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Archive for the ‘Crime Fiction’ Category

Cover Image Keeping Hope Alive

Keeping Hope Alive

Defying the odds, Casey Morgan opens Hope Ranch for troubled teens in a rural Texas community, but not everyone welcomes her with open arms. The unexplained death of her security guard and other disturbing activities prompts her to advertise for help to make her ranch the safe haven she envisioned. Help comes in the form of Major Nathan “Max” Maxwell, who needs a place to finish his recuperation before returning to his Spec Ops team, but having a rifle pointed at his head by a lady in a Stetson isn’t the greeting he expects when he steps onto Hope Ranch. Instead of finding the serenity he expected, he walks into a web of deceit and danger.

Torn between his growing feelings for Casey and his need to return to his team, Max searches for the strength to help the beautiful ranch director.  Casey isn’t looking for a man, and Max knows his military career doesn’t mix well with family life. Will Hope Ranch give Casey and Max a chance to find a future together?

Keeping Hope Alive is available on Amazon

About the  Author

Author Fran McNabb grew up along the waterways, beaches, and islands of the Gulf Coast and uses this setting in many of her romances. Her publishing credits include eleven novels with eight of these still available. She began her writing career with Avalon Publisher, a library distributor of family-friendly books. When Amazon’s publishing division bought Avalon, her fourth contracted book was picked up by their romance division Montlake Publishing. She also has two light romantic suspense novels with The Wild Rose Press and two Indie books. All of her fiction can be classified as sweet romances.

Fran has non-fiction pieces published in two anthologies with the Gulf Coast Writers Association, one in Chicken Soup for the SoulArthritis Edition, and numerous pieces in group newsletters. She is an award winning author with several of her books and essays winning or placing in the top categories of writing contests.

Fran received both her BS and ME degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi,  taught high school English and journalism, and sponsored the yearbook and the school newspaper. Throughout her teaching career she also found time to tutor home-bound students and teach refresher classes for Navy personnel and a writing class as an adjunct community college instructor.

As a former English and journalism teacher, it was natural for her to ease into the role of author and workshop presenter. Fran has presented writing and publishing workshops at numerous conferences, writers’ meetings, and library and reader groups. She donated her time to teach a four-week class at The Mary C Cultural Center about writing for the fiction market. Her classes include topics concerning the craft of writing, such as Developing Character, Plotting, Theme and Setting. Other topics include Query and Synopsis Writing and Organizing a Writing Life.

Fran and her husband live on a quiet bayou harbor on the Gulf Coast where she spends her time writing, reading and boating.

mcnabbf@bellsouth.net
www.FranMcNabb.com

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Everybody knows the Mantoni girls are attractive, and theoretically, that’s a good thing, right? Only this time, a charming but older millionaire desires the most beautiful Mantoni, Annalisa, as his lover for the Christmas season.

Charmer's Death CoverHer cousin, Carlina, is disgusted by the liaison and says she’d rather see him dead than at Annalisa’s side.
The next day, her wish is fulfilled. The charmer is dead, strangled with a pair of pantyhose which comes straight from her own luxurious lingerie store, Temptation. Now she’s got a problem.

How can she explain to the attractive commissario, Stefano Garini, that she didn’t do it? Will suspicion kill the fragile beginnings of a relationship between them? And will they find the killer before Christmas becomes too dangerous?

Charmer’s Death is the second in the cozy mystery series Temptation in Florence.

1:  Delayed Death
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2:  Charmer’s Death
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3:  Banker’s Death
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4:  Expected Death
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5:  Seaside Death
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6: Classic Death

Charmer’s Death is available on Amazon.

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This month, I’m featuring the latest book from one of my favorite writers! I’ve featured many of Linton Robinson’s books in the past, so I’m pleased to feature Raptor’s Golden Hits:

When the band you’re in starts playing different tunes…. There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me… It’s only rock and roll but I like it… When I had no ears to hear, you sang to me… The ever popular tortured artist effect… The beat goes on… The beat goes on… Is Raptor the only band that can take over the consciousness of it’s listeners? And who took over Raptor in the first place? And what’s their game plan for, basically, the human race? A diverse group of people coming together in the Fremont area of Seattle… back before Adobe and Amazon and grunge… and moving out on the world. More about Raptor here: RaptorsGoldenHits The most entertaining member: JaxiSez And the screenplay the book sprang from, with character pics, synopsis, and shooting script.

But wait! There’s more to this book…

 

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CJ Verburg’s Another Number for the Road  has all you could ever want from a murder mystery set in two iconic periods of American history: the 1960s: Free Speech, Free Love, Stop the War, Civil Rights and sex, drugs, rock and roll; and 1980s: Reaganomics, Cold War Collapse, Punk Rock, big hair and bigger shoulders.

Rock journo cum detective, Cory Goodwin (who has as many names as identities) goes on a “Magical Mystery Tour,” and then some, to recover her true inner self which has been consumed and subsumed by the demands of her multimillionaire son-of-the-founder-of-a-cosmetics-conglomerate husband’s boardroom betrayal of all they meant to each other as writing romantics who eloped in creative Paris and crashed in corporate necessity in Boston.

