Tag Archives: review

Author @JustinBog tours SANDCASTLE and OTHER STORIES

Good friend and author, Justin Bog is touring his newly re-released book, SANDCASTLE and OTHER STORIES. It has a brand new look since Booktrope recently republished it, and it’s gorgeous!

Find out more about Justin’s blog stops and follow him on his tour for reviews and interviews.

justin bog blog tour

The Complete Edition of Justin Bog’s First Collection of Dark Psychological Suspense Tales. An award‐winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories reveals twisted secrets that are mined like plutonium. These twelve literary tales are nothing short of an adventure through a roiling sea of emotion. With authenticity and eloquence, author Justin Bog holds a provocative and compelling mirror on the human condition.

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Add it to your Goodreads List

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Find Justin at all his virtual homes

 Justin bog head shot

Website and Blog | Twitter @justinbog | Facebook

Google + | Linkedin |  Goodreads

Amazon USUK

Justin was originally interviewed here June 2012.

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

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Five stars for ALICE by @HefferonJoe #NewRelease #Review

I’m thrilled to announce a new release by author, Joe Hefferon. Alice is the second instalment of his Texas Trilogy. I introduced the series with his book, Scattergun back in October.

I just finished reading Alice, and I’m still catching my breath—that good. You can find my review below and on Amazon.

Both Scattergun and Alice are a steal at only 99 cents, so grab them. You’ll definitely want more.

flourishGritty, raw, well-crafted. ALICE is a great story

*** 5 stars ***

With a narrative that is taut and fast-paced, author Joe Hefferon creates a formidable villain in his novella, ALICE, the second book in his Texas Trilogy.

Slate Canyon is described as a man with regrets the lifespan of a housefly, whose two best skills are killing and forgetting. Nothing is sacred to him, which makes his character both frightening and fascinating.

The book also sees the return of Captain Lamar McNelly from SCATTERGUN. He teams up with the likeable detective, Chucho Zarate. Together, they pool their unique skills to hunt down a killer.

ALICE is filled with numerous memorable turns of phrase. There are no clichés, no stereotypes. The prose is fresh and inspired. Horrific scenes tear at you but glue you to the page because they are written with such control. Even the minor characters are imbued with so much life that you will want to know more about them. ALICE is not just well-crafted; it is superb storytelling.

Mr. Hefferon is someone I greatly admire in the crime fiction genre. Read him. I cannot say enough about his talent.

alice

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Detective Lieutenant Chucho Zarate picks up the molecules of a decaying corpse drifting on the midnight air of Christmas Eve. No one in the small church notices, but his nose never lies; he knows some poor bastard has met a violent demise.

What he doesn’t know is this murder will unlock an internal gate holding back a spree killer, soon to be set loose upon Southeast Texas.

As the bodies pile up and the frustration mounts, the governor orders in the Texas Rangers to end the madness, and Captain Lamar McNelly, the synesthetic lawman, leads the team.

Together, McNelly and Zarate find themselves in a race to catch a phantom, with the next victim just a happenstance away.

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Connect to Joe Hefferon

joe hefferon

A former police captain with a penchant for dark humor. Joe has a keen interest in what really motivates people and the secret lives behind the facades.

Joe was interviewed on my blog November 29, 2013.

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Author @JustinBog releases HARK in time for #Christmas

It’s December! And one of my favorite writers, Justin Bog, has just released HARK, an anthology of six Christmas stories. It’s a stellar collection from one of America’s best short story authors.

For 10 lucky residents of the US, Justin is giving away copies of his paperback via Goodreads until Dec 14th. Enter to win, easy to do.

hark goodreads

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I encourage you to read my 5-star review and grab your copy!

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 HARK will touch your mind and your heart

HARK brings us six wonderful stories that occur at Christmastime. Unlike many books about this time of year, Mr. Bog’s collection pays tribute to the season without being melodramatic or candy-cane sweet.

In the lead-off story, “Hark,” a police officer replays an event that changed his life forever. Just as Christmas marks time each year, so do the memories and consequences of his tragedy. “Hark” is a strong lesson in our inability to change the past, to live in the present, and to hope for a better future.

If you are in the mood for a romantic-comedy, you will love “Seducing Santa.” It is whimsical and tongue-in-cheek, but it conjures the magical spirit of the season.

“Bracelet” in its simplicity brings to mind “The Gift of the Maji” by O. Henry. The ebb and flow of the story will cradle you like a warm ocean tide. The ending is picture-perfect with a delightful twist.

“Everyone Wants Me To” is the longest story in the collection with a similar theme to “Hark.” It’s about the intersection and merging of lives and the effects of these meetings. The story begins with Arlene as a young girl and finishes with her much later in life. It’s an incredibly ambitious tale, not easily told in a short story format, yet, Mr. Bog does it brilliantly. The use of several points of view and a seamless movement from first to third person narration adds layers upon layers of complexity. It is a cautionary tale about how adults deliver love and hate during the formative years of a child. Though it would be an over-simplification to say that negativity and abandonment begets a miserable life, I can fairly say that one is certainly at a disadvantage. Allegorical in its telling, “Everyone Wants Me To” reminds us of blessings we might otherwise take for granted.

My favorite story of the collection is “Snow Globe,” which takes place at a posh Christmas party. The atmosphere is festive; the conversations clipped and pretentious, as conversations tend to be at parties. I enjoyed the diversity of the guests—gay, straight, men, women, all intermingling at what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, yet, there is tension dripping out of champagne bottles. Despite all good intentions, one guest decides to speak his unpleasant truth. It’s an accurate study of human motivation, especially when confined in a pressure-cooker environment.

In “The Heralds,” the story that completes the collection, Kenneth Herald is battling a life-and-death illness. He and his wife discover a shocking truth right before Christmas and what they do is completely unexpected.

I compare the flow of these stories to that of a jazz song. They are delivered in slow, crisp tones. The notes hit the mark and draw in the reader. Like a ‘seasoned’ jazz singer though, Mr. Bog knows that too many trills or too much scat singing can rob a song of its essence, even if it may impress initially.

As such, HARK is a true lesson in storytelling restraint. Each tale, including the bonus “Poseidon Eyes” provides a window into the lives of people we know. They are not Christmas caricatures; their lives are not always extraordinary. They are pieces of you and me, and their stories will touch you whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Hark

Buy the e-book from: Amazon worldwide

Buy the print version on Amazon

From the back cover:

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays.  From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Spanning from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale is woven of people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from the upcoming  Sandcastle and Other Stories–The Complete Edition, is included.

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Find Justin at all his virtual homes

 Justin bog head shot

Website and Blog | Twitter @justinbog | Facebook

Google + | Linkedin |  Goodreads

Amazon USUK

Justin was originally interviewed June 2012.

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

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@JohnDolanAuthor and @FionaQuinnBooks create CHAOS together

Two authors, whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and reading, have joined creative forces to write a book.

Chaos is Come Again, courtesy of John Dolan and Fiona Quinn, officially releases today to glowing reviews.

Read my review below, and don’t miss this one!

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CHAOS IS COME AGAIN is off-the-wall addictive!

In Chaos is Come Again, an oddball mix of characters converge in a tale replete with human foibles, a serial killer, and a fantastical love story. While merging the outlandish with the sacred and the absurd with the believable, it unapologetically tramples political correctness to a pulp.

There are so many unique hooks to pull you in.

Sensationalist author, Travis Bishop, is hiding in London after fleeing death threats from his home country. Some of his fellow Americans are not taking kindly to his blasphemous re-invention of Judas as a saint and Jesus as a vampire. Of course, his publisher demands an immediate sequel to his masterpiece.

Then there’s Teagan. Not since Stephen King’s, Annie Wilkes, have I met such an unforgettable villainess. She is no masterpiece, but she is certainly a piece of work.

And how about a modern-day romance spawned on Twitter? Two people bantering from opposite sides of the world with only 140 characters—flirtatious and fun, but can it lead to love? In reading their conversations, one might think it bizarrely possible.

And there’s more, much more …

Despite the intricate dance of deception and obsession throughout multiple story threads, the mood of the book is defiantly upbeat. This can only be attributed to the propulsive storytelling of its authors. Much in the style of Tom Robbins, the pairing of John Dolan and Fiona Quinn has created a novel that defies genre and easy summation. You must read the book to experience its indescribable chaos, so do yourself a favour and grab a copy!

PS. Just when you thought 42 was the answer to everything, you’ll discover 23 is actually the ultimate meaning of life.

cover_chaos is come again

Buy the e-book from: Amazon worldwide

Buy the print version on Amazon

“Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul
But I do love thee! And when I love thee not
Chaos is come again.”

Sean hears voices in his head.
Travis snorts cocaine.
Teagan thinks she’s the next Lady Gaga.
Avery has the boss from Hell and a mother with dementia.
And Goose thinks he can catch a serial killer.

‘Chaos is Come Again’ is a psychological suspense, a mystery, and a love story – loaded with irreverent humour, and viewed through the lens of obsession.

WARNING: This book contains references to Judas Iscariot, a dwarf and a performing monkey.

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Find John and Fiona at their virtual homes

john dolan

Blog – Galericulate | Twitter @JohnDolanAuthor

Smashwords | Website | Amazon USUK

Goodreads  | Facebook | Google +

John was originally interviewed Jan. 2013.

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fiona quinn

Website | Facebook | Twitter @FionaQuinnBooks

ThrillWriting Blog | Google +Pinterest

Amazon US – UK

Fiona was originally interviewed April 2014.

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A COMMON EVIL is upon us thanks to @brchitwood

One of my favorite people, author Billy Ray Chitwood releases his book, A Common Evil today! Sink your teeth into this series. I’m glad I did! Read my review below and discover why. You can also find my review on:

Amazon US | UK | Canada  and Goodreads.

Please join me in congratulating Billy Ray on his latest book. Well done, sir!

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a common evil

 Buy from Amazon in ebook and print

US  ~  UK  ~  CA

Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault.

An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

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My 5-star review for A Common Evil

A Common Evil addresses something basic in all of us—the need to preserve the things we love, whether they are people, a place to live, or a certain way of life.

This is the sixth and final book in the Bailey Crane Mystery series, which started with An Arizona Tragedy – (Bailey Crane Mystery Series Book 1), and it more than stands on its own as an engaging story.

The setting is the Sea of Cortez, also known by other names—Gulf of California or Gulf of Mexico, a large inlet along the northwestern coast of Mexico. Already, the story attracted me due to its location – exotic, hot, sand, beach, and home to Corona beer.

Bailey Crane, a retired detective is minding his own business, living in a luxury beach resort with his wife, Wendy, when he is drawn into the shifty underworld. The start of the book pulls you in immediately with raucous gunfire. It offers a look of what it’s like to live among drug cartels that are at odds with one another. The paradox of paradise is that life is expendable when profit and greed motivate those in power.

Against the backdrop of the fascinating world of living in Mexico as an American, Mr. Chitwood treats us to moments of self-reflection with strong hints of his Southern upbringing. These moments were for me, some of the most satisfying passages in the book. They offered a deeper look into the inner workings of his protagonist.

Bailey Crane is not afraid to be brutish to protect what he wants. While he may wrestle with inner demons, he can steep himself firmly in the task at hand and reflect on his own morality later. In other words, he gets the job done.

Through his two main characters, the author offers us a glimpse of a couple who have been through a lot. Bailey Crane and Wendy have a very strong relationship, one with a love that runs deep and is deeply personal. Within that love, words are not always required to express how they feel for each other. At times, the book reads as an ode from Bailey to Wendy, and I found this particularly endearing.

As with all good mystery/thrillers, there are twists and turns and a surprise ending that made for a wonderful read. For lovers of the mystery genre, whether you slant toward action, cozy, or literary—A Common Evil will not disappoint.

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Find Billy Ray at all his virtual homes

br chitwood 3

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