#GoodreadsGiveaway for Eating Bull, a Thriller that Explores #Bodyshaming, #FoodAddiction, and #Obesity–Oh, and Is There Some Mischief Afoot?

Here’s a giveaway for those of you who enjoy novels of action, suspense, and public health importance! I’ve read and reviewed Carrie Rubin’s Eating Bull and loved it! Click on her post for details on the giveaway (as well as her story of what writers fear (almost) most: the “reader” who doesn’t read his or her free copy but just sells it. There’s a special place in h*ll for people like that 😉 ).

Carrie Rubin

If you’re in the U.S. and would like a chance to win one of two paperback copies of Eating Bull, click here or on the image below to enter the Goodreads giveaway. Ends January 23rd.

Good luck!

Click image to enter giveaway. Click image to enter Goodreads giveaway.

That Time I Made the Book Out to Bob

Many people are familiar with Goodreads. It’s a great place for readers to keep track of their books. A giant virtual bookshelf, so to speak. In addition, there are always hundreds of giveaways going on.

The hope is the winner of a book will eventually review and/or rate it. In my experience, that happens about 30% of the time. Most winners probably never get around to reading the book, or maybe they do and just don’t like it enough to give it another thought. But I sometimes wonder if there’s mischief afoot as well—people who enter numerous…

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Tuesday Anything Possible – $0.99 Sale on Our Justice from Jan 12 to Jan 19th #RRBC

John Howell’s latest novel (and last installment of his trilogy) will be on SALE starting January 12th. Get in line for your copy! It’s a thriller for our times!

Fiction Favorites

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Advance notice:

I will be running a Kindle  $0.99 US and a £0.99 UK  sale on Our Justice from January 12th (Thursday) until January 19th (Thursday). I will also be featured on EReader News Today on Friday the 13th. (Hmmm)

This will be the first sale of Our Justice, and  I have extended it to accommodate a promotion on BookGoodies as well. So here is hoping all who want to get the book will do so in this period.

I will run another announcement on Thursday.

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Introducing the third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy – Our Justice

Our Justice

Click to go to Amazon

Blurb

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs has figured out a way to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.

The action begins with John fearing for his life. Clearly, whoever is trying to get him has a mission to accomplish and the elimination of John is at the top of the to-do list. The quest to survive takes John and his love, Stephanie, from the beaches of Port Aransas to West Virginia and finally to Matt Jacob’s corporate headquarters at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. There John finally understands what he needs to do to protect both himself and Stephanie from further mayhem.

The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is, who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

Our Justice is available on Amazon and KDP now in e-book format for preorder at $2.99 with shipments starting on September 23rd. The paper edition will be available on Amazon September 23rd at $14.99. Here is the link for pre-order of the e-book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDFM9WM?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Excerpt

I see out of the corner of my eye that Ned is on the phone. Hopefully, he’s calling in reinforcements since it looks like the SUV is gaining on us. Just as the rear window of the Focus blows inward, he finishes the call. Hundreds of pieces of glass hit Ned and me. Luckily, it’s shatterproof stuff, so we’re mostly okay cut wise. Ned crouches down and fires three quick shots with his 9MM. In the mirror, the SUV swerves to the left and almost explodes after it rams a parked car. “Stop,” Ned yells.

I slam on the brakes, which nearly tosses Ned through the windshield. “For shit’s sake, I don’t have a seatbelt on, junior, so take it easy. Just stop and turn around.”

John Howell

Author BIO

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL, is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge, is available on Amazon and KDP Select.

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.

Other places to find John

Blog Fiction Favorites – http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google + –https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/johnwhowell/

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Martin Sisters Publishing –http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

 

 

A Different Kind of Book Review: His Revenge by John W. Howell

Hello, dear friends.  I have it on good authority there’s another book sale for you to take advantage of. Yep, John W. Howell, hero author of My GRL is having a SALE on the latest novel in his trilogy, His Revenge.  Go ahead, run over and get yourself a copy if you’ve been procrastinating.  I can wait.  Or if you want to procrastinate just a little bit longer, maybe the following review will be the kick in your reading butt that you need.

***

Randy swore as hot water splashed against his fingers. He heard a muffled snort and turned around. Mary was braced against a kitchen chair, her right hand covering her mouth and nose in a vain attempt to restrain her laughter. Randy grimaced and then ran cold water over his burnt fingers.

“I’m sorry,” said Mary as she came over to the counter to resume making the tea. But not sorry, she thought to herself as she carefully poured hot water into the teapot. She knew Randy was nervous. He had chosen the book they were going to discuss. She knew it wasn’t fair that he was the only male—so far—in their book club, but, still, she thought it was entertaining.

Before Randy could retort that he doubted Mary’s sincerity, her cousins Maggie and Melissa burst through the front door, buoyed by their acquisition of hot powdered beignets. Randy rolled his eyes. It was enough to be drinking tea instead of coffee, eating vanilla scones instead of chocolate chip cookies, but now powdered beignets? How can he seriously discuss a thriller with powdered sugar all over his face?

The three women set the kitchen table with Mary’s preferred fine bone china, Maggie and Melissa enthusiastically describing their coup in getting to the bakery just before it closed and nabbing the beignets. Randy grabbed his rather plain but sturdy mug and sat down at the head of the table. Mary had put tonight’s topic near Randy’s chair. The rest of the club was ready with their Kindles.

Randy gazed at the cover, waiting for the cousins to finish extolling the virtues of the new bakery. The woman on the cover was beautiful, just the sort of young, blond woman with flawless skin that any man could fall in love with. He glanced over at Mary, taking in her short salt-and-pepper hair, the fine lines around her eyes and mouth, the perceptibly sagging skin around her neck. The woman on the cover of tonight’s book was beautiful, but to Randy, Mary could outshine her any day. He cleared his throat and three sets of dark brown eyes turned toward him. He swallowed.

“So, tonight we’ll be talking about His Revenge by John Howell. Ah … this is the second novel in his trilogy about John Cannon, a lawyer who suddenly finds himself involved in a number of terrorist plots. You all read his first novel, My GRL, right?”

Mary and Maggie nodded as they sipped their tea. Melissa looked pensive. “That one had a blue cover, right? Like the photo was shot in the water, looking up? God, I loved that cover!”

“And the novel?” Randy didn’t want to derail their discussion, but they never did get a chance to discuss My GRL even though they all had read it.

“Oh, it was entertaining!” Mary chimed in. “Great set-up with a lawyer who just wants to have a vacation, sail around for a while, and then inexplicably finds himself in the middle of a terrorist plot. And he’s not perfect, he makes mistakes, but his heart in the right place. I love that kind of hero.” Mary winked at Randy and he could feel his face flush with embarrassment and a little bit of pride.

“Even if his head sometimes gets bogged down with minutiae. I do like the character of John Cannon, but he’s a little OCD, don’t you think?” Maggie was rummaging through her knitting bag as she talked so she didn’t see the knowing glances exchanged between her cousins and Randy. Melissa stifled a temptation to say, “It takes one to know one …”.

“But that’s part of his appeal, don’t you think? It’s what makes him loveable.” Mary smiled at Maggie as her cousin pulled her needles and yarn onto her lap, holding all with one hand while, with the other, she carefully brought a beignet to her mouth.  Maggie shrugged at Mary’s comment, more concerned with making sure she didn’t dribble any powdered sugar on to the black shawl she was knitting.

“The author carries those qualities through to the second novel, His Revenge. I suppose you could say Cannon is kind of eccentric, but he’s consistent.”  Randy tried again to take the lead as the book club host.

“Consistently focused on food and drink,” mumbled Maggie as she laid a napkin over her lap in a futile effort to keep her knitting pristine.

Melissa laughed and shook her head. “Yeah, but are we calling these eccentricities because we don’t expect a hero to be thinking about the quality of food he’s being served by terrorists? I mean, again, that’s part of what makes these novels so interesting and surprising. I mean, he’s in danger, right? Threats are being made against people he cares about, but he’ll still be particular about how his drinks are made. You want to shake him but you want to hug him too.”

“Okay, but what did annoy me, and you might be surprised by this, is in this second novel, he has sex with not just one, but two women. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I wasn’t comfortable with how easy he seemed to fall in love and in bed with two completely different women.  At least it wasn’t at the same time.” Randy took a big gulp of his tea, momentarily closing his eyes to what he knew would be shocked looks. When he opened his eyes, he saw he wasn’t wrong.

Maggie and Melissa sat with their heads cocked like two little confused puppies. Mary’s eyes were wide, but so was her smile. They had already had this discussion.

“Now, Randy, darling, you really want us to believe that if you were in Mr. Cannon’s shoes, with two beautiful women practically throwing themselves at you, that you would have just said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ Seriously? I mean, you wouldn’t take advantage of such a situation. Come on, darling. You’re only human.” Mary leaned forward, resting her chin on her hand, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

Randy sighed. “Point taken. I’ve never been in that situation, so I guess I can’t really say what I would or would not do. Still, I’d argue that in My GRL, he was more of a gentleman when it came to women. Here …” Randy picked up the novel as if to emphasize his point. “Here, he’s more cavalier.”

“Maybe the terrorists were starting to be a bad influence on him,” Maggie quipped as she pushed back from the table so she could knit more comfortably.

Melissa snorted. “No, I disagree. I think Cannon is still a gentleman, but when you’re in extreme situations where you could literally die tomorrow, well, I just think people behave differently then.”

“But not so differently that he doesn’t pay attention to every detail of his clothing or bathing.” Maggie smoothed out her knitting, seeming to look for a dropped stitch. Melissa shrugged and threw Mary a knowing smile. The three of them had lived together for a while and they knew only too well how meticulous Maggie was about her showers.

“Well, Cannon is a different kind of hero, and I like that about him and the novels in general. And he doesn’t even think of himself as a hero. He’s humble that way.”

“Exactly,” Mary interrupted Randy. “This is no one-man-saves-the-day kind of thriller. It’s a team effort. Other people, other otherwise regular people, work with Cannon to thwart the terrorists. Everyone has some kind of skill, like Cannon using his lawyering skills to negotiate, to try to save lives. It’s not effective by itself, but in working with the other hostages, they have a real chance.  You really don’t know how or whether they can get out of these traps.”

Randy marveled at Mary. He didn’t think she much cared for thrillers, but she had definitely warmed to this series by John Howell. And he could guess why. After reading Howell’s first novel My GRL, Mary had told him that Cannon reminded her of him: his manners, his old-fashioned sense of propriety, his attention to detail, and his shunning of the limelight. Any time Randy and his deputies solved a case, it didn’t matter how much work Randy put into the effort, he always gave credit to his deputies, keeping himself in the background.

“So there will be a third novel, right?” Maggie looked up from her knitting when her question was met with silence. “Oh, right. It’s a trilogy.” She gave Randy and her cousins a big smile, which disappeared as soon as she saw the empty plate where there once had been a pile of hot, powdery beignets.

“Well, I give His Revenge five stars.  Who’s with me?”  Mary looked around the table.

“I give it a five,” said Maggie as she played with the remains of powered sugar on her plate.

“Five for me,” said Melissa. Randy nodded his assent and sat back, feeling some pride about the discussion.  They were done for tonight, but they weren’t done reading and talking about John Cannon, a different kind of American hero.

***

Oh, dear Reader, are you still here?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of His Revenge!

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing the Second John Cannon Thriller – His Revenge

And here it is! The second novel in John Howell’s thriller trilogy: His Revenge! Get your copy now 🙂

Fiction Favorites

His Revenge front final Click Cover to visit Amazon US

Click for Amazon UK

Click for Amazon Canada

Click for Amazon Australia 

The second John J Cannon story continues John’s wish to bring the terrorist Matt Jacobs to justice. In the first book, My GRL John was able to thwart the plot to destroy the Annapolis midshipmen on their summer cruise. Of course, terrorists being what they are not content with just one try to embarrass America. In His Revenge, Matt Jacobs takes his hatred for America and John Cannon to another level. The action moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt…

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A Traditional Book Review: Three Ghosts by Katie Sullivan #MondayBlogs #bookreview

As I often complain to anyone who will spare me a few minutes (and that usually reduces to a few seconds once they see I’m about to complain):  I have a  tower of to-be-read  and to-be-reviewed books that may as well be called Eiffel for it’s height.  It’s my own fault, I know.  I buy books at the urging of friends, or because of a fascinating interview with the author, or because I participated in a promotion, or, as in this case, because I am already familiar with the author’s writing and just had to read more. 

Many of you I hope already know Katie Sullivan from The D/A Dialogues, an often hilarious blog where Katie spars with a Druid who’s been living in her head for roughly the last 20 years.  She is currently working on a series, a young adult historical fantasy novel replete with Druids and Fae, magic and mystery.  I’ve read the first novel since published, Changelings:  Into the Mist, and wrote a review which you may read here.

When I heard that Katie was publishing a novella, I couldn’t wait until it was available.  And while I prefer to write my reviews in the form of stories, well, sometimes there just isn’t time for that.  But I did write a traditional review, as would be acceptable on Goodreads and Amazon.  So, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it and that it makes you want to pick up your own copy of Three Ghosts.  

***

three-ghosts-cover

Three Ghosts is a fast read not just because it’s only 69 pages. The author pulls you right in with a conflict between two men, Pearse Finnegan and Pat McGuire, and the woman between them, Pearse’s wife Deirdre. Pearse supposedly dies in a conflagration of an abandoned wharf, and Deirdre is gone from Ireland. Fast forward 15 years and Deirdre is back in Ireland on a mysterious assignment. There is much that is mysterious in this well-told tale, and to say too much more would give it all away.

Let’s just say, Deirdre has to come face-to-face with the ghosts of her past, not knowing which of them, if any, she can trust. In many ways, the twists and turns of this story reminded me of some of the Alfred Hitchcock movies of intrigue and betrayal. While I am by no means an expert on Irish history (recent or long past), the author Katie Sullivan appears to be quite astute with historical details as well as creating a sense of place so strong I once felt I was sitting in the table next to Deirdre and Pat as they worried over events yet to unfold.

I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending, in part because it came too soon. I would have liked to have kept reading, to have had that tell-all scene drawn out some more, to have continued to feel the rising tension as everyone slowly realizes who has been betraying who. As it was, the ending reminded me of the old Perry Mason TV episodes where Mason brings together all the suspects and then neatly points out the murderer.

Perhaps the author thought she needed to wrap things up, but she didn’t. I would have liked to have stayed in the company of Deirdre O’Brien a good while longer. While I’m not sure I would trust Deirdre as far I could throw her, she was still someone I could admire for her wit and her will. I recommend this novella in large part for the pure entertainment value of Deirdre. Perhaps, as subtle hint to the author should she read this review, we haven’t heard the last of Deirdre O’Brien.

***

Now, Dear Reader, get thee to Amazon and purchase your own copy of Three Ghosts!

Three Ghosts is now on sale!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the best way (whether you’re Irish or not): Indulge yourself with a FREE copy of Katie Sullivan’s latest story, Three Ghost, and while you’re at it, pick up a copy of her novel, Changelings: Into the Mist, on SALE! Then you can go and get yourself a nice Irish coffee to sip while reading 🙂

Katie Sullivan

Cover Art by Casey T. Malone Cover Art by Casey T. Malone

What do you do when the decisions you’ve made come back to haunt you? How do you make them right? Can you, when one wrong move will mean lives lost?

Deirdre O’Brien, an American political-activist living in Dublin, married the wrong man – and had to kill him to save the lives of thousands. Fifteen years later, he’s back from the dead, with a horrific plan to destroy the tenuous peace between Belfast, Dublin and London. To stop him, Dee will throw herself at a seedy underworld, where nothing is what it seems, and trust is a commodity too short in supply.

She only has three days – three days, and three ghosts. She will confront them, or risk becoming one herself.

The Race is On!

I first presented Three Ghosts as a serialized short story here at the blog, but as the story…

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Book Review: A Pleasantly Different Kind of Thriller

My GRL front cover

John W. Howell’s new novel, My GRL, is a pleasantly different kind of thriller.  The hero, John D. Cannon, lacks a few of the standard hero qualities that you might expect in a thriller novel.  He doesn’t seek out danger.  In fact, at one point, danger has  to literally run him off the road and onto the beach to get his attention.  Cannon is somewhat naive as well, especially when it comes to women.  He takes them at face value, trusting them in spite of all the red flags they wave in his face.  [Ahem, Mr. Cannon, when a woman tells you she had great fun infiltrating another company while pretending to be someone else, in effect, SPYING, you might want to put your trust in her on hold for a bit.]  Cannon is also one of the most polite, respectful, and well-adjusted heroes I’ve ever met, and he’s a lawyer to boot!  He also has a wry sense of humor which carried through the novel quite well.  (Some of my favorite lines:  “I get dressed and wait for the wheelchair which is the requisite mode of transport out of a hospital. (If you are still alive that is, if not, then it is a gurney.”; “I think he believes I have a good memory and no brains.”) (more…)

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller by John W. Howell

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

my grl5star-shiny-web

My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Click cover to visit Amazon

Blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

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Writer’s Reality Check

JA Konrath, author of the Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels thriller series, has a great blog at  A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.  In particular, check out his “Brain Check” post.  JA provides a list of instructions for writers trying to persevere in this information-laden and book-heavy age:

1.  Study the situation.

2.  Set attainable goals.

3.  Learn from both failure and success.

4.  Don’t compare yourself to other writers.

5. Value yourself.

6.  Bust your ass.

7.  Forgive.

8.  Dream.

Read JA’s full post for his elaborations on each item.  I struggle the most with items 4 and 5.  I’m always comparing myself to other writers.  That can be OK if I’m thinking, “gee, I can write as well as that,” but most of the time I’m thinking, “gee, I wish I had her gift for plot” or “gee, I wish I had his talent for humor.”  The thing is I love to read and the second best way to learn about writing is to read (the first is, of course, to write), so not comparing myself to other writers is an ongoing struggle.  

I definitely don’t value my writing as much as I should.  I’ve received enough encouragement from other writers to keep going, but I need to learn to be my own encouragement.  At the end of the day, I have to value what I do.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t raised to value my writing, so it is, yet another, ongoing struggle.  

And what keeps me from busting my ass is my perpetual self-criticism and doubt.  Hmmm … enough excuses already, don’t you think?

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