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The Sightseers Agency

The Sightseers Agency (The Dreadnought Collective Book 5)5 Stars

The Sightseers Agency picks up with Richard Pencil leaving the government position he took up at the end of the previous book. With the new world order well underway, the big three-letter agencies are breaking up, and Richard is going back to work with Joe Fraser and the man known as the Inlooker. Richard also has an impressive upgrade to his extra-sensory detective powers. He’s joined by a new remote-viewer, Miss Plum Duff, whose talents were honed by alien intervention. Fraser hires them to launch the the Sightseers Agency, reporting to him and their mysterious benefactor. Their mission is to oversee the behavior of elected officials, and another secret goal is revealed later. Seb Cage, who is now a talented computer security specialist (along with the skills he gained from the Sombrella Syndicate), joins the agency as well.

The Sightseers soon discover that the greatest threat to earth isn’t just from rogue officials and politicians, but also hostile aliens who have been planning an attack for some time. Complications arise because some of the aliens on Earth are friendly, while some are more like tourists who take on human form just to experience something different. Ms. Plum Duff comes into her own here, since she, like Seb, has a long history with regard to aliens.

Like the previous agency novel, there is an overarching plot that is played out in several different investigations. While the book is described as a series of whodunits set in the future, each case is a link in a chain that ultimately brings conflict on both a personal and global scale. I was glad to see more about the use of psychic mind-reading to ferret out lies and criminal activity, and the manipulation of auras and even the soul itself. There’s also the fascinating angle of this “new world” society, run on a democracy-on-demand system with a goal toward a true meritocracy. While some of this society’s social practices seem dystopian, others, like the use of Tesla’s wireless transmission of energy, offer a utopia of readily-available power.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed throughout the Dreadnaught series is the author’s vivid imagination. His notes at the beginning of the books give real-world tales of psychics and UFO phenomenon that act as the launch pad for his stories. His humor and wordplay are also in full force, with inventive non-cuss words, ribald comedy—especially when it comes to Richard and his Lothario tendencies—and the continued jokes about “potties,” which are ubiquitous self-driving transport pods, giving “on the throne” a whole different meaning.

Overall, this series has been fun to read. The major recurring characters are so unique, each with their own set of skills, flaws, and quirks, that it’s a delight to follow them from one adventure to another. The Sightseers Agency ties up a lot of loose ends, answers questions, and ends on a hopeful note and fans of the series will be satisfied by the ending.

Pages: 307 | ASIN: B01KBAKX1E

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Psychic Abilities Required

Terry Tumbler Author Interview

Terry Tumbler Author Interview

The Deaduction Agency follows a team of psychics, telepaths and remote viewers who investigate several cases of disappearances, murders, and missing persons. This is a thrilling paranormal mystery novel. What was the initial spark for this book and how did that develop as you were writing?

I empathize with psychics, whose skills gained credibility as I read about them in series such as Psychic Detectives. The willingness of the police and detectives to appear in the shows, often after retirement from the force, speaks volumes for their appreciation of the skills of the psychics they employed. What also emerged was the need of the program makers to pad out the stories of psychic detectives with endless repeats of the facts. This is because the crimes are resolved in such a straightforward manner that it makes regular policing look tedious – which it is.

The first case, of a complex divorce, took longer to resolve because it did not require psychic abilities. I used it to contrast the differences in time to describe regular, traditional policing and those cases that require the skills of a psychic.

To my regret, some reviewers failed to understand why this approach was taken.

The book covers several different cases which range from quick and easy to edge-of-your-seat thriller. My favorite was ‘Case of the Prodigal Son’. What was your favorite case?

The same ‘Prodigal Son’, plus ‘The Honey Trap’, where Richard’s possessive and devious nature is revealed to the full.

The psychics at this agency have skills and near-future technology that give them powers beyond what psychics can do now. What were the limitations you needed to keep them believable and what was something that you absolutely had to have for them to be interesting?

I accept psychic skills as they exist now, and have no patience with skeptics who try to fool around with their sensory perceptions, to prove they are frauds and have no special skills. However, in the book they had to be fully capable of reading minds, in order to be foolproof in their assessment of criminals. Even so, some reviewers failed to understand this, and judged the psychic teams to be behaving unacceptably in passing sentence on some criminals. Why, if they can read minds and know the vile nature of the people they are categorizing? It is hardly as if they are executing them! The aim is to re-incorporate them into society, with their souls purified.

This story is ripe with paranormal activity, remote viewing and the powers of the mind. Which power and character do you identify with?

Telepathy, having experimented with it in front of others, as a young teenager. I identify with Richard and Chuck and Joe, in different ways.

A final, general observation on the review itself. The opening scene is criticized for its excess of descriptive detail, That is almost a verbatim criticism made by another reviewer, Marta Cheng in 2015, who stated: In some places, such as near the beginning of the book, there is an inordinate amount of detailed explanation provided as to the set up of the agency’s offices – details that detract from the momentum of the story. In response, I cut down the detail to a mere 360 words, which is hardly inordinate! It also became apparent that Marta (who got fond of changing her surname to put me off the scent) had not read the book in its entirety and was intent on having a dig at another reviewer from the same stable as herself.

To emphasize why it was done, I then suffixed the description with the following sentences:

Richard, the most senior partner in the agency, was busying himself constantly re-arranging brochures on a side table in the waiting area in reception. It was a quirky habit of his that Honey found most annoying. It also reflected his fussy preoccupation with orderliness and exact measurements.

Naturally, he was the architect of the office layout, which Honey was often tempted to rearrange, solely to unsettle him.

Love scenes soon followed as well! Some of this preoccupation is revisited later, as part of Honey’s tangled love life. What more can an author do?

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The Deaduction Agency

Witness at first-hand a group of specialist investigators, as they set up and run a new, innovative crime fighting agency. They are dedicated to the resolution of criminal cases using paranormal assistance. This will be a new, innovative and emerging brand of policing designed to protect the citizens of our country.

Read how they deal with the anti-social, disturbed behavior of a wayward, divorced husband, who is on the verge of destroying the lives of his ex-wife and their two young sons.

Read how they identify the members of a murderous ring of pedophiles from relatively few clues, and bring them to justice.

Read how they move from ineffectively resolving one case at a time, and onto tackling multiple cases with far more beneficial results to society.

Read thereafter how they clear the penitentiaries of criminals, starting with the most dangerous inmates, using novel means to cleanse their souls of sin, and equip them for new roles in life in special clearing centers. The objective is to reintegrate them into society, rendered capable of performing straightforward tasks and genuinely purified, via the novel process of atonement.

Read how they find one talented young man who was lost, presumed dead, and reunite him with his family. Thereafter, as agents of change, they help launch him on the path to stardom.

This is not a simple, gory, two dimensional book, but an exploration into the timely use of mediums in crime detection. It can pay dividends in assisting the fight against crime.

They use the latest techniques and technology in a future world that is not far removed from that which exists today.

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The Deaduction Agency

The Deaduction Agency4 Stars

Do you like TV shows like Psychic Detective, The Dead Files or Medium? If you do, this book is for you. A team of psychics, telepaths and remote viewers—along with police support—investigate several cases of disappearances, murders, and missing persons.

The author opens the book with a foreword with many examples of actual cold cases, murders and disappearances that were solved by psychics. Some of them went on to fame and fortune, while others work quietly with police, presumably to this day. However, the fictitious psychics at this agency have skills and near-future technology that gives them powers above and beyond what famous psychics can do.

The founders, Richard, Honey, Rose, and Chuck, are joined by Joe Fraser, a billionaire from the U.S., joins the firm to help them make connections with local law enforcement. Their first case is a real challenge, involving a contentious divorce rife with infidelity and manipulation. Could Ms. Nicky Lestrange be married to a psychopath, or are there even darker things afoot? Honey’s psychic trail leads them into the life of a man who is hiding more than a much younger girlfriend. This case is the longest and most detailed of all, and the rest of the book delves into cold case files and unsolved mysteries, and the individuals on the psychic teams that resolve them.

The Deaduction Agency had a slow start that bogged down the opening of the novel. The first two chapters seemed caught up in describing every detail of the office and their technology but didn’t flesh out the characters very well. Some of it was high-tech and interesting, but I found myself wanting to get back to the “Case of the Deranged Husband.” Once that first case gets underway, we get to know the characters very well, and the rest of the story shines through.

The many the cases undertaken by the psychics range from very quick and easy, like the “Case of Spontaneous Eruption,” to edge-of-your-seat cases, where one of the team members places herself in danger to catch a serial killer. My favorite was the “Case of the Prodigal Son” which offered a surprising conclusion. Each case is like a series episode, which makes it fun and easy to read. One involved a scene of vigilantes murdering two men. In another, a pedophile ring is broken up, and after the perpetrators are arrested, their memories (and their quite literal demons) are destroyed by a machine called a “spectrometer.” Later, we learn what became of those men, and while it doesn’t absolve the Agency, the mediums would be able to use their machine for a different purpose. Indeed, by the end of the novel it’s clear that the Agency is changing its focus—for better or worse, it remains to be seen—and greater things lie ahead for Richard. With all of this there’s still a primary plot that develops throughout the course of each investigation.

If you like tales of paranormal activity, remote viewing and the powers of the mind, The Deaduction Agency is a multi-layered story with intriguing characters that you’ll enjoy.

Pages: 316 | ASIN: B00Y2I8DB4

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A REPLY FROM THE AUTHOR:

A final, general observation on the review itself. The opening scene is criticized for its excess of descriptive detail, That is almost a verbatim criticism made by another reviewer, Marta Cheng in 2015, who stated: In some places, such as near the beginning of the book, there is an inordinate amount of detailed explanation provided as to the set up of the agency’s offices – details that detract from the momentum of the story. In response, I cut down the detail to a mere 360 words, which is hardly inordinate! It also became apparent that Marta (who got fond of changing her surname to put me off the scent) had not read the book in its entirety and was intent on having a dig at another reviewer from the same stable as herself.

     To emphasize why it was done, I then suffixed the description with the following sentences:

Richard, the most senior partner in the agency, was busying himself constantly re-arranging brochures on a side table in the waiting area in reception. It was a quirky habit of his that Honey found most annoying. It also reflected his fussy preoccupation with orderliness and exact measurements.

Naturally, he was the architect of the office layout, which Honey was often tempted to rearrange, solely to unsettle him.

Love scenes soon followed as well! Some of this preoccupation is revisited later, as part of Honey’s tangled love life. What more can an author do?

Pretty Hate Machine

Special Task Force: GREEN MAJIK #1 "Pretty Hate Machine": The Reader Feedback Dooms Day Edition by [Templeton, Don]
5 Stars

Special Task Force: GREEN MAJIK, Pretty Hate Machine, written by Don Templeton, is a high paced action novel that begins with a suicide mission of a nine year old girl, Sadie Hawkins.

Soon after, during a homicide investigation, a phone call regarding a hard drive captures the attention of Detective Jack Carnahan; a man who teeters on the edge of breaking the law in order to capture the crooks. Through a twist of fate, the detective finds himself teaming up with an unlikely duo to expose an unimaginable terror that will shock the world.

Homeland Security, the FBI, alligator farmers and hypnotherapists intertwine in a race against time to find the truth before a terrible secret is unleashed.

Be prepared to cancel all prior engagements as this action packed, edge of your seat novel is a story you will not be prepared to put down. From the suburban streets of Colorado to the headquarters of police in Denver comes a tale of power-puff dressed, mini sized suicide attackers, Charlie’s Angels themed police officers, prostitutes and detectives who will withdraw a glock the moment strife arises.

Not for the faint hearted, the tone of the story is set with the opening chapter exploring a nine year old girl’s suicide mission within her school yard. Enthralled instantly, the reader is left to question what could possess such a terrifying act of horror. On the other side of town, Detective Jack Carnahan stumbles across a home invasion of a UFO crazed family man and soon finds himself working with unlikely allies- an acid addicted journalist and a perky prima donna porn star. The action will keep you on your toes as Carnahan races against time to discover what the connections could be between the brutal homicide and the suicide school yard mission. Not everything is as it seems and Carnahan dives deep into a storm of lies, deceit and ultimate evil.

Don Templeton has a remarkable talent in which he is able to paint a picture with his words and I easily envisioned his characters from the innocent Sadie to the curious hypnotherapist, Buffy Rayburn. The characters are introduced intermittently and together they form the pieces of an intriguing conspiracy puzzle.

Each character delves from unique circumstances. From thugs to hypnotherapists and journalists to prostitutes, every reader will find themselves a character who they adore.

My favourite character, Mallory Hammond, takes you on a journey into the swamps of Louisiana where she is investigating a gang of alligator farmers. Here she discovers a secret that will take you to the depths of your nightmares. Her co-workers perceive her as crazy and a somewhat introverted FBI agent however circumstances transform her from caterpillar to butterfly- a butterfly that is a sexy, capable, tomb raider style fighting machine who demands respect and admiration.

Don Templeton’s vivid imagery often evoked strong emotion through themes of violence, action and comradery and Jack Carnahan’s bravery and thirst for the truth will leave the readers hungry for more. From rescuing scantily dressed teenagers to stumbling across botched cover-ups, Templeton takes you on a whirlwind adventure which leaves you wondering, who can you really trust?

Pages: 379 | ASIN: B017FWYIVC

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Nightmare From World’s End

The Nightmare From World's End4 Stars

The Nightmare From World’s End, a science fiction thriller by Robert J. Stava, takes place in Wyvern Falls located along the Hudson River. The action begins when various people begin to go missing along the river. Members of the community are confused about the disappearances until it’s discovered that a giant squid-like creature is wreaking havoc, leaving carnage and even more questions in its wake. That’s not all to the story, however. There isn’t just one creature, there’s two!

A major player in the chaos is John Easton, a private detective, begins to unravel the history around the two creatures. Alongside him is Sarah Ramhorne, a strong-headed Native American archeologist who seems to hold some of the answers. Together they, along with others, try to unravel the story that surrounds these two mysterious creatures and put a stop to the death that has been taking place along the Hudson River.

This book is definitely a thriller that will have readers flipping through the pages wondering what will happen next. The author holds nothing back when he describes each vicious attack committed by the giant squid. Also, the tie-in with Native American culture within the book was handled well. It’s obvious that Robert J. Stava did his research on the tribes in the Hudson Valley area, and while the main purpose of his book was to thrill his readers with the tale of giant, murderous, perhaps ancient sea creatures, a secondary purpose was to provide them with a history of the area and enlighten the reader on Native American history.

Adding to this point, Native American folklore is very present and relevant within the piece. The leading lady, Sarah makes it a point to educate those that she encounters about the injustice done to the tribes within the area. The author doesn’t just place Sarah’s dialogue as disconnected rants within the piece; it all leads up to the climax the unfolds towards the end of the story. This is evident through the actions of Crazy Jack, a homeless Native American (and real folklore character), that contributes to the climax of the story by waking up the second creature that lives on the other end of the river from where the squid is attacking. Throughout the story, Crazy Jack is guided by the voices of his ancestors, telling him what must be done in order to bring an end to the death and carnage unfolding.

This book has a lot going on it in; sea creatures, Native American history and folklore, a private detective with a tragic past, ancient aliens, mind-reading, and even ghosts. You name it, and it’s probably in this book. At times, it was a bit too much, and a little disconnected for the reader. Especially, the bit on ancient aliens. It’s hard to see how Guillamo Del Tesler and his fanatical theories about the river monster being an ancient alien come into play. He’s brought to the area after Jennie Roderick, a half-witted archaeologist student, mails him some doctored petroglyphs that indicate an alien existence within the area. While this part of the plot is an entertaining aside to the major drama going on in the story, it was difficult to discern how it actually contributed to the overall plot, if at all.

Overall, the author tells a good story. The entwinement of sci-fi thriller with Native American folklore is unique and provides a sturdy foundation upon which to base the plot of the entire story. Regardless of a couple smaller story lines falling out of place within the book, it was an entertaining read.

Pages: 249 | ASIN: B01MQLLNM3

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The TVC Project

The TVC Project4 Stars

The TVC Project is the story of a pre-med student Buck and detective Allyson Mancuso as they find themselves thrust into a dark murder mystery, rife with political intrigue. Despite the dangerous world, they have found themselves involved in a seductive romance. At the beginning of the book, Buck is a normal college student focused on his studies and his friends. But a normal night of studying turns his life upside down when his two best friends fail to meet up with him. When Buck discovers that they have been murdered he cannot let go of the investigation until he learns what happened to his friends.

The TVC Project was written by Tom Bridges published in 2013. He is from Dallas Texas and works within the medical field. Bridges background is perhaps the reason behind the realism of Buck’s medical knowledge in the book. Buck and Allyson are both intriguing characters that are given interesting backgrounds that fill out their character and make them feel real. Buck’s history in the navy, making him an older college student at 27, gives his character depth and makes his relationship with detective Mancuso believable. His flaw might be that while we are in his head we see that he perceives himself as an overall “nice guy” despite being sexually aroused in the middle of dealing with the murder of his best friends and memorial services. Allyson herself is given depth in her side hobby of rebuilding her house. The unrealistic part of these characters perhaps comes from how easily Allyson lets Buck in on the case and allows him to partake in the investigation.

One of the most interesting parts of the book is Bridge’s use of character perspective. While much of the book is written from Buck’s perspective; we also get to go into the heads of Allyson and some of the characters behind the murder itself. This writing choice is sure to keep readers captivated as answers coming flying in from different directions along with more questions. I liked that none of the characters had all the answers because this leaves the reader in a perfect position to piece the mystery together.

The story is a fascinating murder mystery and an exciting political thriller all tied up in a passionate romance. It successfully weaves these genres into a thought-provoking story. While the book does come to an end in a satisfying and unique way, it still leaves questions open and possibilities for more to come, which creates a desire to continue reading the second book Bridges wrote as a sequel, Surviving Ghosts. Overall the book was interesting and unpredictable, a necessity for an enjoyable mystery.

Pages: 295 | ASIN: B00FEN4RVG

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End of the Roaring 20’s

Ted Korsmo Author Interview

Ted Korsmo Author Interview

Wayzata takes place in 1930’s suburban Minnesota, but the tale still carries all the trappings of a 1920’s era LA noir. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?

Erm…most L.A. noir stories actually take place during the ’30s, and my story is set in 1939, perhaps for the reason that this time period concerns the end of the so-called “roaring ’20s” and the eventual fallout from that decade (or so) of overindulgence and decadence. During this period, the Great Depression was still in full swing, war was imminent, most people had to scrounge to eke out a living, and crime was on the rise. Dirtbags and seedy establishments permeated society. I thought it might be interesting to set a story in a place insulated from most of that, so why not set this story in a remote, resort town town in the Midwest? It’s also helpful to narratively remove all coincidences, as, in such a provincial locale, everybody knows or at least has heard of everyone else; it wouldn’t be strange for people to run into one another on the street. Then I guess I have to divulge that I grew up near to Wayzata, spent time there, and was familiar with many of the locations, some of which I used in the novel.

I think that the story has roots in classic hard-boiled detective stories. Do you read books from that genre? What were some books that you think influenced Wayzata?

Indeed it does, and indeed I do. As a teenager I was a huge Coen brothers fan; Raising Arizona and Miller’s Crossing were just great, and I seem to remember seeing an interview with the Coens (who are from Minneapolis), talking about how the latter film sprung from reading their favorite author, Raymond Chandler. Fortunately for me, Chandler was not incredibly prolific, and I was able to devour all seven of his novels during my stint at college. Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain soon followed. These three are pretty well all you need, though there are certainly other excellent pulp writers out there. When I found out I had a knack for constructing similes, this genre seemed like a natural fit. Double Indemnity, the novel and the movie, was definitely an influence. I pay homage to it several times. The novel was written by Cain and the screenplay by Chandler. Coincidence?

Detective Carroll LaRue is an intriguing character. What were the driving ideals that drove the character’s development throughout the story?

Thanks for saying so. LaRue, like most private dicks portrayed in this type of novel, is a kind of highly moralistic individual who has to drink to cope with reality. He, like Marlowe, like Spade, is a kind of non-judgmental angel, slumming it by choice, yet exhausted and saddened by the depravity that surrounds him. (SPOILER ALERT) In Wayzata, when LaRue allows himself to be led astray by a pretty face, it turns out to be his undoing, and the tragedy of the story is that he is, for the most part, aware of it, but does it anyway.

I find a problem with well-written stories is that I always want there to be another book to keep the story going. Is there a second book planned?

At the moment, no. Since so much noir does tend to carry on with a character appearing and reappearing throughout several novels, I probably should have thought ahead. I have toyed with a notion of a prequel, a story in which LaRue still works in Los Angeles and how he comes to leave that place. He alludes to it in Wayzata. There’s probably something there, but, for the nonce, I am chosen instead to work on a couple collections of short stories and a novella.

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Wayzata

Wayzata3 StarsIn Ted Korsmo’s Wayzata the author reaches way back into literary Americana to dust off an old fedora. While the book takes place in the titular Minnesotan suburb, the tale carries all the trappings of a 1920’s era hardboiled LA noir. The protagonist, a dour, serious-drinking gumshoe, is even named Carroll – a clear nod to Carroll John Daly, the founding father of the genre. Wayzata’s pages rumble from beginning to end like a Packard 8 overflowing with smoke, booze, hard luck women, philandering eggs, and quirky ne’er-do-wells.

Korsmo respects the genre, the material, and the framework. He attends all the logic and sensibilities of Carroll LaRue and his contemporaries as best a modern writer can. For those who have a fond attachment to hard boiled detective stories, there is a great deal to love in Wayzata. Korsmo distinguishes his novella by placing it, not in L.A. or New York or Chicago, but in suburban Minnesota, and this offers up whiffs of bucolic charm that are atypical for a noir. Subsequently, the author plays a deft hand with comic relief. Just as the correctly cynical and self-destructive protagonist threatens to swamp the reader, Korsmo careens him right into an oddball local, usually, to amusing effect.

I wouldn’t say this is an attempt at resurrecting a genre, because hard boiled detectives have never truly gone away. Generously, one could say this book is more of a reminder.  At it’s best, Wayzata is a new recruit into a club that has fallen somewhere between forgotten legend and simply esoteric. Inherently there are problems with a new entry into such a well stocked category, and they are twofold. Firstly, there is absolutely no dearth of hardboiled detective material – some pieces, in fact, are Iconic American literature – so in 2016 it’s hard to justify a new novella as much more than a nostalgic sandbox. Secondly, the hard boiled detective novel, even as subject of periodic revivals, was at it’s best during the era depicted. The content was meant to be de rigueur. Wayzata suffers from this disconnect because the actual detecting gets short shrift as Korsmo pours most of his creative energy into rebuilding the verisimilitude of a world and a character set that are completely alien to modern readers. Much more effort is expended selling the setting, jargon, and early modern sensibilities than is put toward mystery or suspense. The narrative plot of Wayzata is frequently waylaid by paragraphs of hard-boiling.

Wayzata earns a three-star rating, because when Korsmo is at his best, the story delivers some familiarity, some freshness, some humor, and a bit of suspense, but there is a boundary between an authentic aesthetic and a tableau of that same aesthetic. At points Wayzata is an enjoyable read that flows well and finds rhythm within itself. At other points it is very hard to ignore the performance.

Pages: 186 | ASIN: B00MBOYRVQ

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Exciting But Also Frightening

Kelvin Kettle Author Interview

Kelvin Kettle Author Interview

Spikes is a supernatural thriller following two detectives as they investigate gruesome murders. What was your inspiration for the character of Spikes and the serial murders through the novel?

The Spikes character is a beautiful young woman who dresses in leather. I’ve always been fascinated with attractive women who dress in leather. How leather makes them look powerful, seductive, dominant and even hypnotic. I’ve studied the world of BDSM over the years. It can be fascinating, exciting but also frightening. There are not many women in real life who are serial killers as far as I know. My thought was what if a beautiful young woman who dresses in leather has some serious issues with men because of her abusive past and she turns out to be a serial killer? A man is captivated by her beauty, by how hot she looks in her leather outfit, but little does he know she’s a psycho. In the world of BDSM, it should be played safe between partners. A man or woman should be able to fully trust their partner when participating in kinky acts. Use a safe word if it gets to be too overwhelming. Spikes likes to play but she takes it to an extreme level that turns fatal for her victims. A dominatrix almost always uses a whip for dominant sessions. So I thought what if a dominatrix like woman used a whip as her weapon of choice to beat her victims to death?

Detectives Quint and his partner Bill are well developed characters. How did you build their relationship through the story?

Detectives Quint and Bill have been partners for a few years. They’ve been through a lot together. Even though they may bicker at one another they still stick by each other and back each other up. Quint has a dark past that he struggles with every day. Bill has been there with Quint through good times and bad. They are more than just partners on the job, they have grown to be friends who care about each other. They don’t hold any grudges, and if it came down to a life or death situation, either one of them would lay his life on the line to save his partner and friend.

There is a very chilling way that justice is met out from Morrigan and her followers. How did you develop this concept and how did it change while writing?

Goddess Morrigan and her followers are an evil sadistic bunch of women. The idea was to show just how evil and powerful they are by having victims perish in various violent acts. Morrigan is based on the mythological Goddess Morrigan. Her wrath is to punish those she chooses that deserve to be punished. Her followers help her carry out  these punishments in any way they see fit.  Through out the story, either Morrigan or one of her followers is smiling or laughing when carrying out the punishments on their victims. That is because it amuses them in their own twisted sadistic way. It is a satisfactory evil that they live and exist for.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will that be published?

My next novel is going to be a different story about Goddess Morrigan. A sort of spin off of Spikes. I’m calling it, Morrigan: Phantom Queen. I hope to have it finished by some time next year. The story is about a girl named Adriana who conjures up Morrigan from the dark ages by carrying out a ritual with her best friend Elaine. She calls upon Morrigan to help her and Elaine act out revenge on a sadistic group of girls who have made their lives a living hell. Adriana wants to possess the same powers as her idol Goddess and make herself powerful and fearsome.

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SPIKES (A Horror Novel): If looks could kill... by [Kettle, Kelvin J.]Detective John Quint is assigned to a brutal murder case in which male victims were beaten to death with a whip. He soon discovers that a beautiful young woman who dresses in black leather is a suspect. The murder case becomes plagued with elements of the supernatural. It proves to be something far more complex and deadly than anything Quint has ever encountered before…And he later discovers that his own life may be in danger.

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Not Really Heroes

Grant T. Reed

Grant T. Reed Author Interview

Welcome to Deep Cove is an energetic fantasy adventure tale with some intriguing characters. Garrett is a private investigator with a small dragon for a partner. How did you set about writing for this dynamic duo?

The groundwork for the Vellian Mysteries was laid out in the prequel books – the Vellian Heroes series. My twin Gary and I set out to write some fantasy adventure novels for teens, and the protagonists were Garrett and his training partner Azilda who were around the age of twelve in the first two books. The Vellian Heroes series tells the story of how Garrett and Azilda were trained by their ancient masters- Yarl and Fonn, to become future protectors of the realm. Like the Vellian Mysteries, the ‘Heroes‘ series also maintains a humorous tone, where we wanted to keep the story fast paced and as entertaining as possible. The Cassadian Chalice (Vellian Heroes Book 2) Essentially tells the tale of how Garrett met Merle and P.C.

In this story some dock workers are missing and Garrett must investigate. What was your inspiration for the mystery he must unravel?

I wanted to show that Garrett and his partner Merle, were just average Joes trying to make a living. They’re not really heroes in the truest sense of the word, but when their mettle is tested, they become a formidable pair. Having to work dock duty to pay off back rent they owed to their landlord was almost a parallel to my own life at the time, where I seemed to go from one menial job to the next in a bid to pay the bills. Of course, if some of those dock workers happen to turn up missing, I thought this might be a way to ease into a much deeper mystery, which really has very little to do with the actual disappearance of one of Kline’s hired muscle, but more to do with how far a man would go to avenge the loss of his family and to right the wrongs perpetrated on him and his loved ones. After all what would you do to protect your family? I know I would do almost anything- even if it took me years to get my revenge. So as you can see, one small aspect of the story really feeds a much bigger idea.

Garrett and other characters come from another of your book series, Vellian Heroes. How has character development changed for you through the series for the main characters?

As I mentioned, the Vellian Heroes take place when Garrett and Azilda are twelve years old. After writing those books for a couple of years and then taking a couple years off, I came back ready to write when I was 31 years old (I’m 40 now) and at the time I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how these characters turned out twenty years after the stories told in the first two books. Did they become great heroes and protectors of the realm or was their a more realistic arc to the expectations that had been thrust upon the youngsters? Even I didn’t know, but I thought it might be fun to investigate. Advancing the story by twenty years, I was able to write Garrett’s perspective from that of a man’s. Of course, as kids they had their own personalities and inconsistencies, and I tried to keep these intact for Garrett and Azilda, but with the added factor they had now experienced twenty years, since they were trained by the masters.

Welcome to Deep Cove is the first book in the Vellian Mystery series. Where does the next book in the series, Something Stinks in Deep Cove, take the characters?

Book 2 – Something Stinks in Deep Cove, reunites Garrett with his sister Azilda. There are also several other characters brought back from the Heroe’s series as well, and you might even have to think back to figure out where some of them come into play. For those that have read the first two books, I think it will be quite fun to see how  these characters turned out (especially Uncle Willie who plays a key role in Something Stinks in Deep Cove). At first glance, the mystery itself seems pretty cut and dry. P.C, Garrett and Merle’s automaton, is seen attacking a Deep Cove businessman in front of dozens of witnesses. The old man has a heart attack, and now Merle and P.C must stand trial for murder. How the heck is Merle going to get out of this one? I thought it would be fun to dissect a case like this and take something that seemed black and white and break it down through the eyes of Merle who must use all of his sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of what really happened to Mr. Potty.

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Welcome to Deep Cove (Vellian Mysteries, # 1)At thirty-one, Garrett Willigins has finally earned his private investigator’s badge. Unfortunately the bills haven’t stopped coming and building a solid reputation won’t happen overnight. Forced to take employment wherever they can, Garrett and his miniature dragon partner, Merle, must dirty their hands any way possible to make a buck. Shoveling manure, chasing cats, and dock duty seem to be the order of the day. Working off back rent for a notorious gangster isn’t the safest of jobs on a good day, but when the other dock workers begin disappearing, Garrett finds himself elbow deep in a mystery that might spell a quick end to his short P.I. career.

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