A Review of Chance by Carolyn Bowen

Book: Chance a Novel Author: Carolyn M. Bowen Publisher: Carolyn M. Bowen Availability: Amazon Overall Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars Overall Summary After a night of torrid love making, Sydney’s bodyguard turned lover left. He had been set up and accused of a former employee’s murder, and Sydney strongly suspected that his work

Crafting a Good Villian?

By C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark, author of the Carolina Slade mystery series

We spend tremendous time sculpting our protagonist, and I tend to lean toward enjoying the sidekicks and secondary characters the most. We carefully refine the romantic interest (think Team Jacob or Team Edward in Stephanie Myer’s Twilight series). But what about the villain? They aren’t all male criminals wearing black who kick puppies and steal children in the night.

Of course, a lot depends on the genre you’re writing. With a mystery, you don’t usually know who the villain is until the revelation at the end. With suspense and horror, however, the story evolves with knowledge of the villain, with part of the story being his evolvement into his worst icky persona, and the reader’s discovery of what makes this culprit tick.

Review of Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D.J. Donaldson

Review of Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D.J. Donaldson

Overall Summary: While enjoying a family picnic, the lemon-drop eating medical examiner extraordinaire for the city of New Orleans Andy Broussard witnesses his Uncle Joe being shot by a sniper, who then shoots himself and falls into the bayou.  Since the cause of the death in both cases is seemingly clear, it’s up to Andy

Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started To Write (Crime) Fiction

Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started To Write (Crime) Fiction

Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started To Write (Crime) FictionBy Tony Knighton

1. You don’t need to ask permission.

I’ve always been a reader. I thought about writing something of my own, most often while reading stories or books that were poorly written, but for decades I didn’t. Once I got around to it, I realized I’d been waiting for someone or something to tell me that I was allowed to try. I didn’t need to wait.

2. Writing is hard.

A piece of published writing is one-way communication – the reader can’t ask follow-up questions. You have to do more than come up with a cool story and put it on paper. Good writing will make that story just as clear and fun for the reader as it is for the writer. The fun will be missing if the writing is weak.

3. Don’t worry if it’s bad at first.

Like any other activity worth pursuing, writing is a skill that needs to be developed. It takes practice. When we start, we may know what it is we want to achieve, but our skills aren’t up to it, yet. You should keep going – keep reading, keep writing. Revise. Don’t be discouraged. Find people nearby who write and talk to them about it. Read their stuff. When you’re ready, ask them to look at yours. Keep writing. Revise. Take some courses. Get into a writer’s group. Keep writing. Revise. Your stuff will get better.

Target Acquired

train-station-691176_1280Marcus watched the man closely. He was moving with a powerful stride down the busy street towards the underground subway station. Marcus knew that there was only one chance and it was coming up soon. He nodded briefly; the signal was sent.

An older woman stepped out in front of the man, lugging a wheeled suitcase, three bags of groceries, and a purse on her right arm. Her hair was a magnificent site, tight curls, and blue-gray in color. Marcus watched as the man wrinkled his nose at the new obstacle. Clearly, this man had more important things to do.

With a cry, the woman buckled to her knees right in front of the man, and Marcus seized the opportunity.

“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed the woman as cans of peas and a box of linguine scattered on the ground. “Oh, bother!”

The man stooped down, and picked up one of the cans, handing it to her outstretched hand.

“Are you all right, Miss?” he inquired politely, his eyes glancing toward stairs down to the subway.

“Oh! Oh yes, of course,” she said. “Just a bit unsteady on my feet, I’m afraid. These heels are such a bother, sometimes!”

The man stood up and felt something brush lightly against his side. He turned to see Marcus striding past him going the opposite direction. His cell phone was to his ear talking earnestly.

“That man’s going to get robbed, talking on the phone like that,” he said with a grin. “Not paying attention at all. Here, let me help you up.”

The lady smiled up at him and reached for his outstretched hand.

“Why, thank you, young man,” she said. “I really wish there were more people in the world like you.”

The man hauled her up to her feet.

“Are you going to the subway?”

“Oh no, my apartment is only a block or two past. I take the bus home and then walk the extra bit. Good for the health, you know.”

“Well, please forgive me, but I must get going. I’ve got a train to catch. Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Yes, of course, dear.”

The woman smiled and waved goodbye as the man dashed down the stairs to the subway platform. He would make it of course. No sense in having him stay around here longer than needed. They had planned it that way.

The lady shuffled down the street another block and turned down a nearby alley. She pulled off her wig and tossed it into a nearby trash dumpster and itched her short-cropped hair. Those things were always so itchy.

“I’m surprised you threw that thing away,” said Marcus from the other end of the alleyway. “You make a pretty good old lady.”

“Gee, thanks,” said the woman dryly. “So when is it your turn to be the decoy, huh? That’s six marks in a row that I’ve had to wear this outrageous getup.”

“What, don’t like being a grandma in heels anymore, Shelia?”

Shelia frowned.

“No, I don’t. So when do I get to do it?”

Marcus turned away, motioning her to follow.

“When you get better at being unnoticeable,” he said.

Shelia sighed.

“So what’d we get?” she asked, widening her step to catch up to him. She grabbed at his arm, trying to peek over his shoulder. Marcus smiled slightly; Shelia’s head barely came up to it.

“Later,” he admonished. “We’ll take a look at what we gathered today when we get back home. Right now we need to get away from here.”

“You’ve already dumped the wallets, right?”

“Of course. Scoop out the billfolds and leave the rest. We don’t need anything that can be traced, right?”

“Right,” said Shelia, smiling. She took off her heels and placed them into her wheeled luggage case and brought out her favorite sneakers. She slipped them on her feet, and Marcus laughed slightly as she sighed in relief.

“Feel better now?”


“All right,” he said reaching for her hand. “Let’s go home.”

Detective Lynch sat down on the subway bench and exhaled. Hopefully, the repairs to his car would be finished soon. This daily commute to the subway was getting quite exhausting. Still, it was nice to have someone else doing the driving for once. He leaned back and closed his eyes for a brief moment, and felt his jacket shift against his shirt. He frowned.

The tell-tale lump of his wallet and his badge were gone.


Review of Once Gone by Blake Pierce

41qISlfQLFL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Book: Once Gone

Author: Blake Pierce

Publisher: Blake Pierce

Availability: Amazon Kobo Google Books IBooks  Barnes and Noble

Author Website and Social Media: Blake Pierce Facebook

Overall Rating 3.25 out of 5 Stars

Overall Summary:

Riley Paige is taking a much-needed break from her job as an FBI profiler after her last encounter with a serial killer left her nearly broken, both physically and mentally.  Unfortunately for her, and her collegues at the FBI, another serial killer has taken to the streets and bodies of young females are being found scattered around the rural outskirts of Virginia.

Needing to get past the trauma of her past, and wanting desperately to help find the killer, Riley Paige once again does what she does best– enter the mind of the killer.  As her struggles with her own scars and nightmares mount, her relationship with her teenage daughter, her partner, and her job are tested to their breaking point.  The question remains. Will Riley and the FBI be able to track down and capture this vicious killer before Riley finally breaks?

Review of Fires of Alexandria by Thomas K. Carpenter

51D22IWoEoLBook: Fires of Alexandria

Author:  Thomas K. Carpenter

Publisher: Black Moon Books

Availability:   Amazon  Kobo Barnes & Noble

Author Website and Social Media:   Thomas K. Carpenter  Twitter Facebook

Overall Rating:  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

Overall Summary:

The mystery of who truly started the fires that destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria has haunted the people of the world for almost a century by the time Heron of Alexandria is commissioned by an unknown patron to unravel the mystery.  Burdened by debt, mired in controversy, seemingly cursed by the gods, and keeping secrets that would warrant death by the morning light, Heron struggles to uncover the truth of the ancient disaster.   Aided and frustrated by a learned barbarian from the north who demands Heron’s skill and attention to create the machinations he needs to win and regain his honor.

A Review of Dark Desires by Eve Silver

Book:  Dark Desires Author:  Eve Silver Publisher: Eve Silver Availability:  Amazon, Kobo,  iTunes, Barnes & Noble Author Website and Social Media:  Eve Silver  Goodreads  Facebook Twitter Overall Rating  4.25 Overall Summary: Darcie Finch has certainly seen better days.  Betrayed and left penniless by those who she once loved and trusted, she is forced to take

Review of Murder and Brandy Boy by Dianne Harman

Book:  Murder and Brandy Body: A Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series Book 2 Author:  Dianne Harman Publisher:  Dianne Harman Availability:  Amazon  Barnes and Noble Author website and social media:  Dianne Harman  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest  Google+  Goodreads Overall Rating:  2.25 stars out of 5 Stars Overall Summary Life is certainly busy enough for Liz Lucas at

Review of Lowcountry Bribe: A Carolina Slade Mystery by C. Hope Clark

51ZYndjov2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Book:  Lowcountry Bribe:  A Carolina Slade Mystery

Author:   C. Hope Clark

Publisher:  Bell Bridge Books

Availability:   Amazon   Kobo  Barnes & Noble and Booksellers Nationwide

Author Website and Social Media:   C. Hope Clark   Funds For Writers   Twitter  Linkedin  Facebook

Overall Rating   4.85 out of 5 Stars


Overall Summary:

Carolina Slade has always played by the rules.  Follow the rules, and life goes along fairly smoothly, with only a few bumps and bruises along the way.  At least that’s what she used to think.  Now, the only thing that seems clear cut is that someone wants Slade dead.

From a sinister hog farmer to a missing boss, and a dead co-worker, Slade is up into her neck, and everything and everyone around her seems to throw the rulebook to the four winds.  Add to the mix, a marriage that is falling apart, and a federal agent who is easy on the eyes and not so easy on the mind, and Slade needs to learn to make the right choice before a killer makes it for her.

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