left her tiny Vermont home town, she vowed never to return. She had few reasons to ever do so, and many reasons to stay away. But pressure from her academic advisor, coupled with her mother's transient ischemic attack, finally propel her back to that declining community she left at age eighteen. Quickly she discovers that on the surface the town has very much changed; but under the surface, those powerful and intense undercurrents of secrets and lies are still prevalent, still holding sway. Garnet knows that "you can't go home again" is a principle to live by; or to die by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Auguries

The Auguries The Auguries by F.G. Cottam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd anticipated this novel for quite some time, as I've been following the author's discussions on Twitter. I'd also long been a fan of his work, and now I can state that THE AUGURIES, his newest novel (release 2019) is the best yet. (Though I shall continue to rave over his THE WAITING ROOM.) THE AUGURIES is a champion combination of contemporary London with the sixteenth-century England ruled by a capricious and willful monarch, Henry the Eighth. Mr. Cottam brilliantly showcases both today's culture and the suspicious, gullible, but highly religious society of the 1500's, in England and also in Spain, the Alps, Germany, and the Netherlands. He renders both cultures extremely comprehensible as he utilizes strongly-delineated characters to elicit truths about each era. Then he turns the contemporary portrait upside down and effectively destroys it in an incredibly Apocalyptic, totally implacable, inexplicable and impossible, series of events which defy the laws of physics and Nature, but which nonetheless continue to occur.

If you like your Apocalypse served hot and your historical revenge served cold; if you glory in feats of magic and science and historical research; if you love your characters drawn right down to the bone, with an author's X-ray vision of their truths; then you need to read THE AUGURIES. F. G. Cottam demonstrates mastery indeed.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Review: The Meadows

The Meadows The Meadows by London Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE MEADOWS is one SCARY novel! The author finely tunes the tension, drawing the reader along to follow the feckless, definitely self-destructive, heroine, an acclaimed songwriter, as she battles her addictions, not very successfully. But the real question becomes: Is she hallucinating from alcohol and controlled substances, or are these apparitions, manifestations, sounds, voices, actually REAL? Is this property, the size of an estate, actually HAUNTED? Or has falling off the wagon after five months simply created sights, sounds, touch, in her mind? Either way, our protagonist is in deep trouble. DEEP trouble. She's sunk about $5 million into buying a property in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where she studied for her undergraduate degree at Shenandoah University. She intends to renovate, then open the house as a bed-and-breakfast, and attract "leaf peepers," newlyweds, couples celebrating anniversaries, plus businesspersons and corporate "retreats." An admirable goal, one which will not be accomplished unless the house is cleared of its "other" inhabitants; and unless Scarlett can find a way to stop the rising death toll. The house is already notorious for mass murders occurring in 1986, including paranormal elements, and had been abandoned for over 30 years. Scarlett is trapped between a rock and a hard place, and possibly there may be no earthly solution.

View all my reviews