Tag Archives: thriller

The Axe by Linda Griffin in the Featured New Book Spotlight


Let’s welcome Linda Griffin back to West of Mars!

If you’ve missed her in the past, you can catch up with her here:
Guilty Knowledge
Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking
Reluctant Hearts

Look at that backlist! If you haven’t explored it yet, why not? It’s all right there, so have some fun!

Today, though, Linda is back with a new book. This time, it’s called The Axe, and somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about the body spray.

But before we get into what sort of Axe we’re talking about, let’s get into the tunes. I mean, let’s face it. Tunes make the world a happier place. Although it’s true that so do good books.

So… Linda Griffin, what song makes you think of your new book, The Axe?

“Lizzie Borden” by the Rumjacks because the murder victims were “hacked to death in daylight.” But remember that Lizzie Borden was acquitted…

Oh, my! WHAT are we in for????

(Also, this song? Is wild, y’all, as one of my editing clients would say.)

Here’s the book description. Are you ready? I am sure curious!

Sweethearts Eric Leidheldt and Desiree Chauveau are spending a weekend at his uncle’s cabin when they encounter two strangers cutting wood. Eric is knocked unconscious, and Desi is viciously attacked. The following day two police officers come to their apartment to arrest Desi. Her assailants are dead, murdered with an axe, and her fingerprints are on it. She confesses–but is she really guilty? Eric is determined to stand by her, but the physical and emotional effects of the attack severely challenge their relationship.

WHAT???? This sounds crazy, and in all the good, nightmarish ways. (Or am I the only one who’s been terrified of being framed for something I never did? Really?)

Grab a copy because hello, what’s really going on here?
Google Play

Remember, if you pick it up and read it, the best way to thank an author is to buy a second copy for a friend. The second best way is to tell a friend about it. And the third best? Leave an online review!

Also, connect with Linda online.

One more thing to keep in mind: I do this as a labor of love to help out my fellow authors. If you’re an author, or if you have a friend who is, or heck, even an enemy, send ’em over to fill out the form and I’ll feature them as well.


Remnants of Fire by Alana Lorens in the Featured New Book Spotlight


Book cover for Remnants of Fire book written by Alana LorensHoly smoke. This book makes the sixth one Alana Lorens has dropped in to tell us about. Sixth! I don’t know about you, but I’m in awe of that sort of prolific output. (She must keep her editors busy and I approve of that, knowing the trouble I get into when I am not busy.)

Today’s book is called Remnants of Fire, which is such a provocative title. That can mean so much!

So let’s get to it. Alana Lorens, what song makes you think of your new book, Remnants of Fire?

Newspaper reporters are driven to dig deep for their stories, even when the subjects of their investigations don’t want people to see what’s buried there. This is true for Sara in her new position at the paper, as well a her friends.

“Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera would be it. Not only did I discover Phantom during the period I first wrote this, but there are comparable themes in the stories. Heroine Sara Woods is swayed by her teacher into certain beliefs that could save her life–or end it.

Comparable themes? Yikes! But at the same time, you’ve got to read the official book description of Remnants of Fire… Ready? I am!

Looking for a fresh start, Sara Woods takes a job as a news reporter in a small town. Her first assignment for the Ralston Courier is to investigate of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.

To deal with chronic back pain, she seeks help at a local healing center. She soon becomes convinced that there is something strange about the Goldstone Clinic. Its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health, while their patients at first seem to improve and then mysteriously deteriorate.

Dr. Rick Paulsen, a physician at the local hospital, offers to teach Sara how to access her internal power, enhancing hidden skills and revealing secrets from her past.

Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, watching her every move and trying to get close to her.

The deeper she digs into the Goldstone, the harder it is to deny links to the paranormal. Can she figure out what is going on and who to trust before it’s too late?

NB: This story was previously released as Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. It has been rewritten and new material added.

That is NOT the comparison to Phantom that I was expecting — and I am glad of it! (This actually sounds way better and the paranormal twist has me certainly extremely curious.)

Get your copy!



And hey, before you connect with Alana Lorens, check out her past time in the bright light of the Featured New Book Spotlight!
Second Chances
Tender Misdemeanors
A Rose by Any Other Name
Prophecies and Promises

Okay, now it’s time to connect with Alana so you can talk to her about Remnants of Fire

Amazon Author Page
Book Trailer

And remember! The best way to say thanks to an author for a good book is to buy it for a friend. But other really good ways include telling friends about it — and strangers, too, via a review. Be sure to leave a review online; it helps make a book more visible to the buying public. And we don’t want to keep these gems all to ourselves, do we?

No, no we do not.


Phantoms of Ruthaer by McDonald and McDonald in the Featured New Book Spotlight


book cover for Phantoms of RuthaerLet’s welcome the writing team of McDonald and McDonald back to West of Mars!

You may remember them from their Son of Cayn trilogy, which we featured here, here, and here. That was a couple of years ago, and between then and now, they’ve clearly been busy, with this first in a new series called Chronicles of Damage, Inc. (Oooh, don’t let Metallica’s lawyers see that! Although… good song.)

