Reminder: Final weekend to enter drawing for Night Life by David C. Taylor

Giveaway of 3 copies of Night Life by David C. Taylor

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

#BookGiveAway #GiveAway #TOR_Books #Forge_Books

The giveaway will end Monday, April 20th (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The 3 winners will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on April 21st. I will also send an email to the lucky winners.

Go to the original page to enter. Click below.

Free Book Giveaway! Win a Hardcover of Night Life by David C. Taylor


A Review of The Second Man: A Paul Madriani Novella by Steve Martini

The Second Man: A Paul Madriani Novella

by Steve Martini

Mr. Martini wrote this short novel for a reason. It wasn’t just to sell some more books in the Paul Madriani series. It wasn’t to make a quick buck. He wrote this book because he believes that PTSD is a real problem in this country. He uses The Second Man as a way to publicize what is happening to our returning serviceman and women. But he writes this, not as a sermon, but rather as an exciting thriller. He takes a couple of hours out of your life and entertains you, and leaves you thinking about the problem that we all are facing.

This was a thoughtful but exciting book. I give The Second Man 4 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! If you are a Paul Madriani fan, you will like the different point of view in this book, but this story holds up well as a “stand-alone” book. That means that everyone should read it, because the message is important.

I received this book from the publisher.

Book Description

The Second ManNavy SEALs are the military’s elite—highly trained, deadly, and sworn to secrecy about the details of their dangerous and confidential missions. So when one of the men goes public about a high-profile assassination abroad, all of his comrades are thrown into peril.

In this riveting novella, attorney Paul Madriani comes to the aid of a Navy SEAL who is pursued by his own government and facing possible prosecution for disclosures he says were made by others. When the soldier disappears, Paul finds himself ensnared in a deadly game of intrigue that forces him to track the man down before it is too late.

Book Details

File Size: 634 KB
Print Length: 96 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (April 14, 2015)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B00S599900
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled

About the Author

Steve MartiniSteve Martini is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Trader of Secrets, The Rule of Nine, Guardian of Lies, Shadow of Power, and others featuring defense attorney Paul Madriani. Martini has practiced law in California in both state and federal courts and has served as an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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Free Book Giveaway! Win a Hardcover of Night Life by David C. Taylor

Tor/Forge Books is giving Three lucky readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of Night Life by David C. Taylor.

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

David Taylor - Night LifeNIGHT LIFE, the first title in an electrifying new historical crime fiction series set in 1950s New York, delivers a pulse-pounding murder plot surrounding complex protagonist and war veteran Detective David Cassidy, who finds himself caught between police and mafia ties. Taylor uses his vast experience writing for TV and film to make the vivid, old-time New York setting come alive more than ever before.

Book Description

New York City in 1954. The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop—maybe that’s why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy’s building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares—dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.


DAVID C. TAYLOR was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles, and has had an Off-Broadway musical produced in New York. He now divides his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.

Contest Details


Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

Send an email to contest at mackela dot com.
In the subject line, enter “Night Life“

In the body of the email, please provide a mailing address so the prize can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)

Geographic restrictions: This giveaway is open only to residents of the  U.S. and Canada.

The giveaway will end Monday, April 20th (11:00 PM U.S. Eastern Daylight time). The 3 winners will be selected at random. Winners will be announced here on April 21st. I will also send an email to the lucky winners.

Good luck!

A Review of Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere

The NightShade Forensic Files Book 1:
Under Dark Skies

by A.J. Scudiere

This book was a very pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I read the blurb about Under Dark Skies. After seeing the cover, I thought that there might be some sort of werewolf or dark fantasy sort of thing going on, but figured that I would give it a shot anyway. (I really don’t like most werewolf books.) Well, this wasn’t what I expected at all.

A.J. Scudiere is a very talented writer. She grabbed me right away. She had me interested from the Pre-Introduction, The Science of Myth. Her scientific analyses of witches, vampires, zombies, and werewolves got me interested and drew me right in. Then the Introduction proved that Ms. Scudiere knew what she was doing. She had an idea and the skill to bring that idea to fruition.

