MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Deborah Stevens' The Serpent's Disciple" has won the PINNACLE BOOK ACHEIVEMENT AWARD for Best Thriller!




A family secret, an ancient artifact could save humankind from a diabolical leader many fear is the Antichrist. In this conspiracy thriller, an ancient evil threatens to take over the Catholic church and use it to upset the world order. Peter Romanus, the Grand Master of the secret masonic order known as Propaganda Due has set in motion the final stages of his plot to kill the pope and control major world governments through the Church.








Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Miki's Hope Reviews Insanity Plea

purchase on Amazon.com
This is definitely one of the best legal mystery THRILLERS which incorporates a medical condition I have read in a very long time. I could not put it down! This book was actually sent to me along with a book I had requested to review by the same author-Dead Peasants- which I will be reading and reviewing pretty soon.

Wikipedia defines Schizophrenia as:

Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and inactivity. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the person's reported experiences.

Genetics and early environment, as well as psychological and social processes, appear to be important contributory factors. Some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of separate syndromes. Despite the origin of the term from the Greek roots skhizein ("to split") and phrēn ("mind"), schizophrenia does not imply a "split personality", or "multiple personality disorder"—a condition with which it is often confused in public perception. Rather, the term means a "splitting of mental functions", reflecting the presentation of the illness.


The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication, which primarily suppresses dopamine receptor activity. Counseling, job training and social rehabilitation are also important in treatment. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self or others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are now shorter and less frequent than they once were.


Symptoms begin typically in young adulthood, and about 0.3–0.7% of people are affected during their lifetime. The disorder is thought to mainly affect the ability to think, but it also usually contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion. People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders; the lifetime occurrence of substance use disorder is almost 50%.[5] Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are common. The average life expectancy of people with the disorder is 12 to 15 years less than those without. This is the result of increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate (about 5%).


Paranoid Schizophrenia is a medical condition which affects the brain. Psychiatrists to this day are still trying to find a way to at least relieve the symptoms which are horrendous. Many of the "street people" who you see walking around talking to themselves may be schizophrenic. and most are relatively harmless. There are those who are "told" by voices to do horrendous acts-I believe Ted Bundy was one such person.

Wayne Little is a lawyer. His older brother, Dan has been living on the streets for many years. Suddenly, Wayne gets a phone call-his brother is being charged with capital murder-and may face the death penalty. Dan is innocent but has been off his meds-----Ultimately Wayne and his friends decide to put in for the Insanity Plea. In Texas, where this story takes place that is not easy! Meanwhile-there is a killer out there and he is murdering people---Will the real murderer get caught. Can they prove, under Texas law that Dan was legally insane when he confessed to the murder? The ending will send chills down your spine!

About the book: (from Amazon)

"...fierce courtroom drama..."
"...intoxicating...and nail-biting..."
"...the courtroom scenes often soar..."


-Kirkus Reviews

A young nurse is savagely killed during a pre-dawn run on Galveston’s seawall. The murderer slices her running shorts from her body as his trophy and tosses the body over the wall to the rocks below. As dawn breaks, a bedraggled street person, wearing four layers of old, tattered clothes, emerges from the end of the jetty, waving his arms and talking to people only he hears. He trips over the body, checks for a pulse and, instead, finds a diamond bracelet which he puts in his pocket. He hurries across the street, heading for breakfast at the Salvation Army two blocks away, leaving his footprints in blood as he goes.

Wayne Little, former Galveston prosecutor and now Houston trial lawyer, learns that his older brother has been charged with capital murder for the killing. At first he refuses to be dragged back into his brother’s life. Once a brilliant lawyer, Dan’s paranoid schizophrenia had captured his mind, estranging everyone including Wayne. Finally giving in to pleas from his mother, Wayne enlists the help of his best friend, Duke Romack, former NBA star turned criminal lawyer. When Wayne and Duke review the evidence, they conclude that Dan’s chances are slim. They either find the killer or win a plea of insanity since the prosecution’s case is air tight. The former may be a mission impossible since the killer is the most brilliant, devious and cruel fictional murderer since Hannibal Lecter. The chances of winning an insanity plea are equally grim.

It will take the combined skills of the two lawyers along with those of Duke’s girlfriend, Claudia, a brilliant appellate lawyer, and Rita Contreras, Wayne’s next door neighbor and computer hacker extraordinaire, to attempt to unravel the mystery of the serial killer before the clock clicks down to a guilty verdict for Dan.
The Insanity Plea is a spell-binding tale of four amateur sleuths who must find, track and trap a serial killer as they prepare for and defend Wayne;s brother who is trapped in a mind like that of John Nash, Russell Crowe’s character in A Beautiful Mind.

