Showing posts with label supernatural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label supernatural. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"The Meadows" by London Clarke

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Meadows
(Legacy of Darkness Book 1)
by London Clarke

The Meadows (Legacy of Darkness Book 1) by London Clarke

The Meadows by London Clarke is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
A decades-old murder. A strange, blood-thirsty cult. And a house full of spirits.
It was supposed to be a new beginning, a fresh start in the Shenandoah Valley, where Scarlett’s memories weren’t riddled with drug addiction and rehab. But after purchasing an abandoned house with a checkered past in the hopes of transforming it into a luxury bed and breakfast, strange things start to happen. Disturbing voices and noises interrupt her new life. Strangers appear to her, bearing cryptic warnings. A tunnel is discovered underneath the house - one historically used for a local cult’s rituals. After several of Scarlett’s guests are hospitalized after visiting the underground, she finds herself targeted by violent spirits.
Driven to the edge of despair, Scarlett vows to fight back - but she has no idea what she’s really battling. And her nightmare is just beginning…
The Meadows is a gripping supernatural thriller in which the monsters may be vampires, demons, or flesh and blood. It is a nightmare that will make you believe it could easily happen to you.

Book Video


Excerpt
I affixed the camera onto my laptop and held the computer at arm’s length until I could see myself.
There I was. In all my post-rehab glory.
I hadn’t colored my hair since I’d first come out of Orange Star Center six months ago. The blonde highlights had faded, tipping the ends to about halfway up my brown tresses. It looked a little trendy. A little.
Mainly, I looked tired. I hadn’t slept much since the move. Different time zones did all kinds of weird things to me. It was only an hour’s difference between Nashville and here, but it was enough to throw me off.
I smeared on some tinted lip balm and finger-combed my hair, pushing it up into a bun. Straight, heavy bangs hung to the bridge of my nose and over my eyebrows, covering the line knitting together my forehead and my eyebrows. I hated that line. It hadn’t been there seven months ago when I was still feeling no pain most of the time.
I clicked record and settled into the chair, making sure I was square in the shot of the camera.
“Hello, world.” The first words sounded like pennies at the bottom of an empty piggy bank. Hollow, tinny, awkward. That was a dumb way to begin. But I was live, so couldn’t stop now. I cleared my throat, forced a smile. “Scarlett, here. I know it’s been ages since we’ve talked…” I shifted my eyes, trying to remember when I’d last film a video blog. “A year, maybe? And just for a change, I’m not coming to you from the Country Music Capital of the World. Nashville and I have parted ways for a time, and I’m broadcasting from my new home in Virginia. You’re catching me on my second day here.”
I hadn’t planned this first live broadcast out very well. How much should I say? Mentally, I scrambled to come up with the rest of my spiel. Little thumbs-up and heart signs were already flashing across the screen.
My fans were watching.
Glancing behind me, I motioned to the room. “So… this is my new home. Currently under renovation, but it will soon be open for business. Yes, it’s a huge departure from songwriting, but don’t worry … I’ll still be doing plenty of that.” I lifted the laptop and held it so that it flashed onto the grand piano in the corner of what had once been the front parlor—now, my living room. Then I repositioned it on the table. “My newest adventure is this wonderful old antebellum mansion I’m restoring. Within a few weeks, it’ll be open for guests as a bed and breakfast. I’ll keep you up to date and let you know when you can book a room. I hope to meet a few you in person right here in Virginia. I promise there will be all sorts of grand entertainment. Music, food, maybe a few costumes—it’ll be Halloween, after all—all taking place ri’cheer.” I played up a Nashville accent as I gestured over my shoulder. “In the meantime, I thought I’d play a crowd favorite on this magnificent instrument I’ve just purchased.”
Again, I shifted the laptop so that the baby grand was in view, and then I padded across the newly polished marble floor and settled in front of the keyboard. My fingers found the keys—like old friends—and the sounds of a perfectly tuned piano reverberated against the ceiling.
