Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Eden Plague (Plague Wars) by David VanDyke @DVanDykeAuthor


A hard-hitting military technothriller, ON SALE for a limited time. Pick it up today before it’s back to its normal $3.98 price.

A Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Award Winner semi-finalist. thekindlebookreview.net/2013-book-awards/ 

Rule #1: Try not to shoot your future wife. When special operations veteran Daniel Markis finds armed invaders in his home and it all goes sideways, he soon finds himself on the run from the shadowy Company and in possession of a genetic engineering breakthrough that might throw nations into chaos. Out of options, Daniel turns to his brothers in arms to fight back and get the answers he needs. Soon he takes possession of a secret that threatens the stability of the world, as he leads a conspiracy to change everything.

Eden Plague leads readers into the exciting and engrossing Plague Wars apocalyptic-thriller series. It borrows from the traditions of Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, with shades of David Drake, Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling, Vaughn Heppner and B.V. Larson.

Also from David VanDyke:

The Plague Wars Series:
- The Eden Plague
- Reaper’s Run
- The Demon Plagues
- The Reaper Plague
- The Orion Plague
- Cyborg Strike
- Comes the Destroyer

Stellar Conquest Series:
- Planetary Assault – contains First Conquest: Stellar Conquest Book 1
- Desolator: Book 2
- Tactics of Conquest: Book 3 (Winter 2013)

PG-13 for language, violence and adult situations (non-explicit)

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Genre – SciFi, Adventure

Rating – PG13

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Blog https://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/

Rebekah's Quilt by Sara Barnard @TheSaraBarnard

Elnora’s lips thinned into a smile and she reached for the cup of buttermilk. Rebekah noticed a slight tremble in her fingers.

“Here Ma, I’ll get it.” Worry creased her brow as she passed the frothy liquid to Elnora.

After taking a big swill, Elnora answered, “I’m alright. The baby is acting like it wants to come.” She lay back onto the pillows. “You may be a big sister again before too long.”

As much as she loved babies, especially new ones, Rebekah couldn’t force a smile onto her lips. Instead, a peppering of questions flew off her tongue. “How do you know the baby is coming? Are you in pain? Is something wrong?” She flung the words at her mother in much the same manner as Jeremiah flung dirt clods at their little brothers during one of their many “you-can’t-hit-me-with-that-dirt-clod-ouch-maybe-you-can” games.

“I began feeling pain early this morning.”

Rebekah’s eyes widened. Before she could open her mouth to speak, Elnora continued. “Then the bleeding started.”

“Oh Ma, I should fetch Heloise,” Rebekah said, rising from the bed. Her mind was already way ahead of her body.

“No child.” Elnora tried to make her voice firm. It didn’t work.

“Why not?”

“We mustn’t bother her yet. The pains have stopped and to make the baby come, they have to be regular. And hard.” It appeared that just speaking of the process that happens to bring a baby

was sapping the very life from her mother. She patted her pale hand.

“Just tell me what you need, Ma. I’ll do it.”

Elnora’s closed her eyes. “I know you will, Rebekah. Thank you.” Her words trailed off in a yawn.


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Genre - Romantic Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

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Deborah Hawkins – Book Covers @DeborahHawk3

Before your reader can encounter your magical prose, or be swept off his or her feet by your irresistible hero or enchanting heroine, you have to persuade that prospective reader to look inside your book.  And enticing the reader is the job of your book’s cover.   Nothing is more valuable in book marketing than the cover.
Although “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been drilled into us from an early age, we do exactly that when we consider a prospective relationship with works of fiction or non.  This principle came to the forefront recently in a discussion with my Google advertising account representative as I considered an ad campaign with the legendary search engine giant.  I was lamenting my inability to come up with snappy key words to make my proposed ad highly visible to Google searchers when he assured me he could fill that gap without a problem.  But, he asked, what about your book’s cover?  And we both agreed without a great cover all the clever key words in his arsenal would not sell books.
For me, a great cover features the title and author’s name in a legible but interesting font, and displays an image that hints at the book’s topic.  The image is very important for me because I often focus there first before my eye travels to the title and the author’s name.
As a first-time author, I was anxious about finding an artist to create a great cover for Dance For A Dead Princess.  But I was very fortunate.  I found Judy Bullard on a Smashwords list of cover artists and loved the professional quality of her work.
Based upon a short summary of the plot and information about the real world images that inspired the book’s setting, Judy came up with a terrific cover on the first try.  I was delighted and amazed.  Her color scheme of lighter clouds against a darkening sky perfectly conveys the mystery-thriller component of the plot.  She placed Nicholas, the hero, and Taylor, the heroine, on opposite sides with Burnham Abbey and Princess Diana’s tiara in the center between them, showing the reader the dramatic themes that place them in opposing camps throughout much of the story.  I also loved the way the script she used for the title picks up the dainty swirls in Diana’s crown, just above it.   Finally, her attention to detail was impressive.  She contacted me before sending the proof to make sure she had gotten the color of Nicholas and Taylor’s eyes right!
Thanks to Judy’s work, any reader considering Dance For A Dead Princess knows at once the book is a romantic mystery involving royalty and a centuries-old country house.  Then, as soon as the reader scans the first few pages of the Prologue, it becomes clear the royalty is Diana, Princess of Wales, and the country house is Burnham Abbey which Nicholas, the Eighteenth Duke, is determined to destroy until he meets the woman he calls, “that remote star,”  Taylor Collins.
In January 1997, Princess Diana received a phone call telling her she would be assassinated. She recorded the information on a secret video tape, naming her killer and gave it to a trusted friend in America for safekeeping. It has never been found.
Diana’s close friend, Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham and second richest man in England, has vowed to find the tape and expose her killer. After years of searching, he discovers Diana gave the tape to British socialite Mari Cuniff, who died in New York under mysterious circumstances. He believes Wall Street attorney Taylor Collins, the executor of Mari’s estate, has possession of it. He lures Taylor to England by promising to sell his ancestral home in Kent, Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls. Nicholas has dated actresses and models since the death of his wife, ten years earlier, and has no interest in falling in love again. But he is immediately and unexpectedly overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.
Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in her long-time friend and client’s estate and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish. She is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York. But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the diary of Thomas Carey, a knight at the court of Henry VIII and the first Duke of Burnham. As she reads Thomas’ agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child from being forced to become Henry’s mistress, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine. But just as Taylor’s feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she learns that Nicholas may be Lucy’s father and responsible for his wife’s death at the Abbey at the time of Lucy’s birth. When Nicholas is arrested for Lucy’s murder and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth about Nicholas, his late wife, and the death of the Princess of Wales.
Dance for A Dead Princess is a the story of two great loves that created and preserved a family that has lasted for five hundred years.
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Genre – Contemporary Romance,Mystery
Rating – G
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Dance for A Dead PrincessDance for A Dead Princess by Deborah Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What did you think of the story structure? I felt that the story was told through the relationship of Nicholas and Taylor. Were their differences a symbolism of the differences that Charles and Diana experienced during their courtship and marriage? Some parts of the story was revealed in chunks. For this story, it was an effective way to share the past with the reader.

What was the central theme of the story? Princess Diana. I have seen and read many things about her life and death but this is the fictional piece which deserves to be recommended. If you don't mind an odd twist or so, then this is a book you must read.

What did you think of the ending? It was an explosive ending, for sure. The author's tone and style is gentle for most of the book. As it gets to the end, a different puzzle emerges and you are left reeling. Did I like this book? More than I can say.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews