Tag Archives: suspence

A very solid opener to this new “West Wing” style series

55270009._SY475_Press by Nora Phoenix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I tell you that my number one TV show of all time is The West Wing, you can probably guess how excited I am for this series.

And Press is a great introduction to the crazy world that is working in the White House.

I have two minor concerns with this book though which I’m going to spoiler although they don’t reveal anything specific.

***SPOILER***

First is the choice of ‘bad guys’, which just felt to me personally a bit too “going with the stereotypical options” and reminds me of big Hollywood movies where the villain always has an English accent.

However, I am hopeful, given elements of the overall series plot which are revealed here, that it may turn out to not actually be as obviously the case. If so, then it will be a fantastically clever twist.

The second is a really tiny thing and more a me problem than the book itself and it concerns character names. When Henley calls Levar by a nickname, it instantly takes me to one of the slang words for a toilet here in the UK – not quite as sweet as the use would indicate because in my head, his name is pronounced La-va when I guess it should be sounded Lee-var  🤔

The other is Calix, Levar’s boss. His name just made me think of a kids scientific building system, which is again totally on me and I’m sure I’ll get over it.

***END***

So they were the only two things which popped me out of a narrative which is superbly paced, packed with great world building without a dumping of information and which has a realness to it which I’m really looking forward to seeing develop further.

Levar and Henley are a gorgeous pair. They’re scorching hot, the chemistry and connection between them flies off the page.

There’s also a fantastic set of secondary characters who are going to make up the rest of the series as I understand it and I’m very keen to see how Nora is going to pair them all up.

The main plot itself is intriguing, I love anything which hints of dodgy dealings in the corridors of power 😁

Very much itching to find out more as this series progresses.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Audio Blog Tour: Warrior’s Way by M.J. Calabrese & Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Warrior’s Way | M.J. Calabrese

Coulter & Woodard #1

BANNER2 - Warriors Way

Release Date: December 5th, 2019

Length: >50k

Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Amazon CAN | QueeRomance Ink

COVER - Warriors Way

Blurb

Friends since childhood, Albuquerque detective Eagle Woodard and criminal profiler Adam Coulter are dragged into a serial killer case.

Gay couples are being murdered and tortured and the FBI needs their help to capture the sadistic murderer.

Deciding to implement a plan to trap the killer, Adam and Eagle go undercover as an involved gay couple. Or is it really pretend?

Faced with their toughest challenge yet, they must find the active serial killer before he strikes again. With the powers that be not cooperating and the killer proving to be elusive, will Eagle and Adam be able to stop the murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

Please Note: This is the first book in an ongoing story arc. Although the case is solved, the relationship ends on a cliffhanger. Contains graphic violence and scenes of torture.

MEME1 - Warriors Way

Excerpt

The cool wind attacked Eagle Woodard’s body as he fell head over heels. He tumbled, body tightly tucked as he cleared the modified Cessna, momentarily catching sight of the blue, cloudless horizon before stretching out to embrace the air. Below him, the rust toned surrealist canvas of desert and mountains began to take shape as he allowed himself to freefall through the biting tempest. The winds transformed his tanned face, warping it into a mad, Joker-esque grin.

The former Army Ranger set his plan into motion. Pulling his muscular arms tightly against his torso, the angle of his descent began to change. ‘I feel the need, the need for speed.’ If the wind hadn’t been so brutal, he would’ve laughed. How many times had they used those iconic words in training? At 38, it felt like a lifetime ago.

Eagle tilted his head down. He pressed his legs together with toes pointed toward the heavens, becoming a human bullet streaking through the atmosphere. He could feel the friction heating his head and shoulders. His dark, goggle covered eyes flickered to the left, quickly gauging his altitude in relation to the horizon. One…, two…, three seconds passed.

Eagle reveled in the multitude of sensations inundating his body. The angry roar of the wind deafened him. The white noise of the rushing air blotted out all sound except for the popping of the black, nylon jumpsuit. The wind strained the cloth protecting him almost to its limit. The powerful, talon-like turbulence threatened to shred his clothes, leaving him bare and unprotected from the tempest. The bee sting lash of his long, raven ponytail as it whipped against his neck and face revitalized and reddened his brown skin.

‘Four…, five…, six…, seven…, eight.’ With an eerie calm, Woodard counted the seconds. As he drew closer and closer to terra firma, his confidence in his abilities never wavered. Here he was master. Here he was the great bird of his people’s folklore. He was the embodiment of Atsáh, the Eagle, swooping with deadly accuracy toward his prey on the ground.

The Albuquerque homicide Detective didn’t need to see his altimeter. He knew he only had a few more moments of precious freedom. Reluctantly, his right hand moved reflexively to the left side of his chest. Gripping the cold metal ring, he tugged.

