Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hook, Line & Sinker (River's Sigh B & B, Book 4) by Ev Bishop @Ev_Bishop

Is “true love” a fairy tale?


Hook, Line & Sinker by Ev Bishop
About the Book:

Brian Archer, lawyer and infamous playboy, returns to Greenridge after a long holiday to find his life in ashes. Literally. His condo has burned to the ground, and with it, his delusion that he’s a footloose, fancy-free guy who doesn’t secretly crave a home and a place to belong.

Staying with his lovebird brother and sister-in-law at River’s Sigh B & B proves unbearable, only rubbing in his deep loneliness. As does getting to know one of the other guests, a damsel determined to get herself out of distress, without any help from him. What is it about sweet, troubled Katelyn that makes Brian want to go all knight-in-shining-armor? And why is he suddenly longing for things he doesn’t even believe in, like true love, marriage . . . ?

Single mom and wannabe entrepreneur Katelyn Kellerman needs to escape from Greenridge. Her safety, and that of her children, relies on it. Plus, she knows the hazards of trusting someone all too well. So why, after meeting Brian Archer, does she wish she could just stay put and build a home? With him.

No matter how they fight their feelings, Brian and Katelyn fall for each other hook, line and sinker—but life isn’t a fairy tale. Brian can’t live in limbo forever, Katelyn’s ex is increasingly threatening, and she needs to secure a future for her and her kids. Can they beat the odds, salvage the ashes of their pasts, and risk everything for love, or are they just fishing for trouble?

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nPCvxZ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hook-line-sinker-5

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1205308916

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hook-line-sinker-ev-bishop/1125773210


Read Excerpt #1:

Brian looked over at the luggage carousel. A small crowd had formed, but no bags spilled from the chute’s yawning mouth. He darted a look back at the young girl, who was uncomplainingly trudging forward to help her mom. He groaned inwardly. Damn it.

“You look like you have your hands full,” he said, “and my suitcase isn’t out yet. Can I help move your stuff for you?”

The rickety cart stopped. Katelyn raised her face to look at him directly, and they made eye contact for the first time since the whole debacle started. Large gray eyes with thick sooty lashes met his—and Brian finally put two and two together. Before he could stop himself, and before Katelyn nodded to accept his offer of help, he exclaimed, “Katelyn, as in Katie, as in Janet Smith’s friend and shadow all through school? Holy cow, I never would have—” He broke off, flourishing a hand at her. “I mean . . . ”

Katelyn, a.k.a. Katie, flushed. “Yeah, Janet’s shadow as you so nicely put it. No one calls me Katie anymore though—and don’t worry, I didn’t think you’d remember me.” Her shoulders jerked in a small self-deprecating shrug. “I wasn’t exactly the kind of girl you noticed.”

Brian took a step back, still mildly shocked. Katelyn. Of course. Crazy big charcoal gray eyes, large freckles on creamy skin, and a full heart-shaped mouth—that, if he remembered correctly, was quick to laugh and make sarcastic comments. She was apparently still obsessed with retro fashion, which her small frame and petite figure suited immensely. She’d been cute enough, but a year below him in school, which felt like a lot back then. Plus, Janet was a knock out. It would’ve been hard for anyone to shine next to her. Before he thought better of it, he grinned and winked. “What are you talking about? I notice every girl.”

One of Katelyn’s eyebrows arched and she shook her head derisively.

“So what do you say?” He pointed at the cart again.

The pink in Katelyn’s cheeks intensified, making the puffy, mottled effects of her recent weeping even more noticeable—but at least there were no more fresh tears.

“I say, well . . . okay. And thank you.”

Brian nodded and noticed a tiny crescent moon scar by her left eye, silvery-white against her heightened color. He figured under normal circumstances it was probably almost indiscernible. Embarrassed to find himself staring, he grabbed the handle of the cart. “Where to?”

Katelyn hesitated . . .


Read Excerpt #2:

Back in the cabin, Katelyn headed to the bathroom to grab towels. She was only gone a minute or two, but when she descended back into the living room, towel drying her hair, Brian was grinning and holding something up.

The book she’d been reading last night. Shoot!

“I never in a million years would’ve taken you for a bodice ripper fan,” he said.

“Where did you get that?” She threw the towel she’d gotten for him at his head.

He caught it one-handed, draped it around his neck like a scarf, and wasn’t distracted from the book one bit. She noticed his thumb holding a spot near her bookmark and lunged.

He leaped onto a chair, laughing and holding the book out of reach. Then he read from his marked spot in a low growl, “His narrow hips pressed against her and through the thin muslin of her gown, every part of her female softness felt his hardness. She wanted him, but she didn’t. Or she shouldn’t. He was so bad for her, but so good—” Brian looked down and made eye contact.

Katelyn’s stupid body, completely unrelated to the chill from her damp dress, chose that dumb moment to shiver again, and Brian’s expression changed. His eyes darkened and he hopped down from the chair. When he spoke next, the teasing had left his voice, replaced by something like surprise. “Wait a minute, you really do like this stuff.”


Read Excerpt #3:

Brian put his arm over her shoulder and she leaned in, took his hand, and laced her fingers through his. They were quiet for a long time, then Brian said, “Why does this feel more like some kind of sad good-bye than a hooray, we’ve found each other?”

Katelyn studied his face, then touched his bottom lip with her pointer finger. Her expression was anything but happy and it made his heart clench.

Before she could say anything, he spoke quickly, “You know earlier, when you asked if there was a kind of woman I hadn’t dated, and I said, at least one, but I didn’t elaborate?”

“Yeah?” Her whisper was as soft as lace brushing cotton.

“I’ve never dated anyone who convinced me two people could really be meant to tackle life together, or who made me wonder if some people are stronger together than apart. But when I’m with you—”

Katelyn winced and she pulled her hand from his. “You don’t know how simultaneously happy and destroyed that makes me feel. There’s a part of me, such a huge part of me, that wishes we could see where this goes, but . . .”

“But it’s too complicated, right?”

Katelyn’s eyes filled, and she nodded. “I’m sorry though, I really am. And I want to thank you so much.”

Brian shook his head.

“Yes, for being such a good guy, such a fun guy—and for reminding me that I’m not dead yet. Because of you, I can almost believe that someday I might have someone to really share my life with, someone I can be myself with, talk for hours to—and want to tear the clothes off of.”

Brian wanted to argue his case, to say it couldn’t be a fluke that they’d fallen for each other so strongly when they’d both been the furthest thing from interested in pursuing a serious relationship when they first met. They had to be meant for each other, or at least meant to spend some time together finding out if they were. But his gaze touched on an eight by ten frame directly across from the bravery quote. Katelyn, Lacey and Sawyer grinned out at him, dressed in outlandish clown costumes, arms wrapped around each other. And this time, he was the one who winced. He had to make life easier for Katelyn, not harder. She had enough on her plate, and he did really, really like her. Cared for her. Unfairly and paradoxically, he realized that meant he could only do one thing: back off.

Meet the Author:



Ev Bishop lives and writes in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada. She is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard, and her articles and essays have been published in a variety of magazines and journals across North America. Storytelling is her true love, however, and she writes fiction in variety of lengths and genres. To see her growing list of published short stories and poems, please visit her website.

She has six novels published through Winding Path Books:

Bigger Things, Wedding Bands (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 1),

Hooked (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 2)

Spoons (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 3)

Hook, Line & Sinker (River’s Sigh B & B, Book 4)

One to Keep (A River’s Sigh B & B novella)

She also writes under the pen name Toni Sheridan (The Present and Drummer Boy, White Rose Publishing).

Check out her social media. She’d love to connect with you!

Social Media Links:

Website: www.evbishop.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEvBishop

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ev_Bishop

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nvc8fO





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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Comic Book/Graphic Novel Review ~ Scooby Apocalypse, Vol. 1, by Keith Giffen


Book Information:

Series: Scooby Apocalypse
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: DC Comics
Publish Date: February 7, 2017
ISBN-10: 1401267904
ISBN-13: 978-1401267902
Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2mKBg20


About Scooby Apocalypse, Vol. 1:

The Hanna-Barbera cartoon classic is re-imagined for a new generation in SCOOBY APOCALYPSE VOL. 1!

When the world is tossed into chaos, it's up to a group of meddling kids --Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo-- to solve the mystery and survive hordes of zombies! But can they save the day and cure everyone or will they become brain-eating zombies? The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Mystery Machine has to fight to survive--because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!

Hanna-Barbera has created some of the most recognizable animated characters of all-time. As part of DC Comics' re-imagination of cartoons like Scooby-Doo, The Flintsones, Johnny Quest, Space Ghost and Wacky Racers, these new series will be infused with modern and contemporary concepts while keeping the heart and soul of the classic animation.

Collects SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #1-6.

My Review:

Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1 contains comics 1-6. This isn't the Scooby Do and The Gang you are used to seeing. The rebirth of Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred is darker than the originals from 1969 and later. They've also been given a hipster look. The graphic novel also doesn't have the group being one cohesive united team. Daphne and Fred are stars of a low-rated show called "Daphne Blake's Mysterious Mysteries," Velma is a scientist, Shaggy is a dog trainer, and Scooby is a science project called a Smart Dog.

Velma is part of an underground research team that hires people like Shaggy to train the science projects. Unbeknown to most, there are four scientists ready to release a mind altering plague throughout the world. In an effort to bring light to the scheme, Velma calls Daphne to discuss the plight soon to affect all mankind. Except, by the time Daphne and Fred arrive, the plague has been released but doesn't have the effect on the population that Velma has been lead to believe it would.

Now, it's up to the Gang to stick together and find out exactly what's going on before their brains become the meal du jour.

As a lover of all things Scooby Doo, I found this graphic novel to be entertaining. Scooby Apocalypse is a much different take on the group. They don't know each other which is very different from the original Scooby Doo cartoons. If you are looking for a dose of the Gang and expect it to be the meddling kids you grew up with, this isn't the comic for you. There is very little about about these guys that reflect the lovable, and clueless, kids from the original Hanna Barbera era.

The story was engaging and the artistry was great in my opinion. I'm not a die-hard comic book fan (yet, anyway....my collection keeps increasing though) so I don't know the ins-and-outs of graphic novels or canon. I read them because I enjoy the story. The artists did a great job painting understandable pictures of the story being told. The update to the looks of each character was done nicely and even though they are more modern, each character is recognizable and easy to identify.

I voluntarily read an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

My Rating:


#99cent #Sale ~ Promo Blitz ~ Risky Business by Patricia Campbell


Risky Business
Patricia Campbell
Women’s Fiction

$.99 Until March 30th


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About the Book:

Doggedly determined, Risky Williston strives to rescue every homeless dog in Simi Valley and beyond. Her small house and yard bursts at the seams with dogs of all breeds, some her personal pets and some waiting for her to find homes for them.

Disciplined, neat and orderly, Chet Jensen desires Risky, but can he cope with her bizarre and disorganized lifestyle?

Chet stirs old fears Risky has spent a lifetime repressing. She doesn’t want to confront them, to face them again.

Is it possible for two people with such diverse values to have a lasting relationship?

Meet the Author:


Patricia Campbell turned life altering events into an opportunity to change direction, and reinvented herself as an author of women's fiction and romance novels.

It's never too late to realize your dreams.

Contact Links:


Purchase Links:

$0.99 Til End of March


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Friday, March 24, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ Romancing the Bachelor (A Hamilton Family by Diane Alberts @EntangledPub @DianeAlberts


I am thrilled to be sharing the amazing cover for Diane Alberts' upcoming sexy new contemporary romance title, ROMANCING THE BACHELOR!! 

Everyone loves a swoon-worthy billionaire, and this cover is gorgeous! 

I've got all of the details, along with a sneak peek look at the amazing cover! Read on!

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Are you ready for the cover??


About the Book:

Eric Hamilton isn’t looking for love. Hell, he isn’t even looking for a girl. He has a five-year plan, and he’s one hundred percent focused on that. But then Shelby walks into his life, and suddenly, he can’t think about anything else. Unfortunately for him, she hates his guts, and wants nothing to do with him. But he’s a man who loves a challenge. Shelby Jefferson can’t wait to get out of the city, and back to her country roots. She moved to Atlanta for a guy who promptly left her, and the last thing she wants is to fall for another man who might make her want to stay. But Eric is nothing if not persistent, and before long she’s inside his arms, in his bed, and she’s falling for him. Hard. But when history repeats itself, and she has to choose between a man and herself––again.

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF!

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Meet the Author:

Diane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin RandomHouse. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Find the Author Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Promo Blitz ~ Rolling Thunder Mark Berent ~ Historical Fiction/Military Fiction


Rolling Thunder
Mark Berent
Historical Fiction/Military Fiction


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About the Book:

Rolling Thunder is an historical novel about the decisive role politics played during the Vietnam War. Its characters range from men in the field to the Pentagon and the White House. Fighter pilots and Special Forces warriors try to do their best but are hampered by President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their staff members who despise the military. Only one aging USAF general, who fought in Korea and WWII, is on their side. His clashes with his Commander in Chief, Lyndon Johnson, are epic in proportion and startling in content.

In Rolling Thunder, the time is late 1965 and 1966 in war zone places such as Saigon, Hanoi, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Tahkli. While back in Washington, LBJ sits over lunch and personally picks bombing targets in an attempt to fight a limited war. In Vietnam the war knows no limits.

There, as the hostilities escalate, the fates of three men intertwine: USAF Captain Court Bannister, overshadowed by a famous movie star father who fought in WWII as a B-17 gunner, driven to confront missiles, MiGs, and nerve-grinding bombing raids in order to prove his worth to his comrades -- and to himself...Air Force First Lieutenant Toby Parker, fresh from the States, who hooks up with an intelligence unit for a lark, and quickly finds his innocence buried away by the lessons of war...and Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert, who ventures deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot -- only to discover a face of the enemy for which he is unprepared.

Four airline stewardesses, who fly the civilian MAC contract flights that bring American soldiers to and from the war zone in Vietnam, have difficult love affairs with G.I.s and fighter pilots. After one flight they come under attack while on an airbase.

Young American G.I.s are cursed and taunted as they return to the United States.

Through their eyes, and those of many others -- pilots, soldiers, lovers, enemy agents, commanders, politicians, profiteers -- Rolling Thunder shows us Vietnam as few other books have, or can. Berent captures all the intensity and drama of that searing war, and more, penetrates to the heart and soul of those who fought it. Rolling Thunder rings with authenticity.

Other Books in the Wings of War Series:


About the Book:

Five months after we left them in Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger brings back USAF Major Court Bannister, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Wolf Lochert, and USAF First Lieutenant Toby Parker, now scattered to their new posts: Bannister in Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Wolf Lochert at Lang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, carrying out covert operations in Laos, and Toby Parker, in the pilot training program at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. Soon their diverse paths will lead all three men back to Vietnam for a second tour of duty -- in the very heart of the conflict.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nOvBt5



About the Book:

In Phantom Leader (May 9, 1991) Berent, himself a highly decorated Air Force Pilot, once again captures the intensity of the most controversial war in modern history. Phantom Leader shows readers exactly what it was like to be a pilot caught between the immediate reality of death and the distant decisions of Washington.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2n09sDL



About the Book:

In Eagle Station (June 8, 1992) the newest installment in his Vietnam War series, Berent puts on the heat and raises the stakes, creating his most electrifying tale of war to date. Beginning with a hair-raising cliff side helicopter rescue under heavy fire, and racing toward a climactic ground battle played out in the dark of night, engaging top secret USAF first special operations gun ships, Eagle Station is filled with adventure and acts of daring, woven into a compelling and powerful plot.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ntQ4T0


About the Book:

Storm Flight, (Book Five of Five) the intense conclusion to his saga, the action is touched off by a daring raid on the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp that reveals some startling information. With American prisoners in terrible jeopardy and crucial national secrets in danger of being discovered, the characters we have met in Berent's earlier books are put to the ultimate test. They must call upon all their skill, leadership, guts, and strength to complete their missions.

As always, Berent highlights his knowledge of little known facts about the war, and his keen insight into the minds of members of the fighting forces. In one exhilarating sequence, Parker and his instructor pilot Ken Tanaka each shoot down two MiGs in the course of one fight, involving four MiGs and an unarmed transport. Despite the chewing out that they receive later from their superior officer, the two fighter pilots refuse to shoot down the transport. Ironically, that decision was the one that saved the life of one of their strongest critics, Jane Fonda, who had once called fighter pilots "professional killers." (This incident is based on a true story.) Parker later makes "ace," a title given to the rare fighter pilot who shoots down five MiGs.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nu1AgV


Read an Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE


1320 Hours Local, 17 December 1965

Airborne in an F-100D near

Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam


Precisely how a crashing jet fighter breaks up is a function of its speed, of its angle of impact, and of the topography of the ground it strikes. A high speed impact at a ninety degree angle ensures small pieces mashed into a neat circular hole with narrow wing trenches extending from each side. Depending on soil consistency, the engine can burrow down 30 feet and be compressed from twelve feet in length to three. Lesser angles of impact splash the wreckage in the direction of flight. A near-zero glide angle on smooth terrain is another matter entirely. Unless the air­craft cartwheels, which it often does if one of the landing gear collapses, the wings will usually remain intact al­though probably separate from the aircraft. Large sections of the tail assembly and fuselage usually remain. If the pilot is not killed upon impact, he may survive if the wreck doesn't burn. Usually they burn.

USAF Captain Courtland EdM. Bannister knew all this as he delicately babied his shotup F-100D Super Sabre jet fighter toward his home base of Bien Hoa located 15 miles northeast of Saigon in III Corps, South Vietnam. There were six half-inch holes in his airplane, two nearly lethal.

Less than an hour earlier, Bannister and his flight leader, Paul Austin, had been scrambled from runway Alert to aid an American Special Forces unit in trouble up near Loc Ninh in War Zone C. In pairs, Bien Hoa F-100 pilots pulled three types of Alert: runway, cockpit, and standby. Each flight of two could be airborne streaking toward a target in one minute, five minutes, or 20 minutes.

Almost all Bien Hoa missions, whether scrambled from or scheduled the night before on the Frag Order, were air-to-ground doing what the USAF had been sent to Vietnam to do; support U.S. or Vietnamese troops in battle. The weapons hung under their wings were a mixture of bombs, rockets, napalm, and cluster bomb units known as CBU. Each carried 800 rounds of ammo for the four 20mm cannons mounted internally under the scoop nose of the fighter.

A radar controller in a small dark room had Bannister on his scope.

"Ramrod Four One, I have you twelve miles out on the 275 radial of Tacan Channel 73. Squawk Three Four, acknowledge, Bien Hoa." To ‘squawk,’ a pilot toggled a switch to send a burst of energy to the radar scope.

"Bien Hoa, Four One, squawking Three Four. I have a situation here. I need a straight-in. I'm leaking bad; gas and, ah, hydraulic fluid. Get me down quick, you copy Four One?"

"Roger, Four One, GCA copies."

The Ground Control Approach controller had picked up Ramrod Four One from Bien Hoa Approach Control who advised him the pilot had declared an emergency due to battle damage and low fuel. Bannister had not mentioned he was bleeding. Approach Control also said they had no contact with Ramrod Four Zero, Bannister's flight leader.

As the controller prepared to transmit, another voice broke in. It was neither as low pitched as that of the GCA controller nor as calm.

"Four One, this is Ramrod Two speaking, Ramrod Two. You got gear? You got three good ones down? How about flaps? You got flaps? Where's your flight leader?" Ramrod Two, Bannister's operations officer and immediate commander, had channeled into the conversation using the squadron radio.

Bannister didn't have time to answer his nearly hysterical operations officer. He was busy keeping his crippled airplane aloft. Suddenly, a red warning signal lit up drawing his attention to a small hydraulic gauge on a lower panel in his cockpit. The needle of the gauge bobbled twice, then yielded up the few remaining pounds of utility hydraulic pressure as the main pump ground to a halt, then violently broke up deep inside the big fighter. Bannister thought he could feel the grinding. He quickly raised his eyes out of the cockpit to see if he could spot the runway. He had to squint and to blink away blood. All he could see was the jungle canopy a thousand feet below stretching out for miles into a reddish haze.

Several slugs from a big quad-barrel Russian ZSU-4 12.7mm antiaircraft gun had stitched his Super Sabre from scoop shovel nose to just short of the tail section. They had punctured and ripped tubing and control lines causing a loss of hydraulic fluid which required Bannister to engage his emergency flight control system. That system was powered by a Ram Air Turbine called RAT by its acronym. The engine itself was untouched. One slug, however, had ripped a small hole in the belly fuel cell allowing fuel to stream out behind the F-100 like a smoke trail.

Another slug had crashed through the starboard quarter panel glass of the windscreen, smashing the gunsight, zinging fragments of metal and glass into Bannister's face. His helmet and oxygen mask protected all but the area around his eyes and forehead. He wore no sunglasses and had not lowered either the sun visor or the clear plastic visor mounted on his helmet. The fragments had etched a few minor lacerations above Bannister's right eye. While neither particularly painful nor disabling, the wounds produced prodigious capillary bleeding effectively causing Bannister to lose the sight of his right eye. Wiping with his gloved hand smeared it worse. Bannister unhooked his blood-filled oxygen mask and let it dangle. Pooled blood splashed down the front of his parachute harness and survival vest and mingled with his sweat. He heard the measured cadence of the controller through the headset in his helmet.

"Ramrod Four One, check gear down. Prepare for descent in one mile."

Bannister cupped the mask to his face with his right hand, bracketed the control stick with his knees, and pushed the trans­mit button on the throttle with his left hand. He countered a right wing drop with a leftward motion of his knees pressing on the stick.

"Bien Hoa, my situation is a bit worse. No Utility pressure, Flight One is out, Flight Two is going, and I'm not getting much RAT pressure, flight controls stiffening. Yeah, and I only got about 100 pounds of fuel." Bannister still didn't mention the blood. He did not consider himself wounded, merely inconvenienced at a rather harrowing time.

"Where's your leader, where's Four Zero? Ramrod Four One answer me."

"Get off the air, Ramrod Two," the GCA controller broke in, "there's an emergency in progress and I've got it." His voice was brittle, not the calming one he used with Ramrod Four One.

Bannister shoved down a lever with a replica of a wheel on it. The lever released the lock pins allowing the gear doors to open and the heavy wheels and struts to fall free. Then he pulled the lanyard that shunted emergency hydraulic fluid into the last two feet of hydraulic lines locking the nose and left main gear into place. The right main didn't lock causing its cockpit indicator light to remain red. Bannister pushed to test the green indicator bulb. It worked. He already knew his flaps wouldn't go down; he had tried them at a higher altitude doing a damage check. His flight leader was not there to assist him and report whatever damage Bannister could not see.

"Ah, Bien Hoa, the right main is still red. I don't think it's locked in place. And this will be a no-flap landing. Put the barrier up, I've got to make an approach-end engagement." Without flaps he had to bring his plane in fifteen knots faster. Bannister didn't intend to eject unless the engine quit.

He punched a button activating a solenoid that released a heavy steel bar with a hook on the end which extended under the aft section of his plane. If he touched down in the right place, the hook would snatch the cable stretched across the approach end of the runway and yank him to a stop in a few hundred feet, exactly the way a Navy fighter engages a cable during an aircraft carrier landing.

"Roger, Ramrod Four One, Bien Hoa copies. Barrier crew noti­fied. This is your final controller, how do you read?"

"Loud and clear," Bannister yelled into his dangling mask. From here on he needed his right hand on the control stick, his left on the throttle.

"Ramrod Four One, you need not acknowledge further trans­missions. Steer right Two Six Five degrees and start your descent...now."

The controller frequently released his mike button for an instant in case Ramrod Four One had to make a transmission that his emergency was worsening.

Bannister concentrated on his heading, but did not start the standard 600 feet per minute rate of descent that would give him a smooth 3 degree descent angle to the runway. He needed to hold his altitude until the last minute in case his engine quit from fuel starvation. Then he would decide if he was close enough to glide in or if he would be forced to eject. He rapidly blinked his eyes as he scanned his instruments every few seconds while simultaneously searching forward for the runway. His right eye cleared. When he finally spotted the white concrete landing strip he started to breathe more rapidly as he estimated altitude and distance to the point of touchdown. His airspeed gauge indicated two hundred knots. He was flying into a five knot headwind giving him a speed over the ground of 230 miles per hour or 338 feet per second. In 23 seconds he would be on the ground, one way or another.

The controller's voice faded for Bannister as he concentrated on aligning his craft and deciding when to start his last minute descent. If he was too late, his steep descent angle would cause him to overshoot the runway which would force him to bailout or crash, since he did not have enough fuel to go-around and try again. If he started too soon and the engine quit, he would also have to bail out or crash short of the runway.

One mile from the runway Bannister decided it looked right and started an abnormally high rate of descent. He could see the crash crew lined up along the side of the runway; red foam trucks, a yellow wrecker, and a blue ambulance. At 800 feet above the ground and 4000 feet from the end of the runway his engine sucked up the last drops of JP-4 jet fuel and quickly unwound.

"Flameout," Bannister yelled into his mask.

The big plane wanted to quit flying but Bannister held his speed by shoving the control stick forward which forced the nose down more. His rate of descent increased to 1000 feet per minute. Airspeed had to be high to spin the RAT and give him hydraulic pressure to work the flight controls. He would need a lot of control response to break the glide and flare for touchdown. Though Bannister's heart rate went up another notch, he felt confident he could make it. All the numbers were right. He calculated he had enough altitude to trade for airspeed to make the touchdown point where his hook would grab the cable. The camouflaged airplane plunged closer to the jungle, barely topped the palm trees, streaked across the half-mile clearing before the concrete, then flared smoothly as Bannister applied enough back pressure on the control stick to break the rapid descent but still make a firm touchdown so the hook wouldn't bounce over the barrier.

It all worked. The hook snatched the cable with the immense force generated by 17 tons of mass in motion at 300 feet per second. The four-foot brake drums on each side of the runway feeding out cable screamed and smoked, absorbing kinetic energy as they decelerated the big fighter. The jet slewed sharply left, then, at 100 knots, the right main gear collapsed, slamming the right wing to the ground and starting a cartwheel.

Bannister's head banged against the canopy as the wing hit the ground. He grunted as he pushed without results on the now frozen control stick and rudder pedal to counter the violent movement that would end in a fireball. Of the three remaining forces acting on the plane, forward momentum, right roll, and hook deceleration, the hold-back by the hook was the most powerful and won out. The left wing rose ten feet off the ground, the plane pivoted thirty degrees on the crushed right wing tip, the hook held and slammed the flat-bottomed airplane back onto the concrete runway. Bannister's seat survival pack absorbed most of the impact for him but his head, weighted by the three-pound helmet, thudded down on his chest harness so hard the metal snap gashed his chin. The violent impact dazed him. For an instant he was on the edge of consciousness.

The fire trucks and crash crew surrounded the wreck almost before it settled. They shot great streams of sticky white foam over and under the plane, around the hot engine and aft section. Without fuel there was little chance of a fire. Four firemen in aluminum suits, looking like bulky astronauts, ran to the airplane, two to each side. One jerked the external lanyard blowing the canopy off while the others positioned a ladder and ran up to get Bannister, who was rapidly coming around and able to undo his own helmet, harness, G-suit, and oxygen connections. The years of programming himself to instinctively perform all the ground emergency egress actions were paying off.

 The fireman at the top of the ladder on the right side thought so much blood in the cockpit was unusual. Usually a guy hit this bad wouldn't make it back. He passed Bannister's helmet to another fireman, who, facing aft toward the open cockpit, was straddling the nose of the aircraft like a horseback rider. "Are you okay, Sir?" the closest fireman asked through his helmet faceplate.

 "Yeah, Chief, fine, thanks. How about fire? We got any fire?" Bannister, thinking the plane would blow up, was struggling to get out.

"No, no fire. No sweat, Sir, just hang on a minute." The firemen gently placed his gloved hand on Bannister's shoulder. He held the groggy pilot down until the Flight Surgeon from the ambulance could climb up the ladder and check his condition.

"Hey Court, how ya doing? Where ya hit?" Major Conrad Russell, MD, asked as he leaned over Bannister to wipe away blood and assess damage. He saw the facial rips and tears where the blood had already clotted. He thumbed up Bannister's right eyelid and noted that the eyeball looked intact and functional. The nick in the chin was barely oozing.

"No place. I'm not hit. Just some junk in my face. Is my right eye okay?" Bannister asked. He looked up at Russell, squinting his gray-blue eyes as much from the residual blood as from the sun behind Russell's back. Bannister's brown hair, released from the confines of his helmet, soaked with sweat and plastered against his head, was trimmed almost to crew-cut length. His close-shaved sideburns ended at mid-ear. His face was square, his jaw line strong. Bannister was six foot two and normally trimmed out at 190. Vietnam heat and O’ Club food had dropped him to a dehydrated 170. He was 30 and had been a USAF fighter pilot for ten years. This was his first crash.

Major Russell, his preliminary check complete, said, "Come on, let's get out of here. We gotta clear the runway. Other guys want to land too, you know. Your eye will be fine." He tugged at Bannister to get up and climb down the ladder.

The Flight Surgeon started to smile and hum as he moved his bulky figure down the ladder, accepting the helping hand of a nearby fireman. Doc Russell was doing what he loved best. He wore standard Shade 45 USAF blue two-piece fatigues which were now smelly and stained badly by the foam. His name, rank, and Flight Surgeon wings were embossed on a piece of leather stitched to his left breast. Russell was overweight, rotund in fact. His round, young-looking face vaguely resembled that of Baby Huey, the cartoon character. The fighter pilots at Bien Hoa, particularly those of the 531st, the squadron he was responsible for, quickly gave him that nickname. Russell, a 34 year old major, would have been a pilot were it not for optic problems so bad that his eyes tended to cross whenever he was tired.

He walked Bannister to the ambulance. The letters and devices on the leather nametag on the pilot's left breast stated he was Courtland EdM. Bannister, Capt., USAF. A star above his pilot's wings indicated he had flown at least seven years and had amassed 2000 flying hours and was rated a senior pilot. Below his pilot's wings were the parachutist's wings he had been awarded after training with the Special Forces in Germany. Bannister still wore his G-suit and survival vest, and carried an olive-green bag stuffed with his helmet, kneeboard, and maps. On his feet he wore Army issue jungle boots which were perfectly suited for tropical wear but would provide no ankle support in a parachute landing.

Standing next to the squadron jeep edged up to the blue USAF ambulance, watching them approach, was Ramrod Two, Major Harold Rawson, five-ten, black hair combed straight back, a pencil-thin mustache over his thin upper lip. He looked the type who missed the days of puttees and riding britches. He wore, instead, the standard K-2B cotton one-piece green flight suit with the standard thirteen zippers. On his head was a regulation USAF blue flight cap with silver officer piping on the rim and the gold oak leaves of a major pinned front right. Rawson was the operations officer of the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron, second in command to the squadron commander and responsible for day-to-day fighter operation. The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Warton, was back in the States on emergency furlough leaving Rawson in charge. He felt burdened with the unexpected responsibility.

Rawson watched Bannister and Russell approach, barely resisting the temptation to run up to Bannister crying "What in hell did you do?" Instead he waited until the two men drew closer.

"Where's Four Zero?" he asked. Then, unable to contain himself, "How could you lose your leader?"

Before Bannister could answer, Russell shoved him toward the ambulance and said to Rawson, "Look, Harry, I've got to check this guy out before you or anybody from Intel gets to talk to him. Now back off."

Bannister's face colored. He seriously considered slamming his fist into Rawson's small, turned down mouth which seemed to perpetually sneer whenever its owner spoke.

"I didn't lose anybody, Goddammit. Austin got hit and went straight in," Bannister said in a tight voice over his shoulder as he climbed into the back of the ambulance. As the double doors swung shut he turned to see Rawson struggling with only limited success to control himself.


In the coolness of one of the nested trailers that served as a hospital on the Bien Hoa Air Base, Russell remained silent until he had finished swabbing the cuts on Bannister's face. They would not require stitching and would heal quickly if kept clean.

"Well," he said straightening up, "all that blood and these cuts are worth a Purple Heart."

Bannister stood up and walked to one of the small sliding windows that looked out. He had taken off his G-suit and dark green net survival vest. The sweat beneath was crusted white with salt and starting to dry on his flight suit. He dug a crushed pack of Luckies from his zippered left sleeve pocket and lit one before he answered. The Zippo he used had a thick rubber band around it. He had learned that trick from his Special Forces buddies at Bien Hoa to both keep the lighter from slipping out of a pocket as well as prevent it from clicking on another metal object.

"Forget it." He inhaled deeply, held it, and blew the smoke out in a long sigh. He could still see the fireball that Major Paul Austin's plane made after it hit the ground.

 "Why?" Russell asked after a minute.

"Too piddly."

"Well," Doc Russell said, "I guess I understand that." He stood up. "At any rate, Paul Austin will get one." He was silent for a moment. "Hell of a way to earn it, though."

After another pause he added, "Isn't his dad a general in the Pentagon?" He nodded to himself. "Sure he is, a three-star. So that's why Harry Rawson is so distraught." He looked to Bannister for corroboration.

"That's the one," Bannister said. He hoisted his gear and started for the door. "I've got to go debrief. There's big stuff going on up there near Loc Ninh. We stumbled into something hot and I don't mean just gun barrels."

"Okay," Russell said, nodding. "Keep your dirty mitts off those cuts. Maybe I'll see you tonight at the club."

Bannister walked out the door thinking about the intelligence debriefing session he was about to face in the wing headquarters building. He knew he could convince the lower ranking Intel people that something was up at Loc Ninh, but he wasn't at all sure whether the high level ones at Saigon would agree. They had their own concepts and didn't like input that upset them. That was one problem he could probably deal with. He wasn't so sure about the other.

What weighed on Bannister's mind far more than the Loc Ninh buildup was the lie he planned to tell the Flying Safety Officer about why Paul Austin crashed.

About the Author:


Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his historical fiction five-book Vietnam Wings of War series for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in the Vietnam War during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
When asked why he kept going back, he replied: "A lot of reasons; because it was there, because I wanted a MiG, because when the threat goes up the paperwork goes down and the weinies run for cover, but mostly because the guys were still fighting. Everyday I'd pick up a paper and find another buddy KIA, MIA, or POW. I just couldn't stay on the beach."
Now he writes about these men. He has five books in print and Ebooks; Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Although historical fiction, the books are about the men and women who gave everything they had in a war they weren't allowed to win. FAC pilots, Phantom crews, Thud, Hun, and Buff crews, gunship pilots and gunners, green berets, grunts, carrier jocks, MAC contract stews, boomers and tankers, from corporals to colonels; the whole nine yards about the day-to-day heroism and heroes we all know and loved . . . and some we hated. By way of contrast, LBJ in the Oval Office and McNamara in the Pentagon E Ring are included and the words they spoke as they picked strike targets over lunch are included in great detail, yes indeed. As are those of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.

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The Fortune Teller's Secret (A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery, Book 2) by Ron D. Voigts ~ Paranormal Mystery


The Fortune Teller's Secret

A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery, Book 2

Ron D. Voigts


Genre: Paranormal Mystery


A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.

The annual carnival comes to Maiden Falls, a small town in the West Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.

The ghost of a woman appears to Cavendish Brown, a carnival worker lies dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb. More complications arise. Cavendish again butts heads with the local sheriff, Clinton Pike.

Marbella Wellingway, owner of the newspaper where Cavendish works, receives a visit from the Angel of Death. And a Fortune Teller at the carnival knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life. 

With the aid of Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a Goth witch, he must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to prevent more deaths. 

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The Witch's Daughter 

A Cavndish Brown Paranormal Mystery, Book 1



Investigative reporter and recent widower, Cavendish Brown, is unemployed and floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the town's eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who seeks Cavendish’s help. 

Immersed in a never-ending spiral of clues and secrets, he must unlock the darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law, and come to terms with his own grief.

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Ron D. Voigts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and sometimes somewhere else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer’s retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.





Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Building Celebration House The Celebration House Trilogy Volume 1 Annette Drake


Building Celebration House
The Celebration House Trilogy
Volume 1
Annette Drake

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Baskethound Books

Date of Publication:  3/1/17

ISBN: 978-0-9916118-9-8
ASIN: B01NBIK7KJ

Number of pages: 234
Word Count:  52K

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

How can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

About the Book:

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself.

After recovering from her own heart surgery, she learns she has a special talent: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her health failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.

Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s ghostly occupants, especially Major Tom Gentry, the handsome Civil War soldier who died 100 years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.

Will Carrie finish restoring the celebration house or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past? 

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Read an Excerpt:

When Carrie opened the door and stepped inside, sunlight streamed in through the dirty windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, the air smelled of hay and horses.
Looking to her left, she saw a man shaving. He’d glanced up when Carrie opened the doors, but returned his gaze to the small mirror tacked to the wooden beam. He was bare from the waist up. His chest was lean and muscular, with dark brown hair from mid-chest to his waistline. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand was steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw with a razor. His dark blue uniform pants with gold braid down the side were tucked into knee-high black leather boots. He stood at least six feet tall, and though Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably younger than her, likely in his mid to late twenties. He peered at the small mirror, tilting his chin to swipe away the shaving soap. Carrie waited to speak until after he’d finished with the ivory-handled straight blade and dipped it into the basin of soapy water.
“Good morning,” she said.
His expression was an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.
“You can see me, madam?” he asked, buttoning his shirt and stuffing it into his pants.
“Yes. Can you see me?”
“I can, but I believe I have the advantage. I’m dead. You are not.” He turned and glared at her. His eyebrows furrowed as though he wasn’t quite sure how they’d arrived at the point of introductions.
“I’m sorry to intrude. I’m Carrie. Carrie Hansen.” She extended her hand.
He reached to shake her hand, but his fingers passed through hers. They both jerked back.
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.
“You surprised me. That’s all. We seldom receive visitors, especially living ones who can see us.” He put on his blue uniform coat and fastened the long row of brass buttons. “I’m Major Thomas Gentry, at your service.” He bowed.
“I’m sorry I startled you. I sometimes forget ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”
His eyes narrowed and he frowned. “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”
“Where can I find Colonel Stratton? I need to speak with him.”
His dark blue eyes showed his increasing puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for Colonel Stratton. What business have you with him?”
“I bought this house, and I intend to live here.”
“You bought Stratton House?”
“And I need to speak with the colonel.”
Major Gentry shook his head as though to sort through the details. “Please forgive me. You bought Stratton House, you intend to live here, and you wish to speak with the home’s proprietor, Colonel Stratton?”
“I thought we’d covered that,” she said. “You don’t get many visitors, do you?”


Meet the Author:

Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.

She makes her home in Washington state. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.






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