Monday, November 30, 2020

He pushed the door open, only to discover that his fear came true. He was too late.



Michael felt his heart hammering inside. Looking at live video being streamed would be far from enough to protect her, should Bull become aggressive. 
Michael peered out of the interrogation room. No one in the station seemed to pay any attention to him. No one cared that he had been so obedient, so mindful of the authorities as to stay put. Angry with himself for having waited that long, he walked with a slow, measured step towards the entrance door, flung it open, and bolted out. 
The outside air assaulted his nostrils with a bitter smell. 
Smoke.
By the time he arrived at the crooked stairs leading down to Bull’s studio, the view around the city had started to darken. Plumes of black ash were billowing into the sky. In the distance, across a break in the cliffs, fire licked the bottoms of several tree trunks. It was playful at first, flickering, flaring, leaping into a shower of sparks. Then it wound itself around to the top of the trees, like a creepy serpent. 
Before you knew it, the flame blazed into an inferno. With a crackle, it jumped over Pacific Coast Highway and started devouring everything in its way. Up the street, fire fighters started to knock at every door in the neighborhood, urging residents to leave. 
Michael leapt down the stairs, two at a time. His body pulsating with heat, he pushed the door open and ran into the studio, knocking over a few art pieces that stood in his way, only to discover that his fear came true. He was too late. 
Ash wasn’t there, and neither was Bull. 
Thinking he knew where they might have headed, Michael hurried back out, not before noticing that her cellphone had been left behind, in pieces. To his horror, it seemed to have been purposely crushed, perhaps by the weight of the bronze piece. It now stood amidst the fragments, twisting around itself as if to direct a victorious glare at him.


Virtually Lace

(Volume I of High-Tech Crime Solvers)

Paperback  Hardcover

Audiobook


Haunted by discovering the body of a beautiful dancer, Michael re-constructs her murder in a virtual reality. Can he bring the mystery to life? Can he solve it in time, before the killer turns on the woman he loves, Ash?


I started reading the book and couldn't put it down, so I finished it in one day. Young people who are into those games will love this book! Older people who are into love will adore the two main characters and root for Michael to save Ash before it is too late. 
~B.J. Robinson, Author


Friday, November 27, 2020

A tale of courage, enduring love, and secrets kept

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EReader


 A tale of courage, enduring love, and secrets kept 

Overall  
 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️   
5 out of 5 stars
Performance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
    
4 out of 5 stars
Story  
 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

   
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-27-20

This was the first book I have read/listened to from Uvi's series titled "Still Life with Memories," and was attracted to "Marriage before Death" partly by that series name. I finished the book fully appreciating why she had chosen this sub-title. This is a captivating tale of memories shared and secrets kept and how they bring strength and sadness to a loving relationship. The novel opens with Lenny, a retired WW II veteran who has turned to writing, wishing he could put into words the life that has shaped his adored wife Natasha. He has an inkling of the privileged life she led as a concert pianist before the couple met in war-ravaged London. And they have shared a happy marriage since the war ended. But he knows that during the war years, she lived a secret life that she has been unwilling to share, and now no longer remembers because of growing dementia. Lenny's own memories take us back into his clandestine years in the European theater where he becomes aware of the mysterious Rochelle, the infamous "woman in the red beret" who tops the Gestapo's most wanted list. As their paths cross, he realizes that Rochelle is, in fact, his beloved Natasha, spurred into covert duty of her own by her father's counsel that "Every life should matter." As the Germans face approaching Allied forces, the two find themselves coming to each others rescue, but never fully understanding what the other has endured or sacrificed to serve. Uvi writes with such emotion and authenticity that, had I not known she is still actively working, I would have guessed this story was taken from lived experience. Don Warrick's narration adds an element of tension and passion that truly make this a captivation tale of courage, enduring love, and secrets kept. After listening to the closing lines, you will still find yourself thinking about Lenny's observation that "Such is life. It has some loose ends" - the true indicator of a book worth reading! A five-star success!

Michael & Ash’s Story Will Thrill Fans Of The Ash Suspense Thrillers With A Dash Of Romance Series!

 What an in-depth review from B. Roscoe for my virtual reality thriller , Virtually Lace. I truly appreciate the attention to detail.

Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
As Michael Waits For Ash To Heal, He Finds Himself A Suspect In Yet Another Brutal Attack.

