Friday, December 3, 2010

Muddy Waters

Maggie Toussaint's Muddy Waters is a romantic suspense novel that draws the reader into the story from the first page with the pull of the tide against the Georgia coast.
Roxie Whitaker inherited her grandmother's real estate firm and though there is not a high demand for homes in Mossy Bog she is determined to make a go of her responsibility.
Sloan Harding is the boy from across the tracks who has established a niche for himself in Atlanta, but is drawn back to his grandfather's house where he live a "hit and miss life" with a drunk for a father. The one person who had faith in him was Roxie's grandmother.
The small cottages they inherited are in aging states of disrepair and Roxie has one client who is persistent in his desire to obtain Sloan's cottage. Property management is a venue that keeps Roxie afloat and Sloan hires her to oversee the restoration of his cottage. Roxie accepts with visions of an eventual sale floating through her dreams.
Roxie returns home to find her home ransacked, which adds impetus to a feeling she has endured for several days that someone is watching her. What's a girl to do when she doesn't feel safe in her own home? Sloan may not be acceptable to the Mossy Bog's citizens, but he provides a safe haven (maybe).
This is a fun read and a delightful break from some heavy tomes.
Visit with Maggie at
Nash Black, author of Haints.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Dangerous Edge of Things

Tina Whittle's debut novel, The Dangerous Edge of Things will keep you on the edge of your chair enthralled by her precise yet vivid descriptions of Atlanta, GA. Ms. Whittle's characters do not depend on their southerness for their uniqueness, but evolve with the modern city.
Teresa Ann "Tai" Randolph inherited half of a Confederate gun shop and moved from Savannah to explore the possibilities of her inheritance. One week in town, crashing at her brother Eric's home she discovers the gunshot body of a young woman.
The belated welcoming party gets worse as Eric is in the Bahamas and doesn't answer her frantic messages when subsequent events prove he is acquainted with the victim. Eric is employed by the security firm Phoenix and in typical older-brother fashion provides his impetuous baby-sister with a body guard and employment she does not want.
Enter the body guard, Trey Seaver is one of the most original characters in modern mystery fiction. Ms. Whittle builds Trey with adroit descriptions that fascinate and create empathy with Tai's frustration while she attempts to communicate with "the Iceman."
Tai and Trey must work as a team to keep her alive and unmask a killer. Her approach to anyone in authority is to argue and ignore while he is subservient to unreasonable demands. Tai has yet to find a box and Trey can not function without one. The tug-of-war between them is explosive until the very last word. The action's pace is faster than his Ferrari; it will drive you into the midnight hours.
Tina Whittle's The Dangerous Edge of Things is soon to be released by Poisoned Pen Press to book stores and can be pre-ordered on
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Day of Small Things

Vicki Lane's lyrical The Day of Small Things is the perfect book to curl up with at anytime, a hammock in summer or by the fire when winds are brisk. This reader is delighted that Ms. Lane took the time from her outstanding Elizabeth Goodweather series to explore in depth the engaging character of "Miss Birdie."
Fan's of the Goodweather series demanded more of Miss Birdie because in the brief sketches a real person shown through who was worth every moment they spent exploring her character.
The Day of Small Things is not a small story, but a saga of a young woman who against all odds learns to love and comes to grips with the divergent aspects of her own heritage. Least was her given name and her expectations did not exist until her aging Cherokee grandmother gave her five years of undivided love and the teachings of her people.
Her mother's bitterness and anger fueled a devastating revenge against her youngest child, Least. The mother's death gave the young woman a chance to explore the outside world if she can stay ahead of the sheriff. Her mother had signed papers committing her to a institution to be sterilized.
Each obstacle Least encounters on her journey to become "Miss Birdie" will keep you turning the pages, reading every word for the story, the customs, the atmosphere, and the charm that shines through some dark days.
This is a book you will not want to miss and it is one you will want to keep on your shelf to dip into when you need a glimpse of the perseverance of the human soul.
Visit with Vicki Lane at Vicki's books are available in the paperback book section of book stores and on line from
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

Susan Wittig Albert's The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree transports the reader directly to the 1930s and a woman's gardening group.
The country is in the midst of the Great Depression, but the ladies of Darling, Alabama have their hands deep in the soil and the lives of each inhabitant of this southern community.
Life isn't easy as their pennies are tight, but they are determined to restore Mrs. Blackstone's family home and the gardens that she left in their care. The work is hard because the old place was sadly neglected during Mrs. Blackstone's declining years.
Everyone is talking about the escaped convict and it isn't a surprise when reports of a ghost digging the gardens near the cucumber trees are reported. Nothing is ever what it seems in a good cozy mystery and the ladies are not about to put up with any nonsense from a ghost.
Mrs. Albert is an established writer with two successful cosy mystery series under her belt, but The Darling Dahlias may be her best yet. Her work reminds me of another great cozy writer Charlotte MacLeod. Mrs. MacLeod wrote an exceptional funny gardening series as Alisa Craig, an example is The Grub and Stakers House a Haunt.
If you enjoy a break from horrific murder and mayhem with a yen for gardening either of these two authors will give you hours of pleasure.
Susan Wittig Albert's books are available at bookstores everywhere and on
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spookiest Stories Ever

Roberta S. and Lonnie E. Brown have spent a lifetime collecting stories of actual experiences with ghosts. They have complied these stories from family and friends in Spookiest Stories Ever: Four Seasons of Kentucky Ghosts published by The University Press of Kentucky.
Encounters with the paranormal does not occur just at Hallowe'en, but at any time when the veil to the world beyond has a window in time. Roberta and Lonnie recognizes this and have arranged their tales of phychic phenomena as to when they occurred.
Lonnie tells of his first encounter with something beyond the grave in The Cold Touch when the newly dead left a flower to indicate their presence.
Roberta tells of her experience at the Tab in Ghost of Berea College. I recognized the old theater building; it was there when I was a member of the library staff and teacher at Berea. A young boy could see the ghost, but Roberta could only hear his footsteps.
A suicide that keeps on dying is the subject Ghost Chains. No one has been able to live in the house in south Central Kentucky since the death occurred. It is a dripping, dripping, chilling tale of death; a perfect story to read on a warm summer's night.
When an event is of extreme importance to two individuals it isn't unusual for the dead to visit the living. From the winter section Roberta retells a story of the bond that existed between a young woman graduating from college and her father.
I've cited a sampling of these eerie true stories for each season. This is a book to savor and put down, pickup and reread as you visit with some very spooky haints.
Roberta Simpson Brown is a noted folklorist, oral story teller, and author. Other books by her are Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales and The Walking Trees and Other Scary Stories. Her husband Lonnie E. Brown is a musician and author of Stories You Won't Believe. They currently live outside of Louisville, but were born in Russell County, KY.
Look for their books in bookstores and on as they are a perfect gift at any time of the year.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Nancy Pichard adds one more stunning mystery to a long line of successes. The Scent of Rain and Lightning sparks across the Kansas plains with storm flashes as Jody Linder prepares to enter the world of professional work as an English teacher.
Jody has been sheltered by her grandparents and uncles. They have love and protected her since the night her world was blown apart by Billy Crosby. Billy was tried and convicted of the murder of Jody's father and sentenced to life in prison.
The burning question for Laurie is what happened to her mother the night her father was killed. Laurie Linder disappeared; her body was never recovered; she was never seen again. Throughout her childhood Jody has been drawn to Testament Rocks and collected artifacts from the soil and sand to discover a connection to her mother.
Old vague memories rise out of the past to haunt Jody when she learns that Billy Crosby will be released from prison and return home for a new trail that was arranged by his attorney son, Colin.
The cadence of the novel pounds like the thud of hail on a tin roof as Jody relives her childhood images and discovers a new direction for her heart that leaves her head spinning with shock before justice is served.
The Scent of Rain and Lightning is available at bookstores everywhere and visit with the prolific author at
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Karin Slaughter's Broken will be her next award winner. The complex story of depression, revenge, greed, disabilities, and hatred is told with the stunning brilliance of a master writer.
There is never any let-up in this fast-paced police procedural. A young woman is murdered and the young man who is arrested for her killing commits suicide in his cell.
Their deaths reunited some of Slaughter's most intriguing characters as Dr. Sara Linton calls the state crime division to report Detective Lena Adams for negligence and lying about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Dr. Linton believes this previous behavior of evading responsibility caused the death of her husband and she wants Lena punished.
Special Agent Will Trent is sent to the scene to investigate and is thwarted at every turn by the members of the force to prevent him from doing his job. He must turn both to Sara and Lena for help after the boy friend of the murdered girl is also killed by the same methods. The conflict between the two woman is detrimental to his efforts to complete his investigation, but for both women an internal devotion to their respective jobs finally supersedes their hatred of each other.
Slaughter exhibits a fantastic talent for descriptive prose that will have you putting the book in your lap to savor her images. Her strength shows in the small ordinary experiences of life and vividness of the surroundings. She handles the raw scenes of death with the crisp flat style of a police report, never broaching sensationalism.
I had the privilege of sharing a head table at a writing workshop with Karin. One of the things we discussed was, "Why are women never taught to protect and respect themselves as children?" It is a question I've not forgotten and for which I still seek an answer.
Broken will be available in bookstores everywhere in late June, until then you can visit with Karin, who loves to get letters at
Nash Black, author of Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Devil's Island

Carl Brookins continues the story of Mary Whitney and her husband, Michael Tanner in Devils Island.
Brookins gives the reader an inside view of a strong relationship between two unique individuals through his complex suspense/thriller. There is never any question in the story line as to who is the bad guy. He is Mary's ex-husband. Edwin Tobias can not endure to let Mary live after escaping from his domination.
Michael Tanner and Edmund Hochstein (director of Whitney Enterprises) do their best to protect Mary from the danger they foresee on the horizon, but how far does one go without becoming the same oppressive menace Mary escaped from when she left Tobias?
A planned vacation to Lake Superior divides Michael and Mary. He has obligations on the West Coast, which can not be ignored or postponed. Mary travels to Minnesota alone for a few days of sailing and research to trace her family's early logging interest on the islands of the lake.
Mary enjoys her time on the lake with the aid of a young woman who is a novice sailor. Then this fast paced story churns the turbulent waters even faster as Tobias plays cat-and-mouse games before moving in for the kill.
The conclusion is one of the most exciting and illuminating I have read in a long time. You must read the story for yourself to understand the gallant respect Michael has for Mary despite his own fears for her safety.
It is a gripping tale from start to finish. Put it on your must read list.
Devils Island is available on-line and from
Carl is a professional reviewer, a member of the Minnesota Crime Wave, and you can visit with him at
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Talking About Detective Fiction

Master crime fiction writer P. D. James explores the development of the detective, both amateur and professional in Talking About Detective Fiction. She does not slight the American authors who contributed so much to development of this genre, but she also uses many British examples.

Dame James gives the reader valuable insight into the famous characters of yesteryear who have become household names and continue to delight readers of the genre. She shows us her way of looking at Lord Peter and Miss Marple, while introducing fans to other more obscure characters to expand our appreciation of the field. My "to be read" list has expanded by a page.
If you are an author taking the time to read a professional book during any given year is mandatory for keeping abreast of your field. For crime fiction authors a good history of the genre that is not heavily weighed toward an academic style is provided by Talking About Detective Fiction. She does not try to lift the genre into the realms of literature or degraded it as unworthy of regard, which is a refreshing attitude to this reader.
If you are a mystery fans, Dame James gives you some hints as to why you keep reading and asking for more from your favorite author.
Nash Black, author of Sins of the Fathers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saintly Remains

Tony Perona has stepped over to the dark side of the human experience with the forthcoming addition to his Nick Bertetto mystery series, Saintly Remains.

A shooting spree at the high school of Nick's wife, Joan leaves five students and the killers dead. The small town of Jasper, IN in shock and parents of all the young victims devastated.

Nick, Joan, and their daughter, Stephanie return for a well-earned vacation six months after the tragedy, but a residue of confusion and loss clouds their home coming.
When Joan's mother opens the back door for her cat Mr. Jangles, the horror is overwhelming; someone has skinned the pet and left him to die. While Nick and his mother-in-law are in the vet's office they learn of another mutilated pet in the neighborhood plus several dogs and cats who have disappeared. Nick vows he will find the vicious person who is practicing these vicious acts of cruelty on helpless victims. His search for the truth uncovers rumors of the existence of a Satanic cult, which emerged during the police investigation of the killings at the high school.
The reporter in Nick shouts "no" to coincidence.
The next blow to the close knit community comes when the body of the young girl who said she believed in Jesus before she died in the massacre is stolen from her grave. The grave has become a point of reverence as friends and believers leave tokens of faith, while her parents cope with pickers who are stealing their garbage to recover a possession of Keri's to sell on the illicit trade in saintly artifacts.
Are the seemingly random acts connected? The reporter in Nick again shouts "no" to coincidence.
Page after page will slip by as your eyes race across the type to follow the adroit narrative of Tony Perona as he covers a dark subject. Nick, his family, and friends dig deep to write the true story behind the deaths of Jasper's young citizens.
Who hides in the dark and commits acts of revenge against the unsuspecting? Who will kill and kill again to protect a deadly secret?
If you haven't met Nick Bertetto, a father who works from home and cares for his daughter while Joan follows her career try Saintly Remains, which will be available on March 17th on Then you will want to go back and enjoy Second Advent and Angels Whisper for a good visit with a nice guy who gets a little help from above.
Visit with Tony at to learn more about Nick Bertetto.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Deadly Dues

Have you paid your dues? Lulu Malone's are paid-in-full, but that doesn't exempt her from greater hassles with Stan Pope, her repulsive union representative.

Linda Kupecek's new character in the annals of crime fiction will steal your heart from the first page of Deadly Dues. Clear space on your shelf for Lulu and her friends to reside when you want a break from the heavy noir/thrillers that are abundant in the current crime fiction scene.
This is a delightful caper filled with sly allusions to our current culture, which will have you laughing out loud. It is a world of label fashion where no actress can step out her door unless she is well shod, even if her shoes are bargain purchases from thrift and consignment shops. Lulu's condo (bought when she was in the money) is furnished in the same style, which now in her reduced circumstances she is slowly selling off to meet the cost of living until the next break comes along.
Lulu and four friends receive a call from Stan to meet to resolve their differences. When they reach his HAMS (Honourable Association of Minstrels and Singers) office, someone has been there before them and ended their controversy by knifing Stan in the back. Where he had planted his own invectives in theirs. This crew does not want to acknowledge they were near that office as they each had a motive for eliminating the decreased. They exit the scene, flee, and reconvene at Murphy's to plot their next next course of action.
For Lulu it gets worse as thugs and killers invade her home demanding "a key," but taking her dog. Bodies appear in Lulu's home, but Stan's body disappears. Who killed him and removed his body? Who is master minding the attacks on Lulu?
A girl can't even shop the mall without getting mauled.
Lulu Malone and her quirky actor friends are an excellent group to fill the shoes of the late Charlotte MacLeod and Donald E. Westlake in the realm of humorous mystery fiction. Lulu's next adventure is Trashing the Trailer.
Linda Kupecek is a Canadian author, a retired actress with a slew of credits to her name and she knows the world of which she writes.
Her books: Deadly Dues, Rebel Women: Achievements Beyond the Ordinary, Rebel Cook; Entertaining Advice for the Clueless and Fiction and Folly for the Festive Season are available on Amazon.
Deadly Dues is worth the purchase price of $9.95, it will last longer than Lulu's job at McDonald's.
Nash Black, author of Sins of the Fathers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Death Intervenes

L.C. Hayden's third addition to the Harry Bronson series, When Death Intervenes will keep you turning the pages to the satisfying conclusion.

Harry Bronson is a retired Dallas police detective who has promised his wife, Carol a real vacation vie their motor home. A campground is South Dakota leads to his downfall when he senses a fellow traveler is in deep trouble.

Linda Randig is running to protect her estranged son and her 18 month-old grandson from a ruthless killer who holds their lives in his hands unless she follows his instructions. Photographs of the accidents that killed her parents and husband's deaths were left at her home so Linda would know they were murdered. Harry is unable to let the desperate mother travel alone after finding tracking and listening devices in her coach.
Benjamin Carrier has a long history with the Dallas police department; he tricks Harry into sending his fingerprints to Mike Hoover. The former partners learn a vicious killer escaped death and is now leaving a trail of violence for them to follow in his brutal game.
The pace is swift as the body count builds to a frenzy, while Harry and Mike delve through a mass of lies and deception to discover Carrier's link to a multi-million dollar scam and blackmail. The threads of the plot wrap together to support a distinctive police procedural.
Look for When Death Intervenes by L.C. Hayden at bookstores everywhere and visit with the award nominated author at
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Bone Chamber

Multiple award winning Robin Burcell's The Bone Chamber is a first class bone chilling romantic/suspense/thriller, which will keep you glue to each page.

Sydney Fitzpatrick is a forensic artist who is pulled from her last session at the FBI Academy and asked to take on a new assignment on the eve of a well deserved vacation with her family in San Francisco. Sydney doesn't want to job or the aggravation, but a friend invites her to dinner and persuades her to take the assignment.

It isn't until Sydney is finishing what seems to be a routine facial identification of a young women does Sydney learn her friend is dead. Dr. Natasha Gilbert was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. She is furious with Special Agent Zachary Griffin who kept the information from her. Who is Agent Griffin who can enter the portals of Quantico with impunity and change lives at his command?

Sydney is not without resources and investigates Agent Griffin, whose identity and employment circumstances become stranger and stranger. Fueled by her anger with him and her grief for Tasha, Sydney follows him to Rome and a case that is definitely not a vacation.

The sparks fly between Sydney and Zack, but neither has the time or inclination to indulge in personal affairs while they are fighting to stay alive. The twists and turns of plot and relationships will propell the reader the tombs of ancient slaves to the final page.

The Bone Chamber is title I acquired through Amazon's Vine Review program, which I consider worthy of a broader review. It is available in bookstores and online everywhere. Comments are welcome at

This review is in compliance with FTC rules of September, 09.

Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.