Thursday, December 11, 2014

Interview: Allen Wyler Author of Deadly Odds


Interview with Author Allen Wyler 
Website
Author of Deadly Odds

Q:  How did you come up with the idea of the story?
A:  The first novel I ever wrote was based on this story’s kernel: a geek who develops a strategy to successfully gamble draws unwanted attention to himself. But that novel turned out to be disaster and was rejected by every agent I queried. However, the idea of being able to beat the odds remained intriguing yet elusive. Then one day I read about Nate Silver and his uncannily ability to accurately predict various phenomenon based on statistics. After all, this was what the 2011 Brad Pitt movie Moneyball was based on. Once I read about Silver, I knew the plot was much more believable.
        
Q: What influenced you to create a computer hacker protagonist than the usual medical professional?
A: There are several reasons. First, I don’t like being pigeonholed into the subgenre of “medical thriller.” In addition, it’s unbelievable to believe that a healthcare professional would have the computer expertise—or time—to pull off something like Arnold Gold does. More importantly, in doing my research for this story, I became fascinated with the Darknet and Internet security. I really wanted a way to weave this interesting information into a compelling story. So... a likeable computer hacker seemed to be a much more interesting character to develop than another neurosurgeon. I love Arnold Gold’s character and a really glad I settled on him.

Q:  Why Vegas? Have you always wanted to write a book with Sin City as the setting?
A:  When first developing the story I didn’t have any city in mind other than I knew Arnold lived in Seattle. (I love the city as a backdrop to stories.) I also knew Arnold wanted to get laid but was so uneasy about seeing an “escort” for this purpose, that it made sense for him to go someplace far from home where he’d be unlikely to run into anyone he knew. Given the reputation of Sin City, it just felt right to send him there.

Q:  Do you plan on writing more thriller books outside of the medical thriller genre?
A:  You bet. I like exploring topics dealing with computers and the Internet. I’m especially intrigued with hacking and the Darknet. My next book, Cutter’s Trial, however, is not a thriller and lands me right back in the medical arena because it explores the issue of physician assisted suicide. Having been involved in a couple start-up companies, I’m also toying with using that subject as a basis for a book, but I have nothing in development along these lines at the present time. We’ll see what happens.

Q:  Would you ever consider a sequel to this book?
A:  Glad you asked the question. Both Arnold Gold and Palmer Davidson are such wonderfully rich characters that Robert Astle (my agent) and I agree they are well-suited for a sequel. At the moment I’m busy writing Deadly Odds 2.0.

Q:  Do you think this book could be a movie? Who could you picture playing Arnold?
A:  Of all my prior thrillers, I think this one has the most cinematic potential. I’m lousy at casting, so if it were ever made into a movie (my wildest dream), I’d leave that choice to the producers.

About the Author
Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, as well as the Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
Allen has since retired and devoted himself to fiction writing full time, and has written five novels, including his latest, Deadly Odds, which is his first in the techno-thriller genre.

About the Book 
Twenty-three year old Arnold Gold is a local computer genius in his native Seattle, described as a “part-time hacker and full-time virgin” by his friends. When the awkward young shut-in decides to take matters in his own hands, and venture to Vegas “to get lucky,” little does he know that his hacking skill will make him  a bull’s-eye target for terrorists and the FBI.

A major terrorist group wants Arnold’s “Dark Net Hacking” system to help hatch their latest plot, and they’ll stop at nothing to claim it—even killing Arnold’s friends. Now, with murderous terrorists, the FBI, and the local cops on his tail, Arnold finds himself trapped in a high-stakes game with the odds of survival slim to none. It will take every last bit of his genius intellect and legendary hacking skill to stay one step ahead of the deadly game, and foil the plot that will turn Sin City into the scene of the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11.


Written in Allen Wyler’s break neck style and attention to expert detail, Deadly Odds is as terrifyingly plausible as it is darkly humorous and enjoyable. The riveting story of a young man who lives life through his computer and discovers its dark side is sure to win him legions of new fans. Filled with suspenseful twists and enough technological detail to keep both techno-thriller and classic suspense fans on the edge of their seats, Deadly Odds is the ultimate thrill ride for the emerging tech-savvy generation.


Purchase Links
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1xU0TeM
B&N: http://bit.ly/1sZrIy1
Apple:  http://bit.ly/1xU0YiA
Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1vo7n6Y

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Author: Lindsay Cummings
Title: The Murder Complex
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Publication: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Publisher


Synopsis
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

Meadow lives in a world where diseases have been cured and death by natural causes completely eliminated. Each human has a nannite that controls sickness but because no one dies naturally, there is over-population and some people are programmed to kill to keep the number down. Meadow lives with her father, brother and little sister on a boat and it's coming her turn to take the test to figure out where she will be placed. If she gets a job it will bring more food rations to her family. Her mother died when she was younger and she really doesn't know much about her but a secret will be uncovered when things become dangerous for Meadow. Zephyr dreams of a girl with silver hair and one day he meets her, Meadow, who isn't supposed to have contact with him but an accident happens and their fates become intertwined. Meadow's trained all her life by a father that seems cruel but wants her to survive but Zephyr's programmed to kill and she has become his next target. Desperate to find a way to keep her safe, their journey leads them to a resistance group determined to end the Murder Complex. Overall, I liked this book and the characters. The story telling is fast paced and loaded with action-packed gory sequences. Meadow can come across as detached and unfeeling but her upbringing could be the cause of that plus she can kick some major butt. She's a fierce character with the potential to grow more in the next book, which I want to read because that twist at the end was completely unexpected. I think anyone looking for a quick thrill ride may enjoy this one. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Author: Robin LaFevers
Title: Mortal Heart
Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Publication: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss


Synopsis
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has.

But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country—and her heart—to safety.

Annith doesn't understand why her sisters out on missions before her but she's the one that keeps getting looked over. She discovers that her fate is one destined for isolation and to prove the Abbess wrong she ventures out on her own to seek her truth. The first night out she comes across the leader of the wild hunt and her agrees to let her travel with them for her safety until she reaches her destination. However, she befriends the leader and even begins to fall for him but she's still determined to get to her sisters and figure out what the Abbess is up to. It does seems that the hunt is stalling her and she has to plan another escape.  

I enjoyed reading Annith's story, she's just as fierce as her sisters and she comes face to face with death in an unexpected way. Her journey also leads to uncovering secrets about her heritage and why she hasn't been called to serve her father St. Mortain. I was so excited to finally read her story and I loved it. I think everything that transpires is so fitting for her character and her adventure.  Overall, this is a great ending to a wonderful trilogy. The characters, story and world building all come together perfectly in this historical setting. Great read.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway: Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1) by @martinaaboone @simonteen


Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1)
by Martina Boone 
Release Date: 10/28/14
ISBN: 1481411225
Simon Pulse, Simon Teen
448 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.


Buy Links:
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Compulsion is available anywhere books are sold. Signed copies are available from One More Page Books. You can also order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins.


Teaser Fourteen
“Why do you suppose my mother was afraid of Wyatt?” Barrie rolled and
rested on one elbow to look at Eight.
“Apart from what we saw tonight, you mean?”
“I assumed it was about the feud. Because she was a Watson and she’d run off
with Wyatt’s brother. But it felt more personal.” “Feuds are always personal. That’s what makes it hard to break the cycle.
Everyone lives locked inside their own anger until someone is finally brave
enough to step outside themselves to see the view from the other side. It’s why I
need to get away from this place.”
“But you’re not stepping out for a different view.” Barrie tipped her face up to
the stars so she wouldn’t have to look at him. “You’re stepping out to run away.”
He was silent, and she was suddenly afraid. Afraid that she had said too much,
presumed too much, hoped too much. She rolled her capris as high as they would
go, then ran toward the water. She didn’t look back until she was knee deep,
which was as far as she dared. He was right behind her, his face gleaming in the
kind of light that turned beautiful boys into gods. He caught her, and held her, his
skin so warm and alive, she couldn’t help but melt.
“Why did you run?” he asked.
“To see if you’d come after me.”
“It scares me how willing I am to run after you. We’re both doing too much
running.”
“So kiss me again.”
Her hands crept around his neck, tangling in his hair to keep him closer, even
though she knew that beautiful boys with expiration dates couldn’t be held, only
borrowed for a time. 



About the Author
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

She’s the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Author Links:
Website | Blog | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tour Excerpt: Rebels By Accident by Patricia Dunn


About the Book
A fresh and authentic coming-of-age story set during the early days of the Arab Spring.

All Mariam wanted was a vacation. What she got was a revolution...

It’s tough fitting in, especially when you have super-traditional Muslim parents and are the only Egyptian at your high school. So when Mariam and her best friend and fellow outcast, Deanna, get arrested after an ill-fated night of partying, she knows that she is in big trouble.

Convinced they need more discipline, their parents pack Mariam and Deanna off to Cairo to stay with Mariam’s grandmother, her sittu. But Mariam’s strict sittu and the country of her heritage are nothing like she imagined, challenging everything Mariam used to believe.

When a girl named Asmaa calls on the people of Egypt to protest against their president, Mariam and Deanna find themselves in the middle of a revolution, running from teargas, dodging danger in the streets of Cairo, and falling in love for the first time. As Mariam struggles to reconcile her rich Egyptian heritage with her American identity, she finds that revolution is everywhere, including within herself.  

Rebels By Accident Excerpt
Sixteen (well, almost sixteen), and I’m behind bars. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. It’s not as if I’m locked up with serial killers or slashers, but I’m in a cell. Deanna’s with me, along with about thirty other underage girls who were also at the party and didn’t run away in time or convince the police to let them go.

As we piled into squad cars, I watched these girls (and even a few guys) put on all the moves—-crying, flirting, screaming, fainting, even begging—-to get out of the arrest, but none of it worked.

I have to say Deanna gave it her best. Not being able to crack a smile really worked to her advantage when the officer in charge said to her that he was glad someone was taking the situation seriously. She wasn’t kidding when she said she was a great litigator like her mom. When the cop found me hiding in the bathtub with the shower curtain drawn (could I have picked a more obvious place?) and dragged me downstairs with the rest of the crowd, there was Deanna, telling the police we shouldn’t be responsible for the actions of some stupid guys who brought beer to the party. She almost had one cop convinced to let us go when Karen, the bane of my existence, stepped forward and threw up on his shoes.

All through elementary school and middle school, Karen and her drone Beth talked trash about me and my family. Their favorite insults were that my dad was in Al--Qaeda and my mom was only one of his many wives.

At least she’s not in our cell. They put her, and all the other vomiting kids, in a separate cell—-with buckets.

Still, it stinks in here. I stick my nose between the bars, trying to breathe air that doesn’t smell like puke, beer, or raw fish. Who has an open sushi bar at a high school party? Then again, what would I know about parties? This is the only party I’ve been to since first grade.

“Come on, Mar. It’s not that bad.” Deanna pushes against my shoulder. I don’t budge. I don’t say anything.

“Funny how we started the night trying to break into the party, and now we just want to get out.” Deanna stands closer to me, but I can’t even look at her. If I do, I’ll start to cry. And I’m already the biggest freak at school.

“Look, I know you’re flipping out here, but everything will be okay.”

“Are you kidding me?” I turn to her and lower my voice. “I’m in jail. Do you know how happy this is going to make my parents?”

“Happy?”

“Now they can feel totally justified when they never let me leave our apartment again.”

“Relax.”

Relax? We’ve just been arrested! We are in a holding cell with girls who have picked on me—-or, worse yet, ignored me—-since kindergarten. On top of that, my parents are going to kill me! Why did I let Deanna talk me into going to this party?

Okay, the truth: she didn’t have to talk me into anything. I wanted to go. I would’ve done anything, even lie to my parents, to crash a party. I knew I wasn’t invited and that I’d probably be kicked out as soon as someone saw me. But forcibly removed—-by the police? That I didn’t expect.

Still, I shouldn’t blame Deanna for helping me get what I wanted. But I do. It was an amazing night of music and dancing. Yes, I danced with three guys! And nobody made jokes about my dad being a towel--head or my uncle being Bin Laden…Tonight I was dancing and laughing. I wasn’t a freak or a weirdo; I was just another girl having fun.

“Actually,” I say, turning to Deanna, “thanks.”

“You’re thanking me?” she asks.

“Hey, I know I’m in big trouble but tonight was an adventure—-probably the last one I’ll have until I’m thirty.”

“Don’t mention it,” she says. Most people would say she has no expression on her face, but I can tell she’s smiling.


About the Author: Patricia Dunn has appeared in Salon.com, The Christian Science Monitor, the Village Voice, the Nation, LA Weekly, and others. With an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she also teaches, this Bronx-raised rebel and former resident of Cairo settled in Connecticut, with her husband, teenage son, and toddler dog. Visit Patricia at www.patriciadunnauthor.com. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rise from Darkness (Battle for Souls #1) by @ciaratknight @NereydaG1003

Rise from Darkness (Battle for Souls #1)
by Ciara Knight 
Release Date: 09/24/14
Defy the Dark Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
Alexander Lorre gives new meaning to the term "tormented teen." He's a newly fallen angel, which means he has the self-control of a three-year-old, the hormones of a teenager and the strength of an angel. When he rescues Gaby Moore from drowning, the chemistry between them is undeniable. With a local demon threatening Gaby's life, he struggles to find a balance between remaining close enough to protect her but distant enough to control his desires. 

As danger draws closer, Gaby uncovers shattering secrets that will lead to an ultimate choice. Will she fight alongside her father, an earthbound hunter killing fallen angels and demons, give into the demon blood coursing through her veins and join the demon world, or save the man she loves from both? The first two choices damn her, but the last one could destroy them all.

Buy Links:

Buy Links for books 2 & 3:


An idiot’s guide to detecting demons:
According to http://www.supernaturalwiki.com
Demons usually do not have bodies of their own, except in the case of Acheri Demons, who can "manifest" as human children. Other demons appear as a ‘black smoke’ in their incorporeal form. Their presence may leave traces of sulfur. They manifest by possessing humans, alive or recently deceased, via Demonic Possession.
When I agreed to write Alexander and Gaby’s story I decided to take a trip to Kemp, Florida for research. I was shocked at how isolated the town was compared to the normal beaches on the west coast. Then I quickly discovered why, it is filled with demons.
To help keep you safe, I thought I’d take some of my research and share it with you today.
1)      Demons smell like sulfur.

2)      All the demons in Kemp were obsessed with bonfires, despite the ninety plus degree temperatures.

3)      Blood orange flickers in their eyes when they get excited.

4)      Shadows tend to saunter around them in all directions instead of staying still.

5)      You’ll feel an inner pull deep inside your belly to join their group.

6)      All the demons are good looking. I’m talking broad-shouldered, bulging biceps, and chiseled faces.  Well, most of them are good looking there was one scrawny one, but he was more of a lower level demon.

7)      You are completely screwed if one brands you with their mark.

8)      Demons are extremely manipulative. They can convince you to do almost anything.

I hope my tips help keep you safe in a world full of demons. Of course, my best advice is for you to avoid Kemp, Florida.

About the Author
Ciara Knight began her writing career in 2008. She writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian books. Her first Young Adult Series, Battle for Souls, will be published by Turquoise Morning press, with her prequel novella, Love’s Long Shadow, releasing in October 2011. Followed by Rise From Darkness (Book I) in March 2012, Fall From Grace (Book II), and Ascension of Evil (Book III).

Also in 2012, her adult fantasy, Curse of Gremdon will be published by Crescent Moon Press.

When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She's backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Author Links:
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