Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Executed In Paradise (Paradise #9) by Deborah Brown

When a body turns up at the Cottages, Madison and Fab are on the case. But when the killer makes a habit of discarding bodies on Madison’s property… it’s personal.

While on the hunt for the killer, the duo track down a double-crossing bail jumper, repossess a Lamborghini, and Madison lands her first case.

As more bodies pop up, the cops are eager to name a suspect. When a close friend is arrested as the prime suspect, Madison and Fab will stop at nothing to prove her innocence, but will they be too late?

Executed in Paradise, the ninth book in the scorching Paradise series about best friends who maintain the peace in the paradise of Tarpon Cove through unconventional ­– and highly entertaining – measures.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they're like won't be able to devour just one!”
Available to buy from.....
Amazon Kindle    Amazon Paperback 

Review: I have read all nine books in this series, and they just seem to get better and better. The main characters are growing and evolving, as are their relationships--with each other and with their significant others. Catching up with Mad and Fab is like catching up with a couple of good friends you haven't seen in a while, except with a little more adventure than most of my real life friends ever have in their lives!

As usual, there are murders to be solved, issues to be dealt with at The Cottages, cases that Brick wants the girls to take off his hands, friends to clear of murder charges, and lots of romance for the girls with Didier and Creole. There is plenty of humor throughout, as well.

These books are always quick, easy reads, mostly because you just don't want to stop until you find out what's going on. Each one is capable of being a stand-alone novel, but if you haven't read the rest of the series, I suggest you start from the beginning and read them all so that you can have a true understanding of the great relationship between Mad and Fab over time.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Five stars

"The Paradise series has it all! There is action, mystery, murder, romance, humor, & the greatest friendship of all time." 

"Multiple story lines made it impossible for me to put it down. The suspense, humor, love, romance, and of course touches of sarcasm, make this book the best one yet."

"I absolutely love the stories of Fab and Madison. You never know what is going to happen next. Adventures, drama, love, and all the humorous situations they find themselves in make wonderful reads."
Above reviews from Goodreads/Amazon

About the Author
I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites...

Also available in the Paradise Series

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BOOK TOUR: Girls' Weekend by Cara Sue Achterberg


Inside the Book:

Girls' Weekend

Title: Girls' Weekend 
Author: Cara Sue Achterberg 
Release Date: May 3, 2016 
Publisher: The Story Plant 
Genre: Women's Fiction 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Dani, Meg, and Charlotte have bonded over babies, barbeques, and backyards, but when they escape for a girls' weekend away, they can't bring themselves to return to lives that don't seem to fit anymore.

Harried Dani can't explain why she feels so discontented until she meets a young gallery owner who inspires her to rediscover the art that once made her happy.

Dependable Meg faces up to a grief that threatens to swallow her whole and confronts a marriage built on expectations.

Flamboyant Charlotte, frustrated with her stagnated life and marriage, pursues a playboy Irish singer and beachside business opportunities.

All three of these women thought they would be different. None of them thought they'd be facing down forty and still wondering when life starts. What they do when they realize where they're headed is both inspiring and wildly entertaining.

GIRLS' WEEKEND is a fun, yet poignant romp through the universal search of who we are, why we love, and what makes us happy by an author who is quickly emerging as one of our most incisive storytellers.

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Review: A very entertaining, intriguing story of female friendships, and determining who we are and what we want from life.

Each of the three women in this book has a different issue to work through, and most readers will find at least one of them to relate to in some way. The three of them get to know each other better than they have in the past, as they have more direct, more honest conversations than they have had in the past.

I think my favorite part of the book was that not all three of the women had happy endings that wrapped things up in a neat, tidy way. It made the whole thing seem more realistic and honest.

My one complaint is that some sections dragged and felt they bogged down the story.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

Meet the Author:

Cara Sue
  Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. Her first novel, I’m Not Her, was a national bestseller. Cara’s nonfiction book, Live Intentionally, is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. Links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and pictures of her foster dogs can be found at  


Tour Schedule

 Monday, May 2 - Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
Tuesday, May 3 -Interviewed at The Review From Here
Wednesday, May 4 - Book featured at Chosen By You Book Club
Thursday, May 5 - Book featured at What Is That Book About
Friday, May 6 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Monday, May 9 - Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Tuesday, May 10 - Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Wednesday, May 11 - Excerpt featured at My Bookish Pleasures
Thursday, May 12 - Book featured at A Taste of My Mind
Monday, May 16 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life 
Wednesday, May 18 - Book featured at As the Page Turns
Monday, May 23 - Book reviewed at Books and Needlepoint
Tuesday, May 24 - Book featured at A Title Wave
Wednesday, May 25 - Guest blogging at Straight From the Author's Mouth
Thursday, May 26 - Book featured at The Literary Nook
Monday, June 6 - Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Tuesday, June 7 - Book featured at Celticlady's Reviews
Wednesday, June 8 - Guest blogging at The Noise Beneath the Apple
Monday, June 13 - Book reviewed at Booklover Sue
Tuesday, June 14 - Book reviewed at Whispering Stories
Wednesday, June 15 - Book featured at Voodoo Princess
Thursday, June 16 - Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Monday, June 20 - Book reviewed at Natural Bri
Tuesday, June 21 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Wednesday, June 22 - Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, June 23 - Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Friday, June 24 - Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Monday, June 27 - Book reviewed at Cover2Cover
Tuesday, June 28 - Book reviewed at Book Babble
Wednesday, June 29 - Book reviewed at Laura's Interests
Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
Thursday, June 30 - Book reviewed at Curling Up By the Fire
Book reviewed at Live Love Books Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

Would A Worm Go On A Walk? by Hannah C. Hall, illustrations by Bill Bolton #wormonawalk #flyby

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  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Ideals Childrens Books (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082495677X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824956776

Synopsis: “Would a worm go on a walk, if you could lead him down the street? / Would he wear his tiny tennies, if he had two worm-sized feet?”

So begins this humorous and imaginative picture book that introduces children to the idea that animals are uniquely created by a loving and wise God. Would a Worm Go on a Walk?, with its colorful, comical illustrations, is a fresh, fun way to teach young children that God created all things very good. He gave all the animals, and children, too, wonderful qualities and unique strengths. Children will giggle over the ridiculous scenarios presented, and they will come away with the knowledge that we all are loved and special.

Buy link:

Review: What a great little book! The illustrations are big and colorful, and the animals are positively adorable. My favorite picture is of the parachuting penguins (one of my favorite animals!). The rhyming text is fun, and will have little children giggling as they listen.

The purpose of this book, though, is to remind children that each animal in the book has its own unique qualities--and that each human being does as well. As the last page says "The animals were just a start. God's masterpiece is YOU!"

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Five stars

About the author
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Hannah C. Hall is the author of best-selling children’s books, including God Bless You and Good Night and God Bless Our Christmas, as well as an award-winning blog, Hannah lives in Prairie Grove, AK with her husband, Josh, a worship pastor, and their four children.


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
 Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
It's My Side of Life | Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry | The Ultimate Fan Blog
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie's Angle I Creat Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |  Deal Sharing Aunt | Rambling Reviews 

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week x

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Poppy by Clarissa Johal

Welcome to the Blog Tour for POPPY by Clarissa Johal.

Follow the tour for reviews, interviews, guest posts, and book spotlights.

Make sure to enter the giveaway below!

Book Details:

Title: Poppy
Genre: Paranormal
Author: Clarissa Johal
Editor: Kathryn Galan
Publisher: Faeriemoon Press
ISBN-13: 978-0692708873
ISBN-10: 0692708871
Number of Pages: 234

About POPPY:

A red-headed, pink-loving mortician who speaks to the dead.
A moody, unsociable funeral director.
Poppy and Dante from Struck are back.

Something is lingering around Skyview Funeral Home—and it's stealing souls of the dead.
With Dante in tow, Poppy is determined to put a stop to it.
Can she protect those who are trying to cross over, or will her soul be next?

Amazon Link:

Review: This is one of the best books I've read this year! It got my attention from the very first page, and I didn't want to put it down. There was a great combination of humor and tension, and I'm a big fan of the relationship between Poppy and Dante.

Poppy is not your typical mortician. She is obsessed with the color pink, and she can see and speak to the spirits of the dead---and isn't a big fan of socializing with the living. She's a little clueless, and a little reckless, but that just adds to her appeal.

The plot is well-developed, and flows well. There is plenty of action--something is happening on nearly every page.

So far I've read three books by this author, and each one has been better than the last. I hope we get to read more about Poppy in the future!

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Five stars

Read an Excerpt:

The root cellar was a small space with a low ceiling. At one point, it probably smelled of apples and potatoes, but now, there was nothing but the scent of lawn mower gas, dirt, and cold stone. Poppy reached into the darkness, searching for the light bulb string. Her fingers connected, and she pulled it on with a click.


Weak light illuminated the usual garden-equipment clutter. Rakes and shovels were piled against a stone wall. Several cans of gasoline sat next to an old lawn mower. Bags of fertilizer and garden fungicide sat beside them. Gladys was nowhere in sight.

A rustle sounded from a darkened corner. Fully expecting to see a rat or trapped bird, she held the bulb in such a way to throw light on it. The door slammed shut behind her.

“Geez!” Poppy lost her grip on the light. The swinging bulb cast rising and falling shadows on the walls. She made a move to push the door open when the lightbulb suddenly shattered, leaving her in darkness.

“Gladys?” Poppy kicked herself for not waiting until morning, when Dante could have accompanied her. The grating sound started up from the corner of the room. It ran slowly along the ground until it stopped in front of her. That’s not Gladys. You walked right into this one.

She clutched the jar to her chest, her heart thumping. “I have the locket, if that’s what you want.”

The answering silence lay across the cellar like a shroud.

“I’ll make you a deal. You leave my dead alone, and I’ll leave the locket right here.” Her voice sounded against the close confines. “Good luck with the sea salt, if that matters.” Poppy inwardly cringed as she felt a trickle of blood from her nose. Dammit. She attempted to put up her barriers, but it was too late.

A heaviness descended upon her shoulders like a mantle. Something lashed out and scratched the skin of her throat.

Meet the Author:

Clarissa Johal is the bestselling author of paranormal novels, Poppy, The Island, Voices, Struck and Between. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing, taking pictures of gargoyles, or swinging from a trapeze. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters, and every stray animal that darkens their doorstep.

Find Clarissa Online:

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Enter the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SUMMER READING CHALLENGE: 25 Sense by Lisa Henthorn #bestsummerever #src2016

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Genre: Contemporary women's fiction
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: SparkPress (May 24, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940716306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940716305

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Synopsis: Claire Malone didn t mean for this to happen when she moved to New York. She just wanted to live the city life and gain experience in television writing, her dream career. It s not like she meant to reciprocate when her married boss, Sean Vared, sent her flirty e-mails. And you can t blame her for coming into the office on the weekend when Sean told her he was going to be there . . . alone. She didn t mean to sleep with him but hey, she wanted to experience the city life, so no big deal, right? Wrong. By the time Claire wakes up on her 25th birthday, she s very much in love with Sean. At work, she struggles to hold it together when he passes her desk the very desk that they used to make love on. Soon Sean has turned his affection to the show s starring actress, and Claire is devastated. Can she break away from Sean without ruining her barely started career? Will someone find out what happened? Will she ever grow up and stop making stupid mistakes? 25 Sense is about the time in a young woman s life when the world starts to view her as a responsible adult but all she feels is lost.

Review: This was a fairly quick, easy read.  Unfortunately, it just wasn't a story I could find a connection to at all. I think it might be the generation gap, since I'm now more than twice 25. Maybe I should pass this on to my daughters and see what THEY think!

For me, there was a real lack of emotion between the main character and the guy that she supposedly "loved." They flirted in emails, but their actual conversations were always so formal and stilted...and even when they finally made love, neither of them seemed to enjoy it.  And from there, they both just went on with their lives as if nothing had ever happened. 

I did enjoy the tweets from Claire that headed up the beginning of each new chapter. It was sad, though, that those were the high points of the book for me.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Three stars

About the author
 photo 8253952_zps5xxcjts7.jpg Lisa Henthorn is a television writer who wrote on the CBS show Swingtown, the CW show The Beautiful Life, and the A&E show The Glades. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

REVIEW AND GUEST POST: My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia by Donna Solecka Urbikas

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Genre: Memoir
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299308502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299308506

Synopsis: Donna Solecka Urbikas grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the American century. But her Polish-born mother and half sister had endured dehumanizing conditions during World War II, as slave laborers in Siberia. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either of them.

In 1940, Janina Slarzynska and her five-year-old daughter Mira were taken by Soviet secret police (NKVD) from their small family farm in eastern Poland and sent to Siberia with hundreds of thousands of others. So began their odyssey of hunger, disease, cunning survival, desperate escape across a continent, and new love amidst terrible circumstances.

But in the 1950s, baby boomer Donna yearns for a “normal” American family while Janina and Mira are haunted by the past. In this unforgettable memoir, Donna recounts her family history and her own survivor’s story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister.

Review: An incredibly honest memoir, dealing with war, exile and refugees. What the author's mother and older sister went through during WWII grabs the reader from the first page and keeps you reading. It is also fascinating to see how their experiences weighed on Donna, who wasn't born until a decade later--and how learning their true story gives her a better understanding of her mother.

I like the fact that the two stories--Janina's and Donna's-- alternate and are woven together until we come to a point where they converge.

The emotional impact of this story will stick with you for a long time after you finish reading, but it is well worth it.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Four stars


Growing up in America, trying to deal with the whole immigrant assimilation issue on top of dealing with a mother who could not stop talking about her ordeals during WWII in the labor camps of Siberia was an enormous challenge for me.  Starting with my name, my life was so different from those American friends in my Catholic grade school.  My name officially is the very formal Danuta, which for everyday use in Polish is Danusia, Dana (sounds like Donna), or Danka.  When I started school at the age of four, my kindergarten nun told me my name was translated to Diana, which is not true.  Throughout grade school I went by that name, so that I could blend in better.  

At the age of ten, my mother signed me up for summer camp, using my official Polish name, so the organizers thought I was a boy and assigned me to the boys section, much to my huge embarrassment.  I went home that night and scolded my mother to NEVER use my Polish name of Danuta again!  In high school I changed it to Diane at the behest of a good friend, and by the time I got to college, I used Donna as the more accurate translation.  It was an identity crisis I wasn’t even aware of, but it weighed on me.  Who was I really?

My name confusion seems like a small matter today but is an example of my strained relationship with my mother.  Recently at a presentation of my book, My Sister’s Mother:  A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia, someone asked me how my relationship with my mother was before I wrote the book and afterwards.  No doubt about it, my relationship with my mother was difficult from the start.  I didn’t want to be reminded of the war constantly.  I wanted my mother to be like the other kids’ Moms, like the character on the Donna Reed show which I watched religiously, trying to learn how a true American family was supposed to behave.

It wasn’t until I became a mother myself did my mother finally agree to let me write her story.  I think then she thought I would understand her difficult journey trying to save my sister throughout that whole war ordeal.  The original manuscript did not include my struggles with my mother.  In the end, my mother stopped talking about the war as if my writing about it were a catharsis for her, and in some ways it was for me.  Later, when I incorporated my story as it related to growing up with a mother who had been sent to Siberia as slave laborer, I grew to appreciate her difficulties trying to save my sister and to understand her crazy behavior when I was a child and young adult.  The resulting story in My Sister’s Mother is the tale of a mother and her two daughters born years apart in two different worlds but with very different relationships with that mother.  In the words of one reviewer, author Leonard Kniffel, “This stunning, heartfelt memoir looks unflinchingly at the scars borne by one Polish immigrant family as their daughter tries to become a normal American girl in Chicago.  A gripping study of family dynamics, this is also a must-read for World War II history buffs.”

About the author
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Born in Coventry, England, Danuta or “Donna” Urbikas immigrated to the USA with her parents and sister, the subjects of the book, in 1952, settling in Chicago, Illinois, and growing up in the Polish community.  After attending Catholic grade schools and a public high school in Chicago, she graduated from the University of Illinois—Chicago Circle with a degree in biology and began teaching high school biology.
In 1976, she took her first trip to Poland to meet relatives and explore her parents’ home towns.  On the cusp of the Solidarity Movement, her movements were restricted by the Communists and the trip became a significant life experience.  Later, she graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering.  The author has published her thesis, technical articles, worked as a teaching and research assistant and served as president of the Society of Women Engineers in Chicago, participating in numerous public speaking engagements.  She went on to work as an environmental engineer and project manager in charge of water and wastewater compliance at coal and nuclear power plants and as an industry spokesperson.
The author is a cancer survivor, currently working as an Illinois Licensed Real Estate Broker, community volunteer, and writer, living in Chicago with her husband.

Friday, June 24, 2016

BLOG TOUR: This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J. M. Walker

Welcome to the Book Tour for Elizabeth J.M. Walker's new novella, This Night Sucks!

Follow the tour each day to read reviews, guest posts, and exclusive excerpts.

Book Details:

From the author of She Dreamed of Dragons

Title: This Night Sucks

Author Name: Elizabeth J.M. Walker

Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Vampires, Comedy

Release Date: June 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 

Mirror World Publishing Link:  

Amazon Link: 

Link to the Tour Schedule:

About the Book:

Lana is a high school senior enrolled in Vampire Education – a class to teach students about the very real presence of vampires in the world. Lana and her classmates don’t really expect to meet up with any undead bloodsuckers. Vampires are a lot like other scary things that supposedly exist but you hope you’ll never come across: nudist colonies, mad cow disease, and your parents’ sex life.

What is part of Lana’s everyday reality is navigating through one last year of high school while desperately trying to be less nerdy. She still loves spaceships, fantasy novels, and cat stickers, but she also recently got her braces removed, grew boobs, and is working on the makeup thing. She never expected her crush-of-a-lifetime Pete to even notice her – let alone ask her out on a date. 

The date is going great until Pete’s ex-girlfriend Katy shows up, all bloody and pissed off. Lana quickly realizes that Katy is not just her ordinary bitchy self – she has been turned into a vampire. After a near death experience, Lana learns that she is changing into a vampire too.

Lana needs answers, and the only way to get them is to find the vampire who started the chain of events – and to find him before sunrise... 

Review: This is such a fun read!  It's also a very quick read, which is great for summertime. The teens in the book are fairly realistic in attitude and actions--well, except for the vampire/vampire hunter parts.  LOL

The story flows quickly with lots of action. There are several "nerd" culture references which I enjoyed. The plot is fun and unique, and I found myself actually laughing out loud in many places.

This book is appropriate for teens or adults. The plot keeps you guessing, and the ending will be surprising. I'd like to read more adventures of the teen vampire hunters in the future.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with Elizabeth J.M. Walker:


Amazon US: 

Publisher Website: 

Author Website: 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The Zombie Game (The Dr. Scott James Thriller Series #2) by Glenn Shepard

We're thrilled to be hosting Glenn Shepard's THE ZOMBIE GAME Blog Tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!

About the Book:

Title: The Zombie Game
Author: Glenn Shepard
Publisher: Mystery House
Pages: 335
Genre: Thriller

ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America.

Their plan: Hijack a hospital ship in Haiti, convert it to a missile launcher, and cruise into Miami Harbor, unnoticed.

Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, and he’s recruited a squad of Haitian zombies to stop the attack. But nothing adds up … until the last seven minutes.

Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.

Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.

Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.

Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.

Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.

They’re all about to play The Zombie Game.

Review: Although this is the second book in the series, it is easy to read as a stand-alone. There is some mention of events from the first book, but they are not integral in understanding the story presented here.

Dr. Scott James is a fascinating main character. As is true of many main characters, he has a very human flaw to make him more relatable to the reader. He is also one of those men who likes to appear tough on the outside, but who we find out is not so tough on the inside. He genuinely cares about people and wants to help them.

As far as the other characters in the story--sometimes I loved them, sometimes not so much. The only one I enjoyed all the way through, without exception, was JakJak. He is a very unique character, and you can see how his beliefs influence many of the choices he makes in the story.

I loved that the plot of this story, which involved ISIS, is so current and so believable, even if it was a little scary to think about. There is non-stop action, and you'll be anxious to see how it all plays out.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

For More Information

  • The Zombie Game is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

The Streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

June, 2014

10:01 p.m.

JAKJAK, THE CHAUFFEUR, PEERED through the windshield of the black Mercedes sedan, looking for danger. Haiti could be a bad place after dark. Killings, kidnappings, and armed robbery were common. Police protection was almost nonexistent in Port-au-Prince. Not only was Jakjak a driver, but he was also his employer’s bodyguard.
It had been more than four years since the terrible earthquake had destroyed the country, but massive piles of rubble remained. Jakjak dodged broken stones that had spilled onto the road from the high rows of demolished cement blocks lining the streets, and then suddenly a black cat jumped out in front of the Mercedes.
Jakjak stomped on the brakes but heard the thump of the animal striking the bottom of the car. Slamming to a halt, he looked back to see the dead cat lying in the middle of the road. His heart beat faster and he began to sweat. His mother had warned him of this. She was a Mambo, a Vodoun priestess with strong powers. According to Jakjak’s religion—Petro Vodou—the spirit embodied in black cats, Iwa, grew angry and vindictive toward those who brought him harm.
Jakjak felt through his black suit coat to reassure himself that his .45 was in the holster strapped to his chest. He was a young thirty-eight, muscular from his daily workouts with heavy weights, and imposing at six-foot-two and 220 pounds.
But killing the cat made his large hands shake.
Jakjak turned to the three men in the back seat. “Mal se nan lé a. Evil is in the air. We must turn back.”
Julien Duran answered, “No, Jakjak. Drive on.”
“Please, sir. Listen to me. No good will come of tonight’s meeting. I feel the spirit of the cat on me. We have angered him.”
Duran cleared his throat. At forty-eight, Duran was tall and thin, with prematurely gray hair. He wore a white suit, white tie with a diamond stickpin, and a heavily starched white shirt with gold cuff links and mother-of-pearl inlays. Jakjak had worked for him for twenty years, since Duran had returned from his economics studies at Yale, and law school at the University of Virginia. After only two years in a prestigious law firm in Port-au-Prince, Duran had been offered a government job as Assistant Minister of Finance, where his work gained him frequent promotions. In 2010, after the quake, he reached the top. He was made Minister of Finance.
Duran, sitting in the back of the Mercedes between his two assistant ministers, leaned toward his driver and said, “Jakjak, I respect your beliefs, but regardless of what your intuition tells you, I must go to this meeting. Charles Roche is a billionaire. I can’t keep him waiting.”
Men lé a. But the hour ... Hooligans now rule the streets at night. The spirits say we are in danger.”
Duran folded his arms as he sat back. “Tonight, Roche is choosing between giving financial aid to Haiti or Chile for earthquake damages. I don’t want Chile to be the one to take his money.”
A few minutes later, the Mercedes cruised past the once opulent building of the Ministry of Finance. The white columns and mahogany doors had all been bulldozed after the great building had stood for months as an uninhabited ghost structure. The marble and white cement that was once a palace now lay in ruins.
Jakjak continued a short way and then parked in front of the temporary housing units that were still used from time to time as offices for the Ministry. Piles of debris covered most of the parking spaces, so Jakjak was forced to park the Mercedes a good distance away. In the aftermath of the quake, the Minister and his two assistants were used to this kind of thing. Jakjak got out, briskly opened the car doors for his passengers, and then he escorted Duran and his two assistants to the office.
The visiting group consisted of three officials and two bodyguards. They were waiting at the door of the main temporary building. Jakjak unlocked it and ushered them in.
One of the bodyguards saw Jakjak’s .45 bulging against his coat and stopped him at the door. “No guns.”
Jakjak placed his hand over his gun. “Non, Mesye. I won’t give up my gun.”
“Then no meeting.”
Duran went to Jakjak’s side. “Check these men for weapons and then wait outside.”
The five visitors raised their hands as Jakjak patted them down.
Jakjak turned to Duran. “I cannot leave you.”
“I’ll be fine. Stay in the car. I’ll be out shortly.”
Asthe other men made their way to the conference room, Jakjak returned to the Mercedes. But his hands began to shake. He closed his eyes. He saw the cat’s eyes; they were in the face of the devil.
The introductions were brief. The central figure was a lawyer Duran had known for years, Virgil Baccus. Baccus was the attorney for billionaire Charles Roche. He was a portly man who practiced law in St. John and often worked with foreign clients. After shaking Duran’s hand, Baccus took his seat. Duran’s heart beat fast as he thought about Baccus. He had a reputation for representing men who created their wealth by embezzling corporate funds.
To Baccus’ right was a six-foot, muscular man dressed in black; to his left was another tall, muscular man, also dressed in a black suit. The two bodyguards stood by the door. Duran recognized all the men as being from St. John and St. Croix.
Baccus spoke up immediately. “Well, I have good news. Mr. Roche has already decided to give his money to your country. I bring a check from him for five hundred million dollars.”
Baccus removed a check from an envelope and handed it to Duran.
Duran looked at the check and smiled. At the conference table were his assistants, Antoine Gabriel and Hugon Cheval. Both were small and thin. Gabriel wore wire-rimmed eyeglasses. Both men were dressed in black suits and black ties.
Duran showed the check to Gabriel and Cheval. Both smiled and nodded their heads in appreciation.
Duran turned to Baccus. “Please extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Roche. This will be incredibly helpful in rebuilding Haiti.”
“Indeed.” As they stood and shook hands, Baccus said, “Mr. Roche would appreciate the check being deposited right away so we can begin to allot money for building projects here on your island.”
Duran withdrew his hand. “We?”
“Yes. My client of course expects to have a say in the distribution of his generous gift.”
Baccus handed a ten-page contract to Duran.
Duran put on reading glasses and spread the papers in front of his men. His smile turned to a frown. Cheval pointed to an item on page one and shook his head. Gabriel pointed to two lines and then a third. Duran put his finger on a paragraph on another page. The three men raised their heads and locked eyes with Baccus.
Duran, looking over his glasses, asked, “Is this some sort of joke? You’re proposing we have your client serve on the board, my board, and have veto powers over everything, including my authority?”
“That seems only fair. My client has good insights into the needs of your country. He pledges to restore Haiti to an even better state than it was before the quake. But he must be in charge of the relief effort.”
“We’ll gladly accept his money, but I’ll never agree to turning over control of the funds to outsiders,” Duran said.
“You have twenty-four hours to sign these papers, or else we will withdraw all our funds.”
“We don’t need more time. My associates and I are in agreement. The answer is no. This meeting is over.”
The two bodyguards moved quickly from the door, just as Baccus broke open his briefcase. Passing by, single file, the guards reached in and removed two, tiny, .22-caliber pistols, each fitted with a silencer as hefty as a beer can.
Baccus spoke. “That is unfortunate. However, there is still time to change your vote to our favor.” He looked coldly at Duran’s assistants. “Mr. Gabriel?”
Gabriel trembled as one of the guards raised his custom-fitted gun to the terrified man’s head.
But Gabriel’s answer was firm. “No.”
About the Author

Glenn Shepard’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero. The first volume of the series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. Born on a farm in eastern Virginia, Dr. Shepard lives and maintains a thriving surgical practice in Williamsburg.

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