Category Archives: Thriller

Metamorphosis Excerpt and Contest

About the Book  Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story by Author R.W. Reels

Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story, the first novel in a three-part paranormal thriller series. Cover MetamorphisisA young male is forever changed after a near death experience. His incident invites the attention of a covert Government agency. A gritty detective remains diligent in discovering the facts of the incident and encounters opposition from the unlikeliest of places.

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Review: Return to Sender

Author Mindy Halleck  /  Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 480 Pages

Return to SenderThis is a great thriller novel. The chapters are labelled when the point of view changes from the main character Theo Riley or the villain, Genghis Hansel.  There are also times when we are in a character’s past.  It is a difficult task to decide exactly where to start a story.  The author shares a portion of Theo’s childhood before we are given a hint the current conflict and main story line.  I understand why the author might have thought we needed to know his backstory.  But she shared two different time frames before immersing us more in the present day.  I found that this jumping from childhood to present, teen /early adult to present, made it awkward to really get into the story. I would have much rather have seen the character’s present inconsistencies and then discover where they came from. This may have just been me though. But if you have some of the same hesitancy in the early chapters, please keep reading. The story line is worth the time spent on the foundation building.

“Let’s face it, I wasn’t supposed to be drafted or in love. I was supposed to be a priest.”

With these two short sentences we see a great deal of surprise and conflict. How our life is assumed to play out and how others and events influence it. Sometimes we put ourselves in self-imposed boxes. Theo didn’t exactly feel ‘called’ to become a priest as other clergymen may have been. Other labels to describe him were that he was a war hero and a boxer. Violence is not a word one typically associates with a priest. His potential for violence was one of his demons.

The balance between the protagonist and the serial killer was well drawn and anyone that reads thrillers and likes books set in the 1950’s will enjoy this book greatly.

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About the Author

Mindy Halleck's PhotoMindy Halleck is a Pacific Northwest author, blogger and writing instructor. Her short story, The Sound of Rain, which placed in the Writer’s Digest Literary Contest blossomed into her first novel Return to Sender. Halleck blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber, antiquer, gardener, proud grandma, and three-time cancer survivor.

Website  |  Amazon Author Page  |  Facebook  |  Twitter   |   LinkedIn   |  Goodreads   |  Blog

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Review & Contest: The Brothers’ Keepers

Tour Banner Brothers' Keepers

The Blurb…

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’ purported spouse, Mary Magdalene. But what about Jesus’ siblings? What role did they play in early Christianity?

Contemporary Jesuit and renowned religious historian Nicholas Branson is about to find out…and the answer will shake the foundations of the Judeo-Christian world.

It all starts with the murder of a United States Senator in a confessional, and the discovery of a strange religious document among his possessions. At the urging of his FBI friend, Branson joins the investigation. His effort to uncover the truth behind the murder draws him into the search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure and into a web of ecclesiastical and political intrigue.

Accompanied by a beautiful, sharp-tongued research librarian, Jessica Jones, Branson follows a trail of clues, from the peaks of the awe inspiring French Pyrenees to the caves of war-torn Afghanistan. Along the way, shadowy powerful forces trail the pair, determined to keep safe a secret buried for centuries.

Author Matthew Peters / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 336 Pages

The Brothers' Keepers ArtThis novel is part puzzle and action/thriller. It starts out with dramatic action and keeps moving after that. The pace is strong and the dialogue is crisp. It is an entertaining read and will keep you up past your normal bedtime.

The author Matthew Peters has done his homework and included a lot of historical information throughout the novel.  There are times few times when he explains things to Jessica that I felt were to fill us in.  Her education should have give her that much foundation. This was my only complaint about the work.

He uses scripture in places and I am sure that some will have some questions or conversations about some conclusions drawn by the book.  But I always feel it is important to know where you stand and why you feel that way about your faith.  A few moments of evaluation are strengthening to your stance, IMO. This is fiction folks, for entertainment- not life changing philosophy.

Anyone that likes novels like The DaVinci Code will enjoy this.

Don’t forget to participate in the contest:
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Do visit the other tour spots, as each may have a different excerpt or take on our book reviews.  The tour dates can be found here.

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Cross Examination Contest

Day 8
14 Days of Romance Valentine’s Day Book Blitz Event

 Let’s mix things up a bit by adding some suspense to all our romance with Cross Examination.

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 No longer able to tolerate her husband Scott’s abuse, Tamara Slay packs up her daughter, Gabby, and moves to Louisiana, hoping a new life and a new identity will give her a fresh start. An unexpected phone call from a Sheriff’s deputy in Florida shatters her sense of security. Scott hides a much darker secret than abusing his wife. Above all else, she must protect Gabby from Scott.  

