Blood And Weeds

bloodandweedsThere seems, in my circles at least, to be a resurgence of noir-inspired fiction and I wholeheartedly embrace it. The Clarke Lantham series, by Dan Sawyer, is as good an example of neo-noir as I can think of. Not just a book about a private investigator set in first person, Sawyer also embraces the edginess, sex, and pulpy fun that characterizes the genre.

My favorite thing about this series as a whole is that each mystery’s hook is presented as something fantastical. Whether it’s aliens, ghosts, or vampires – Lantham is thrust into the fortean and squirms, thinks, kicks, and shoots to find answers. As a self proclaimed skeptic and lapsed Catholic, he struggles with those two natures and is left to deal with it as best he can. Often, the solution belongs to cutting edge science, but it’s no less strange and marvelous for all of that.

As the books progress, he befriends, adopts, and is adopted by a host of people at least as interesting as Lantham himself. One of those, his protege Rachel, stumbles on a mystery and it interweaves with a case Lantham is working on. Estranged by events in previous stories, they work together and try to save their friendship as well as a number of innocent lives.

There are two things this book does well that every one of the entries in this series does. The first is showing the business of private investigator in the most realistic way I’ve seen it done. No aspect of the cases is solved easily. Everything from the collecting of evidence to shadowing a suspect is portrayed as a struggle and the protagonists occasionally screw it up. That leads me to the second aspect – character. These people seem real to me. I’d not be surprised to meet Clarke or Rachel on the street one day. They make mistakes, perform their jobs well but aren’t virtuosos, and we get to know their emotional tics, love lives, and alcohol preferences.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. I chuckled in a number of places throughout and the ending nearly left me an emotional wreck. There aren’t many books that do that to me.

About The Reviewer:

12347887_10207657078492367_4973381082910808028_nSome creatures feed on blood and revel in the screams of their prey. Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take, bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life filled with adventure.

Learn more about Scott and his works at

Kiya: Hope Of The Pharaoh

kiyaKiya: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead is the first book of a YA historical romance trilogy.

Set in ancient Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten, the story centers around a young Hebrew woman who becomes the newest bride of the pharaoh. Naomi has always been an unusual girl, headstrong and difficult, the favorite of her father, who educated her beyond the teachings generally offered to women. When the Egyptian guards show up, demanding a bride for the pharaoh, she steps up and takes the role in order to rescue her sisters. Once in Egypt, she becomes Kiya, the Egyptian name chosen for her. Nefertiti, the most powerful of the pharoah’s wives, takes an instant dislike to the young woman and connives against her from the start. Kiya’s heart is pulled in several directions at once in her new position, where she is immediately pulled into court intrigues and she must learn quickly how best to bring about change, without losing her life or her true self in the process.

It’s a great book for those who like history and romance intermixed.

About The Reviewer:

BRYANT-CroppedSamantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now for sale by Curiosity Quills.

Learn more about Samantha and her work at

The Body Market

body_marketVivid Entertaining & Enlightening Story.

This thriller is a great paced, exciting story that will keep you invested to turn the page. D.V. Berkom writes a great character with Leine Basso, as she continues her work saving people, now working for SHEN, (Stop Human Enslavement Now) and devoted in helping to stop human trafficking. The protagonist is a beloved bad a** woman, who’s not afraid to take on difficult assignments. She’s also an ex-assassin, fierce loving mom, and a loving partner to Santiago, as their relationship continues to grow in the series.

When Leine Basso takes on this case, she makes it her personal mission to find Elise, refusing to give up when she could easily opt out. There are many diversions and difficult situations that happen during the course, and we are shown how the protagonist overcomes the obstacles with good clear crisp writing.

I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the terrain in the scenes, from the streets in Tijuana to the desert landscape. The various characters that the protagonist interacts with also come to life as colorful portrayals of unique people with their individualism and quirks.
Whenever a book can incite a reader to engage in tough mental thought and reflection, it is a better world. The subject matter of this story deals with a problem that is so important, yet not talked about enough today—human trafficking and the ugly side of organ trafficking as well.

The Body Market was entertaining, enlightening and a great example of good writing. Well done once again D.V. Berkom.

About The Reviewer

elizabeth_zgutaElisabeth Zguta is an advocate for Independent authors and publishers and encourages all writers to learn the skills needed for today’s book markets and to keep in touch with the new technologies.

​She is curious ​and always wants to know more about everything, and her attention goes to many places and topics. She considers herself a life learner, not only because of the courses she takes but also from the knowledge gained through life experiences. Nothing brings her more satisfaction than reading something new that sparks her imagination or connecting with other people regarding a topic. She is an Indie Author of supernatural, thriller suspense novels and writes blog posts.

Learn more about Elisabeth and her work at