#BookReview – Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell


Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell is an unusual crime/thriller novel. It is told in two voices – Jill’s and Alex’s. Jill is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by her stepfather. Alex is a detective in Seattle PD. Although they are a married couple of five years, the two have been living separate lives as their jobs keep them both busy. While Jill has an affair with her boss, Alex works to find the killer of his ex-girlfriend’s sister and who has also threatened everyone Alex loves. Jill’s life begins to spiral out of control when her boss abruptly ends their affair and threatens to end Jill’s career. This leads Jill down a road of unfortunate and deadly events which further threatens her marriage to Alex and her personal freedom. Alex successfully tracks down the killer only to have the killer slip through his fingers a couple of times. Once Alex finally gets the killer in custody, he learns the dangerous, deadly game Jill has been playing. Then the killer is released and everyone’s lives are again in danger. Meanwhile, Alex has to decide what to do about Jill and as the two are in the middle of that confrontation, the killer shows up in an exciting, yet sad conclusion.

Patchell creates intriguing, solid characters. Jill is vulnerable, yet hardened from hatred of her stepfather. Alex is steady, loyal and honorable. Although I was shocked by some of Jill’s actions, I could understand why she did some of the things she did. Jill’s character, while not completely likable, actually became my favorite. Alex’s character seemed a bit naive at times, but Patchell set him up as such a good detective, I wasn’t at all surprised at how easily he discovered what Jill had been up to. The scene building was also well done, as were the characterizations, descriptions and settings. All in all, this was a complete package. If you want a great thriller that gives you some shocking, exciting moments, this is definitely the novel for you.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller

To Purchase: Amazon Kindle | Audible


Book Review – I Can Kill by Angela Kay

I Can Kill cover

I Can Kill by Angela Kay is an exciting FBI Thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat to the final scene. Kay weaves a chilling tale of a serial killer known as the Carnations Killer who delights in taunting FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly, who has been chasing this psychopath for ten years and across numerous states. With over fifty known kills under his belt and back from a hiatus, the killer has moved his hunting grounds close to Aidan’s home turf and this time, Aidan has sworn to finally catch him. The killer’s MO is sadistic and cruel. He kidnaps blonde women, brutally beats them over a period of a week and then strangles them. He leaves them in easy to find locations, posed and dressed in a black dress with white carnations placed upon their bodies. Aidan is haunted by the women who’ve been murdered. His job is affecting his sleep and his relationship with his girlfriend. The killer is meticulous and clever. He never leaves clues, no fingerprints or fibers. As Aidan and his partner Shaun Henderson work the case, the killer continues to taunt Aidan with messages left at crime scenes. They finally get a big break in the case, but only because the killer has upped the ante – he’s kidnapped Aidan’s girlfriend and left a big clue behind. Can Aidan discover who the killer is and find Cheyenne before she becomes the Carnations Killer’s latest victim?

This is the third Kay novel I’ve read and she continues to delight me with her intricate characters, clever twists and surprise endings. I’ve yet to guess who the killer is until all the clues are in and she has revealed the killer. I am a huge fan of serial killer novels and this one does not disappoint. I love that Kay allows us into the mind of the killer and we get to witness his interactions with his victims as well as with his family. Oh yes, he has a wife, a daughter and holds down a job. Kay also does a wonderful job of character building with Aidan O’Reilly and those who interact with him – his girlfriend, his partner, and his bosses. Her scenes are well-written and described, sometimes almost too graphic and chilling (not for me, but for those who may be squeamish though). You can tell that Kay definitely did her homework on this novel. Although this is a quick read (306 pages), do not be fooled by it’s shortness in length. This novel is jammed packed with twists and turns and lots of surprises. I highly recommend this novel.

Note: I was given a free copy of this novel for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Crime Fiction/FBI Thriller

Publisher: Stained Glass Publishing

Publish Date: March 30, 2018

To Pre-Order:

Amazon Kindle/Kindle Unlimited ($4.99/0.00) or Paperback($14.95)

Barnes and Noble – Paperback Only ($9.42)

#BookPromo: I Can Kill by Angela Kay

I Can Kill cover

About the Book

I Can Kill, and You Can’t Catch Me…

These were the last words The Carnations Killer said to FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly ten years ago before he went into hiding. He has tortured and murdered fifty women since then and managed to elude capture. Now, he’s returned once again, and his new hunting ground is Augusta, GA.

O’Reilly teams up with Shaun Henderson, the special agent in charge of the Augusta Resident Agency, to bring this ruthless killer to justice once and for all. But as each second ticks by, tensions rise and O’Reilly finds himself in a race against time before the killer slips away again.


“A gripping new thriller by Angela Kay that pits FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly against the Carnations Killer, a serial killer who enjoys playing Cat and Mouse with this formidable agent.” — Dana Ridenour, retired FBI Agent and award winning author of Behind The Mask and Beyond The Cabin

Genre: Crime Fiction/FBI Thriller

Publisher: Stained Glass Publishing

Publish Date: March 30, 2018

To Pre-Order:

Amazon Kindle/Kindle Unlimited ($4.99/0.00) or Paperback ($14.95)

Barnes and Noble – Paperback Only ($9.42)

Other Novels by Angela Kay

The Murder of Manny Grimes (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 1)

Blood Runs Cold (Jim DeLong Mysteries Book 2)

About the Author

Author PhotoEquipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!

During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.

Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.

Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.

Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.

Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

To Contact Angela Kay: Website | Website Contact Email | Email


Sundress Publications Opens Submissions for the 2017 Chapbook Competition

Dear friends, readers, and fellow writers, I’ve just received this email from Sundress Publications. If you have a chapbook manuscript in the works, or already written, here’s your chance to win a publishing competition. Good luck!

Sundress Publications is pleased to announce its fourth annual chapbook contest.  Authors of all genres are invited to submit qualifying manuscripts during our reading period of February 1 to April 15, 2017.

Enter Now

What We’re Looking For
We are looking for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or any combination thereof. Manuscripts must be between twelve to twenty-six (12-26) pages in length, with a page break between individual pieces. Individual pieces may have been previously published in anthologies, print journals, online journals, etc., but cannot appear in any full-length collection, including self-published collections. Both single-author and collaborative dual-author manuscripts will be considered. A unifying element is encouraged but not required. Manuscripts must be primarily in English; translations are not eligible.

Entry Fee & Prize
The entry fee is $10 per manuscript, though the fee will be waived for entrants who purchase or pre-order any Sundress title from our store.

The winner will receive a $200 prize, plus publication as a beautiful full-color PDF available exclusively online for free. Runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Our Judge
unnamed-3This year’s judge will be Darren C. Demaree. Demaree lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the author of six poetry collections and the recipient of nine Pushcart nominations. Currently, he is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

Submission Guidelines
All manuscripts should include a cover page (with only the title of the manuscript), table of contents, dedication (if applicable), and acknowledgements for previous publications. These pages will not be included in the total page count. Identifying information should not be included in any part of the manuscript. Authors with a significant relationship to the judge (friends, relatives, colleagues, past or present students, etc.) are discouraged from entering. We are dedicated to a fair judging process that emphasizes the quality of the writing, not the résumé of the author.

Simultaneous submissions to other presses is acceptable, but please notify Sundress immediately if the manuscript has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed, but a separate entry fee must accompany each entry. No revisions will be allowed during the contest judging period. Winners will be announced in Summer 2017.

Send your manuscript as a DOC or PDF to contest@sundresspublications.com along with a receipt number or screenshot for your payment.


#BookPromo – Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion by John Chaplick

Cover Chronicles.jpg

About the Book

An archaeological dig under the streets of London unearths a Roman Centurion’s 2000-year-old letter which throws doubt on and threatens the foundations of Christian doctrine and modern society. Is it possible the New Testament is a forgery promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church? In a desperate effort to assess the validity of the letter’s contents, a team of scholars including Dr. Peter Clemens, a devout Christian, and Sam Wykoff, an avowed atheist, track the First Century itinerary of Roman Legion XX through England and the Near East travels of Apostle Paul upon whose writings the centurion’s letter was based. In the process, the team encounters danger and subterfuge at every turn. An antichrist group anxious to discredit the Bible, and religious zealots eager to protect the status quo by attempting to stop or kill them are just a few of the obstacles they must overcome.

Genre(s): Genre Fiction, Religious/Spiritual, International Mystery/Crime, Thriller

To Purchase: Author’s Website | Amazon

Excerpts from A Critical Review of Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion by Jim Booth

A bit like a mystery, a bit like a thriller, John Chaplick’s Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion explores some profound ideas while it seeks to accomplish an elusive and difficult task. A Roman centurion who knew the apostle Paul sends his son a letter which is discovered twenty centuries later in an archaeological dig under the streets of London. The discovery challenges the validity of the New Testament and sends a team of scholars across England and Asia Minor in search of the truth.

In its Da Vinci Code like narrative Chaplick’s novel challenges the reader with at times almost dauntingly philosophical and theological discussions among its main characters, including a theologian and an avowed atheist. There is action, danger, mystery, and even a little romance as the team encounters both hard core zealots who fear opposition to the Bible, and evil cultists who eager to discredit it.

The reader will find him/herself both entertained and enlightened by John Chaplick’s novel. One can ask for no more.

About the Author

5702261110072.JPGA former auditor and partner in an international CPA firm, John Chaplick is an instructor in the field of forensic and investigative accounting. His experience includes a specialty in fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. He was the founder and president of his own business for eighteen years before he retired and made his home in Lutz, Florida.

He has published technical articles in various professional journals, and his mystery and romance novels are based upon his extensive corporate and professional experience. An Elder in the Presbyterian Church, John’s biblical studies have included research on the life of the apostle Paul. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He is a leader in the Florida Writers Association.

John also teaches writing classes at the Life Enrichment Center in Tampa, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USF.

Titles by John Chaplick can be found on his website @ EngagingBooksBlog.com:

  • The Pandora Files
  • An Enduring Conspiracy
  • The Rivergrass Legacy (Award-winner)
  • Bridge of the Paper Tiger
  • Forbidden Chronicles of a Roman Centurion (Award-winner)

John Chaplick’s Website | LinkedIn


Book Review – The Murder of Manny Grimes by Angela Kay


The Murder of Manny Grimes by Angela Kay is much more than a murder mystery. It is a story about love, hope and redemption with a paranormal and Christian slant. When three young boys enter the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department to report a murder at the Columbia County Elementary School, Lieutenant Jim DeLong’s life and those around him will be forever changed. A fifteen-year mystery, the death of Manny Grimes, and a suspected murder/suicide are all tangled together in this thrilling novel.

Manny Grimes had information that linked the murder/suicide and the mystery from fifteen years ago together, and he paid for it with his life. As DeLong, his mentor Russ Calhoun, and the CSI team of Newman and Elliot set out to solve this murder, life becomes complicated for all of them. DeLong is driven by the voice of Manny Grimes to help him and he cannot let him down.He also discovers that his wife and Calhoun had an affair and it drags him down a spiraling dark hole of alcoholism and rage. His personal life is as twisted and mixed-up as the case before him is. The team soon discover that the murder/suicide might have been staged and that one of the victims’ spouses could be involved in the cover-up, but the case is much deeper than that. It involves a murder fifteen years in the past that was also covered-up. Somehow through this tangled mystery, Kay ties all of the ends together in a shocking conclusion.

What I enjoyed most about this novel is that Kay does an excellent job of weaving so many story angles together to form a cohesive, well-written mystery. She also does an excellent job with the personal angles of the story – between DeLong and his wife, the affair his wife had with Calhoun, the interwoven angle of all the families involved in Manny Grimes’ murder and the budding romance between Calhoun and Elliot. These characters are rich, and humanly flawed, making them believable. The police procedural is also well done in this novel.

The only angle of the story that would have normally warded me off is the Christian slant. As a rule, I do not read Christian novels. Not because they are Christian, but because they are normally preachy and not my thing. However, in this novel, it made sense. DeLong’s life was spiraling out of control and a few nuances of scripture gave him the hope and determination to get his life back under control. It was well done in this novel and not at all preachy.

The only flaw I discovered was a minor one – DeLong was checked into a motel when he left his wife Samantha, but in once instance, it became a hotel. With such a minor flaw, there is no way I am allowing it to detract points from my review. This is a solid novel and deserves to be read and praised.

Note: I was given a free copy of this novel for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre(s): Mystery, Police Procedural, Christian, Paranormal

To Purchase: Amazon


#BookPromo – Hippie Mafia (Granola Gang Book 1) by Jessica Evans


About the Book

Hippie Mafia is a multi-voice narrative that examines gender roles within the constructs of urban identity. The antagonist of the work, Mason, is the antithesis of the female archetype, both in her decision making skills and in the progression of her character through her stand-alone agency. The female protagonist, Amy, is one who responds to the situations she finds herself in as one might expect of a standard female character. It is the hope of the work that these two conflicting female identities will help the reader to begin to understand and examine ways in which female characters do not need a male counterpoint to advance their own stores.

To Purchase: Amazon

About the Author

616395.jpgA Cincinnati native, Jessica Evans grew up in a sub-blue collar neighborhood on the city’s west side.  Early on, she began to examine the ways in which life is impacted by socioeconomic status.  Her work is largely a reflection of this interest.  She writes about things that move and motivate her in the hopes that her words can help change her community.

She has earned an MFA in Fiction from Spalding University, and like the rest of the world who hold MFA’s, she has no idea what she’s doing with it. When Jess isn’t bleeding her fingers on her laptop keys, you can find her lifting heavy weights or running half marathons.  She lives with her cat at the base of a mountain range.

Jessica Evans is the author of innumerable short stories, flash fiction and poetry.  Her current work includes four full length poetry collections, two novels and a basket full of vignettes, shorts, short-shorts and stories.

Various poetry and fiction can be found in myriad journals and anthologies, including Base Line Press, The Avalon Review, Crack the Spine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Magazine and many others.

Her most recent collection of poetry, Learn to Find, is now in print. Forthcoming is her latest collection of short-shorts, The Trip Continues, published by the University of Arkansas Press. She is currently working on a new manuscript.

Jessica Evans’ Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn