This Week’s Read: Beneath the Surface by Mike Martin

BTS_Front_highResBlurb: Sgt. Windflower is back and as usual he’s loving life on the east coast. He may be a long way from his home in Northern Alberta but he has been adopted by the locals as almost one of their own. He has a good life, good work with the RCMP, and a good woman that he has grown closer to in his years on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. But trouble is brewing just beneath the surface of this calm and charm-filled existence.

It begins with the discovery of a dead girl’s body in St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador. The girl is from Grand Bank where Windflower has been stationed for the last few years. Sgt. Windflower and his associate Corporal Eddie Tizzard are pulled further and further into the case. The situation also grows to include a whole array of criminal activities from human trafficking and even the Russian Mafia.

Along the way Windflower not only has to deal with this crime wave operating all around the region, but with some challenges in his own life. He has to go back to his Aboriginal roots to find the answers to some very deep and disturbing questions. But nothing seems to bother his appetite and joy for life, especially his appetite. He continues to sample traditional Newfoundland dishes like fish and brewis but he also expands to include pan-fried sea trout and baked salmon, along with a range of desserts from blueberry buckle to his all-time favourite, peanut butter cheesecake.

His faith in the police force, that has become his life, is also threatened by a series of events that he becomes aware of that are certainly immoral if not even illegal. He is forced to face not only his own personal demons but those in real life that are lurking all around us. Sometime they are right in front of our face, but at other times they are hiding deep beneath the surface, waiting to be resolved.

Snag your copy at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Author Bio: 

I have always been a writer, even as I have earned a living doing many, many other things. For the last 15 years I have been a freelance writer, specializing in workplace and social policy issues. I have been published in newspapers and magazines across Canada, the United States and New Zealand. My first published book was Change the Things You Can: Dealing With Difficult People, published by Booklocker in 2011. The Walker on the Cape was my first published fiction book although I have published a number of short stories in periodicals and on-line. The Body on the T is the second book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series

I am a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild.

Guest Interview: Taylor M. Lunsford

Taylor-8 - Version 2Greetings Indie Readers! It’s another T.G.I. Friday post. Hard to believe how time flies. Today I have the lovely author and editor Taylor M. Lunsford. She works with in the small press publishing industry, which is just one of the many publishing routes author’s can launch themselves in. Without further ado, I’ll launch in the questions that Taylor was so gracious in answering.

1.) Why did you choose small press versus self-publishing or traditional publishing routes? 

I went with small press for a couple different reasons. The first is that I wasn’t having a lot of success going the traditional route. Agents are taking on fewer and fewer new writers these days, and there are a lot of romance writers out there. Amanda Green, my editor, encouraged me to try writing a romantic suspense for Naked Reader Press, so I thought “what the heck” and gave it a shot. Small press gives you a lot more control over your work as far as content, timeline, etc. goes, while still having the safety net of an editor and someone making the covers and access to the different storefronts. It’s also hugely helpful when you’re mildly technologically challenged to have someone to do the formatting and coding for e-books. NRP is very writer focused and knowing the editors was also a big selling point. For my first book, it felt like the best of both worlds.

2.) Tell readers a little bit about your latest release. Is this the genre you love to write? 

The Love in Unknown series is small town romance with a strong vein of suspense. I’ve always loved small town romances, but I hadn’t tried adding in suspense before. Book one, Need You Now, is about the ridiculously sexy mayor, Caine Maddox, and his college sweetheart (and best friend’s little sister), Melody Carr. I love stories where the hero and heroine have a past together, and they have to figure out how to work around it. For those of you who know your Jane Austen, Persuasion (aka my favorite book) had a strong influence on the story.

3.) What other genres draw your interest and why?

I love all aspects of romance. I think I’ve read something in every subgenre and written something in a lot of them (historical, paranormal, fantasy). I’m really into biographies right now. I can’t read non-romance books (don’t know why, it’s a mental block), so I’ll listen to biographies when I’m driving to and from work. My favorite is probably ‘Tis Herself, Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography.

4.) You’re also listed as an Assistant Editor for Naked Reader Press, was this planned or something happened upon? 

Well, as I said, I know the folks who run NRP, so as the only strictly romance writer currently on their roster (Ellie Ferguson is another, but she writes more suspense/paranormal than just romance and Sarah Hoyt writes in pretty much every genre), I was invited to join the team.

5.) As an editor what are you looking for in a book? Do you try to implement the same things in your own books? 

I look for the same thing in a book that I want to write and read. I want strong, interesting characters that are maybe a little bit quirky. I like stories with a bit of a twist or interest that I wouldn’t expect. But mostly I just want to read well-written stuff from intelligent, kick-ass writers.

6.) Finally, what can we expect next? 

Well, with any luck, the short story in the Love in Unknown series, We Own The Night, will be out within the next few weeks. It sets up the romance for book three between Caine’s brother Gage and fashion designer Tessa Styles, and gets the hero for book two—Mel’s brother Micah—Ready to Love Again.

Get a copy of Taylor’s latest book at:

Amazon

B&N 

Smashwords

Connect with Taylor on her Website or at TwitterPinterest, or Amazon

Finally, thanks Taylor for submitting to an interview. Loved having you here and I encourage readers to ask your small press questions about the experience etc.

Review: The Return – Cate’s Take

Genre: Religious thriller

Rating: Not for me

Never having read The Da Vinci Code (I know, you can flog me later), I was able to go into Carter Vance’s book without any sort of bias. And while the storyline and ideas were engaging, the book simply didn’t work for me as a reader.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints. We meet Geoff, an American banker vacationing at his friend’s estate in France; Jacques, said friend and secret Templar Knight; and Sarah and Peter, whose relationship is vital to the story’s plot.

The idea behind this story is that Sarah is the descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and that her child with Peter is the second coming of Christ. Vance drops subtle clues and hints through Geoff’s obsession with the Templars, which leads him to various locations all over the globe.

One of my main issues with the book was that the plot moves so quickly that the reader never gets a chance to get to know the parties involved. There are multiple points where Vance could have provided clever insight or interjected more personality, but the plot overrules the characters, and we never get to see more than a basic two-dimensional representation of them. From what I could glean, I really liked Sarah’s character and her relationship with Peter, but the reader only gets brief glimpses. When one of the main characters died, I felt little more than a passing sympathy.

I understand what Vance was trying to do, but it didn’t work for me. The pacing was far too rushed for such a complex story, and I felt that that robbed the reader of what could’ve been an engaging and exciting read. However, the story beneath the plot is done well, and the book is very well-researched. I just wanted to see more.

The Return is available at:

Amazon