A grunt of air was forced from his lungs. The nylon straps crisscrossing his body suddenly tightened, drawing him up. Eagle grimaced as pain seared up his back. The sudden opening of his parachute at this rate of speed aggravated more than one old injury. Gravity, the purveyor of his discomfort, pressed his chin to his chest for an instant before the strain of rapid deceleration eased.

With skill born of countless jumps, Eagle maneuvered the billowing canopy toward his destination. Calculating the high desert cross winds, he made a last-minute correction which allowed him to plant his right foot firmly onto the center of the large, white cross target. As his left foot touched down, he leaned back, encouraging his chute to take the rest of the breeze until it collapsed and fell impotent to the sand. Instantly, the tall man began to gather the yards of thin ripstop nylon and cord into his arms, beating down any last show of resistance from the exuberant ram-air parachute.

Turning, Eagle reached up and pulled his goggles from his face just as his cell phone rang. Pulling it from his zippered pocket, he grimaced at the sight of the familiar number.

“I thought I was supposed to have a day off, Captain.”

“You do, but I’ve got an FBI agent here that needs to talk with you. Says you knew his brother. Here, talk to him.”

“Detective Woodard, my name is Kessler. Rick Kessler. I think you served with my brother, Dean, in the Army.”

The voice and the name triggered unpleasant memories of a time he had tried to bury. He couldn’t tell if it was his Spanish or Navajo side sending a warning chill up his spine. Suddenly, Eagle realized the man on the other end of the line was waiting.

“Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I remember Dean. He died in Afghanistan, didn’t he? Sorry.”

What Woodard remembered was what a closeted bastard the guy had been and how he’d used the knowledge of Eagle’s own closeted sexuality against him. Threatening to report him and risking dishonorable discharge at best…, or death if members of their team found out. He didn’t mourn Dean Kessler’s passing when he got word that some insurgents finished him. “Captain said you were with the FBI?”

“Yes. Detective Woodard, I’ve heard a lot about you and Dr. Coulter. I was very impressed when you apprehended Martin Devoreaux. I read the case report. You and Dr. Coulter are quite the team. The good doctor’s a legend at the bureau. His book on Ritual Behaviorism Among Serial Killers is mandatory reading now at the academy.”

“Oh, Adam would love to hear that.” Eagle rolled his eyes. The last thing Adam Coulter needed was something to bolster his ego.

“If it’s alright, I really need to talk with both of you about a case I’m working. I think you might be able to help me.”

“Today?”

“No. I’m still putting some final touches on a plan I’ve got in motion. How about tomorrow morning at your home? I want to keep this as low key as possible. Strictly, on a need to know basis, so I’d prefer it if your Captain and I met with you and Coulter privately.”

Eagle unzipped his jumpsuit from chin to navel. “What time?”

“0900?”

“Sure. Tell Cap to bring the creamer.”

Pocketing his phone, Eagle gathered his parachute from the ground and slowly made his way to his truck. Stowing the chute away, he unzipped his jumpsuit the rest of the way. Dragging it down off his shoulders, he revealed a tan-colored work shirt and jeans. He pushed the loose-fitting black nylon from around his narrow waist. Wrestling the last couple of inches of fabric over his shoes, Eagle jerked the material free and tossed it behind the driver’s seat completing his impromptu striptease. He looked up toward the sun before glancing at his watch.

“Yeah…, I know, I’m late.” He said to no one, but the wind.

MJ Calabrese

About The Author

My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”

My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.

I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.

After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.

Social Media

Author Website: https://www.mjcalabrese.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100043704531611

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/authormjcalabrese/

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/calabrese_mj

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mj.calabrese/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-j-calabrese/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Calabrese/e/B082VDNB6T/

Giveaway

M.J. is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LOGO - Other Worlds InkMEME2 - Warriors Way 

Devil’s Hour doesn’t disappoint

Devils Hour CoverDevil’s Hour by Aimee Nicole Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my lordy don’t read this one in public or listen to the audio with your headphones off because Aimee Nicole kicks it off with explosively hot chemistry-filled sex!

In Devil’s Hour we get inside Royce’s head and I’ve been looking forward to it and wasn’t disappointed at all.

He really is a complex character, filled with internal doubts, guilts and probably some kind of trauma-related anxiety over Marcus’ suicide.

Speaking of, Royce’s former partner and best friend’s death is still playing a part in the narrative, and with this novel, we see more and more how all the various threads are being gently woven together into a tight plot which keeps the tensions rolling throughout.

I did guess the bad guy as soon as he arrived on the scene but, for me anyways, I don’t think it actually was obvious, I think I was just looking hard for the odd little clue and something just tipped me off.

The relationship development is delicious. Having been shot in the last book, Royce is now fully on board with Sawyer and there’s some serious sparks flying throughout, as well as some awwww moments.

Chuck in a mad cult, arson attacks and the mayor’s behaviour being exposed, and you have another wonderful Locke and Key adventure.

Given what happens at the end of this one, I’m really hoping there isn’t a long way for book three!

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