Sunday, October 15, 2017

~BLOG TOUR ~ The Killing Collective ~ by Gary Starta


The Killing Collective A Thriller Crime Suspense Novel By Author Gary Starta

Try To Put It Down...

Only #99Cents and available on #KindleUnlimited

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery

Author: Gary Starta

Blog Tour October 15th 2017
Hosted by Teaser Addicts PR


Homicide Detective Stanford Carter uses Zen meditation to deal with the gruesome crimes of humanity.

But his composure is severely tested when an unfaithful husband and stripper are not only murdered but showcased for their immoral lives. To test his mettle further, department policy is jeopardizing his romance with his CSI colleague Jill Seacrest.

Marrying colleagues is prohibited and Carter must either end his romance or have Jill put in for transfer.

The private detective hired by the family of the victims becomes the only suspect. Carter theorizes someone with knowledge in law enforcement is responsible for leaving clean but disturbing crime scenes. Further investigation leads him to believe a pair of killers might be working as serials.

As Jill goes undercover to investigate the PI's social life, Carter fears he might not only fail to stop the vigilante killings but lose the love of his life.

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Gary Starta is a former journalist who studied English and Journalism at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

His love for science fiction compelled him to write his first novel ' What Are You Made Of? ' published in 2006.
Inspired by Isaac Asimov, the science fiction novel focuses on intelligent artificial life and whether sentient androids should possess the same rights as humans.

The androids in Starta's novel are created as hybrids - part machine, part human - further blurring the line between human and machine. Starta foresees a near future where humans will be forced to decide if intelligent machinery is indeed a life form.

Possibly, in this near future, some humans will possess computer enhancements to overcome disabilities becoming hybrids themselves. The line between biological life form and mechanical life form will continue to be examined in a follow up novel now being written.

Starta cites Stephen King and Dean Koontz as inspirations for his 2007 novel ' Blood Web ' which is also reminiscent of the The X-files television/movie series. Contemporary authors Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher and Kelly Armstrong also fuel his aspiration to create paranormal suspense.

The follow up novel to ' Blood Web ' - ' Extreme Liquidation ' explores Caitlin Diggs' supernatural gifts including the ability to see the future in dreams and to read a person's character through emotions.
Updates on the publication date for ' Extreme Liquidation ' will follow.
Starta's crime novella ' Murder By Association' blends mystery with forensic investigation.
It is a departure from previous books because it contains no science fiction or paranormal elements. Additionally, Starta foresees his 2008 novella ' Alzabreah's Garden ' - a fantasy romance - as another out-of-the-box effort.


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Saturday, October 7, 2017

~ BOOK REVIEW TOUR ~ Halloween Is Murder ~ by Carolyn Arnold

Title: Halloween is Murder
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Beware of all that goes bump in the night…

Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.

But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinley’s to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.

As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.


 I think it’s important to first point out that not only is this the first book in this series that I’ve read, but this is the first book I’ve read at all from this author. It’s important to point this out in case you are reading this review and wondering if it can really be read as a standalone.  My answer is an absolute YES. I had zero problems understanding any background, and also wasn’t overloaded with background, as can sometimes happen. This could just as easily have been the first book in the series.

I really enjoyed this story, and the mystery behind not only who murdered this reporter (or even IF she was murdered), or who could have even wanted to.  They started out with absolutely no clues – especially being a PI firm not working with the police, so they had no evidence to work with either.  The building up of the clues to the case, and what did or didn’t happen was impressive and believable – especially when they occasionally admitted that they were running on assumptions that they would have to prove later, rather than stating assumptions as fact, which is usually a big pet peeve for me when I read mysteries.  I also like that although they didn’t directly work with the police, it wasn’t a competition – largely because they were former officers themselves.  They were open and honest with the police in everything they did every step of the way, without obstructing the police investigation – sometimes another pet peeve of mine that didn’t happen.

There were so many different options, and so many different directions, that I never even had a clue that the answer to “who done it” was anywhere near what it turned out to be.  It’s not often that I’m kept guessing, and this author did a great job in doing so.

I would say the only negative for me – which is definitely a personal preference – is that I didn’t feel much connection to any of the individual characters.  Not even the main characters.  I liked them, but I didn’t feel like I really knew them, or that I was there with them experiencing their day-to-day life along with their PI life.  There were small parts that hinted towards things about their lives, but not enough to feel attached to them or their relationships.  This is a short read, so it is possible that those things were left out to keep it short.  But again, this is more of a personal preference.  If you are looking for a straight mystery, and are in it more for solving a mystery than really knowing the players, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Now that I have read one book in one of what appears to be many series’ written by this author, she definitely has my attention, and I am very intrigued and interested in reading many more in the future!

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

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Chapter 8


SARA’S HEART RATE TICKED UP a few notches at Marie’s assured conclusion that someone had killed Chloe. She could feel Sean staring at her, but she refused to look at him. She knew that his eyes would be telling her not to get attached to investigating this case. Besides, he had said they could look into Chloe’s death more, which hadn’t been a commitment, she knew, but she’d taken it as his word. Even a little investigating was a step in the direction she wanted to go. And just because she had a gut feeling about Chloe’s death didn’t mean she’d lost all objectivity.

“Why do you think someone killed her?” Sara asked.

“It’s just… None of this feels right.” Marie picked at her purse strap, its fabric frayed and threads poking out. Probably a nervous habit of hers.

Sara gave Marie the once-over. For someone who lived in a nice neighborhood, Marie’s clothing and accessories didn’t speak of wealth. It also didn’t seem Chloe’s sense of style was a trait her sister shared.

“And why doesn’t it feel right?” Sean, a skeptic if ever there was one, pressed.

Sara looked over at him. It didn’t seem to matter how long they worked together; he would never fully cave to the weight she put on intuition.

So much for rubbing off on the people you spend the most time with…

“The police talked to me at length,” Marie said, “but they didn’t ask the types of questions I would have expected if they were treating it as a murder.”

“Like what?” Sara asked.

“I thought they would have asked who would have had reason to kill her, for one.”

“We spoke with Jackson—” Sean started.

“Yes, I know,” Marie cut in. “That’s how I got your information.”

“Then you know that he was held for questioning.”

Marie nodded. “I do, but he didn’t think they grilled him very hard, either.”

There was only so much law enforcement could do without cause. Still, they could have held Jackson for longer than the time it had taken them to question him. By law, they had up to twenty-four hours to hold him without filing a formal charge.

“And Chloe’s health was excellent. We have no history of disease or people just—” Marie averted her eyes “—dropping dead in our family. Our grandparents lived into their eighties on both sides. Now, our parents are both dead, but they were in a car accident.” She added the latter part quickly.

“Do you have any other siblings?” Sara asked, though she only remembered reading that Chloe had a sister.

Marie shook her head. “It was just…” She cupped the sides of her face and pinched her eyes shut. Tears squeezed out from the corners, falling down her cheeks without apology.

A knot balled in Sara’s chest, and she took a shallow breath. She was getting too caught up emotionally—again. And taking on the grief of others wasn’t healthy. At least so far with this case, she’d managed to stuff the feelings deep down inside. But she’d be lying if she said she didn’t fear that one day they’d bubble to the surface all at once.