Book Reviews: Gripping, Thrilling Mysteries by Clifford Rush

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 29•15

There have been many times in my life that God has sent someone into my life who provided just what I needed at that time. Alisa, half of the Clifford Rush writing team, is one of those persons. I was thinking about not blogging anymore, since it seemed that no one read it anyway, when Alisa wrote some very encouraging words in the comments on a “Wordless Wednesday”. I promised myself over a year ago that I would take my camera out at least once a week, no matter how I felt, and share at least one photo every Wednesday. Knowing that someone noticed was the fuel I needed to continue. When she commented, I noticed that she referred to Clifford Rush as a writing team. It took me a few weeks, but eventually, I went to Amazon and searched for books by Clifford Rush. I bought the short story, No Eye Has Seen, not really knowing what to expect. It was amazing. I purchased it to read on an upcoming trip. I opened it the day before to preview it, and could not put it down. It’s an urban mystery that is not filled with sex and profanity, just great writing. The characters are well-developed. It is intellectually stimulating, yet thrilling. I loved it so much, that I finished it that day, leaving myself with nothing exciting to read on my trip. Naturally, I returned to Amazon and purchased their novel, No Mind Has Conceived (End of Days Book 1), and loved it just as much. The Clifford Rush team successfully managed to keep me hooked from beginning to end. The detective and his assistant are great characters. The whole investigating team is made up of lovable, fallible characters who are giving everything they have to fight evil. I’m really looking forward to their next book.

Book Description: No Eye Has Seen

Book Cover: No Eye Has seen by Clifford RushTwo sisters—one is a cook, and the other is a criminal—seem to have nothing in common. Yet they share a secret someone is willing to kill for. Arlington Police Detective John Metcalf uses unexpected clues to solve one of his toughest murder cases. This is a 4-part, fast-paced short story.

 

 

Book Description: No Mind Has Conceived (End of Days Book 1):

Book Cover: No Mind Has Conceived  by Clifford RushWhat if the antichrist controlled the internet? Detective John Metcalf’s current case forces him to consider the possibility as he races to find a missing senator’s daughter in the greater D.C. area.

At the crime scene, Metcalf finds a cross pendant necklace. An identical necklace shows up at a second location attached to a corpse. He finds a third cross worn by his son. To solve the case, Metcalf recruits an unexpected team, including an Israeli Special Forces operator, a farm girl, a news anchor, and two MIT dropouts.

Metcalf must reconstruct the victim’s last days to protect his son. He learns the senator’s daughter took a dare, researched prophesy, fell in love with an Israeli, begged for her reporter friend’s help, and stumbled onto a truth worth killing for. Skeptical, Metcalf follows the facts, but he can’t explain a series of supernatural roadblocks, culminating with a threat to his son. Facing an impossible situation, Metcalf realizes there are things No Mind Has Conceived.

Purchase Links

No Eye Has Seen

No Mind Has Conceived (End of Days Book 1):

About the Authors:

Clifford RushClifford Rush is the pen name of husband-wife writing team Dave and Alisa Clifford. They share 15 years in law enforcement along with entrepreneurial success. Clifford Rush novels combine fast-paced plots with dynamic characters, and always leave you with something new to think about.

Dave and Alisa first met when they were fourteen-years-old. He gallantly gave her his jacket during a chilly whale-watching trip out of Westport, Washington. They’ve been together ever since. Married for over two decades, they currently live in Idaho. Learn more at CliffordRush.com.

 

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Wordless Wednesday

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 28•15


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Crossing the Line: A Darcy James Mystery by Donna Lively

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 26•15

Crossing The Line: A Darcy James Mystery is a book that I was given for review purposes through the Read and Review program at Choosy Bookworm. Reading and reviewing books is one of my winter volunteer service projects. I know how difficult it is for writers to get reviews, and I enjoy supporting other authors. Crossing the Line a Darcy James Mystery by Donna Lively I have found some very enjoyable books there. I strongly recommend it if you enjoy reading books by fresh voices. The one I am promoting today, is one of the best ones I have read through this program; yet, I promote for another reason as well. The person who completed and published this book is not the author. She is the sister of the author. Miss Lively passed away in 2012, and her sister, with the support of other family members, is working hard to complete and publish her work. This fall, I lost a family member while I was recovering from pneumonia, reminding me of the shortness of our stay on this planet.  I am impressed with her family’s devotion, and wanted to do my part to help them get this wonderful book into the hands of more readers.

Book Description

Darcy James is the daughter of a black jazz musician and a French prostitute. She could easily pass for white. In 1913 Chicago doing so would make her life a lot easier. Instead she clings tightly to her racial identity and the memory of her beloved father. That is, until her courage and intelligence are put to good use as an undercover investigator for Ida Wells-Barnett and her anti-lynching campaign. Darcy is recruited to investigate the death of a young black man, Saylor Cates, in the town of Medicine Chant, Oklahoma. Accused of raping a white woman, Saylor is killed by an angry mob. But the facts are far from clear. Her mission is to dig deep into the community to uncover the truth behind Saylor’s murder. Before leaving Chicago, Darcy launches her own personal crusade to find and punish the men responsible for her lover’s death. Danny Sardo was a tortured soul and escaped his pain with an overdose of morphine. Darcy enters into an uneasy alliance with his former employer and infamous brothel owner, Fat Louie Napoli. It is up to Fat Louie to use his resources to uncover the conspiracy behind Danny’s death and clear a path for Darcy’s revenge.

Meanwhile in Medicine Chant, Oklahoma, Darcy sustains a dangerous masquerade. Posing as white, she has easy access to the local elite. But her questions are making some people nervous. The community has something to hide that goes deeper than the killing of one black man.

Darcy must use all her wits to solve this tragic puzzle, or she could very well be the next victim of a noose tied in Medicine Chant, Oklahoma.

Character Interview: Darcy James

I understand your mother killed herself right in front of you when you were a child. That must have been awful. Do you ever have nightmares or are there other ways that this event still haunts you today?

I was only four, but I remember it well. I had always felt somehow responsible. I remember her words, that she was doing it because of me. It seems silly, really, that a four-year-old could be responsible for someone else’s life; particularly a mother, the one who should be taking care of the child. But I couldn’t shake the feeling. My father tried to make up for it. He thought I couldn’t have remembered it correctly or not at all, really. I tried not to think too much about it. But for the longest time, I believed she never really loved me. And that thought did haunt me for much of my life

While I understand how you clicked with Danny, was there a time when you were afraid that being with him was too dangerous?

No, never. I would have done anything for Danny, gone anywhere with him. My only fear was being without him.

I love how close you are with Yeva Silver. Tell me more about your first meeting with her and how she came to love and accept you.

Yeva Silver was kind to me even before I met her. She, well, all the Silvers, came into my life through a misunderstanding, the misreading of a title on a piece of music my father wrote for me. It was her influence on her husband that helped me reclaim my father’s legacy. Yeva is one of the most giving and loving people I know. I believe it is in her nature to be understanding of human frailty, to try and heal wounds, both physical and emotional. When we finally did meet in person, I think she saw in me someone who needed a family. Sometimes I catch her looking at me in a certain way, and I think she can see things about me that I don’t even know about myself.

I am so impressed with your courage. Investigating lynching can be very dangerous. Was there a point where you thought about backing off of the assignment in Medicine Chant?

I prefer going it alone. So I usually work without partners or backup, and I don’t join the communities where I’m investigating. Typically I pretend to be a newspaper reporter just trying to get a good story. But Medicine Chant was so different. The lies were intricate and embedded deep in the community’s past. The only way to get at the truth was to go undercover. This meant relying on others and working as part of a team. And, well, trust isn’t something I give easily. Posing as white is extremely dangerous, and I did at one point think of leaving, particularly when I realized my safety depended on others.

It was fascinating to see the way you and Karen connected. What do you think drew you to her so quickly?

Connected to the murder of Saylor Cates was the suicide of Sarah Hart, Karen’s mother. In fact, the two deaths happened on the same day. Karen, unfortunately, was present in the room when her mother shot herself. Her experience was jarringly similar to my own. I understood immediately her self-contained silence. Suicide is another type of mystery. It leaves behind so many questions. And, I think, when you love someone, it is hard not to feel in some way responsible. In solving the murder of Saylor Cates, I was able to understand Sarah’s actions. I hope one day, when Karen is older, that the truth of Sarah’s suicide will free her from the terrible burden of her mother’s death.

About the Author

Donna Lively was a writer, poet, and award-winning storyteller. Her audio compilation of Scots-Irish stories, “Onions in the Stew,” won a 2005 Parents’ Choice Award. She was a member of the Tejas Storytelling Association and was recognized as one of the best storytellers in Texas.

She was also a huge fan of historical mysteries and an excellent amateur genealogist. In fact, it was a mystery in her own family’s lineage that inspired Donna to create the character of Darcy James and give her a complex puzzle to solve amidst the racial violence of the post-Reconstruction South.

Donna was committed to telling the stories of forgotten people, marginalized cultures, and unforgivable crimes. In her stories, she gave voice to the ethnic diversity that is America; a diversity that was a particular characteristic of her own family.

Donna died in May 2012, leaving behind a legacy of storytelling of which “Crossing The Line” is the first in a planned series of three Darcy James Mysteries.

 

Buy at Amazon (only 99 cents):

 

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Meet JoAnn Meaker

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 22•15

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to JoAnn Meaker. We are both members of the Walkerton Writers group. I first met JoAnn last year at about this time when she was putting the finishing touches on Four Branches. I really enjoyed reading the chapters she presented to us, and was thrilled when she asked me for advice on character names. When she told me about My Dear Emma, I purchased it and loved it.  We both have spent a great deal of time researching our family histories, so that common bond, along with my interest in historical fiction made me interested. Her incredible writing style kept me reading. The characters were very real, very likable. There were great twists and turns that kept me interested from page one through the end. Of course, I had to buy Four Branches as soon as it came out, and was equally impressed. JoAnn is a great weaver of tales, yet takes the time to make sure she is historically accurate. If you enjoy historical fiction interwoven with a modern tale, you will love her books.

A Line of Shorts is a mixed-genre collection of short stories. I enjoyed almost every story. They are really well-written and for me were perfect bedtime stories.

 

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised on Long Island before leaving for college in upstate New York. After years of traveling while my husband was in the Navy, we lived for almost 30 years in Ontario, NY. Five years ago we moved to Richmond, Virginia. During my years in Ontario, I volunteered at the town’s historical society, which owns a nine-building museum. This is what started my love of history and of the Civil War period specifically, since that is what the museum focused on. I helped organize their archival materials, writing manuals, and curriculum materials for visitors. Then, when the town celebrated its bicentennial, I was co-chair of the committee, and as such I took on the task of writing weekly articles that appeared in the local newspaper. This became my first book, published by Arcadia Publishing, and titled,  Ontario.

Ontario by JoAnn Meaker

When did you first start writing?

While I was never a journal writer and never kept a diary, my love for the printed word began as soon as I could read. While I wrote a lot during my twenty-seven years as a teacher, it was mostly curricular materials or newsletters for parents and teachers, manuals etc., not anything that was formally published. It never occurred to me that I might be a published writer until I wrote Ontario.

 

What’s the story behind your latest book?

A Line of Shorts by JoAnn MeakerMy latest endeavor, A Line of Shorts, is a compilation of short stories I’ve written since moving to Virginia and joining the Walkerton Writers five years ago. This group has helped me immensely to grow as a writer. The stories encompass a variety of topics, historical periods and are written for different age groups.

Just before that I published a sequel to my first historical fiction novel, My Dear Emma. It’s called Four Branches Four Branches by JoAnn Meakerand deals with a mother and daughter, lost and injured, seeking refuge in what they believed to be an abandoned cabin in the woods. The daughter begins to “see” images from the past and follows a slave family as they seek freedom in Canada in the early years of the Civil War. How the past interacts with the present is what drives the storyline to its exciting conclusion.

What was the hardest part about writing your books

The editing is by far the most difficult part. I love and thrive on research and the first draft of each novel was written in a month. It took several months though, for the edits and revisions.  It’s probably because the books really contain two-story lines – the past and the present – and interweaving them and keeping them organized was a feat in itself.

 

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

There’s no hidden message in any of my books. If the reader learns something about history, about relationships, then that is a plus for me.

 

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I wanted My Dear Emma to be published in 2012 which was the 150th anniversary of the facts in the past section of the storyline.My Dear Emma cover It follows a young man who enlisted in the cavalry in 1862 and winds up captured, imprisoned, and died in October of 1863. I know if I tried to go the traditional publishing route, it would potentially have taken longer to get it published. I absolutely loved the autonomy of self-publishing. I did it all – wrote it, did the cover art, formatting, and all the detail work.

 

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

The greatest joy is having someone (not a relative) come up to me and say they loved the book.  That is most fulfilling.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring writers?

Just do it!  Believe in yourself and give it a shot. It’s a lot of hard work and, for most of us, we won’t be able to quit our day jobs. As I said before, when someone who reads the book says they enjoyed it. Ah…that’s the best.

 

What do your fans mean to you?

When a person takes the time to email me or contact me through my website or Facebook and tells me how much they enjoyed the book, it’s the best. One fan told me he played hooky one day, didn’t go into work, and spent the day reading My Dear Emma.  Wow!

 

What are you working on next?

My next book will be non-fiction. I’m tentatively calling it Hollywood Cemetery: The Stories Beneath the Stones. I’m researching those soldiers who were reinterred into the Richmond National Cemetery when it started in 1866. I’m hoping that it will be finished to commemorate the 150th anniversary of that event.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

I really have too many to mention in detail. I love Dan Brown. He includes so much in the way of history in his mysteries.  I also like James Rollins, and Mercedes Lackey (fantasy). When I find an author I like, I focus on reading all the books he/she has written.

 

What inspires you to get out of bed each day? When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

The sunshine inspires me! And knowing that sometime during the day I’ll be doing something that will be helpful to others. I am a member of the Hanover Rotary Club, the current president of the Hanover Writers Club and a volunteer with the Henrico County Recreation and Parks Historical Preservation Department. In addition to writing, I love sharing my love of history with my three grandchildren.

Amazon Purchase Links

Ontario

My Dear Emma

A Line of Shorts

Four Branches

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 21•15

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was quite excited when I saw it was snowing. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long so there wasn’t much of it. Since my “real” camera is 350 miles away, I took the opportunity to play with the filters on my Olympus E-PL3 that I bought for days like this. After shooting,  I ran it through an art filter in Photoshop.

 

Beta Readers Needed

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 15•15

I am looking for 3-5 people who are willing to read the proof of my new book, “Praise The Lord”, Psalms in the Key of my Life, Volume III (Reflections on Psalms 101-150), and let me know if they see anything that I need to correct (grammar, punctuation, word choice, etc.,). This is the final book in this series, and something worth celebrating for me. I have been editing it off and on for months, but before approving the proof, I would appreciate a few extra eyes. If you love the Psalms as much as I do, let me know by commenting or message me on Facebook and I will send a pdf proof. I will be working on formatting the Kindle and epub versions in the next week or two, so the pdf is the only option for now.  I am hoping to publish in early March, so I would appreciate your comments by February 15th if possible.

Thanks. This post will only be here for about 24 hours.

Wordless Wednesday

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 14•15

woodpecker on icy deck

Book Review

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 07•15

Wrong Place, Right TimeWrong Place, Right Time by Brooke Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given a pre-release copy of this book in advance of its blog tour. I also promised to post an honest review. Like several other reviewers, I read this book in one day. I totally needed a lift, and this book supplied just that. It grips you from the very beginning, taking the reader on a really fun ride. It has all that a winning story needs, compelling characters, a bit of suspense, romance, and humor. The bonus is that it’s also a clean read: no profanity or graphic sexual scenes. Great job Brooke! Looking forward to your next release on February 4.

 

Amazon Purchasing Link:

 

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Cover Reveal-Accept This Dandelion

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 05•15

Accept This Dandelion

By Brooke Williams

Release Date: February 4, 2015 from Prism Book Group

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Release Date: February 4, 2015

Pre-Order HERE

Join the Feb. 4th Release Day Party on Facebook HERE

Enjoy giveaways with a dozen different authors!

 

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the radio station where she works.  When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of “the Bachelor,” Renee goes along with it in order to raise her public profile.  Ben McConnell, the most eligible bachelor in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show, despite her bumbling audition.  Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee.  He gets a girl who doesn’t bow to his every whim…and a girl who opens his eyes to true, unexpected love. When nothing goes right on the local program called “Accept this Dandelion”…hilarity ensues. Imagine your worst possible dates happening…on TV!

 

 

Add “Accept this Dandelion” to your Goodreads list HERE

 

 

About the Author

 

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Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “Accept this Dandelion.”  Brooke is also the author of “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,” and “Beyond the Bars.” And she looks forward to the upcoming released of “Mamarazzi” and “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut.” Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (5) and Sadie (nearly 2).

 

Connect with Brooke:

Facebook

Website

Blog

 

 

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1-1-15

Written By: carolmoye - Jan• 01•15

Happy New Year