Video Interview & #Review of Deception Island by Judith B. Boss w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

 Deception Island

by Judith B. Boss




GENRE: Romantic Suspense






While at an archaeology dig in Afghanistan, evolutionary anthropologist Rachel St. Claire discovers a pendant with strange shifting symbols. Not long after, she receives an urgent call from her colleague, Dr. Grace McAllister, insisting Rachel come to Antarctica to examine an unusual body with ethereal properties found in an ice cave. Before Rachel can respond, bandits storm the desert dig site. Just as they are about to seize Rachel, a helicopter appears with Trevor Brookenridge, a handsome polar geophysicist sent by his Aunt Grace to bring Rachel to Antarctica. Sparks fly, but Rachel already has a fiancé. Rachel must decide who she can trust when a group of bioterrorists engaged in secret genetic experiments in an abandoned World War II Nazi base under the Antarctic ice sheet come after the pendant–and her. For it seems everyone knows a secret Rachel does not, one which will change her life forever.






Rachel peered over the rail as the hydrofoil eased into a slip at a floating dock.  Whalebones on the floor of the bay, from the days whaling ships used the harbor, could be seen through the clear water.  As usual, the beach near the dock was bustling with penguins.  A Snow-Cat, a sleek, bullet-shaped vehicle with yellow stripes painted on it, was parked just above the beach line.


As they disembarked and started up the beach toward an awaiting Snow-Cat, some of the gentoo penguins scattered, lurching and stumbling over the cobblestones.  Others raised their bright orange beaks in protest.


“The penguins seem particularly jumpy today,” remarked one of the crew.  “Like something spooked them during the night.”


Two men unloaded what looked like a body bag from the Snow-Cat and loaded it on the hydrofoil.


In the distance beyond a ridge, Rachel noticed a small hut silhouetted by the low sun.  “That’s the Argentinean hut,” said Antonio, shouldering his overnight bag.  After saying a quick farewell to them, he slipped on a pair of snowshoes and headed up to the hut.


“All aboard,” one of the men said.  He reached out a hand and helped Rachel climb up into the cab of the Snow-Cat.


From her seat on the Snow-Cat, Rachel could see the skittish penguins watching the receding vehicle wind its way up to Shackleton Station.  What had upset them?  The very air seemed to bristle with angst.  She glanced over at Trevor sitting across from her, but he didn’t seem to notice anything amiss.


Talk about whiplash.  This book gave it to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but dang there is still a lot to absorb.  There is so much going on that at first, I truly thought it would be a straight romantic suspense book but nope.  Ms. Boss kicked it up a zillion notches and well, I’m still trying to process it.

Forgive me if my review is a little shorter than normal.  If I even try to not spoil it, I will eventually.  Again, there is so much going on but here are a few things that I can talk about.

  1.  The setting – I’ve never liked the cold but Ms. Ross has captured my attention with her descriptions of Antarctica.  Would I ever want to go there?  Maybe not but I love when an author has first-hand knowledge of where the story setting is.  Bravo.
  2.   Rachel – I really liked her.  Smart, sexy and dynamic.  She is no damsel in distress and can take care of herself.
  3.   Trevor – I’m still trying to figure him out but oh my…a sexy nerd.
  4.   The romance is almost too light (in my book) but after Rachel seeing her fiance is NOT what he seems, I can see why Ms. Ross wrote it that way.
  5.   This book has Nazis, science fiction, paranormal, thriller and suspense elements in it.  And yes all that and more.  Like I said, there is a lot going on and at times, some of it didn’t seem possible.  But seriously, where there are Nazis and sci/fi…anything can happen.  And does..
  6.   The book never stops.  From the first page to the end, it is non-stop action.  I had to close the Kindle a couple of times to catch my breath and take a break.  It was that intense and insane for me.  😉

Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  Fast paced, intense and did I mention penguins?  I love penguins.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Judith Boss (née Wager) was born in the village of Honeoye Falls, south of Rochester, New York in the heart of wine country. She attended elementary school in Irondequoit, where her family moved when she was two.


When not in school, she enjoyed wandering the woods and fields around her home and picking beans for 25¢ a basket for Mr. King, who owned the truck farm behind her house. She also loved hiking and camping and was active in the Girl Scouts throughout high school.


An avid writer, when Judy was 11 years old she wrote and illustrated her first “novel,” a story about her beloved parakeet “Sparky.” My Little Sparky was followed by several other short novels and a book of poems.


Following graduation from high school, Judy attended the University of Rochester for a few years before dropping out and emigrating to Australia. Both of Judy’s daughters were born in Australia. She also finished her B.A. in philosophy and anthropology at the University of Western Australia.


