American Justice on Trial – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Lise Pearlman

In American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton, Lise Pearlman discusses the murder trial—and subsequent appeals—of Huey P. Newton in the 1960s. Charged with killing a white police officer, Newton was the victim of outrageous racism and injustice, much of which is comparable to the modern instances of racism that occur today.


Though clearly biased in terms of the angle at which the story is told (though perhaps not in a negative way), Lise Pearlman maintains a careful and cordial objectivity throughout her telling of the Newton trial. At times, American Justice on Trial may be a bit too objective, reading more like a history textbook than perhaps was intended. Also, this book does not discuss just the Newton trial, but also all the historical events that led up to, are relevant to, or were directly caused by the sensational court case. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the reader more context and detailed information, it can also lead to a bit of confusion here and there in terms of how everything all fits together.


This richness in detail is still one of the greatest aspects about American Justice on Trial, though. Lise Pearlman has clearly done her research and weaves each fact and narrative into a multi-faceted book that is simultaneously riveting and thought-provoking. American Justice on Trial bravely shines light on the history of racism and inequality in the United States, while also comparing it to similar modern-day cases in an eloquent, poignant manner. As Lise Pearlman pointed out in the book’s opening, “What has changed in this country in the last half century and what has not? How do we best move forward?” Perhaps after reading American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton, readers will be able to form some answers of their own to that intriguing question.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Click here to learn more and enter!

Like & Share:

Dark Ending – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

Click here to get your copy!

C.L. Brees

In C.L. Brees’ Dark Ending, NYPD homicide detective Alex Jones is investigating the serial murders of several young women in New York City. As the number of victims quickly starts to pile up, Alex is in a race against the clock to solve the murders and catch the criminal behind them—but it could end up costing him everything.

In many ways, Dark Ending is simply a cliché detective story. Incredibly familiar to others like it, the plot is predictable and sometimes borders on being uninteresting. The pacing is often slow and drawn out, making characters, dialogue, or entire scenes seem wooden or unrealistic. Other times, there’s just too much going on at once and it all gets to be confusing. On top of all that, the sheer lack of thorough editing in this novel is distracting and unfortunately hinders the overall story. Perhaps with some additional revisions and more attention to detail, Dark Ending could more easily live up to its obvious potential.

That potential reveals itself in many other areas, particularly in the author’s strong descriptive language and straightforward style of writing. C.L. Brees is clearly a talented writer with an impressive knack for the crime genre. Dark Ending’s characters are realistic and relatable, as is the overall plot. There is plenty to be enjoyed in this intriguing murder mystery, from the well-rounded characters to the surprising ending. Though it would certainly benefit from further editing and revision, Dark Ending is a great, captivating novel nonetheless—one that fans of crime thrillers and detective mysteries are sure to love.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Click here to learn more and enter!

Like & Share:

[Author Interview] Quintin Peterson | The Voynich Gambit

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Quintin Peterson

Quintin Peterson

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Quintin Peterson: I’m a crime fiction author and a retired D.C. police officer. I served the citizens of the District of Columbia for three decades. I left the Metropolitan Police Department on April 23, 2010, and started working for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Department of Safety and Security on December 14, 2010. Working at the Folger Library has earned me the nickname, The Bard Guard. (http://tinyurl.com/jerrcjd)

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Quintin Peterson: Most of my life. I won several fiction writing awards in my teens, and as a police officer, in addition to the standard police paperwork, I wrote press releases, media advisories, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), speeches, and training videos on a daily basis while assigned to the police department’s Public Information Office. I also began writing crime fiction in my limited spare time during my career as a law enforcement officer. One of my short stories written during that era is featured in the Akashic Books crime fiction anthology D.C. Noir, edited by George Pelecanos. (http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/dc-noir/)

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Quintin Peterson: The noir mystery thriller The Voynich Gambit, the second installment of my Norman Blalock Mystery Series, which was released this spring. The first installment in the series is Guarding Shakespeare. The character Norman Blalock is a security guard who works at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the library serves as the backdrop for his mysteries. The Blalock Mysteries have been called, “Shakespeare Noir.”

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Quintin Peterson: I love telling good stories as much as I love being told good stories. I enjoy writing stories that entertain and enlighten. Crime fiction happens to be my favorite genre.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Quintin Peterson: Carving out the time necessary to get all of the stories that come to mind written down. Writing is time consuming, but well worth the effort.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Quintin Peterson: When I was young, I wrote horror and science fiction mostly and those story ideas were simply products of a fertile imagination. However, the stories I’ve churned out over the last couple of decades have come from my experiences, like the dramas I penned when I was a playwright prior to joining the police department. My noir and hard-boiled police procedurals were inspired by my experiences as a police officer. The Norman Blalock mysteries were inspired by my experiences working as a special police officer at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the world’s largest repository of Shakespeareana and English Renaissance books, manuscripts, and objets d’art. (http://www.folger.edu/)

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Quintin Peterson: First, I tell myself the story via the first draft. Second, I edit the first draft until, by my estimation, I have succeeded in effectively conveying that story to the reader in an engaging and entertaining manner.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Quintin Peterson: To answer the first part of your question, fictional characters exist to serve the plot, so no, they do not seem to me, as the author, to have lives or agendas of their own, although my goal is to give that impression to the reader, certainly. I endeavor to create characters that are lifelike and to provide them with their own agendas so that their motivations create conflict between them. I love plots involving people competing to acquire the same MacGuffin, an object of desire, which is the case in both Guarding Shakespeare and The Voynich Gambit. Such stories, like The Maltese Falcon and The Da Vinci Code, are great fun, not only to write, but to read. As for the second part of your question, the non-fiction work I did for the police department never seemed to me to go in any other direction than intended. When it came to writing police reports, it was just-the-facts-ma’am: where, when, and how, and rarely who or why, in terms of perpetrators. Most of the time I did not know who had committed the crime or why a crime had been committed, if it was an act of violence absent the motive of some kind of financial gain. As for the training videos and Public Service Announcements I wrote, they evidently hit the mark. The same was true of the speeches I wrote for police officials, officiating this or that news conference or event.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Quintin Peterson: What I like most about The Voynich Gambit, as well as Guarding Shakespeare, is that Norman Blalock is underestimated by his opponents and Folger Library management. Also, I love the way his opponents compete to acquire the MacGuffin, just as they did to acquire the MacGuffin in Guarding Shakespeare. It’s a lot of fun exploring the lengths to which people will go to feed their greed, not only for the writer, but also for the reader.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Quintin Peterson: Currently, I am working on the next installment of my Private Eye Luther Kane Mystery Series, The Last Goodbye. (BTW: I tied-in Luther Kane to Norman Blalock by also featuring him in The Voynich Gambit, helping out his cousin Norman with the bad guys.) After that, I will be writing the next installment of the Norman Blalock Mystery Series, The Shakespeare Redemption. And then back to another installment of Private Eye Luther Kane in Beauty Like the Night.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Quintin Peterson:

The best place to find me is my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMCR2E.

I’m also on Twitter https://twitter.com/luther_kane, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/quintin.peterson.56.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Quintin Peterson: Thank you for having me. It was my pleasure.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

Would you like to have a featured author interview on ATAI?  

Click here.

Like & Share:

Under The Nail Polish – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Tina Griffith

Under The Nail Polish is certainly a unique novel and has quite a different angle than one might expect. Tina Griffith moves readers through the life of Nicholas Kostas and a  few other characters at a fast clip even though the novel is quite long. The story began in the courtroom because the male protagonist had committed heinous crimes with no remorse. Earning exorbitant amounts of money from female love interests through falsehoods, downright lies and acts of violence is at the core of story early on. Griffith shows the reader time and time again how callous and shallow some people truly are. With so many deep, dark secrets will justice ever be served?

Tina Griffith’s writing style in Under The Nail Polish gives readers a bigger picture, while at the same time, offers a view into characters’ current experiences. There are drawbacks to moving the pace at such an exceptional speed though. This style left out a lot of other details that could have brought the overall story together more fluidly. However, the storyline was still pretty easy to follow. Spanning decades of time in one book is not, usually, easily done nor done well. Griffith did it well. There was never any question as to who had committed the crimes, but instead how they happened. Of course, there was a level of implying that women could easily and repeatedly be fooled and that made the story somewhat unbelievable. Yet, for the sake of pure entertainment, a reader can overlook this and just relax into the interesting story inside Under The Nail Polish that Tina Griffith brought to life just as her inital character, Kostas, snuffed the life out of others one after the other.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Click here to learn more and enter!

Like & Share:

The Inside Passage

Today’s Featured Author and Book

The Inside Passage

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

Murder, Mystery and adventure on the restless ocean waters off the rugged coast of British Columbia. Seattle PR executive Michael Tanner sails to Desolation Sound with his wife and their close friend. It’s a relaxing, shakedown cruise for three amateur sailors. On a foggy morning disaster strikes and Tanner stands accused of negligence. With no help from the authorities, Tanner sets out to find the people who murdered his wife and her friend.


Notes: 

Previous interviews with Carl: The Case of the Yellow Diamond & The Case of the Purloined Painting.


 

Carl Brookins

2009Carl Brookins

Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brookins and his wife are avid recreational sailors. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.
 
He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The third novel is Old Silver. His new private investigator series features Sean NMI Sean, a short P.I. The first is titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers. Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota and studied for a MA in Communications at Michigan State University.

http://www.carlbrookins.com

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of The Inside Passage.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 


Authors join our Creative Author Marketing Facebook group

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.22 AM

A place to share tips, advice and wisdom about marketing your book. Ask for advice. We’re here for you!

Traveling entrepreneurs, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. share a wealth of knowledge and info with authors all over the world.  

We help you develop 3 key things you MUST have to gain success with your book.

Your Mindset
Your Tool Set
Your Skill Set


Have you checked out the 2017 Romance Novel Contest yet? Deadline is 1/15/17

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

2017 Romance Novel Contest

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!

Like & Share:

A More Deadly Union

Today’s Featured Author and Book

A More Deadly Union

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

How far would you go for someone you love?

Someone is threatening Peri Minneopa’s client. The most likely suspect is a man whose past relationship with her client could ruin his chances at being elected mayor. 

This would be easier if her boyfriend, Detective Skip Carlton, wasn’t in a coma after being shot. Peri’s been dating him for 10 years, but without a marriage license, she can’t even visit him in the hospital.

She knows better than to interfere with the police’s efforts to find Skip’s shooter, but her case keeps showing up in the middle of their investigation.

Now she’s questioning her skill and her need for independence. What is she willing to do to solve her case and see Skip wake up?


Notes:

A More Deadly Union is the fourth installment of Gayle Carline’s Peri Minneopa mystery series. Peri is a private investigator, who takes on a case from her close friend, Jared, who believes he is being stalked. Years ago, Jared had a homosexual affair with a man named Rick, but now Rick is running for mayor and playing the wholesome family man, and wants Jared to disappear. The tension and aggression escalates dangerously, leaving Peri to navigate a mess of politically fueled scare tactics in order to protect her friend. Meanwhile, her detective boyfriend is in a medically induced coma after an altercation on the job, meaning she has to cope with a difficult case of her own at the same time, and hopefully come out on top. 

