Monday, July 22, 2019

Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs by DS Johnson

* by DS Johnson *
* Fantasy *

Shaz, Edenocht’s forbidden War Wizard, his elemental mage Serin and, miniature warriors, the Minca begin their unsurmountable task of securing the ancient artifacts, the Sev-Rin-Ac-Lava. Their first task of finding the sheath to the sword Shaz already has, takes them to the realm of their friends the Minca. The companions find themselves in a world torn open by earthquakes and melted earth as the evil Necromancer Semias Trevelis re-incarnates an ancient Runecaster to remake one of the ancient artifacts. The only hope in closing the torn and scorched realm is with the help of the two remaining descendants of the original mages of old, but Shaz doesn’t even know about them, to begin with, let alone who they are or how to find them. Riddick, the Earth Sage, is deep in his own dilemma of figuring out his powers and the appearance of new Islands in the Turbulent Reef, is thrust from one realm to another until he meets back up with Shaz and the others. Can Shaz and his friends outsmart the cosmic powers at play and bring together the elements once again or will there be a ripple of desolation across the planet?


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First Chapter

Heavy gusts whipped through the barren wasteland. The radiating heat stung their lungs as they barreled over the uneven ground. Long strands of purple haze lined the night sky. Murky shadows played tricks on their senses as they dodged the tiny night insects. Turkill snagged a small stone as he turned a sharp corner. He placed it in the pocket of his sling and swung it over his head. He regained his footing and twisted at the waist. He let the momentum propel the stone. It sliced through the air like a razor and hit the Jaduuk square in the forehead. The creature fell backward at an instant. The pack of Jaduuk still behind leapt over their fallen pack mate. They dug their hind legs into the ground and leapt over scattered boulders with ease.
Ladtwig ran onto a half-fallen tree and slammed his walking stick into the ground. His small frame launched into the air.  He pulled his arms and legs in tight and rolled through the smelly, orc-like-wolf-hunter’s arms. He somersaulted onto a jagged boulder on the other side and scurried over the edge.
“Send our scents into the breeze,” Shaz said.
Serin twirled her hands, spinning the air before launching it toward the Jaduuk. The Jaduuk hunter snarled. Drool dripped from his long fangs at the sides of his mouth. Long ears at the top of his head twitched, and his snout-like nose puckered as he caught the scent. He skidded in the soft dirt and shot off toward them. Turkill leapt behind the boulder Ladtwig was behind and rolled to a stop.
“That should draw them this way,” Shaz said.
“And then what?” Serin asked.
“We set a trap.”
“How those things are twice our size, and we have no idea what they’re capable of?”
“Then we find out.”
“You know, I’m starting to doubt your logic here,” Serin said.
“Here, help me with this rock.”
Serin called the air and sent a puff under the immense boulder.  Even with her air magic, the boulder was almost too heavy to move. She gripped the ground with her toes and stretched her arms out as far as she could. The boulder inched gradually. Shaz thrust his shoulder into the stone and heaved. It moved into place and Serin dropped her arms. They hurried behind the rock and crouched into its shadow.
Serin gripped the cold stone for support. Shaz could tell she was becoming weaker and he did rely on her air magic more than he should. Think, think, what would Grandfather tell me to do?  he thought.
“Do you think you could make a sand pit, while I keep them busy?” Shaz asked.
Serin studied him with a little surprise. She understood from his expression that he knew she was tiring. She sucked in a deep breath and nodded. Shaz touched her shoulder and she became aware of his energy. It tickled her skin and gave her a little more confidence. Shaz gripped the hilt of the sword and rounded the boulder. At first, he couldn’t see anything, but then, a funny image played out in his head. He sucked in a deep breath and the image became a little clearer.
“One, two, three, four, five.” Shaz counted.
He found five Jaduuk scents and a blurry image of where they were formed. Three were larger than the other two and he surmised they were the males. He pulled the sword from his side and allowed the energy to surge through his arm. He took several steps from Serin and then ran toward the smaller beasts.
Serin slipped off her boots and wriggled her toes into the soft sand. She hadn’t understood why Shaz wanted the boulder moved but now understood it was because the ground was softer here. She gathered the strength she needed and began filling the sand with air. A steady stream of wind burrowed into the sand making the top bubble and bounce. Serin’s arms ached. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on the wind, but she found it difficult. She breathed heavily, and her body began to sag. The wind continued to burrow deep into the ground making the circle widened. She had no idea how big to make it because she had no idea how big the beasts actually were, or if they could jump high, or at all.
Shaz clenched his fist. The pounding of the ground intensified as the pack quickened their paces. He was confident they had him locked into their senses and the only way out was to fight. A high-pitched snarl echoed over his shoulder. The enormous jaguar leapt over Shaz and sank her claws into a Jaduuk. The creature recoiled. A strong odor wafted through the air and Shaz covered his nose. Jagwynn gripped the sand and slid on her haunches. The Jaduuk snarled and roared. Jag returned the roar and leapt at the Jaduuk. The Jaduuk dug its claws into Jag’s flesh. Jagwynn yelped and her eyes widened. She opened her jaws as wide as she could and gripped the Jaduuk’s face with her claws. She sunk her teeth into the think leathery texture of the beast’s neck. The Jaduuk reared back and tried to shove the huge cat off. Jagwynn swung her tail to keep her balance as her hind legs pushed herself onto the beast. They toppled to the ground and the more the Jaduuk wriggled the tighter Jag clenched.
Shaz ran at one of the smaller Jaduuk. He flipped the sword and sliced the beast’s chin. The beast roared and stumbled backward. Shaz spun and brought his blade over his head. The slight glow of the sword’s markings made a mark in the night sky. He pulled it down with ease and listened to the whipping sound it made. The blade sunk deep into the shoulder of the oncoming Jaduuk. A high-pitched howl pierced Shaz’s head and he flinched.
Shaz flew several feet from another Jaduuk’s fist hitting him in the ribs. Shaz struggled to breathe as the pain raced to his brain. The cold gritty earth found its way into his lungs as he gasped for air. Shaz coughed and gagged as a mixture of blood and sand escaped his lungs. The metallic taste the blood left, sank into his consciousness. The heat of the Jaduuk’s breath ripped down his spine. He couldn’t make his body move. No matter how hard he tried and how much he yelled in his mind, it wouldn’t respond. 
“Stay here,” Turkill said.
“What are you going to do?” Ladtwig asked.
“I don’t know yet, but I have to help.”
“We are way too small, they will eat us alive,” Ladtwig said.
“Maybe that’s the way we fight them then,” Turkill said.
“How do you mean?”
“Well, they can’t fight something they can’t see.”
“But they see with their noses.”
Turkill pulled all his leather armor and clothes off, clear down to his skivvies. Ladtwig’s eyes popped out of his head. Turkill pulled his knife from his belt and sliced several desert plants off their stems. He rubbed them vigorously until his bronzed skin no longer showed.
Ladtwig followed and covered himself.
“This plant stinks,” Ladtwig said.
“Uh huh.”
Turkill removed his sling and gathered as many rocks as he could and shoved them into his pouch. He secured them around his waist and crept out from around the boulder. Ladtwig filled his pouch and grabbed his dart gun.
“I thought you were out of darts?” Turkill asked.
“I am, but you never know.”
The steady wind had long dried all the water from their bodies. It was hard to move around without feeling the sting of their skin cracking. The heavy clouds thinned letting a soft hint of the moon’s light shine over the wasteland. Turkill caught a glimpse of the pack running toward Shaz and Serin.
“Over there,” Turkill said.
Ladtwig nodded and hurried around the other side of a broad faced rock. They froze in place when they heard Jagwynn snag her prey. Seconds later Turkill waved to Ladtwig and they maneuvered closer.
The largest Jaduuk waited at the back of the pack. He twisted his ears back and forth and sniffed the air. Turkill crept up to a desert plant and cringed as a twig snapped under his foot. The Jaduuk cocked his head and flicked his long pointy ear backward. Turkill froze and held his breath. The beast turned and studied the landscape. He sniffed again and sank his massive claws into the ground. A deep orange glow radiated from the creature’s eyes. Turkill’s heart sank and he pushed the bile back into his stomach. Ladtwig tossed a stone across his path on the other side and the beast turned. The Jaduuk meticulously searched the night.
Turkill laid a stone into his sling and sucked in a deep breath. His arm shot above his head and his wrist flicked the sling so hard that the motion didn’t even take half a second. The rock soared through the air like lightning and sank into the back of the beast’s skull. The Jaduuk stopped mid-step and hesitated. He touched the back of his head and felt the stone. He turned around in slow motion and tried to make sense of what happened.
Turkill held his breath as he tried to understand why the rock didn’t take him down. The beast shook his head and the orange glow returned. Turkill gulped and sunk as low to the ground as he could. Ladtwig flicked his sling sending another stone into the Jaduuk’s temple. The beast stumbled but didn’t fall. Turkill scoured around in his pouch for the sharpest stone he could find and loaded it into his sling. He stood, raised his arm and flicked his wrist. The stone shot out of the sling and ripped across the sky.
The fierce rotation of the rock became like a razor as it sliced its enormous bicep. Ladtwig slipped as he stepped over a rock and fell. He rolled over and rubbed his hiney. He hurried to his feet and positioned himself behind a rock. He reached for another stone, but his pouch wasn’t there.
“Blast,” he said.
The Jaduuk turned and moved toward him. Ladtwig hurried to the bush to search for his pouch. Turkill moved behind a dead tree trunk and loaded his sling. He peeked over the trunk but couldn’t see the beast. He moved to the end of where it had been, but it wasn’t there either. He hurried to the other end and peeked under the haggard roots. He could barely make out the Jaduuk and crept to a closer rock.
Shaz gripped his ribs and closed his eyes. A strong sensation coursed his torso calming the pain to a tolerable degree. He caught a glimpse of Serin stepping back behind the boulder. His heart swelled with undeniable gratitude for her. He shook his head and flung the Honor Blade behind him, letting the motion carry him back to his feet. The Jaduuk jumped back but not far enough. The tip of the blade raced over its belly.
Shaz parried and sidestepped. The Jaduuk pulled a battle ax off his back. Shaz studied the images in his head the best he could and readied himself. Shaz threw up his sword and caught the ax at its head. He spun the blade and yanked. The Jaduuk gripped the long-hardened wood shaft tightly in his paw. Shaz let the blade slip away and parried back. The Jaduuk pounded its chest and howled. The grounds vibrations rippled into his body. He identified the remainder of the pack and learned they had mobilized toward them. Still keeping the beast in sight, he checked to see if Serin was ready yet.
Serin leaned against the boulder and wiped the sweat from her brows. Her lightweight cotton tunic stuck to her slender frame. She tried to steady her breathing but found it difficult. She rubbed her aching arms and shivered from the wind as it blew against her wet skin. She examined her sinkhole and confident it would at least take a few of the beasts. Serin brushed off her feet and slipped them back into her boots. She boosted herself from the boulder and curled her tongue between her teeth. A high-pitched whistle whipped over the air. The long-draped fur at the top the Jaduuk’s ears curved over to shield its inner ear from the noise. Shaz closed the gap and brought the sword up to a side strike. The blade made contact at the base of the creature’s neck. The ridiculous stench wreaked havoc on Shaz’s senses and he struggled to keep his nerves. The Jaduuk staggered, swaying back and forth until it lost consciousness and fell with a thud. Shaz searched his night vision and determined the rest of the pack wasn’t far behind.  
Jagwynn released the lifeless body and searched for her next target. She narrowed her eyes and slunk close to the ground. The coolness of the red dirt felt good on her warmed fur. At the back of the pack, she found the smallest Jaduuk and made her way. Jagwynn lay in the taller straggly grass and waited until the Jaduuk came close enough. She lunged with her forceful hind legs and released her claws. Jagwynn sunk her claws into the Jaduuk’s shoulder and flung it to the ground. She flipped around and lunged again.
The Jaduuk went sprawling to the ground. Its look of shock and instant fear fed Jagwynn’s excitement and she sank her teeth into its neck. The Jaduuk squealed and flailed around but Jagwynn gripped tighter.
Ladtwig found his pouch and tried to tie it back onto his breeches. The hot breath of the Jaduuk caressed his bare skin. The hairs on the back of his neck stood out and his body shivered. He gulped and turned around. His head lifted upward as far as it could go. The orange glow was now dark red. Its long snout flared, and drool dripped from its giant fangs that crested its eyebrows. Ladtwig searched his pouch but his heart sunk when there were no stones. He slid his foot backward.
Ladtwig didn’t see the rock behind him and toppled over it. He scooched backward scrambling to figure out what to do. As he grappled the ground he brushed up against a prickly plant. He broke off a long stem and jammed it into his dart gun. The Jaduuk opened his mouth wide and roared. Ladtwig sucked in and blew as hard as he could through the dart gun. The stick shot out and lodged into the back of the beast’s throat.
Stunned, the Jaduuk dropped its ax and grabbed at its throat. Ladtwig scurried out from under its extensive claws as it staggered around. Turkill shot across the dirt and loaded his sling. The rock ripped across the sky with a whistle and embedded into the Jaduuk’s throat crushing its airway. Ladtwig jumped to his feet and darted back to the boulder they had left their clothes behind. 
“One, more second,” Shaz said under his breath.
Serin whistled again and peeked out. Shaz dug his boot into the ground and lunged toward her. He crossed the distance at full speed and slid to a stop as he rounded the boulder.
“Are you ready?” he asked breathing heavily.
“Yes, but I have no idea how many it will hold?” she said.
Shaz nodded and peered around the rock.
“In about ten seconds, run that way as fast as you can and don’t look back,” Shaz said.
Serin scowled and searched his face. He wasn’t playing, and a hint of fear crept into her chest.
“Go!” he said.
Serin propelled herself from the rock and dug her boots into the sturdy ground. She was glad the clouds had thinned letting her see enough of the landscape, so she didn’t have to stumble around. The pounding of the beast’s heavy claws drowned out the blood beating in her ears. The sudden boost of adrenaline surged throughout her body giving her a satisfying renewal. She leapt over a fallen tree trunk and caught herself as the loose ground moved under her feet.
From the corner of her eye, she found Ladtwig and Turkill huddled under the lowest ledge of a substantial rock. She picked up a rock and chucked it at them. They jumped, grabbed their things and darted toward her. She slowed her pace, so they could catch up.
“Don’t stop running,” she said as they met up with her.
“Where’s Shaz?” Turkill asked.
“He’s coming,” she said.


Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life during her teens and twenties. The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Elizabeth loves to connect with readers!

Twitter: @ElizaMcKenna
Instagram: elizabeth_mckenna_author
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Friday, July 19, 2019

Book Blast: The Weapons of Light by Lairyck Beliveau


Inside the Book:

Title: The Weapons of Light
Author: Lairyck Beliveau
Publisher: XLibris 
Genre: Poetry
Format: Ebook

The Weapons of Light is a composition of sixteen interlocking poetic essays, five poems, and three short stories. The purpose of this book is to shed light on the condition and state of the fighting spirit within us all. This book is also a unique inspirational guide that combines poetry, spirituality, and fantasy to maintain the reader’s interest in an atmosphere of both fidelity and mysticism. The book is kept short with the rigors of daily labor in mind for those who like to read but are now unable to find time. The prerogative of any poet is to capture the times as best as they can: the feeling, the atmosphere, and the surge of human emotion. The author, Lairyck Beliveau, utilizes a method of combining poetic license and academic article writing to bring you a very deep and entertaining perspective of life and its emotional struggles

Purchase Here


Lairyck is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins July 15 and ends on July 26.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on July 27.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

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Book Review: Infertility Caused by Decreased Oxygen Utilization and Jinn (Demon) by Dr. Mira Bajirova

Inside the Book:

Title: Infertility Caused by Decreased Oxygen Utilization and Jinn (Demon)
Author: Dr. Mira Bajirova
Publisher: Partridge Publishing
Genre: Medical
Format: Ebook

There are two main causes of Infertility: Decreased Oxygen Utilization and Jinn (Demon). 

When the environment or body has too many Positive Ions, the result is Decreased Oxygen Utilization. Positive Ions are produced by the manmade atmosphere, and they increase the acidity and inflammation in the body. 

These Positive Ions can affect the body in numerous ways, including decreased fertility. Many times, medicine cannot solve the problem—what people must do is to expose themselves to the Negative Ions. 

Dr. Mira Bajirova, an Associate Professor, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, and In Vitro Fertilization Consultant from Paris, explores what this means to those suffering from Infertility. 

She also highlights how Evil Jinn—through Jinn Possession, Black Magic and Evil Eye—can lead to disastrous consequences including the Infertility. Filled with insights from the Quran and medicine, this is an informative guide for anyone seeking to improve their health and expand their family.

Purchase Here

I have always been open to alternative thoughts and beliefs, especially when it comes to medical treatment. And while I can applaud the author for exploring different alternatives, I think there is still a place for the actual medical field when it comes to things like this.

She has a fabulous background and it is obvious that she knows what she is talking about. It would be very interesting to sit down and have an in depth conversation with her. I know that many people will be unwilling to read something like this because they are Christian and can't wrap their head around the points that she makes. I encourage everyone to embrace things that are different and at least hear them out. 
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free by Jennifer B. Monahan

By Jennifer B. Monahan
* Memoir *

Author: Jennifer B. Monahan
Publisher: Spirit Evolution
Pages: 234
Genre: Memoir

When Jennifer Monahan announced her intention to leave her well-established career as a business strategy consultant and give up her rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco to do a global walkabout for an undetermined amount of time, her friends and family thought she was insane. But Jennifer was excited about taking the time to truly explore and immerse herself in a variety of cultures, so their skepticism didn’t faze her; plus she was used to traveling alone as a woman with only one carry-on bag. What she didn’t count on was discovering all the excess baggage she had been carrying with her from her past.

WHERE TO? chronicles one year of Monahan’s life, primarily in the Guatemalan jungle, but also in Japan, Cambodia and Thailand. Living in a thatched-roof hut in a tiny village, Monahan connected with local shamans and participated in their ancient rituals, became fully integrated into the daily life of a local family, and ultimately faced down some of the greatest losses and long-buried pain she had experienced. WHERE TO? shares the six steps she took to heal and courageously create the life of her dreams and includes a workbook for readers to do the same.

“Some memoirs tell us stories and open up worlds we never knew, but some open up places in our own hearts and souls that we have wanted to explore and have never given ourselves the chance to do so. Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free by Jennifer B. Monahan belongs to the second category of memoirs…While it reads like the memoir of a woman who takes the courage to explore the world, this memoir has powerful spiritual hints. In fact, it is the story of a soul in search of itself. Where To? is a spiritual testament, a book that describes a journey towards inner freedom and authenticity. Many readers will feel the resonance of Jennifer’s story in their own lives.” 
– Christian Sia, Reader’s Favorite Book Reviews



March 1, 2017
The roars of a howler monkey outside the window of my thatched-roof hut woke me up at 4 a.m. It was my second night sleeping in the jungle of El Remate, Peten, Guatemala, and I was still adjusting to all the animal noises. As I lay awake, I thought about what a blur the past two weeks had been.

I finished up my book tour for This Trip will Change Your Life: A Shaman’s Story of Spirit Evolution in Connecticut and New Hampshire amidst the first major snowstorms of 2017. I flew home to San Francisco, packed up the last of my belongings and put everything in storage, turned in the keys for my apartment to my landlord, and then flew to Guatemala. My plan was to spend three months in Guatemala while writing my next book, and then travel around for
another three months or so before returning to San Francisco.

What made me move here?

Well, in November 2014, I was hit by a minivan while walking across the street. I was out of work for a little over three months, on crutches for eight months, and wearing some form of a cast for fourteen months. My doctor didn’t think I’d walk without either surgery or a crutch or brace for the rest of my life, but I happily proved her wrong, mainly because of the shamanic work I did on myself while I was healing.

Since I was stuck on my couch for about six months, I had plenty of time to think. I realized that I wanted to live life on my terms, the way I wanted to, rather than following a prescribed path about how I should live, work, and be. I wanted to follow my heart and my life calling, and I knew that would require me to make some major changes to my life. In short, I wanted to live authentically.

Living authentically isn’t easy. It should be, but there are so many things that hold us back. For me to get to this place, and truly know who I am, I had to do quite a bit of work over a period of several years, including:

        Releasing personas that I’d adopted in life that no longer served me
        Identifying limiting beliefs that really weren’t relevant
        Discovering who I am and what makes me unique
        Figuring out my life purpose
        Learning to tap into my own personal power and trust, and
        Following my heart

Once I knew myself better, my path became clearer and I was able to move ahead…or, in this case, to Guatemala.


Jennifer B. Monahan is a business strategy consultant, shaman and coach who helps people all over the world live courageous lives. Her first book, This Trip Will Change Your Life: A Shaman’s Story of Spirit Evolution (She Writes Press, 2016), has won six literary awards, including two first-place Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards and a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her second book, Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free, was published in April 2019, and describes her personal journey through Guatemala, Japan, Cambodia and Thailand as she faces down some of the greatest losses in her life.

She is a regular contributor to, Sivana East, and has had articles published on and Her podcast, Living A Courageously Authentic Life, can be found on, and focuses on a variety of topics to help others be true to themselves.
She holds a BA in Mass Communications from the University of Bridgeport (CT), an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Masters in Natural Health from Clayton College, and completed an accredited coaching program through Coach U. Her shamanic training began with a Mayan shaman in Mexico and then expanded to include shamans in Guatemala and her own personal guides.

She currently splits her time between the United States and Guatemala when not traveling and is in the process of writing her third book, a handbook for people looking to define, create and live their courageously authentic life. You can find her online at


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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Book Review: The Prison Planet Handbook by Denis Goodwin

Title: The Prison Planet Handbook
Author: Denis Goodwin
Publisher: XLibris
Genre: Reference
Format: Ebook

Who are we, and where did we come from? When we turn to the information provided to us, we find a mud pool of possibilities. Is this intended to subvert our built-in guidance systems? We also discover that people who are adept at researching big-picture science are offered special jobs conditional on being sworn to secrecy. What is behind this strategy? Sometimes, the reality prescribed to us doesn’t fit with or explain what we experience. So if you too know something is not quite right, wonder what else is out there, what the bigger picture is, who benefits with us excluded from it, and are ready for changes on earth, the bottom line is here.


I am not sure how I felt about this book - there was a lot of information provided and some of it I could relate to but some of it I wasn't so sure about. I am not saying I totally disagreed and I guess the best thing about it is that it was really thought provoking.

Something I think that most would enjoy, it would be sure to spark a lot of discussion. 
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Dark Spiral Down by Michael Houtz

DARK SPIRAL DOWN by Michael Houtz, International Thriller, 377 pp.

Author: Michael Houtz
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 377
Genre: Thriller/International/Action

COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.
Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.
Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.
Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer.  Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.
Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.


“If you’re in the market for a fast paced, action filled, page-turning thriller, Mike Houtz delivers a must-read novel. I highly recommend this emotional rollercoaster of a book for every die-hard thriller reader…Get it ASAP!”
~Lima Charlie Review
“…this work proves that author Houtz is undoubtedly a rising star in the publishing world.”
~Andrea Brunais, Author
“Mike Houtz takes us on fast-pace adventure in Dark Spiral Down, a thrilling ride along the border between China and North Korea, where Cole Haufner is in pursuit of his Delta Force brother and a device that has the potential to change the world forever or destroy it.”
~Dan Grant, Author
Dark Spiral Down is a phenomenal debut novel by Mike Houtz. This book has everything readers of the genre love: a great plot, memorable characters, and a powerful voice. It’s a must-read!”
~Ammar Habib, Bestselling & Award-Winning Author, Editor-in-Chief of Thriller Magazine



Anger born of helplessness rose in his chest. In contrast to Master Li’s placating tone, Cole straightened to his full height and stared into the man’s face. “Let me guess, more 14K cowards?”
Another man stepped forward and cocked his pistol’s hammer. “I show you coward.”
As at the Crowne Plaza earlier, Cole refused to back off, even in the face of impending conflict. “The coward is the man who needs a gun.”
The other with the shotgun pointing at Cole’s chest stood only some seven or eight feet away. “You will come with us now!”
“Please. Violence is forbidden here,” Master Li spoke again. “The Temple is sacred. We cannot have this type of behavior.”
“Maybe you don’t hear so good,” the leader sneered. “He comes with us whether you approve or not.”
“He is a famous American! If you take him, the government will arrest anyone involved. They will have no choice but to hold immediate trials and executions.” Master Li cupped his hands together and held them against his chest.
“Famous American,” the man chuckled. “If you are so famous, what are you doing here then, huh?”
Cole stared straight into the man’s eyes. He took several steps toward the shotgun-wielding thug. “How about I show you?”


After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.
He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.


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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wolves At Our Door by Soren Paul Petrek

WOLVES AT OUR DOOR by Soren Paul Petrek
* Historical * Action * Adventure *

Author: Soren Paul Petrek
Publisher: Editions Encre Rouge/Hachette Livre
Pages: 319
Genre: Historical/Action/Adventure

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.

Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Read the first chapter at Booksie and don’t forget to give it a like!



Helga Miller shut the door to her small flat in Saint-Omer. With seagulls reeling and crying in the sunny morning sky above, she felt as though she were on vacation. She loved the quaint architecture of the homes, the small shops, and the produce market. Things were scarce, but it was late summer, and the local produce was in. Fish was always available, and she had developed a fondness for it. She could smell the sea and loved the warm sand and relaxed atmosphere at the beach. It was as if there wasn’t even a war.

I’m not on holiday, she told herself, but it’s my first time out of Germany, and I’m not going to waste it. She’d wanted to help with the war effort, and now she had her chance. Even after the invasion, everyone back home still thought Germany would win—Hitler told them so, and the propaganda films left no doubt. Why wouldn’t she believe it as well?

Smaller than some of the other women she worked with, Helga prided herself on being athletic and trim. She went for long walks and did calisthenics daily. Her long hair, which she kept tucked under her hat while on duty, was dark, as was the hair of many people from Bohemia in southern Germany. She wasn’t much interested in the men she worked with. Older and serious, they paid little attention to her except to bark orders. They bored her. She liked the young soldiers stationed in the town and at her worksite. They were exciting and fun-loving, and girls like her from home were scarce.

Helga had been recruited right out of university, and while she knew that as a non-soldier, she would never be much of a threat to anyone, she was eager to work on such an important program. The big projects had political or military applications. The project she was working on combined mining and construction. It was unique.

She was on her way to La Couple, where she worked as a mining engineer. Helga knew the fighting was close, but the enemy army was still many miles away. She didn’t think about it much, but when she did, she had to admit it was a bit thrilling. Neither did she think often of the intended use of the facility once complete. At work she concentrated, paying no attention to the fact that rockets launched from there would fall on major cities—and their civilian populations. Allied bombs were falling on German cities, targeting military installations and civilians alike. She hoped the completion of the facility would stop those raids and help Germany win the war.

 Helga walked toward the train station where she would catch the short ride to her worksite. She disliked the frumpy white coveralls she wore, but they, like everything else, were mandatory. She felt as though she were dressed in a sack. How would she ever catch a man’s eye while wearing a tent?

She turned a corner and crossed over the car park toward the train station. It was a squat wooden building consisting of dirty windows, a ticket booth, toilets, and a kiosk that sold newspapers, cigarettes, and whatever sweets were available at a given time. Helga made her way over to the short line to buy a ticket for the next train. She noticed a young woman ahead of her with a mane of curly black hair cascading down the middle of her back. She didn’t have to see the woman’s face to know that she was beautiful; the way she held herself left no doubt. Oh, to have curls like hers . . . Helga fingered the correct change in her pocket and had it ready when she got to the window. She smiled at the man behind the glass. He gave her the same indifferent look he gave all the passengers, French and German alike. She was sure he’d been there before the war and would be there when it was over. His job was simple and didn’t require any conversation.

A rush of wind announced the arrival of the train. Helga moved forward onto the platform and waited for it to come to a stop. It was a tired old commuter train that had covered the same miles of track for years. With petrol scarce, people got around on foot, bicycle, or, for longer distances, train.

After waiting her turn to board, she found an empty seat in the middle of the car. Among the passengers who brushed past her was the young woman with the beautiful hair. Helga snuck a peek at her dark and angular, almost Gypsy-like, face; the lovely girl was almost certainly from the south. She watched men steal glances as she passed. She felt a twinge of jealousy. No man had ever looked at her that way; it wasn’t fair.

The train pulled out of the station and picked up speed. The windows were down, and the warm breeze carried a hint of salt from the ocean. The smell of seaweed and surf wafted through the car, carrying out cigarette smoke and lingering smells. Helga could stay in a place like this forever. With the weekend coming, she was planning to go down to the beach with another girl from work. Two days in the sun, a chance to chat with some young men, drink some local wine, have some fun. There were always young German soldiers about, on leave.

As the coastal scenery came into view, it seemed to shake from the train’s rattling. Seagulls cried down near the beach. The tide was out, revealing large expanses of sand and lowland areas. People were out digging clams and scraping mussels off the exposed rocks. The chalky cliffs were much like their counterparts on the other side of the channel in England.

No sooner did the train stop than the other passengers stood and eked out to crowd the passageway. Helga waited until the aisle was clear before she stood. As she made her way to the door, the car was empty, so it hardly stood out that the young woman was, like everyone else, gone.

Helga made her way from the train station toward the construction site. The path was a mixture of sand, gravel, and chalky white chips weathered away from the hillsides over millions of years. The path came to a wooded area. She could see other workers walking far ahead, but there was no one near her. She wasn’t in a hurry to get to work, especially on such a nice day. She’d be on time; there was no need to rush.

It was a blind corner in the path. No time to react. A dark figure slid behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder, another on her chin. With a furious jerk, the assailant broke Helga’s neck and dragged her body off the trail. The killer removed her work clothes and pulled them over her own. In less than a minute, the body was covered with grass and sticks. Unless someone from the trail was looking for Helga, she would never be seen.

The killer moved away, pulling Helga’s cap over her head, tucking in strands of curly black hair. Back on the trail, she headed toward the rear entrance of La Couple. She clipped the dead girl’s credentials to her coat pocket. She’d already observed that the guards never even checked the women coming and going from the facility. How incredibly stupid of them.

The guards at the entrance waved her through as she held out her identification. Hardly a glance in her direction. She stepped into the entrance, where, shielded from the summer sun, she was immediately cooled. Moisture clung to the walls and made the floor beneath her slippery. A sheet of water covered the tunnel, pooling in spots. This entrance mustn’t be completed yet, she thought. Touching the spongy chalk walls, she passed on into an area where concrete walls had been added and spanned in a curved ceiling overhead. The passageway was extremely wide. Wide enough to accommodate a small train. Not tall enough for a full-sized rail car, but certainly wide and high enough to transport something big.

The woman’s name was Madeleine Toche, and her inside-out knowledge of her business was nearly as legendary as her hatred of Germans. For this important operation, she needed to know what was inside so she and others could destroy it. Today was a reconnaissance mission. If an attack was ordered, it would come later.

Toche was an assassin, trained and deployed by the British Special Operations Executive, the SOE, and Prime Minister Churchill’s army of the shadows. She’d spent most of the past two years in France killing—Gestapo, SS officers, and troops. Stealth and patience were her strongest weapons. She’d often wait days in concealment, like a spider in its dark recess, until she sprung from a forgotten crack to kill, afterward slipping away. Her reputation spread far beyond Europe.

Raped at the hands of the SS after her beloved brother was killed when Germany invaded France, she’d vowed revenge. With the help of her father, she killed her assailant and escaped to England through Spain. Her young life had been a whirlwind of training with the British SOE and preparing for war.

A German Jew, a hero of the German army in the First War, trained her. His hatred of the Nazis for killing his wife and daughters propelled him down a road of destruction that made Madeleine’s pale by comparison. Those Jews that knew of him considered him a Gollum. A creature sent by God to kill the enemies of the Jewish people. A monster devoid of mercy. An instrument of unspeakable cruelty. Hatred lain bare.

Passageways led off the main corridor she was in, and down which she continued toward the cavernous space under the dome. Oily dust hung in the air. While the chalk was caked and fragile, the hum of diesel machinery and poor ventilation created a haze inside the tunnels. The place was light on security; if there were any other guards, she couldn’t see them. Electric bulbs strung overhead created a misty effect. She was happy with the additional cover.

The tunnel was a hive of activity. With tight schedules to keep, the workers inside remained intent on their tasks, often walking right past her without a glance or a greeting. No one would notice her in here. She stepped aside to allow a group of workers to go by.

The sound of nonstop drilling shook the structure. She walked past workshops and storage areas, all linked by railroad tracks that headed down toward a massive central hall looming ahead. Inside, it was brightly lit and crisscrossed with construction scaffolding.

She walked out into the space underneath the dome, towering seven stories above her. Full-sized train tracks led out of the cavern into a corridor much larger than the one she had just walked through. Machinery was being attached to walls in the middle of the structure beneath the dome. She could identify winches and tracks to move something horizontally above the tracks. But what in the world was this?

She left the dome area to inspect the remainder of the construction. As she passed one of the rooms, she noticed that the ceiling was much higher than the others. At least twice as tall. She paused and walked inside. Workers measured the floor, marking it at intervals to accommodate another set of tracks. A man looked up with a quizzical expression and then motioned her over. She would answer none of his questions; she promised herself as she pointed to her watch and shook her head. When he started in her direction, she turned and walked out of the room. He followed.

Madeleine picked up her pace and started back down the tunnel in the direction from which she had come. She ducked into a dark hallway leading off the main corridor. She flattened her back against the wall, hiding on the fringe of the light spilling in from the hallway. The man hurried in her direction. Just a little closer, she thought. He couldn’t see her in the dark. Once he was near, she darted out, ramming a fountain pen into his ear, pushing it in with the palm of her hand. His knees buckled, and he fell forward onto his face, crashing to the floor. Setting her clipboard down, she dragged his body further into the dark. And though his legs jiggled, she knew he’d been dead before he hit the ground. Finding a bin partially filled with rock, Madeleine pulled his body behind it. Turning, she picked up her clipboard and walked out into the main passageway. She had seen enough. Time to leave.

She walked toward the entrance she had come through, knowing she needed to be gone before they discovered the body. After all the missions she’d completed, and blood that had stained her hands, to get caught on a reconnaissance mission would be stupid. She knew she would find Jack at the top of the hill overlooking the compound. Just make it to the trees, and you’re home free. This is routine. Shoot your way out, but only if you have to.

Madeleine hurried to join a small group of workers leaving the facility. Neither guard at the entrance gave her any notice until she walked past them. Madeleine made sure to smile at the young guards. They couldn’t help but smile back. Just don’t speak to me in German, she thought, touching the pistol in her pocket. It had become almost involuntary. A reassurance that it was there if she needed it. She could feel their eyes on her body. The bulky uniform couldn’t hide everything. And the more they concentrated on her looks, the less they would think about security; it had worked in the past. The Germans just didn’t see women as threats. They’d think differently if they knew she had a five-million-Francs bounty on her head.

Walking out of the guards’ line of sight, Madeleine stepped off the path. She pulled off the white smock and hat and shook out her hair. She tossed the clothes further into the woods and then covered them with small branches. Soon she relaxed, the adrenaline in her body subsiding. She had much to tell her superiors about this successful mission. She couldn’t wait to reach the top of the hill and see Jack, her husband.


Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991.  Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Educated in the U.S., England and France Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981.  His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986.  His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota 1991.

Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction.  Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.

The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage, Courage was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries.  Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.

His latest book is the historical action adventure novel, Wolves at Our Door.



Soren Paul Petrek is giving away 15 Amazon Kindle copies!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Fifteen winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive an e-copy of Wolves At Our Door!
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 27.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 28.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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