Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Fortune Teller's Secrect


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. Book #2 in the Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery series brings readers a fast-paced thriller of suspense and the supernatural.

** Check back for further details **

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: Kill All Cats by Rick Bylina

Either you’re a cat person or not one. Me? I can take them or leave them.  Some cats have endeared my heart. Mysty, my daughter’s pet, was a feline that I truly liked.  Her latest additions to the furry collection, Pumpkin and Pizzelle, are okie-dokie as cats go. But you won’t catch me in any line at a free cat giveaway. Despite my nonchalant attitude to the cats of the world, Rick Bylina’s newest book, Kill All Cats, grabbed my attention. I had envisioned this epic to be something like a mass killing of cats all given spiked catnip with promises of a better life in the cat-hereafter. Or maybe a serial cat killer, taking them out one by one, while keeping souvenirs of their pretty little collars with bells and rhinestone studs. But it was none of those.

Ron Black is your average Joe working a night job, sleeping days, and trying to earn a college degree somewhere in-between.  But things suddenly go south when he learns someone has murdered one of his neighbors along with her hoard of cats.  The police zero in on him as a prime suspect because of his past dealings with her and her feline entourage.  The cast of this tale in varied, quirky, and fascinating.  Among some of the notables are Ford and Truck Copley, two woodsy guys a few houses down; Arnold Sanders, a crusty old butcher; Digby, the pharmacist, and his wife; Dawn and Douglas Dietz, newlyweds; Jean, a quirky, almost girlfriend; Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice, bowling buddies; Kirk, his great-uncle and scientist; and many more. This is a big cast, but I promise you will know them all intimately before the book’s end.

One more character needs to be mentioned—Brisbane, Ron Black’s cockatiel, side-kick, muse, and soulmate. The world of fictional sleuthing duos have given us Sherlock Holmes & John Watson, Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin, Hercule Poirot & Arthur Hastings, Frank and Joe Hardy, and now a new twosome has been added--Ron Black and Brisbane.

The book is laced with Rick Bylina’s style of humor and has more twists than a crooked tail cat.  He weaves a story of murder and betrayal, a mystery that will keep you guessing, a story filled with surprises and suspense.  For any mystery reader, I highly recommend Kill All Cats.

I give this book a hearty 5 stars.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review of Windwood Farm by Rebecca Patrick-Howard

While my personal taste in reading is all over the place, I gravitate to mysteries and especially ones involving the paranormal. My past experience has been not all advertised paranormal mysteries fit the bill; however, the book I write about today is a home run. 

Windwood Farm by Rebecca Patrick-Howard is right on target in the realm of paranormal mysteries.  It draws together all the necessary elements. A moody protagonist. A spooky setting. Ghosts. Murder. Conflicting background. Escalating suspense. An element of danger, including death. This book has it all.

The writing first drew me into the story. Ms. Patrick-Howard takes her time and builds the story slowly and carefully, painting vivid scenes with sights, sounds, and smells. This is the stuff that old Edgar Allan Poe did and the author carries on the tradition.

The story revolves around Taryn, a young woman, whose profession is painting historic buildings on commission, restoring them to what they may have looked like when they stood in all their glory. Windwood Farm stands as a crumbling structure, with parts missing, the rest standing but sadly neglected. Inside some things still remain just as if the owner would return and others are long gone. 

One bedroom, in particular, looks much as it did when its former occupant, a young woman who died under mysterious circumstances. Rumor has it if something is moved or disturbed upon returning the visitor will find things returned back to the way they were first found.

Add on top of  that, someone or something is out to get Taryn, possibly kill her. But I don’t want to spoil anything here. This a darn good paranormal mystery in every sense of the genre.  There were a few points I think could have been improved; that’s just from the writer in me.

I give this one 4 stars.


Reviewer Ron D. Voigts is the author of The Witch's Daughter, a paranormal mystery available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books and Champagne Books.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Book Review: The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen

The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen is one of those freebie books you get with a Prime membership on Amazon. Usually, I gravitate toward something more in the realm of mystery, suspense and paranormal, but this story grabbed me because of the premise.

The tale starts from the point-of-view of a young boy, I am guessing about five or so, living with his family in a basement.  This is the only world the child knows having been born and raised there. Immediately we realize the family is dysfunctional bordering on outright bizarre. Everyone, except for the boy, has scars from a fire that happened sometime before he was born; his sister, in fact, is reported to be so hideous that she wears a mask. So many other aspects of this family are revealed in the book’s first part that the reader is left wondering, how this all came about.

Part two of the story goes back to before the family lived in a basement, before the boy was born.  Even then the family is weird and disconnected within itself. I won’t give anything away here, but suffice it to say, the story seems more contrived in the second half.  While the first part is character driven and seen through the boy’s eyes, the next part is plot oriented with jumping from point-of-views. At times, I was not sure whose head I was seeing the world. 

The second half takes the reader on a journey of explanation how everything came about.  It paints a picture of the circumstances behind everything and how a family comes to live in a basement, carrying scars from a fire and emotional scars. Like sand shifting in the dessert, things change what the reader believes to be the final truth to something else. Only the story’s end reveals all and ties up loose ends.

I give the book a three-star rating. I liked the premise and how this story came about but felt the explanations lacked some believability.  Still if you start the reading and like what you see, you’ll find the read worthwhile. Check out The Light of the Fireflies at Amazon

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Well, I'm back...kind of....sort of....Hmmm? Is this Monday?

Catching up on the blog.  I've kind of neglected it for a while. Much of my focus has been on the next novel.  Working title: The Fortune Teller's Secret. Book 2 in the Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery series. This one has a killing at a carnival and a twenty-five-year-old cold case murder. Again the trio of Cavendish, Jane and Alexandra.  Quick run down of my characters.

Cavendish Brown = down and out reporter, whose wife dies recently, sees dead people.

Jane =  psychic who touches things and sees the past (literally) of whoever held the object last.

Alexandra = aka Alex, Goth witch, young, pretty and very wealthy.

In this one after Johnny Brubeck is found murdered, our trio investigates while working with, or perhaps tolerating is a better word, Sheriff Clinton Pike, The also discover a cold case killing of a haunting young woman, and when I say haunting, I'm talking full-blown spectral apparition. The story has an explosive ending, as in a big BOOM!

Right now I am in the proofing stage, catching the mistakes, typos and stuff that just doesn't make sense. Continuity is the key. Things have to add up and make sense.  The flow needs to be smooth.  Writing is like music and needs to have rhythm.

I'm head back to my writing.  If you have not read Book 1 in my witch tale mysteries I suggest checking it out The Witch's Daughter at Amazon  or at Champagne Books.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Slipping Away

Today’s the last day of January 2016. Interesting to think that we will never see this month and year again. Moments slip into memories. We look back and recall: that was the time when…

I spent most of last Sunday shoveling out from the big one.  Close to 30 inches fell.  Weather reporters say the circumstances may never occur on such a grand scale. El Nino pushed warm moist air our way while a cold front starting Alaska pushed down from the north. Poof! Lots of snow. Lots of back breaking work to clear it.

The opportunity afforded me some time work on the next book. The Fortune Teller’s Secret is all in one piece now. Thirty chapters (though I reserve the right to change that) compiled from start to finish. Now comes the back breaking work of editing.

I spent most of yesterday changing a clue. Such a little thing can have such a devastating effect. In the original version one of my characters, Hershel McCabe, helped the murderer dump a body down an old well. In the process of aiding, he drops something with it—something that is personal and can link him to the murder. Originally I had been sunglasses of a particular brand sold in the 90’s because that was when the body was disposed of. The whole thing was not working in the big picture, so I changed it to a St. Christopher’s medal hung from a chain around his neck, something that was gift from his mother since he traveled. What made this clue unique was a bend in the metal disc that happened when he worked on some machinery and it caught in a meshwork of gears. Now it can be identified to him. When the body is disposed of in the hole, the victim’s fingers hook the chain as she falls away and rips it from his neck. It drops with her. And twenty-five years later the sheriff will find it when the body is exhumed.

The little change took most of a Saturday, finding places where the sunglasses were mentioned and changing to the medallion.  The circumstances had to be rewritten.  Syntax and sentences needed to be altered. I am not even sure I caught it all. Thankfully I have good beta readers.

That is all for now, dear friends. Best to everyone.

Yours in writing,