Hello everyone and welcome to the Release Day for my latest Psychological Thriller “Whatever It Takes”.
James Kincaid had it all.
He’d made it to the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized winners above all else. Three golden statuettes currently graced the mantle of his Los Angeles mansion. Next year’s Oscars held the sweet promise of more.
Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.
He couldn’t move on with his life or the dream without knowing why.
Andi O’Connor is the woman he’d hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.
Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of one besotted human’s insanity?
From Hollywood to New York, the body count continues to rise. Time is not on their side.’
Today I’m celebrating the release of Whatever It Takes by introducing you to Andi O’Connor.
I had such a marvelous time creating Andi. She was both a challenge and a joy to breathe life into.
In Chapter 1 we first meet Andi. After much soul searching she has tendered her resignation as head of crack Homicide Investigation Team with the NYPD.
Say Hello to Andi the morning after her farewell celebration.
Andi grabbed her ringing iPhone and smiled as her best friend Keiko’s number came up. She tried not to give away how hungover she was as she answered. “G’mornin, sunshine.”
“Sunshine is it? How’re you shaping up this mornin’?”
“I’d like to say great, but, it’s not pretty. Just how much did we drink last night?”
“You don’t want to know, trust me.”
“I vaguely recall a couple of the guys pouring me into a cab. Did I do anything I should have been arrested for?”
“Not unless murdering karaoke is now a capital offense. That was some farewell, girlfriend.”
“Oh, God. Really? Karaoke?”
“Well, the guys actually voted for pole dancing. I figured karaoke might be easier to live down.”
“It didn’t end well, did it?”
Keiko spluttered, “Last I saw, two of the uniformed guys went searching for duct tape.”
Andi laughed before she remembered how fragile her head was. “Oh, hell. You know I actually caught myself getting into work mode just before you rang. Then reality kicked back in.”
“You need to get away for a while, Andi. Get your head sorted.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do. You know I’m gonna miss it. Well, some of it.”
“Have you thought through your options? You could always use that Harvard degree, girlfriend.”
“Oh hell, Keiko, I know. I need to give that a lot of thought. I always have that as an option whatever I decide to do now. I just don’t know which direction I’m headed in yet.”
“Whatever you decide to do, you know they’ll welcome you back here with open arms.”
“Thanks, hon, but I can’t see me ever doing that. I’m not good at traveling backward.” Andi closed off discussion on that topic, “Anyways, are you on shift today?”
“No, thank God. My stomach couldn’t handle a homicide scene at the moment.”
“That’s what you get for being so good at your job.”
“Anybody can read a camera image, Andi.”
“Not everybody can find the things you find in those images. I wish I had that skill.”
“Yeah, and I’d love to head a team the way you do. Did. So let’s just admire each other’s brilliance and get on with it.”
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
MY BOOK REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A Riveting action-packed thriller!
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed both “My GRL” and “His Revenge” I was in need of an action fix and eager to begin reading this novel which is book 3 of this fast paced trilogy.
Unlikely hero John J. Cannon had proven himself adept at escaping the attempts by a terrorist bent on an insane need for revenge against The United States of America and more specifically her President.
Matt Jacobs is wealthy, powerful and bordering on insane. He is determined to succeed at any cost. He wants John J Cannon to be the one to unleash hell, and the action in this novel ramps up to breath holding sequences that leave the reader hanging on for a shattering climax.
Author John W. Howell doesn’t disappoint on any level.
His characterizations are cleverly subtle, allowing the reader to visualize the potent scenes without overwhelming them with too much description. This author commands the attention with a clear gift at plot structure, and superb pacing that will leave you immensely satisfied as Our Justice reaches its unpredictable and shattering climax.
I believe this talented author has another book in a totally different genre coming out soon.
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her Point Pleasant series of novels.
A member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net
What inspired you to write in this genre?
I’ve written in multiple genres over the years, but most of them contained elements of suspense and mystery. As a kid I was in love with mysteries so it was only natural that theme would worm its way into my writing. With each successive book I’ve written, that element has taken on a larger role, until it’s become my primary focus.
How much research was required before you began to write &did the characters then create more research by their actions?
My newest book, A Desolate Hour, required a great deal of research as it incorporates actual events and aspects of folklore. The book is set in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the U.S. I made two separate trips to the area to do site research. I also devoted numerous hours to reading accounts of the town’s history, and investigating the multiple urban legends associated with Point Pleasant.
How would you best describe your protagonist?
A Desolate Hour has more than one protagonist. Caden Flynn is a practical man forced to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. He’s steady and sure with a strong work ethic, and a willingness to step out of his comfort zone. A sergeant with the local sheriff’s office, he’s suffered multiple tragedies in his past, but that hasn’t stopped him from starting over or opening his mind to the inexplicable and bizarre events that beset Point Pleasant.
Quentin Marsh, my other protagonist, has grown up in an affluent family. A musical prodigy, his life has taken an unexpected turn. By the time he arrives in Point Pleasant, he’s floundering. He goes to the town at the request of his twin sister, but soon becomes embroiled in a murder investigation, an ancient curse, and a vendetta that spans centuries.
Have you written or do you intend to write in other genres.
Before I was published, I wrote everything from high fantasy and sci-fi, to inspirational and western.
My first two published books were romance—Weathering Rock and Twelfth Sun—a paranormal/time travel, and a contemporary. Both incorporated mysteries, but were more heavily slanted toward romance. Afterward, I moved into romantic suspense with a growing shift to mystery. The change was gradual which allowed me to maintain a number of existing readers while establishing a new brand. I love the mystery/suspense genre and plan on staying entrenched. J
Is this novel a stand-alone or part of a series?
A Desolate Hour is the third and final book of my Point Pleasant series. Each novel is complete, with a finite ending, but there are also events and characters that continue throughout the series. Books 1 and 2 are A Thousand Yesteryears and A Cold Tomorrow.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes. I’m very excited to have recently signed a three book contract with my publisher. The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill is the first book in a new mystery series I’m developing. The plot features two threads—one in the present, the other in the late 1800s. Both tie together and are rooted in the Spiritualism movement of the 19th century. At that time, mediums readily engaged in fraud (sometimes quite skillfully), a few of them even amateur magicians. The research has been fascinating!
I then ask my guests to pose a question to themselves, and their response
7. How long have you been writing? Since grade school. I know that many writers begin later in life, but for me it’s been a life-long passion. If I go a week without expelling my creative energy in some type of story format, I suffer from withdrawal. I think only another writer truly understands how essential writing is for our well-being!
Featured Book: This Book is due for release on JULY 18th 2017.
A Desolate Hour:
Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures
For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing Chief Cornstalk—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?
While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .
From New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien:
“A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is masterful, bone-chilling fiction that begins with a real-life tragedy on December 15, 1967: the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. 46 people died. Author Mae Clair has seamlessly woven fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore into one intense thriller. The gripping story focuses on two witnesses to the disaster—fifteen years later. Both Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn lost loved ones in the catastrophe and still carry the emotional scars. After a long absence, Eve returns to Point Pleasant to bury her recently-deceased aunt, face some old ghosts, and reunite with her one-time “impossible-crush,” Caden. But when Eve begins to investigate her aunt’s death, she’s plunged into danger and a nightmare world where scary urban legends are very real. Full of suspense, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”
Hello and welcome to Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.
WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.
This Month I am featuring Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Authors.
Please welcome my first guest, Gordon Bickerstaff.
Meet Gordon …
I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well.
I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I have written the Gavin Shawlens series of thrillers: Deadly Secrets, Everything To Lose, The Black Fox, Toxic Minds and Tabula Rasa. More will come in due course. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.
My Interview with Gordon.
What inspired you to write in this genre?
My dad read Ian Fleming’s books so a combination of reading his books and the movies got me hooked into thrillers and world-changing threats led by megalomaniacs. In my books, the women are not eye-candy; they are the smart and determined main protagonists like Zoe Tampsin who win the day. There is a character similar to Q in James Bond and that’s Gavin Shawlens.
2. How much research was required before you began to write & did the characters then create more research by their actions?
I trained as a researcher, so I love doing research to give my stories some substance. I have no experience of weapons and Special Forces operations, so I have to do the research. I don’t do it before I write, I do the research as and when required e.g. in Tabula Rasa, Gavin Shawlens is threatened by the baddies, and in keeping with the specifics of the scene, I needed something very old and nasty. With some research, I found The Heretic’s Fork, which was just the ticket to make Gavin talk.
Yes, the characters do create more research. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about main protagonist Zoe, and since she is Special Forces trained, I’ve had to learn more about weapons and fighting to make her heroine character more believable.
3. How would you best describe your protagonist?
There are two; Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, and they are complete opposites. Gavin is modelled on Q from James Bond but whereas Q is an expert on everything, Gavin is more limited to life sciences. He is naive, and untrained in the ways of covert investigations. Zoe is ex-army, Special Forces with a finely tuned skill set for undercover operations. Her nickname in the regiment is DP (which are the initials of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman). Zoe is the strong female lead who is empowered with the skills and cunning to get the job done. When I write about Zoe, I think about Samantha Caine (played by Geena Davis) in the brilliant movie The Long Kiss Goodnight.
4. Have you written or do you intend to write in other genres.
Interesting question because I’m wrestling with it at the moment. At the end of Tabula Rasa, if the goodies win, the nightmare is averted. But what if they didn’t win and Gavin and Zoe faced a world apocalypse (dystopian genre) in which his science is needed for her survival, and her fighting skills are needed for his survival. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll go for such a massive twist in the series.
5. Is this novel a stand-alone or part of a series?
Tabula rasa is #5 in a series and is completely stand alone. I’m changing the name of series from The Gavin Shawlens Thrillers to The Lambeth Group Thrillers to reflect the fact that in some of the stories either Gavin or Zoe play a lesser role.
6. Are you currently working on anything new?
Having just published Tabula Rasa, I’m at the stage of trying to decide on the next story. I have two outlines. Zoe leads a rescue team to the Middle East to extract a prominent captive (Gavin will have a minor role). Or, Gavin receives a new assignment from the Lambeth Group in which he has to discover how six men have managed to get away with murdering their wives (based loosely on a true story of a biochemist in Edinburgh who tried unsuccessfully to kill his wife). When Gavin gets too close to discovering the truth; Zoe will need to pull him out of the fire, again!
I then ask my guests to pose a question to themselves, and their response.
7. The first three books in the series are stand-alone stories but over-arching them is a story arc that brings the third story and the trilogy to a climax. Where did this story come from?
When I was a student in 1973, I attended a seminar given by Tim Dinsdale in which he showed the Rines-Egerton picture as proof of the Loch Ness Monster. After the seminar, I joined my pals for a few drinks and we agreed that although the picture looked good, it was all a load of nonsense.
Then for months afterwards, I began to wonder what the Americans were really searching for in Loch Ness. Not the monster – that’s a hoax, so it had to be something else, and from that idea I developed the story. But I had to wait until I retired before I could put in the time to pull it all together.
So the overarching story of the first three books in the series is my fictional thoughts on what the Americans were doing in Loch Ness in the early 1970s with their high-tech sonar and their high-tech cameras.
Today we are Featuring
Tabula Rasa: The end is nigh …
The end is nigh …
A thriller for fans of Michael Crichton, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and James Patterson.
A hundred years ago, a wealthy family of visionaries prophesied the devastation that global warming would bring to world food supplies in the 21st century. They decided to prepare for the worst, and embark on an ambitious plan of revolution.
Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defence scientist. Someone is determined to stop them before they get started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only other clue is the curious behaviour of the dead scientist’s son, Ramsay. Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of Ramsay’s aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden.
What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop the greatest revolution in human history?
What Zoe discovers about Gavin—words can’t describe. Zoe is faced with an impossible choice, but one thing is certain, she will not hesitate to do her duty, no matter the cost.
Just one of the many AMAZON REVIEWS of Tabula Rasa The end is nigh.
5 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner!
By 1D82 Manyon July 1, 2017 Format: Kindle Edition
A real page turner!
A thrilling, action packed adventure with great characters and exciting events that kept me up half the night. I loved how the plot circled around the aristocracy, a secret society, and plenty of intrigue. The intricate details really gave the book depth without compromising the story with ‘packing’. I also loved how strong the female lead, Zoe, was; makes an excellent change.
I hadn’t read the previous books but have now picked them up as although you can enjoy this book as a standalone, this is obviously a great series and worth reading the whole lot to gain more insights into the background of the characters.
The other books in this series:
You will find Gordon Bickerstaff at each of the following locations. On TWITTER
Diego rested his hand on the Glock, seeking comfort in the unrelentingly cold hardness of the metal.
He checked the CCTV image; uncertain if it were a trick of his mind that permitted him to visualize the shapes that waited there, as friend, and not foe.
Two people stood unmoving, both concealed by the dark hoodies that covered their heads and faces so successfully. The stance of one was tantalizingly familiar; yet Diego’s brain recognized it as an impossibility, even as the thought formed. ‘No … impossible! No, no, no, you’re dead’
He clicked the intercom open, and was not surprised when his voice quavered as he spoke, “What?”
“That’s no way to greet an old friend, Chicano!”
“Santa Madre de Dios! No! I saw you die.”
The one who had spoken, raised both hands, then, slowly and with long-tapered fingers’, pushed back the hoodie. The perfect features worked themselves into a high-powered smile. “I decided that death was supremely overrated, Chicano! You know how I am when I make up my mind. Now open the fucking door, I need a drink!”
Diego Ortega made his choice, and with a hand that shook, he deactivated the explosive charge, his first-line of defense. He opened the door; even as he clicked off the safety on the Glock, and stood ready to use it at point blank range if necessary.
“Weapons on the table. Both of you, now!” He said, surprising himself that he could speak at all.
“That’s the first smart thing you’ve said.” The un-hooded one replied, placing another Glock on the table.
“You!” Diego pointed his weapon at the shorter of the two, “The weapon, now!”
The second person slowly moved their right hand, and pulled a gun from beneath the hoodie. It was carefully laid alongside his companions.
Diego placed his gun barely inches from the face of the one he recognized, “The back-up. On the table. Make it fast.”
“Good call! So you do remember?” The left ankle was quickly revealed and a lethal knife was quickly removed from its sheath, to join the guns on the table.
“Hands behind you. Kneel on the floor.”
“You,” he pointed the gun at the second one, “Down.”
The two threats to his sanity were now cuffed. “Tell me what you want. Make it fast.”
“I want a drink, Chicano. You know what I like.”
“Still drinking Buds?” Diego smiled stiffly as he asked.
“I’ve never touched beer in my life. Nice try, Chicano. But no cigar! You disappoint me; I expected your wits to have remained sharper than this. I have my preferred drink of choice in my backpack; unless you happen to have a Twelve-year-old single malt scotch available?”
Diego heard clearly, “That is hardly a secret. You’ll need much more to convince me that you are who you appear to be. Much, more.”
“You whisper ‘Ti Amo’ when you orgasm.”
“I do that with anyone that satisfies me.”
“I’m tired of this bullshit, Chicano!You ask the damned questions. I want a drink while I wait.”
Diego was wavering, but held the gun ready. He racked his memory banks for something unique to his tormentor. “What did your mother say to you just before she died?”
The tormentor glared at him, not speaking, for a long, cold, moment. Then the words erupted like poisonous sores spewing puss. “She said, ‘You were always the waste of a perfectly good fuck!’ Just before I shot her.”
Diego stood motionless for what felt an eternity, then, with tears pouring from his still disbelieving eyes, he moved behind the visitors and removed the cuffs.
“Querida. Mi amor preciouso!” He pulled the woman into his arms.
She laughed delightedly and kissed him. “Your accent thickens whenever you are passionate or afraid. Which is it now? ”
Diego looked in her green eyes, as his memories threatened to spiral out of control, “A mixture of both, Elizabeth. We need to talk. I have company coming, soon now. We will talk later.”
He turned his attention to her companion once more, “Your name?”
“His name is Javier.”
“Can he not speak for himself, Elizabeth?”
“No … he cannot. The Breed removed his tongue.”
Diego looked at the younger man, “I’m so sorry.”
” Why did they allow him to live? They usually complete the butchering process.”
The woman looked across at the young man. They shared an unspoken moment.
“It will take time to explain, Diego.”The woman looked into his eyes for a long moment. “These people you are expecting … . Do you trust them with our lives, Diego?”
In this powerful sequel to Acts Beyond Redemption Nigel Cantrell is back, and he’s out for blood.
One of his team holds on precariously to life, with no guarantees of recovery.
Can those responsible drag him into a nightmare he will struggle to contain?
In a complex dual where oaths taken are forsaken, and promises made are broken beyond repair; he must seek the help of the only people he can trust, people who revere him … and, those that despise him.
Cantrell is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised.
Yet, nothing is more demonic than the peril he must now face, as a one man’s maniacal thirst for revenge is uncovered.
A man so enormously powerful, with a hatred so intense, so extreme, that the possible demise of his own species means nothing to him. He will dispense his revenge as his diseased mind sees fit.
Nigel Cantrell and his team do not have failure as an option.
The fate of their country and beyond now rests in their hands.
Hello and welcome to my Book Review Of “His Revenge” by John W. Howell.
Meet the Author
John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a daily blog at johnwhowell.com where he writes about a number of subjects related to reading, writing, and life in general. John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife Molly and their spoiled rescue pets. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.
The second John J. Cannon Thriller moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt plans to murder innocent Americans including John’s latest relationship. John’s only way out is to pretend to go along with the plan and hope for a miracle.
The first John J. Cannon Thriller is titled My GRL.
MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Can’t wait to read the next in this series!
This is the second book I have read by this author. The first in this series is ‘My GRL’ which I enjoyed immensely, so I was looking forward to seeing just how things evolved in book 2.
I’m so pleased that I have read this series in order, although “His Revenge” could stand alone, I’m already a little familiar with the central character of John Cannon.
Familiar enough for me to already have formed a very real and almost comfortable liking for him. Author John W Howell allows us to become a part of just what makes reluctant hero Cannon tick, whilst still managing to surprise us with actions that are both a little uncharacteristic and yet highly understandable.
I’m reminded (happily) of Tom Clancy’s marvelous characterization of ‘Jack Ryan’ not so much by the actions of that character, but by the inherent decency of the man. Not so much naivety as an all pervading sense of what’s right.
Author John Howell evolves that differently with John Cannon. Nonetheless, he crafts a memorable and intensely readable persona.
Much has been said by others about the plot. I found it not only intriguing, but also formulated with a certain knowledge of just what makes readers eager to turn that next page.
Cannon is taken and drugged by terrorists out to destroy not only the American economy but to cause a worldwide financial crisis with all the possible catastrophic flow on that would ensue. He is forced to make a choice. He either records an interview that will blatantly lie, and consequently destroy the country he loves, financially, or, face the consequence of the death of a woman he has come to care for and all the many hundreds of other folks recovering from injuries at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Faced with a dilemma that no man would ever want to make a conscience call on, John Cannon agonizes over what will do the greatest harm.
The action packed conclusion is stunning. The dialogue excellent, and my eagerness to read book 3 of the series caused me to buy ‘ Our Justice’ immediately.