From Australia, the family moved to Nova Scotia, Canada for graduate school. After graduate school, Judy worked for eight years as a writer/researcher for the Nova Scotia Museum. In 1979, Judy and her two daughters moved to Newport, Rhode Island where she continued to work as a writer. She also worked as a lecturer for several years at the University of Rhode Island before going back to full-time writing.


Judy currently lives in rural Rhode Island with her family and Corgi. An avid traveler, she has traveled with students from the University Of Rhode Island and Brown Medical School to work with undeserved, indigenous people in Guatemala and Mexico. Her favorite travel destination, however, is Antarctica.








Judith will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


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Author Interview featuring Carmen Amato’s King Peso (a Detective Emilia Cruz novel #4) w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

mediakit_bookcover_kingpesoKing Peso

by Carmen Amato




GENRE:  police procedural mystery






KING PESO is the fourth book in the sensational Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series recently optioned for both television and film. Emilia is the first female police detective in Acapulco, where Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money.

Three cops are murdered, execution style. Emilia worked with them all.

Her partner’s wife is killed in a home invasion. Was he the real target?

Is Emilia the next?

She hopes to be assigned to a task force to investigate the killings, but is instead directed to a new police unit championed by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor and overseen by a shady union strongman. But when Emilia stumbles upon a falsified report, she will conduct a private investigation, even as another murder victim carries a stark message for her.

Home is no refuge for Emilia; hotel manager Kurt Rucker has a shocking secret that could tear their relationship apart.

Unexpected help comes from a frightened attorney and a famous movie star, but each new clue to the murders unravels the one before. Meanwhile, Emilia’s ongoing hunt for a missing girl, a continuing series subplot, leads to the infamous El Pharaoh casino, a place she knows only too well.

What do a casino and a cop killer have in common? Emilia bets on her partner, but his gamble could cost both their lives.





Excerpt One:


“I think I’m on the task force,” Emilia said. “Because I worked with all three victims.”


She’d crossed paths professionally with all three of the murder victims, although none had been a close colleague. She hadn’t even met Salinas, just talked to him a couple of times on the phone. But he’d been honest with her and done what he said he would do. A rare and rapidly disappearing commodity these days.


“Who else worked with all of them?” Kurt asked. “Silvio? What does he think?”


“Franco worked with Vega on the arson case, too.” Franco Silvio was Acapulco’s senior police detective and Emilia’s perpetually surly partner. “But he never met Salinas or Espinosa. He wasn’t invited to the meeting, either. None of the other detectives were.”


“Even Loyola?” Kurt asked.


Emilia shook her head. Loyola, who was junior to Silvio, had been made acting lieutenant of detectives several months ago. He now rarely worked cases. “Not invited. He only knew Vega from the arson case.”


“What are you telling me, Em?” Kurt paused. “That you’re a target, too?”


“I don’t know. Maybe.” Emilia stared at the lights twinkling in the dark ocean as the unseen swimming dock bobbed. “The El Trio killer could be another cop. Someone on the inside who is being specific about their victims.”


“I can’t believe you waited to tell me, Em,” Kurt said, exasperation and sudden anger in his voice. “You live here. If you’re in danger, that means everybody in this hotel is in danger. I have to know things like this.”


Emilia bristled. “I’m telling you now, aren’t I?”


Kurt turned to look at the ocean again, elbows propped on top of the wall. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish you were invested enough in us . . . in this relationship . . . to tell me things when they happen. Not a week later. Because you’re thinking how things impact us. Not just you.”


Emilia concentrated on the pinpoints of light out in the bay. Why did they keep having the same conversation and why was it always so hard?



Welcome Carmen Amato! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

Thanks for having me, I’m delighted to be able to stop by. I write romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco. I’m originally from New York but got bitten by the travel bug early in life when I went to college in Paris. Mexico inspired me to write fiction and my first novels have all been set there.


Is KING PESO a single title, or part of a series?

KING PESO is the 4th novel in the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco. Can you imagine what it would be like to be the first female police detective in Acapulco? Your fellow detectives want to crush you and the drug cartels want to kill you. And the official corruption is mind-boggling.


But Emilia can take the heat! In KING PESO, Emilia is reassigned just when her partner’s wife is murdered, in what looks to be yet another attack by a killer targeting senior police officials. But of course, in Emilia’s Acapulco, no crime is that simple. In fact, Kirkus Reviews said “danger and betrayal never more than a few pages away.”


What were your inspirations for the story?

Several themes run through the Detective Emilia Cruz series including the pervasive influence of Mexico’s drug war, official corruption, and Emilia’s hunt for women who have gone missing. There’s also Emilia’s steamy but rocky relationship with hotel manager Kurt Rucker and love-hate relationship with her cop partner, senior detective Franco Silvio.


In KING PESO, I drew on Acapulco’s real all-female police unit for inspiration. But I also wanted to shake up things with Silvio. Readers love the sharp-edged exchanges between Emilia and Silvio.


