Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Events: Week of 12/2-8/12

Virtual Book Tour Events: Week of 12/2-8/12

Monday 12/3/12

Ride the Tiger by Pat Silver-Lasky

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Author Guest Post / Book Review

Book Description: Ride the Tiger

Fame, money and sex, that’s what tinseltown is all about. Madelaine Brent wanted them all and she always got everything she wanted. But sometimes everything is too much and somebody gets murdered. Maddie remembered an ancient Chinese proverb her agent told her as a warning, so long ago: ‘She who rides the tiger better not dismount.’ Was she about to fall off?

This is the deeply penetrating story of a film star who puts her career and her erotic desires above all else. Madelaine Brent is willing to undergo the tortuous beauty treatments that will keep her on top – a survivor in the film world, the Las Vegas showtime scene and a survivor in the art of love. But Maddie does not foresee the consequences her actions will have on the men in her life: her British film director husband Charles who is devoted to her, the one-night stand she thought she could dismiss, the French film star who fathered her child, the young writer-director she seduced and the actor who holds her spellbound. Her beautiful daughter Cathy, alienated from her mother, has taken a dangerous path that leads to prison. Maddie’s path leads her to a place she didn’t expect – and a trail of murders.

Tuesday 12/4/12

She Can Tell by Melinda Leigh

A Jersey Girl Book Reviews Virtual Book Event

Author Interview / Book Review

Publication Date: December 4, 2012

Book Description: She Can Tell

A horse trainer’s homecoming turns deadly when a vicious stalker, a cold murder case, and a hot police chief threaten to expose family secrets that a killer wants to keep buried.

After a terrible accident ends her riding career, horse trainer Rachel Parker returns to her hometown to a hostile welcome. Her efforts to rebuild the family farm are hampered by her sister’s domestic crisis and a violent vandal who threatens Rachel’s new business and her life. She is also blindsided by the undeniable and unwanted attraction she feels for hot police chief handling her case. Someone is systematically trying to destroy her. Someone who knows private things about her. Someone who’s been watching her…

As his investigation uncovers the turbulent past Rachel keeps carefully hidden, Police Chief Mike O’Connell finds himself with too many suspects and too many feelings for his fiercely independent victim. His desire for Rachel is a conflict of interest that jeopardizes everything he stands for. Long buried family secrets, a skeleton, and a corrupt local official with a grudge against Mike complicate the case, but the escalating violence against Rachel convinces him he doesn’t have much time. Whoever is watching Rachel wants her dead. Mike and Rachel race to untangle a web of deceit and lies that stretches twenty-five years into the past—before her stalker strikes again.

Friday 12/7/12

Just Good Friends by Rosalind James

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Author Guest Post / Book Review 

Book Description: Just Good Friends

Some bets were made to be lost.

Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James's type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said.

Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind, and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good--and knows it?

But there's more than one game Koti's good at playing...

Saturday 12/8/12

Falling for You by Heather Thurmeier

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway

Book Description: Falling for You

Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show, The One.

But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as “over him” as she thought—and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.

After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.

Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally), stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally), and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan, she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.

But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.

Heroes & Lovers: A Sam Jenkins Mystery by Wayne Zurl (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Wayne Zurl, author of Heroes & Lovers: A Sam Jenkins Mystery!

Author Guest Post

My Theory on Suspension of Disbelief
By: Wayne Zurl

It's simple. Get the little details right and you can stretch the big issues.

Most readers of police mysteries are pretty savvy when it comes to technicalities. Run into an active-duty or retired cop and you have a real critic on your hands.

So, on what must we focus our attention? I used the word above: Technicalities - physical and procedural technicalities. And there can be many. Here are a few possibilities to open up the thought process. 

If you're writing about an established police department, know a lot about them. When you describe an officer, be accurate. Don't say, "The New York state trooper took off his service cap and ran a hand through his sandy hair," when New York troopers wear wide brim Stetsons. 

Find out what the badges look like in the department your story revolves around. Then you can accurately say, "[New York] Detective Sam Jenkins showed the witness his gold shield." In San Francisco they use gold stars. LAPD have large two-tone ovals.

Many mystery fans know their firearms. If you don't, find a technical advisor to help you. Many years ago, I read all of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. A glaring mistake Fleming made remains with me today. In one story, he gave Bond a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Centennial revolver with a five inch barrel. Ian's problem: The gun was never made with a five inch barrel.

In Up Country, Nelson DeMille's second novel featuring Army Criminal Investigator, Paul Brenner, DeMille mentions the South Vietnamese flag being yellow, red, and green. The flag was actually yellow with four red stripes. He confused the flag colors with the Vietnamese campaign ribbon issued to all US troops serving there during the war. He also spoke of a local beer he called Ba-Ba-Ba. Vietnam vets howled over that one. A French beer brewed in the Republic of Vietnam, 33, was was called Bamiba by American GIs - a corruption of ba mui ba, Vietnamese for thirty-three, certainly not Ba-Ba-Ba, as in black sheep. Shame on Nelson's fact checker. 

I know you get the idea relative to physical technicalities. Now we have procedural standards. Here are a few examples:

Contrary to popular belief on TV and in Hollywood, crime scene investigators or evidence technicians do not  assume responsibility for investigating the felony scenes they process. They assist the squad detectives - provide them with the scientific forensic information they find. It would be logistically impossible for CSIs to deal with the highly technical services available today and do the gumshoe work, too. It's been decades since detectives have had to do their own photography and dust for prints much less all the other scientific work. 

Regardless of what we see on most of the Law & Order reruns, cops don't arrest felons, drop them into a district attorney's lap, and then get sent out to establish a concrete reason to justify the arrest and seek an indictment. Good cops MUST have the proper level of proof BEFORE saying, "You're under arrest, humpo."

My favorite television ADA, Jack McCoy, often possessed only "Reasonable Suspicion" when he told Ed Green and Lenny Briscoe, "Pick him up." In the real world they were often one bottle short of a six pack. The Laws of Arrest say you must have "Probable Cause to Believe" prior to snapping the cuffs on a defendant. 

The same applies to search warrants. Cops can't blithely send their comrade to a judge looking for a warrant to toss a thug's apartment. Just as in the Laws of Arrest, we're encumbered by that pesky US Constitution. In this case, the 4th Amendment, which states: Only upon probable cause shall a warrant be granted to search a person or premises [for the item(s) thought to be on the person or in the place to be searched]. Practically speaking, that probable cause business (sometimes called reasonable cause to believe) can put a crimp in a detective's forward motion. But the talent needed to establish the necessary PCTB is what separates Andy Sipowitz from Barney Fife. 

I look at this issue just as I looked at the things the police officers I supervised had to consider back in the 1970s. I told them, "Keep your hair cut, and your leather gear shiny. That stuff will keep the boss happy so when you do something questionable, he won't remember you as the non-conformist with the sloppy appearance."

If we, as writers, get the little things correct, and our readers don't lose focus on the story while bitching about messed up technicalities, they'll cut us some slack with the big issues that fall under the usual purview of suspension of disbelief. 

About The Author

Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators. He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves. Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara.

Fourteen (14) of his Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. His first full-length novel, A New Prospect, was named best mystery at the 2011 Indie Book Awards and First Runner-up from all commercial fiction at the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. A second novel, A Leprechaun's Lament, is available in print and eBook.

His latest book in the Sam Jenkins mystery series is Heroes & Lovers.

For more information on Wayne’s Sam Jenkins mystery series click on You can read excerpts, reviews and endorsements, interviews, coming events, and even see photos of the area where the stories take place.

Wayne Zurl ~ Heroes & Lovers ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Heroes & Lovers Book Trailer

Book Review

Heroes & Lovers by Wayne Zurl
Publisher: Iconic Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback - 254 pages
ISBN: 0985138890
Genre: Police - Crime - Mystery Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Heroes & Lovers

Disclaimer: I have received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.

Book Description:

Sam Jenkins might say, “Falling in love is like catching a cold. It’s infectious and involuntary. Just don’t sneeze on any innocent people.”

Getting kidnapped and becoming infatuated with a married policeman never made Knoxville TV reporter Rachel Williamson’s list of things to do before Christmas.

Helping her friend, Sam Jenkins, the ex-New York detective and now police chief in Prospect, Tennessee, with a fraud investigation sounded exciting and would get her an exclusive story.

But Sam’s investigation put Rachel in the wrong place at the wrong time and her abduction by a mentally disturbed fan, ruined several days of her life.

When Jenkins learns Rachel has gone missing he mobilizes all personnel at Prospect PD and enlists his friends from the FBI to help find her.

During the early stages of the investigation, Sam develops several promising leads, but as they begin to fizzle, his prime suspect drops off the planet and all the resources of the FBI aren’t helping.

After a lucky break and a little old-fashioned pressure on an informant produce an important clue, the chief leads his team deep into the Smoky Mountains to rescue his friend. But after Rachel is once again safe at home, he finds their problems are far from over.

Book Excerpt:

The last thing I wanted to do just before Christmas was tangle with a creep like Elrod Swaggerty. Unfortunately, a policeman gets little choice of what or who gets dumped onto his lap. Our motto is, “To protect and serve.” Humbug.

At quarter-to-eleven on Monday morning, December 18th, I heard an angry voice in the reception area.

“Now looka here, missy. I wanna see the head man and I want him now. And y’all need ta lock up that no-account, thievin’ sum-bich! Ya hear me?”

Calling Sergeant Bettye Lambert missy sounded like a bad idea. I decided to intervene so I wouldn’t find an injured hillbilly in the lobby of my police station.

Years of experience has taught me the best thing to do in a situation like that would be walk in on the conversation and do nothing until the tide changed.

I stopped ten feet from Bettye’s desk. The complainant, a local specimen, who looked to be somewhere between forty-five and his mid-fifties, wasn’t alone. A woman around thirty stood in the shadow of the older man. She held a four- or five-year-old girl by the hand. None of the three looked like they bought their clothes in Parisian’s, but they seemed clean and healthy, and were probably in need of legal assistance.

I folded my arms across my chest and began my stoic Chief Pontiac impersonation, trying to look just this side of downright mean.

“Sir, we have every intention of takin’ your complaint and helpin’ you the best we can.” Bettye can usually sooth the nastiest characters with only a few words.

The man stood in front of her desk scowling, hands on hips. His salt-and-pepper hair looked like someone trimmed it with a hedge clipper.

I think Bettye sensed my presence. She turned and looked at me, but said nothing and let me do my thing. I thought my act started well. The man stopped talking and the young woman, who had yet to speak, stared at me with anticipation. I tried to look like Grumpy, the seventh dwarf. The suspense was killing me. I wondered what the others thought.

So, I decided to break the silence. “Good morning. I’m Chief Jenkins and I’d be happy to listen to your complaint—if we can do it like civilized gentlemen.” I nearly growled and he blinked first. “Sergeant, would you do the honors?”

Bettye gave a sigh. “Chief, this is Mr. Bunker and his daughter, Lorene. They’ve had a problem with a local auto repair shop. Mr. Bunker thinks it may be a criminal matter.”

Outside our doors, in the lobby of the Prospect municipal building, the colored lights on a tall Christmas tree twinkled in no particular order. The recessed ceiling lamps had been dimmed a little and the marble halls looked cozy.

“Okay, I’d like to hear about it.” I nodded at the two adults. “Mr. Bunker, Miss Lorene, I’ll try to help if I can. Let’s go into my office and sit down. But first, Lorene, will you introduce me to the young lady here?”

Lorene looked too thin. She wore tight jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. Her mousy brown hair hung straight and below her shoulders. She smiled, looked toward who I thought was her daughter, and spoke in a sing-song, Smoky Mountain accent. “This is Tonya. Tonya, say hello to the po-leece-man.”

Tonya lowered her eyes and remained quiet. I got down on one knee, tilted my head, tried to look friendly—something not always easy for me, and extended my hand. She looked tiny with long dark hair surrounding a doll-like face. Her red dress, white socks, and Little Lulu shoes seemed like clothing from another age.

“Hello, Miss Tonya. My name is Sam. I think your momma and papaw might have a problem. Would you like me to fix it?”

Little Tonya invoked her right to remain silent. I shrugged and smiled, thinking big girls responded favorably to a smile, why not a little kid. She hugged her mother’s thigh, but finally said, “Yes, sir.”

“Okay, I can do that. But first we need to be friends. Can we shake hands?”

She maintained a death grip on her mom’s leg, but extended her right hand toward mine. I took the little paw between my thumb and forefinger and gave a gentle shake.

“Good. Now we’re buddies,” I said.

Tonya gave me ten percent of a full-size smile. A little progress seemed better than none.

Mr. Bunker and Lorene sat in the two arm chairs in front of my desk. I carried a side chair around front and placed it close to Lorene so Tonya could sit with her mom.

“Now, Mr. Bunker,” I said, “I know you’ve already told the sergeant your story, but can I hear it again?”

Bunker clicked his teeth several times before giving me a concise story. “Lorene had took her Taurus to Smoky Mountain Transmissions fer a check-up. The car’d been actin’ funny and I guessed the bands were a-slippin’. She dropped the car off on Monday, got it back on Wednesday afternoon.”

He paused to shake his head in apparent disgust.

“Had ta give seven-hunnert-fifty dollar. Man said he had ta re-build the transmission.” He stopped again and looked at me.

“Uh-huh,” I said. “I’m guessing there’s something else?”

“Yes, sir, there is. My son, Leroy, he looked at the car. Leroy had took him some classes on auto re-pair in hi-skoo. Leroy says ain’t nobody never even touched that transmission a’tall.”

“Does the car drive better now, Lorene?” I asked.

“Yes, sir, it does.”

Tonya looked at me with big brown eyes while she twisted strands of hair around her fingers. I winked. She smiled.

“Mr. Bunker, what’s your first name?” I asked.

Bunker pulled his head back a few inches, looked at me for a long moment. “Alvin.”

“May I call you Alvin, sir?”

Bunker scowled again looking a little distrustful.

“Shore, I don’ care if ya do.”

“Okay, Alvin, let me tell you what I think. I think seven hundred and fifty dollars is a lot of money. Maybe that’s how much it costs to rebuild a transmission. I don’t know.”

Alvin’s scowl deepened the crevices between his eyebrows.

“If this repairman never worked on the car, like your son thinks, but only topped off the fluid and charged Lorene for an expensive job, that would be a crime.”

Alvin’s face brightened a little.

“If it’s okay with you and Lorene, I’d like our mechanic to take a look at the car. He knows a lot more about transmissions than I ever will. You have the car here now?”

“Yes, sir, we do,” he said.

“Okay. You parked out back?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Our garage is in back of the parking lot. Let’s get your car on a lift and have the mechanic take a look.”

We walked half way to the garage in silence before Alvin Bunker spoke. “They’s a bunch o’ Jenkinses here in Blount County, but you shore don’t sound like you’re from Tennessee.”

“I’m from New York.”

“Our church took us on a bus trip to New York City once,” Lorene said.

“Big place, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Lord have mercy, yes,” she said. “And Biz-zy!”

“You with the po-leece up there?” Alvin asked.

“For twenty years. I worked on Long Island, retired, and moved down here.”

“Lord have mercy. Y’all musta seen a lot.”

My Book Review:

For sixty year old Prospect, Tennessee Police Chief Sam Jenkins, a fraud investigation at a local auto repair shop is anything but typical for the ex-New York Detective crime fighter. Sams offers his favorite TV news reporter, Rachel Williamson, an exclusive story about the fraud case, but his investigation puts Rachel in the wrong place at the wrong time when she is kidnapped and her cameraman is assaulted. Determined to find Rachel, Sam mobilizes his personnel at the Prospect PD and enlists the help from some friends in the FBI to help find her ... only to discover that not only is there a fraud investigation and a kidnapping he has to deal with but also a very active local drug trade as well.

Every once in a while a really good crime / police mystery comes along that just grabs your attention and doesn't let go until the end, and that is what Heroes & Lovers has done for me! This is the first Sam Jenkins Mystery novel that I have read, but it will not be the last. Author Wayne Zurl weaves an intriguing tale that is just a plain good ol' fashion mystery that could only be told by a person with years of prior police experience. The story is told in the first person narrative by the main character, Sam Jenkins, who takes the reader along for the ride on his latest investigation adventure. I really enjoyed the author's writing style: the mixture of humor, intrigue and romantic drama engages the reader, while the story has enough twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. With rich descriptions and details of the Great Smoky Mountains and rural Tennessee setting and dialect, to Sam's sarcastic personality and the witty banter between the characters, Heroes & Lovers is an entertaining story that crime/police mystery fans will thoroughly enjoy.

The author has created a realistic cast of characters who are well developed and easy for the reader to relate to. As a fan of Southern fiction, I absolutely loved the use of the local dialect. The authenticity of the language and descriptions of the local townspeople transports the reader to Prospect, Tennessee, where you feel like you are among the townspeople. Sam Jenkins is a real man with flaws but has a heart of gold. He has a witty personality, he's tough, smart and knows how to charm the ladies. He's a man that knows how to solve mysteries and takes the criminal justice system seriously. I really enjoyed the secondary cast of characters, especially Rachel and Sam's loving wife Katherine. The witty banter/dialogue and engaging interactions between the characters make Heroes & Lovers an entertaining mystery novel that you won't be able to put down! I look forward to following Sam on his next adventure!

RATING: 5 STARS ***** 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Memory Thief by Emily Colin (Author Guest Post /Book Review)

In association with JKSCommunications, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Emily Colin, author of The Memory Thief!

Author Guest Post


If I had to choose a single word to describe the process by which The Memory Thief came into existence, this would be the one. From start to finish, writing the book was colored by something beyond my reach - call it coincidence, fate or something more. 

The very first clue I had that I wasn't alone in this endeavor fell into place the day I set out to find a mountain climber who'd summited South American peaks. (Back then, I'd intended to stage the avalanche that took Aidan's life somewhere below the equator, rather than in Alaska.) As quickly as this thought came into my mind, I dismissed it; I was on my way to a small neighborhood park in coastal North Carolina with my son, and the chance of finding such a human being amidst the cypress trees and Spanish moss seemed minimal. 

So off we went to the park, where we met a man and his son. All of us started chatting, and I discovered that not only was my companion a climber; he owned the lone local climbing gym, led climbing trips, and had just returned from a climbing trip to (you guessed it) South America.

Needless to say, I was floored, and immediately asked him if he'd be willing to lend a hand with the research for my book. Not only did he say yes, he ultimately became the consultant who reviewed every climbing scene in The Memory Thief for accuracy, lending me invaluable assistance - and he lived just around the corner from me.

A few days later, having decided that my main characters would live in Colorado - where I'd never been - I'd determined that I needed to take a research trip across the country. I was driving my son to a play date, with a friend of mine who had, as far as I knew, grown up in Arkansas. It was cold; I was wearing a fleece and the type of hat that, in the South, is called a toboggan. 

My son and I pulled into the driveway and parked. My friend threw the door wide, and the first words out of her mouth were these: "You look like Colorado today. We should take a trip there, want to?" 

I stared at her, completely bemused. I hadn't mentioned the specifics of my manuscript to anyone, much less the place where I planned that many of my characters would call home. In fact, I'd just made the choice a few hours before. I looked at my friend, standing there wearing an expectant expression, and I said, "But why?" 

She shrugged. "I don't know, it just came to me. Do you want to?" 

"Why Colorado?" I said again.

"Well," she said, regarding me as if I were just a bit slow, "I grew up there. You know that, right?"

"I thought you grew up in Arkansas," I said, more bemused than ever. 

"I did," she said. "But then I moved to Colorado. I lived there for years. Do you want to go, or not? Why are you looking at me that way?" 

There, in the doorway of her ranch house on a perfectly prosaic day, I felt a chill wash over me. "I do," I said with perfect confidence. "And let me tell you why." 

My friend and I did indeed travel to Colorado - a trip that proceeded so seamlessly, both for research purposes and otherwise, that long after we'd come back home, we referred to that brief interlude as 'the Colorado bubble.' I think of the entire experience of writing The Memory Thief as a bit of a bubble - a world inside a world., where things went just as they should ... although never quite as I expected. I could tell you many more stories like the two I've shared here - people and places that found their way into my life just as I needed them, tidbits of information that fell into my lap at the crucial time. Serendipitous stories. But in truth, I think that Nicholas Sullivan, my amnesiac character, said it best:

"When you're doing what you're supposed to do, the universe will help you out. It mat throw you a few curve balls, but they're all in the name of a good cause. Once you leave your path behind, that's when you start swimming upstream." 

About The Author

Emily Colin holds a BA in Psychology, with a second major in Literature/Media Studies, from Duke University, and an MS in Family Studies and Human Services, with a specialization in Youth Development, from Kansas State University. She is the Associate Director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to building creative, committed citizens by providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge arts programming. A 2001-2003 William C. Friday Human Relations Fellow, Emily´s background includes many years as a classical violinist, as well as writing and editing for regional publications. Prior to coming to DREAMS, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Coastal Carolina Press, a nonprofit publishing company dedicated to preserving the history, culture and activities of the North Carolina coast, and co-founder of Carolina Women´s Partnership, a nonprofit organization through which she published two books featuring women leaders throughout the state of North Carolina. The Memory Thief is her first novel.

Emily Colin ~ The Memory Thief ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ JKSCommunications

The Memory Thief Book Trailer

Book Review

The Memory Thief by Emily Colin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback - 432 pages / Kindle - 1993 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 034553039X
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Paranormal Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Memory Thief

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by JKSCommunications.

Book Description:

In Emily Colin’s exquisite debut novel, perfect for the fans of Kristin Hannah, one man’s vow to his wife sparks a remarkable journey that tests the pull of memory and reaffirms the bonds of love.

Before Madeleine Kimble’s mountaineer husband, Aidan, climbs Mount McKinley’s south face, he makes her a solemn vow: I will come back to you. But late one night, Maddie gets the devastating news that Aidan has died in an avalanche, leaving her to care for their son—a small boy with a very big secret. The call comes from J.C., Aidan’s best friend and fellow climber, whose grief is seasoned with survivor’s guilt . . . and something more. J.C. has loved Maddie for years, but he never wanted his chance with her to come at so terrible a cost.

Across the country, Nicholas Sullivan wakes from a motorcycle crash with his memory wiped clean. Yet his dreams are haunted by visions of a mysterious woman and a young boy, neither of whom he has ever met. Convinced that these strangers hold the answers he seeks, Nicholas leaves everything behind to find them. What he discovers will require a leap of faith that will change all of their lives forever.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One


We fight about the Mt. McKinley trip for two months, a record. I argue with him, I yell, I plead. At night I wake from dreams where Aidan goes tumbling off the mountain, crashing to the bottom of a valley and landing, lifeless, in a heap. I dream that he is crushed by falling rock, that his Cessna goes down before he even reaches the glacier, that he steps on a weak snow bridge and goes hurtling into the depths of a crevasse. Then I wake up, my heart pounding in triple-time, and look over at Aidan sleeping beside me, peaceful and still. Don't go, I say into the darkness of our room. Don't leave me.

Where this premonition of disaster has come from, I can’t say, but it sticks. Aidan tries everything he can think of to make me change my mind, to “see sense,” as he puts it. He listens to all of my doomsday scenarios and then, one by one, tells me why they’re nothing to worry about. He teases me that we’ve changed places, that usually he’s the irrational one and I’m the one calming him down. He makes jokes (“Denali? De nada, baby”), he makes J.C. come and talk to me. He gives me books about successful ascents of the mountain, emails me websites. When none of this does any good, he screams and threatens and throws things. He begs. And finally he retreats into a stony, stubborn silence, from which he only emerges to say, “I’m going and that’s the end of it.”

The night before he leaves in May, I lie in bed waiting for him to join me, and when he doesn’t, I get up to look for him. He’s sitting in the living room, in the dark. I can make out the dim shape of a glass on the coffee table in front of him, next to his lighter and a pack of American Spirits. He smells like whisky.

I sit down on the couch next to him. “Hey.”

“Maddie,” he says, and his voice is rough. He is crying, I realize with some horror. “What’s happening to us?” he says. His voice breaks on the last word.

I move closer, wrap my arms around him. He is shaking, like he was when he came to tell me that he loved me six years ago, that Jim Ellis had died on the Eiger Nordwand and he blamed himself. “I can’t lose you,” he says. “I can’t. I don’t know what I would do. Tell me I’m not losing you, baby. Please.”

Now I am crying too. My tears mingle with his as we hold each other. “You could never lose me,” I say. “I’m the one who’s going to lose you. I know it, Aidan. I know I am.”

He presses his face against mine. “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be back, honey. You’ll see. I’ll be back and everything will be fine.”

“You can’t know that. Look at what happened to Jim.”

“To Ellis?” he says, sounding puzzled. “What’s McKinley got to do with that? The Nordwand was a freaky set of circumstances, a whole bunch of bad stuff piling up at once. Ellis was sick. That cornice was shit. And then J.C. got knocked out. You know all this.”

I don’t know why I’ve got the Eiger expedition on my mind. Maybe it’s the feel of Aidan’s body trembling, the wetness of his tears. I don’t think I’ve seen him cry since that day, not even when Gabriel was born, and it unsettles me. “All three of you could have died in the crevasse on that stupid mountain, not just him,” I say, and shiver.

“But we didn’t,” he says, pulling away and wiping his eyes. I hear the familiar stubbornness line his voice. “I lost Ellis, true. I haven’t forgiven myself for that. But I did the best I could. I built an anchor. I got us out of there. And I came back to you.” He runs his hand through his hair. “It was a horrible thing, Maddie. But it also made me realize how I feel about you, after that stupidity with Kate. Those extremes—they’re part of why I love what I do. I guess it’s my version of a spiritual experience.”

I roll my eyes, borrowing his bad habit. He sighs.

“Look, honey, there’s a lot of guys who would be happy working a nine-to-five, or whose church is inside four walls rather than halfway up a cliff. But you didn’t marry one of those guys. You married me.”

“I know that,” I say in a small voice.

“Are you sorry?” he says, turning his face to me. His cheeks are streaked with tears. He looks miserable, which is so uncharacteristic that it makes me start crying again.

“What kind of question is that?” I say, blinking my eyes so I can see him clearly.

“A real one,” he says. “Answer it, please.”

“No,” I say without hesitation. “Of course I’m not. I love you for who you are. There’s no one else I’d want to be with.”

Relief flashes across his face. He stretches his arms up to the ceiling, brings one down around my shoulders. “Okay, then,” he says, like everything is settled.

“But Aidan, what if something like that happens again and you’re not so lucky?”

His arm is still around my shoulders, and I can feel the tension seep back into it. He drums his fingers on the back of the couch. “If it does, then it does. That’s why we get emergency training, so that we’ll know how to handle tough situations. Skill and experience count for a lot up there. And I just happen to have a considerable amount of both. As do Roma and J.C. and Jesse.” He wiggles his eyebrows at me, runs his free hand along my thigh.

I know he’s trying to make light of this, to make me smile, but it doesn’t work this time. “You can’t control the weather,” I say. “You can’t tell the mountain what to do.”

Aidan gives up on being charming and folds his arms over his chest. “Jesus, Maddie. Let it go, would you please? I’m getting on a plane tomorrow morning. I don’t want to leave like this.”

“So don’t leave,” I say.

“You know I have to,” he says. “Don’t make it worse.”

I shake my head, and he takes my face between his hands and holds me still. “Have faith. You remember when I told you that, the first time?”

“I remember everything,” I say, and it has the flavor of prophecy, like soon memories will be all I have.

“Have I ever let you down?”

“No, Aidan, but—“

“And I won’t. Why can’t you believe me?” He strokes my hair. His blue eyes are wet, the lashes matted. “Listen,” he says. “I swear I’ll come back to you, all right? I promise I will come home.”

I know this is supposed to make me feel better, but it has the opposite effect, like he’s shaking a fist in the face of fate. “You can’t make a promise like that, Aidan,” I say, my voice uneasy. What I really want to say is, Take it back.

He holds his fingers to my lips, shushing me. “Don’t worry, Maddie, okay? Don’t worry, honey. Don’t worry.” His mouth takes the place of his fingers, and he kisses me like he is pouring out everything he wants to say, like he is trying to leave part of himself here with me. “I love you,” he says. He says it again and again. “You’re my life,” he says, kissing my neck, my breasts, my face. “You and Gabe are all I’ve got. I can’t lose you. Do you hear me?”


“Tell me it’s going to be all right, then.”

“No,” I say. “I can’t tell you that.”

He gives a long, frustrated sigh. “Then tell me you love me, at least. Say it now so I can hear.”

“I love you,” I tell him. “I love you more than you know.”

He grins at me through his tears, I can see that in the light that filters in from the street, from the headlights of passing cars. “Not as much as I love you.” It is an old joke between us. “But I can deal with that.”

“You’re wrong.”

“No,” he says. “I’m not.” And then he kisses me again, and he is making love to me there on the couch in the dark, both of us still crying. There is a desperate edge to the way we come together, each of us afraid that we are going to lose the other—him to the mountain, me to whatever mysterious forces drive couples apart. Remember this, I tell myself as he arches over me, as I rise to meet him. Remember.

My Book Review:

Love lost, love found ... memories made, memories lost ... the continuity of life ...

Mountain climbing enthusiast Aidan Kimble informs his wife Maddie that he is leaving their Colorado home for a climbing expedition on Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Maddie has bad premonitions and pleads with Aidan not to go, but he promises her that he will come back to her and their four year old son Gabe. Unfortunately the climbing expedition has disastrous results, Aidan is killed in an avalanche, leaving his best friend J.C. to inform the news to the grieving widow and son.

J.C. is consumed with survivor's guilt and grief, he questions whether he could have prevented Aidan's death. To add to his angst, J.C. has been in love with Maddie for years, but he never wanted his chance to be with her to come in this way. He vows to be always be there for Maddie and Gabe.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, Nicholas Sullivan wakes from a coma, he learns that he had been in a motorcycle accident and suffers amnesia. He has vivid dreams of falling down a mountain and is haunted by a vision of a sad dark haired woman named Maddie and her preschooler son. Haunted by his dreams of a woman whom he has never met, he yearns to search for them, unaware that he is the instrument of fulfilling a husband's promise to his wife.

The Memory Thief is a hauntingly poignant story of love lost and found, memories made and lost, and life's renewal. In her debut novel, author Emily Colin weaves a bittersweet tale told in the first person narrative with alternating perspectives of Aidan, Maddie and Nicholas. Reminiscent of the movie Ghost, this story has a paranormal twist mixed in with adventure and romance that draws the reader into the lives of Aidan, Maddie, Nicholas and J.C., it is a story that will keep the reader captivated as the story unfolds. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions of the climbing expedition and the emotional pull of the characters, this story will take the reader on a journey that will make you laugh, cry and sigh with contentment.

The cast of characters are realistic with complexities and flaws that the reader can easily relate to. The character development is phenomenal: a larger than life Aidan; the steady and kind J.C.; the haunted searcher Nicholas; the grieving, conflicted Maddie and her adorable young son Gabe. Each must learn to find their way through a tangled web of intense emotions and deep connections that binds them together through the continuity of life. With an engaging dialogue and intriguing interactions; and a storyline filled with adventure, romance, drama and emotional intensity; The Memory Thief is a powerfully compelling story that will resonate with you long after the last page has been read.

Author Emily Colin has created a wonderful story that captures the beauty of the human spirit and what it means to live a life full of passion. She weaves a tale of loss, love, grief, promises, memories, and the serendipity and continuity of life that will simply touch your heart and soul.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Resurrect by David E. Stevens (Book Review / Kindle Fire HD Giveaway)

In association with Litfuse Publicity Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes David E. Stevens, author of Resurrect (Book 1 - The Resurrect Trilogy)!

About The Author

A Navy fighter pilot with hundreds of aircraft carrier landings, Commander David E. Stevens holds degrees from Cornell and the University of Michigan with graduate work in astrophysics. He test piloted new fighters and received an aviation patent. With a Top Secret clearance, Dave served as Strike Operations Officer for the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and led classified defense programs. He's traveled to over two dozen countries.

David E. Stevens ~ Resurrect ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Litfuse Publicity Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway


Author Facebook Chat - 12/4

Win A Kindle Fire HD 

Resurrect Kindle Fire Giveaway from David E. Stevens. RSVP for Facebook Party on 12/4!

To celebrate the release of Resurrect, David E. Stevens has teamed up with his publisher, Kregel Publications, for a Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Author Chat Party on 12/4.

One "thrilling" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Resurrect by David E. Stevens
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd.

Winner will be announced at the "Resurrect" Author Chat Facebook Party on 12/4. Connect with David, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Resurrect Trilogy, try your hand at the trivia contest, and win some great prizes—gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Resurrect and join David on the evening of December 4th for a chance to connect with David and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Resurrect Trailer

Book Review

Resurrect (Book 1 - Resurrect Trilogy) by David E. Stevens
Publisher: Monarch Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback - 384 pages / Kindle - 608 KB / Nook 1020 KB
ISBN: 0857212494
Genre: Apocalyptic Thriller / Action Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: Resurrect

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Litfuse Publicity Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Book 1 in the Resurrect Trilogy.

Preventing his burning fighter from crashing into a neighborhood, Navy Commander Josh Logan ejects … too late.

Critically injured, he’s offered a new life and mission exploit highly classified military technology to stop a global cataclysm. The price? He’ll be dead to everyone he knows.

He wakes in a city hospital with a genetically enhanced body and no identity. With the help of his brilliant, Neuro ICU nurse, and guided by nothing but a voice, he must infiltrate the military-industrial complex to develop the world’s most powerful weapon … to protect humanity?

Book Excerpt:

Thirty-foot blue-white blowtorches slashed the twilight, driving the twenty-ton fighter down the runway like an angry rhino on crack. Using small rudder corrections, Commander Josh Logan kept the overpowered F-18 Super Hornet tracking straight. Clumsy and ungainly on the ground, it transformed into an agile and graceful bird of prey as it leaped into the air.

He was delivering the brand new fighter to a squadron on the West Coast. It was a routine ferry flight, but it felt great to be back in the air and away from his desk.

The fifty-million dollar Hornets, assembled only a few hundred yards away at the Boeing plant, shared St. Louis International Airport with commercial airliners. The air traffic controllers wanted the fighters out of their crowded airspace as soon as possible. Happy to oblige, Josh pulled the jet into a sixty-degree climb. Smiling, he knew his vertical departure in afterburner dominated the dusk like a comet. He'd loved roller coasters as a kid. Fighters were just roller coasters without the track.

As he raised the landing gear, he caught something out of the corner of his eye - a tiny blur of motion accompanied by the slightest of vibrations. He quickly checked his engine instruments - everything looked okay.

The red-tailed hawk tucked its wings and dove, but too late. It struck inside the landing gear bay at 250 miles an hour. The bird expired in an explosion of feathers, the impact creating a hairline fracture in a high-pressure fuel line.

As he rocketed through 10,000 feet, Josh pulled the Hornet out of burner and reduced his rate of climb. Checking his radar, he slewed a cursor on one of the cockpit screens with his throttle-mounted mouse. He realized he was just working on his "office computer" - like everyone else. There were a few differences. His office chair was a thinly padded ejection seat, his phone, a mic inside his oxygen mask. Noisier than most offices, his sat a few feet in front of hundreds of twirling, titanium turbine blades, shredding air at 70,000 RPM. 

Office dress code required a suit - a green fire-resistant flight suit. Over it, he wore a G-suit zipped tightly around his legs and stomach. During hard turns, it inflated, forcing blood back to the brain to prevent blackout. G-suits were sophisticated technology, but he always thought they looked like ... green cowboy chaps. He'd never ridden a horse, but strapping into a fighter might not be that different than saddling up a high-strung bronco. They shared the promise of a wild ride, and both were capable of ejecting their riders.

Scanning his engine instruments, he saw the RPM sagging on the left engine, but it was within limits.

He checked in with Kansas City Center for his final cruise altitude.

They responded, "Hornet Zero Seven, climb and maintain flight level four seven zero."

Josh repeated the altitude back followed by a "roger." Technically, the correct response was "wilco," meaning, "will comply." Like most pilots, he never used it. Probably just an inherent dislike of being compliant.

As he flew toward the sunset, he realized that if there were such a thing as a perfect life, he had it. The Navy had promoted him early and he'd married an amazing woman. His friends jokingly told him it was all downhill after the honeymoon. Recalling the passion of last night's first anniversary celebration, Josh knew they were wrong.

The only damper had been this morning, when the subject of children had come up yet again. They'd agreed to wait a year. It had been exactly one year. He hadn't said anything, but she could read him like a book. She was ready; he wasn't. She'd been uncharacteristically quiet as he left the house.

To the cockpit he said, "I'm a test pilot. I've flown in combat and land on carriers." He sighed. But raising kids...

Leveling off at 47,000 feet, he tabled the internal debate and enjoyed the view. His accommodations might have been Spartan, but unlike many offices, his had a window, and what a window it was. The fighter's bubble canopy gave him a panoramic view with only a centimeter of Plexiglas separating him from the cold, thin, 600 mph air.

Nine miles high, cruising on a thundering twin-turbine Harley, he chased the setting sun across the continent. The sun always won, but, flying close to the speed of sound, he gave it a run for its money. Sunsets, normally lasting fifteen minutes, stretched to an hour. With eighty percent of the atmosphere below him, he saw a brilliantly compressed sunset with colors that spanned the spectrum. Above him was the simple dead, dark black of space. Stars stared down, unblinking, having lost their atmosphere-induced twinkle. The black dome ended in a narrow strip of deep iridescent purple. The purple feathered into infinite shades of blue, from the darkest navy, across a band of powdery sky-blue, into a brief gasp of turquoise. Finally, an explosion of brilliant yellows, fluorescent oranges, and deep, rich reds cut the horizon like a rip in the heavens.

He savored the beauty and solitude of extreme altitude, knowing there'd be few of these moments in the years ahead. A thirty-two year old Commander, he had one real flying tour left. He'd really miss it ... everything but the night carrier landings. Landing a twenty-ton fighter at night, on a moving deck the size of a tennis court, was still the stupidest thing he'd done more than once. Darkness stole any peripheral vision, and with it that indefinable feel, leaving nothing but an elaborate video game with a penalty - lose and you die.

A familiar female voice broke his reverie. Bitching Betty - the pilot's nickname for the automated warning system - spoke when the computer detected an emergency requiring immediate action. In her calm, sultry voice, she shared the worst words in her limited vocabulary - "Engine Fire Left, Engine Fire Left." 

Josh's first reaction was disbelief, followed by a curse as he slammed the left throttle off. Jabbing the Fire Warning light, he cut fuel flow to the engine. He then punched the fire-extinguisher button, releasing a flood of Halon gas. Holding his breath, he waited ... and waited.

It seemed an eternity, but it was only seconds before the fire light extinguished. Breathing again, he saw his now single-engine jet was losing airspeed rapidly. He throttled up the remaining engine and pushed the nose into a descent. 

Kansas City Center called. "Hornet Zero Seven, we show you descending out of your assigned altitude, say intentions."

"Center, Zero Seven, had a fire. Declaring an emergency. Need to land as soon as possible."

"Hornet Zero Seven, say fuel remaining and souls on board."

Why did they always say, "Souls on board?" It was standard aviation terminology, but it gave him the creeps. "I have plenty of fuel, and it's just me. Need a vector to the nearest field with at least 5,000 feet of runway."

The Center Controller came back quickly. "Closest field is Kansas City, ten degrees right of your nose, seventy miles. You're cleared direct."

He turned to the new heading and scanned his displays. The right engine and hydraulics looked good. He had plenty of fuel, but automatically checked his gauge - 7,000 pounds. Wait ... that couldn't be right. He'd had over 8,000 a minute ago! As he watched, the digital indicator dropped to 6900. It suddenly made sense. Here was the fire's source - a massive fuel leak. He timed the drop and did a quick calculation. He'd be out of fuel in ten minutes. He was pleased he could remember how to multiply. IQ dropped with adrenaline, and he was producing his share.

"Center, Hornet Zero Seven, looks like a major fuel leak caused the fire. I have, maybe, ten minutes left. Need something closer. I'll take anything with even 3,000 feet of runway."

The Controller, now matching some of the stress in Josh's voice, said, "Standby Zero Seven."

Josh edged the throttle up gingerly, increasing his airspeed and descent. He was in a race, stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. With his jet hemorrhaging fuel, the last thing he wanted to do was run the remaining engine hotter. But it was either burn it or lose it.

"Hornet Zero Seven, there's a small airport on the outskirts of the city, fifty-five miles from your position. It has a 4,000 foot runway."

"I'll take it."

"Hornet Zero Seven, turn right to heading two niner five. Descend at pilot's discretion. We're clearing all traffic between you and the field. Destination weather is broken to overcast with a 1200 foot ceiling."

He pushed the fighter into a steeper descent, accelerating to 450 knots. It felt more like a dive-bombing run than a landing approach. He refined his heading and scanned his fuel gauge for the umpteenth time. He might have just enough fuel to make it.

He realized that his current job would prevent situations like this in the future. Testing new fighters was just a collateral duty. His real job was program manager for the next generation of robo-fighters, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles or UCAVS.

Center switched him to Approach Control. Doing 400 knots as he checked in, they cleared him to break the 250-knot speed limit below 10,000 feet.

Fifteen miles from the airfield, he descended into the clouds, leaving the sunset of the heavens above for the darkness below. As he transitioned to flying by instruments, Betty, with no apparent concern, said, "Fuel Low, Fuel Low." With adrenaline rising again, he was thankful for his Heads-Up Display. The green flight symbols appeared to float ten feet in front of the windscreen, keeping his eyes out of the cockpit and slashing his workload. The technology was pure magic, referred to by fighter pilots as PFM.

He punched through the bottom of the overcast, leveling off 1,000 feet above the ground. Below the clouds, it was dark, but the Approach Controller had lined him up nicely. He saw the runway lights, seven miles off his nose.

The Approach Controller gave him the tower frequency and added, "Good luck."

He thanked her, switched to the tower, and pulled the throttle back to idle to slow down.

As he checked in, the tower immediately cleared him to land. He didn't even know the name of the airport, but he could tell he was in the middle of suburban sprawl. Under him was an ever-expanding grid of street and house lights, spread out like an illuminated net as far as he could see. Ahead, he saw the telltale flashing red lights of the crash trucks flanking the runway.

Slowing to 250 knots, he lowered his landing gear and flaps. He was only four miles from the runway. He was going to make it.

As the landing gear came down, he felt an unusual thump, followed by the simultaneous illumination of both engine fire lights. Looking up, he saw an orange reflection in his canopy rear-view mirrors. At the slower speed, the flames were now clearly visible between the fighter's twin tails. Opening the landing gear doors must have pushed air into the engine bay, reigniting the fuel. His fire extinguisher was empty and the jet could explode at any second. The emergency procedure for this situation was simple - eject. But he was over a populated area and so close to the runway.

He coaxed his fighter. "Come on baby. We're almost there." The fire trucks would be ready to spray him down if he could just get the fighter on the runway.

Less than a minute from touchdown, he felt the sick sensation of deceleration. He shoved the throttle forward to no effect. He still had 1,000 pounds of fuel! With a terrible sinking feeling in his stomach, he knew the fire must have burned through his remaining fuel lines.

Betty casually added, "Engine Right, Engine Right," as his other engine flamed out.

Only two miles from the runway ... but it might as well have been two hundred. Twenty-ton fighters made lousy gliders.

Everything began to move in slow motion. He knew that in fifteen seconds, the beautiful new jet would slam into the ground. The fireball would blow burning metal and graphite across several acres. There were too many lights below. Each was someone's home, someone's life and family. The small airport was in the middle of suburbia. He couldn't eject ... not yet.

Scanning the ground, he saw a small, dark area a half mile to his left. No lights meant no houses. The floating green symbol in his HUD projected his flight path, or in this case, his impact point. If he turned, he might have just enough height to glide the burning fighter into the dark area. He banked the jet away from the runway. To make sure the wounded Hornet didn't turn or stall, he'd have to get as close as possible before punching out.

With the engines silent, the tower must have determined his intentions. Their last transmission was simply, "Good luck and Godspeed."

As the last engine spooled down, the hydraulic pressure began to falter. The jet responded sluggishly, as if angry with him for heading away from the runway. He had to use exaggerated stick inputs to control the dying fighter.

To slow his descent, he needed to hold the nose up, but the jet began to buffet and shake as it approached stall speed. If the Hornet stalled, it would roll over and tumble to the ground. There were houses on each side, and under his nose was a brightly lit and occupied soccer field. He fought his instinct and pushed the stick forward, increasing his descent rate to maintain flying speed. As he dropped through 200 feet, Betty pointlessly shared, "Altitude, Altitude."

Just a few more seconds.

Red hydraulic fluid sprayed across the wing like blood from a severed artery, as Betty spoke her final words. "Flight Controls, Flight Controls." With no hydraulic pressure, the jet began an uncontrolled roll to the right. Even as he slammed the stick left, he realized the futility. His Hornet had bled out. She was dead.

Letting go of the useless stick, he pulled the yellow and black handle between his legs.

An explosive charge immediately blew the giant bubble canopy off the jet. Simultaneously, his shoulder, waist, and leg restraints retracted, yanking him firmly against the seat. With the force of a couple sticks of dynamite, the ejection charge detonated. Rattling his skull and compressing his spine, the seat blasted up the rails like an artillery shell. As it cleared the cockpit, its rocket motors ignited, firing him into the night.

The ejection occurred well outside the seat's design envelope. The altitude was too low, the bank angle too high. The rocket-propelled seat tried to right itself as it accelerated from the almost inverted jet. Clipping the top of the forest at over one hundred miles an hour, it ripped through the treetops, breaking branches and bones. Sensing extremely low altitude, the seat's simple barometric sensor deployed the parachute. The chute shredded. Its tangled shroud lines caught and slung him like a puppet on the end of a string, slamming him against the trees. Finally, his unconscious body slid to the forest floor like a rag doll. Shock constricted his arteries as his heart struggled against the decreasing volume of blood from internal hemorrhaging.

A quarter mile away, a boiling cloud of orange and white flame climbed above the forest, as the fighter followed its pilot into the ground. The young soccer players stopped in their tracks to watch the orange mushroom cloud expand above the treetops. Like a short fireworks finale, rolling thunder echoed through the woods as the artificial sunrise briefly lit the forest.

Josh opened his eyes. He saw the silhouette of treetops against the soft orange glow of the low clouds. The orange cast came from the sprawl of sodium-vapor streetlights surrounding the woods where he lay. He knew the funeral pyre of his late Hornet added a flicker to the glow. A few stars peeked through a hole in the cloud cover. Faintly, he heard sirens in the distance. Otherwise, it was the peaceful quiet of an early spring evening before the crickets awoke. He couldn't move or feel anything. His only sensation was sight and the metallic taste of blood.

He knew he was dying. With surprising calm and clarity, he realized he'd had an incredible life. He'd done things that most only dreamed of.

.... What was next? His dad was a pragmatic scientist. As a child, Josh never attended church, but he'd always wondered if humans really were accidental combinations of organic molecules. He didn't see sufficient evidence to believe in God, but knew that lack of proof didn't prove anything.

His vision began to fade. His thoughts went to Kelly. Not just his wife; she was his best friend. He wished he could see her, tell her it would be okay... His thoughts became less distinct. If there were a God and an afterlife ... he'd soon find out. As his heart beat its last beat, he thought, at least I get to see the stars one last time...

My Book Review:

While Navy Commander Josh Logan was testing out a new fighter jet there was an engine malfunction. He manages to avoid crashing into a civilian neighborhood, but performs an emergency ejection from the jet a few moments too late and is critically injured.

A year later, he awakes from a coma and is offered a second chance at life with an genetically enhanced body, and guided only by a voice named Jesse, he is given a new mission to save the world from total destruction from a comet that is headed towards Earth. Oh ... and by the way ... he only has two years to accomplish his mission.

Will Josh accept his new mission, knowing that the life he previously lead has been changed forever? Can he accomplish his mission and stop the comet from destroying the world before time runs out?

Resurrect is an action packed apocalyptic thriller that takes the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride. In his debut novel, author David E. Stevens has created a captivating story that draws the reader in and grabs hold of them until they turn the last page. He weaves a tale that showcases his vast knowledge of astrophysics and military experience. The story has a perfect balance of suspense, science and spirituality that will simply keep the reader spellbound. His creative style of writing has a way of transporting the reader into the story in a way that you can feel the intensity and action that makes this one heck of a thriller!

The author has a created a cast of characters who are realistic and believable. Their complex personalities, witty dialogue and interactions easily draw the reader into the story. The reader is engaged to ponder the "what ifs" of highly intelligent individuals and their bionic capabilities. If you are a military, adventure and/or sci-fi buff, this multi-layered story is right up your alley. The characters and high octane action adventure in this story will take you on a thrilling journey that is worthy of becoming a movie.

Resurrect is a riveting story that combines the best of action thrillers with science fiction, it will make you sit up and ponder the unknown. Resurrect is the first book in the Resurrect Trilogy.