I turned back to the camera. “This room has great acoustics.” Then I launched into one of my biggest hits, “People Like You.”
Songwriting was my comfort zone. Well-known stars made my songs into hits; occasionally I performed in a club. But this was the easiest place for me to play and sing to an audience—from the safety of my living room, on camera.
I’d just started to sing the opening to the song when something flashed in my peripheral vision.
I stopped, stared at the entryway to the living room. Had someone just walked by? I listened. Nothing. Glancing up at the screen again, the little thumbs and hearts still floated over the screen. Then a laughing emoji. Several laughing emojis.
Clearing my throat, I started to play the introduction to the song again. “Sorry, folks. I thought someone was … at the door.” I smiled at the camera. “Guess I’m not used to my new home yet.”
I closed my eyes and launched into the melancholy melody of the song. This time I sang it all the way through.
Allowing the ending chord to linger, ripple through me, the bass note vibrating my fingers on the keys, I opened my eyes again.
“Thanks for joining me tonight, guys. I’ll be back in a few days with another update on my newest venture. In the meantime, love the one you’re with, remember that you’ve got a friend, and peace, love, and understanding to all.” It was a corny catch-phrase built on three classic songs, and I still cringed sometimes when I said it, but it had worked for me. Some of the fans told me they really liked it.
I shut off the recording and then hit the arrow in the window to play back the live recording.
This was a good way to see what I needed to change for next time—namely, the lighting. Geez, the house looked so dark. I swiveled my head left and then right. Was it actually that dark in here? Three lamps spilled light into the corners, and from where I was sitting the room looked pretty well illuminated. But on the video, it seemed like dark clouds muddied their spotlight effect. Weird.
And I didn’t look too bad on camera. A little tired, maybe, with some dark pits under my eyes, but I’d just have to put on a more makeup next time.
I reached the part of the video where I’d stopped playing. My expression changed dramatically. My whole face drooped, suspended, as my gaze was drawn to something in the foyer.
My recovery had been pretty good. Playing through the song a second time with my eyes closed had kept me focused on the moment and the emotion in the music.
But there was something in the background—something materializing behind me as I crooned away. It began as a darkening of the screen—as though the lights faded out and the darkness of the scene swelled to fill the space.
I leaned closer to the screen and squinted. Were those eyes? A face?
It looked like a woman, leaning over my shoulder as I played and sang. Her features obscured by a great shadow, the whites of her eyes drawing closer to the screen, she peered into the camera.
Gasping, I shot up from the piano stool so quickly it toppled. Then I turned in a 360-degree circle, scanning the walls and corners of the room for the figure in the video. A joke. It had to be. My mind rushed with the possibilities. It was close to Halloween, so maybe the social media site had placed some kind of special effect on videos. Maybe I just didn’t know about it.
My heart drummed, pounding against the inside of my chest until my sternum hurt. I cut my eyes back and forth. No one was in the room with me. I was alone.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Nice spooky story, perfect for Halloween! The main character did annoy me a little, she was a bit wimpy acting for me. It was a very fast story, had to make myself stop reading late last night. This was a page turner!! Loved it!!” ~ Annette Johnson
“The book was pretty fast paced, and the characters well developed - sometimes Scarlett was a bit disappointing with an immature attitude. The supernatural aspects of the book were spooky, and not overly done. I read it within a few hours, and it was an entertaining story.” ~ AmAtHome
“It was night time when I started reading this, that didn't last long, I had to finish it during the day! This was one scary good thriller, just in time for Halloween.” ~ Melinda H.
“I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. I found the story and the characters really interesting. What’s not to love with a haunted house, and a young woman trying to open a bed and breakfast and lots of other interesting things that she encounters on the way. I will look for more from this author and look forward to reading her next book.” ~ Phyllis Jackson
“I was riveted to the pages, couldn't flip 'em fast enough.” ~ D.M.E.