Even though this book has fantasy elements, it feels more like the X-Men rather than Twilight. These characters feel more like mutants instead of paranormal creatures. And just like the X-Men, these are people with some added enhancements who struggle to deal with the guilt from their past, and how to accept, and use their talents in the present. Ms. Scudiere has taken an outstanding premise and turned it into an exciting first book in a new series. This is one series that I am looking forward to following. If there is a way to become a fan of NightShade, put me on the list.

Even though Under Dark Skies will never be mistaken for “Great Literature”, I loved it! I had a great time reading it. A.J Scudiere know what she is doing. Therefore I’m giving Under Dark Skies 5 Stars out of 5. and Two Big Thumbs Up! I hope that you like it as much as I did.

I was sent a Digital Review Copy by the publisher.

Book Description

Under Dark SkiesIn NightShade, nothing is as it seems . . .

As a former medical examiner, Donovan Heath is a natural investigator, but he’s not really comfortable working with live people. So he’s shocked to be offered a spot in the FBI’s secretive division, NightShade. Even more interesting: his new partner, Eleri, is generating some pivotal intel, seemingly out of nowhere, and refuses to reveal her sources.

After the disaster of her last case, Eleri Eames sees NightShade as her salvation in the Bureau, but something is seriously off about the whole division. And she’s growing more and more convinced that her new partner may not be completely . . . human.

In case their first assignment—finding a charismatic cult leader and his true believers—isn’t difficult enough, Donovan and Eleri are also charged with finding another Agent’s missing daughter. The stakes may be too high. It seems they can’t save the innocent without sacrificing something of themselves.

Will their secrets save them . . .
or destroy them?

Book Details

Release: April 2, 2015
Publisher: Griffyn Ink
ISBN: 978-1-937996-36-9
Price: $14.95 Paperback
Price: $7.99 e-book
Pages: 366

About the Author

AJ_Scudiere_headshotAt heart a biologist and an avid student, A.J. Scudiere writes about the possibilities that keep us up late at night. She is the author of numerous award-winning suspense novels, including Resonance, God’s Eye, Phoenix, The Shadow Constant, and The Sin Trilogy: Vengeance, Retribution, and Justice. A.J.  lives outside Nashville in an ironically idyllic setting full of wildlife and open spaces. Currently, she’s at work on The NightShade Forensic Files series.


A Review of Eavesdrop: A Mossad Spy Thriller by Ian Coates

Eavesdrop: A Mossad Spy Thriller

by Ian Coates

Eavesdrop is a multi-threaded mystery thriller. Both threads finally come together in Helsinki, Finland. The main problem that I had with this book was that those threads were too close to straight lines. There weren’t enough surprises or twists. You knew from the beginning that Customs Investigator James Winter was going to be involved in both threads. Even though he was fired from his job, you knew that he would continue to investigate the smugglers. You didn’t know what connection there was between the smugglers and the terrorists, but you knew that there had to be one, and you knew that it would have to involve James Winter.

The book was well written, and James Winter was a realistically constructed character, but the plot was too simple. Some of the things that  Winter does are quite hard to accept. You don’t think that he could do that or you say to yourself, “How can you be that stupid!” But you could accept those things in a book with more twists. Mr Coates give us some more unexpected twists in your next book. If that happens you could have a real winner.

I give Eavesdrop 3 1/2 Stars out of 5, because even though the book had a good measure of excitement, it didn’t keep me guessing.

I received a digital review copy from the author.

Book Description

EavesdropCoverIanDiamond smugglers. A police conspiracy. High tech spies. Assassins intent on derailing Middle East peace talks. Customs Investigator James Winter must overcome them all if he is to save his career-and his life.

Winter, an ex-MI5 operative wrongly accused of colluding with a smuggling ring that has a suspicious knack of avoiding the traps set by his team, battles to clear his name. As his wife undergoes cancer treatment, he finds it hard to balance time at her bedside with action to vindicate himself. After his suspension, he sets out to find how the smugglers manage the ring. An email from a bothersome high tech supplier prompts Winter to spring into action, putting him on the trail of a Mossad spy whom he discovered is somehow involved, and placing him right in front of the Syrian hit squad.

Al-Jabib ran a gloved fingertip across the engraved skull and crossbones and felt a tingle of anticipation mix with his nerves. It was really happening; he, Bashar Al-Jabib, was about to initiate the most audacious operation in all Syrian history. He touched the locket that hung around his neck. “Mum and Dad, you’d be proud of me.”

In this fast-paced and suspenseful espionage thriller, Eavesdrop uncovers an even bigger catastrophe as James Winter stumbles into an international mystery involving Mossad, a Middle East terror plot to destabilize Israel and the global political climate. With the help of a dubious partner, Winter risks his life, but will he be able to stop an international conspiracy and clear his name?

Book Details

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Bad Day Books (December 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1628279753
ISBN-13: 978-1628279757
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces

About the Author

Author Ian Coates graduated with honours in engineering. He worked in the high-tech electronics industry for over twenty-five years, where he specialised in the design of radio communication equipment. His intimate knowledge of that environment always triggered his imagination to think about the mysterious world of international spies.

A lifelong love of books led him into writing, but it was being named one of the winners in the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook centenary novel writing competition that spurred him on to complete his thriller, Eavesdrop. The novel was written largely on planes and in airport lounges as well as in snatched moments before starting work each morning.Eavesdrop is scheduled for release later this year by Bad Day Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing.

Ian lives and writes in Buckinghamshire, England, with his wife and two daughters.

The Book Description and details are from Amazon. Eavesdrop Paperback


A Review of The Organ Takers by Richard Van Anderson

The Organ Takers

A Novel of Surgical Suspense
by Richard Van Anderson

First things first, this is book one of a trilogy. Even though there are quite a few loose ends, you don’t feel like everything has been left unresolved when you get to the end of the book. I like some sort of closure in a first book of a series. If I don’t get that, I just am kind of put off. The Organ Takers was interesting enough that I will read the next volume when it becomes available.

Dr. Anderson is a former heart surgeon and it shows in this novel. The surgical procedures are extremely detailed. He probably goes a bit overboard on the minutia, but that is his background, so I’m sure that it is accurate, and that is what feels right to him. Most readers will be skimming though some of it. He does a good job with his first novel.

The main plot-line of the novel is realistic and believable.  The basic idea, that there is a black market for stolen organs is a scary proposition, but rings true. Some of the sub-plots and character’s thought processes are a little far-fetched, but not inconceivable. The action drives the story and keeps you reading. You will finish The Organ Takers very quickly, because it is easy to get into and the prose is quite straight forward, and you won’t want to stop reading it.  Characterization was a little shallow, but that is what you expect in an action driven thriller.

All in all, The Organ Takers was an exciting, and engaging book one of a trilogy. The author draws you into the story, and when you finish it, you will be anticipating book two. I enjoyed it, but wish that I had known going in that The Organ Takers was the first book in a trilogy. It doesn’t say that anywhere on the book, or on the Amazon page, except in  the reviews. I think that the publisher needs to correct that. Some people don’t want to read a trilogy, and they should know up front what they are getting into.

Ignoring the trilogy issue, I thought that The Organ Takers was a good debut novel, and will try to read the next book. I give it 4 Stars out of 5, and recommend it to fans of Robin Cook, especially since there doesn’t seem to be many good medical thrillers out there lately.

I received a review copy from the publisher, White Light Press.

Book Description

The Organ TakersFor more than three decades, Robin Cook has used his experience as a physician to bring authority to his novels of medical suspense, and now, former cardiac surgeon Richard Van Anderson has done the same. Using his knowledge of surgeons, surgical diseases, and the operating room, Anderson brings the sinister world of black market organ transplantation to life in his debut novel THE ORGAN TAKERS (White Light Press; November 2014). Storylines are drawn from current medical topics and include human organ trafficking, transplant waiting list abuse, human stem cell research, tissue engineering, and organ fabrication.

Set primarily in lower Manhattan, THE ORGAN TAKERS opens with former surgery resident Dr. David McBride in exile from the surgical community. While under the mentorship of transplant surgeon and biomedical researcher Dr. Andrew Turnbull, McBride was coerced into manipulating the liver transplant waiting list, then failed to bring such an egregious violation of moral and ethical standards to the attention of his superiors. Both men were eventually discovered, subsequently fired, and lost their licenses to practice medicine. Turnbull moved his lab to rural New Jersey, while McBride settled for operating on rats in a surgical research laboratory at an uptown university medical center.

Down but not out, McBride never gives up on his dream, and after applying to nearly every surgical residency in the country, he is rewarded with a second chance to complete his training and pursue a career in surgery. But, as David stands on the threshold of a new life, the malignant underside of his fellow man intervenes. Under the threat of violence to himself and his pregnant wife, David is forced to perform illegal organ harvests, in a makeshift operating room, hidden within a dilapidated meatpacking warehouse. Interfacing with a spook known only as Mr. White, McBride is unaware that Andrew Turnbull is behind his recruitment as black market organ harvester.

Unable to resolve the excruciating moral dilemma faced each time he invades the body of an unwilling victim, David fights to free himself from the situation and finds himself increasingly isolated as the dangers mount. As NYPD detective Kate D’Angelo closes the net around him, and the organ-snatching conspiracy takes his wife hostage, McBride must find help, and he turns to a most unlikely source: a drug dealer whose life David had saved while still a surgery resident.

THE ORGAN TAKERS is an exhilarating medical thriller that has both the good guys and the bad balancing precariously on the edge of good and evil. The story not only entertains, but ventures below the surface to explore how men of intelligence, drive, and compassion sometimes choose, or are forced, to venture down dark paths.

Book Details

Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: White Light Press; First edition (November 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990759717
ISBN-13: 978-0990759713
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces

About the Author

Photo by Chaucer Wells Photography
Photo by Chaucer Wells Photography

I’m a former heart surgeon turned fiction writer. I write what can be described as medical mysteries, medical thrillers or novels of medical suspense, but I prefer to think of them as novels of surgical suspense.

What is surgical suspense? Surgeons, surgical diseases and the operating room are inherently dramatic. As a former surgeon, I’ve experienced this drama first hand and thought it would make for good fiction. My surgery training took me from the “knife and gun club” of LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, to the famed Bellevue Hospital in Midtown Manhattan. My education as a writer includes an MFA in creative writing where I was mentored by New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane, among other accomplished faculty.

I know a lot about medicine and surgery, I know a lot about writing and storytelling, and I believe that combining this vast and unusual right-brain/left-brain experience will make for interesting reading and discussion, so please visit often.

Author’s Website 
Author’s Facebook Page
Author’s Goodreads Page

A Review of MACDEATH: An Ivy Meadows Mystery by Cindy Brown

MACDEATH: An Ivy Meadows Mystery

by Cindy Brown

This fun, fast paced, theatre based book is a good start to a new year and a new series. I enjoyed the antics and the lively characters in Cindy Brown’s new book. She uses great dialog to create her story. The characters are quirky but believable at the same time. The humor is part of the story and doesn’t feel forced or artificial. Sometimes it heads toward slapstick, but that’s ok, because who doesn’t like to laugh.

Cindy Brown’s main character, Ivy Meadows, has to try to figure out why the male lead in Macbeth was found dead of suspected alcohol poisoning. The police are calling it an accidental death, but Ivy is sure that it was murder. Simon had quit drinking and had asked Ivy to help him out, to keep an eye on him. She feels like she let him down, and can’t let everyone think that he drank himself to death. But then other suspicious things happen. Is it the Macbeth curse, or something much worse.

This book would be classified as a cozy mystery, I guess. I only found out that cozy was a real genre last year, and I’m still not sure exactly what constitutes a cozy, but the publisher has Cozy showing up on the MACDEATH page.

This is what Wikipedia has to say, “Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as “cozies”, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Well, that certainly seems to fit MACDEATH. I like to read well-written cozies once in a while, and so I have to say that MACDEATH really fit the bill. I give it a solid 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I look forward to reading the next book in the series (THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2) September 2015).

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description


MACDEATHLike every actor, Ivy Meadows knows that Macbeth is cursed. But she’s finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbeth in Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm—not her flying caldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-wielding dictator of a director.

But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is “murder most foul” and that she’s the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle’s detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career—and her life.

Books in the Ivy Meadows Mystery Series:

THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2) September 2015

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all…

Book Details

Series: An Ivy Meadows Mystery
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (January 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940976693
ISBN-13: 978-1940976693
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces

About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

I've read them, so that I can tell you about them.

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