Combining legal thriller with tracking a serial killer, Thompson once again takes the reader on a helluva ride, right up to the last page and sentence.

The Insanity Plea, a new legal thriller by Larry D. Thompson, Best Selling author of Dead Peasants, The Trial and So Help Me God. 



Reposted From Miki's Hope 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Shadow Portal Book Review: Medusa by S.D. Hines


(Heroines Of Classical Greece Book One)
purchase on Amazon.com

Despite a semi-miraculous birth in the temple of Athena, Medusa is nothing more than a devoted priestess of the goddess, distinguished only by her beauty and piety. But after she is raped by the god Poseidon, her entire world is ripped asunder and she flees Poseidon's wrath through ancient Greece and beyond for the inconceivable crime of resistance.

In her wanderings, she encounters dangers and horrors, but also friends in unexpected places. Pursued by Poseidon's fury and his assassins, she is finally cornered in Egypt with only two choices: fight back or be destroyed with all she loves. But her only hope lies with the father of her children, the great love of her life and the man who is prophesized to kill her: Perseus.



 Review


As suggested by the title, Medusa is the tale of the classical Greek creature of myth. But in this exciting and heart wrenching version of the story, we meet Medusa the woman. Medusa, who was attacked by a god and then forced to flee for her life for fighting back. Medusa, brave and strong and doomed to die by the hand of the only man she ever loved.

From the island temple in which she was born, to the distant land of Ethiop, Medusa's travels bring her in contact with numerous figures of Greek mythology, as well as the mythology of Egypt.

Medusa is a story of love and vengeance, of two people who come together time and again, only to be separated by circumstances beyond their control. Medusa the character is an amazing woman who retains her grace and selflessness despite the cruel hand life has dealt her. A warrior and a healer, Medusa sacrifices all she holds dear in order to protect innocent lives from the wrath of Poseidon.

It's nice to read a story that speaks of Medusa as something other than a monster. Her story is a sad one, but not without its triumphs. There were times when the transitions between scenes were a little choppy, and some scenes could have been better fleshed out to be more immersive, but for the most part I found this to be a very entertaining story. It held my attention and in the end left me feeling more than a little distraught at the way things turned out. But not every story can end with Happily Ever After, and though the conclusion of the story is in most parts a sad one, it fit the story perfectly.

Friday, August 8, 2014

HarperCollins Explores Ebook Bundling Avenues



HarperCollins and Ingram have teamed up with BookShout, a direct-to-consumer e-book platform, to set up a bundling program that lets independent bookstores offer customers physical and digital editions of a book. Eleven indie stores around the country are participating in the new program.

The program allows consumers to buy a physical copy of a book and for small fee, receive a digital edition via the BookShout platform. Founded by Jason Illian, BookShout is a direct-to-consumer e-book platform specializing in bulk e-book sales, digital book donations and e-giftcards.

Among the 11 indie bookstores participating in the program are Village Books in Bellingham, Wa., Politics and Prose in Washington D.C., Book People in Austin, Texas, and Books and Books in Miami, Fla. All the stores will feature displays highlighting the program.

When a customer buys a physical copy of one of the titles included in the bundling program, they can pay a small fee, get a BookShout code that lets them download a digital edition. Among the initial titles to be offered in the program are Richard Ford's Canada, Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, and Jacqueline Winspear's The Care and Management of Lies.

Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, said all parties will be looking at data and feedback with the expectation of expanding the program in the near future. “This is a good first step in getting our bestselling content into reader's hands in a way that increases choices for them. We are happy to support our independent retail partners in putting forth a digital component to their customers.”

"It's a pleasure to craft these types of innovative services,” said John Ingram, chairman and CEO of Ingram Content Group. "We know that all of our publishing and retail partners are looking for new solutions.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

S.D. Hines' Ariadne: A Tale of the Minotaur Reviewed by wb32Reads

vvb32 reads

purchase on Amazon.com


Three thousand years before The Hunger Games, a conquered nation was forced to send their finest youths to fight and die, facing an invulnerable creature they had no chance of defeating.

ARIADNE: A Tale of the Minotaur--one of Hines' Heroines of Classical Greece series--is a contemporary retelling of the classic tale of Theseus and the Minotaur, a story with more twists and turns than even the Labyrinth holds.

Prophesied in lost Atlantis, the Grand Conjunction is rapidly approaching, the day when a unique astrological alignment makes all things possible. But more is at stake than the fate of young Theseus, prince of Athens, and his fellow Athenian tributes. This single day will decide the destiny of nations, a vanished people's resurrection--and give birth to a god.

It is also the story of Daedalus and Icarus, of an immortal yearning for love, and the greatest and basest that humanity offers. A power will soon be released that will destroy the world unless it is tamed by the newborn god who is born of a man and monster. But who is the man, and who is the monster?

The secret lies not only in the Labyrinth, but IS the Labyrinth.

And the only person who can save two worlds and tame the monster is the weakest and meekest of all: Ariadne, the beautiful daughter of Minos, king of Crete.

My two-bits:

Great way to get into Greek mythology.

I was not too familiar with the Ariadne story other than her part with helping Theseus in the Labyrinth. This story gave some good background and character development of Ariadne who is a heroine, indeed.

I also liked learning about the Minotaur and watching his character and person evolve throughout the story. Fascinating.

And, this story's perspective of Theseus makes a more well-rounded version - one who is not as golden as portrayed in other retellings.



Reposted from wb32Reads 

Monday, August 4, 2014

" An Enthralling Entertaining Credible Futuristic Tale" ... eHuman Dawn

purchase on Amazon.com
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enthralling Entertaining Credible Futuristic Tale That is Well-Written, Believable and Fast-Paced! Enjoy This Awesome Novel!


I purchased Nicole Sallak Anderson’s eHuman Dawn based on the review of an Amazon Vine Program reviewer and am glad I did. While it is not a genre that I am normally attracted to, I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining futuristic tale written by a computer science graduate.

This gripping tale is set in the year 2242 in an age where technology, world government and life as we know it on an entirely different level. Some two hundred years earlier, mankind invented a method of capturing the essence of humanity and uploaded individuals into nearly invincible esthetically perfect manmade bodies making individuals nearly immortal. The great shift has taken place and people no longer have the need to eat and drink. Disease and physical ailment is a thing of the past.

The catch is that once uploaded the individuals memories and identity of their past lives is erased and they need to be recharged every other day on a global network that monitors thoughts during the process.

As the story unfolds, we learn that some, including a dozen or so world leaders have retained their identities with one ruthless sociopathic dictator controlling all of humanity through his secure worldwide power grid.

Dawn, the first ehuman has formed a growing resistance group over the ages that has found a way to avoid the power grid and is bent on freeing mankind from the dictators influence.

This captivating 266-page tale is an entertaining quick and believable story that incorporates human greed, motivation and manipulation in this thrilling adventure.

If you are looking for an imaginative well-written tale that will entertain you at the onset through the last page, THIS IS IT!

Enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Keeping Reviews Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery by Dennis Palumbo


Dennis Palumbo now has four thrillers (as of September 1, 2014) in the Daniel Rinaldi mysteries set in Pittsburgh, where he grew up. That is one of the features that drew me to the series since I lived there happily for a number of years. It isn't necessary to be familiar with Pittsburgh; but if you are, it's fun to recognize the locations the author describes.

Daniel Rinaldi is a psychologist who reluctantly gets called in by the police from time to time, to help with difficult cases needing his skills. His specialty is traumatized victims of crime including sexual assault. But never fear. Since author Dennis Palumbo is also a psychologist in real life, he never goes too far with the violence or the sex. The focus is on one heck of a good story.

In Phantom Limb, things start off with a bang. Set in Pittsburgh, this roller coaster ride of a thriller is a worthy fourth entry into the series. Hollywood Starlet Lisa Harland now married to a very wealthy older man is kidnapped as she leaves her session with Rinaldi, who of course gets knocked out. Why does the kidnapper insist on Dr. Rinaldi being the one to make the ransom drop?

I tend not to tell too much of the story since part of the fun of thrillers is the surprise and unexpected plot twists. And Palumbo precisely lays out the various story lines, carefully pulling them together at the end. Except, of course, those things that MIGHT be part of the next book.

If you start with the first book in the series, you will feel like the reoccurring secondary characters are old friends. Palumbo has filled his stories with people that are memorable, quirky, cranky, and fun.

I read lots of thrillers and have to say that Dennis Palumbo is one of the best writers in the genre and he gets better with every new entry in this series.

Bottom Line: If you read and enjoy thrillers, add Dennis Palumbo to your list of authors to follow. You won't be disappointed! It's not necessary, but I would still suggest reading the other three books first. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 



Title: Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery #4
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
No. of Pages: 250 pages
Copyright: September 1, 2014
ISBN: 1464202540
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: NetGalley

Dennis Palumbo is a writer and licensed psychotherapist. His first Daniel Rinaldi mystery, Mirror Image was published in 2010, followed by Fever Dream in 2011, and Night Terrors in 2013. He was formerly a Hollywood screenwriter and his credits include the feature film My Favorite Year. He also wrote for Welcome Back, Kotter.

Reposted From Book Keeping