Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Blitz: Justice Gone by N.Lombardi Jr.

About the Book:
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 5

“I don’t need to tell you how imperative it is to make contact with Donald.”

Tessa was behind her desk, addressing the three people in front of her: Ed with his long sad face; Casey, looking like a brow-beaten youth; and Penny, her angular features and square glasses contradicting her elfish pixie hair.

Tessa’s eyes were glistening. That was how Casey knew she was emotionally distressed. She was a very emotional woman, one of the first things about her that he had grasped from the start, perhaps too emotional. But in his book, that was more of a positive attribute of her character, rather than a flaw.

He knew as well as she did that Donald Darfield was one of the worse damaged of the vets, and now, having just reached the critical point where he was on the verge of confronting his demons, was extremely fragile.

Tessa leaned forward. “We’ve each tried on our cell phones, multiple times, but he won’t answer, so we’ll need the help of others…the ones in his group, those closest to him. We need to know where he would go. Since he basically lives here in our shelter, I wouldn’t waste time in homeless shelters. It’s been twenty-four hours now, and he may have gone out of town. We need to know where.”

“Yes, we’ll get on it,” Casey assured her.

“As for me, I need to see Jay’s father. His landline’s been disconnected. Anyone know the cell phone number…did Jay leave it with us?”

The despondent shaking of heads and shoulder shrugs gave the answer. Abruptly, Penny popped her head up. “Oh wait. How about his aunt?”

“Marshal’s sister? Good. Get it to me.”

Penny jumped up and exited.

“I’m taking a taxi as soon as we’re through here, which I think is right now.”

When Ed and Casey departed, Tessa called one of New York’s many private taxi services. A cab picked her up within fifteen minutes and she was on her way, across the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey. When they got off the turnpike, Tessa gave meticulous directions to the home of Colonel Marshal Felson, Retired.

There were several vans and a small crowd of people outside the chain link fence enclosing the house. Now was the time for Tessa to try the number Penny gave her, counting on the possibility that Aunt Mae was in the house shielding her brother from the press.

A woman, by the gravelly nature of her voice an elderly woman, picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Hi, is this Aunt Mae?” Tessa did not give her time to reply. “This is Dr. Thorpe; I was Jay’s counselor, and I need to speak to the Colonel. If you’re in the house, come to the gate and let me in.”
A brief silence. Apparently she was cupping the phone while conferring with Jay’s father. “Okay, I’m coming to let you in.”

When Aunt Mae, capped with a helmet of gray hair and dressed in a black frock with a discordant flower print, came out to let her in, the predictable surging of reporters commenced and was only quelled after Tessa promised them a comment on her way out. In the company of the elderly woman, she entered the two-story colonial and came face to face with Marshal Felson, standing in the sitting room with a drink of clear liquid in his hand. At six feet and three inches, broad at the shoulders, he imparted a formidable presence despite his weathered face. Silver hair chopped into the nubs of a buzz cut, bushy gray eyebrows, piercing light-blue eyes, and a prominently square jaw demanded accountability, despite his general appearance of an aged vet.

“Hello, Dr. Thorpe. Would you like a drink?"

"Yes, thank you. I’ll have whatever you’re having.”

The Colonel retreated to the kitchen in the back. His long- sleeved sky-blue shirt and pressed khakis displayed a subtle formality suggesting a relaxed respectability.

Aunt Mae, clasping her hands in front of her, fidgeted fretfully. “Sit down, dear,” she told Tessa, politeness always an expedient way to dispel the awkwardness.

Tessa took a seat on the damask sofa just as Felson arrived with her drink. She took a sip, surprised at the sweetness.

He looked at her with a sardonic smile. “Seven-Up. The hard stuff. None of that diet shit in this house.” His decorous mannerisms and strained joviality struggled to conceal the pent- up emotional turmoil brewing inside him.

She accepted the glass, saying, “Doesn’t surprise me. Very cool-headed of you to avoid alcohol. I can also sense you’re not grieving yet.”

“Not yet. You know, Betsy’s death took me harder. I mean with Jay going off to war, well…I know the risks of war. But I never expected this.” He sat down in the matching chair opposite her, looking up at the ceiling. “I’m still trying to sort this out.”

Tessa remained quiet, ready to listen.

“But you’re a clever gal, tell me what I’m feeling?"


“Damn right!” He leaned forward from the depths of his armchair. “You know where I went today?” Felson did not wait for any reply. “I went to identify my son’s body. And the irony of it was…I really couldn’t…identify him. His face was so swollen, his eyes were just slits…his nose looked like a goddamned mushroom…his lips a bloody puffed up mess.” He took a gulp from his glass, then smacked his lips. “So…come to console me, Doctor?”

Tessa leaned forward, putting her glass on the coffee table. “Look, Colonel, I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on these matters—”

“No indeed! Your way is not my way. You just don’t understand. Marines are not ordinary people; they’re special. Going off to war, seeing terrible things, doing terrible things, that’s the goddamned job. If you can’t take it, join the goddamned Air Force, don’t become a Marine!” He took another slurp from his glass. “Going to see a doctor because you got bad memories is a sign of weakness, plain and simple.”

“And of course, you never have? Seen a doctor, I mean.”

“Damn right! So I guess your visit really isn’t necessary, is it?”

Tessa ignored his snotty rhetorical question. “Colonel, have you any idea at all of the whereabouts of Donny Darfield? He’s missing.”

“Donny, Jay’s friend, the colored boy?”

“African-American. Man.”

“Yes, of course…guess I’m old-fashioned. No, haven’t heard from him. Is that the only reason you came here?”

“No. What I really came to see you about is unity. We should bury the hatchet and work together.”

“Work together for what purpose? You know, I had to disconnect my phone…never mind the press…the Homeless Coalition, the VFW, Vietnam Veterans against the War, Iraqi Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, you name it…my son is dead and everyone sees this as a political opportunity. So, tell me, what do you, Dr. Tessa Thorpe, want us to work together on, huh, what, promotion of your clinic?”

“No.” She paused, being purposely dramatic. “Justice.”

He looked at her with his stone-blue eyes, eventually slackening enough to digest her words. He put down the 7-Up he had been holding in his hand for fifteen minutes. “Ah, now we’re talking. So, what kind of justice do you expect my son to get?”

“None at all. If we sit idle.”

He leaned forward and whispered contemptuously. “You know they’re going to try and get out of this?”

Tessa, despite the gravity of the topic, leaned over the coffee table to meet his face and smiled maliciously. “Damn right,” she told him, parroting the colonel’s favorite response. “But we’re not going to let them.”

Felson grinned back. “It’s a deal. Mae’s got your number on her cell phone. I’ll call you. As for now, I’m going to take a valium, my favorite nighttime snack these days, and then hit the sack. I’ll deal with life tomorrow.”

On her way to the taxi, Tessa gave out her promised comment to the journalists, which was that she and Marshal Felson would await the town of Bruntfield’s response before making any comment.

About the Author:
N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Follow the Author:
Website * Goodreads * Amazon

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cover Reveal: The Heart of You (A Geeks of Caltech Novel) by Aarti V Raman

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Heart of You 
(A Geeks of Caltech Novel)
by Aarti V Raman

Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.

What he doesn't know how to do is fight for himself...

... Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.

Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.

She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.

When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily - he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend - it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.

And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.

But it isn't just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It's her adorable son, Bret.

Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.

Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.

But, survival no longer seems enough.

Can they take a chance on each other, on their hearts... On a love that braves The Heart of You?

The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!


About the Author:
Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.
She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.
She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.
Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances - all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.
She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook Page * Twitter * Instagram

This Cover Reveal is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Monday, February 11, 2019

Book Blitz: The Retreat by Mari.Reiza

~ Book Blitz ~
The Retreat by Mari.Reiza
 Coming of Age / Psychological Thriller 

About the Book:

An uncomfortable but fascinating ripening journey.
Ahmed has abandoned her. Nadia is gone the way Isabelle did before, her two fallen warriors. But Marie can still hear His voice clearly.
A deep call for justice takes hold in an impressionable teenage girl from a recently broken family during a religious retreat; what happens next will mark her life for years to come.
the Retreat is a story of men playing God, of hurt that doesn’t find its way out.

Find it on Amazon

Read an Extract:

‘So, mass girl,’ Hélène is calling Marie. ‘We’re planning a night escape from this hell in a couple of days, are you in?’
‘Won’t we get into trouble?’
‘Rules are there to be broken,’ Hélène smiles, ‘at least by me!’ And how she bets other people are breaking them too right then, convinced as Hélène is that Berger employs himself, as they speak, probably more playing (with his willy) than praying.
‘I’m in enough trouble as things are.’ Marie is thinking about her skiing, her skirt and Prudence’s unwelcome mulishness to mend her, as if she had much wrong in her.
‘What do you mean?’ Martine can’t wait to know what trouble Marie is in.
‘We need to get out of here, into the real world,’ Hélène has a dream to sell, ‘down the bar. Buy some drinks. Dance to some music. Meet some boys...’ Martine makes a screaming face.
‘Things any normal girl is expected to do,’ she says reassuringly. ‘It’s not like we will be killing souls.’
Marie knows Hélène is right, but it’s also Marie’s belief, based on her little experience, that Hélène, her sister, Martine, are all there for a reason, that this retreat is full of girls who are either troubled or need attention because they are trouble. Can she trust them?
‘So, what happened at the caravan last year?’ she finally asks. ‘Could it happen again?’
Marie’s friends freeze.
‘The caravan was different.’ Hélène’s face turns sombre. She hadn’t expected the question. ‘We should have never been there.’
‘Fucking bastard,’ adds Martine.
‘What happened?’
‘We were a bit drunk,’ Hélène hesitates, ‘we were silly, but we should never have been put in that situation in the first place.’
‘The men were nice at first but then they were terrifying.’ Martine’s side of the story.
‘Isabelle had only acted in good faith, you know how she is,’ Hélène’s voice is down to a pensive whisper, ‘she’s such a do-
gooder at heart, nothing like them,’ she points to the door, ‘but a good-meaning person.’
‘And she’s stupid!’
‘Shut up, Martine.’
‘I mean, what world does she live in!’ Martine doesn’t shut up.
‘One where she only sees good in people.’
‘What did she do?’ Marie doesn’t understand. She didn’t expect Isabelle to be the culprit in this story.
‘She insisted on leaving the caravan,’ says Hélène, finally spilling the beans. ‘She had been talking to one of the young immigrants through a window, for over an hour, in Spanish, and claimed he had opened his soul to her and he needed her love, that we could not treat them like animals because they had gone through enough already.’
‘And then?’
‘These men had not seen women in months.’ Hélène sighs. ‘We were young, drunk. Probably looked like sluts to them.’
‘When Isabelle opened the door, it had been a trick,’ says Martine. ‘They all tried to push in and we managed to close it again but they took Isabelle.’
‘And you did not call anybody?’
‘How? By the Holy Spirit? We had been abandoned there. All we had been given was a shitty walkie-talkie the nuns never answered. And Isabelle on the other side of the door was not alarmed,’ insists Hélène, ‘not in the slightest, she insisted she would talk to them and disappeared down the camp, into another caravan.’
‘And you didn’t call anyone?’ Marie can’t believe they deserted their friend.

If the book interests you, you can request for a REVIEW COPY in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:
Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She has worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London. She studied at Oxford University and lives off Portobello Road with her husband and child.

Find Mari at:
Twitter * Instagram

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Book Blitz: Prisoner of Yakutsk by Shreyas Bhave

~ Book Blitz ~
Prisoner of Yakutsk by Shreyas Bhave
The Subhash Chandra Bose Mystery
Final Chapter 
8th to 10th February

About the Author:
What exactly happened to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose?

• In 1945, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Leader of the INA leaves Singapore to take a series of flights, and dies in Taiwan after his plane crashes near Formosa. Or so it seems.
• In 1947, Mr Mrs Singh, an illustrious army couple, both veterans of the Indian National Army, are last seen in Delhi, and then never again.
• In 1949, the plane carrying the first deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, mysteriously disappears for seven hours.
• In 2012, following the fall of WikiLeaks, a female hacker of the notorious X group is on the run as most wanted by everyone from Interpol to the KGB
• In 2015, the millionaire CEO of a Fortune 500 company suddenly resigns and vanishes from the public eye.

A set of seemingly unconnected disappearances emerge to be woven into a single fabric as the answer to one leads to another… In this riveting narrative, bestselling author Shreyas Bhave, takes the reader on a thrilling adventure to solve the greatest mystery the Indian nation has known. 

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt:

Colonel Hardy looked at his wristwatch. It was almost time for the Court Marshall to begin. But then there were so many trials squeezed into one day that it was natural for his colleagues to be late for this one. He decided to start without them. “So, born in Lahore, eh?” he asked, eyes still on the files.
             “Born and brought up there, Sir,” Major Singh replied. “I graduated from Government College, Lahore, and then sat for the Military Entrance Exam, passing which, I went to the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Doon.” Major Singh’s English was impeccable.
             “Which year batch was it? “Hardy asked, impressed by the Punjabi’s resume. He himself was an alumnus of the same institute, though a few years junior to this man.
              “Good.” Colonel Hardy gnawed his lower lip. So the Punjabi Major was his senior by almost half a decade.
              “I was commissioned as Second Lieutenant on the Special List in early 1939,” Singh said, standing straight in the dock. “2nd Battalion. The Highlanders!”
             “Secunderabad, right?”
              “Indeed. A boring year until we were sent to the Far East to hold a garrison in a quaint little British port.”
               Colonel Hardy read further. “Singapore, huh.”
               “The war was soon to come.”
                Hardy smiled as he went through the war records in the files. “I see one promotion after another. In less than six months, you were Acting Captain.”
               “I served with distinction. Your army promotes on talent alone; I’ll give you that.” Singh bowed.
                Colonel Hardy closed the files and looked up. “Japanese prisoner-of-war in Malaya, 1941 – what happened?”
                “I was captured in Malaya.” Singh twisted his thick mustache. “I had taken my regiment on a midnight raid on the Japanese docking station on the island of Java.”

Book Trailer:

About the Author:
Shreyas Bhave's love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India, which has been taken up as ‘The Asoka Trilogy’ by Leadstart Publishing. The first part of the trilogy called ‘The Prince of Patliputra’ has been published in January 2016 and the second part called 'Storm From Taxila' was published in 2018.

Connect with the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Author Interview with Rubayata Umeed, author of Zero Dream Football Alfresco

Readers Muse welcomes Rubayata Umeed who is answering a few questions for us!

Hello Rubayata! 

  1. Tell us more about your journey as an author. About your first book?

I started writing when I had no theme for poems. Before my first novel, I wrote poems occasionally but later I shifted to story writing. ‘Wizards X Beasts’ was already in my mind but writing on it came later, when I tried to find a specific idea for my story. Talking about inspiration, two Japanese anime shows, ‘Air’ and ‘Dance with Devils’, helped a lot. When my mother liked my story, she thought of publishing it. I accepted the idea and my first book came into existence.

  1. How did the idea of Zero Dream Football Alfresco come to you?

The idea came accidentally. I constantly keep thinking about stories and while thinking this occurred suddenly and I started writing on it.

  1. Do you do anything special while writing?

Yes. While writing, I listen to music and imagine the story scenes.

  1. Who is your biggest inspiration in the literary world?

Not anyone yet, because I have not read many books. Due to school work, I could not read much else. But after writing my first book, I started reading more books for inspiration and to expand my vocabulary.

  1. What would you say is your supporting factor in your journey?

My mother, cousins and rest of my family I would say are supporting factors in my journey.

  1. As a published author, what is one advice you’d give to other youngsters who want to write?

I want to say, don’t think about what others say about your writings, listen to yourself and move on.

  1. Other than writing, what else fascinates you?

I like drawing, reading something I like, and watching movies, and anime shows. Also I like solving math problems, reading political science and geography, and watching news.

  1. Could you tell us a bit more about your upcoming projects?

I have a lot of ideas in mind, and I am writing on a few. Will tell more once a book is finalised and written fully.

  1. Is there something special that fascinates you and urges you to write about it?

To keep my themes and ideas in order specially fascinates me to write. Getting new ideas and keeping them organised is a wonderful feeling.

  1. How has your hometown / State helped you in writing?
The natural beauty and the serenity of the ambience of my hometown has helped me in writing. It keeps me calm and fills me with wonder when I am busy creating stories.

Thank you, Rubayata for patiently answering the questions from my end! Here’s wishing you more and more success in your current and upcoming ventures. Best wishes!

About The Author

Rubayata Umeed is a 15 year old child author from the valleys of Kashmir. She has already written and published her first full length fantasy novel, Wizards X Beasts a few months ago, and recently published her second novel, Zero Dream Football Alfresco – a tale of passion and following one’s dreams, which is well on its way to breaking records.

You can know more about her from here.

Purchase links: