Tag Archive | thriller

Kramer and Shadow Book Tour and #Giveaway @GregVSmith48 #mystery #thriller

The Pits
Kramer and Shadow Book 1
by Greg Smith
Genre: Crime Mystery, Action, Thriller
THE PITS, a contemporary crime novel, tells the story of Captain Kramer,
USMC, a compassionate, intelligent man, who rescues a pup from the
scene of a car bombing while on deployment to Afghanistan. The pup is
named Shadow, and accompanies Kramer back to Oceanside, California.
They commit themselves to a campaign which has them fighting for
their lives during an FBI operation to bring down a crime boss based
in Florida.
You Can Run
Kramer and Shadow Book 2
Captain Kramer, USMC, and his faithful four-footer partner, Sgt. Shadow,
USMC, both survive their first operation assisting the FBI in
bringing down the empire of a major crime boss in America. But more
is in store for the two Marines in yet another FBI operation to tie
up loose ends from the previous op. This time the action is more
intense and proves too costly for the Marines.
Lex Talionis
(An Eye For an Eye)
Kramer and Shadow Book 3
A woman out for revenge. America took her husband. America will pay
10,000 fold!

Only Kramer and his Anatolian Shepherd, Shadow, stand in her way. But
will they be enough to stop her?

The advent of retirement opened a whole new world to me and now that it
has come to pass, I am turning my artistic bent from graphic design
and illustration to that of writing.
To date I have published three books, KILLING SOFTLY (an erotic mystery
thriller), and begun an action crime series centered on two
characters, Captain Kramer, USMC and his Anatolian Shepherd dog, Sgt.
Shadow, USMC. Book One of the series is THE PITS, Book Two is YOU CAN
RUN, and at the time of this bibliography rewrite, I am working on
The Kramer and Shadow series is an action, adventure, crime thriller
series that encompasses the world and has our two Marines fighting
hard against organized crime at many levels – but always involving
do-or-die confrontations.
My hope is to establish a fan base for my writing so that my readers can
have an active role in helping me grow and develop as an author in
the years to come. I invite you to join me in this adventure.



Thursday Thoughts: Featuring Author Michael Shusko #military #suspense

Welcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday of each month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions I posed to them.

One of January’s featured authors is Michael Shusko.


How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since my first deployment to Iraq in 2003. It started as a way to pass the time, and to deal with some of the stressors of being deployed to a combat zone and missing my family. Then, my triplet sons were just three years old. I began writing about the many experiences and feelings that arise from living in a war-torn country, and interweaving those thoughts into stories. I found that I very much enjoyed writing and, in fact, it became therapeutic. I continued writing when I returned to the United States in 2004, and have written dozens of manuscripts in various stages of completion. Six of these manuscripts are part of the Tradecraft series that I’ve begun publishing, starting with Vector. It’s interesting that I was in my late thirties when I discovered my love of writing. Now, I can’t imagine ever not writing.

What is your favorite style of music?

Do you listen while you write? I enjoy music from the 60s through 80s as well as classical and contemporary music. As a native of New Jersey, of course Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi are among my favorite musicians. But I don’t listen while I write. I prefer to write in a quiet setting where I can focus on the emotions of the scene. This is usually very early in the morning, mostly before work.

What is your advice to someone new to writing?

Write from your heart and never give up. If you believe in your writing and your story, persevere to see it in print. It took me over a decade to get Vector published — but the wait was well worth it. And I believe I’m a better author thanks to the things I learned about writing and the publishing industry along the way.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Relax with my amazing wife and three sons, now 16 years old. We enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures, much of which I try to incorporate into my stories. I try to balance my life as much as possible: write in the morning before work, focus on my patients in my clinic during the day, then relax with my family at night.

Who is Michael Shusko?  He was raised in Long Branch, NJ. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1985 after graduating high school. Dr. Shusko cut his teeth in the military in the mid ’80s and early ’90s. As his first assignment, he attended the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, CA, where he studied Arabic. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 16-year-old triplet boys..


Book blurb: When researcher Jawad Khattib gasps his last breath on the Massachusetts General Hospital floor, the Department of Homeland Security wants answers—especially after a preliminary autopsy suggests he died of radiation poisoning. What exactly was Khattib working on? And who was he working for? DHS Agent Lee Jansen is rushed to Boston and paired with expert toxicologist Dr. Emma Hess to crack the case. All evidence points to the creation of a dirty bomb, but the clues seem too clean, too obvious. During the course of their investigation, they discover the horrible truth. This new weapon is far more deadly than anyone had expected. It isn’t just capable of killing hundreds—it’s capable of killing hundreds of thousands. Can they stop what’s been set in motion by a madman with a dangerous secret before it’s too late?

Down with the shine #review #YAlit #wish

Down with the Shine  by Kate Karyus Quinn


As the story opens, Lennie does not have the best of circumstances. Lennie lives with her almost comatose mother and 3 uncles who sell moonshine. Her father is a con artist, notorious bank robber, and all around bad person. Lennie is not a delinquent, but it seems everyone in authority assumes she is. To make matters worse, she finds out that her best friend was brutally murdered.

Considering her life, she wants to escape and, for once, have some fun. She steals some moonshine from her uncles and goes to a party were all the “cool kids” will be. All night she is giving shots and pretending to grant wishes. After a wild and crazy night, she goes home and passes out drunk.

The next morning, to everyone’s horror, the random, wild, insane wishes of a bunch of drunk teenagers are all coming true. Now it is up to Lennie to learn the rules of wish granting and figure out how to fix this mess without making things worst.

I chose this book because of the cover. I love the mason jar visual with the mysterious vapor.

Image result for judge a book
I have read books with the similar theme of “Be careful what you wish for”. However, none of the previous stories have wishes-gone-wrong to this level.

Image result for what is the worst that could happen
I do not usually like first person novels, but made an exception in this case because I was so intrigued by the plot line. In the beginning, I did not like Lennie very much though. I thought I would sympathize with her more because of her circumstances. She seems to be floating through life with no one who cares about her.

Her dad is a sociopathic criminal. Her mom is barely there emotionally for her. And her uncles try to keep her out of trouble but otherwise ignore her. She has an inner dialogue going at all times in which her snarky comes through to the reader. There were some positive aspects to her personality displayed when she talked about her best friend and how Dylan’s death affected her.

All throughout the book, while I thought she made a lot of bad decisions (VERY BAD DECISION MAKING), I could not help to wonder if I could have done any better. She thought her life was one way, only to find out some of the reasons behind what happened and why. She did not have the luxury of enough time to fully examine the pros and cons of what to do. Making quick decisions is not the best and when it can mean life or death, which adds to the pressure even more.

While you have to read the story for yourself to see how everything gets resolved, everything is resolved in a nice a neat way.

Image result for relieved gif

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY! This is a quirky, slightly gruesome young adult novel with some dark humor sprinkled in. For me to recommend it, you know it must be something special. I am not usually one to recommend young adult lit.

Book Details
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 26, 2016)
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers


Book Review: The lie by CL Taylor #guestpost #amreading #thriller

Today I have a guest post by Sophia Rose.


The Lie by CL Taylor

Rating: 4 

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30170265-the-lie

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Haunting and compelling, this psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Daughter.

Jane Hughes has a great boyfriend, a job in an animal shelter, and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been…but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier, Jane and her best friends set off on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, but it rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of her friends. Ever since, Jane has tried to put the past behind her and lead a normal life. But someone out there knows the truth about what happened-and they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.


I’ve been in the mood for spine-tingling chills and a complex twisty plot.  The blurb captured my attention and into it I dove hoping to be thrilled by a satisfying and intense mystery.  Eventually, the book gave me that, but it started out slow before it really got rolling.  What I think helped me connect with this book was when I realized it was actually not just a thriller, but an interesting blend of women’s fiction and thriller.

As I said, it started off slow.  There was twice the intro and set up because of the way the plot was structured which explains the pace.  This is one that flips back and forth between a past and present story line, but with the same character perspective narrating both.  The present is with Jane Hughes the quiet, put together woman with a nice cottage, lovely boyfriend, and satisfying job at the animal shelter who is now receiving messages from someone she thought was dead.  The past is with Emma (she changed her name to Jane to start over) and her three friends who go on the adventure holiday of a lifetime that turns into a nightmare.

Once in a while, I come across a book that blends some elements that make for an interesting read and take some getting used to.  In this one, the author melds women’s fiction into a thriller story.  There is definitely a suspenseful and even atmospheric thriller layer to the plot.  Danger is very present and people are terrified for their lives.  I guessed after the person and motive behind it all, but the truth was only obvious near the end when the layers were peeled back bit by bit.

Planted in the center of all this is a story of four women who claim a friendship.  They are drawn as regular people with regular people foibles.  I didn’t care for any of them when the book started and I only started warming up to some of the characters much later.

As four college friends set out on their holiday, there are certain dynamics in place.  Not ideal all around, but a decent group.  As their situation becomes drastic and beyond their previous experience, it all shifts.  Under the pressure they experience, they are all tested and it was interesting to see how it all turned out.  It reminded me of real life friendships that may or may not last.

In summary, this story took me places that I just never imagined when I picked it up and I would definitely give this author’s books another go.  I would recommend this for those who don’t mind the blending of thriller with women’s fiction.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Details
Genre: Thriller
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Published:  6.7.16
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Sellers:  Amazon


Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

Edisto Jinx @hopeclark #southernlit #mystery #whodunit #edistojinx

I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Edisto Jinx (The Edisto Island Mysteries)



Every August, it seems that a tourist falls prey to the Edisto Jinx. The locals are sympathetic but would rather Callie left well enough alone. While her friend says that the spirits are busy causing mischief, Callie is not convinced.

In a town that thrives on tourism, an investigation with the words “serial killer” in the mix makes all the town businesses nervous.

Whoever or whatever that is causing havoc in the community soon turns their attentions to Callie. Can she find out what is going on before it’s too late?


C Hope Clark did it again! Great story. And unlike with the main character from the Lowcountry Bribe series, I love Callie!

Once a Boston city PD detective, Callie is still dealing with the loss of her husband, a teenage son more mature than his years, and the trauma she endured in the previous months (read Murder on Edisto). Meanwhile, she is having a difficult time ignoring what appear to be crimes happening in the community. It seems like the unfortunate death of a tourist is more than just an accident that should be dismissed casually. Callie trusts her gut feelings when no one else wants to even talk about it. The author Clark does a fabulous job creating such a multi-dimensional character that I could feel Callie’s angst and frustration.

The secondary and tertiary characters were painted just as effectively. Some of my favorites were

  • Seabrook, the reluctant sheriff, thinks that Callie is looking for problems. At what point will he take her seriously? If at all?
  • Alex is the young whipper-snapper journalist. She wants to make a name for herself in the community but will she have what it takes to step on the toes of town leaders and make some serious waves?
  • Sopie is the kooky, sage burning, self-proclaimed psychic and yoga instructor. She is so positive that it was almost nauseating. She believes in the spirits and cautions Callie against angering them. Can she burn enough sage to calm the spirits and bring harmony back to Edisto?

Overall, this story has the right mix of conflict between the characters as well as suspense. While I might not have liked all the characters, they were developed enough that I understood them as people. They seemed real to me. I could relate to them in the sense that I know people like them. I thought the story moved along at an even pace. Most importantly, all my questions were answered and the conclusion was satisfactory.

Should you buy? Yes! This is a great beach read with colorful characters and an engaging story line. It is the second in the series, but still a standalone book. The author does not give away much about the first book, but your interest will probably be whetted enough to want to buy Murder on Edisto too. And I am waiting for the next book to find out what else might happen in Edisto 😀

Amazon Product Details
File Size: 933 KB
Print Length: 294 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (October 1, 2015)
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English