Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Ricki Thomas.

Ricki is the author of best-selling Unlikely Killer, Rings of Death, Bonfire Night, Black Park, Hope's Vengeance and Bloody Mary, all published by Wild Wolf Publishing. Her biggest interests are true crime, criminal psychology and comedies

My review; of “Rings Of Death” by Ricki Thomas.
When I begin a book by an author I have not read before I always begin with an enthusiasm that I hope is justified as I get further into the plot.

It took me a few pages to accustom myself to Ricki Thomas’s style and her personal pacing and rhythm; however once I did; I relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

I love a plot that keeps me guessing. Yet it must also be well constructed enough so that it does not fall apart on closer scrutiny. The author has achieved that and more. 

From the outset, Author Ricki Thomas had me attempting to guess the identity of  the perpetrator of a series of kidnappings. The victims all female, all very young, and all actively pursuing excellence in the sport of running.

The missing girls come from different locations and diverse backgrounds and cultures. 

Given that these disappearances were of young females of drinking and dating age, the police didn’t take the initial reported disappearances too seriously.

Until that is, one young woman, Sammy Cooper, an eighteen-year-old, fails to reappear after attending her gym class, a young woman who had been dating the son of a higher up in the police department.

 Not cause for concern … except for the fact that the son is a 35- year-old councilor, and … a consummate sleaze-bag. 

Sammy Coopers controlling parents totally unaware that their beautiful daughter is even dating, let alone involved with someone so much older.

The author cleverly weaves the Police investigation, allowing over-sized egos, communication breakdown, and the often inexperienced constables to frustrate and delay the viability of the information being pieced together.

Add to this volatile mix an interfering reporter, hell bent on furthering her career. Nancy Blaine is thriving on the attention she is getting, and actively seeking more of the same.

The captives (Five in all-initially) are treated worse than animals, drugged and defeated, with little to no willpower to survive remaining; only the latest captive, Sammy Cooper is fighting back. 

Sammy is attempting to develop a rapport between the girls and their unseen captor. She opens up a slow and frustrating dialogue through a barred and secured door. Gradually building a trust of sorts with the sad and demented individual that holds their young lives in his hands.

The scene is beautifully set and the pace increases. The police are hampered at every turn, in some cases purely through misunderstood motivations.

I was cockily certain that I had the perpetrator identified, and waited confidently for the author to confirm my diagnosis of the plot. I was way off base. Just when I became complacent and thought I had this whole thing figured out, the author threw a clever and well-placed curve ball at me, and I began to rethink who in fact the perpetrator may be.

The plot is complex and well developed. The characters are multi-dimensional and easy to visualize.

It never does to make assumptions, and the shattering climax to the book had me smiling in admiration. Well done, Ricki Thomas.

 I will be deliberately seeking out more of this authors work. If you like your Mystery/Suspense thrillers with a very astute dose of what makes up one of the Psychological profiles of a serial killer, this book is very highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



Born in New York State, Jeff Lee was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles.

For more than thirty years he has been a copywriter and creative director for some of the advertising industry's most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity. None of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have a solid alibi.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you have just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily armed men.

Jeff lives about halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, in a house he shares with his two sons and a cat that's part golden retriever.

My Review.

Big Dog Recoveries…that is the name of the Repo-firm operated by three very strange, diverse, and seriously lovable characters. They are so well depicted, and so intensely visual, they become an image in your mind. I  initially met these three whackos a few years back when I read the first book in the Adventure’s in La-La Land series:The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour.’

 It only took a brief moment for me to have them flash back into my head. Let me introduce you.

 Meet Fish ‘Fishbein’ A quick on the uptake, finds humor in the worst of situations, lawyer, Repo man and Bounty Hunter. Fish is the fastest wisecracker in town, and a damned fine friend to anyone in need.

His buddies in the business, are, ‘Kevin’ ah!—yes, Kevin. Kevin is cool. Kevin has a daily return ticket to the 1970’s. His mind still lives there. They are on speaking terms. I was a teenager in the 1970’s, they were my era, so Kevin for me is just such a damned comfortable fit.

Then we have ‘Einstein’. Not used in a derogatory fashion. A seriously bright, and loyal individual, who helps translate to and from Kevin frequently. The dialogue exchanges between Einstein and Kevin are priceless. Einstein and Fish have taken on being Co-Parents of a sort, attempting, not always successfully, to keep Kevin safe-- and present in the current decade whenever possible.

Okay, then there are the bad guys. It would take forever to do justice to them all. What, between, the ex-lawyer, now turned Producer- Director, aka ‘Arnie Babe.
Arnie is attempting to convince Fish to be TV’s latest reality star in a series entitled “Fish … Bounty Hunter to the Stars.”

Insert the hugely popular and much loved TV Evangelist, The Right Reverend Dr. George Stonewall Rogers a money hungry, despicable, manipulative piece of scum; currently making his foray into making Biblical-Porn flicks.(The hysterical Roman orgy scenes are worth the price of the book alone)

 His Wife…Mrs.TV Evangelist … Janelle. She is a totally crazy, violent, obsessed, just plain bad female. I enjoyed despising her. This paragon is mother to an increasingly obese 4 year old; a four-year-old who she is attempting to organize breast implants for, so she is more likely to win ‘The Toddler Pageant’ circuses. Like I said, Janelle is nasty … and certifiable.

Janelle's less than charming Brother, The Parking Czar who does a reverse Robin Hood on the unsuspecting folks of L.A.

Mix them together, add doses of the Mafia, bad guys masquerading as good guys, stolen loot and multiple murders … set them in a great location, with a rollicking, fast-paced plot, and you get a marvelously funny and utterly delightful read.


The journey is a delight; author Jeff Lee has drawn each and every character with an artist's eye for detail, dialogue, and clever characterizations. His observations of people are acerbic and acutely accurate.

 What pleases me even more with Author Lee's work is that the plot is carefully drawn with seeming ease, comedic writing is hard to maintain, the timing has to be perfect and seemingly effortless... yet it it is one of the most difficult genres to write well.

The author creates mood and characterizes so wonderfully well, I found myself still laughing long after I’d read the last page.

I recommend this book, to anyone who enjoys feeling good about life

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Who won the "What is the sex of this author?" Contest. Take a look and see. How many did you get right?

A BIG! Congratulations to Mary Beth Engle. You won the “What is the sex of these authors?” Contest.

The contest was far more difficult than even I thought it would be. The excerpts were wonderful.

So without further ado let me tell you just who wrote what.

Excerpt Number 1. Author Gev Sweeney from her book “Beethoven’s Wife.”

Excerpt Number 2. Author Bill Kirton from his book “The Figurehead.”

Excerpt Number 3. Author Kate Rigby from her book “The Dead Club.”
 Three marvelous books.

Take a peek. I have shared the links where these may be purchased for each author.

Excerpt Number 1. Author Gev Sweeney ... "Beethoven's Wife' a novella.

Vienna, 1826. Ludwig van Beethoven sits for one of the earliest photographic portraits in history, and the world of a defeated young woman ceases to be what she has long accepted.
 A couple of the five star reviews.

By Maria K. on January 24, 2015
Perfectly put together, descriptive, exquisitely worded, with just the right amount of drama and romance - all wrapped up in this wonderful novella. A marvelous read!
By Mrs. Vivienne Tuffnell on February 20, 2015
I really enjoyed this; it reminded me of the feeling you get when you open a really old book and pressed flowers or rose petals fall out, and there's still the faintest of scents and you sort of imagine the person who put them in there. The story was poignant and the characters haunting and beautifully drawn.

Purchase Link Purchase here!

Excerpt number 2. Author Bill Kirton..."The Figurehead."

The Figurehead

Purchase link to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1FmQKtB

Back cover.

Long-listed for the International Rubery Award 2012.

Aberdeen in 1840 – a dynamic, wealthy, expanding place. When the body of a local shipwright is found on the beach, few are surprised.  He had enemies everywhere, from the women and young girls he molested to the customers and suppliers he cheated.

John Grant, a figurehead carver, is intrigued by the mystery surrounding his death. His work and his investigations bring him into contact with a rich merchant, William Anderson, and his daughter Helen.

Commercial secrets are revealed, personalities clash, clues accumulate, and a tension grows between John and Helen as they pursue their separate investigations into the mystery. When John eventually identifies the killer, the discovery gives him no satisfaction.

Bill Kirton

Bill Kirton was born in Plymouth, England but has 

lived most of his life in Scotland. He’s written stage and radio plays, songs and sketches for revues, flash fiction, short stories, novels, stories for children and books aimed at helping students to write effective academic essays and dissertations and get the most out of university and work. He’s been a university lecturer, actor, director, TV presenter, visiting professor and artist at the University of Rhode Island and spent a few years as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Most of his books have a crime element but he’s also written parodies, satires and spoofs of other genres.

He’s won two Forward International Literature Awards (2011): Gold for The Sparrow Conundrum in the Humor category and Silver for The Darkness in Mystery. The Figurehead was long-listed for the 2012 Rubery Award.

His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and one of them, Love Hurts, was chosen for the 2010 Mammoth Book of Best British Crime.

You’ll find him on Facebook at:

And on Twitter as @Carver22

His website and blog are at: http://bill-kirton.co.uk

More details of Bill and his books are listed on his Amazon page at: http://amzn.to/SetQfu

 Kate Rigby. "The Dead Club."

"An edgy, contemporary tale about death and suicide and its effects on two families. Death is a fact of life for the principle characters and especially for Marina Reed who wishes to join her loved ones at ‘the dead club’, a place she and her sixth form friends obsessed about in their youth. Ultimately her mortido becomes more urgent until it takes her over the edge. The novel is in fact very much about edges: where the ultimate edge is between life and death.  Written in bite-sized sections in a colloquial style with elements of black humour and surrealism."

3) Author Bio:

Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in Devon.  She’s been writing for over thirty years, with a few small successes along the way.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has recently been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point(2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones including a version of her satirical novella Lost The Plot.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She is in the process of re-Kindling her backlist of previously published as well as unpublished work including.

The Dead Club was released in April 2015.

4) Purchase links:






5) Links to Blog & Website & Facebook Page: