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Before the captivating Evian Magi enters the picture and becomes a key member of The Mystery Alliance, Myth Vaga was a critical ally within their intriguing fold. He once lived amongst The Mystery Alliance in London, England. Yet, a serendipitous meeting and an ensuing romantic involvement with a bewitching beauty becomes the instrumental catalyst for his not surprising, but climactic betrayal.
Cold Coffee Book Review: I enjoyed reading The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga by Taffey Tawanna Champion first, so I found this prequel extremely interesting.
The Mystery Alliance is an elite rescue unit. The individuals in this unit are called Mystics. Their secret alliance rescues hostages that are held in extreme terrorists’ situation where other rescue attempts have failed or were impossible.
It all begins at a manor named “Dwellen” located in London, England. It is here where training in “Mystery Arts” begins and missions are born.
Get to know the “Mystics” who make up this anti-terrorist group and follow up this short prequel with The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse The Mystery Alliance: Prequel to Evian’s Saga by Taffey Tawanna Champion. It will be interesting to see where the author goes with this series. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on February 17, 2018.
Novel Writing Festival
Cold Coffee Press
A collection of tantalizing tales with more twists than braided hair:
Mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance.
Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot. Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
From the light-hearted to the darkest depths of the human psyche. They’re all there in this smorgasbord of short stories to keep you guessing at every turn. From the author of Milijun and Saving Paludis.
Buy ‘Silently in the Night’ and discover new worlds today!
Cold Coffee Book Review: For those of us who enjoyed The Twilight Zone, Silently in the Night by Clayton Graham is just as thrilling. This book is a collection of tales where ordinary men and women are confronted with the unexpected.
I love each story and will return to read them again. One story titled Watering Down, sticks out in my mind. It centers on the calicivirus, which can cause upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats. Probably because I am a cat lover, or because I have memories of the Dustin Hoffman 1995 film titled Outbreak, Watering Down made such an interesting and unexpected tale.
I suspect, everyone who reads Silently in the Night will come away with one or more favorites. If you enjoy science fiction and mysteries that make your heart stands still when aliens, artificial intelligence, death, the unexplained or unexpected interact with your reality; Silently in the Night should be top of your reading list.
I am fortunate to have read Author Clayton Graham’s science fiction debut novel titled Milijun. When aliens kidnap Laura’s child, it’s going to take a lot more than a mother’s love to get him back.
I am looking forward to his upcoming release of Saving Paludis where “Nobody thought Paludis would become a battlefield, nor Earth for that matter, but in the darkest of times a glimmer of light can shine, resolute spirits can triumph over brutality and the strangest of strangers can become friends.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse and encourage you to read Silently in the Night by Clayton Graham. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on February 7, 2018.
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, First Contact, Alien Invasion
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Cold Coffee Press
Peggy is shot full of holes. Sammy takes one near the neck and one in the thigh when two of his cases collide.
A waif, Zoë Hummerstein, hires Detective Sammy Shovel to solve a twenty-two-year-old murder that her father was accused of. Zoë made certain her makeup and clothes were chosen with care before she stepped into the private investigator's office. Sobbing, Zoë tells her story of a hit-and-run took that took place in San Francisco; not only was her father accused of murdering his wholesale liquor business competitor, but also having an affair with a woman from Oakland. Her father's young business partner, Tony Lucchesi had taken over the business and married a woman named Linda from the east coast; a New Jersey Mafioso's daughter.
Zoë knew the only way to solve the mystery was for Sammy to find the mistress.
Sammy feels the case seems straightforward and it will be simple enough to prove her father innocent. But Sammy soon learns there are things Zoë didn't tell him: her mother died six months after her father died in prison. Linda took over the company, L&T Liquors, and her father's partner, Tony is somehow different. Sammy learns an astonishing truth; Linda had been paying Zoë's mother secret monthly stipends. When her mother died, Zoë lost her cash cow.
But when the waif's case slams into another, they explode into a fantastic struggle of such magnitude that it leaves Sammy in shoot up and in totally dismay. The leads will take him on a perilous journey from seemingly unrelated warehouse robberies in San Francisco to a ghastly murder in Oregon.
Like some of Sammy's other cases, Waif is filled with lies and murderous greed, but when he finds the police corruption aspect, he knows Herman Ziece, Zoë's father, was railroaded for murder. But Sammy needs proof. It came in sealed vials of DNA samples taken years before by a funeral operator. The DNA proves the extraordinary circumstances of the case. However, it almost gets him killed when he falls into a well- laid trap. Regardless of the risks, Sammy Shovel delves into every case with equal gusto--to find out why pure innocent people turns into public enemy number one. Growing more suspicious with each--now provocative-- visit from Zoë, Sammy finds her high school yearbook, and it all becomes clear and the answer was right in front of him from the start.
Bullets, threats, and seduction won't stop Sammy Shovel from unraveling the truth.
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: San Francisco’s Private Investigator Sammy Shovel is determined to unravel the truth at whatever costs. Whether or not you have been following the Sammy Shovel mystery novels or this is your first one; dust off your sleuth skills and join in the hunt. Let’s recap as Author Ronald M. James keeps writing.
Book One: An Adventurous Night: introduces us to a “short, slightly overweight, balding” PI that (who?) “sinks his teeth into (each) case” and never loses his grip. (How about adding he's despised by the SFPD and will take on repo jobs for a buck or two.)
Book Two: Too Beautiful For Words shows us that Sammy Shovel (wants to change his rotten attitude and the reader is introduces to a world class European courtesan named Zondair. She becomes his on and off again secretary in the next book Waif).
Book Three: Waif is set in 1994. Zoë Hummerstein hires Detective Sammy Shovel to solve a twenty-two-year old murder that convicted her father (Herman Ziece) of murdering his wholesale liquor business competitor. With characters that keep any sleuth on his or her toes, twists and turns that kept me engaged, I invite you to step into Sammy’s office as Zoë retrieves a checkbook from her purse. Sammy notices the word ‘Coach’ burned on the leather checkbook as she hands him a check for his retainer. Mostly it is a waiting game when greed, hate, (police corruption) and seduction trumps sanity.
Questions mount as Sammy examines photos, documents and begin his detective work. Instincts tell him that things may or may not be as they seem. Sometimes you have to dig deeper and drudge up old memories that people have put to rest. I quote:
“Good morning. Is this Carolyn Cross?”
“Yes—but we’re not buying anything at this time.” Carolyn answered, hesitantly.
“Carolyn, I’m Samuel Shovel. I'm a private investigator. I received your name from Gary Betts—” Building on the lie, he started with Gary, he added, “I’m investigating SFPD corruption that occurred in the past.”
“I don’t understand, how past?”
“Over twenty years ago, when your sister died.” “Oh dear, that was so long ago.”
“Unquestionably to you, but to Gary, it seems like yesterday. Do you recall the events that took place around the time your sister fell to her death?”
Like in the golden age with Kojack, Columbo, Jim Rockford (the list goes on and on), PI Sammy Shovel has his own style of digging up archives, dredging up memories and using every tool in his investigative tool chest.
Stay tuned for Author Ronald M. James next mystery titled Flame Man: Sammy meets his match and is almost killed. “What a lovely spring day. Let’s find a corpse.” Other stand-alone books include Harrington Manor and The Two Jacks by Ronald M. James.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse and encourage you to read Waif (A Sammy Shovel Novel Book Three) by Ronald M. James. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on January 27, 2018.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press
The ruthless dictator of Corpus Christi, Sandra Hawkins has blood in her eyes as she plans revenge against Peaceful Valley.
Sean Lin discovers her plan, but does the small community stand a chance against her heavily armed and well-trained army?
The valley's residents are wary hunters skilled at camouflage and stealth, but will toughness and smarts be enough to save their way of life from overwhelming force?
Cold Coffee Book Review: Let me quickly recap The Four Seasons series books One and Two before jumping into book three titled Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) by Larry Landgraf.
Book One (Into Autumn by Larry Landgraf) takes one of modern man’s worst fears and makes it a reality when the grid fails leaving people to survive by any and all means possible. Communities like Peaceful Valley spring up, but not without advantages and disadvantages to belong.
Book Two (Into Spring-The Next Generation by Larry Landgraf) finds two young adults from Peaceful Valley striking out on their own to find wives. Arriving in Corpus Christi, they find a society ruled by a ruthless dictator named Sandra Hawkins. Survival takes on a different form than Sean and Robbie had known in Peaceful Valley and escape might be out of their reach.
Book Three (Into Winter: The Armed Invasion by Larry Landgraf) brings us to a point in the story where Robbie and two female allies (Florence Ingalls and Beka Livingston) are trying to escape in a Cessna Skyhawk at the Airport. This is a dangerous proposition. Back in Peaceful Valley, the community is gearing up for a standoff against Sandra Hawkins's army which they learn may be heading their way. Their only defense might be offense with some old equipment as John states “I know a little about electronics”. Will they be able to save their small community from this tyrant and if they do, what lies ahead?
Author Larry Landgraf weaves a believable tale that takes his characters into survival mode that toys with the reader’s imagination and the ‘what ifs’. Like what if our grid was to fail? What if democracy was no more? Each character plays his and her part well and the story flows quickly from one page to the next. I encourage you to read each book in this epic series in order. Author Larry Landgraf wrote book two and three as stand-alone novels to help those who come late to the series. Now we wait for his promised conclusion titled Into Summer: Dawn Of A New Age.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) by Larry Landgraf. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on January 16, 2018.
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
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Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: For all of us following the Threads Series by Kaylin McFarren, Twisted Threads does not disappoint. When we left off with book three, we were wondering if the ‘Watcher’ would ever deliver justice.
This drama opens with Akira Sato contemplating a “justified killing” and she is lost in the consequences, forced to move forward. Devon Lyons laments over his recent demotion and the emotional sting of a forced Caribbean vacation to please his Uncle. Devon’s mind and attention soon shifts when Akira calls him “Sexy”. Women have called him “clever”, “lovable” and “incredibly handsome” but “sexy” has just caught him off guard. With more than romance in the air the voyage brings mystery, suspense and a complex drama with threads so twisted you will keep turning the page.
Here is an excerpt I think you will like: “Akira took the elevator across from the theater, dazed from the four glasses of wine and shot of vodka she had consumed. A few seconds passed, and the doors opened before her. She stepped out into the empty hallway and couldn’t figure out which direction she was facing, let alone which way to proceed. She looked down and realized the carpeting under her feet had red and blue medallions—not the gold and blue diamonds she’d become familiar with seeing. After making numerous trips to various restaurants, she realized she had gotten off on the right floor but on the wrong end of the ship. The enormous staircase on her right led to the upper and lower levels, which should have made it easy to find her way back to her room.
However, her explorations on the ship had proved that not every floor had immediate access to the passenger levels; many were blocked by restaurants, lounges, and shops.
Akira decided it was best to start over—to backtrack the way she had come. She pushed the elevator button and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Then a slight sway in the ship’s motion caused her stomach to lurch. She needed fresh air to avoid further humiliation. A glass exit door stood waiting a short distance away. She slid it open and stepped outside. Oddly, all of the overhead lights above the walkway were out. It was impossible to see more than ten feet in any given direction. She gripped the safety railing and gazed up at the sky, drawing long, deep breaths. A sudden breeze whipped at her hair, tugging tendrils loose from her pinned-up hairdo. She wrapped her arms around herself, warding off the chill, and was about to return inside when she heard the sound of a voice.”
Jump right in and start peeling off the layers of this Twisted Plot, that will be worth the read and will leave you wanting more.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse multi-award-winning author Kaylin McFarren’s Threads Series which include Banished Threads, Buried Threads, Severed Threads and now Twisted Threads. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle and the review was completed on January 6, 2018.
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: If you love paranormal, mystery, romance and suspense, you will find Lucifer House by Cherie' Waggie hard to put down.
Author Cherie’ Waggie weaves a believable, multi-layered tale that keeps one foot in main character Olivia Gray’s world and the other in the lure of the past.
I love everything Maine (born on the coast of Maine), so the well-developed characters and descriptive writing kept me engaged, as the sleuth in me needed to know what happened in this coastal town.
Main Character Olivia Gray just needs some time away from the bustle of the city after the death of her father. Little does she realize what awaits her in the cold, damp, coastal, New England fog. I invite you to Pirates’ Point, Maine and specifically invite you to Lucifer House (built by a notorious pirate captain, Jean-Paul Lucifer) where the ghost of 10-year-old Charity Lucifer might just reach out of the mist and touch you.
Settling in, Olivia Gray leaves her room to explore her surroundings and I quote. “Outside, the half-moon dangling over the ocean bathed the world in silver blue light. She went onto the deck to watch the waves play along the shore and movement caught her peripheral vision. She turned her head.
Someone was walking along the beach, his hands in the pockets of his heavy coat, bare head bent, oblivious to the waves that seemed to wash over his feet. A solitary, lonely figure against the backdrop of the ocean and night, he passed the beach house and seemed to melt into the darkness.
Olivia shivered. There were no such things as ghosts.
Returning to her room convinced that the night walker must have been some local unable to go to sleep, she climbed back into bed. Maybe he lived in the house on the hill. And maybe the drive to Maine wore her out more than she thought. Maybe she imagined him. After all, who would walk through ice cold water in the middle of the night?”
The night walker is only the beginning, Olivia finds all her senses fully awake and engaged as the mysteries surrounding Lucifer House beckons her to unravel the truth and bring peace to the spirits on Pirates’ Point.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Lucifer House by Cherie’ Waggie. I bought this book in Kindle and this review was completed on December 31, 2017. After reading Lucifer House, enjoy her other books titled Without Warning: The Fireman; Look Back To Tomorrow; Twisting Dagger; Dakota's Dragon; Once Upon A Weekend.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Ghosts, Horror, Paranormal Romance
Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Robot Depot brings technology to a whole new level. If you are up on current world news you should have heard the media talking about how terrorists are experimenting with drones to terrorize people with biological chemical among just a few uses. You might also be wonder if a robot will replace your job in the near future. Author Russell F. Moran has taken robots one step further.
If you have read any of Russell F. Moran’s books, you don’t need me to tell you what a great story teller he is, and Robot Depot will not disappoint you.
Mike Bateman is founder and CEO of a wildly successful chain of 30 stores, in the US, called Robot Depot. As a 38-year-old war veteran, he has tapped into technology that will bring him greater success than Google, Microsoft, Uber, Roomba and others ever imagined. If you can imagine the chore, Mike has a robot to fit your needs.
Well-developed characters (some of whom you have come to know in Moran’s other books) take on the story line that the author weaves so well in a society that is fast adapting to and becoming reliant on robots.
If you worry about how secure your WiFi in your home is, imagine a world where you never know if you are speaking to a robot or a human. What could possibly go wrong?
I invite you to read this futuristic story where the bad guys seem to stay ahead of the good guys and it falls on inventor Mike Bateman to stop the terror. Heart pounding, page turning drama that will cause you pause when you enter into the electronics’ department for your next techno fix.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Robot Depot by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the inventors of the world. I reviewed this book from a Kindle and the reviewed was completed on November 14, 2017.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Invasion by Roxane Bland begins as Kurt (vampire Master of Seattle) “fears the very powers that he almost died twice for are weakening.” Meanwhile Parker Berenson (alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack) contemplates his love for “Melera (interstellar assassin) who, as the story opens, has left him for her home galaxy.” Garrett Larkin (powerful witch and mage of the Balthus Coven) discovers that there might not be a counter spell as she, Kurt and Garrett auras have been bound by a spell gone bad.
Author Roxanne Bland is a great urban dark fantasy story teller that pushes the limits in the US city of Seattle Washington, which is now the tale of two cities. One city is for the humans and the other city plays out in the darkness under the moon. For me the ‘Invasion’ follows ‘The Underground’ extremely well. With vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and space aliens, this adult adventure is fast paced, graphic, and puts “Earth in Mag Beloc’s—Melera’s alien nemesis cross hairs.”
I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “Inside Melera’s huge cavern base, Parker lay on her bed half asleep, luxuriating in his vacation from the world. These last eight days or so with Melera had been like heaven. No phones, no clients, no pack, just the two of them.
He smiled as he listened to her play her whatchamacallit and sing along with it. At first, it sounded more like noise—screeches, howls and growls—than music. But the more he listened, the easier it was to make out themes and motifs, and at times, he could even follow its syncopated rhythms. He’d gotten to the point where he actually kind of liked the piece.
His smile faltered. Melera wasn’t playing her instrument for his benefit, he knew. It was the code she was trying to break, that would alert her battle fleet for delivery to the Vst.”
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Invasion by Roxanne Bland as this adult dark urban fantasy is an easy read after I got to know some of the characters in ‘The Underground’. Each book stands alone and will hold your attention if you love all the things that could go bump in the night on the ground and overhead. I purchased this Kindle book on November 3, 2017 and this review was written on November 6, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Alien Invasion, Military, Space Fleet
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: I love this book and invite you to read the most intriguing story about an English gentleman named Pemberton N. Wysquers. While you read I believe you find yourself relating in some way to the characters who have in one way or another come to the end of their emotional life. When all seems lost, in one moment in time, as if by coincidence or magic, they brush shoulders with Mr. Wysquers.
As a young child you were probably taught about Santa Clause. As time moved on, your innocence was shaken by unspoken reality. While young you believed that time is infinite and you are invisible. When time marched on reality dulled your senses, the magic you found in childhood was buried in life experiences. This book will remind you that in a few fleeting moments, magic can stir. If you open your mind to the possibility, Mr. Wysquers might just pay you a visit.
Let me quote what Melody said: “I know this is going to sound strange, but I owe my life to a corned beef sandwich. The really weird thing is, I never liked corned beef. I would have one now and then, but it was never my favorite sandwich. But now? I smile every time I eat one, and that’s usually once a week, normally on Thursday. Why Thursday, you ask. Because that’s the day all the magic happened. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a magical day when I woke up. After all, you never see the magic coming.”
Each person in this book has their own story to tell. Here is how Ivan’s story begins: “I don’t have a lot of time to give you this story, I have somewhere to be and I can’t get out of it. I guess you first have to know a little bit about me to understand what I’m going to tell you, and why I’m telling you.
My story begins about twenty years ago, when I was a teenager and hanging out with my friends. We were the usual gang, looking for girls, driving around at night, and sneaking our drinking when our parents weren’t watching or around. The night that changed my life didn’t start out as anything significant, other than it was a Saturday.”
Which one of these stories mirror your own and where would Mr. Wysquers accidently or on purpose walk into your story?
This book is heartwarming and a must have gift item for your friends and family any time of year. I am giving this book as a Christmas gift this year.
I (Theodocia McLean) endorse Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach as a story for all time and begins when a Candy-Apply Red Vintage Cadillac comes your way. Other books by Larry Auerbach include A Matter Of Honor, A Matter Of Justice, Common Threads, The Spirit of Redd Mountain and The Troll Bridge. I read and reviewed this book from a print format. This review was completed on November 12, 2017.
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