Lt. Martin Beck of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the death of Brandy Fuller for years. Sidetracked for a while by his wife’s murder, Beck finally reopens the cold Fuller case and discovers a thin lead. The new evidence takes him to Louisiana to meet the estranged wife of his primary suspect. Together, Beck and Tamara conclude that Scott not only murdered Brandy Fuller, but seven other women on the Florida Gulf coast.

As Beck dives deeper into the investigation, he draws closer to Tamara. Passions ignite as the one woman who wants Scott dead the most allies with the one man who wants Scott dead the most. Can Beck protect Tamara and Gabby from Scott and stop a serial killer from killing again?

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My Inspiration Behind Lights Out

Lights Out

 Guest Post by Author Melissa Groeling

In a rainstorm of bullets, Lights Out was born!

Okay, no, not really. It was nowhere near as dramatic as that. As a matter of fact, Lights Out took an insane amount of time to write. The inspiration behind it was from ten thousand different things. From start to finish, it took me about ten years to finally get it to where I wanted it to be and even then I wasn’t sure if I even wanted it to be published. I got character names during my freshman year in college. Good ol’ Intro to Art class and I sat a few rows over from this guy who had shoulders a mile wide. And his name?          


But the meat of the plot didn’t jump into my head until I took an Aztecs and Guest Post add'l graphicMayans class during my senior year. It was hands-down one of the best classes I had, which is pretty funny since I was an English major. But the professor was so into what he was teaching and he had SO many pictures, having actually been to the old temples, archaeological digs and stuff like that. But even after I got the plot down, it still felt like something was missing. And that was another year or two before Ethan saved the day. That kid, I tell you, I think he saved the story, saved Paul, too.     

So the inspiration behind Lights Out came from all over. It wasn’t just one thing. It wasn’t something that I saw or read about or anything like that. It was just an idea that spider-webbed out into what it is today. I just hope my next book will be a little bit easier.



LIGHTS OUT by Melissa Groeling

Title: Lights Out

Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Page Count: 388


Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.


Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords



About the Author



Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Author Links:

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Victoria House Excerpt

We are participating in a blog tour that has an ongoing excerpt from Denise Montcrief’s novels.  We also had a wonderful time with Denise when she answered some questions for us in a previous post.  You can read that here.

Here’s the latest….

Victoria House Book Cover

Book 2 in the Series

The man had memorized the layout, although he’d never actually been in the house. He’d acquired his information from someone who hated Hamilton as
much as he hated Hamilton’s wife. He almost laughed aloud. The old goat had named his brand new house for his brand new third wife. Victoria. The man had heard the house was beautiful. His informant had told him that Hamilton wanted the mansion to be as elegant and sophisticated as his new wife. The baron of Hill County obviously didn’t know her very well. When the man was done with her, there would be nothing elegant or beautiful about the new Mrs. Hamilton.

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Pest Control

Environmental Satire / Thriller

Cover Art Pest Control

Joseph Vogorev hates spiders and loves money. As the president and CEO of chemical giant Pest No More, he develops a neurotoxin pesticide specially formulated to target only arachnid species. When outspoken environmentalist Gale Pacalis realizes the potential for planet-wide devastation, he wants more than anything to bring Vogorev down. With a host of quirky friends, he collects data to prove Arach-No-More’s lethality. Teenaged Amelia joins his group because she’s personally invested; her pink kneed tarantula, Pinky, died. It’s a race to save the world, but as Gale and his friends go head-to-head with Vogorev, the many obstacles they face makes it seem impossible to win. Mainly because Vogorev has unlimited money and a limited conscience.


Vogorev waved the aerosol can in the air. “The specialized and patented nozzle on this can disperses the contents at five hundred feet per second. Not exactly the speed of light, but still pretty damn quick.” He chuckled.

There was a strained silence and then a lone high-pitched voice called out, “Those are spiders up there!”

Gale looked up at a tank right above his head. The lady was right. The outline of spiders pressed against the plastic was unmistakable; all of those little legs writhing and clawing to get out. There had to be thousands of them in the tanks, throwing themselves against the side as if they were crazy. Before anyone else had the chance to react, a scraping sound echoed off the walls as the bottom of the containers slid open and hairy tarantulas rained down over the audience amid screams and shrieks. Gale stared at Vogorev and saw how he calmly depressed the spray nozzle for several seconds, then smiled and took a few steps backward.
The audience was frenzied, jumping up and down, brushing eight-legged bodies off their pin-striped suits and designer dresses. Gale shook a spider off his head and stepped over a couple of carcasses as the investors exchanged horrified glances with one another. They were trembling and shuddering and holding onto each other. The spiders, however, did nothing.
When Vogorev spoke, the people paid attention as if he was a messiah, “I told you to trust me. Look around. The spiders are all dead. They were dead long before they even hit the ground.”
Gale picked up a carcass at his feet. True to Vogorev’s word, the spider was dead. They were all dead. Thousands of tarantulas lay on the floor as if a mass arachnid suicide had just occurred.

