Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog, Reviews

#Review and Guest Blog featuring On the Count of Three (a Brandon Fisher novel) by Carolyn Arnold w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #thriller @Carolyn_Arnold

ON THE COUNT OF THREE

by Carolyn Arnold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Thriller

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

And they thought prison was hell…

When a woman’s disappearance ticks off all the same boxes as two unsolved murders, Miami homicide detective Kelly Marsh is convinced there’s about to be a third. If she’s right and the killer sticks to their previous MO, she only has three days before Jenna Kelter’s decapitated head will show up somewhere in the city. With no time to waste, Kelly reaches out to the one person she knows can help: her former mentor and family friend Jack Harper, who just happens to lead a team with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.

BAU special agent and profiler Brandon Fisher easily sees the similarities between Detective Marsh’s missing person case and the two cold cases: all three victims served time for DUI vehicular homicide and disappeared three days after being released from prison. But is that enough to assume Kelter has been abducted by a serial killer? Brandon’s not so sure and fears his boss may have let his personal connection to Marsh cloud his judgment. Surely there isn’t any other explanation for why they jumped into an investigation less than twenty-four hours after Kelter was reported missing. Then again, maybe Brandon is letting his own differences with the detective affect his perspective. He’ll need to move past it, though—and quickly.

After all, this killer has evaded capture for the past six years, and they may be looking at a lot more victims than originally suspected. This serial killer is calling the shots and pulling them into a macabre game of cat and mouse. While the team has no choice but to play, if they don’t make the right moves, one of them may not make it out of Miami alive.

 

Writing an Engaging Series: A Look at FBI Thriller ON THE COUNT OF THREE

Article by Carolyn Arnold

The more books you write in a series, the steeper the challenges. The overall plot, the killer(s), the method, the victimology are rather easy. What is more difficult is coming up with ways for your characters to grow. It requires that you dig deep into out their backgrounds, their motivations, and their experience. If authors get lazy in this regard, it will show in the final product.

For this reason, I endeavor to interview my characters to really drill down and find out what about the plot has that can parallel to their personal or professional lives. Sometimes it’s harder than it sounds. When it came to writing On the Count of Three, I interviewed several of the characters—even ones outside the series’ main characters.

In this book, I’m introducing someone who may become a part of the series and there’s only one shot at a first impression. You need to make sure the character is strong and relatable—real—so that readers can connect with them and want to know more about that person. Further, then that, you want the reader so invested in the character, they’ll want to follow them for many books to come.

Also, if you’re writing a police procedural series like me, it’s crucial to get the facts right. If you’re familiar with my work, you realize just how important this aspect is to me. I’ve even adopted the trademark Police Procedurals Respected by Law Enforcement™. This wasn’t a decision that I chose, but rather that chose me. I’ve had many people from law enforcement reach out to me over the years to tell me how accurate my books are. Some have said they even see themselves in the characters as if looking in a mirror.

So how do I get my facts right when I don’t have a background in law enforcement? Research, but I’ve also been blessed with a network of people who have experience in law enforcement to answer my questions. They are so understanding and selfless with their time in responding. What I’ve found is they are appreciative that I am taking the time to make sure procedure is as accurate as possible.

I am pleased to say that even though the challenges can be great—and at times seem insurmountable—I believe my hard work has paid off again with the seventh installment in the Brandon Fisher FBI series. On the Count of Three took much longer to finish up than I would have liked, but I believe the final product makes up for any delay.

I invite you to download a copy of On the Count of Three or order in paperback or hardcover from your favorite retailer. But be warned: this book isn’t for the faint of heart.

About the Brandon Fisher FBI series:

 

Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on. Do serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations? Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.

