John W. Howell

john-howell-headshot John W. Howell

What is your latest release and what genre is it? I am re-releasing my first book My GRL due to my desire not to re-new my publisher’s contract. It is Thriller Fiction

Quick description: The first book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy where John J. Cannon, successful San Francisco lawyer, takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

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Brief biography:
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.

Links to buy John’s book:
Amazon Author Page
Print edition
Kindle edition

John’s promo links:
Blog: Fiction Favorites
Facebook
Twitter
Authors db
LinkedIn
Google +
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I am currently editing my next book titled Circumstances of Childhood and will be launching it in September of 2017. I have begun a yet unnamed thriller which will available in 2018.

John’s reading recommendation:
I have finished reading Letting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn Plano. The story of Gwen’s personal challenge is very uplifting.

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Bob Van Laerhoven – update and a special offer

Belgian author, Bob Van Laerhoven, has returned to Reading Recommendations to tell us of a new English translation edition of his novel, Baudelaire’s Revenge, and a special price for the eBook at Amazon for the rest of December.

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Baudelaire’s Revenge: A Novel
by Bob Van Laerhoven
Translated by Brian Doyle
Published in English by Pegasus Books
Genre: Fiction – mystery, thriller, suspense

Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Crime Novel – Winner of the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category Fiction: mystery/suspense

Paris police commissioner Paul Lefèvre, robust and hirsute, hardly seems like a poetry lover. Nonetheless, he instantly recognizes the messages accompanying murder victims killed in flamboyant ways as excerpts from poems by the scandalous, recently deceased poet Baudelaire. Is this gruesomely inventive serial killer exacting revenge on Baudelaire’s enemies? Paris is in an uproar in 1870. The Franco-Prussian War is on full boil, the poor are hungry and insurrectional, and the decadent rich are partying. As Lefèvre and longtime comrade Inspector Bernard Bouveroux—they served together as soldiers in Algiers—seek to stop this diabolical, perhaps otherwordly serial killer, the philosophical Lefèvre is haunted by traumatic memories of war and a childhood abomination. He is also longing for his sharp-witted beloved, the now-missing prostitute Claire de la Lune. In this superbly crafted Hercule Poirot Prize–winning mystery, Belgian writer Van Laerhoven vividly and astutely evokes a city under siege and keenly portrays the complex and controversial Baudelaire. But he also constructs a wildly convoluted and sexually explicit gothic tale of monstrous urges and violently broken taboos.

Some great news: Amazon has selected BAUDELAIRE’S REVENGE for their Kindle 100 promotion for the month of December. From 12/1 to 12/31, it will have a promotional price of $0.99, and it will receive featured placement on the Monthly Kindle Deals page and in Amazon merchandising materials. (Availability of this special may be limited to North America.)

Amazon Canada

Seumas Gallacher – update on a new Jack Calder novel

Seumas Gallacher has been an online friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations almost since the beginning of the blog. He’s a self-published author who definitely promotes his fellow authors and we all thank him heartily for that!

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Deadly Impasse – Jack Calder Crime Series #5
by Seumas Gallacher
Genre: Thriller/Suspense

The team at specialist security firm, International Security Partners (ISP), ex-SAS officers, Jack Calder and his mate Malky McGuire; Jack’s Asian wife, former Anti-Triad fighter, May-Ling; and former London Serious Crimes Squad commander, Donnie Mullen, take on international crime barons and people-traffickers.

An explosion in the vaults of a private bank in the calm backwater of Luxembourg links to the shores of Libya and the perils of migrants in the Mediterranean, before crossing continents to drug-running cartels in Central America.

Jack and his ISP squad pitch their lethal black ops skills to combat the callous greed and brutal actions of the syndicates as they move to break the deadly impasse.

*From Susan: I have read all five of the novels in this series and I highly recommend every one! But I just wanted to add something that came up after I read this latest novel. It’s not giving away too much to say that part of the story involves human trafficking along the northern coast of Africa with desperate migrants trying to make the arduous journey to the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Shortly after I finished reading this book, and in an eerie “art imitating life” situation, an article came to my attention and I shared it with Seumas.

Hundreds dead in shipwrecks off Libya

To which Seumas replied, “Did you read the poem I wrote about migrants?” He had published it on his blog in the post,
… Authors … getting ‘touchy-feely’ with yer writing is okay …

I’ve posted the poem here with Seumas Gallacher’s permission:

How many more migrants must we lose?

Hold on tight, don’t cry, my son,
This will not last too long.
Listen how your Mama sings
Your favourite nursing song.
This water will not harm us now
We’re nearly at the shore.
Be strong and brave, my boy
And we’ll be wet no more.

Yes, yes, that wave was huge, I know,
But hang on tight, be safe with me.
This darkness merely hides the land
We’re getting closer now, you’ll see.
The sea is wild but brings us fast.
This wind behind our back
Will blow us into land quite soon.
Watch us veer and tack.

No, please don’t cry, my lad,
I’m here to hold you tight
This angry sea won’t harm you
We’ll be safe ere blows the night
Talk to Papa, tell me things,
All the things you’d like to say.
Tell me how we’ll live our lives
On the shore we near this day.

Papa, truly, truly I am scared
These waves are far too tall.
And this darkness blinds my eyes.
I hate this, hate this all.
Papa, Papa, the boat is tipping over,
Papa, Papa, where’s your hand?
Papa, Papa, catch me please.
Papa, Papa……….. Papa?

Seumas Gallacher
October 16th, 2016

Where to purchase:
Amazon

Tim Baker – Update on a new Flagler Beach novel

Tim Baker is back with another new novel, and his wonderful character Ike is in it!! Tim has been associated with Reading Recommendations since the beginning and I’ve been pleased to announce each new novel as they are released. I’m also pleased to have been a beta-reader of this novel and I can honestly say this is the best Tim Baker novel I have read yet – and I’ve had the great pleasure of reading every one!

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Blood in the Water
by Tim Baker
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Blood in the Water – my ninth novel – tells the story of Bob “Oscar” Oscarson, who finds a 300-year-old Spanish coin while SCUBA diving. Naturally he thinks his find is only the beginning. Unfortunately, he’s right—it’s the beginning of trouble the likes of which he never imagined.

In the book, we also see the return of Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey (Backseat to Justice), who are investigating the disappearance of a retired architect from Rhode Island. Somehow their investigation connects them to Oscar and his mystery coin, and before long…there’s blood in the water.

Available in paperback and Kindle.

Also, to celebrate this new publication, Tim is offering a couple of his earlier books FREE!! for a limited time … The True Meaning of Free Choice

Don Massenzio

me Don Massenzio

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release is called Blood Orange. It’s a terrorism thriller.

Quick description: There is a terrorist attack during the men’s college basketball championship game. The story deals with the aftermath and bringing those responsible to justice.

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Brief biography:
I was born in Syracuse, New York to first generation Italian American parents. I’m an avid reader. Some of my favorite authors are Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham, and Hugh Howey. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

I started writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate life. I use writing as a therapeutic outlet to combat my homesickness.

I moved to Jacksonville, Florida 20 years ago where I currently live with my wife, children, and three dogs.

Links to buy Don’s book:
Amazon

Don’s promo links:
My web site
My Author Facebook Page
My blog

What are you working on now?
I just turned in the fourth novel in my detective series to my editor and I’m already laying out the fifth. I’m also writing a serial thriller on my blog with new chapters coming out each week.

Don’s reading recommendation:
I’ve been reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and short stories. I’ve finished A Study In Scarlet and The Sign of the Four. I’m currently engrossed in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Seumas Gallacher – a few thoughts on returning to self-publishing

Seumas Gallacher has been a long-time pal of Reading Recommendations and has done a great deal to promote (and become friends with!) many of the other authors I promote, as well as with me, and of my writing! He has been featured in the group, Reading Recommendations Revisited, and has returned to tell us of his recent publishing experience and why he switched back to self-publishing, a story that is best told in the Kind Sir’s very own inimitable style.

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The Jack Calder Series
by Seumas Gallacher

… having recently returned to the ranks of the self-published author brigade, I’m delighted to report that the joy of being able once more to track my Amazon Kindle activity on a daily basis makes me a much happier scribbling bunny

… I traipsed into the realm of the ‘housed writers’ for a year, and although the good people at Crooked Cat Publishing, Stephanie and Laurence Patterson, are delightful folks, and easy to communicate with, I missed
the complete ‘control’ over my own literary destiny via the promotional push program that every author needs

… I know many authors are content to let that part of the ‘business of writing’ remain with a publisher, but I felt I needed to be closer again to the action, hence the parting of ways

… result? … my ability to monitor the movement on my sales downloads has been productive, and my titles are selling regularly, if modestly, but have certainly picked up pace from the last several months

… the most recent launch in August 2015, KILLER CITY, is doing well, but astonishingly to me, the earliest two titles, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK have each found a new lease of readership life

… strange ol’ business, huh!…

…the universal buying links are:

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

SAVAGE PAYBACK

KILLER CITY

Seumas’s Website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

And here’s the man himself with a poetic tribute he made to me on the occasion of Reading Recommendations‘s 2nd Anniversary!

PS. On a personal note, I have had the great honour to read all of Seumas’s novels and enjoyed every one of them, so much so that his books were included in my annual Best Books Read list – two years in a row! smt

Mike Martin – a Holiday Special

Mike Martin was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Nov. 2013, May 2014, and April 2015. He’s back now to tell us about the Holiday Special he’s offering to Readers!

WF Reindeer

It’s Good to Give Back

Of all the promotions I do each year, my favourite is the one that makes me the least money. In fact it usually costs me some. But I still love the Annual Windflower Holiday Book Sale. For the last years I have been donating a portion of the proceeds from the November and December sales of all Windflower books to a great community cause. It’s a great way for me to give back a little to people and organizations who need so much, especially this time of year.

This year during the months of December and November, I will be donating $5.00 from the sale of every Windflower book to the Minwaashin Lodge in Ottawa. Minwaashin Lodge is a healing centre in Ottawa that provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and children who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence, and who may also be suffering the effects of the residential school system.

The mission of Minwaashin Lodge is to provide wholistic programs and services for grandmothers, women, children and youth impacted by family violence and residential schooling. All programs and services are provided in the context of cultural beliefs and values as part of the healing journey.

The money donated will go to support First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and children to have a good meal and presents from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.

Special Offer
If you make a donation to Minwaashin Lodge I will donate an additional $5.00. Just let me know that you’ve made a contribution. In addition I will send a signed copy of the latest Sgt. Windflower Mystery, A Twist of Fortune, to you, or a friend or relative of choice, anywhere in the world.

E-mail me at mike54martin (at) yahoo.ca and I’ll send the other book along. And of course, add my additional donation to the cause.

For more information about Minwaashin Lodge and to make your own donation please visit their website.

Here is the link to the Sale on my website.

The Windflower books are available in Chapters/Indigo stores across Canada and at Chapters.ca
You can also find them online:
In Canada on Amaazon.ca
In the United States from Amazon.com
In the United Kingdom at Amazon.co.uk

Thank you for supporting Minwaashin Lodge.
Mike Martin, Author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series
Twitter
Facebook

Eric J. Gates

EJG2014Eric J. Gates

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Outsourced is fiction, a thriller.

Quick description: Outsourced features a New York-based writer of thriller novels who receives a mysterious package from a fan. That fan turns out to be a professional killer. That’s just the start of the writer’s problems; problems that escalate way beyond anything he could have imagined on the pages of his novels, as death and destruction follow rapidly.

Just when matter cannot get any worse for the novelist, he learns a high-tech Intelligence agency has been tasked with obtaining the contents of the package too, and they will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. They have their own global agenda. The agent assigned to the task is out of her depth working on US soil and her methods are unsuited to a civilian environment. As pressure mounts for her to achieve results, she becomes more and more radical in her approach.

And, if that’s not enough . . . the sender wants it back, and his methods are even more direct and violent! He believes the contents of the package were used to try to kill him and his aim is to recover them and exact his revenge on the writer.

Outsourced eBook

Brief biography:
Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyber warfare to spies are just a few of the moments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.

He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.

He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

Links to buy Eric’s book:
Global Amazon

Eric’s promo links:
Website
Amazon Author page
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
After all the emails I received following the publication of Outsourced I am currently working on a sequel, entitled Primed, which brings back Nic Stiles, Phil Beasley and Major Bridget Mason as they face another strange puzzle and take on the Russian mafia. Primed should be out on Amazon for Christmas, 2015.

Eric’s reading recommendation:
There are two ladies whose thrillers stand out in my mind: Medical thriller writer Judith Lucci for putting me on the streets of Nawlins in her engrossing tales, and Romantic suspense writer Fiona Quinn for her outstanding Lynx. series.

Gary Phillips – update on a new novel

Gary Phillips was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014. He’s back now to tell us about the publication of a new book in which he is involved.

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Beat, Slay, Love: One Chef’s Hunger for Delicious Revenge
by Thalia Filbert
Genre: Thriller, humorous mystery

This hot culinary thriller will burn off a few extra pounds — or so we can hope!

Like your barbeque and your sex extra spicy? Your murders saucy and done to a turn? Plunge into the fascinating and competitive world of food media culture, in this wry, witty crime story where cutting edge takes on a new meaning when celebrity chefs across America start dying.

“An incredibly sly mystery, it has everything you’d want when you bite into a dish: suspense, spice, and a new take on an old classic.”
— New York Times bestseller, Charlaine Harris

About the author: Thalia Filbert was born in a one room lean-to in the Painted Desert, was a Bingo manager on a Seminole reservation, a sommelier at an upscale taxi dancer joint, an MMA underground fighter, and an asphalt highway repair inspector. Or she could be acclaimed veteran crime fiction writers Taffy Cannon, Kate Flora, Lise McClendon, Katy Munger and Gary Phillips.

Book may be purchased from:
Amazon

W.K Blais

I received a free download of the first version of School of the Assassins in July 2013, read it, loved it, and began a correspondence with the author W.K. Blais at that time. Dennis and our neighbour Rodger both thought it was a terrific read, as well. (Wendy also did me the honour of reading and reviewing Island in the Clouds at the same time.) Unfortunately, Wendy’s life became very busy, so we fell out of email contact before I set up Reading Recommendations. I was pleasantly surprised then a few weeks ago to see a new edition, with a new cover, of School of the Assassins being offered as a Goodreads Giveaway! Not only did I enter the contest (and once again made contact with Wendy, offering her promotion on my blog), but I won a print copy!!

I’m very pleased now to present to you, W.K. Blais!

40ae59a0639352d2303991c1b943a13bW.K Blais

What is your latest release and what genre is it? School of the Assassins – Fiction, International Action Thriller

Quick description: The Ghost Writer meets A History of Violence in this evocative thriller about a half-American, half-South African mercenary pitted against an international gauntlet of obstacles while seeking justice for his murdered and displaced family.

When rebel Govan Seme kills Pieter Durant’s widowed American mother during an invasion of their South African farm, Pieter vows to avenge her murder and recapture his farm. But his younger sister, Jessie, is about to leave for America to attend her freshman year at Princeton, and he must shoulder her tuition costs. The twenty-one-year-old farmer joins the exodus of South African mercenaries heading to Iraq in 2007 for lucrative private security jobs. When an injury forces a visit to Los Angeles three years later, to the home of his American relatives, Pieter shortly finds himself the catalyst of a crime-syndicate coup. The FBI sting that follows, along with the faith of his American lover, provide the unexpected keys that finally free him for his quest—and his most arduous challenge yet.

School of the Assassins forges the classic elements of L.A. crime fiction with the political intrigue of an international action thriller. Stunning in scope and studded with realism, this novel examines the new privatization of war . . . amidst the ever-expanding proving grounds of the 21st century.

From my review on Goodreads: This is a fast-paced, well-written book, telling an original story with a main character I cared about and wanted to see win in the end . . . “School of Assassins” did not disappoint at all. Blais gripped me right from the beginning and I literally could not stop until I’d finished reading the entire book. Very, very good!

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Brief biography:
I grew up mostly in Los Angeles except for two years spent in Guadalajara, Mexico. I am an Air Force veteran, Honor Guard member and was captain of my flight in Officer Training School. After the Air Force, I used the G.I. Bill to earn a degree in Computer Science and worked as a software engineer for the Department of Defense. My early novels, White Trash and Croutons, were published under the pen name Katie Carothers by an imprint of Red Hen Press in 1995 and taught in literature classes at UCLA and four community colleges. My nonfiction articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Oxygen, Senior, L.A. Fitness and Hearing Health. I am an avid marine aquarium hobbyist, have two adult children and live with my husband Roger in Los Angeles.

Links to buy W.K. Blais’ book:
Amazon U.S.
Amazon U.K.
Amazon CA

W.K. Blais’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel to School of the Assassins, Arc of the Assassins.

W.K. Blais’s reading recommendation:
I recently read The Son, by Philipp Meyer and loved it!