It was also a chance to revisit the El Pharaoh casino that Emilia and Silvio tried to close down in HAT DANCE, the 2nd book in the series. I always love a chance to play slots and once had a big payout at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, but Emilia has to gamble with her life!


Please share your setting for KING PESO. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

Acapulco is a terrific setting for a mystery series because it has two faces. There’s the Acapulco that tourists know; the sweep of the most beautiful bay in the world, the majesty of the clear blue Pacific, candlelit nights on the beach, and luxury hi-rises.


The other face of Acapulco is a prize to be fought over by drug cartels–the city that is home to hookers and thieves, the streets where life is cheap and poverty is as pervasive as the wind off the ocean.


Both of these versions of Acapulco claw at the each other and force Emilia to survive between them. No investigation will be easy, no crime will be simple.


When did the writing bug first bite?

I wrote stories as a child and my first “novel” of about 20 pages in elementary school. My first real novel was a YA aviation adventure story for my son. I wrote two novels for him, THE SECRET BLACKBIRD and THE PACIFIC GHOST, thrillers in which a young pilot encounters mystery and high-flying action in vintage aircraft. Neither book has been published but my son loved the stories and they were great practice for writing longer fiction.


Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

My writing has been inspired by a number of different authors:

Ken Follett: His earlier works including Night Over WaterTripleThe Key to Rebecca and The Eye of the Needle all have a tension-filled storyline, interesting characters with complex relationships, and multiple voices that are all integral to moving the plot forward. Not to mention the hot sex scenes.

P.G. Wodehouse: I discovered this British humorist in high school and have read dozens of his books and short stories.His world is that of 1920’s England. All of his books have an invariably tangled plot, crazy characters, and perfect phrasing (“he writhed like an electric fan”) that never grow old. My favorite is The Code of the Woosters.

Robert B. Parker: The creator of the Spenser mystery series is a study in perfect-pitch dialogue. Some of his books are a series of conversations that are so well crafted that virtually the entire plot/mystery is revealed in this way. His action scenes are never gratuitous which means they pack a big punch. My favorites are Potshot and Hugger Mugger.


If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Mystery and thriller authors always have such interesting perspectives. I’d invite Ken Follett, of course, along with Ace Atkins who picked up the Spenser series after the death of Robert B. Parker. I’d also invite Ian Rankin, author of the John Rebus series set in Edinburgh, and Norwegian author Jo Nesbo who wrote the Harry Hole police series set in Oslo. We’d argue over murder, motive, and creating characters who have a Fatal Flaw.


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I love to travel and just got back from Dublin where I visited the Trinity College library and the famous Long Room. The library houses the ancient Book of Kells, which is one of the oldest Bibles in existence.


When I’m home, time flies. I have an attention-loving dog who presently is stretched out on the floor right behind my chair. Our house is a bit of a fixer-upper, too, so I’ve always got a few house projects going. But I try to write about 4 hours a day to keep to my publishing schedule.


What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I’ve experienced three earthquakes and been in a train derailment. I’ve channeled the rush of adrenaline that hit me every time into Detective Emilia Cruz’s reaction to events in the books.


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Don’t fall in love with your first draft!


Fall in love with your characters, your setting, and your story line. That’s all fine. But your first draft won’t be the one that is ready for the reading public; but regard it as your baseline.


Another tip–If you are writing fiction, take the time to create biographic profiles for the main characters. Write down everything about them before inserting them into a story. This helps keep them consistent.


I did that and later used it as a prequel. Readers often wonder how Emilia Cruz came to be the first female police detective in Acapulco. The only place to find that out is in “The Beast,” the short story that I wrote in response to all the requests. It’s part of the Made in Acapulco story collection available on Amazon OR you can get it for free here as part of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. You’ll also get my monthly email newsletter, Mystery Ahead.


In addition to “The Beast, the Starter Library includes “The Angler,” a story based on the true-life murder of my pastor, Father Richard, in Mexico City. The drug addict who disrupted Christmas Eve didn’t kill him; in fact his murderer has never been caught. But in “The Angler,” Detective Emilia Cruz will bring the killer to justice.


Thanks for having me and happy reading! All the best, Carmen









AUTHOR Bio and Links:mediakit_authorphoto_kingpeso


Carmen Amato is the author of romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco which was recently optioned for film. Originally from New York, her experiences in Mexico and Central America inspire many of her books. For a copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library, visit her website at

Follow her on Twitter @CarmenConnects.


Buy link:











Carmen Amato will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Spotlight and Author Interview featuring The Bulls of War by E.M. Thomas w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

mediakit_bookcover_thebullsofwarThe Bulls of War

by E.M. Thomas




GENRE: Fantasy






As clouds of civil war gather over a dying empire, two friends and generals find themselves on opposite sides of the factional divide.  Now, they must sacrifice everything to save themselves from their realm and their realm from itself.








Ten years, two months and this morning, Kyrus thought, blinking away drops of sweat.   Yet still… still it’s not any easier.


For the thousandth time, his hand slid to a blade’s hilt, body braced against a gust ripping through the sweltering berry thicket.  Wide eyes scanned the crush of steamy greenery all around him, ears hearing only his own short breaths and a heart that pounded like a drum.  Even as the wind petered out, his anxiety held firm, held him frozen in place.


Ten bloody years of this… a wonder I’ve any wits left about me at all.  He grunted.  Or do I have any?


He’d grayed since then, since his first days in Valogar.  Wrinkled too.  Bones ached from the constant marching, mind frayed from the perpetual fear of knowing they were out there, somewhere, always itching to add another Rokhish scalp to their belts…




Welcome! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
I am a thirty-something with a passion for writing.  I had a blast penning The Bulls of War (along with the rest of my novels) in addition to my full-time job, and I’ve been especially fortunate to enjoy both very much.  I have a lovely wife and an adorable one year-old son who seemingly grows more precocious every passing day.  Digging up the time to be a worker, writer, husband, and father isn’t the easiest, but it’s the life I’ve chosen!
Is a single title, or part of a series?
The Bulls of War is book one of the Chronicles of the Andervold Thrones.  The number of volumes of Chronicles at this point is open-ended, but two more novels are fully story-boarded, with at least another two planned beyond that.
What were your inspirations for the story?


I’ve always loved history and creating my own worlds.  Those kernels of inspiration ultimately blossomed into The Bulls of War, an epic fantasy that in many ways pays homage to the politics and machinations of Ancient Rome.  On a practical level, Bulls let me write about the things I care about in a story – the action of mass battles and military tactics in a period comparable to Late Imperial Rome; multi-faceted characters who hopefully avoid the pitfalls of clichés; and most importantly, the freedom to do so without being shackled by the bounds of any known world.  Writing fantasy lets the writer set the rules, although I found that comes with an unexpectedly laborious obligation to make sure the rules are followed and make sense at all times.

Please share your setting for The Bulls of War. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The world of Bulls is entirely fictional, but as mentioned above, it was in many ways inspired by Ancient Rome.  In like manner did the constant political intrigue and turmoil of the Late Roman Empire provide inspiration for the frenzied state of Andervold in the 383rd year Post Cataclysm.  Plenty more would have looked familiar to a Roman of noble birth in the second or third century A.D., be it the soldiery, the breadth of the realm, the military acting as a literal and figurative backbone of the Empire, etc.  To that end, yes, I’ve visited many Ancient Roman sites, and hope many more are on my horizon.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I’ve been writing stories since I was seven years old; my second grade curriculum actually required it.  Thus, I’ve had the creativity bug within me for quite a while, and even if that bug didn’t always manifest itself in story writing, it was expressed in other ways.  As to the germination of Bulls specifically, that dates back to my teenage years, where doodles on my notebooks turned into characters, character backstories turned into plot points, and off we went.  The Rokhish Empire was born.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

I’ll narrow the question and say my favorite authors currently are Colleen McCullough and George Martin.  Both show a knack for staggering detail in their respective fields (the appendices in McCullough’s books could be treatises in their own right!), both have rich, deep characters, both make you feel as though you’re in a different, yet tangible world.  Incidentally, I discovered both authors rather late in my life.  As for Martin, I feel like my Andervold series (of which The Bulls of War is Book I) is an inadvertent homage to his Ice and Fire series, albeit with a more Imperial Roman twist instead of Late Medieval English.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Both of the authors above, but to that mix I would add Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire), James Clavell, and perhaps Gary Jennings.  All have had a profound influence on my writing and approach to the same, so it would be great to have them all in one spot to pick their brains.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
As is probably evident by now, I love to travel and see new places, preferably historical sites (and most preferably, ancient sites).  On a more day-to-day basis, I love a good meal, a good beer, and a good game on TV.  Name a Philly sports team, and I’m interested
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
Read and identify what it is that you like or dislike about what you’re reading.  Not just the plot/dialogue/etc., but note the sentence structure, the adjectives (or lack thereof), the layout of the story as a whole.  How do the story’s chapters typically end?  How do they begin?  What points of view do you like?  It’s easier to write things you would enjoy reading, so it’s important to hone in on precisely what it is that you like; many readers-turned-writers have never actually considered that question.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:mediakit_authorphoto_thebullsofwar


E.M. Thomas is the author of two novels – an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun).

E.M. Thomas was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth – while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.





Amazon Author Page:

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The Bulls of War will be $0.99 during the tour.




E.M. Thomas will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


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