Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Launch Day to my author friend Angel Sefer for “Spellbound in His Arms”!

As and avid writer/reader, I am always delighted when I discover a book that is interesting from the first paragraph to the last page. I was not disappointed when I was given the opportunity to review ‘Spellbound in His Arms’ by friend and fellow writer Angel Sefer. This is a wonderful book with all of the elements that drive a good story and make it become real in the mind of the reader. You can read my review at the end of this article.

Angel’s award-winning, Romantic Mystery & Suspense novel is now a #1 Bestseller at Barnes & Noble, and holds the #2 spot on Amazon’s Bestseller list. Her book was recently republished by Booktrope where it will be available to many other readers.

From the back of the book:

A mansion full of secrets…
From the moment investigative reporter Jackie Alexander steps foot inside the mansion dominating the Demiris estate on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, her suspicions are on high alert. This is no ordinary assignment… the life of her beloved cousin, Aphrodite, is in grave danger, as the heirs to the incredible fortune of Greek tycoon Andreas Demiris are dying one after the other, under mysterious circumstances.

A man with secrets of his own…
The only person who can help Jackie is Michael Apostolou, former Special Forces Officer and one of the finest detectives on the Athens police force. Jackie realizes soon enough that despite her simmering desire for him, she can’t really trust him, as the seductive detective seems to be investigating those mysterious deaths for reasons of his own.

Trusting the wrong person can be deadly…
Jackie and Michael are forced to work together, but the suspicions and unanswered questions are devouring them, just like their rising passion for each other. In games like this, the stakes are high and the players are ruthless. When Jackie is kidnapped by the most dangerous player of all, time is running out as Michael is forced to choose between jeopardizing his mission and personal quest for justice, or the life of the gorgeous intruder of his heart…

About the Author

Angel Sefer was born in Athens, Greece. She has studied and worked on both sides of the Atlantic. She holds a degree in Economics and divides her time between the corporate world and her true passion: reading and writing romantic mystery and suspense novels.

She lives in Athens, Greece, with the two loves of her life — her son and her husband.

Angel is a member of several writers groups.

Links to buy:

Note from the Author:

My publisher is putting “Spellbound in His Arms” on a special 99 CENTS SALE from March 28th to April 1st to celebrate Wattpad featuring this book.


Awards for “Spellbound in His Arms”

“Spellbound in His Arms” is the recipient of InD’tale Magazine’s Crowned Heart Award for Excellence. It has also been nominated for the RONE Award in the “Mystery” category.
If you would like to vote for this fascinating novel, please go to:
Voting Period: March 24 - 30, 2014

When I was growing up, I could not wait for the next Helen MacInnes novel to appear on the shelves of our school library. When I discovered Spellbound by Angel Sefer I realized I had found another author who had the ability to blend romance, mystery and an interesting location into a captivating plot. 
The main character in Spellbound is an investigative reporter named Jackie Alexander, who travels from Atlanta to Greece to investigate a dangerous and puzzling mystery. Her visit to the Demiris estate on the Island of Corfu, immediately plunges her into jeopardy. Jackie needs to examine some documents locked away in the mansion, but encounters an intruder on her arrival at the isolated estate. The intruder is Michael Apostolou, a police detective, who has the same intentions as Jackie, but apparently for a different reason. Jackie and Michael are instantly attracted to each other, but there are too many unanswered questions to allow them to trust each other.

This book is fast paced, but surprisingly easy to read. I found myself racing through the pages, then scrolling back to reread and savor each twist and turn in the plot. The geographic details supply just the right amount of information to make you aware of the exotic surroundings without slowing down the flow of the story. Romance, suspense, and mystery supply the reader with an interesting combination that is hard to beat. Five stars from me for a story well done. This debut novel from Ms Sefer is one you don’t want to miss. I am looking forward to many others as this series continues.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review of Abraham's Bones on Goodreads and Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Crafted Expansion Of Thriller Genre June 5, 2013
By michael
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

I am glad I read his first book in a series called Abraham's Bones. The characters are very well laid on the page in a story that rarely lets up. I could not put it down. Most impressive, though, for a fellow author of thrillers is Mister Prentis' successful expansion outside the usual constraints of the genre. He finds time inside his fast-paced story to go deeply into the characters he is developing, a bright addition to thriller methodology. As well, the author spices the last 20 percent of the novel with intriguingly subtle clues to the coming parts in the series. Prentis expertly handles a book (or even a possible couple of books, making up the beginning of his story. This strength as a thriller novelist only enhances his stature as a writer. What is important is the believability of actual story events as they unfold. Prentis shines in his realism. This book is not meant to be like, for example, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann where everything is elaborately portrayed in one opus. Abraham's Bones is a brilliantly successful thriller, leading the reader to future parts in a series.
The book does not confuse the avid booklover of thrillers. It entices us into its realm with tact and respect for the reader. Prentis' women glowed in a particularly caring masculine light, equally well crafted from the petulant adolescent through the mature professional. He demonstrated a clear understanding of the ravages experienced by a strong grandmother, struggling with the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Particularly well introduced teasers, leading provocatively to coming parts in the series cemented my respect for the author. Abraham's Bones delivers on all counts as a thriller and propels me to want to read the next part. What seems to bother some of the critics only betrays their lack of understanding of or appreciation for the thriller genre.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Review of The Antaeus Factor

Review of The Antaeus Factor on Amazon!

Grace Elliot rated it 4 of 5 stars
I actually rated this book 4.5 stars out of 5. 

The Antaeus Factor is a thriller that opens with the brutal murder of Thomas Allard, which sets the pace for this tense and intricately plotted novel of cyber terrorism and physical jeopardy. 
One of the things the author excels at is planting a feeling of insecurity - that no character is safe or immune to attack. I also found the details fascinating and added credibility to the plot (such as the bullet dipped in faeces to create a life-threatening infection if the gunshot wasn't immediately fatal.)
Whilst reading The Antaeus Factor I had the pleasant feeling of being in the hands of a skilled writer, fully confident in his ability to keep me enthralled and unable to guess the next plot twist. The author is particularly gifted at creating characters: not always totally likeable people but with real problems who react in a believable manner who you care just enough about to keep reading.
I can honesty say there is a never a dull moment in this book and the short, snappy chapters kept me reading to find out what happened next.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Modern Science. Where is it leading us?

When I was going through the mouth-breathing stage during my junior year in high school, I became fascinated with science. None of this was because I was a good student. All of it came about because I never believed anything the textbooks said. One of the concepts that challenged me was the statement that ‘a bullet fired from a gun would hit the ground at the same time as one dropped from an equal height.’ We spent several Sunday afternoons trying to prove the book wrong. Despite the fog in my addled brain, we discovered that the concept was accurate, all wrapped up in a concept called gravity.

It was a few years later when I saw a young man named Carl Sagan on television writing a mathematical formula on a blackboard that proved some difficult concept I couldn't began to grasp. I discovered that there were people who could take a small scientific concept and deduct facts about things they had never seen and places they had never been. This was science, theoretical science, and it was exciting beyond belief. In the years that followed, I worked with engineers who could produce the same magic with a calculator or with a computer. Recently, I heard someone say that ‘everything that can be invented has already been produced.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. To borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, ‘this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.’ Scientific developments are coming our way almost on a daily basis, and they are going to change our lives in ways we can’t fathom. Electronics is leading the way, but there are other things just as exciting, and they are just around the corner. As I read scientific journals, I recapture some of the excitement I felt as a high school student. Computers, cell phones, and HD television are just a few of the things we now enjoy. I can’t help wondering what is next.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Nature of Things


In Ellen Wilson’s novel The Nature of Things, she does a great job of gathering all of the elements of a good mystery together in a way that is entertaining and doesn’t let up until the last page. The book begins with environmental officer Clare McElroy investigating a black bear attack in a campground in Upper Peninsula Michigan. Having spent a lot of time in campgrounds where bears are a nuisance, it was hard for me to keep my feet still as I read the opening chapter of this book. Clare is a gutsy officer who has to contend with disgruntled campers who want to shift the blame for their carelessness after having little enough judgment to feed a bear. This book would make a good movie, and as I read it, I could visualize a younger Jody Foster playing Clare. Not only does Clare come to life on the page, the rest of the characters are equally real -- and there is a wide assortment of them.


There are too many books where the author doesn’t pick a theme, and the result is a hodge-podge of events that don’t hang well together. The theme here is the conflict between what is needed to protect the environment, versus the needs of the people who live in close proximity with the animals. You can also feel the atmosphere of the area where the story unwinds -- the forest, the quant tavern/restaurant where much of the action takes place, and the lake. The characters in this story are a combination of desires, and the conflicting personal flaws that keep them from realizing their goals. There is no melodrama here, but just the right amount of angst to make everything interesting.  


The story is further conflicted when assistant district attorney Pheeny Delmato comes to town to investigate a murder, and the problems of all the characters become entwined. Murder, greed, and suspicion are a good combination -- especially when you throw characters who are conflicted into the mix. If you like mystery, suspense, with just the right amount of romance, you are going to love this book.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

I really can’t think of anything as frightening as those strange creatures in the movie Jurassic Park unless it is a bear. I am at home with horses, farm animals, and other large creatures, but bears have the capability of generating their own special brand of terror. I was attacked by a brown bear once, and have a picture around here somewhere of the bear’s eyes at the moment our foreheads collided. I was lucky that our collision occurred at the exact moment that the flash on the camera fired. The bear ran off, growling and protesting. I am lucky that she didn’t carry a body part or two with her when she left.

The best stories occur when they spring full-grown from real experiences. Bear Essentials is short enough that you won’t kick your feet around too much while you’re reading it, but it will get your blood pumping. If will be free starting tomorrow on Kindle for your reading pleasure. Drop by Amazon and get your copy, and if you like it, write a review or drop me a note. I hope you enjoy reading it. You can get your copy here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Music?

I have always loved music, but there are few of us who can remember the tunes of a few years ago that seemed so important to us at the time. Here is a list of songs that were big on the charts for weeks on end, and then faded away along with the artists that recorded them. See how many of them you can remember without taking a peek at the answers. The answers are below.

1. Winchester Cathedral

2. Mickey

3. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

4. Afternoon Delight

5. McArthur Park

6. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

7. The Hustle

8. The Purple People Eater

9. Teen Angel

1. The New Vaudeville Band

2. Tony Basil

3. Vicki Lawrence

4. Starland Vocal Band

5. Richard Harris

6. Bobby McFerrin

7. Van McCoy

8. Sheb Wooley

9. Mark Dinning



Monday, July 29, 2013

Many fantasy, time travel, and science fiction books are written for young children or teens, so it is delightful to find one that is aimed at an older group of readers. Ellen Wilson’s novel, ‘In the Shadow of Shakespeare,’ is better understood by someone having a detailed knowledge of England during the years in which Shakespeare lived. Most time travel stories require a strong suspension of disbelief because the author doesn’t bother to give us an explanation regarding the reason why the character can travel through time. Ellen Wilson does a good job of laying the groundwork for this story.


If this book has a flaw, I think it lies in the fact that some of it will pass over the head of readers who have no knowledge of Elizabethan England. There are few today who are aware of the controversy regarding the existence of a writer named Shakespeare unless they had English literature in college. Wilson weaves this controversy into her story in a way that is compelling and interesting.


The characters are believable, the story is well plotted, and you feel as if you have been immersed in the culture of the day. If you like intellectual literature you will enjoy this book, but if you taste runs to Harry Potter or stories written for young children, you should probably select something else.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

You won't die if you read a bad book!

A friend of mine is a rather well known thriller writer, but he still gets an occasional bad review. He also has a sense of humor. Here is a review he sent to me:

I normally read Regency Romance novels, and had never read a thriller until I picked up (author’s name) newest novel. It stinks! How anyone could write such drivel is beyond me. I have always been a fan of Michael Jackson, and I thought his Thriller Album was about as good as it gets. This awful novel was nothing like that. It told the story of a family that was murdered in their home. The woman’s son was a NYPD detective and he returned home for the funeral and decided to stay and try to solve the crime. (Picture that actually happening!) I don’t like guns, but it seemed that in every chapter he had a gun in someone’s face. In the final scene, he chased the suspect along a public highway and caused him to have a wreck. There were four five-star reviews, which have to be faked. No one in their right mind would enjoy reading a book where so many bad things happen. A one star review from me, and he is lucky to get that. I want my money back!

Well, what can I say . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Know You Are Getting Old When . . .

(1) Elevator music is too loud for you.

(2) You no longer lay face down on the bed when someone hurts your feelings.

(3) You can’t remember your dog’s name but you can remember your first grade teacher’s phone number.

(4) You still use the phrase, “You sound like a broken record.”

(5) You have won lady/man of the year twice.

(6) You reach for the clutch when you speed away from a traffic light.

(7) You have a collection of 8-track tapes in your closet.

(8) You start a lot of sentences with, “I remember when-”

(9)  You pull out a dime when you approach a drink machine.

(10) You leave a quarter tip for the waitress.

(11) Your dancing shoes go all the way up to your ankles.

(12) You have an extra pair of glasses in each vehicle you own.

(13) You think modern music is the work of the devil.

(14) Your medicine cabinet contains medicine instead of grooming products.

(15) When your friends come down with any illness and you have already had it—twice.

(16) You think your doctor is a kid.

(17) You can’t tell a navy blue tie from a black one.

(18) You no longer say ‘excuse me’ when you belch.

(19) Everyone you meet ask if you are feeling alright.

(20)  You can name all of the presidents since Garfield.

(21) When you bend over you ask yourself if there is anything else you need to do before you straighten back up.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prequel to The Renegade Series Now on Amazon

I have just finished a new novel set in the Civil War era. The name of the book is Redemption, and it is a prequel to The Renegade series. This book came about in a rather strange way. When I put the eBook version on Kindle and sales began to take off, I started receiving emails from readers who had the same complaint. One reader stated the problem rather succinctly, and I usually listen to what readers have to say. This reader said: “After reading the other books in this series, I sensed that I am missing a lot of events in the lives of your characters. Have you thought about writing a prequel about what happened before Wolf Spencer starts?


Well, I had, so I followed his advice and wrote Redemption which covers some of the events concerning the war years. This was an easy book to write because I still had the notes that I made when I lived in Washington D.C. and visited all of the places I mention in the book. This book was a labor of love, and I am not sure that I can stop writing about the lives of the many characters in this series. I hope you enjoy reading this just half as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here is a synopsis of the book an a link where you can purchase it on Amazon.


Washington, 1865: As the American Civil War drew to a close, military and government leaders realized they were facing grave dangers they had not anticipated. There were many who did not understand that it was easier to start a war than to end one. The Confederacy was crumbling rapidly, and Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest and Robert E. Lee were willing to surrender, provided they could do so with honor. Many government and military leaders did not agree with President Lincoln’s intention to grant a full pardon to anyone who would agree to the terms of surrender. And the most difficult thing of all was the radicals who were not willing to give up a lost cause, and were determined to stop the peace process regardless of the cost.