FORBIDDEN LAUNCH TOUR CELEBRATION: Excerpt–A Vicious Attack

Well hello, beloved followers. As promised, today Feather Stone is guest posting as part of the Forbidden book launch tour. Check out the schedule listed below for her other appearances. 🙂 There’s also a giveaway and the book is FREE for the next few days. Details are below!

Today’s post features an excerpt from the novel I reviewed on Monday. Check out my review HERE.

Welcome to Forbidden’s book launch celebration

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

1-forbidden6

FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islāmic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

ΩΩΩ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter your name in my rafflecopter for a chance to win:

GRAND PRIZE: AMAZON coupon valued at $100 USD,

Second prize: Amazon coupon $50,

PLUS five ten-dollar amazon coupons.

ΩΩΩ

TODAY’S FEATURE IS – A Vicious Attack

City of Samarra, Republic of Islāmic Provinces & Territories

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Guardian Mosque, City of Samarra, RIPT

Ω

Feigning sleep, Eliza listened to the sound of Sharif making coffee in his kitchen at the end of his shift. A breeze from the open window carried the scent of his clothes toward her. The distinct smell of gun-fired residue and blood made her gag. She decided not to wait for him to kick the bed to wake her. She got up and dressed in the bathroom. Without saying a word, Eliza zipped out to the hallway.

She listened as the ancient city of Samarra woke up to harmonic sounds. The city came to life each morning at six o’clock with the first call to prayer: Fajr, the prayer before sunrise. The haunting musical sound of the Muezzin called the devoted. Dogs, roused by the earnest supplication, barked. Even Eliza, who had no religious convictions, sat in quiet contemplation, deeply moved. She stilled her mind’s chatter and waited.

Waited for a thread of wisdom to be shared by The One Most High. Waited for merciful revelation of why she had survived and her little boys had suffered and died. Waited alone in the heavy silence.

With each of the four daily prayers, Eliza had watched in awe as the city’s ambiance shifted during prayer. Even within the compound walls, the Muslim faithful halted their activities for prayers. An air of tranquility was palpable. Even those who appeared less devout and ignored the religious practice slowed their pace. The Muezzin’s melodious voice reminded the devout of their connection with Allah, of the teachings of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

She had learned that everyone regardless of rank, wealth, sins, or honor stood shoulder to shoulder and intoned their praises to Allah, the forgiver of sins, the lord of peace and harmony. Women were segregated to the rear of the prayer hall, the musallah – for sake of modesty, Eliza had been told.

She eavesdropped on Sharif’s prayers. The change in his demeanor struck her. He became like a child singing songs of praise to an adoring father. His devotion to Islam and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad appeared to be based on genuine love, rather than fear of Allah’s punishment.

When Sharif had gone to bed, she listened and watched as the city’s soul burst forth. From her high vantage point, she could see the insane rush of traffic, businessmen competing for a cab, and women ushering their children to school. The vibrancy of the scene reminded Eliza of the excitement of Cairo. Old men bravely pushed carts of vegetables and fruit, others skillfully herded their goats among the passing vehicles. An air of expectancy, anticipation, even urgency in the way the citizens walked and talked spoke of their eagerness to get on with day.

She opened the kitchen window which offered view of the city. A few blocks away, a wide river rushed toward the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles to the south. A treed park bordered its banks. She spotted a soccer field, possibly a school, and a two-story mall. Tall office buildings and luxury hotels in the distance dotted the downtown section. The four minarets of the city’s ancient Guardian Mosque reached high into the morning’s tangerine sky.

In so many ways, Samarra appeared like every other urban center stuck in the 1990’s, with a strong agricultural element. Adapting over thousands of years, the city had endured countless invasions and survived as a phoenix rising from the ashes time and time again. The land possessed a soul. It emanated an energy of an untouchable guru – indifferent and yet passionate, unconquerable and yet benevolent.

Eliza felt a connection to the land, its history, and its people. It was more than the exotic culture’s sensory seduction of spices, architecture, and mystical landscape. As the human race migrated out of Africa thousands of years ago, tribes had settled in the Middle East. Perhaps the ancient bones of her ancestors lay in unmarked graves beneath her feet. She sent a prayer to the old ones, just in case they were open to favor her with a miracle.

Eliza began making breakfast. She placed the frying pan on the little stove, careful to not wake her keeper. She made scrambled eggs with peppers and onions mixed in. Aromatic coffee infused a feeling of home.

Sharif had bought her a jar of blueberry jam. “For good behavior,” he had said as he set the glass jar onto the old wooden table with a smack, and left.

