NEWS: Bounty to Go on Sale

Bounty ebookTo celebrate the release of Blood Ties on Jan. 5, my debut novel Bounty will go on sale on that date. Starting on Jan. 5 and going through Jan. 12, the Kindle version of Bounty (regularly $2.99) will be available for 99 cents.

If you can’t wait and want to pick up the first novel in the Jill Andersen mystery series, you can pick up your copy here.

Bounty is available in both Kindle and paperback. Blood Ties will also be available in both formats, and the Kindle version is currently available for pre-order.

The short story Boundless, a Kindle exclusive, is also available.

Books For Christmas

Looking for some gift ideas for the book lover in your life? Some ideas:

Yes, I added my own book to the end of the list. But everything else is either a book I’ve read over the course of the past year, a book I’m currently reading, or a book that’s pretty high up on my TBR list.

BOOK REVIEWS: Part I

Two of the best novels I’ve read in a long time.

Grave BeginningsGrave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi

I hardly ever breeze through books anymore. That’s not an indictment of the quality of the books I read, but between a full-time job, writing/editing three manuscripts at once, and several other interests, it takes a bit to hold my interest and focus enough to actually tackle something on my TBR list.

But Grave Beginnings sucked me in immediately, and I found myself reading one of the best, most interesting murder mysteries I’ve read in a long, long time. R.R. Virdi has created a fantastic world and — perhaps more impressively — a protagonist that has no solid identity, yet is easy to root for. I’ve read my share of novels written in first-person that don’t quite measure up, but the first-person narrative is perfect for this book; the nature of the protagonist allows for narrative freedom in first-person that likely would not be present if this were a third-person book.

The marriage of murder mystery and supernatural works far better than it might seem in theory, and the result is a fast-paced, irreverent read. The cast of characters is relatively small, as the book focuses more on moving things along and less on making sure we keep track of all the particulars. In the mystery genre, it is far too easy for a case to either be wrapped up too quickly or to drag on too long, but the case in Grave Beginnings doesn’t suffer from that, and the conclusion of the case itself was satisfying like an old-school episode of Buffy.

(Aside: it occurs to me that, technically, every episode of Buffy can be considered old school nowadays. Yeah, I feel old…)

The best part to me, though, was the teeth the end of the novel provided the character. It was a clear direction moving forward for the series, and it has me looking forward to the next installment. I read the Kindle version of this novel, but now that a paperback edition is available, I’ll be adding that to my collection in the near future.

Long and short of it, Grave Beginnings is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of mysteries, supernatural stories, both, or neither. This is simply a fantastic book, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

RATING: * * * * *

Buy Grave Beginnings on Amazon

 

LuLunen Tribloodnen: Triblood by Ahmed Al-Sheikh

Lunen: Triblood is a novel that started as one sort of story and, midway through, shifted to something else entirely. And I will warn readers now: if cliffhangers are not your thing, this book will likely frustrate you, as it becomes clear in the last 10 pages that the story of the moment won’t be wrapped up in one volume.

That said, this is an entertaining romp that is at times quick to read and at others a little bit slow. Much of the slowness occurs in the first half of the book, as it seems the story is as out of sorts as Winnie, but once the book hits its stride at roughly the midpoint, the pages fly by. This book struggles to find itself a few times, but once it does, this is one of the more entertaining reads I’ve found.

There are minor quibbles throughout: the occasional confusion as to whether Winnie or Lunen is the protagonist, occasional word usage (dived instead of dove, and one instance of a character saying something dangerously), but the way the story picks up in the second half of the book, and the depths of both Lunen and Winnie that are revealed in the process, make up for those.

Triblood is an enjoyable read, and I look forward to the second volume.

RATING: * * * *

Buy Lunen: Triblood on Amazon

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Behind the Badge

Behind the Badge ebook coverCOMING JUNE 2016

Behind the Badge, the third installment in the Jill Andersen mystery series, will release in June 2016.

For Jill Andersen, being part of the Baltimore Police Department has always been both a tremendous honor and a serious responsibility. Her father, before his fall from grace, had instilled in her a great respect for police and the work they do day-to-day. But when a teenage boy winds up dead on the outskirts of downtown Baltimore, Jill finds herself once again faced with those who would abuse their badges to fulfill personal agendas and uphold biases.

Jill still has a job to do, but she soon finds that not everyone is in her corner. For the first time in almost four years working Homicide, Jill finds herself at odds with people who claim to be on her side. From other cops to suits downtown all the way to the Mayor’s office, it becomes increasingly clear that Jill will need to rely on more than just her badge if she’s to solve this case.

But even if she finds justice, what’s the price?

Behind the Badge, the gripping, hard-hitting third novel in the Jill Andersen series ( Bounty, Blood Ties), gives readers another taste of author J.D. Cunegan’s comic book-inspired brand of fast-paced prose, with chapters that fly by and plot twists that will leave readers constantly guessing and waiting for more.

Behind the Badge will be available in Kindle and paperback.