About the Author
Sofia Diana Gabel started life in Sydney, Australia, but her family moved to the United States when she was very young. Home wasn’t settled for a long time and included living in Toronto, Canada; Henrietta and Buffalo, New York; Northridge, Southern California; a short stint back in Sydney, Australia; Reno, Nevada; Dallas, Texas; Daytona Beach, Florida, with an eventual semi-settled life in Ojai and Ventura, Southern California as a single parent to her three daughters.
Perhaps the unsettled partial nomadic lifestyle is the reason she loves to travel and is never fully satisfied with where she’s living. Moving around and travelling to different countries are adventures which serve as potential settings and plots for stories. A multi-genre fiction writer, with degrees in environmental science and archaeology, and coursework in creative writing and criminal justice, she enjoys being out in nature, keeping up on archaeological discoveries and learning about the law, criminal behavior and police procedures (all with, once again, potential for stories!)
When she’s not glued to her desk writing or researching, she loves to spend time with her family and hairless Sphynx cats. Writing is a true passion, born from a love of the written word and how those words can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.

Author Links

Website   |   Facebook
Twitter: @sofiadianagabel    |    Blog

Buy Links

Amazon    |    Barnes and Noble
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Spotlight on Winter Wolf

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Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you RJ Blain’s Winter Wolf ~ One Day Book Blast Event, November 24th!

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PUYB Inside the Book

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Winter Wolf


Title: Winter Wolf
Author: RJ Blain
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Thriller / Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-928148-00-5


Book Description

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race. Continue reading

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Spotlight on Human Forged

Human Forged Small

The Human Forged

A Sci-Fi/Thriller by Anthony J. Melchiorri



In 2094, stealing a person’s identity is virtually impossible when every medical record, government document, and bank account is tied to their DNA via a personal Chip.

Implanted beneath the skin, this microscopic device also augments people’s real world senses with a network of information, sending data and communications directly to the AR lenses in their eyes or the receivers in their ears. Nick, a former Army Specialist, is about to find out what happens when that vital connection is severed.

Venturing into an underground rave in an abandoned Estonian prison, Nick is encouraged to live life naturally, untethered by technology. But all is not as it seems.

Nick is abducted and cut off from the rest of the world, including his fiancée. He unwittingly becomes embroiled in a biotechnological nightmare and embarks on a dangerous adventure to return home. The only person that might be able to help him is a man Nick never knew existed—his clone.


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Interview: Christopher Datta

Today I’m excited to bring you an interview and Kind Fire Giveaway from Chris Datta. His first Novel Touched with Fire was a number one best-seller in the Historical Fiction category, and this supernatural thriller lives up to the high expectations readers have for this talented author.

The Demon Stone by Christoper Datta

The Demon Stone is a powerful supernatural thriller that leads you from the killing fields of Africa to the quiet Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In braided narratives, Datta spins a terrifying story about the spiritual forces—both real and supernatural—that incite the basest, bloodiest and most frightening of human behaviors.
“Reading Chris Datta is like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a fast ride filled with twists and turns. His Demon Stone is scary fun. Stephen King, watch your back!”
-Richard Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
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Interview with Chris Datta

Novel Publicity: What drew you to writing about spiritual forces, and could you explain how spiritual forces can be both real and supernatural?

Christopher Datta: I want to write books that matter and do more than tell a story, although I think that telling a good story is critically important. What could be more significant than exploring our spiritual lives and to look for purpose beyond unexamined living and consuming day to day? I want to ask questions and lead the reader on a journey so that by the end of the book he or she hopefully comes to a new understanding about life.
I read a great deal about new advances in theoretical physics. It is a fascinating field that increasingly shows us that the more we know, the more we come to see how little we really grasp about the mysteries of the Universe. There are things about the cosmos and our place in it that we may never fully understand; that are, in fact, beyond our ability as human beings to fully comprehend. In Demon Stone, I symbolically represent those mysteries through the supernatural.

NP: The two geographic locations in the book are very distant from each other. How did Africa & Minnesota become part of the setting for The Demon Stone?
CD: I lived for many years in Minnesota (I went to high school with Jessie Ventura!) and I loved camping in the isolated Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The wilderness is both a thrilling and at the same time dangerous and even alien environment, which again serves as a metaphor in the story for life. There is an incident with a black bear in the book that is close to something that really happened to me.
My career as an American diplomat took me to many places in Africa. The original inspiration for the book occurred when I was traveling through rural Uganda. I came across a hut with a hand painted sign advertising the services of a local shaman. Intrigued, I stopped and met the old man, who offered to cast a curse on any enemies I wanted eliminated. That got me thinking about what it would be like to have that kind of power, and what the unintended consequences of using it might be. The record of the human use of unbridled power is not very good. In my travels through many war zones I have seen incredible beauty and sacrifice as well as the most horrible and brutal acts of cruelty.

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