Still, Jason and Stormy have an other song or… well, three… that remind them of Phantoms of Ruthaer. And what songs would those be? Let’s let them tell us.

The characters who comprise the bounty hunting team of Damage, Inc. in Phantoms of Ruthaer have been waiting impatiently for us to tell their tale for a while now. During the early stages of their development, we began assembling a playlist of songs that spoke to us about each character, such as Drivin N Cryin’s “Straight to Hell” for the irascible archer, Dave, and “Adrenaline” by Gavin Rossdale for the team’s leader, Hector. Then we heard “The Outsiders” by Eric Church. Its gritty depiction of a group with a reputation for being dangerous, who aren’t afraid to go their own way, and are willing to stand up to anyone captured the essence of Damage, Inc and our novel.

Three songs, so have some aural fun as you read!

But… you’re not going to want to read until you know what the book’s about, right? Well, here ya go:

In the countries east of the White River, some call Damage, Inc. heroes. Others call the bounty hunters criminals. The truth lies somewhere in between. Hector de los Santos, the team’s leader, has only two rules about bounties: finish every job, no matter what it takes, and no charity cases.

Aislinn Yves, the team’s half-elven tracker, thought she’d never see the tiny village of Ruthaer again. That is, until a plea for help from her father’s old friend, Tallinn, arrives. The job sounds simple: track down a few missing people, perhaps a killer. The trick is convincing Hector to put their current job on hold.

Unfortunately, things are worse than Tallinn implied. Unnatural weather, restless dead, and gruesome murders are just the beginning, for the town harbors a terrible secret more dangerous than Aislinn or Hector could imagine. A secret that could spell the end of Damage, Inc. and drag Ruthaer straight to Hell.

Sounds like a winner? Grab your copy, exclusive to Amazon. And remember to leave a review once you’ve finished reading. There’s no better way to thank an author for their hard work, creativity, time, and inspiration.

And connect with our friendly authors!

As always, remember to share the word of the spotlight with your author friends. Come one, come all! Here’s the link to the handy-dandy form.


Featured New Book Spotlight: Killing Secrets by K.L. Docter


It was looking like the spotlight would be a bit dark this week when Karen Docter popped into my inbox with a new book! The lady couldn’t have had better timing if she’d tried.


What song makes me think of my book, Killing Secrets (A Thorne’s Thorn Novel)?
A Broken Wing by Martina McBride Martina McBride – A Broken Wing
Martina’s song is about a controlling man who uses his wife without giving anything back to feed her or her dreams. The song reminds me of Rachel James, the heroine of my new romantic suspense thriller, Killing Secrets. Rachels ex-husband was more controlling than the man in Martina’s song, and he kept her from leaving him by threatening the little girl she’d die to protect. She escapes him for a few months when she helps put him in jail. In Killing Secrets, he finds her and will do anything to get Rachel and little Amanda back. But Rachel’s learned to fly and she’s not going to be caged again. Meeting her real hero, Patrick Thorne, she finds a way to make her dreams come true. Even he recognizes that Rachel is a broken wing when he meets her, but he falls in love with her as they get to know one another. In many ways, he’s as broken as she is. Together, they heal past wrongs and expose the secrets that dominate their lives.


I understand that desire, to never be caged again.

Ready for the book description?

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.

(A Thorne’s Thorns Novel)

Oh, nice! I think I need to read this one. Karen, you’ve made a fan!

Pick up your copy today.


And connect with Karen, too. You’ll be glad you did!

Amazon Author Page/K.L. Docter
Facebook/K.L. Docter
Book Bench for Romance Lovers FB Group
Linked In


Featured New Book: The Blackest Night by Jenny Hilborne


Author Jenny Hilborne has been a favorite around these parts for awhile now. If you like things a little dark, a little creepy, a little bit hold-your-breathy, Jenny’s the author for you. And yet, at the same time, her fiction makes you think. It’s smart.  I really like it, and I hope you will, too.

The Blackest Night FINAL FRONT EBOOK 04132014 copy

Jenny’s got a new book out now, called The Blackest Night. And while I might be a bit biased toward it and its success, I am confident you’ll agree it’s a great read.

Jenny, what song makes you think of your book?

The song that makes me think of my book is George Thorogood’s “Bad To The Bone.” Someone in The Blackest Night is exactly that, and it’s Detective Jackson’s job to find out who.


Short and sweet … and when you read it (note: WHEN you read it), you’ll see why this one needed no extra explanation.

Here’s what the book is about:

Thirteen years ago, a wrongful conviction sent an innocent man to prison. Still mentally and physically scarred six years after his release, William Law believed the darkest days of his life were behind him, until the night he is attacked in a dark alleyway. As Law tries to deal with the outcome and struggles to understand the reasons behind the encounter, a more troubling presence begins to make itself known. 

Meanwhile, a missing teenager’s disappearance is being treated as a murder investigation. Homicide inspector Mac Jackson is leading the inquiries. With no contact, no ransom demand, and all the leads exhausted, his case soon grows cold. Then Jackson receives an anonymous phone call from a tipster with some startling information. As Jackson follows up on the new lead, he unearths clues connecting one crime to another, and learns that the most unconventional path might be the only one that leads to the truth.

Nice, huh?  William Law is one cool character. Jenny’s done a great job creating him.

Pick up your copy:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Not good enough? Need another way? Try a Goodreads give! *Open until June 5

Be sure to connect with Jenny, too:


Rock Fiction Coveting: Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn


Yes, your love’s in jeopardy, baby!

I’ve either induced a huge groan, given you an earworm, or caused some confused looks. I’m not sure which it is.

Rocker Greg Kihn turned author some years ago, and he’s got a new-ish release that’s called a Rock Thriller by his publisher. (In other places on their website, they call it a “rock murder mystery.” Well, which is it? Thriller or murder mystery? A publisher who doesn’t know the difference isn’t much of a publisher!)

We know better, though, right? It’s a Rock Fiction thriller or Rock Fiction Murder Mystery. Sheesh.

This one is called Rubber Soul, which is a nod to the late, great Beatles, of course. There are other nods to the Fab Four as well — a shop on Penny Lane, and a few other surprises.

The one thing this description fails to do, though, is tell me much about the mystery. It’s too in love with the Beatles thing. Which makes me wonder if this is really a mystery or if it’s a tribute novel thinly disguised?

Jett’s too young to know much about the Beatles. Heck, I’m barely old enough to know a lot about the Beatles. So we’ll see what happens when this one hits our hands.

If you’ve read it, send us a link to your review!


Featured New Book: Hurricane Crimes by Chrys Fey


Chrys Fey dropped into my inbox out of the blue. No idea whose friend she is, who sent her to me, or … well, anything! Except she’s got amazing, positive energy and I like her already.

She’s bringing us her debut today, a slick-looking book called Hurricane Crimes.


Before we get to the blurb, Chrys, what song makes you think of your book?

Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars

Hurricane Crimes, my short romantic-suspense story, is about a woman who finds herself trapped with a man during a category 5 hurricane. Not only does the title of this song fit the theme of my debut eBook perfectly, it is also by my favorite band.

The lyrics in “Hurricane” remind me of Beth Kennedy and Donovan Goldwyn. Beth wants to escape Donovan, but the hurricane forces her to stay inside with a man she can’t trust. There is even a scene where she asks him if he is going to kill her, and a line in the song closely resembles that question. As hours go by, a fire starts to burn between them, a passion that neither of them can deny, but could kill at least one of them.

I included a video that has the lyrics for anyone interested in knowing the words.

NICE!!! I love meeting new authors who love the same music I do. Chrys, I hope you’ll hang out here at West of Mars more often. This is where the cool kids play.

So… how about a book description?

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he’s trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

You Kindle users are in luck; the rest of us aren’t. The novella (51 pages!) is only available at Amazon right now.

Need some links? Of course you do!
Google +


Featured New Book: CIA Fall Guy by Phyllis Zimbler Miller


I’ve known Phyllis Zimbler Miller online for awhile now. So it’s my honor to host her for not one, but two Featured New Book spotlights. Two separate spotlights, in case any of you are groaning about how long this post will be.


Her new book is called CIA Fall Guy, and here’s what she had to say about the song that makes her think of her book:

The song “The Riddle” from the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (which I saw performed on Broadway many years ago) makes me think of my romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY because of these lines in the song:

“Just see how virtue repays you
“Your turn and someone betrays you
“Betray him first
“And the game’s reversed!
“For we all are caught in the middle
“Of one long treacherous riddle
“Can I trust you? Should you trust me too?
“We shamble on through this hell
“Taking on more secrets to sell
“Till there comes a day when we sell our souls away!”

While I won’t say who in the book these lines best represent (that would be giving away too much), I will say that this is a good description of the intrigues in CIA FALL GUY.

How COOl to have some Broadway on my blog! I love it. (As an aside, the original vision for the Trevolution books was to have ShapeShifter bringing a musical to Broadway. That should tell you something about me!)

Here’s the blurb:

When Beth Parsons is summoned to CIA headquarters for the bogus purpose of identifying someone from her past, she realizes she must find out what is really going on. Forced to partner with the man who may have been responsible for her husband’s death, she has to unmask the real traitors or end up as the fall guy.

After the CIA driver who brought her to D.C. is shot and killed, Beth escapes her CIA “babysitter” and sets off to discover why she is suddenly once again in the world of spies and double agents.

Her quest takes her to Europe and then back to the U.S., and pairs her with a mysterious man who may or may not be on her side.

If you like espionage stories and tales of intrigue — especially ones with a dash of romantic suspense, CIA FALL GUY is for you!