Friday, March 30, 2012

"The Marks of Cain" by Tom Knox

When David Martinez receives an ancient map from his dying grandfather, he is led into the heart of the Basque mountains, where a genetic curse lies buried- and a frightening secret about the Western world is hidden. Meanwhile, London journalist Simon Quinn is investigating two violent murders. Both victims had once been interned in a top-secret Nazi camp-and both came from the Basque region.

My brother recommended for me to read Tom Knox’s book, “The Marks of Cain.” The blurb intrigued me as did the first chapter a disturbing look at Simon Quinn’s life, his descent into alcoholism and his brother’s violent, bloody attack on their mother.

The chapters jump from Quinn to Martinez, an orphan who’d dying grandfather gives him a map an and a mystery, one that leads him into danger, and back again, giving two sides to a very complex story. One that at times is hard to follow.

Here’s the thing about this book. The premise is truly intriguing, the idea of subspecies of human’s is a bit mind boggling but Knox blends the facts and fiction well. The action is fairly consistent and well paced, and the book is downright beautifully written despite much of the content involving rape, murder, torture and multiple holocausts. There is no denying that Knox can write, and write very well.

So why did I only give it 3.5 stars? Simple, I had no problem putting the book down. A fact which happened multiple times. For me, a true thriller grips you to the point where you HAVE to find out what happens next. That point didn't happen for me until around the 300 page mark and there are only 430 pages in the story. It was at that point that the pieces of the story began to make sense, that I began to truly want to find out what was going on.For me, there wasn’t enough in the beginning of the book to truly draw me in. The mystery just wasn't strong enough for me to care about. If I hadn’t been reading this book for a review, I’m not sure that I would have finished it and that would have been a shame as the last 130 pages were exactly what a thriller should be.



Mind boggling.

Reviewed by Shannon Mayer

Twitter- @TheShannonMayer

Blog- Wringing out Words
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Review of Resurrect by Kane Gilmour

Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the action adventure novel Resurrect by Kane Gilmour for review.  I understand this is a first novel and to say it was impressive would be an understatement. It was a thrill read to say the least. Lucky for us, it's only the first in what promises to be a series of fictitious adventures featuring engineer and rock climber Jason Quinn.

Starting out like a well researched historical fiction novel, the reader is first thrown into 19th century China at the end of a rebellion. It was engrossing but after reading the novel synopsis I wasn't sure what to expect. What I can say is that this historical snapshot was a great introduction to the story. It let the reader know right away that they would be in for some very intriguing situations with just the right amount of detail and action. Jump ahead to a second, very different scene with an old man about to embark on a secret journey. Initially I was puzzled, like I was being handed torn pieces of a photograph to piece together, but that only drove me further into the story to find out what was going on.

It's after this part that the real story begins.

It's the present and a small team of archaeologists is on its way from a dig site near Xinning to Hong Kong via an old Xinjiang Airlines aircraft.  With the archaeologists' plane crashing far from its intended destination and what then turns out to be a series of narrow escapes from unknown assassins, the reader is introduced to the real hero of the story, Jason Quinn. Together with his friend Curtis Johnson, Jason takes it upon himself to protect the lone surviving female archaeologist from the pursuing assassins. Not surprisingly, she is the intended target and an unknowing part in a conspiracy that proves to be far reaching.

Now I don't know about every reader, but sometimes the more implausible the action scene the more I enjoy it. And there were plenty of those such action scenes. If you were thrown from a speeding train, then miraculously found your way over a mountain back on to said train only to be throw off again...  how good would you look? If you were Jason Quinn, pretty darn good.

For me, the action scenes were the best part of the book.

Over all I found it to be a very entertaining action thriller. Well paced and hard to put down, it reminded me of a few international thrillers that take the reader on an adventure from one exciting locale to the next. Well worth it if you love the genre.

 I should also point out that like many books in this genre, there is that possibly controversial aspect to it. It does paint quite a large number of people belonging to one particular culture in a villainous hue. So I guess it depends on how politically correct you like your fiction. Some readers are sensitive to that kind of thing while others remember that it's just fiction.

The reason I held back on the full five stars was that the ending seemed a little too abrupt for me. It wrapped up just a little too quickly and I really felt there should have been more - really, there should have been. But of course that's just my opinion. I can still see many readers giving it five stars. In fact, many have.

It should be a best seller. Here's the Amazon link.

Reviewed by E. Bard



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lucky Days! Free Books! HUGE PRIZES!


March 14th-18th!

Discover over 40 amazing ebooks: Romances, Thrillers, Mysteries, Humor, and more!

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Fantastic ebooks, many by award-winning and best-selling authors. 

Let’s Par-Tay!

“The wealth of knowledge, experience, and hard work that the amazing IBC staff puts behind the Free Par-Tay events is simply stunning. I am absolutely a lifelong fan. My book, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, not only hit #1 on the Kindle Free Bestseller list (plus several genre lists), it also made it into the top 10 of the Kindle Paid Bestseller list after the Par-Tay, thanks to the careful coaching of Carolyn McCray. IBC is truly the best kept secret in indie pubbing today.” Nina Bruhns

On Feb 2- 4 , Indie Book Collective conducted our first FREE Par-Tay.  Twenty–five authors linked arms in the first ever coordinated FREE event on Amazon.  The results?  PHENOMENAL!

Of the 40 titles in the promotion, all but four ranked in the top 500 FREE and ALL ranked under 1000 FREE.  Moreover we had 10 authors who scored in the top 100 FREE consistently throughout the free promotion.

Our results following the free promotion during the paid cycle were nothing short of amazing.  We had a 79 %rise in rankings overall and our top producers scored an astonishing 89 % rise in rankings. As of this writing many of the books are STILL in the Top 1,000 PAID lists.

Free Par-Tay was a career changing event for me. Enchantment had never been on a best seller list before. It’s now on three. I sold more books in two weeks than I had in the previous 7 months combined. Thank you IBC! Charlotte Abel Enchantment

We are taking everything we learned in our groundbreaking FREE Par-Tay and applying it to LUCKY DAYS.

There’s a genre for every reader’s taste.

You like Romance? We have them. From Romantic Suspense to Humorous  Romance, Paranormal Romance and Historical Romance? We have them all!

Or if Mysteries and Thrillers are your thing you can’t go wrong. Police action, Murderous Mayhem, amateur sleuths and more.

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Don’t miss out! Soon these amazing ebooks will be back to their usual prices. Grab them while they’re FREE! March 14th-18th.

Who says you can have too much of a good thing. You can never have too many great books. Load up your Kindle and tell your neighbors to do the same.

FREE Par-Tay, is a groundbreaking venture to build on the power of KDP Select’s’ Free option and the first program to capitalize on the possibilities our prescient leaders foresaw in the KDP initiative

Will be Biggest and Best FREE Promotion Ever!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review of Encrypted by Carolyn McCray

What would you do if the black plague suddenly appeared again, in your own backyard? What if it was put there by a “Higher” order who thought to cleanse the earth and remake it in their image? What if the only hope of survival for the ENTIRE planet lay in the hands of a Hacker, her quirky, flirty, fashion obssessed assistant and the FBI agent, said Hacker, should NOT be having a secret affair with?

These are just a few of the questions posed by Carolyn McCray’s new novel, “Encrypted”. The black plague once wiped out half the world, and someone has made plans to repeat the scenario, only this time with a weaponized strain that is deliberately placed so that it spreads . . .fast. The Robin Hood Hacker is the only one with enough brains, talent and OCD to crack the code IF she can get to all the pieces on time. With the “Hidden Hand” the organization who set these events in motion, dogging her every step, it’s hard enough for a girl to find the clues, not to mention have a split second to make out with the FBI agent she’s been lusting after for months.

"Encrypted" is fast paced. Make that Formula One fast paced. Don’t expect to be able to put it down. Filled with gadgets and gizmos that would make any techie weep with rapture, fire fights, chase scenes, close calls, deadly turns and laugh out loud humour, Encrypted kept me glued to my Kindle until it was finished.

I will say, that as a reader of not only thrillers, but romance too, I was hoping *fingers were crossed* for perhaps even just a little more lip action between the leads. But, since there is a sequel, Cipher (which comes out winter of 2012) I look forward to finding out how this completely star crossed couple manage their love life in the middle of the next crisis. Which I can only imagine will again have readers ducking and diving as if they too were in the middle of the chaos the characters will find themselves in.
If you love a fast, gadget riddled, great read, then Encrypted should satisfy those needs. You can find "Encrypted" on Amazon and it is currently only .99 for its launch.


*If you are looking for additonal books by Carolyn McCray, she has several for free INCLUDING "Encrypted" from March 14-18 only click HERE for the details*

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review of The Geronimo Beach by Russell Blake

If you're a fan of thrillers, spy novels, police stories and the like you've probably grown accustomed to the slightly sanitized narrative and descriptive terms used in these genres. Sure, the bad guy gets it and there's blood everywhere and the girlfriend is all cut up, but the visual scene of the writing can be read by anyone. Which, of course, is done on purpose in order to make the book marketable. Robert Ludlum, John le Carre, Tom Clancy (except for his true masterpiece, "Without Remorse"), they have all written spectacular books with heaps of action and loads of destructive bloodletting without actually spilling any goo. Your brain registers the action and tells you "this is bloody", but you don't feel it in your gut. Except for Clancy's "Without Remorse." That book gets you where you live.


I'd like to introduce an author who has, apparently, mastered the art of writing a thriller that is full of splashing, gushing, searing, exploding, skin-ripping action with language that pulls no punches but is still exceptionally readable. Russell Blake is a descriptive pioneer and a natural wordsmith. In his thriller, "The Geronimo Breach," Blake has taken the somewhat predictable genre on a joyride from the streets of Panama City through the jungles of Columbia into fishing villages and bordellos to emerge on the other side with all the "good" predictable aspects intact and some new twists on the plot format that make reading the book a pleasure and a duty for all lovers of action thrillers.
It's the action and the description that keep the pages turning. Throw in a hero disguised as a drunk, a smartass CPA with a killer body and a burro named Ed and you've  got one classic novel that holds its own against the so-called "masters" of the trade.

I chose not to quote from the book in order to keep it fresh for you. There are some pretty cool surprises that pop up as the plot reveals itself.  Trust me, though, this is a 5-star book.
"The Geronimo Breach" is available on Amazon, or just go to and say hello to the author. He loves fans. And burros.
If you'd like to learn more about the reviewer, please visit:
Twitter: @JLandonCocks
Facebook: J Landon Cocks