Win the January ’18 bookshelf of signed thrillers!

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to the January bookshelf of signed thrillers! As 2018 kicks off, I want to let you all know how much your support means to me. My regular readers who come back all the time to read reviews, share your thoughts and of course, try to win some books! New readers who find the site through their friends or social media. I appreciate every one of you, and welcome you all.

This month the International Thriller Writers have provided some excellent thrillers for you to win. To enter, go to the Win Books page. More books will be added throughout the month, so check back often.

Best of luck!

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HELLBENT by Gregg Hurwitz: When the man who raised and trained him warns him that secret government forces are trying to eliminate all surviving members of the Orphan Program, Evan Smoak is challenged to track down and protect his teacher’s last protâegâe from a brutal new Programleader.

FALSE WITNESS by Andrew Grant: Investigating the disappearances and murders of women on sequential birthdays, Detective Devereaux makes a high-profile arrest, only to discover that the wrong person has been taken into custody, a situation that leads to a race against time to prevent another killing.

CITY OF ENDLESS NIGHT by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Heading an investigation into the murder of a wealthy tech billionaire’s daughter, Lieutenant CDS Vincent D’Agosta teams up with FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast, only to uncover the work of a serial killer whose agenda threatens an entire city.

ACT OF REVENGE by Dale Brown: When Boston is hit by a coordinated string of terrorist attacks, robotics innovator Louis Massina leads a team of tech geniuses to deploy every bot, drone and cyberweapon at their disposal to save the city and bring the plot’s mastermind to justice.

THE WIFE by Alafair BurkeMarrying an economics professor she met while catering an East Hampton dinner party, Angela finds her tragic past coming under scrutiny at the same time she is asked to defend her husband against wrongful accusations.

THE GOD GENE by F. Paul WilsonRick Hayden and Laura Fanning investigate the baffling disappearance of Rick’s brother, a prominent NYU zoologist whose writings alluded to a mysterious gene marking the evolutionary development of human consciousness.

HONEY-BAKED HOMICIDE by Gayle Leeson, A Down South Café Mystery, Book 3: When struggling beekeeper and Southern café owner Amy’s new business partner, Stuart Landon is murdered, Amy investigates and finds herself in a sticky situation as the list of suspects grows longer, causing quite a buzz in the community. Includes recipes.

NAKED AMBITION by Rick PullenWhen newspaper reporter Beck Rikki receives an unsolicited call from a high-ranking government official sending him off to investigate a candidate for President of the United States, he doesn’t realize he’s stumbled onto the story of a lifetime.

You can win autographed copies of these books! If you are new to the site, each month I run a contest in conjunction with the International Thriller Writers organization. We put together a list of books from debut authors to bestsellers, so you can win some of your favorites and find some new favorites.

What makes this contest really special is that all of the books (except eBooks) are signed by the author! Books with multiple authors will be signed by at least one of the authors.

Penguin Random House books for giveaway were provided by the publisher. #PRHpartner

Don’t forget, if you subscribe to the newsletter or follow this blog, you get an extra entry into every contest you enter. Check out the Win Books page for more information on all these books and how you to enter this month’s contest.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis

January 23, 2018

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A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

I’ve enjoyed every book in this series and this is another good one. After receiving some bad health news, I was looking for a light, funny escape and this fit the bill perfectly.

Kylie is a woodworker who learned from the best, her grandfather. But he was killed in a terrible fire that also took much of his work. She has a special gift from him, a hand carved penguin that is such a treasure to her that she carries it with her. One day after work, she picks up her bag and notices it is open and everything spilled out, and the penguin is gone.

She is desolate, and mentions it to her boss who barely responds. Then she gets an envelope pushed through her mail slot that has a picture of the penguin in a precarious position, and she is determined to find it.

Kylie reluctantly approaches Joe Malone. He works for a private investigating company and is a real bad ass. They have a bit of history – one night at a party, she was drunk and kissed him. It was a life changing kiss for her, but he never followed up so she gave up on him. Nonetheless, she needs his help and he hers – he wants her to make a carved mirror for his sister. A deal is struck, but Kylie isn’t content to sit back and wait for Joe to find it, she insists on coming with him every step of the way.

You can see where it goes but who cares, the journey is the fun part. Another excellent entry into the Heartbreaker Bay series.

1/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis.  Avon (January 23, 2018). ISBN: 978-0062741769. 272p.



January 22, 2018

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Set sometime in the  future, T.S. Nichols’ novel imagines an fascinating development in the lives of mankind. It is the scientific transfer of memories from one person to another. Based on this achievement the book touches upon two recipients of memories. One is by police detective Cole who has been able to get memories from murdered individuals and with this as an aid catch the killer. He is the Memory Detective of the novel’s title.

The other is someone with the money that can afford to receive memories of say, great athletes, those individuals that have traveled and seen the world, and others whose backgrounds would interest him to get their memories.

The persona of Detective Cole is a well thought out study of a person who has literally been murdered many times with all the trauma that would be part of those crimes.  His skill has cost him dearly since he mixes memories with people he loves and finds that they cannot tolerate a relationship with him.  This certainly is the case with his girlfriend of several years who finds that there is no closeness due to memories of others intruding on their relationship.

The one murder that is paramount in this novel is one suffered by a young girl from Kansas that has been thrown out of her home by her father and  migrates to New York the locale of the book. Cole sees her coming to the city, her hopes, her dreams and her meeting a person that she falls in love with.  He also sees the killing which was the battering to death by the murderer with a hammer.  Based on the memories that are present allow the police to interview several suspects in working the case.

The description of the second individual includes memories from a  surfer who has enjoyed the sport at most of the world’s great surfing sites.  The person now wants to buy other memories in order to enhance his experiences.  Is there a connection between the millionaire enjoying great adventure vicariously and the case of murder being investigated by Cole?  In addition to memory transfer  being a concept well described T.S. Nichols has the definite ability to present a very tightly woven tale.  The ending is logical and stems from what we learn about the individuals described.  A very well done novel and of course, one that will keep the reader up all night thinking about the fascinating theme and the drama that stems from it.

1/18 Paul Lane

THE MEMORY DETECTIVE by T.S. Nichols. Alibi (January 23, 2018).  ASIN B072L4LKT1. 285p.

Guest Blogger: Hannah Fielding

January 21, 2018

I am delighted to welcome guest blogger  Hannah Fielding!

Choosing Greece as the setting for my new novel

So far, my fiction has taken readers to Kenya (Burning Embers), to Venice and Tuscany, Italy (The Echoes of Love), and to Andalucía, Spain (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy). In each of these novels, the setting is essential to the mood and the themes; it’s not just a backdrop that could be substituted for some other place, but an integral part of the story. So it is with my new novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, set in the Greek islands.

Greece has been on my ‘must write’ list for many years, because it is one of my favourite corners of the globe. I first fell in love with Greece through meeting Greek people. I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, at a time when it was a very cosmopolitan place, and many of my parents’ friends and my school friends were Greek. They were wonderfully warm and loyal people.

Of course, during my childhood I also became intrigued with Greece through the many stories of this land I was told – legends full of wit and wisdom, with a god or goddess for everything, from love to war to wine-making. I was so enthralled that my father gave me a book, a compilation of the best stories. I remember it as well-thumbed, with a cracking spine, and falling open on certain stories I loved: Persephone and Hades, King Midas and the golden touch, Theseus and the Minotaur – although the Minotaur illustration would frighten me. My governess read this book over and over to me, as did my parents, and I lived the stories in my imagination.

Then, in my early twenties it was time to spread my wings, and I travelled across Europe and spent time on the Greek mainland and the islands. I explored the Acropolis of Athens; I ate mezedes in little cafes; I went to festivals that were a whirl of dance and song. I met many Greek people, and was taken by their joie de vivre, their hospitality, their sentimentality.

I was so enchanted by Greece, and swept away by the romance of it all, that when I married my husband I not only had a Greek designer make my wedding dress but I honeymooned on the island of Santorini, where, like Oriel and Damian in my novel, I saw the most spectacular sunsets.

In the years since, I continued to visit the Greek islands, and to read the stories of Greek mythology, which really are more dramatic and romantic and complicated than any soap opera! Eventually, I had a head full of legends and of beautiful sights and experiences from Greece, and it was the most natural thing in the world to put pen to paper.

Aphrodite’s Tears, then, is the book I just had to write set in Greece, steeped with the history and traditions of this beautiful and fascinating country. I hope readers will enjoy visiting Greece through my story, and will fall in love with it as I did.


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Aphrodite’s Tears   by Hannah Fielding

In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?

Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding. London Wall Publishing (January 25, 2018) ASIN: B076LPC1HP. 624p.

NOTE: The Kindle version will be available on Jan. 25; the print version not until April, 2018!

Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99.

About the author

Hannah Fielding was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, the granddaughter of Esther Fanous, a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s. Upon graduating with a BA in French literature from Alexandria University, she travelled extensively throughout Europe and lived in Switzerland, France and England. After marrying her English husband, she settled in Kent and subsequently had little time for writing while bringing up two children, and running her own business renovating rundown cottages.Hannah now divides her time between her homes in Kent and the South of France. She has written five previous novels, beginning with Burning Embers.

Hannah’s books have won various awards, including Best Romance for Indiscretion at the USA Best Book Awards. She has also won Gold Medal for romance at the Independent Publisher Book Awards (The Echoes of Love), and Gold and Silver Medals for romance at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards (Indiscretion and Masquerade).

Twitter: @fieldinghannah




January 20, 2018

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NOTE: Movie tie-in edition comes out in March 2018. as does the film. Used copies of previous editions are available.

A short novel created to be a tie-in to a movie starring Joaquin  Phoenix and certainly one that will shout out – See This Film!!! Joe is a former Marine and also previously an FBI agent. A very abusive childhood has left him mentally damaged beyond any real chance of repair. He lives with his grandmother in the borough of Queens, New York city and is as much a loner as any human can be. He earns a livelihood through the act of rescuing young girls from kidnapping and being forced into prostitution.

The novel opens as he successfully completes one assignment and receives another job rescuing the daughter of a New York State senator. The senator himself talks to him and advises that the girl is being held in a brothel in Manhattan by the mob. The assignment leads Joe into a situation that involves criminal mobs, and high level conspiracy.

Ames successfully paints a picture of a world very different than the one most of us inhabit. It is brutal, unforgiving and violent to a degree unknown to the average person. The novel in addition to being a tie-in to the film is definitely one that is leading to another book continuing Joe’s activities in this violent underground world.  A very well done lead in to further novels by Jonathan Ames and certainly one that will promote the movie.

1/18 Paul Lane

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE by Jonathan Ames. Vintage (March 20, 2018).  ISBN 978-0525562894. 112p.


January 19, 2018

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The novel starts out like a good old fashioned Gothic story featuring one of the “Black” paintings by Goya. I’m not sure what a “black” painting is but the one referenced in this book has disappeared and is also  cursed bringing madness or death to the owner. The subject of the painting is Goya himself: a self portrait.  The ownership was held by the Morse family until it disappeared several years ago with no one knowing who took it.

There are four cousins in the Morse family who are not very close. They are summoned by their grandfather to his mansion and the expectation is that he wants to somehow reunite the family and  make amends for years of being apart.

All attend and suspect that the mystery of the missing Goya will be solved. They meet at the mansion and find that their grandfather has suddenly passed away. After this segment all pretenses of a good Gothic story disappear and it becomes a murder mystery. Attempts to find the missing Goya which may be worth millions cause both private detectives and lawyers to be hired by the four cousins. One neat little love affair starts during the search.

The story is interesting enough to warrant reading , but I found it was a bit over wordy and does cause the reader to  reach points that lose him or her. I did want to find out what happened to the Goya portrait and who did what to whom and I finished it.

1/18 Paul Lane

THE BLACK PAINTING by Neil Olson. Hanover Square (January 9, 2018).  ISBN 978-1335953810. 320p.

THE STOWAWAY by Laurie Gwen Shapiro

January 18, 2018

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A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica

A rousing non fiction book written by an author who has successfully done fiction,and is also a well known filmmaker. In it she tells an almost forgotten story of a boy fresh out of high school in New York City that successfully stowed away on a ship leaving for Antarctica.

The book reads almost like those written by Jack London, revolving around the men that go down to the sea in ships. The events depicted took place at the end of the roaring twenties beginning in 1928. Richard Byrd had organized an expedition to visit the mysterious seventh continent and planned to use “aeroplanes” to more fully map out the Antarctic area. What they might also discover remained a most intriguing question. animal life?  Areas of more temperate climate? Strange creatures? It was an adventure that might be likened to the furor about the first landing on the moon a few generations later.

Billy Gawronski was the son of Polish immigrants that had settled in a section of Queens county a borough of New York City.  The father successfully started an upholstery business and had visions of taking Billy into it to help build it up.  But Billy developed a mind similar to many other people at that time.  He was in love with the idea of making the trip to Antarctica with Byrd.  When he was not selected as part of the crew going he decided to sneak aboard the ship as a stowaway and try and convince the captain to take him along in any capacity.

Billy was successful in sneaking aboard and began an adventure without parallel.  The adventure took him to Panama, going through the canal, to Tahiti and than to New Zealand as the jumping off place for the trip to Antarctica.  Ms Shapiro uses a style of simply relating the facts she has garnered through research.  The amazing adventures of this young man are described without trying to put conversations into his mouth.  This approach makes the story even more realistic.  Billy had passed away when Shapiro made the decision to write about him, but his widow was still alive and contributed letters and photographs to the  telling of the story.

A final section is dedicated to Billy’s further career which continued to involve great adventure.  A well told story about a heretofore little known event.

1/18 Paul Lane

THE STOWAWAY by Laurie Gwen Shapiro. Simon & Schuster (January 16, 2018).  ISBN 978-1476753867. 256p.

THE PRIZE by Geoffrey M. Cooper

January 17, 2018

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The prize in the title of this novel is one of the top awards in the world.  The Nobel prize to be exact.  It represents not only the monetary reward involved, but is one that  brings world wide renown for the recipient.   It is no wonder that it is a prize sought after by the people possibly  in line for it with every means possible. Cooper’s book features one attempt to win the prize and all that it means with a titanic discovery in the medical field.

Pam Weller is a research associate at a large private laboratory who has been working at finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  Logically following protocol she leads the group she is working with into discovering a substance that arrests Alzheimer’s and actually reverses it in early stage cases. Decidedly Nobel Prize area and which will allow Pam to get tenure and promotion at her work as well as notice for those in her group.

Eric Prescott is head of his own lab and has been working on achieving success against Alzheimer’s with the idea of the Nobel prize and the world wide fame that goes with it.  He hears that Pam is getting ready to publish positive results on her findings and arranges a meeting with one of Pam’s assistants.  The results of that meeting are the meat and bones of the book.  How far will Prescott go in order to ascertain the Nobel prize for himself?  The answer makes for an interesting, riveting read and an introduction to the competitive world of medical science.  Very well done.

1/18 Paul Lane

THE PRIZE by Geoffrey M. Cooper. BookBaby (January 15, 2018).  ISBN 978-1543912173. 240p.

THE TAKE by Christopher Reich

January 16, 2018

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Simon Riske, the principal character in Christopher Reich’s latest novel, has had a checkered past, to say the least. This includes imprisonment and the spending of months in solitary confinement as punishment for refusing to divulge information sought by the police.

Out of prison, he currently owns a garage in London, specializing in expensive limited edition cars. He does have another occupation which involves acting as a freelance industrial spy. He is hired to perform small scale jobs for banks, insurance companies and the British Secret Service.

The action starts when he is hired by the CIA to look into the matter of a lot of money and a confidential letter stolen by an old acquaintance of Riske’s: one Tino Colluzzi . Colluzzi stole a huge amount of cash from a Saudi Arabian prince and with it a letter hidden in a suitcase that is supposed to have the power to upset the balance of power in the western world.

Riske accepts the job to look into the matter of the theft of money and the letter when he learns that Colluzzi was the thief. Tino was once Riske’s friend and ally until Simon took the full rap for a crime both committed with Colluzzi getting away without any punishment.

Simon’s first stop is going to France, the scene of the crime, where he is matched up against his will with a female French police officer, Nicolette Perez, who has been assigned against her will to work with Simon and keep him on the straight and narrow. Nicolette is a tough, no holds barred police officer whose only interest seems to be in doing her job as best as she can. She also happens to be a pretty girl and it is no surprise that sparks fly between the two in the course of their joint investigation in spite of initial antagonism.

Another member of the cast involved is a Russian female assassin who is assigned to kill Riske at all costs and goes about trying to complete this assignment with a great deal of skill and dedication. The novel uses all these factors in a fascinating story of spy versus spy. What is in the letter that seemingly has the power to upset the balance of western power? Is the cash recovered? An all nighter it certainly is and does leave the reader with the definite feeling that this is the first of several novels featuring Riske.  Look forward to that.


1/18 Paul Lane

THE TAKE by Christopher Reich. Mulholland Books (January 16, 2018).  ISBN 978-1681776163. 400p.


January 15, 2018

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Diamonds in the Rough Series, Book 2

Amelia Matthews became a Lady when her brother inherited a dukedom. But he goes off on his honeymoon, asking his best friend and neighbor, Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry, to not only keep an eye on his sisters but help shepherd them through society. It’s important that Amelia makes a match as that will clear the way for her younger sister to do so the next season.

What Thomas didn’t know when he agreed to this was that Amelia is quite stubborn, and has a secret plant to turn a crumbling old home on the edge of a bad neighborhood, into a free school for poor children. Thomas ends up having to help her and they both end up in danger more than once. Of course, they also fall in love but both are too stubborn to do anything about it, until they have no choice.

This was not my favorite Barnes book but I did enjoy it.

1/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE DUKE OF HER DESIRE by Sophie Barnes. Avon (December 26, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062566829. 384p.


OPERATOR DOWN by Brad Taylor

January 14, 2018

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A Pike Logan Thriller 

Former Delta Force Officer Brad Taylor returns with another novel involving Pike Logan, Pike’s wife Jennifer Cahill and the rest of the mission impossible group known as the Taskforce. Col. Taylor’s formula for success is quite simple. Pike and company are tasked with completing a job assigned to them by their controllers; a top secret group at the apex of the U.S. government which includes the president. Their task is always to work outside of the United States per their charter (as it happens not always per Pike.)

This time the job is a simple one merely to determine whether or not a merchant in the Israeli Diamond Exchange is involved in a scheme that could potentially embarrass the state of Israel. As we know from being drawn into Col. Taylor’s novels centering on the Taskforce nothing is ever simple and the plots always delineate Pike’s ability to think and act outside of the box.  An American arms dealer may or may not be attempting to sell components of nuclear weapons to the highest bidder which is up to Pike and Company to determine.

At the same time characters from a previous Taskforce novel appear and alter the Taskforce’s  mission to include aiding them. These are former mosad members Shoshana and Aaron now husband and wife and working as independent contractors. Aaron gets himself captured by the people he is tracking for his current assignment and Shosana goes after him to get him away from their enemies. She is by nature a killing machine with I’d hate to have her coming after me personality. The Israelis are drawn into Pike’s assignment due to the probability of their goals overlapping. And, guess what they overlap.

As in all the Pike Logan books action is mercurial and combat situations described by a long time veteran of such actions vivid. Scenes shift from Israel to south Africa. A planned coup in a small African nation becomes a real factor in the plot and the place of the Taskforce of importance to the group fitting in neatly to the story.

Action, action and more action is the keynote to the plot and will be in future novels featuring Pike and Company.  The stories are always interesting, even though similiar, and do draw in a faithful following.

1/18 Paul Lane

OPERATOR DOWN by Brad Taylor. Dutton (January 9, 2018).  ISBN 978-1101984819. 464p.