Die By The Pen by Miles A. Maxwell

Die By The Pen

Naomi Soul, former Olympic athlete, is now a kick butt FBI agent. Her partner, Xue Sang has already saved her life once and probably will again.

The two are having a down day on the beach after wrapping up their latest case in Florida. Before they can leave however a famous author and his wife are found murdered on the east coast of the state. The murders are as bizarre and violent as the author’s own books.

When another best selling author is killed on the other side of the state, patterns begin to emerge. Is someone really taking out the NYT best selling authors? What could possibly be the motive?

As the body count continues, Naomi and her partner race the clock to find who could be the next victim and who is responsible. The ending will leave you with your mouth wide open!

Publishing a book is getting to be harder and harder unless you are a Big Name, and this book speaks to all frustrated writers. Because of the truths in the book, I actually spent a lot of time smiling and laughing. Yes, it is graphic and brutal, but it’s also very true and that made it funny!

If you are struggling to get your book out there, read this! You may learn something new or you may just give a fist pump and yell YES!

I am so glad that we are going to be seeing more of Naomi in the next Reason book. Thank you Mr. Maxwell! Well done!


Miles A. Maxwell is the author of Loss of Reason and Search For Reason, books one and two in the State of Reason Series. The third book of this series will also feature Naomi Soul.

Both of these books are available now as well as Die By The Pen.

From the Author:

The State Of Reason Mystery series was not created quickly, but carefully. Plotted, crafted and edited — over not weeks or months — but a period of fifteen years. A friend once told me “Great Books aren’t written, they’re re-written.”

With that in mind, once I became financially independent, I spent nearly every waking moment (and a lot of dreaming moments as well) working full time for more than fifteen years, on nothing but writing these stories, the people who inhabit them — Franklin, Everon, Cynthia, Victoria and all the others (some not yet Revealed) — the places they go, the things they do. Studying languages, religions of the world, economics, history, philosophy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, aviation and psychology.

These books are my magnum opus. This series is my masterpiece. Every bit of understanding, empathy, focus, wisdom and appreciation for life has gone and is going into these books. I truly hope you enjoy the two that are available now, with more to come.

An IFR certified private pilot, Miles speaks bits and pieces of ten languages, surfs, skis, sails and scuba dives.

I can say without a doubt that Miles is one of the most intelligent men I have ever had the good fortune to get to know!  I highly recommend his books!

A River Runs By It

Re-blogged from aurorawatcherak aka Lela Markham, a brilliant writer who I learn something new from every day!


When Alaska was a frontier territory, the rivers were our highways. The Yukon and the Tanana are huge rivers that allowed boat travel of all sorts. There used to be steamboats that pulled up to the dock here in Fairbanks on the tiny little Chena (which wasn’t so tiny back in those days before flood control).

When Alaska became a state, we held out for:

  • 102 million acres of land,
  • 90% share of resource revenue from federal lands
  • control of our fish and game including on federal lands, and
  • ownership of inland navigatable waterways.

The people who voted for statehood thought they were making a contract with the United States government, agreeing to become a grownup state with the resources to take on that responsibility. Had they known the future, would they have agreed to the terms? Had they known that the United States government was going to renig on the…

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Why Do We Fear a Constitutional Convention?

Something we all need to read!


Many people do not realize how close we are to a Article V constitutional convention. Article V of the US. Constitution allows for 2/3s of state legislatures to petition Congress for a convention. Thirty-two states have asked for such a convention over the issue of a balanced budget amendment. Two more states and the threshold has been reached.

We’ve never had such a convention, not since the one that tossed out the Articles of Confederation and replaced them with the US Constitution. There are a lot of people who are terrified of such a circumstance. They’re right to be circumspect, given that history. Article V puts no limits on the topics, so “anything goes” is a possibility. On the other hand …

We are at a point in our history where the ballot box no longer works. It especially doesn’t work if you’re a conservative because neither of the two…

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All The Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell

All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses, How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America

Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses-How the White House grounds have grown with America.

Starting with the plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden, All the Presidents’ Gardens is a rich and compelling narrative that masterfully reveals how the White House grounds reflect what is happening in the country.

The book is written in chronological order beginning with George and Martha Washington in the years 1789 to 1797, the original inhabitants of what was called Versailles on the Potomac.

Ms. McDowell takes us through the centuries and how those 18 acres surrounding the White House have been nurtured, designed, planted and re-planted, changing with the times as well as each of the families who lived there and contributed their own personal mark on the gardens.

The book is full of rich history of not only our Presidents, but the whys and hows each plant came to be in the garden. The stories are informative as well as entertaining.

Each horticulturist is mentioned as well as every shrub and plant growing in the garden, with information about every one. The book is full of lovely illustrations and photographs, along with quotes from our past Presidents and their families.

I found this book to be not only educational, but I will definitely keep it as a resource for my own garden. Ms. McDowell took on a huge task with this project and I for one am glad she did!

The Author:

Marta McDowell lives, gardens and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She teaches garden history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. where she studied landscape design. A popular lecturer, she speaks to gardening groups across the country. She is also the author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher.

Children of Paradise The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor


Laura Secor has written about Iran for many major publications and has worked at The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The American Prospect and Lingua Franca. She has been a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin and has taught journalism at NYU and Princeton.

To say she is well versed in the subject matter would be an understatement. She tells this story of individuals, some famous, some not, caught up in the times, seizing and wielding ideas powerful enough to shift its course as they wrestle with Iran’s apparatus of violent repression in addition to its rich and often tragic history.

In 1979, almost overnight, Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since that time, the country has largely been to the West, a sinister presence looming over the horizon.But inside the country, religious thinkers, poets, journalists, political activists have re-imagined what Iran is or is not.

Told in 4 parts: Revolution, Rebirth, Reform and Resistance

Ms. Secor has done her research and has been to Iran numerous times beginning in 2004. Her relationships with the people she interviews and write about are genuine and informative.

Our relationship with Iran is complicated and can be very hard to understand. I felt she did a wonderful job of telling this story so that everyone can understand the country, it’s religions and it’s politics.

This is a book I will read again and highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to be more informed and not just opinionated.

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

I have read every one of Mr. Coben’s books. I have never been disappointed in any of them and I eagerly look forward to the next one.

I did not expect what was inside of this book, however!

The jacket description: Former special-ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work. Her two year old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe- who was brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery : Can you believe your own eyes, even when you desperately want to?
To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband and herself.

It has been a rough time for Maya. Serving in the war, her sister’s murder while she was away and now that she is home, her husband is murdered. When a friend brings her a nanny cam, disguised as a digital picture frame, she can’t imagine she will see anything except the nanny caring for her daughter, but what she sees sets a series of events in place that I never saw coming. As she tries to make sense of what she has seen, everyone around her becomes suspect. Who knows what? And what does her husband’s death have to do with her sister’s death? Why does it seem Maya is leaving a lot of bodies in her wake?

Talk about dysfunctional families! I think I was suspect of every character at least once! But I never, ever saw that ending coming! I think this is one of the best Mr. Coben has written yet!

I think I walked around for hours saying ” Oh my God”, until my partner said, ” Please give me the book now!!” Thank you Mr. Coben!

Need To Find You by Joseph Souza


need to find you by Joseph Souza

Police Corruption, Sex Trafficking, Drugs, Kidnapping, Murder. This Thriller had it all! And I enjoyed every thrilling, gory minute of it! Mr. Souza’s book sucks you in so fast and the action never lets up.

Yaz has been through more horror than one person should have to endure yet when she sees another girl being kidnapped she doesn’t hesitate to step in and catch the cell phone Mikiela Bellows tosses to her as she is being taken. When Yaz recognizes one of the men, she is sure who is behind the kidnapping, but what is on this phone that would have people willing to kill for it?

Whip Billings, an ex-cop, fresh out of rehab after getting hooked on drugs and booze while undercover for a year and then having his cover blown, comes home to find his mother has died, his ex-fiance’ has a baby and is engaged to another man and the booze is looking pretty good again.
While waiting to be re-instated to his old job, he takes a job trying to find the missing Mikiela and ends up finding Yaz.

The phone contains a manuscript by the author Robert Cornish and the contents would ruin his reputation as well as the lives of many others. I have to say that I stopped and Googled Robert Cornish! Everything seems to come back to the mysterious Viking. But who is he? And how does he relate to Robert Cornish or the manuscript?

That’s all I’m going to give you! No spoilers here. This book had so many twists and turns that my neck still aches! I loved the character Yaz, so brave and strong and yet so generous and kind. There is corruption everywhere and you don’t know who to believe or trust. The violence is graphic to the point that I actually had to read one page really fast! But I loved it!

Why have I not heard of this author before now? In telling a friend about the book, he asked, “Well, what author do we know that is similar?” The answer? None! I have read a lot of Thrillers, but this one tops the list!

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

The Charm Bracelet

I was very surprised to learn that Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning writer. He chose his Grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel. According to the author page he is already at work on his second “heirloom” novel, which should be out in 2017.

Through an heirloom charm bracelet, 3 generations of women will rediscover how important family is and how each charm on their bracelets have impacted their lives.

Every year, on her birthday, Lolly’s mother gave her a charm, along with a small piece of advice that there is nothing more important than keeping family memories alive, and that Lolly’s charm bracelet would be a constant reminder of that love.

Now 70 years old and starting to forget things, Lolly knows her time is running out to reconnect with her daughter, Arden and her granddaughter, Lauren whose lives have become too busy for her and her stories.

When Arden and Lauren come home to Scoops, Michigan, to check on Lolly and spend some time with her during the long Memorial Day weekend they all will find their way closer to not only each other, but to finding the joy, love, and faith in life that they have lost.
The past and the present are remembered and told through each of the charms on Lolly’s bracelet.

The minute I saw this book I wanted it. It was the charm bracelet for me. Being from Southern Georgia, getting your first charm bracelet at age 10 is a high point. After that every birthday, holiday and special occasion is marked by the gift of a charm. My mother’s bracelet rests in her jewelry box now, too heavy for her delicate wrist. Every charm has a story just as Lolly’s did.

I thought this was a charming story of family, love, and forgiveness. A story of listening and really hearing the generations that have come before you. Of seeing our own mothers as real people who still have a lot of life, love and wisdom to impart to us. Wisdom that we will pass on to our own daughters.

I laughed and cried and then read some more and then I read it again. And still cried.

Great Book Club selection as well as a great summer read!

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls

Megan Miranda is the author of several YA books. This is her first adult novel.
A novel about the disappearance of two young women, a decade apart, in reverse. That’s right….Reverse! This may be her first novel, but I hope it won’t be her last.

It’s been 10 years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown. 10 years since her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace.
Now she is back to help her brother, Daniel with their ailing and confused father and to get her childhood home ready to sell.
It’s not long before Nic is plunged into a shocking drama that re-opens the case of Corinne’s disappearance and opens up old wounds.

Told in reverse_ Day 15 to Day 1 _ from the time another young woman goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about the missing girl whose family home is located directly behind Nic’s. Shocking truths are brought to light about her family, her friends, and what exactly happened the night Corinne disappeared.

This is a book unlike any I have read. Starting a book backwards? I’ve seen that scenario on television dramas, but how does one do that with a book? I have no idea, but it works in a big way!

There are twists and turns and just when you think you have it all figured out there’s another turn, another twist. All leading to an ending I never saw coming!
I read this book in one sitting. After the introduction, it was very easy to follow the reverse order concept.

I would highly recommend this book and I will definitely read it again! I look forward to more from Ms. Miranda.

I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Publication is set for June of 2016.

Forgive Me by Daniel Palmer

Forgive Me

This is definitely an action packed, fast paced, thriller! The ending totally blew me away!

In Virginia, Private Investigator and Owner of DeRose and Associates Private Investigators, Angie DeRose and her team, consisting of Mike and Bao specialize in finding runaways. Nadine is one of those runaways and has gotten in way over her head and is desperately in need of saving.

As she and her team push full steam ahead on the case, Angie’s mother dies. And with that death comes questions, mysteries and danger. In her mother’s things Angie finds a small photograph of a little girl that she doesn’t recognize and on the back are a series of numbers and letters IC.

Now Angie has two cases, one which is unfolding to be a human trafficking ring and the other the mystery of the photograph.

Which one will be the most dangerous? Who can she trust to get answers? The answers could mean her death and none of us saw what happened in the end.

Daniel Palmer’s books are always exciting reads and this one didn’t disappoint me.

I was happy to receive an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley and Kensington. Book release set for May 31, 2016

About the Author

Daniel Palmer is the author of five critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel. Visit his website at www.danielpalmerbooks.com.