Friday, July 3, 2015

Now Available For Pre-Order - Book 2 in the Jenna James Legal Thrillers - Shadows of Doubt


All Amazon Sites - Shadows of Doubt
















PROLOGUE


Kerri studied the notes she’d added to the diary, comparing them to the ones before. The writing was close, but a handwriting expert would see the subtle differences. She would eventually have to recopy the entire book just in case it was ever found. His legacy had to live on without blemish.
“But what about your legacy?”
She ignored the voice in her head, much as she’d ignored Keira most of their life. She would have her legacy in time, but not until Simone’s work was finished, and not until the world was ready to recognize her talent as an artist.
She closed the book, picked up her glass of wine, rose and went to study the painting of Jake Savior she’d hung on the den wall. Simone would have been proud of her. It was some of her best work. She’d captured not only his handsome face, but also the quintessence of his soul. She’d painted him while he watched his wife feeding ducks in the park. The deep blue eyes had revealed so much to her. His compassion, and his deep love for this woman. But there were also shadows in his eyes. Shadows of pain and loss not quite forgotten. She knew where those shadows came from. It must have been horrible for an eight year old child to watch his mother beaten day after day until finally in a moment of sheer desperation she attacked her attacker and gave her son a chance to escape and run for help. Help that came, but much too late.
A deep rattling cough came from behind the bedroom door. Kerri’s shoulders slumped, and the hand holding the glass shook as anguish ripped through her like a thousand tiny paper cuts that throbbed and ached. It was their fault Simone had been hurt. He’d been upset because the job wasn’t finished. Like an artist when the painting was incomplete or an author when the book was only half written. No true artist could live with that. It ate away at your soul until you slowly starved to death.
She opened the door slowly, watching the sheet covering the withered, scarred body for any signs of movement that would signal he was still breathing. It rose slightly as another rattling cough shook the bed. She blew him a kiss and closed the door, leaning against it for just a moment to steady herself. He no longer bore any resemblance to the man she’d fallen in love with, but his essence was still in there somewhere struggling to survive. His zest for life was one of the things she’d loved about him.
She poured another glass of wine and went back to the painting. This was the beginning of her legacy. Any normal child would have been driven insane by what Jake Savior had endured with both his mother’s death, and then his father’s subsequent suicide. Instead he’d followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the police force as a champion for justice. People like him couldn’t see the true artistic beauty of Simone’s bombings. Like her, Simone was a true artist. He studied his subjects. Their death was imminent, but Simone made sure they went out in an explosion of beauty.
Her gaze fell on the remaining four paintings sitting near the baseboard. Harry Redmond, Clifford Beaumont, Jenna James, and Marcus Dade. They were all guilty of murdering the heart and soul of the only human being she had ever loved. She would be their judge and jury, and she would mete out justice fitting their crimes.
She picked up her paint brush, and stared into the deep blue eyes of Jake Savior as she sipped her wine. It wasn’t enough just to kill him. She painted a scar running from his right eye to just below his chin. She wanted him to suffer, as she had suffered. To die a little each day as he realized there was nothing left to live for. A soft smile played around her lips as she thought about the plans she’d made. Before she was finished they would all go insane.
A loud moan came from behind the closed door followed by another rattle. She glanced at the syringe and bottle sitting on the coffee table. The doctor had told her the time would come when his suffering would become unbearable. She tossed the paint brush into the fireplace and picked up the syringe and bottle before walking slowly to the bedroom door. It was time for his suffering to end and theirs to begin.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review - Wrong Place



I had the wonderful pleasure of reading an ARC of this debut novel of a new series by NYT and USA Today bestselling author, M. A. Comley.  A long time fan of her Justice series, I was surprised--in my humble opinion DI Sally Parker has blown DI Lorne Simpkins now Lorne Warner out of the running as my favorite all time series star.  A huge fan of the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, I love when I find an author that can keep a series going and still write page turning mystery/suspense and thrillers.  I'm impatiently waiting for book 2 in this series and hope Ms. Comley doesn't make me wait too long.

Book 1 introduces DI Sally Parker and her team. A serial killer is on the loose and one, at first glance, that shouldn't be hard to find as he picks his victims up in local bars and leaves behind a DNA sample. While waiting for the DNA results Sally and her team find themselves up against a brick wall as no one remembers who the victims were talking to or waited on at the bars. This guy simply blends in with the woodwork. They get their first break when the DNA samples come back with a hit on a convicted rapist recently released from prison. Like all criminals he professes his innocence, but with his arrest the team relaxes and plans their celebration--until another body turns up.

Combine the above with fabulous scenes into Sally's personal life, her partner's personal life, and you have a top notch read that will keep you turning pages all the way to the end--which leads to a very unexpected surprise. It's difficult to write more without giving away spoilers that I would prefer you read and enjoy for yourselves. A fabulous book with great characterization, well thought out and written plot and a fast paced thriller I simply couldn't put down.

I gave this book five stars and can highly recommend it to all my friends and fans.



Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Night Tease - A Sneak Peek at Shadows of Doubt

PROLOGUE

Kerri studied the notes she’d added to the diary, comparing them to the ones before. The writing was close, but a handwriting expert would see the subtle differences. She would eventually have to recopy the entire book just in case it was ever found. His legacy had to live on without blemish.
“But what about your legacy?”
She ignored the voice. She would have her legacy in time, but not until Simone’s work was finished, and not until the world was ready to recognize her talent.
She closed the book, picked up her glass of wine, rose and went to study the paintings lining the den wall. It had taken her a year and over a half a million dollars, but she was ready now. She had more money that she needed, and the ability to make more as long as no one found out the truth.
A deep rattling cough came from behind the bedroom door. Her shoulders slumped and the hand holding the glass started to shake as emotional pain ripped through her like a thousand tiny paper cuts that throbbed and ached. It was their fault Simone had been hurt. He’d been upset because the job wasn’t finished. Like an artist when the painting was incomplete or an author when the book was only half written. No true artist could live with that. It ate away at your soul until you slowly starved to death.
She opened the door slowly, watching the sheet covering the withered, scarred body for any signs of movement that would signal he was still breathing. It rose slightly as another rattling cough shook the bed. She blew him a kiss and closed the door, leaning against it for just a moment to steady herself. The figure no longer bore any resemblance to the man she’d fallen in love with, but his essence was still in there somewhere struggling to survive. That was one of the things she’d loved about him.
She poured another glass of wine and went back to the paintings. This was the beginning of her legacy. They were all guilty, and they would all die. She stared into the grey eyes of Clifford Beaumont. A somewhat ugly bloke, but he was the most dangerous of them all. The rumors of his mob associations were true and his political power was immeasurable. He would be a formidable enemy, and she would enjoy every moment of it. She wanted him to suffer the most. Without his interference none of this would have happened. While she watched her lover die, he was enjoying a new grandchild. She wanted the images of her first kill to become firmly planted in his head, making it impossible for him to sleep or close his eyes without seeing those images of his spoiled brat daughter, Kamela, or the baby. She shook her head and chuckled. How wicked of her. She hadn’t thought about using the baby. Of course she wouldn’t kill her, but for Beaumont to think she would, would drive him insane.
She moved to the second painting. Jake Savior, Corpus Christi police officer. A handsome rebel that always got his man. She took a sip of wine and gazed into the deep blue eyes. Married but no children. He would be her second biggest challenge. A real hothead, but she knew how to take the steam out of him. She should probably disable him first. Drive him into the same madness she had lived with for the last year. That would put the fear of God into the others. She would work slow, stretching out their fear, their desire to keep their loved ones safe. She would make them suffer as they watched the people they loved die, just as she had suffered.
She moved to the third painting. Harry Redmond, Corpus Christi police officer. Choctaw Indian. No wife, but a relationship with Jenna James. There was also his cousin, Loki Redmond. Shivers ran through her as if someone had just walked over her grave. She would have to be careful around that one. So what would upset Harry more, losing Jenna James or losing Loki? She wasn’t sure and until she was sure she wasn’t going to make a move on him.
The fourth painting vexed her the most. Jenna James, Corpus Christi District Attorney. She was the glue that bound the group together. Strong, intelligent and devoted to her job. Something Kerri admired in any woman. And like her, James had no family. It truly was a shame to kill her. She would discredit her first. There was no rush in making up her mind. Perhaps destroying her in the eyes of her adoring public would be enough.
A soft smile played around her lips as she moved to the fifth painting. Marcus Dade, high powered defense attorney. A very handsome devil. She’d actually developed an affinity for Marcus. The two of them had so much in common. He reminded her of Simone. She would leave him until last. Maybe she’d even let him live.
She raised the wine glass. “To the victor goes the spoils.” She would start with Savior and see where the chips fell.

A loud moan came from behind the closed door followed by another rattle. She glanced at the syringe and bottle sitting on the coffee table. The doctor had told her the time would come when his suffering would become unbearable. Picking up the syringe and bottle she walked slowly to the door. It was time for his suffering to end and theirs to begin.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Excerpt - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Clifford Beaumont was one of my favorite characters to write. A man with a past. A man with stories to tell. A loyal friend, but formidable enemy.

EXCERPT - Beyond A Reasonable Doubt


Closing the door, he headed down the stairs. He’d kept his hands clean for a long time, but before that night was over, blood would flow.

Clifford returned to the library, downed a quick glass of wine, replaced the gun in the drawer, and pulled out his switchblade. He opened a panel behind the bookcase, stepped through, and closed it behind him before flipping on a light switch and descending a set of stairs. The room below had taken months to build to his specifications. The contractor had thought him crazy when he’d stated he wanted it totally soundproof. That night was the first time he’d had to use it. His hands clenched at his sides. Depending on what the bastard told him, it wouldn’t be his last.
Travis had already secured the man, his hands and feet tied to a chair, and he’d removed the black hood. “He’s awake, sir, but not very talkative.”
Clifford smiled. “Let’s see what we can do about that. Put down some plastic, Travis, he looks like a bleeder to me.”
Clifford took his time unbuttoning his shirt, folding it, and placing it on a table against the wall. Next he removed his shoes and socks and placed them on the table. He undid his belt, stepped out of his pants, folded them neatly, and placed them with the shirt. He’d saved the best for last. Hooking his fingers in his underwear, he slipped them off and tossed them on top of the shoes. He flexed his shoulders and rolled his head from side to side until his neck made a cracking sound before he picked up the switchblade. The only thing more intimidating than a huge, hairy man approaching with a blade was a huge, hairy, totally naked man approaching with a blade.
“I ain’t talking,” the intruder said. Clifford slid the knife inside the neck of his black T-shirt and slowly ripped it from top to bottom. “Why don’t you tell me your name?” He nicked him just below the collarbone, letting the knife glide across his chest, a small trail of blood appearing along the line. “Or better yet, tell me who sent you here.”
“Told you, I ain’t talking.”
Clifford reached up and grabbed his face, holding it tight as he looked him straight in the eyes. “They all say that, son. But everybody talks. All you’ve got to decide is how much blood you want to lose before you do it.” Clifford smiled and lowered his voice. “Eyes, tongue, fingers, or toes?”
“Wha-at?”
“I’m gonna start cutting. Being the nice guy I am, I’ll let you choose where I start.”
“You’re crazy.”
The fear in the man’s light-blue eyes pulled at Clifford’s primitive side, that side of human nature that made one more of an animal than a man. He’d buried that side for a long time. An image of Kamela lying in bed, her blond hair spread out on the pillow, flashed through his mind, and he let the knife slide across the intruder’s bare chest again, that time going a little deeper. “You tried to hurt my daughter. If I were crazy, I wouldn’t let you choose. Let’s start with fingers. Travis, bring me a board.”
Travis picked up a board and approached the chair. “Right or left, sir?”
“Right.”
Travis grabbed the right hand and strapped it to the board. “Want me to gag him?”
Clifford shook his head and, with one fluid motion, chopped off the pinky. A scream filled the room as the chair rocked. “Who sent you here?”
“I ain’t talking!”
Clifford swiped at the blood that had sprayed across his chest and grinned. He raised the knife. “Suit yourself.”


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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why a legal thriller? The story behind the Jenna James Legal Thrillers

Some of my fans have asked the question: "Why a legal thriller?" My former publications have all had a paranormal aspect of dreams and psychics, except for my one venture into a romantic suspense.

Most authors write about things they're passionate about. Whether it's love or murder. You have to have a certain passion for your characters, your plot and your solutions. Taking us back to the first writing instruction: Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The rules of writing have changed, and we see many novels now that don't have an end but merely lead us into the next installment. I haven't been able to do that yet. With series I lead my characters into the next installment, but I try desperately hard to conclude the current plot in the current novel.

So back to my original question, "Why a legal thriller?"  I love shows like Criminal Minds, Blacklist, Castle and some NCIS. Blue Bloods has also become a favorite this year. And I'm becoming just a little bit of a Daredevil fan. Most of these shows elicit a different type of emotion related to criminals and justice. Red in Blacklist clearly has to be one of the worst criminals of all time, and yet we love him. We love him because somewhere inside there's a goodness he doesn't show very often.  We watch the profilers on Criminal Minds and occasionally they show their emotions, pushed to the limit of what they are able to bear. We connect with that. Daredevil brings out the vigilante hidden inside all of us. The need to make a difference. The desire to protect those who can't protect themselves.

I've worked in and with the judicial system for almost twenty years now. I started as a legal secretary, answering calls and typing up complaints, and all the documentation necessary to make a case or defend a case. I went into this career with a somewhat jaded opinion of lawyers, judges and the court system. Over the years I found much of that opinion was wrong--but it didn't make me feel any better. Morality had no place in the judicial system. Sure, you could show the character of a witness, but the truth is the only thing that matters is the law on the books, or what the courts call precedent law. Cases that have been won and Supreme Court decisions have been published. This is what the Judge will rule on, and the instructions that will be given to a jury that they must base their decision on. One of the things I did love about my job was research. Research makes all the difference in a case. And I loved the minds of some of the attorneys I worked with.  How could they possible remember laws written fifty years ago?

I moved from legal secretary to court official stenographer. This was my first introduction into the criminal system that tried and prosecuted crimes. I once again went in with a jaded opinion of defense lawyers. I asked myself how they could defend someone guilty and do their very best to get them off. I learned that many criminal defense lawyers are not hired to do the job, they are court appointed to do the job and have no choice in the matter. Regardless of their personal feelings about their client's guilt or innocence they have to do the job the same way as if they had been personally hired and knew their client was innocent.

It was in the criminal system that I learned to become frustrated, angry and found myself many times unable to sleep at night. How could we simply declare a mistrial on such a minor technicality as the prosecutor forgetting to turn over a document? How could we let a murderer walk out of that courtroom free to kill again? How could someone who had broken both their child's legs, spent a year in jail for their crime, come back out and take that child from the parents who for over a year had nurtured and loved it, helping it heal? I learned that witnesses were protected by law so that they could lie on the stand without any penalty or fear of perjury charges. I learned judges could overrule a jury verdict. I worked for some truly great judges, who would never done this, but they do have that discretion.

We see a lot of police shows on TV, and we wonder at times if they're true. Do the police really browbeat witnesses into giving false confessions? Having worked with local law enforcement on some murder cases, watching witness interviews I have to admit there are probably times that occurs. Usually when the officers know the witness they're interviewing is lying or committed the crime, but the evidence won't hold up beyond a reasonable doubt.  I followed a case where a 16 year old had bludgeoned a family member with a hammer. There simply wasn't enough evidence to convict him. The officer investigating the crime knew he was guilty and he never gave up.  Three years later the young man bragged about it at a party.  Gave information that only the killer could have known. What he didn't know was the person he was bragging to was a police informant put there specifically to wait, watch and eventually get the evidence they needed to convict him.  So there is good and bad with all branches of the judicial system and all branches of law enforcement. Nothing is ever truly black and white.  There are far too many grey areas.

In real life there was nothing I could do about my frustration, my anger, and desire to see justice done. I started the Jenna James Legal Thrillers because I wanted to have a prosecutor who would stop at nothing to get her man or woman. I wanted police officers who never gave up, and I wanted bad guys that were some of the worst I've seen. And I wanted those bad guys brought to justice.  There are many times that a deal is made to let a criminal go for the opportunity to catch a bigger criminal. Right or wrong it happens. I wanted a no-deal prosecutor. Jenna James may have to change some over her career, as she's already changed her opinion on some very bad guys who do very good things.  The one thing that will not change is she will always stand up for what she believes in.

If you're a fan of lots of courtroom scenes and legal jargon, you may not find what you're looking for in the Jenna James Legal Thrillers. However, if you like kick-butt characters and fast paced action, I think you'll like them.  Pick up your copy today still at the introductory price of $.99/99p.

Kobo
Amazon – all sites 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review - Silent Scream by Angela Marsons



In the last two years I've found myself becoming a true fan of British authors. It took me a while to get used to the differences in both our languages, our ways of saying things and the fact that their law enforcement doesn't carry guns. Having dipped into those waters with NYT bestselling author, M. A. Comley, and thoroughly enjoying myself, I've been searching and finding other British authors and haven't yet been disappointed.

I may be wrong, but I believe this is a debut book introducing DI Kim Stone and her team of detectives. All characters were well developed, and I enjoyed getting to know Kim as well as Stacy, Bryant and Kevin.

Although advertised and popular as a police procedural, this book could easily be classified as a psychological thriller. The reader is introduced to the main character through her memories of a heartbreaking and painful childhood. Memories elicited by the storyline of the bodies discovered at Crestwood, a former girls home. Originally somewhat put off by Kim's blunt, aggressive and seemingly nasty attitude, she grew on me as her character continued to develop and I saw through her shell. I would classify this as a complicated book with lots of characters and sub-plots to follow. Just the type of book I truly enjoy.

If you're not familiar with British slang you may find some passages that may at first confuse you, but the author has written these in a way that it grows on you. The scenery descriptions are also great and made me want to visit those places.

Fantastic plot, well written characters and an enjoyable read. I'll now be looking for more British authors to add to my TBR list.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Join our release event on Facebook for a fabulous release party with hourly prizes including autograph books by the authors. And don't forget to enter our Rafflecopter to win a Mini Ipad.





**(COVERS ON PRINTED BOOKS MAY NOT BE THE SAME AS THOSE SHOWN HERE)