At first glance, A More Deadly Union seems a bit silly, from the unusual names of some of the characters to the general plot line. However, it is wonderfully written, and much deeper than it appears to be. The characters are fairly complex and many interesting perspectives are explored, including that of a character with mental disabilities. Gayle Carline writes with a good mix of humor, sadness, suspense, and great insight, making A More Deadly Union a delightful literary experience. Also, it is worth mentioning that although A More Deadly Union is the fourth book in a series, it holds well as a stand-alone piece; even without reading the rest of the books first, the characters are introduced and explained well and the storyline is easy to follow. All in all, this was a novel full of surprises, albeit very good ones. It is certainly worth the read, and perhaps the others in the Peri Minneopa series will be too.

Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.


Gayle Carline

71wccxejgzl-_ux250_

Gayle Carline is a typical Californian, meaning that she was born somewhere else. She moved to Orange County from Illinois in 1978, and landed in Placentia a few years later.

Her husband, Dale, bought her a laptop for Christmas in 1999 because she wanted to write. A year after that, he gave her horseback riding lessons. When she bought her first horse, she finally started writing. 

Gayle began writing journalistic pieces for California Riding Magazine, then quickly added “humor columnist” to her resume with a weekly column in her local newspaper, the Placentia News-Times. What she really wanted to do was write mysteries, however, so in 2009 she crossed that off her list with the first of her Peri Minneopa mysteries.

Never at a loss for words or stories, she will continue to write as long as the ideas keep popping into her head. In her spare time, Gayle likes to sit down with friends and laugh over a glass of wine. And maybe plan a little murder and mayhem for the next novel.

The website is Gayle Carline: Humor Columnist, Mystery Author.

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of A More Deadly Union.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Authors join our Creative Author Marketing Facebook group

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.30.22 AM

A place to share tips, advice and wisdom about marketing your book. Ask for advice. We’re here for you!

Traveling entrepreneurs, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. are mentoring entrepreneurs and authors around the world. As best selling authors, speakers, marketing and branding experts their podcast Authors Talk About It has become quite popular.

We help you develop 3 key things you MUST have to gain success with your book.

Your Mindset
Your Tool Set
Your Skill Set


Doors are open for the 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest! Deadline is 9/30/17

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

2016-grand-prize-winner-jpeg

You get more than just an entry into a contest!  All entries that earn at least 3 Stars get promotion, too!

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!

Like & Share:

Beautiful Masterpiece – Entered in Romance Novel Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Gen Ryan

Romance and serial killers have never met more seamlessly than in Gen Ryan’s Beautiful Masterpiece. We are treated to a love triangle between three characters that unfolds against the background of gruesome murder, fractured childhoods, and tuggings of the heart. Madison Walsh is a strong, smart heroine that draws us into a story where her serial killer father is on the hunt for her and those closest to her.

There are some intriguing characters in both Madison, and the FBI agent Liam and Scott, and overall Ryan has provided us with characters whose background stories are as twisted as the budding romances and fast paced plot. This is a welcome change for romance readers who care about literature and a well-structured story.  The book is peppered with explosive romance scenes which are varied enough in their intensity to ensure that there is a little something for everyone. Being a book for mature audiences, there are descriptions of domestic abuse and sexual torture which may not sit well with all readers. That being said the novel is easy to read, and the fast paced action makes it a page turner.

The only problem with the book is that urgency of a serial killer on the loose is not keenly felt. Madison does not seem scared nor does her fathers’ stalking presence appear to lower her libido. Her constant craving for Scott seems unrealistic at times. However, the second half of the book makes up for this in its action and nail-biting interactions between the killer Walsh and the trio of characters that you come to care for deeply.

Beautiful Masterpiece is a story that puts a strong heroine in the spotlight. It is refreshing to see characters with motivation in a romance novel that could have been very cliched and one dimensional.  The romance is hot, and you won’t find a romance novel that weaves the genres of thriller and romance quite like Beautiful Masterpiece.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Like & Share:

To Fool an Assassin – Entered in Romance Novel Contest


4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

India Kells

To Fool an Assassin is the first novel in India Kells’ Women of Purgatory series. Gabrielle is an ex-mercenary who is now working for an organization called Purgatory, which specializes in dangerous rescue missions. Her latest assignment is to rescue a Navy SEAL who has been captured in South Africa; once the rescue is completed, however, the real trouble begins. There is a traitor in their midst, sending Gabrielle and Captain Sullivan Thorne on the run. Meanwhile, there is an attraction between them that cannot be ignored, even amidst the danger lurking around every corner.

To Fool an Assassin certainly doesn’t waste any time getting to the sexually explicit bits, that’s for sure. The romantic tension between the main characters is written strongly and evident from their first meeting. However, it does have a very rushed feel to it; there isn’t much actual compatibility or development beyond the initial sexual attraction. Also, while the plot around the romance has great potential, it seems very watery and underdeveloped.

Despite its rather poor development, To Fool an Assassin is very entertaining. It is full of suspense, intrigue, and bold sexuality; combined, these factors make it an exciting novel. India Kells is a creative and descriptive writer, and her characters are engaging and witty. The story, although not quite reaching its potential, is well-written and enjoyable to read. To some extent, its flaws are forgivable, since To Fool an Assassin is captivating regardless.

Originally reviewed by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

Like & Share:

Target in the Sun – Entered in Romance Novel Contest


4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Lynda Filler

Target in the Sun, written by Lynda Filler, is a very unusual approach to a romance novel.  Embedded with a wealth of suspense, heartbreak, hope and love, this story focuses on a romance between Carlos and Mia.  The story explores the Mexican drug cartel and trafficking between Mexico and numerous cities in the United States while it takes a deep dive into Carlos’ life.  He was orphaned at a young age and fought hard to overcome his tragic situation.  Eventually, he fell in love with Mia and together they find love and compassion again.  Lynda Filler shares this love story from the perspective of a decorated FBI agent, Lucia, who risks her entire career to help these two lovers escape the ultimate dangers they face from the Mexican drug cartel.  

Writing Target in the Sun in a journal entry style, Filler gives the reader a unique look into the characters.  This does lead to over 100 chapters, but many are only a few paragraphs in length.  The format is quite a different take and may not be to the liking of some tried and true romance novel fans.  However, this particular way of experiencing the story can be quite refreshing, and  when it comes to refreshing, the author does a fabulous job of painting a picture of the Puerto Vallarta area.  Wrapping readers up in the story goes well beyond descriptive imagery of Mexican locations though.  Expressing the intensity of Carlos and Mia’s experiences is something Filler does easily while she takes readers along for the ride.  This could be a great book for readers looking for a suspense-filled romance with a unique twist in writing style.

Originally reviewed by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

Like & Share:

Twelve Spirits of Christmas – Entered in the Holiday Book Contest

4 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Kathryn M. Hearst

Twelve Spirits of Christmas is Kathryn M. Hearst’s second novel about Tessa Lamar, a Cherokee woman who uses her psychic abilities to assist the Orange County Police Department. In this adventure, Tessa is trying to unravel the mystery of a dangerous serial killer who uses lyrics from the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to choose his victims. It isn’t as easy as she would have hoped, especially while managing a hectic jumble of colorful family members, a steamy romance, and her newfound mystical abilities. Her time is limited, though, and she must race to catch the killer before he has a chance to finish the carol. 

Twelve Spirits of Christmas is an odd mix of things that don’t usually go together (Cherokee folklore, crime drama, and Christmas, to name the obvious ones). It’s a little difficult to wrap your head around in the beginning; for a good amount of the novel, the plot seemed to be all over the place. Thankfully, as the story progressed, it did begin to be easier to follow. 

Once you get past the oddness of the plot, Twelve Spirits of Christmas is actually an excellent book. Kathryn M. Hearst’s characters are simultaneously believable and extraordinary, which made them very entertaining to read about. Her style of writing is full of imagery and quirkiness, while still maintaining the sense of suspense and mystery that keeps pages turning. Twelve Spirits of Christmas is a bit different, to be sure, but it is definitely a great read.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

Like & Share:
1 2 3