A white cloth-covered the small worn table. Well, it used to be white. It looked as though it had been used for multiple tasks, perhaps wiping up spills from the floor and soaking up blood from a wound. It appeared clean.

The aromas of street food vendors blended with the car exhaust, her eggs, and the blueberry jam on her bread. Eliza settled in for another long day keeping her distance from Sharif, and dodging her PTSD triggers.

She glanced around the room. It was getting smaller. Her heart pounded. She forced her shoulders to relax. I’ve got to get out of here, she thought as she forced down a mouthful of her breakfast. Yesterday she had pressed Sharif for time outside. His reply remained steadfast, “Not today.” When she had continued to push for more freedom, he threatened to put her in a regular cell and build a cement wall to keep her out of sight.

Over the past four days, she had developed a routine to pass the time. Yoga, meditation, snack, repeat. However, today she had reached the outer limits of controlling the PTSD, triggered by the walls closing in.

While Sharif slept, she planned to inform the day shift officer, Captain Khizar, she was going for a walk. She shivered. When Sharif had introduced him to her, Khizar barely acknowledged her. She had detected the smirk on the senior officer’s thin face. Her intuition emphasized the need to tread carefully around the officer who walked with a limp.

Eliza wore the required black uniform, put on her polished work boots, and pushed her hair up under the black cap. At the bottom of the stairs she listened for sounds of the men. She approached Khizar’s office and sighed with relief to find he had left. Going down a short hallway, Eliza turned right towards the crew quarters’ door. She hesitated, listening for sounds that indicated the mood of the cops.

Belly laughter and smacks against the wall made the door shudder. The men were absorbed in their amusement and might not be interested in challenging her request.

Eliza knocked on the door, careful to sound neither cowardly, nor aggressive. The door was swung open by a constable.

She held her breath. Skilled at hiding her emotions, Eliza looked into the officer’s eyes. The officer relaxed a little. An intimidating smirk grew on his face. Three other men in the room gathered behind him.

The day sergeant, a heavy-set man, came forward and said in a trivializing manner, “The whore is mine. Leave her to me.”

The sergeant sauntered up to her. His eyes lit up like those of a child about to open a birthday gift. He lowered his gaze to her dark boots, and then raised his focus to her mid-section, then to her chest. Finally, he looked at her eyes.

Eliza did not change her expression from that of bland indifference to his suggestive piercing stare. He had called her a whore, but she repressed the impulse to admonish him. She resisted the urge to put her hands on her hips. That would be sexually suggestive and body language might defeat her faster than the wrong choice of words.

“My apologies for the interruption,” she said in Arabic, her voice trembling despite her resolve. “I’m going for a walk.” She swung around toward the exit door.

The officers chuckled as the sergeant stepped forward and blocked her. His face came uncomfortably close to hers. He spoke with a grin, accompanied by the rhythmic flexing and gyrating of his hips.

“Welcome. Come in.” The three men cheered as the sergeant grabbed her shirt and pulled her into the room.

 

LAUNCH SCHEDULE

February 13:

Review by Lily Eva Blake

February 14:

Guest Post with Pat Garcia

Review and Guest Post with Juneta Key

February 15:

Featured in OPAL Magazine

Guest Post with Lily Eva Blake

February 16:

Review and Showcase with Nicki Elson

Showcase with Jennifer Lane

February 17:

Showcase with Nancee Cain

Interview with Tyler Wiegmann

February 18:

Review and Showcase with Yolanda Renee

Showcase with Michelle Willms

Ω

Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut-wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

The Guardian's Wildchild cover_450x679Romance Under Fire Blog

Facebook: FSauthor

Twitter: Featherwrites

Pinterest

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

FORBIDDEN – FEATHER STONE

Good morning, everyone. Today I’ll be reviewing Forbidden by Heather Stone as part of her book launch tour. She will also be guest posting right here on the 15th as part of the tour. Don’t miss it!

**Please note that I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.**

forbidden

 

 

TITLE: FORBIDDEN

AUTHOR: FEATHER STONE

GENRE: CRIME THRILLER/MYSTERY/ROMANCE

HEARTS:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islāmic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

MY REVIEW:

The synopsis went into much of what I would’ve revealed in the review, so I’ll get right to it then. Forbidden is superbly written and the author made sure it was easy to get into the hearts and minds of the characters. When Eliza MacKay witnesses the horror that befalls her colleagues of the Habitat for Humanity group, she finds herself under the care of Captain Sharif, who must now solve the mystery of what happened to the group his officers were responsible for protecting.

Secrets of Eliza’s past eventually surface and she struggles to keep her PTSD under control. A lot of twists and turns in this novel found me reading it in its entirety through the night. Chock full of backstabbing and corruption, Captain Sharif will stop at nothing to make sure that justice is served. He also knows that his attempt could cause harm to his family and the witness he is protecting.

He finds himself drawn to Eliza in a way that is forbidden and this adds confusion to his life. Can justice be served and true love found?

I loved how the author made Islam more understandable to non-followers of the religion. We learn that it is a religion of peace. Kudos to Ms. Stone for shining this light.

The characters were all well-rounded and three-dimensional, with their own unique personalities. I could feel their pain, confusion, suffering, and doubt. Minimal (if any) spelling and grammatical errors were noted.

If I could give this novel six hearts, I would. It is a definite must read.

RATING: FIVE OF FIVE HEARTS  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

ABOUT THE  AUTHOR:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.The Guardian's Wildchild

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

Romance Under Fire Blog

Facebook: FSauthor

Twitter: Featherwrites

Pinterest

Goodreads

SWEPT AWAY

Trying to get back into Book Review mode! I can’t promise any specific review days so winging it will have to do. There’s so much catching up to do, it’s unreal.

Today I’ll be reviewing Swept Away by Elizabeth Seckman.

 

sweptaway

 

TITLE: SWEPT AWAY

AUTHOR: ELIZABETH SECKMAN

GENRE: ROMANCE/MYSTERY

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

4.5/5 HEARTS

 

BOOK BLURB:

He came looking for a ghost. Instead, he found a girl.

Tucker Boone is a war-hardened Marine on a ghost hunt. Fresh out of the corps, Tucker learns he has a missing half-sister, Maddy. The only clue to her whereabouts is a cryptic note…I’ve gone Mad, Mags. Tucker agrees to search for her and heads to Ocracoke, North Carolina where a ghost named Mad Mags is said to haunt the ancient graveyards dotting the island.

The note doesn’t bring him any closer to finding Maddy, but it does offer him a diversion to the doldrums of civilian life— his new island neighbor, Josie McCoy. Tucker is drawn to her quiet spirit. There’s something special about Josie…a connection he can’t quite explain.

By summer’s end, he’s mixed up in deception, murder, and the love of a lifetime. Logic tells him to head home and forget the truths he found on the island. But can he walk away? Josie offers him more than love; she offers him hope. When the clues pile up and it looks like she can never be the girl for him, he has to make a choice- play it safe and break her heart, or risk everything for a chance at being swept away.

 

MY REVIEW:

Tucker Boone is a Marine just back from war. He has a not so great relationship with his mother, Marlene Adkins, but during one of their ‘talks’, he learns that his biological father, Rob Morgan, was a womanizer who left his mother when he was a child. Tucker decides to find him. He learns from his step-mother, Gloria, that his father suffered a stroke and is in a nearby nursing home. He also finds out he has a step-sister, Maddy, who apparently ran away from home several years earlier, to start a new life with her best friend Ariel. Gloria believes a note sent to Maddy by Ariel is a clue to her whereabouts. All the note says is, ‘I’ve gone Mad, Mags’. At Gloria’s request, Tucker goes in search of his sister.

Tucker finds himself in Ocracoke, North Carolina after doing research on the internet and reading a story about a restless spirit named Mad Mags that haunts family graveyards. It’s a stretch, but Tucker takes a shot. He lands a job as a mechanic’s assistant and it includes a small cottage on the premises.

Then he meets Josie McCoy, the niece of the man he’s working for. She’s beautiful, but standoffish at first. Although she’s eccentric, Tucker can’t help but fall for her, but her past haunts her. Eventually, the truth comes out. Can their love survive?

The ending is sad, bittersweet, and happy at the same time. As you all know, I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll leave the ending to your imagination.

This isn’t the first book of Ms. Seckman’s that I’ve read. She is a fantastic writer who puts her heart and soul into her works. The characters were all unique and had distinct personalities. No cookie cutter characters here. The story flowed well and was full of unexpected twists and turns. I’m a dreamer, so I had hoped one part of the story would turn out differently, but there are sad realities in this world.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in thrillers and mysteries with love mixed in. I’m definitely reading more of her books.

 

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

4.5/5 HEARTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

eseckman

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of romantic women’s fiction. She is a former social worker, constant daydreamer, and mother of four fabulous boys.

She has a house in desperate need of cleaning (so she says!). No set date on completion.

 

 

IF I WERE A MOBSTER BLOGFEST

I’m stoked to be participating in the ‘If I were a Mobster Blogfest’, created by fellow blogger, and author Chrys Fey. I had so much fun trying to build my ‘profile’. 🙂

mobsterblogfest10-21

MY MOBSTER PROFILE:

Mobster Name: Notorious E.V.A., or Speedy to my closest associates and inner circle.

Rank: I’m the Boss. A stroke left me partly unable to work the streets that often, but I have a loyal second in command and lieutenants that handle most of that for me.

Crime Zone: Upstate New York

My look: Simple. I wear mostly black, though I do have a strategically placed eyeliner beauty mark on my right cheek. Oh, and all day coverage blood-red lipstick. Have to have the lipstick.

Weapon of Choice: My diamond encrusted walking cane. I’ve downed more than one opponent by striking the back of their knees with this baby. I let my boys handle the rest.

Catchphrase: Handle it, boys.

Mobster Vehicle: Toyota Rav-4. Hey, I don’t like to stand out that much, ok?

How to get on my good side: Bring me scores of chocolates and cheeses and we’ll talk.

What I’m known for: Sending flowers to the hospital after having to teach someone a lesson.

30secondsb4

BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Amazon CA

NOOK / KOBO / The Wild Rose Press

 

chrysfey-sale

 

To celebrate, 30 Seconds, the follow up story, is on sale for 99 cents!

 

Sale Oct. 21st – Nov. 4th

 

SALE LINKS:

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

AUTHOR BIO:

chrys-feyChrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

BLOODWALKER

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the novel Bloodwalker written by fellow blogger Lexa Cain, aka L.X. Cain. It’s scheduled to be released on October 4, 2016 and I was lucky enough to get an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It is 284 pages (84,000 words) and will be available in mobi, epub and PDF formats.

BLOODWALKER is a dark thriller that blurs the border between science and the supernatural, like the novels of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Tess Gerritsen, and Jack Kilborn (JA Konrath). The novel’s setting spans three Eastern European countries and has an international cast, including an original arcane society called the Skomori Bloodwalkers.

 

Bloodwalker LX CainTITLE: BLOODWALKER (Dark Thriller/Mystery)

AUTHOR: L.X. CAIN

PUBLISHER: Freedom Fox Press (Dancing Lemur Press LLC)

 

RELEASE DATE: Oct 4, 2016

RATING:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
 5 OF 5 HEARTS

 

BLURB:

When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer is hiding among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he’s determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.
Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.
When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.

MY REVIEW:

Rurik is the Security Chief for the Zorka Circus (Zorka Cyrka). He is observing the area not far from an abandoned railroad when he hears several children singing and heading into the railroad. He follows them, knowing they might be in danger. There has been a problem with missing children from several different countries, and always after the Zorka Cyrka leaves town.

It is the final night of the Circus’s performance in Budapest, and Rurik knows that a child will likely go missing and he suspects that someone from the Circus is responsible for the disappearances. He manages to save a child that night, although he is unable to apprehend the culprit. He vows not to rest until justice is served.

Sylvie is a Bloodwalker from the Skomori clan. They ‘prepare’ the dead and have special abilities (foreseeing the future, etc.). She, along with a few other women from the Skomori clan are sent to Zorka Cyrka’s grounds for their arranged marriages. It is in one of the trailers that Sylvie comes across a horrific sight. It is also the first time she meets Rurik.

Shortly afterwards, Slyvie realizes the tragedy that is her ‘marriage’. She manages to flee, and eventually she meets up with Rurik again. Together they work towards finding the monster responsible for the disappearances of the children. What they find is astonishing.

This book pulled me in from the beginning pages. The characters were all well written and fleshed out. There were a lot of twists and turns where I found myself saying “Oh no, it’s definitely this person”. It wasn’t until near the end that I figured it out, and I didn’t even see it coming. It’s an intense read and I recommend it.

 

LX CainABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author of the novel Bloodwalker (Thriller/Mystery from Freedom Fox Press, Oct. 2016), and upcoming novels, Coldest Night and Paris Under World. She is also the author of Soul Cutter.

Also author of short Horror stories “Biggun,” “The Mission,” and “The Inter-Galactic Gourmet” for sale on Smashwords.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30242428-bloodwalker

CONTACT:
 
Lexa Cain:
BUY:
SOUL CUTTER (Will be re-released soon with new cover!)
The Inter-Galactic Gourmet, The Mission, and Biggun on Smashwords: