by Robert Lane
Mason Alley Publishing – Release date: September 20 2106
Available in trade paper (ISBN: 978-0692670446, $14.95) and eBook ($4.99) editions
“a consistently entertaining crime thriller…The plot crackles with energy and suspense. The writing is crisp…clever.” –Kirkus
“Charm and humor permeate the pages of the surprising thriller. There’s little chance that anyone will turn the last page before developing a craving for the next installment.” –ForeWord Reviews
Award-winning novelist Robert Lane, who has drawn comparisons to John D. MacDonald, has created one of the most compelling characters in mystery today. PI Jake Travis is tough, smart, wise and wisecracking. He’s hailed as “a winning hero”—and this time, Jake has an elaborate knot to untangle.
While trying to expose a corrupt Miami art dealer, Jake goes undercover for the FBI. The gallery’s owner, Phillip Agatha, is more enchanted with murder than he is…
View original post 2,332 more words
In the Spotlight: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey From Heroes to Villains to Redemption by Emilio Corsetti III
“This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft.” NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror
On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.
While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey “Hoot” Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.
From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.
This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot’s decades-long battle to clear his name.
When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.
In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.
Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.
For More Information
- Friend of the Devil is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
The First Page
“The man’s here.”
The old Black woman delivered her pronouncement into the darkness of a back room—half in amusement, half in disgust. She then walked back across the front room of the cabin, her feet creaking on the wooden floor, to the place where the young man sat. A pot-bellied stove, streaked with soot, crackled in the opposite corner.
“He be wit you in a minute.”
The white youth seemed strangely comfortable in this shack outside Clarksdale in rural Mississippi. The year was 1947, at the height of Jim Crow, at a time when the races never mingled.
The young man had concocted an elaborate cover story and, with the confidence of his age, he believed he could explain himself if the wrong people found him here.
“What you say your name is?” the woman asked.
The woman laughed. “You a crazy-assed white boy, Joseph.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied in a deep baritone, guttural and booming. “That may well be.”
The old Black man shuffled out of the back room, moving slowly and deliberately. He was clad in overalls, and his silver hair framed a deeply lined and creased face. He glanced at Joseph and shook his head.
“Let’s go out on the porch, boy.”
They walked outside to the dilapidated wooden deck surrounding the front of the shack, and the old man settled in a rocking chair. He motioned for Joseph to sit beside him and regarded him with the same amusement his wife had displayed.
“You a long way from home, ain’t you?”
“I don’t really have a home, sir.”
“Everybody got a home.” The old man chuckled.
Welcome, Mark. Can you tell us what your book is about?
Friend of the Devil tells the story of Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, America’s most celebrated chef, who has cut a deal with the Devil for fame and fortune.
The first page is perhaps one of the most important pages in the whole book. It’s what draws the reader into the story. Why did you choose to begin your book this way?
There are two narrative lines: the “present day” of the story, which occurs in Palm Beach in 1990, when Avenzano has been America’s most famous chef for 25 years, alternating with a series of flashbacks that tell the reader about the tortured journey he traveled to get there. I decided to start at the beginning, with a teaser set in Mississippi in 1947.
In the course of writing your book, how many times would you say that first page changed and for what reasons?
The entire book went through numerous drafts and changed significantly any number of times. For example, the early drafts didn’t have the flashbacks, which left readers to supply those details from their imagination. Ultimately, that didn’t work.
Was there ever a time after the book was published that you wished you had changed something on the first page?
No. Friend of the Devil emerged slowly and painfully, but I think I finally did it as well as I was able to.
What advice can you give to aspiring authors to stress how important the first page is?
Literature students are trained by reading the classics—books that were written and read before radio, movies, TV, Internet and other electronic devices. Those authors were working in an environment where they could get away with a lot more. Today, the truth is that we’re competing with The Real Housewives of New Jersey. If that first page doesn’t grab people, they’ll wander off and do something else.
About the Author
Mark Spivak is an award-winning author, specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants, and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the Food Editor for Palm Beach Illustrated; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on http://www.palmbeachillustrated.com. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. From 1999-2011 Spivak hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.
Spivak is the author of two non-fiction books: Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). Friend of the Devil is his first novel. He is currently working on a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq.
For More Information
Leave a comment or a question in the comment section of this blog to let her know you stopped by! About the Book:
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}
Title: Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship)
Author: Subhash Kommuru
Publisher: Kommuru Books
Genre: Children’s Fiction
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}
Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture
and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself.
Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea!
These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.
Shobhan’s latest book is the children’s book, Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship).
For More Information
- Visit Subhash Kommuru’s website.
- Connect with Subhash on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Subhash at Goodreads.
We’re thrilled to have here today Summer Silva from Anna del Mar’s The Stranger, her newest romantic suspense and the second book of her Wounded Warrior Series, following on the heels of the Amazon bestseller, The Asset. Summer is a twenty-nine year old architect living in Miami, Florida.
It is a pleasure to have Summer with us today at Beyond the Books!
Hi. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Thank you so for this interview, Summer. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
Well, I’d like to start by saying that my trip to Alaska was sudden and unplanned, which explains why I wasn’t exactly prepared for the Alaskan weather and the Bering Sea superstorm that overtook me after my rental skidded on a patch of ice in the middle of nowhere and tumbled down a ravine. I mean. Black ice. Really? We don’t have that in Miami.
Why did you come to Alaska in the first place?
I would’ve never come to Alaska if my sister hadn’t run away with a guy she met on the Internet. But that’s Tammy for you and it fell on me to find her.
I know that, at first, Seth didn’t know what to make of me. But honestly, I didn’t know what to make of him either. He seemed…grumpy and not exactly friendly. All of that, combined with my…err…little secret, made for a bumpy beginning.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I’m sensible, dependent, dutiful. I love my family. I’m curious, driven and hard-working. I think I’m pretty smart as well and I’m a very good architect. I design plans, buildings, lives. That’s what I do.
I can be a little fiery at times. And I have a lot of attitude. I’ve got this little problem that limits me sometimes. I’m what the Athabaskans call a “dream chaser.” But if you want to know more about that, you’ve got to read The Stranger.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Are you kidding me? Yes, yes and yes! That’s really what the novel is all about. In The Stranger I fall for the stranger himself, the enigmatic Seth Erickson. When I first met him, I thought he was the most aggravating man in the world. I also thought he was delicious to the eyes. Come to find out, he had his hands full. He is a powerful Alaskan tycoon, the scion of his family’s extensive fortunes, fighting off a takeover attempt and dealing with his quarreling family.
Seth is also a helicopter pilot, a wounded warrior struggling to recover from injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan, a man haunted by his past and fighting his own set of demons. Seth is a total alpha, brilliant, blunt, systematic and precise, always cool and in command, a man who despises emotion and sticks to his icy logic… well, that is, until he met me!
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
The whole time I was in Alaska I was wondering if I would survive. Not only was there someone inexplicably trying to kill me, but the weather was challenging and summer is a rather brief season in Alaska. I’m essentially a tropical being and I didn’t know if I could make it in Alaska. I mean, Not only did I get stuck in a Bering Sea superstorm. I got charged by a bear. A brown bear. That would never, ever happen in Miami. Not even in my wildest dreams—and I have a lot of those. As to the crash, when the plane went down in the middle of the Alaskan Rage I thought I was dead. Finito. Over.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
I loved the ending, because I love Seth.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?
Give me some good gear from the start, lady, not a fashion coat and a pair of expensive heels, but something warm and heavy. And boots, give me boots that grip the ground so I’m not sliding all over. Tell me who I’m dealing with, a man haunted by his past, a sexy hunk, inside and out, a deliciously passionate soul whose icy exterior challenges the flame that burns in him, a brave, loyal, generous, kickass warrior who needed me as much as I needed him. Did I tell you Seth is sexy and mouthwatering gorgeous? I mean, that part I could see right away. The rest would’ve given me a head start.
Thank you for this interview, Summer. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
If Anna del Mar returns to Alaska, for sure you may catch up with Seth and I. If not, you’re off to Africa with Jade Romo and her scrumptious game warden, Matthias Hawking. Those two, you don’t want to miss.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When her sister runs away with a guy she met on the internet, a warmth-loving Miami architect chases her reckless sibling to Alaska and finds her life in danger from more than the elements. Only a stranger, a wounded warrior who is also Alaskan tycoon with a quarreling family as complicated as her own and no time for a lady in distress—let alone one who walks on her sleep—can save her from disaster. Together, two strangers from different worlds and opposite spectrums of the thermometer must unravel the intrigues that threaten their lives to chase after a new dream, together, in majestic Alaska.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.
Barnes and Noble:
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Link to Follow Tour: http://worldwindtours.com/index.php/2016/08/04/tour-sign-up-the-moreva-of-astoreth/
I’ve been a fugitive from reality since forever. As a child, I constantly made up stories–some would call them lies–about my family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street. I had friends that only I could see. Oh, the adventures we had!
Learning to read was a revelation. Words fascinated me. Whole new worlds opened up, and since my parents forbade nothing, I read everything. Some of it I didn’t quite understand, but I didn’t mind. I read it anyway. I even read the dictionary. When I was a little older, I was big on mysteries–English cozy mysteries, that is, Agatha Christie, were my favorites. Then I graduated to horror. Whenever a new book came out by Stephen King, Peter Straub or Dean Koontz, I was first in line. I was reading a little science fiction at this time–Robert Heinlein and authors like him–but I really didn’t get into it until I was in college. The same with fantasy. I really got into high fantasy–Lord of the Rings style–in college.
During this time I was still making up stories, but not writing them down. They were private. Besides, I thought my family and friends would laugh at me. In fact, the only story I recall writing was one that won a contest when I was in elementary school.
So anyway, life goes on. I went to law school. After I graduated and entered the workforce, I finally started writing down my stories. I wrote a bit here and there, short stories that never saw the light of day (which was probably a good thing). Then I fell ill. I had the flu for a month. Bored out of my skull, I started writing a piece of fan fiction, though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time. I showed it to a friend of mine who suggested I finish the story.
Well, that piece of fan fiction fell by the wayside, but in its place came a manuscript that would eventually become my first book, The Underground. I absolutely adored writing it. I absolutely adore writing, period. Slipping into that alternate reality for hours on end, there was a time in my life when it was called daydreaming and I got into trouble for it. Now it’s legitimate. And that’s the best part of all.