Assessed for Awesome Indies Book Awards
Author: Philip Catshill
This is the daily diary of Terry March whose single act of kindness leads to a month of madness and mayhem. After helping an old guy dispose of a blood-stained carpet at the local tip, Terry rescues his old TV remote and while driving home, he uses it to zap phantom aliens! This leads him to an encounter with Police Sergeant Susan. His new resolution to be helpful leads to his first opportunity to be unfaithful to his wife of nineteen torturous years. A soon-to-be divorced Lauren offers her favours to thank Terry for his kindness, but Terry declines the invitation. Within days, another opportunity arises, and Terry can’t convince himself that those phantom aliens haven’t spirited him away to a parallel universe. Before that first week is over, Terry faces redundancy from his mundane job at the local council. In order to tackle the backlog of paperwork, the council employs a temporary typist, Ashley, who closely resembles Terry’s 19-year-old daughter, Megan. Terry’s wife, Brenda disappears and Carol, her twin sister moves in. When a body is found in his garden, Terry is arrested for murder and Carol adds to his torment by accusing him of rape! While in a police cell, Terry encounters further problems as Lauren’s police sergeant husband is the custody officer! But all is not lost! Police Sergeant Susan persuades Carol to withdraw the charge and mysteriously, that old guy from the tip makes a deathbed confession to the murder! But the mad days of March are not yet over. Ashley disappears. Terry’s daughter Megan suffers traumatic memories from her past. Lauren’s house is set ablaze, and a mysterious detective Dave is concerned that Megan too has disappeared! All this in a month of the Mad Days of March! Warning: Sexually explicit content. For adult reading only.
Author: Victoria Randall
Get on Board Little Children, Come on Home Children, and City of Hidden Children now available in one volume.An unborn infant. A toddler. A teenager. What these three have in common: they are all being hunted by the enforcers of the Bureau of Population Control in the years following the passage of the No Unwanted Children Act. The law made it a felony in Washington state to carry to term an unlicensed pregnancy. Any such children who escaped the net became subject to confiscation, to be raised and trained in the education/labor camps.In Get on Board Little Children, Sophie and Josh must make the right choices and make them fast, under pressure from the Bureau to submit to their harsh demands or face imprisonment and worse.In Come on Home Children, Willa’s four-year-old daughter has been seized by the same arrogant arm of the state as an unlicensed child. Unless Willa can rescue her, Katy faces a life of stigma, toil, and despair.In City of Hidden Children, Katy is now an adolescent, and memories of her confinement in the labor camp are beginning to surface. She realizes that her two best friends are still imprisoned there and determines to let nothing stop her from finding and freeing them.Dystopian thrillers set in a future Seattle, each tale tests whether love can outwit bureaucratic greed in a future that is all too conceivable.
The author has combined her three Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence and Approved books, Get on Board Little Children, Come on Home Children, and City of Hidden Children into a trilogy, The Children in Hiding Trilogy
Series: Dan Foster Mysteries
Publisher: SilverWood Books
Author: Lucienne Boyce
During a routine patrol, police arrest two men in possession of human body parts intended for sale to the dissecting rooms of a London teaching hospital. Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster makes the grisly discovery that they are the remains of fellow officer George Kean. The arrested men are charged with Kean’s murder, but Dan is not convinced that they are the killers. In pursuit of the real murderer, he investigates the unhallowed activities of the resurrection men – bodysnatchers. The bodysnatching racket soon leads Dan to something bigger and much more dangerous. In a treacherous underworld of vicious pugilists, ruthless murderers, British spymasters and French agents, Dan must tread carefully…or meet the same terrible fate as Kean. 'The Butcher’s Block' is the second Dan Foster Mystery. 'Bloodie Bones', the first in the series, was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.
Publisher: Pink Granite Press
Author: Gin Mackey
When the worst happens, would you rise or fall… On the coast of Maine, a devastating death, a widow grappling with grief. Then, a second chance at life. This is Abby Tiernan’s story, a story of the heart. But in order to learn to live again, Abby must solve a troubling mystery. After the death of her beloved husband, Abby hits bottom—hard. Her flickering will to live reignites when she becomes a home funeral guide, teaching the bereaved the age-old tradition of after-death care for loved ones at home. But troublesome questions arise over the death of a woman whose home funeral Abby guided. Was the death really natural? The police chief refuses to investigate what appear to be unfounded concerns of a distraught relative. But members of the community mystified by home funerals target Abby as a suspect, and swirling rumors threaten to destroy her fledgling business and fragile spirit. Abby discovers a funeral home director and a caterer who bleed red ink when people choose home funerals, money-hungry motivation to set up Abby as a murderer. And what about the long-suffering husband? Was he ready to move on with his life before his wife was ready to die? To save her failing business, Abby—with the help of a widower detective she feels guiltily drawn to—must uncover the truth. As Abby unmasks the murderer, and the killer sets sights on her, Abby realizes there’s one thing she wants more than anything she’s ever wanted—to live.
Author: John A. Heldt
When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him. In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window. Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.
Publisher: Templeworks Properties LLC
Author: Temple Emmet Williams
Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams is a contemporary fiction novel about a terrorist plot that deals with real-world entities including the US Department of Homeland Security and ISIL. An introductory passage by the author lets us know that for the most part, his fictitious interpretations of these entities are accurate, although he has taken some liberties by extending the sphere of influence of the Department of Homeland Security. It becomes clear within the first few chapters that this is a book that is well-researched, and the author’s use of real-world facts compliments the ambitious adventure we are brought on. We are also told before the story begins that this book is the second in the Heartbeat series (Wrinkled Heartbeats being the first, which AI gave 4.5/5 Stars) but that they are standalone novels and can be read independently of one-another. A number of sharply-written characters cross paths throughout the narrative, and special mention needs to be made of the author’s use of space and setting. The author takes the reader on a globe-trotting tour that highlights both the differences and parallels of each environ. This is a book that paints a thrilling picture with its words, which is only slightly dampened by some odd structural choices. Each chapter is named and comes with an image and a short statement that sets the stage for what is about to happen. In some of the chapters, these pictorial clues and scene settings help the reader visualize what is happening, but on a whole seem unnecessary for such a well-written and descriptive novel. While reading, I couldn’t help but wonder if seeing the characters and environments of the story in a picture didn’t ruin my own imagining of them when they were described to me a few pages later. Some of the images and introductory clauses are also redundant. This is a minor negative in a magnificent story, and it’s hard for me to fault an author for giving the reader something extra, but this is a story that can easily rest on its own skillful story-telling, rather than on pictures. Aside from this unnecessary distraction, the book is well-structured, well-paced, and often hard to pull yourself away from. As mentioned earlier, this is a book that deals with a number of characters and presents the reader with many different viewpoints. The book is not guilty of head-hopping, though, and while you get a number of perspectives, the author weaves them into and out of the story easily, and when things culminate in an epic final act, each storyline is satisfied in one way or another. The ending of the book is fantastic and drums up the action leading to a thrilling climax. It’s a fun journey that is at times reflective and poignant and at others gritty and tense. There is humor and romance alongside the grim depiction of modern terrorism. While, at the end, the story lines are all satisfied, not all of them come to an ultimate coda, leaving the door open for some future adventures for some of our key players. The author’s follow-up, African Heartbeats has already been announced and the Heartbeats series itself will comprise of six novels total when finished. I recommend Poison Heartbeats to fans of contemporary fiction who enjoy action, suspense, and the kind of story that could easily take place in our current political climate. 4.5/5 Stars.
Series: The Capgras Conspiracy
Publisher: Beardale Books
Author: Simon J. Townley
When investigative journalist Tom Capgras finds his literary agent hanging from an oak beam in her West End office, an immaculately tied noose around her neck, his dreams of a non-fiction book deal appear dead in the water. Joanne Leatherby’s death looks like suicide but Capgras suspects murder. Nonsense, say police, who dismiss him as a conspiracy crackpot. Capgras uncovers links to a string of untimely deaths – editors, publishers, reviewers, even book bloggers, killed for an unkind word. All the evidence points to one man – a mid-list author of detective tales with a career on the skids. Cast adrift by agents and publishers alike, his dreams thwarted, Arthur Middleton has gone to the dark side and embraced self-publishing. He may be crazed with ambition, but how mad would a man have to be to kill for publicity, for book sales? Mad enough to admit everything on the pages of his latest blockbuster? As the body count mounts, and the police refuse to take him seriously, Capgras must act alone, defy his critics and get to the truth fast – before the killer gets to him.
Series: American Journey
Author: John A. Heldt
Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the "time-travel professor," and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.
Explicit Language and Violence. Fresh scratches in old scar tissue. Old burn scar tissue. That’s got to hurt. Paul Eston has blown the whistle on some bad people in Liverpool and gone to ground with vital evidence in the North East of England Wacker Hughes must track him down. He has not been involved in the violent side of the operation for years but now everything that he has worked for is under threat. But what made Eston blow the whistle? Will he find out the truth behind his father’s murder? And how did he get those scratches on his back? Only a woman’s fingernails could do that much damage. Ouch.