Guest Post by the Author (a Halloween short story by London Clarke)
The Man on the Train
Over the course of her lifelong search for the perfect man, Devon had learned two things: 1) There were perfect men in the world, and 2) they were not interested in her.
Those men usually went for her best friend, or they already had a girlfriend, or she just wasn’t their type. “You’re too nice,” a “perfect” guy had told her once. “I need someone who’s a little less … nice.” He wanted the bad girl. Devon had tried to be the bad girl, but it hadn’t worked out so well. Leather made her hot and itchy, and she’d nearly thrown up while sitting in a chair waiting to get a tattoo. In the end, she’d fled the scene, inkless.
She assumed this meant she was destined to be alone like her Aunt Mary, who she was on her way to visit by train this very evening.
The man sitting across from her on the train was perfect. She could tell. Maybe it was just that he looked perfect, but that was enough for the moment.  He stared out the window, his hand fisted and pressing against his chin and mouth. His brows sank low over his eyes, and his dark, curly hair hung just over the collar of his long, gray trench coat.
Devon wondered if he was traveling to Scotland, as she was. Or would he disembark at Darlington or Durham? It hardly mattered. She would never know him. She’d only have the luxury of staring at him for the few remaining hours that the train was in motion, and then they would part ways, and she’d never see him again. Wasn’t that the way it always was?
When she’d boarded the train at King’s Cross Station that evening, the train had been standing room only. Now, two hours later, the train had cleared out, and she’d taken a seat next to this heartbreakingly attractive man.
But it was Halloween, and she was on an adventure. If she’d been at home, she’d have been sitting with her flatmate in their tiny flat, eating popcorn, and watching horror films.
The train’s brakes squealed as it began to slow, and her purse fell from beside her and onto the floor. Her cell phone shot from the opening and under the seat of the gorgeous man sitting across from her.
He had not quit staring out the window, even as the train howled to a halt and stopped altogether.
Devon shifted forward. “Excuse me.”
The man turned. His dark eyes touched hers, and something in her belly flipped. Yes. Definitely perfect.
“I-I’m sorry, but my phone slid under your seat.”
Without dropping his gaze, he reached under his seat and retrieved the lost phone. He handed it to her.
“Thank you.”
He smiled a little. “We’ve stopped.”
Devon nodded, glanced out the window into the darkness. “We’re somewhere near Darlington, I think.”
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the muffled announcement reverberated through the carriage. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be stopping here momentarily. Please do not leave your seats. If you are in the food car, please remain there until we give you further instructions. As soon as the situation is resolved, we hope to be on our way again shortly. Alternatively, we will move you to another train if the need arises.”
“Must be mechanical problems,” Devon said.
The stranger nodded slowly, his eyes fastened to hers. “Must be.”
Moments ticked by. The couple in the seat behind her grumbled about the delay. Everyone was in such a hurry. But she wasn’t. No, once the train was on its way again, the beautiful stranger would be that much closer to parting ways with her.
“Are you going to Edinburgh?” Devon asked.
“Not quite that far. Just to Newcastle.”
He had a low, melodious voice that rippled through her. She swallowed. The man’s dark stare was so intense. “Family there?”
“No.”
She waited, but he didn’t elaborate. Okay. Obviously, he wasn’t going to reveal much about himself.
“I’m headed to Edinburgh,” she offered. “Visiting my aunt.”
He nodded, his gaze remained fixed on her.
She looked away. Her body heated as weird, wild snippets of fantasy ran through her mind. The lights going out in the train, two strangers grappling in the dark, kissing, unclothing one another, silent writhing in the darkness. She shook her head. Where had that come from? When she glanced up again, he was still staring.
“Do you ever wonder about the safety of public transportation?” he asked. “I mean before you get on a train or a plane or a bus, do you ever stop and think—this could be the last time I do this? There could be a terrible accident. I might not make it off of this.”
“Not really.” Strange line of conversation, but she was willing to go for it. Anything to keep talking with this guy.
“Is that because you’re young?” He continued, arching a dark eyebrow. “You assume you’ll live because you’re too young to die.”
Devon shrugged, and a strange, prickly sensation prodded at her skin. “I don’t know. Maybe. How old are you?” She would have guessed he was mid-twenties. Thirty at the most.
“Older than I look.”
“Okay.” She’d never been good at determining ages anyway. It really didn’t matter how old he was. He was perfect. Whether he was twenty or forty, he still made her heart flutter.
The train began to move again, but slowly.
“We’re moving again,” Devon said, slightly disappointed. She turned back to the man, determined to maximize whatever time they had. “What do you do … for work, I mean.”
His mouth twitched into a smile. “I’m a vampire.”
Oh, ha-ha. Right. It was Halloween. Even so … wow. This guy really didn’t want her to know anything about him.
The train inched into the station, and as Devon glanced out the window, she glimpsed the sign for Darlington.
Another garbled announcement vibrated the walls of the carriage. “Passengers for Darlington, please disembark at the station. Passengers traveling on to Edinburgh, please disembark and transfer to the train on the opposite platform.”
Devon locked eyes with the vampire sitting across from her. “I guess that means we’re switching trains.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
He stood, and so did she. The back of his tall, lean body was in full view as he turned and filed down the aisle. Devon quickly followed, but when she reached the luggage receptacle, her bag jammed against another’s, and it took her a few minutes to pull it from the tight space. In the meantime, the perfect vampire had left the carriage and disappeared into the mix of people milling around the station.
She suppressed the disappointment. Now she’d have to look for him in the next train. Otherwise, so much for her shot at the perfect man.
A crowd had gathered just in front of the train, and Devon stared down the length of the platform, where police darted in and out of the last carriage, calling out orders for everyone to keep moving, stay away from the carriage car. Emergency technicians quickly followed them, and all around, the air echoed with sounds of concern.
Devon turned to a middle-aged woman standing next to her. “What happened?”
The woman stared at her. “Did you just get off that train, love?” She pointed at the door from which Devon had just exited.
Devon nodded. “Yeah.”
The woman patted her arm. “You’re that lucky.
Devon glanced again at the last carriage as two emergency techs carried two stretchers out … and were those … bodies that they were transporting, covered with sheets? “What happened?” she asked again.
The woman’s brows knitted. “I overheard one of the police say that there were four dead people on that carriage. Killed. A Halloween murder spree.” She shook her head.
Devon felt a chill run through her. A murder spree. How was that possible? On the very train she’d been sitting on moments before… talking to the perfect man.
The woman continued. “All of the bodies drained of blood.”
Devon’s breath caught in her throat. “What?” At that moment, she looked up at the train on the opposite platform. In the window of the first carriage sat her perfect man, his dark eyes staring out at her, a slight smile gracing his lips.
She found she couldn’t move until the man in the window had passed by her, and she’d missed her train.

About the Author
London Clarke
Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young age, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes. Wuthering Heights and Dracula are her favorite novels and, although now happily married, she readily confesses that she is a recovering runaway, who once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London holds a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She’s had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.
London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and three greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or binge watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.

Giveaway
Enter the Bewitching Book Tour’s Haunted Halloween Spooktacular for a chance to win some amazing prizes.


Links

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Madam Rhino" by C. Lewis

EXCERPT
Madam Rhino
(The Adventures of Agent Grey Book 1)
by C. Lewis

Madam Rhino (The Adventures of Agent Grey Book 1) by C. Lewis

Madam Rhino, the first book in The Adventures of Agent Grey series by C. Lewis, has just been released. The author stops by today to share an excerpt from the book.

Description
This is the origin story of the formidable senior powerhouse Madam Rhino. Angela is a feisty British pensioner who seizes the opportunity to upgrade her safe, quiet life to one of crime fighting high octane adventure.
She is a straight-talking pensioner who lives in the English countryside. She is feisty, independent and does not like being told what to do just because she is a grandmother in her eighties. But then the ultra secret agency The Bridge Club, whose mission is to maintain world peace, was recruiting. How an earth did she prove that she was a worthy candidate? After all, age is just a number!


Excerpt
For just a moment his eyes widened, and his jaw dropped when he saw the enormous outline of her muscular legs. She adopted a classic fighting stance with her legs diagonally apart facing forward and beckoned him with her hand.
Stalk laughed, and a few tears rolled down his chiselled cheeks as he leant on a nearby post for support.
“Oh, come on! I tell you what, I will rough you up a little bit to show you tried and then you won’t get into too much trouble. I appreciate you have your pride…”
She pursed her lips into a straight line and narrowed her eyes. However, after a few seconds, he composed himself and addressed the situation at hand.
“Oh, come on.”
He rolled his eyes in response and grabbed his gun, aiming it at her chest. “This is a farce and I am a busy man.” He released the gun safety, ready to pull the trigger.
Just a second before he pulled the trigger she leapt up, and as she turned in the air, she delivered a kick, forcing the gun from his hand. His mouth opened in shock as his gun clattered onto the deck. She grabbed her cane that she had leant against wall and with its full extension planned to use it as a quarter staff. She swung it low and fast, aiming for his legs, but this time he spotted the action and jumped with ease out of the way before impact. She tried the same move again and he looked as though he aimed to land along the length of the cane. At the last millisecond, she recognised what was going on and retracted her cane just in the nick of time. He laughed.
“So, you want to dance?”
She kept her face neutral and looked into his eyes. “I am not in the mood for clichés. You have two choices: let me take you into custody or we fight!”
In response, he stepped and without warning drove his fist hard and fast in the direction of her face. She reacted a little too late and his fist successfully crunched the side of her jaw as she turned away
Darn it, I was nearly caught out. She touched the side of her face and winced. My first official fight might be my last!
She dropped her head and ran towards his stomach at speed. He laughed as he put his hand on top of her head to stop her progress, but his smile wavered when he realised his footing was failing. He was being pushed backwards towards the deck wall with the sound of his shoes squeaking on the polished wooden floor as he moved.
“No. That is not acceptable.” Stalk shook his head.
In the same breath he stepped to the side, and as she flew past he punched her hard and fast in the stomach. His fist met a wall of thickened hard skin, and he faltered for a moment. He changed his tactics and started to rain punches all over her body at high speed changing the location every time. She remembered her training and managed to evade most of the punches, and the ones that hit their target were greeted with thickened skin. Both their foreheads were now covered in sweat, and tiny pools gathered on the floor where they fought hard. His slick hair style started to unravel, but Angela’s hair remained intact with not a single hair out of place.
“I have better things to do,” Stalk muttered and punched harder.
I just need to get one punch in and then I can finish this, thought Angela.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Madam Rhino is leading a spate of gender-reversed roles that have women feeling like they are finally getting the fantastical novel role models they deserve. A kind of believable super-charged senior woman – at least in terms of character and emotion – who inspires female fans rather than titillates young males.  Particularly important: finally, we’re getting super-secret agents with the kinds of flaws common in the last decade’s male secret agents. Pick up a copy of Madam Rhino to see what all the talk is about.” ~ Segilola Salami

Links

Friday, July 13, 2018

"The Palm Reader" by Christopher Bowron

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The Palm Reader
(A Jackson Walker Thriller Book 2)
by Christopher Bowron

The Palm Reader (A Jackson Walker Thriller Book 2) by Christopher Bowron

The Palm Reader is the second book in the Jackson Walker Thriller series. Author Christopher Bowron stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt from the book. You can also read my review and enter the giveaway. Also available: Devil in the Grass (read my blog post).

Devil in the Grass by Christopher Bowron


Description
Jackson Walker once again faces his demons in this haunting sequel to Devil in the Grass. Now working as an investigative lawyer for Peter Robertson, Jack teams with Janie Callaghan to solve the disappearance of a sleazy client specializing in taboo pornography. Meanwhile, the evil head of the Church of Satan weaves an intricate web to lure Walker as the sacrificial lamb in an Everglades Black Mass ritual.

Excerpt
Chapter One
A TALL, MUSCLE-BOUND POLICE officer ushered Jackson Walker reluctantly away from his grandfather by putting a forceful hand on the back of his head, the other on one of his bound arms. The McFadden property, now overrun by cops, news crews and forensic teams, no longer seemed creepy. Lit-up, it looked ready for a film shoot—not the house of horrors it had been an hour back, shrouded in darkness with the smell of the Everglades and death all-pervading.  The carnage strewn across the estate would be picked apart, piece by piece, every inch scoured for incriminating evidence until its dark secrets were revealed to all who might have the stomach and desire to know them.
Jack, with the help of his Seminole cousins and a law clerk named Janie Callaghan, heroically brought down the Church of Set, a satanic cult based in Southwest Florida. Its evil leader, Henrietta LePley, along with her henchmen, the McFadden brothers, Eric, Isaac and Jimmy, all found their lives at an end earlier in the evening, and deservedly so. They were evil, hearts rotten to the core, especially the McFaddens, who were killers of a serial nature.
Though Walker would most likely be cleared of the alleged killings of two elderly people a week back in Clewiston, he would first need to be detained. The burly officer ushered him into a police van; the reinforced double-back door slammed shut with a loud clang before the locking mechanism engaged. Sitting across from Jack, to his utter shock, was Mason Matye, a high-ranking leader within the American branch of the Church of Satan. The cops surely made a mistake placing the two in the same vehicle. Matye, like Jack, was one of the few survivors of the haunting events of that evening. Jack felt slightly better seeing the Satanist’s hands were similarly bound with plastic flex cuffs. Their eyes met in the dark van.
“Jackson Walker,” said the man in his thick, Parisian French accent. His coal-black eyes were like lasers searing into the back of Jack’s skull and drying his throat. A wry smile formed on the man’s lips. “You have proven very resourceful.” His eyes were unrelenting. “You made a deal with the Devil, Mr. Walker, about a week back. I know you remember.”
Jack laid into him. “The Devil? Stop with the crap, you satanic fuck. I made no such deal with any Devil: Satan, or Set, or whatever name you want to call him!”
Mason only smiled, the way any Satanist would, his eyes narrowing and his mouth forming a taut smile. “Ah. Perhaps you thought you made a deal with Henrietta. We both serve a higher being—as agents, you might say, Mr. Walker. I hope you will not make the same mistake twice. It’s time to pay up, one way or another. You see, the beauty of being a Devil worshiper . . . it’s expected of you to be dastardly. I take great pleasure in it.” His eyes narrowed as he whispered through pursed lips, “We know where your family lives. We will watch your every move, be it as a free man, or in a prison cell. This isn’t finished.”
Jack studied the man, his eyes not leaving Mason. “Don’t tell me,” Jack said sarcastically, “the Church of Satan has connections within the state prison system?”
“Each and every state, Mr. Walker. Your incarceration will be a perfect hell. If you are lucky enough to make it there.” He lifted his foot to his cuffed wrists, resting it on the detention van’s bench seat. He deftly pulled out a thin blade hidden in the heel of his shoe. With his fingertips he ran the steel edge across the plastic tie and, gritting his teeth, began to cut through the plastic.
Jack couldn’t believe this was happening after all he’d been through that day. “Fucker!” He hurled himself at the vile little Frenchman, catching him in the chin with his shoulder. The force of the blow drove Mason’s head into the wall of the van. The blade clattered to the floor. Both men ended up face to face on their sides trying to capture the blade.
Mason spit at Jack, covering his face with blood and saliva. “Merde! You will die, Walker. Count on it!”
Jack did his best to head-butt the man but didn’t have the leverage with his hands tied, so the effort ended in more of a head rub than a useful smack. Mason scrambled to grab the knife. Jack pushed himself up against the bench and tried to regain his footing. Mason pulled his feet back to his hands and, with a couple of frantic pulls, cut his bonds.
Jack, having only freed his feet, hauled back and kicked Mason’s throat. There was a sickening crack and Jack hoped something gave way. Mason made a horrible gurgle, like a clogged drain being emptied. Jack kicked him again, this time in the face. He felt the man’s nose snap.
Clank. The back doors to the van opened abruptly. Two armed officers jumped into the back, grabbing both of them.
Jack yelled, “The fucker’s got a knife!”
One officer grabbed Jack by the hair, expertly herding him out of the van. Within seconds, and with the aid of a fellow officer, he found himself in the back of the police cruiser. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Matye receiving similar treatment. After that, the night became a blur.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“… fantastic characters and a truly spellbinding plot - the best book in its genre I have ever read.” ~ Susan Keefe, TheColumbiaReview.com
“A gripping thriller, which excels in unusual twists and turns, explorations of family heritage and truths, and one man’s ongoing journey as he explores new connections and threats to his life.” ~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“Jackson Walker is back in this thrilling, fast-paced sequel to Best Seller - Devil in the Grass ... An edgy, action-packed thriller!" ~ Raymond Khoury, New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Last Templar
“A real delight for the imaginary senses. This is the best book in its genre that I have ever read.” ~ Chick Lit Cafe
“Wow! I absolutely loved this book. Even better than the first, the best-selling Devil in the Grass - could not put it down.” ~ Maxine (Booklover Catlady) - Top Amazon Reviewer
“The setting for Christopher Bowron's The Palm Reader isn't the Florida of blue hair and walkers and early-bird specials and family theme parks - seedy and gritty, The Palm Reader will keep you turning pages long past the time those household chores have grown tired of calling your name.” ~ David Patneaude, author of Fast Backward and other best-selling novels
“A Florida noir in the vein of Randy Wayne White - with a tight plot, well-drawn primary and secondary characters, and a climax most readers won't see coming, The Palm Reader is a most satisfying summer read. One can only hope that the Jackson Walker series continues.” ~ Betsy Ashton, author of Unintended Consequences and Uncharted Territory, Mad Max Mysteries, Eyes Without A Face


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
The book begins where the previous book finished, but the author provides a summary of events, so it’s not necessary to have read the first book (although, if I were you, I would). The action quickly moves on to five years later, when Jack is now a lawyer working with investigator Janie Callaghan. He’s hired to defend a suspected pedophile, who they believe has been set up by Russian mobsters. Meanwhile, Mason Matye, a high-ranking leader within the American branch of the Church of Satan, is in jail but is looking to escape and exact his revenge on Jack and his whole family. Lolita, a psychic and palm reader, has a premonition that either she or Jack will die, but he doesn’t believe in the paranormal “hocus pocus”, even though his Gramps believes Jack has psychic abilities of his own. With both an old enemy and a new enemy out to get Jack, will the palm reader be able to save him?
As in the previous book, the story is told from multiple points of view, giving us an insight into each character’s motivations. The viewpoints change more and more quickly between characters as the story picks up its pace and approaches its climax. This is certainly an action-packed story. You never know what is going to happen next, no one is safe, and there is a twist about half-way through that I never saw coming.
Not for the faint-hearted.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, graphic violence, sex scenes.

Interview with the Author
Christopher Bowron joins me today to discuss his new book, The Palm Reader.
Hello Lynda
For what age group do you recommend your book?
The Palm Reader is not for the faint of heart. It is an adult book. There is some violence and sexy parts. The target age would be late teens and up.
What sparked the idea for this book?
The Palm Reader is the second book in a series. It follows Devil in the Grass, which was a best seller. Devil in the Grass contained a cliff-hanger at the end which led me right into The Palm Reader. In the beginning, both books were “sparked” by my love of South Florida, where I have spent a lot of time since childhood. Driving through the Everglades one day I came up with the idea of a family of psychopaths who use the Everglades to dispose of dead bodies. There is a lot of empty space - literally millions of acres.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Devil in the Grass was more about the idea for the novel. The Palm Reader is more about the main character - Jackson Walker. He has to come to terms with his past - a failed pro athlete - and his ancestry - being a Seminole Indian. His grandfather is a Shaman and Jack has received some of his blood and along with it, his gift of talking with the spirits. Jack doesn’t like this idea. It’s also about a medium (the palm reader) named Lolita, who tries to save Jack from a vision she’s had about him. She has sensed his apathy and his unwillingness to accept his talents.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I will be honest, it virtually wrote itself. I guess, the difficult part was creating a sequel, which could be read as a stand-alone. You don’t need to have read Devil in the Grass to get this book. There is some recounting of information, but not too much.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
Tough question … I hope that they get a feel for Southwest Florida. A continuing theme is about Florida nature and how it is being affected by man. I also hope that people get a feel for and like my writing style, which is very straightforward. I hope that readers jump in and forget about everything else for a few hours.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Roughly three months. I literally started cruising and didn’t stop. The only reason I’m saying this is because Devil in the Grass took me nearly two years. I think that it is noticeable how the different plotlines mesh very seamlessly, as I didn’t need to think back too far to remember anything. I would say that the writing is better because of it.
What is your writing routine?
If I feel inspired, I write for short times at night. I try for 300 words or so then stop. The real writing is usually early in the morning, where I can rattle off a few thousand words. I move all over the house. I’ve written at every table and chair we own. I also like to write on my balcony at night in Florida, looking out at the moon shimmering off the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps … a glass of wine is often needed.
Sounds idyllic. How did you get your book published?
I was lucky enough to have contacted a Literary Agent who did the first book deal with Koehler Books. I have a new agent - Mary Ellen Gavin from Gavin Literary. She is helping me with a couple of other books, which have been written. They too are very exciting. I did the deal for The Palm Reader with Koehler Books myself, as we already had a standing relationship. I must say, Koehler are a pleasure to deal with. Their editing and cover work is exceptional, and they are nice people.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Hmmm. Finish what you start. 300 words a day, which is easy, will give you a book in less than a year.
No matter how much you pay, get an editor. Mary Ellen, my agent, is an editor and she has been invaluable on the last three books. Nothing ruins a book quicker than bad editing or lack thereof.
There is the debate about whether to self-publish or be published traditionally. I would stick it out and try to get published. If you polish your work well enough, you will get found. Being published gives you much more credibility. There are a lot of authors out there who go to self-publishing after they have been traditionally published, and their fan base is intact. This is something I may decide to do at some time.
Last, it is all about conflict. Whether it’s a love story or a thriller, every page needs to have some degree of conflict, otherwise it’s boring. People need to be taken away from their mundane lives.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m happily married and have two young adult children, who keep us busy.
I love to saltwater fish, everything from a 15-inch sea trout to a 12-foot hammerhead shark. I’m a sports fanatic. I played semi-pro hockey in my twenties. I still play. I love golf, working out - anything competitive.
I’m also a Real Estate Broker and own my own company in Southern Ontario.
Country music.
What does your family think of your writing?
After they read my first book, they think I’m crazy. Besides that, they are very supportive. I keep telling them that one day I’m going to be famous. They give me funny little looks. Maybe I am crazy.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yep, I was a voracious reader when I was younger - at least a book a week. Not so much now, as writing takes up a lot of my time. I read The Lord of the Rings when I was 7-8 years old. I still love Tolkien - he was a story-teller extraordinaire. After reading those books I wanted to do the same. I started to write little short tales. I gave that up after a time, but it was stuck in me. I like to think that above all, I am a good storyteller.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Always. I knew that I would do it one day. I was a History major at University, which required a lot of writing, and I was very good at it and had exceptional marks because of it. I think the logic behind essay writing carried forward into novel writing. Everything needs to make sense. There has to be some logic to a novel, or you will lose your reader.
I tried writing a few books back then, but they never saw completion. I struggled to finish Devil in the Grass, but afterwards thought, “That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.” It really isn’t if you can write and have a good imagination.
I just finished a true-life adventure story. I found nonfiction to be tough. Lots of interviews and I wasn’t allowed to get off track. I prefer fiction.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I think so. I was always a dreamer and a thinker. My wife probably hates that the most about me. I can get “disengaged” as she calls it. Really, I’m just thinking about interesting things - ideas for my books, etc. - or just interesting stuff.
I loved to explore as a kid. I could go off for hours walking along a creek bed. We had a cottage in northern Ontario. My parents wouldn’t see me all day.
I was a pretty quiet kid. I liked to watch people and how they interact with each other. Maybe this has carried over into my writing and why I’m also a very good salesman.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
As I already stated, J. R. R.  Tolkien was an influence. I really like Anne Rice. She has a way of making the Paranormal very believable. I think I’ve stolen from her a lot. I like Stephen R. Donaldson and his White Gold series. Some say that I write a lot like Greg Illes with a touch of Stephen King, but this wasn’t by design.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Mostly from people in my hometown. It has made me into a quasi-celebrity. Also in Fort Myers Beach, where we have a second home. I was out for dinner last night and our dinner guests marveled at how many people came up to me and asked me about my writing and how much they enjoyed my first book.
I don’t get a lot of fan mail, though my blog is getting a lot of traction lately.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
As I mentioned, I have written two more books, which are being shopped around New York as we speak. One is a true-to-life rescue story about three men who went fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and their boat sunk quickly. They were not able to get out a mayday and had to survive three days floating, deathly afraid of the sharks. There was also a minor hurricane, which blew through. There is a touch of faith in it. The back end of the story is how their wives didn’t give up and spearheaded the rescue. It’s called: Waiting for Morning Time.
The second, which I just loved (but can’t sell yet) is called The Body Thieves. It’s about a military surgeon who goes undercover to try and crack the connection between a big US medical conglomerate and its source of contraband human organs in Central America.
I’m a way into the third book in this series and it’s called The Sawgrass Savannah.
Lastly, though I said I don’t like nonfiction. I’ve been contacted by a man who was a chef for the Queen Mother - after escaping communism. He then emigrated to the US and was a chef for four different presidents. I don’t think I can turn down this story.
No, that sounds really interesting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by today, Chris. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
Christopher Bowron
Christopher Bowron’s roots stretch back four generations in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, voted the prettiest town in Canada. Christopher is the owner of a successful Real Estate Brokerage, Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty. He has a bachelor of arts from Brock University and is a lover of fine wine, sport. Christopher has a second residence in southwest Florida where he has spent a good part of his life since childhood. Southwest Florida is the backdrop for his first novel, Devil in the Grass, a number one bestseller, published by Köehler Books in March 2016.
Christopher has just finished the sequel to Devil in the Grass, a thriller called The Palm Reader. Jackson Walker returns to find himself in another paranormal mix up as he is now working for Peter Robertson, where he attempts to find a client mixed up in a taboo porn ring, at the same time, Walker is stalked by Mason Matye, head of the Church of Satan. The Palm Reader was published by Koehler Books in June 2018.
Christopher has also just finished a nonfiction book, Waiting for Morning Time, about three men whose boat sank during a fishing expedition in the Gulf of Mexico. They spent 48 hours floating in shark-infested waters off the coast of Venice Florida. His Lit Agent, Mary Ellen Gavin, is currently shopping this title.

Giveaway
Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of two print copies of The Palm Reader by Christopher Bowron (US only; ends 17 July).

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