New Release: ASCENSION by Gregory Dowling

ASCENSION51j3vh3jrl by Gregory Dowling / Historical thriller / Released Sept 13, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books

The setting, Venice 1759, and the animated protagonist, tour guild Alvise Marangon, make for an incredibly intriguing start to this original series.

When a young tour guide offers to help an English Grand Tourist, little does he know that it will lead to his being embroiled in blackmail and conspiracy.  To add to his woes, he is them forcibly recruited into the city’s powerful secret service to investigate a murder case.  A reluctant spy he may be, but he is a gifted one.

Amidst the world of gambling dens and courtesans, something momentous is being planned for the Feast of the Ascension, Venice’s most important and spectacular holiday, and it seems that only Alvise can prevent the day turning into bloody mayhem.

GREGORY DOWLING grew up in Bristol before studying English at Christ Church, Oxford.  He moved to Venice in 1981, where he is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca’Foscari University of Venice.  He has published four novels, co-edited two anthologies of poetry, and written various non-fiction books and academic articles on Italian, British and American literature.

New Release: BETWEEN TWO FIRES by Mark Noce

between-two-firesBETWEEN TWO FIRES by Mark Noce / Historical Mystery, Romance / Released Aug 23, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books

Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales.  Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.  But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue.  A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians.  But when she falls for a young hedge knight names Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart.  Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Reminiscent of classics like The Mists of Avalon and A Game of Thrones, and newer popular titles like Hild, Branwen’s tale masterfully weaves together elements of mystery and romance with Noce’s gift for storytelling.

MARK NOCE writes historical fiction with a passion.  Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been an avid traveler and backpacker.  He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife.  By day he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook.  He also writes short fiction online.  When not reading or writing he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.

New Release: THE SPICE BOX LETTERS by Eve Makis

51dm7dn4pcl-_sx331_bo1204203200_THE SPICE BOX LETTERS by Eve Makis / Women’s Fiction / Released Sept 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books

Katerina longs to know why her grandmother, Miriam, refused to talk about the past, especially when she inherits a journal and handwritten letters stashed in a wooden spice box, cryptic treasures written in Armenian, Miriam’s mother tongue.  On vacation in Cyprus, Katerina finds the key to unlocking her grandmother’s secrets and discovers a family legacy of exile and loss.  Aged seven, Miriam was expelled from her home in Eastern Turkey and witnessed the death of her beloved brother Gabriel, or so she believed.  Katerina sets out on a fact-finding mission across the island and solves a mystery that changed her life and lays the ghosts of her grandmother’s turbulent past to rest.

Based on real events that took place during the genocide, THE SPICE BOX LETTERS is a story of family, love, hope, and tragedy that is also rich with history.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Sarah’s Key in this amazing story that weaves the past with the present and tragedy with redemption.

EVE MAKIS studied at Leicester University and worked as a journalist and radio presenter in the UK and Cyprus before becoming a novelist.  Eve is a part time tutor in creative writing in Nottingham University.  She is married with two children and lives in the UK and Cyprus.

New Release: PUMPKIN PICKING WITH MURDER by Auralee Wallace

51dxqxbwdzl-_sx303_bo1204203200_PUMPKIN PICKING WITH MURDER by Auralee Wallace / An Otter Lake Mystery / Cosy Mystery / Released Aug 30, 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

For a small town like Otter Lake, New Hampshire, the annual Fall Festival is a big deal:  a Ferris wheel, corn maze, caramel apples and pumpkin pies – even a Tunnel of Love.  Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself, which includes getting better acquainted with Sheriff Grady Forrester.  But when a swan boat sails out of the heart-shaped exit of the tunnel with a dead man slumped over a wing, her romance will have to take a backseat.

Speaking of love affairs, the other passenger in the boat – and only witness to the elderly Mr. Masterson’s swan song – is not his wife.  It’s Erica’s beloved and feisty “aunt” Tweedy, who quickly becomes the prime suspect.

Vowing to clear Tweety, Erica teams up with her sassy BFF and self-appointed security expert Freddie Ng to solve the murder – despite the objections of Grady, who’s convinced the amateurs are going overboard in their investigation.  And he just may be right.  But as Erican and Freddie start to dredge up long-kept small-town secrets, will they head straight into troubled waters?

AURALEE WALLACE has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent.  When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing humorous novels about quirky characters, she can often be found pontificating about the Golden Age of soap operas or warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.

Review: BECAUSE I’M WATCHING by Christina Dodd

UnknownBECAUSE I’M WATCHING By Christina Dodd

Suspense with romantic elements Released Sept 6,2016 by St Martin’s Press

The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover’s murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing the monster that slithers through her imagination, and living in fear of those moments when the doors of her mind unhinge and her nightmare lives in the daylight. 

A seasoned military veteran, Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, and angry. Every day he lives with guilt. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house–and his life–wide open.

Jacob had given up and was simply waiting for death to find him. But with his home ripped open by Maddie’s car and no interest in leaving his chair while the workmen repaired the damage he began to watch Maddie across the street.

He found a spark of his old self in watching Maddie fight back against her demons with everything she had. His protective instincts were triggered as the odd things that were happening to Maddie began to look like they originated from an outside source and not Maddie as everyone believed.

Called heartbreaking, funny and terrifying this book lives up to the hype with page turning action, compelling characters and a backstory that perfectly seasons the story. It’s easy to see why Ms. Dodd is a New York Times Best Selling Author.