This is book one in a series of interconnected stories by different authors, each delving into the exciting world of virtual reality and high-tech crime solving, highlighting fascinating tools and possibilities within the field in the context of a mystery.

Fans of the author are in for a real treat! Ash’s story is told in the three part Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance series. Here Michael, her boyfriend, gets to tell his own story. It takes place months after the incident that set off the Ash Suspense series.

Michael Morse, high school dropout, is a brilliant software developer. He chose not to pursue hacking, despite his talent. With the help of his girlfriend, he had been working on a startup in his garage until recently. His girlfriend Ash, who is working on her master’s degree at the University of California Irvine, assisted with developing a Virtual Reality model as an industrial designer. They are technically partners. He recently sold the software to a military ops company and remains contractually bound to working with the company to further develop the program. Ash should be as well, but that requires some explanation.

He has not seen her since the incident – the brutal rape that left her hospitalized and in a coma. He had visited her in the hospital, but her mother’s looks and suspicion made him terribly uncomfortable. Michael had developed an aversion to police as a result of the days of questioning he endured after the tragic event occurred. He had found Ash in a pool of blood hanging onto life, and he was the only real suspect. Her mother had never liked him, but with Ash in a coma and him as a suspect, she never let him live it down. The case still has not been solved. Ash has since left the hospital but refuses to answer his calls and texts. He had promised to give her time and wait for her, but her involvement in the project going forward is questionable. Michael feels her absence sorely, as his most inspired work comes when they are together, feeding off of one another’s energy.

The story opens at the end of April on a breezy evening at Laguna Beach. Lonely, Michael heads out to take a walk when at 8:03pm he notices a teenage girl that somehow looks familiar, and in a small way reminds him of Ash. Perhaps it was the distress that he sensed, but his instincts kick in. Something feels wrong, yet he knows he is crazy in his presumption. He follows her and the trail to the beach as he tries to reason with himself.

Along the way he loses sight of the girl, but he crosses paths with a number of others that leave an imprint on his mind. There is a homeless man on a bench. The two divers. The little girl selling sea shells. The three teens rough housing on the sand. And the body that he happens to stumble upon on some rocks. Of course Michael should call the police – but after his recent past he knows that is the last thing he wants to do. He will automatically become suspect number one by doing the right thing, so Michael follows a different path.

Michael goes to his new office and sets about constructing a virtual reality model of the crime scene in the hopes of finding the murderer before the police try to pin it on him. In the process he begins to connect some dots. One involves the name of the victim: Lace.

In the meantime he must deal with company politics. The system will now be used in politics and war instead of gaming. The president of the company, Mr. Armstrong, understands little about technology. Moreover, he has a bad temper and his lack of experience seems to get in the way. Mr. Armstrong assigns his nephew to assist Michael, and it happens to be someone that Michael vaguely knows. Manny Bullock, or Bull, is an artist without the requisite tech skills for the job, but Michael has no choice but work with the odd man.

Michael and Ash have an interesting relationship, and it is nice to see it from Michael’ point of view. Ash is a bit kooky. She is brilliant and independent, and very damaged from her brutal rape and its after effects (read her series for more). Michael is the most patient boyfriend she could ask for. He never pressures her for more when she asks for space to heal. Not to say he is perfect – he gets lost in his virtual reality creations and isn’t the best at keeping track of time. He is a genius, and together they make a great creative pair. Here his guilt for not preventing Ash’s attack drives him to do what he can to help a different victim, but Ash’s reasons for getting involved are different. She grows bold rather than cowering, and wants to see justice done, even if it puts herself at risk. She, too, gets a little lost in her own world at times. They go to battle solving crime with their intellect and the VR world they created. In the end there is a little healing as they find their way back together.

Dr. Michael Foreman, an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology, enters the picture, hinting at book two of the series. It appears the two men, experts in their own fields, might be able to help one another.

Two issues merit mention. First, in the Ash Suspense Thrillers series Michael was a college dropout, not a high school dropout. Additionally, Michael is a little slow to make some obvious connections. Perhaps this just highlights his humanity – even the most brilliant of us cannot see what is right in front of our noses. It is also in all likelihood a product of his aversion to the police. He postpones and delays, exposing himself and others to danger, because he must be absolutely certain before coming forward.

Michael and Ash’s story will thrill fans of the Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance series. As Michael waits for Ash to heal, he finds himself a suspect in yet another brutal attack. The story is very well-written and plot-driven. The great attention given to detail makes for a lush and vivid tale that comes to life. The world of virtual reality that Michael creates is fascinating to read about. The characters are nicely developed. The story is written in third person in Michael’s POV. I rate this book 4.5 stars.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Complex Character Study

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BookLover5000


 A Complex Character Study 

Overall  
 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️   
5 out of 5 stars
Performance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
    
5 out of 5 stars
Story  
 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-20

This is a mesmerizing story of a young woman searching for love inside of her own life and marriage. The narrative unfolds in the first person. At times, Anita is not likeable. She believes every man finds her irresistible and acts the part. She is self-absorbed and self-centered. She can be manipulative. But as the listener starts to understand her, empathy begins to develop. Anita was molested while growing up. She knows what it is like to be poor and has been homeless. She falls hard for an older man, who reminds her of her father. She desperately wants to be loved by him. Anita knows she looks just like her husband's first wife and wonders if her husband really loves her. He seems to want Anita to be like his former wife, instead of loving her as a unique individual and woman. Her husband doesn't seem to value and cherish Anita or love her like she deserves to be loved. The narrator does a really great job. However, the southern accent is weird. Anita has grown up in Southern California near Santa Monica and her voice should sound like she comes from that area, not the south. Anita's character is deep, intense, and complex. This would be a good book club pick. The listener will want to discuss aspects of the book with others to see what they thought. This audiobook doesn't have a cliffhanger ending.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I couldn’t afford being recognized for the impostor I was


“It must have been their way to bid him farewell,” I say. “Perhaps, you should be grateful to them—”
“You’re right. I really should. Conveniently, they left no trace of him.”
I try not to raise an eyebrow. “Conveniently?”
“Once they were done with him, there was no way to exhume the body or find out the cause of death.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Physically, I resembled him, to the point that people would often mistake me for him. So, taking on his identity was effortless, at first.”
I recall what he said to me on our first date. I find a delicious irony in the idea that an impostor can be better than the real thing.
In the face of my silence, he presses on. “News of his accident—if you want to call it that—didn’t make it to the papers. After all, his overdose seemed self-inflicted, and there I was, a living proof that he’s managed, somehow, to recover.”
“Oh, how fortunate for you.”
“Still, I felt unsafe, perhaps because of a pang of guilt. I feared that at any moment, someone might point at me and say, ‘There goes a killer!’”
He sighs into silence.
So I ask, ever so gently, “I thought you were going to talk about your wife?”
“Oh yes.” Now he presses both hands against his temples. “Back to her. At the time, she was in her late thirties. Not bad looking. Rich, bored, and desperately looking for a purpose in life. Having laid eyes on me, she found it. Grooming me for success—a brooding, destitute, dark man, who showed little interest in her—must have given her some sort of pleasure. And for a while, it served me well, too.”
I raise an eyebrow. “How so?”
“Well, stepping into a dead man’s shoes is a tricky thing. I couldn’t afford being recognized for the impostor I was. As Dr. Patel, I was already planning to resign from his job and start a new one elsewhere. Problem was, how to distance myself from his old buddies.”
“Become a recluse?” 
“No, my solution was smarter than that.” He pours some wine into his glass and guzzles it down. His tone takes a cynical turn. “When she fell in love with me, I realized I should marry her. People seldom stay in the same circle of friends once they put a ring on their finger.”
“So, Susan was your excuse not to keep in touch with them?”
“That she was.”
“And no one ever wondered?”


Overdose

Paperback  Hardcover

Ash Suspense Thrillers Trilogy Audiobook


Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?


"About halfway through reading Overdose I got to thinking that it would make a great movie, a thriller to match anything that Alfred Hitchcock ever put on the screen (except maybe Vertigo). And then I thought 'If only Hitchcock were alive now. He would love this novel. It has all the ingredients he'd need.'" 
- Colm Herron, Author

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Really Good!

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BookLover5000


 Really Good! 

Overall  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars
Performance  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars
Story  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    
5 out of 5 stars



Reviewed: 10-20-20 

Who knew that being in a coma could be so exciting? The heroine, Ash, is a crime victim. She has a level of consciousness, of which the doctors and her visitors are unaware. She gradually returns to life and then has quite the adventure. This audiobook is well-written. The narrator gives a great performance too.

At any other time I would have taken note of that girl



Oh mon Dieu!” cried the nurse, as she came out to the top of the stairs under the massive portico. Gaping at me in astonishment, she clapped a hand over her head till the white cotton cap nearly flew off. Up to this moment she had been chatting, in quick, hushed tones, with a slender girl whose hair was covered. It was tucked into a red beret, which was tilted, a bit whimsically, over her forehead. 
Meanwhile I slogged laboriously toward the base of the stairs. Once there I stopped for a breath, then pricked up my ears—but unfortunately, I could barely catch a word. And even if I could, what I managed to remember of my high school French was such that I could barely make sense of it. 
At any other time I would have taken note of the elegant architecture of the Château de BĂ©nouville. After all, it was built in the style of Greek temples, with an intention to express grandeur. And of course I would have taken note of that girl. 
From afar all I noticed, besides a sketchy impression of her figure, was that she hugged the nurse and handed her something, some large bundle wrapped in burlap and tied, in a disorderly manner, several times over with a thick rope. Then she streaked across my path, mounted her bike, and took off, waving. 
A moment later, her farewell cry had faded into the distance. “Au Revoir...” 
Why I failed to catch sight of her face is a mystery to me now. Perhaps it was because of a ray of morning sun, which slanted at that moment into my eyes, or else—because of exhaustion. 
I hated having to wince, which made everything around me seem a bit warped. Determined not to limp, I could now advance almost without aching. But the burden I carried kept pressing me down, and the first steps up the stairs were the most difficult. Cold drops of sweat formed on my forehead. Some of them started running down my face and into my eyes, stinging them. 
I dragged myself up, somehow, with Ed laden on my back, his arms slung limply over my shoulders, his blood oozing around my neck. 



★ Love romantic suspense? Find your thrill ★
The complete series:

Volume V: 


"The story of how they survived such horrors is extraordinary. Also extraordinary is the author's deep and gorgeous writing, interweaving desperation with descriptions of 'beautiful light streaming from high-arched, stained glass windows, rattling in the duel between the German artillery and ours.'
J.A. Schneider, author of suspense and psychological thrillers



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Let me introduce you to my author friends



My author friends have joined forces with me!

We bring you amazing stories

Narrated by great voice actors

Just in time for the holidays! 


Join us

As a GOING guest

For a chance win our audiobooks!


Jingle Bell Rock

Audiobooks to rock the night away! 



Uvi Poznansky


"I paint with my pen, and write with my paintbrush"


@UviPoznansky

Blog

Art Site

Aaron Paul Lazar


"Addictive, award-winning fiction. You'll fall in love with the characters and love to hate the villains.”


@aplazar

Murder by 4

Angela Ford


“Escape with a book by Angela Ford.”


@AngelaFord67

Website

Romantic Escapes 

Angelica Kate


“Writing happily ever afters for life's toughest challenges!”


@AngelicaKate5

Website and blog


Allen Kent


Award-wining author of the popular Unit 1 thrillers series and the Whitlock Trilogy.


"Each book takes you places you have never been in ways you will always remember."


BookBub

website

Facebook

@AllenKent19


Barbara Silkstone


"There is no second chance at first love."


@barbsilkstone

Website

Colleen Mooney


"I live in a New Orleans where Mardi Gras Balls, festivals, parades, are always going on. The hardest part is to pick one thing to write about because there's no place like New Orleans to have a good crime!”


@Mooney_Colleen

Website


Dianne Harman


“I write the stories the characters dictate to me. Best of all worlds. Get to read a book while I'm writing it.”


@DianneDHarman

Website

Blog


J.C. Fields


"Suspense Thrillers that keep you turning the page"


@TheJCFields 

Website

Facebook


Libby Fischer Hellmann


“Author of compulsively readable thrillers”


@libbyhellmann

Website


Linnea Tanner


“An Epic Celtic Tale Weaving Forbidden Love, Sorcery, and Political Intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.”


@linneatanner

Website


S.R. Mallery


"History is woven into my stories with a delicate thread."


@sarahmallery1

Website

eNovel Authors at Work

Stacy Eaton


“Romance to get your blood pumping”


Website

Facebook

Facebook Fan Page

Ellis Vidler


My dreams live in my characters with suspense, action, and heart.”


@EllisVidler

Blog

Patrice Wilton


Writes Romance and Cozy mysteries with a dash of humor!


@PatriceWilton

Website