Tag Archives: fiction

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

 

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

by Amy Lignor

 

Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight.

Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian world would hang on for this long. “The Hunger Games” brought about author after author (a lot of first-

2017, trends, Dean Koontz, oldies but goodies, Anne Rice, good reads, fiction
Image: Erin Kelly

time/debut novelists) writing about odd worlds where reality has been most definitely altered. Heroes and heroines came to the forefront who were much younger, and a lot of females cropped up with everything from blades to crossbows to fight the bad guys with. They also had high moral compasses – the need for authors, perhaps, to teach the world that battling is just fine…if done for the right reasons and in a totally different world.

That trend will continue, but the most exciting news is the fact that two authors are taking back center stage – one beginning a series that is sure to have the populace raving; and one who has begun a series by renewing a character she’s been obsessed with since 1976.

We begin with one of the masters of fiction; Dean Koontz. His series featuring the much loved “Odd Thomas” ended, and readers everywhere were highly upset. Those millions who received the Dean Koontz monthly newsletter were practically in tears when they learned that old Odd was heading out, never to return again. But now, for 2017, Dean Koontz has created a character he is so excited about that a series has already been born. What will begin with “The Silent Corner” is already being followed up with a sequel that he’s written called “The Whispering Room” – both to be published in 2017.

Even Koontz is head-over-heels about this one. Interviews have commenced and he stated (in various articles and even the amazing year end Suspense Magazine issue put out last week) that “Once in a while, a character comes so alive so quickly and with such an edge that I almost feel as if I’ve actually met this person. It often follows that if the character has such an edge, the story moves like an express train, because a character with an edge has surprises up his or her sleeve that I can’t foresee but that I’m delighted to discover in one twist after another.”

He is speaking of Jane Hawk, an FBI agent who’s on leave, but one that quickly becomes an FBI agent gone rogue. This is no child with a crossbow. Late twenties, Jane is incredibly tough and highly smart. And, unlike Odd Thomas, her stories involve no supernatural elements whatsoever. Instead, we’re talking about science and fact. Yet, of course, Koontz is still Koontz and has made sure to write a frightening tale. He will even have a third Hawk book complete before the first two are even published in 2017. Readers’ message to Koontz? Keep going! We want as many as we can get!

The other author who everyone is talking about is Anne Rice. Coming back at the end of 2016 with her well-known bloodsucker that took the world by storm decades ago (and played horribly by Tom Cruise on the screen), “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” was published in October. Yes, this begins a new series of books – a trilogy that will continue in 2017 that will focus on Lestat and give readers a real thrill. The old vamp will even cross over to the small screen in 2017, coming to your television very soon.

So although there will be debut authors and books that will come out of nowhere to score high in the world of fiction, it is these two authors – the oldies but goodies – who are being talked about above all else. It is a breath of fresh air to see these two names once again up on the publishing marquee…right where they belong.

Source:  Baret News

The Master of the Puzzle Brings Inferno to the Masses

 

by Amy Lignor

Although Dan Brown has more than one book that’s rock solid and historically engaging, it’s the power of The Da Vinci Code that brings readers out of the woodwork to see what he has come up with next.

 

Robert Langdon, the famous symbologist, is back – resurfacing in the world of historic myths, facts, truths and fantasy. This time TomInfernoaround the mission is based on clues from a ‘hellish’ trip, as Langdon must find answers to old questions inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

 

Bertrand Zobrist is a eugenicist; a strange specialty, Bertrand is a scientist wanting to improve humanity by controlling heredity. And his companion is a very mysterious woman who’s an enigma that readers will have a lot of fun figuring out.

 

When the story begins, Langdon wakes up in a hospital, his memory completely gone when it comes to the last two days. He has no recollection of why he’s in a hospital in Florence; and has no idea why someone has made an attempt on his life.

 

Sienna, a lovely young doctor explains all she knows, and almost immediately an assassin begins shooting up the emergency ward. Langdon, with Sienna by his side, are on the run. But running does no good if someone can follow. Without giving anything specific away…Langdon is being tracked because of something he carries on his body. A special something that, if it was actually deciphered, could stop the human race from operating the way it always has. The issue of how to balance the universe; how to better the quality of life without destroying it all together, is at the core of this intricate plot.

 

Readers will be interested to see that the presence of evil this time around has nothing to do with the priesthood. Here, Langdon must step away from the Divine and go head-to-head with a mad scientist.

 

All brains, all plot, and killer conversations. Yet again, Dan Brown has shown he can combine myths with facts to create unforgettable stories; a gift that has earned him the title, “Master of the Literary Maze.”

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

This is the Day

 

This Is the Day

The March on Washington

Photos by Leonard Freed

Foreword by Julian Bond

Essay by Michael Eric Dyson

Afterword by Paul Farber

J. Paul Getty Museum Publications

Hardcover, $29.95

120 pages

ISBN: 978-1-60606-121-3

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“There have been many marches since, and several before, but no other march to the nation’s capital captured our collective Freed_1_06imagination like the March on Washington of August 28, 1963… The momentous pilgrimage showcased an inspired… Martin Luther King, Jr., the celebrated leader of black America who hadn’t yet delivered an entire speech that the nation had listened to…

Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson… encouraged her friend to depart from paper… “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin,” she bellowed from the background. And respond to her call King did… King cast aside his prepared speech… to weave the dream metaphor into the tapestry of the nation’s self-image, and in the process he grafted black folk to the heart of American democracy.”

Excerpted from the Essay by Michael Eric Dyson (pgs. 1-5)

 

“Leonard Freed’s photographs of the March on Washington depict

Freed_1_11both the march and the marchers… For the participants, this was both a serious and a happy occasion, a chance to exercise their rights and to petition their government for a redress of ancient grievances. The marchers are at once sober, somber, and gleeful—proud to be present as they sense history is being made.”

Excerpted from the Foreword by Julian Bond (page ix)

 

When you think of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, what automatically comes to mind for most people is Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. And while Dr. King’s remarks certainly deserve every bit of recognition they have garnered over the years, it is also important to remember that hundreds of thousands of ordinary American citizens committed to civil rights had descended on the National Mall to attend the event.

I was only a child at the time, but I can still readily recall the palpable concern in the air about the folks from the neighborhood boarding buses for DC. After all, the press had been speculating about the prospect of rioting and arrests if the crowd were unruly, so those participating were doing so with the prospect of considerable personal risk in mind.

Fortunately, the glorious gathering went of without a hitch and came to represent a watershed moment in U.S. History. Now, a Freed_2_14_Coverhalf-century later, we are lucky to have an opus like “This Is the Day” available to remind us of that high point in the nation’s non-violence movement.

The book is essentially a photographic essay chronicled by Leonard Freed (1929-2006) before, during and after at the March. His beautiful black & white images are rarely of the leaders (only one of Dr. King), but rather are evocative portraits of the movement’s hopeful foot soldiers who’d trudged from all over the country to petition the government for equal rights.

A few of the photos captured are wide-angle panoramas which give a sense of the mammoth scale of the demonstration. But most are intimate snapshots which afford you an opportunity to read each of the earnest subject’s faces.

Besides the timeless stills, the tome is devoted to the reflections of civil rights leader Julian Bond, who was at the March, as well as to a very colorful essay recounting the day by Michael Eric Dyson, written with a profusion of the popular professor’s trademark rhetorical flourishes. It also features a postscript by Paul Farber analyzing the gifted Freed’s approach to his craft.

Overall, this timely tome is a perfect way to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of one of the most important landmarks in African-American history.

 

To order a copy of This Is the Day, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1606061216/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 

Source: Baret News Wire

An Intense Series Continues with I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

 

 

by Amy Lignor 

Book II of The Troubles Trilogy, this is a tension-filled narrative that draws readers into the life of Police Detective Inspector, Sean TomIHearTheSirensInTheStreetDuffy. It is the early 1980’s and the civil war in Belfast, Northern Ireland is raging – with more violence and pain occurring each and every day.

 

The author begins with a ‘bang’ not a ‘whimper,’ as Sean discovers the remains of a man’s torso stuffed into a suitcase buried in a dumpster. The only evidence of who the man might have been comes in the form of a partial tattoo. The authorities don’t have much to go on, suffice to say, so Duffy and his cohorts hit the bricks to do some good old-fashioned police work.

 

Finally able to identify the corpse, the happiness is short-lived. The body is an American tourist who has no links that could have caused him this much pain. The case slows to a crawl, as Sean attempts to put two an two together.

 

Never giving up, he comes up with scenarios about what the sinister plot could be: A random act of violence in the already violent city? Or perhaps it’s a conspiracy involving British Intelligence, American FBI and some local paramilitary death squads that Sean most definitely doesn’t want to get involved with?

 

A red-headed beauty whose husband died in an IRA assassination may just hold the answers. But as Sean gets deeper into the case, passion and professional misconduct may just end up to be the combo that does him in for good.

 

Full of sorrow for the country and people of Northern Ireland, this plot will keep the reader busy. Being a stand-alone book, even though it’s part of the series, knowing Book I (The Cold, Cold Ground) ahead of time is not a necessity. However, after this, you’ll be scrambling to see how it all began.

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Source: Baret News Wire

The Reader Never Takes a Breath!

 

The Reader Never Takes a Breath!

Introducing…The Enemy by Tom Wood

 

This is a truly great read featuring an unforgettable character named, Victor; once a hit man for the British, he is now obligated to work for the CIA.

 

Let’s just say that in the good old days, when Victor was loving the fact he was a freelance assassin, he would always be given at least two week’s notice to perform his duties. This would give him the time to find a good location, locate the best weapon to use in order to get the job done right, and research everything there was to know abut the city so that he could draw-up an excellent escape route that was absolutely fool-proof.

 

But now…times have changed. With Victor’s new employer, he’s looking at a whole new world that basically has him extremely worried considering the fact that the CIA plays by their own rules. For his assignment, Victor is given a list of three targets that are to be killed immediately.

 

What originally promises to be an ‘easy’ assignment for Victor, becomes absolute chaos and tosses him into trouble where he literally finds that heTomTheEnemy cannot trust anyone, especially his new employers. With the CIA comes a time clock, which gives Victor approximately two days to finalize his planning.  Having to travel to Romania, Russia and on to Washington, D.C. in order to carry out the assignments, Victor has very little research time and no longer feels like anything is fool-proof. Add to that the fact that he must deal with a little romance that sparks up with an old girlfriend – a woman who has no idea what his job entails and ends up being put in danger – and Victor is definitely running around like an assassin with his head cut off.
Warning: The reader must pay close attention to this one, as Victor is constantly chasing, or being chased, while locating his targets before he becomes a target himself. Benefit: The exact same as the ‘warning’. This is a thriller to the ‘nth’ degree and never once can be called boring. Readers will crave to see this one appear on the big screen.

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Barbara Levenson Strikes Gold Again in Outrageous October

 

Barbara Levenson Strikes Gold Again in Outrageous October

 

The third is Levenson’s mystery series featuring Mary Katz, a lawyer living in Miami – this is yet another tale that no suspense lover will forget.

 

Most women can agree that it’s beyond entertaining to have a hot Latin lover, but when Mary Katz actually finds hers – a man by the name of Carlos – enjoying dinner with his ex-wife, let’s just say that the entertainment is literally sucked out of the relationship. Mary is not a happy camper after seeing this little tete-a-tete, and she decides to take a vacation away from it all – a chance to heal and really think about what comes next in her love life.

 

Traveling to a friend’s summer house, Mary chooses to bring only one companion – the most loyal one – her German Shepherd named, Sam. After TomOutrageousOctobermailing her engagement ring back to Carlos, she and Sam hit the road and head for High Pines, Vermont. After all, when your heart is broken a little change of scenery is always a good thing…right?

 

However, upon arrival at their destination, Mary and Sam discover some rather strange goings-on at the house, learning that a murder had occurred in the dwelling just a year before. Being that Mary is a lawyer, and more than a little bit nosy, she starts to investigate the case that was never solved. And as you would imagine, there is someone in the Green Mountain area who doesn’t appreciate her interest.

 

Meeting up with a local lawyer, Dash, Mary is soon talked into doing a little legal work for him, and also visits a Florida neighbor who is attending college not far from Mary’s vacation home. Let’s just say Mary certainly doesn’t find any down time on this trip, as she becomes involved in the kidnapping of a young girl, while still looking into the cold case that surrounds her vacation home.

 

Readers will be thrilled, seeing as that old Mary never takes a breather, allowing for many twists and turns to appear in the ever-changing plot. As always, Mary is a very charming character and it’s even hard to dislike the bad guys, as Levenson once again offers a delightful mystery.

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Source: Baret News Wire

In Bolero Author Joanie McDonell Offers a New P.I. Everyone Will Love!

TomBolero

The first in a brand new suspense series, the future bodes very well for this new character. In fact, it should not take long for readers to become attached to Nick Sayler, Private Detective. In essence, he is a bit of an odd – yet, cool – combination of other detectives readers have seen in the past; a little ‘Archer’ blended with a seedier version of everyone’s favorite, ‘Stone Barrington’.

This interesting P.I. battles with a heavy drinking problem each and every day, while living on a Hudson River barge called “Dumb Luck,” that’s moored on the New Jersey side of the river.

A case arrives when Nick is called by an ER doctor at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan to see if Nick can come in and help with the identification of a lady who has been the victim of an attack. Apparently, this female was only carrying Nick’s business card on her, and authorities seem to think that she knows the P.I. personally. Nick is told that the woman must be a ballerina, considering how her feet are misshapen, but she is suffering from amnesia and is unable to help with her own identification. As Nick begins to speak to the woman and get involved in the case, the doctor who first called him turns up dead, and another threat is then issued from an unknown source. It soon becomes very clear that the dancer is the main target, and only Nick can save her from whatever or whoever may be coming.

The plot is extremely interesting and unlike other detective stories. Telling the tale of Nick, when it comes to his past as well as his drinking problem and how he’s trying his best to somehow come out of the shadows and live again, this P.I. becomes extremely human and readers will identify with his pains and triumphs. By utilizing Nick’s past, not to mention a very interesting supporting cast that includes Nick’s roommates on the barge, a retired psychiatrist and some gorgeous women who are always calling on him to protect them, the author has been able to blend suspense with drama with a true story of hope. A great beginning, it will be very interesting to see where Nick Sayler goes from here.

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft is a Thrill Ride!

TomLoyalty

It’s an absolute thrill when readers get introduced to a heroine that is beyond strong. From Kinsey Millhone to Eve Dallas, the hard-hitting women always please, and there is never enough of them. However, with this debut author’s first novel, she has definitely followed in the footsteps of the great female writers with their determined female detectives, and readers are going to have a ball. Introducing…Fina Ludlow.

The story takes place in the “Cradle of Liberty”, and as most know, there are some parts of Boston that should never be entered without having a lion on a leash by their side. However, the Ludlow family loves Boston and has made a name for themselves by being top-notch lawyers, except for one. Fina didn’t want to be a lawyer, so she chose to work for her family as a Private Investigator, and is very good at her job.

In this tale, Fina’s sister-in-law has disappeared, and Carl Ludlow (Fina’s father), wants her to solve the case without having to deal with any police interference. As Fina begins to look into the case, however, she comes across a bevy of secrets, lies and betrayals that are at the core of her dysfunctional family. But as she digs even deeper, she discovers some seriously dangerous links between the Ludlows and Boston’s more ‘criminal’ element. These links run from a local mobster to a local madam, and as the story progresses, Fina reaches out to her loyal friend, Detective Christian Menendez, and her masseur, Milloy, to help her figure out who or what caused her sister-in-law’s disappearance.

This novel is beyond gripping, and describing the characters as well-written or fascinating simply doesn’t cut it. This is one of those books that a reviewer reads and wants nothing more than to offer up all the twists and turns, because they are absolutely delectable. However, not wanting to spoil anything, the review will stop here. All that can be said is that it’s a true blessing to have Fina Ludlow join the team of fun, intricate and spell-binding female detectives in the literary world. Readers will welcome her with open arms!

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Kerry Schafer’s Novel – Between – Takes Readers Into a Dreamworld of Suspense

Vivian Maylor is a nice girl. Unfortunately, she has met up with a broken heart after her love tells her the whole thing is off and the future TomBetweenshe expected is suddenly ripped away. Vivian chooses to head out of town in order to not have to deal with the memories, and takes a job at a hospital.

Literally, Vivian is on her own. Her only relative is her mother, who’s unfortunately mentally unstable and under care. So as Vivian sets up a new life, it is more than quiet; she feels lonesome and a bit lost most of the time. The one thing she wishes she could get is sleep, but thanks to her boyfriend (or, at least, she assumes it’s because of the stress she’s been going through over her break-up), sleep will simply not come. Of course, the sleeplessness could also come from the fact that her mother continues to ramble on about something she calls, “Dreamworlds.”

Trying to move forward, Vivian is in the ER one day when a patient begins to rant and rave about dragons; then, right before her eyes, that patient erupts into flames. All of a sudden, scientific fact begins to blur, as Vivian begins to wonder if her mother’s mythical prophecies may not be myths after all.

When Vivian is introduced to Zee Arbogast, the owner of a bookstore who gives her a book about “Dreamworlds” and tells her a crazy tale of how he’s held the book for ten years in order to give it to Vivian when she arrived in town, the myth suddenly comes to life, and all that Vivian once thought was fiction becomes glaringly factual.

Is Vivian the last in a long line of “Dreamshifters?” Let’s just say the journey is more than interesting, as Vivian does her best to learn what her fate really is and what a witch named, Johenna, has stolen that Vivian must recover.

Although there have been movies touching on the subject over time, the world that lies ‘between’ waking and sleeping is told in a brand new way with this story. Dreams may sound lovely, but this author has done a very good job showing how nightmares and danger can easily be interwoven.

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

The Fan Favorite – The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor – Offers a Grand Finale You Will Never Forget!

A Privilege is a Must Read!

When readers first met Emily & Matthew – the angel/warrior team – they were blown away by their courage, uniqueness and beauty. From the suspense to the romance to the thrills and drama, it was the first ‘angel’ read that was both a mystery as well as a thrill ride. Readers and reviewers across the globe gave Until Next Time ‘5-stars’ – and NY Times bestselling authors jumped on board.

When Book II arrived, Gilded Wings, readers were treated to a whole new team as Emily & Matthew found each other in the Gilded Age of NYC. From the streets that were supposed to be paved with gold to the mansions where the rich sought to be on the top of the pyramid to Ellis
Island, where the faces were filled with hope, wondering if they could one day find the path to happiness. Matthew & Emily had to battle everything and everyone in order to win – and battling each other was the ultimate ‘literary scene’ that no one will ever forget!

Now…the time has come for their grand farewell. In A Privilege (released April 16th, 2013) Emily & Matthew find themselves in a whole new place, where mysteries unfold and a fight to the death causes the duo to turn their focus from the past to the present. Readers will be amazed
how this one ends; the saddest part is that with Book III, there comes no more. (Unless we can all keep writing this author and screaming for her to continue). The plot is vibrant, thrilling and has none of the sappy (no offense) ridiculousness that many of these angelic imposters attempt. Lines are drawn – you will still vote for the one you like the best, betting on who will win, but when all is said and done…you will be wrong.

This author has achieved something no one else has – written a series where ALL the books were fantastic! She never dropped the ball for a moment and all I can say is…please bring back Emily & Matthew – because three times with them was NOT enough!!!!

Shannon Dulac