Cordelia Goodwin Thorne had many years of protest activism and rock star groupie antics to keep her from sinking into the paradox of her journo daydreams and her cosmetic charity dinner reality.

She joins the “Magical Mystery Tour” when she learns that The Rind is the mystery band—a group she interviewed for a magazine as a teenager. She aims to rekindle her past admiration for the much-maligned strongman of the band, the appropriately named, Dan Quasi, who, after the brutal murder of his friend and co-band member, Mickey Ascher, takes a runner and hides out for the twenty year hiatus, having lost his wife and his French bit to aforementioned co-band member.

Did this Quasi musician kill his best friend? Or was it the French bit? Or possibly her jilted lover and third band member, also appropriately named, Roach? Or has the mild-mannered Terry, fourth band member, been hiding a violent temper all these years?

The process of discovery is further energized by the author’s experience as a playwright and director. CJ Verburg makes use of the theatrical technique of juxtaposing two scenes on stage at once: flashbacks, backstory, supposition and real time, one upon the other, while skillfully  juggling a cast of characters that would daunt Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffiths.

Another Number for the Road  will satisfy all fans of complex, convoluted whodunits who remember the Sixties with longing and survived the Eighties, Nineties and are in deep with the Twentieth Century.

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I posted this review about Linton Robinson’s book, Sweet Spot, several years ago, but with all the political upheaval recently, this particular book keeps coming to mind. I loved it then and love it still.

Mazatlan Confidential Sweet Spot, Linton Robinson

Linton Robinson’s  novel of corrupt politicians, Mazatlan Carnival and baseball has all the credentials for a block-busting read: gritty, graphic and gripping. This is a fortuitous find among the many thousands of titles that are published every year and well-worth the effort. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler and Tennessee Williams will discover resonances with Robinson’s main character, Raymundo Carrasco – retired, short-haul, major league star turned investigative journalist and local government flunky.

The depth of this novel is astonishing and the skill with which Robinson interweaves his dramatic motifs is a lesson in craft for any writer. Robinson’s command of his metaphors is masterful. The background information needed to create the depth of this story is fed through Carrasco’s columns and his insights about his native city and fellow citizens. If you thought you knew something about Mexico, this book will set you straight.

Carrasco has returned to his native Mazatlan after a few seasons over the border where he held his batting average steady – good enough for the Majors. Despite his success, he hasn’t found that “sweet spot” in his life. Although it seems a foolish choice, with the murders and mayhem of all the vultures surrounding him, he seeks that moment working for the mayor’s office press team. Just when his life can’t get worse, it does, spiraling into gruesome hilarity and poetic decadence.

Despite the relentless brutality, this novel is a glorious celebration of humanity in all its joyful exuberance and soul-destroying routine.

Sweet Spot is a novel I can recommend. It is thoughtful, intense and violent. It is also hilarious and beautiful in its compassion for all we poor/pure souls seeking that moment of absolute perfection.

While I read this, word for unrelenting word, I realized that the United States’ most intimate foreign relationship is mutually dependent and as destructive as Mundo’s love affair with Mijares.

 

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Historical Mysterydeath-visits-a-bawdy-house-small-1

DEATH VISITS A BAWDY HOUSE by Adele Fasick

A Charlotte Edgerton Mystery, set in the 1840s in New York City

When Charlotte Edgerton, moves from staid Boston to bustling New York City in 1843, she finds the crowds on Broadway thrilling. She is young, idealistic, and in love. But when first one and then another of the glamorous “sporting girls” who work in the city’s famous brothels are murdered, Charlotte becomes aware of the darkness that lurks behind the bright glow of  Manhattan. In a city where abolitionists are not popular and suspicion of free blacks runs high, the arrest of a black man for the crimes enflames much of the city. Charlotte  discovers that police can be prejudiced, politicians are not always honest, and kindness can lead to danger. Will she be able to find safety for herself and end the terror gripping women throughout the city ?

Death Visits a Bawdy House is available on Amazon and is the 2nd in the Charlotte Edgerton Mystery series.

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Boneyard 11
Boneyard 11 by Linton Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lin Robinson delivers a hard-hitting, intense and topically explosive story, full of characters who challenge our preconceptions about the criminal worlds of prostitution, drug trafficking, gang warfare, hired assassins and more!

The adventure into the southern California and Baja underworld is a trip most of us would avoid at all costs in the real world. Robinson presents this way of life in all its variations with his usual wry wit and intense observation of all things human.

As far-fetched as some of the events seem, they ring true through this author’s skill in capturing the essence of truth in the fundamental nature of the characters. Despite their dubious occupations, their underlying humanity and basic human emotional needs wins our compassion and understanding. Some get exactly what they deserve and that is not always what the law might require.

Readers of Robinson’s Sweet Spot, will most likely enjoy this book. Although Boneyard 11 has fewer of the laugh-out-loud moments of his Mazatlan Festival novel, the banter and wit is delightful.

View all my reviews

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