This is the perfect book series for fans of JT Ellison, Catherine Coulter, Allison Brennan, and Blake Pierce. This series is also bound to entertain those who enjoy Criminal MindsNCIS, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Dexter, Luther, and True Crime.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Eleven, Silent Graves, The Defenseless, Blue Baby, Violated, Remnants, On the Count of Three.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Two:

The coffee in my gut was a churning, acidic whirlpool. The victims had been alive when their heads were severed. Now give me bloody murder scenes any day of the week. But decapitations? No thank you. Maybe it all started with that “neck bone connected to the head bone” song as a kid? Even kids know a head should always be attached to the body! I ran a hand through my hair, basking in the fact that my head was still there.

My repulsion wasn’t because I was still wet behind the ears. I’d seen my fair share of serial killers’ handiwork since I’d come on board with the BAU about three years ago: Some who tortured, some who raped, some who mutilated bodies. Even one who wore his victims’ skin, but the latter desecration had been done postmortem.

And here I was, not even in Florida yet, and my pops’s voice was in my mind. He’d have no sympathy for what I faced every day on this job. He’d never been a fan of the BAU; he would have been happier if I’d enrolled and served in the Navy as he had. To him, serving God and Country was more in line with patriotic duty. That was all fine and good, and I had no doubt it was because of him that I’d hoped for an assignment in counterterrorism when I finished at Quantico. But that wasn’t meant to be. And I’d adjusted. The work I did with the Bureau made a difference regardless of Pops’s opinion. We brought closure to devastated loved ones, got justice for innocent victims, and on the best days, even saved lives.

My gaze fell to a photo of Jenna Kelter, and I stared into her eyes. She was the image of a thirtysomething girl next door. She was a brunette with hazel eyes and a cute smile. We needed to save her, and the fastest path there was to figure out what sort of killer we were dealing with. I considered this killer’s actions thus far and drew a preliminary conclusion. “Our unsub is intelligent, organized, yet adaptive,” I posited. “They have the patience to wait until circumstances fit their needs.”

Paige nodded. “That could also indicate they’d watched their targets beforehand.”

“Even if they were familiar with all the victims’ routines before prison, what’s to say their schedules resumed that within three days of release,” I opined.

“Well, they obviously knew where to strike to get them alone. None of the families or their friends saw the abductions.” Paige pressed her lips, a little smugness coming from her.

I flipped through the pages, looking for details on their bail hearings. “I’m assuming Kelter got out on bail?” I’d read enough of the file to know that she didn’t have any prior DUI offenses, so the bail amount would likely have been set low.

“She did. And her trial came quickly because she didn’t dispute the charges,” Zach said. “According to the file, she’d expressed remorse.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch anything too grisly on television.  Not a Criminal Minds kind of girl.  Love my true crime stuff though.  Go figure.  What I really liked about this book is that has realistic characters that are somewhat at a crossroads in their careers and in life.  While dealing with a serial killer.  My kind of book.  I like the human aspect of a thriller.  Ms. Arnold does not disappoint for me.

I’ll also admit that this is my first Brandon Fisher book.  I really liked him.  At times, he was whiny but I could totally understand this from him.  Not everything is going to be crystal clear and people get frustrated with their job.  It makes him human and I appreciate that I got to know him in that way.  Plus, he is also dealing with the possibility that a team member is leaving and then having someone come in as the “competition”.  Again, real-life issues regardless of the job.  And I loved how his mind worked.

The actual story is a nail biter.  There are some grisly parts but for a reader to fully understand the plot, they needed to be put in there.  The research and the attention to detail that Ms. Arnold writes about is just AWESOME!!!  I’ve read Madison Knight books and they are so good because I feel like I’m actually there.  I felt the same with Brandon Fisher.  I really think that I need to go back and at least read the first book in the series.

All that said, this book isn’t all Fisher.  In fact, I thought it was more about Zach, who works in the unit.  His story comes full circle and at times, I just wanted to hug him.  Again, real-world issues.  At the end of the day, you have to make the right decision for you and for your family and I think he did so.  I couldn’t imagine seeing the things that they have seen and not be affected by it all.  Plus, as I’ve said before, there are just some really grisly stuff in the book.  Definitely not for the faint of heart.  It’s not a cozy mystery.

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to know the unit and Brandon Fisher.  I will back for more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

PLEASE MENTION THE PRIZE THAT THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:  

 

paperback copy of Remnants

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Spotlight

Spotlight featuring Gunfight at the Old Leake Canal by GB Hope w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #thriller # Dystopian

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. GB Hope will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In Liverpool, England, 18-year-old student and Freerunner, Bodie, survives an assassination attempt and flees for his life. His only thought is to secure the safety of girlfriend, Lily, and reach his journalist cousin, Anthony.

Bodie has stumbled into a diabolical plot from the world’s governments to end terrorism, famine and global warming in one swift swoop. So begins a race for survival, joined by a variety of other characters, moving from one set piece to the next, as the world that everyone knows is about to change forever.

Read an Excerpt:

He didn’t have to wait long. But, instead of one or two marked police cars rushing to detain someone who had reported a murder, he was treated to the worrying spectacle of three black Range Rovers, with blacked-out windows, arriving at speed and whizzing up the ramp into the car-park. Very sinister indeed.

He got into the Beetle and drove off. Soon, he noticed that his bimbo manager had left the car with almost no fuel, so he pulled into the first petrol station that he saw. He filled up, before going in to pay with his Visa card. He also bought a packet of cheese and onion crisps, which he proceeded to eat, while he used the outside cash machine. Moving towards the Beetle, he suddenly heard the sound of the helicopter again, seemingly immediately overhead. Quickly, he grabbed the gun and ammunition from the glove compartment and bolted away. If he had driven out, he just knew they would have been straight onto him. Instead, he ran through the garage car wash, skipped a low wall, and was away across wasteland.

About the Author: GB Hope is the author of 11 novels of various genres. He lives in Manchester with his Indonesian wife and their two boys.

https://www.amazon.com/Gunfight-At-Old-Leake-Canal-ebook/dp/B01FBG6MFO
https://www.amazon.com/G.-B.-Hope/e/B005D47I8U

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of Khaled Talib featuring Gun Kiss w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #99 cents #thriller @KhaledTalib

Gun Kiss

by Khaled Talib

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   Thriller

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen. 

Ex-Delta Force Blake Deco receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana.

With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue.

What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Two:

A man wearing a red bandana around his head leaned out on the skid with a sniper rifle.

“Get us out of here!” Blake yelled.

Jack swerved the vehicle to avoid the sniper’s fire and spun a U-turn. He floored the accelerator, zigzagging away from the consulate.

“Get down!” Blake forced Goldie to the floorboard. He then powered down his window, stuck his arm out, and unleashed a volley of shots at the tail rotor.  

The helicopter jerked and tilted, yet remained relentless in its pursuit.

“Drive faster!” Blake yelled, feeling the riddle of sniper bullets pinging the back of the SUV.

Blake looked at Goldie crouching on the floorboard. “You okay?”

“No! Please get me out of here! Oh God, I’m going to die!” Goldie cried.

“They’re not shooting at you. They want you alive, and us dead,” Blake said.

“How can you be sure?” Goldie asked.

“He’s using a sniper rifle instead of a machine gun,” Blake said. “Picking his shots carefully.”

“No prizes for guessing who gets it first,” Jack said.

The shots from the helicopter forced an oncoming van to careen off the road. Two other vehicles braked hard and swerved uncontrollably.

Through the windshield, Blake saw the man on the skid taking aim again.

“Incoming!”

Tightening his grip on the wheel, Jack spun the SUV around, back toward the consulate. He didn’t turn fast enough. The impact of a bullet hit the rear window, cracking it into a spidery web.


Welcome Khaled Talib! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

I was born in Singapore. I’ve written three novels and I’m presently working on my fourth. I was a magazine journalist before switching to the field of public relations. My career took me to various parts of the world, and I also spent some years in Cairo working for several media.


Is Gun Kiss a single title, or part of a series?

Gun Kiss is a single title novel, but I might write a sequel as readers are asking me to write another story based on the same characters. This novel was initially published by Imajin Books, but I’ve since taken back my rights.

What were your inspirations for the story?

The idea behind Gun Kiss was purely accidental. I went jogging one morning, and by late evening, my legs were cramping. I couldn’t sleep, so while rubbing some heat rub, I decided to watch an old movie. The actress in the movie inspired me to create my own Hollywood character. The next day, I started working on the draft. You just never know where inspiration will come from.

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

 

The novel is primarily set in southern California. I’ve never lived there, but I’ve been there on holiday. There are a couple of real restaurants and cafes that I included in the novel. But one fictitious place,  which I called the Mama Tacos, was inspired by the Pink Taco in Sunset Boulevard. I like the atmosphere, but more importantly I like the richness in the places I visited because I could collect an abundance of story angles.

In the novel, you’ll also find famous places like The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Feliz, and Wukoki Ruins in Arizona. I live in a small island, and although my first novel was primarily set in Singapore, I find it difficult to write another story set on the island. So, I’m always looking to explore the outside world.  



When did the writing bug first bite?

 

I was fifteen. I tried writing a detective novel inspired by The Hardy Boys. I didn’t get far because I wasn’t ready. I tried again when I was twenty-four, this time, working on a financial thriller. But I wasn’t going anywhere with the story. I suppose I wasn’t ready. I took a long break for a couple of years before trying it again. This time, I worked on a spy novel. I kept failing but the little voice inside me told me not to quit. And I didn’t.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

 

I have many favorite authors. I read all kinds of books. It doesn’t matter to me the gender of the author. If the story is interesting, I’ll read it. My only wish is that I had more time to read more books.

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

 

I guess I would invite the authors who gave me blurbs for my books: Jon Land, Gayle Lynds, K.J. Howe, Jon McGoran, and Ruth Harris. All of them are suspense and thriller authors

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

Apart from stealing other people’s chocolates, I like to smoke shisha, the Middle Eastern smoking contraption. Fermented apple is my favorite flavor. I don’t do it at home, but there’s a café across the Malaysian border that I frequent. Although the café has a local name, I call it The Titty Twister after Quentin Tarantino’s movie From Dusk till Dawn. The reason is because it’s located in an obscure and dark place, almost vampirish. It’s not a wild place although there’s a band playing, but it feels surreal. Hey, I’ve got a wild imagination.   

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

Oh, don’t get me started; I don’t know where to begin. Here’s one: When the staff at a café in Singapore were moving a refrigerator, they found a plate under it. On it was a lump of hair, some dried flowers and herbs. Someone was trying to hex the café business… someone who really hates the owner.   


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

 

Get a good editor, be humble and listen to advice… don’t give up, even if it looks bleak. From bitterness comes sweetness.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. He has authored three thrillers since 2014.

The author’s works have been praised by NY Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, NY Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author Keith Thomson, K.J. Howe, and Jon McGoran.

His debut thriller, Smokescreen, was listed as one of the six “boundary-breaking indies” in 2016 by the IndieReader. His second novel, Incognito, won the Silver Award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017. Gun Kiss is his third novel.

Khaled, who is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, resides in Singapore.

Authors website : http://www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

Author Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/khaled.talib/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khaledtalibbooks/

Author Amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00DYPSB72?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6940359.Khaled_Talib

Gun Kiss (YouTube) Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6uhYvbY7KQ

 

GUN KISS Buy links:

The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

Author website direct: http://khaledtalibthriller.com/books/

Amazon Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/823918

Kobo

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

B&N

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gun-kiss-khaled-talib/1127553149?ean=2940155243199

Ibooks/Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/gun-kiss/id1380716623?mt=11

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Khaled Talib will be awarding an Amazon Fire 7 8GB tablet to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The prize is limited to U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway