My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Split Seconds

Twins separated as toddlers, reunited as adults and now switching places in a deadly game to take on organized crime.
Her sister is alive! Excited to discover that her twin didn't die as a toddler, Tijan can’t wait to meet her other half but she struggles to understand why her only sibling hasn’t reached out in almost thirty years. Although the reunion is joyous, not everyone is excited to discover that there are two of them. Using it to her advantage, Tijan is determined to take down the one man, responsible for it all… her father. The secrets and lies that have kept them apart, soon unravel but with deadly consequences.


Split Seconds (Suspense Thriller)
“Caspian Wine Book #3”
By Maggie Thom
Quadessence Solutions
ISBN: 9780991727247
329 pages
Publication date: July 20
Preorder date: June 20
Price: $4.99 but Pre-Order price will be $2.99
Rating 5-Stars

“A Suspenseful Rush!”

Tijan grew up feeling someone was missing from her life. A sister, but was she a figment of her imagination? Her mother says her sister died when she was a child, but there is that feeling, and then she sees a picture in the newspaper of a wedding, and a hand is in view; that hand shows a birthmark, a matching birthmark that is also on Tijan. Is her sister, Tarin, still alive? She decides to go to Toronto and find out, but things happen too quickly and she’s thrown into several dangerous situations. She is kidnapped a couple of times, and people she meets think she’s her twin sister. Then a secret trip to the Caspian winery and she sees Tarin, but is too shocked to speak, and runs off instead. Now she discovers her father, whom she’d always suspected was dead, running a giant hotel chain, and working with a Mafia gangster to obtain Caspian winery. Gangsters and Canadian government officials want Tarin, and mistake Tijan for her twin, and things get even more complicated.

My apologies to the author, it’s been three years since I read the previous book in this fascinating series, and unfortunately my memory isn’t too good any more. I had trouble remembering the characters and what happened in the first two stories, so it took me a bit longer to get back into the swing of the series. However, the new characters not only grabbed my interest but it brought me quickly into the current plot, and names and incidents began coming back. Once I was pulled into the story, I was there for keeps, and I wasn’t disappointed. “Split Seconds” continues the series in a highly suspenseful rush of adrenalin. And did I mention the romantic angle? I hope the next book isn’t long in coming. For lovers of suspense thrillers don’t miss this latest light romantic mystery involving danger and intrigue.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA

Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview With Author Maggie Thom

I became acquainted with Maggie Thom through her thriller suspense novel, Captured Lies, the first novel in her Caspian Wine series, about five years ago. I’m not sure why I waited so long to ask her for an interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed her novels about the Caspian Wine empire, along with her stand alone books, plus she has a way of weaving twists into her stories when you’re least expecting them, and placing her characters into highly suspenseful situations that keep you on the edge of your seat. So, without further delay, please meet the talented author, Maggie Thom.


Tom: Maggie, thank you for sitting down with me for this interview on PULP DEN. First, how about telling your fans a little about yourself, your family, and where you live?

Maggie: Hi Tom. Thank you for this interview, I have truly enjoyed ‘meeting’ you and feel honored to do this interview. I’m married, a mom of just out of their teen twins and I live on beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada.

Tom: From reading your five novels it is easy to tell you are an intelligent writer, and interested in the thriller suspense genre. This current novel, Split Seconds, is your third novel in the Caspian Wine book series, and your fifth novel in the thriller suspense genre. What made you decide to create The Caspian Wine series in the first place, and what was the particular influence for these stories, if any?


Maggie:  Well, I actually hadn’t planned on writing a series. I had told myself they were too much work. Captured Lies came about from a simple incident – a plane flew over us and was really low. I thought it will never make it to the airport, what if it crashed. Then my mind went wild. What if there was a baby onboard that survived? What if that baby had been kidnapped in the first place but was then kidnapped after the plane crash, how could she ever unravel her past. That was the end of that story… or so I thought. Then after a fan had read Captured Lies, she emailed me and asked when book 2 was coming out. I said that I wasn’t writing a series. Almost as soon as I sent that reply the ideas started coming to me. So, then I wrote Deceitful Truths and again said that was it. But… another fan emailed me and asked when book 3 was coming out. Eek. This time I just said I’m not sure. The ideas started coming and book 3, Split Seconds was born.

Captured Lies (Book 1) is about Bailey.
Kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead. Her life was a lie!


Deceitful Truths (Book 2) is about Tarin.
Someone has stolen a week of her life and now wants to steal the secret she is now hiding.
Split Seconds (Book 3) is about Tijan.
Twins torn apart as toddlers… reunited as adults… and now switching places to take on organized crime…

Tom: Along the same line above, what other writers influenced you, if any, and whom would you say your writing style most resembles? And are your stories more plot driven or character driven, do you think? For me it was hard to choose between the two, for both plot and characters are strong.

Maggie: There are many authors that I have read and love their work but two really stand out for me – Robert Ludlum and Sandra Brown. Each taught me something different. Robert Ludlum taught me how to tell a story from different points of view and not lose the reader. Sandra Brown taught me how to add in the twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. I’m not sure who my writing most resembles although I have been told authors like –  Amanda Quick/ Jayne-Anne Krentz, John Grisham…

Thank you Tom. I think I do a mix of both character and plot driven stories. I like creating strong, believable characters and someone that the reader will feel a connection to.


Tom: Tell us a little about your latest novel, Split Seconds, without giving any spoilers away.

Maggie: Tijan knew that she had a twin but had been told that she’d died when they were two. Through a fluke discovery, Tijan is sure that her twin is alive. She is determined to find out. What she discovers is that she also has a father that she never knew about and one who is not at all what she imagined a father should be like. He’s a cold and deceitful man, one who will step on anyone to get what he needs. And he’s involved with organized crime. When Tijan finally meets her twin, she’s not sure what to expect. Excited to be reunited, they soon discover that not everyone is happy there are two of them. To save her sister and ultimately a father who got them into the mess they find themselves in, Tijan switches places with her sister. She takes over her father’s multi-million-dollar hotel business, something she knows nothing about. All in an attempt to save her sister, their father and his business from organized crime.

Split Seconds is book 3 in The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series.

Tom: Besides Thriller Suspense, have you considered writing other genres down the road, and if so, what would they be?

Maggie:  Actually I have written a few other genres – romance and young adult – but I’ve never done anything with them. Someday I think I’d like to venture into the genre of fantasy. I love to read it, so we’ll see.

Tom: In your novel, Split Seconds, we actually follow Tijan, who has found her missing twin sister, Tarin, believed to have died as a child. Trailing her from a mere photograph and birthmark, she quickly becomes enmeshed in a suspenseful fight between a Mafia mob boss and her father for control of the Caspian Wine Empire.  This is where her twin sister comes into the picture. Tarin refuses to help her father obtain that control. This may be an off the wall question, but do you have further plans for the Caspian Wine series, or do you think the series may have run its course after three novels?

Maggie:  Great question. I thought it was done after book 1. And then after book 2. So now that I’m publishing book 3, I really don’t know. We’ll see what happens moving forward. There are always more stories to tell but at some point it’s about whether it’s too much or not. Right now, I truly don’t know.


Tom: Tell us about your two stand-alone novels, Tainted Waters and Deadly Ties. Although I love the Caspian Wine series, I think I favor these two novels slightly more.

Maggie: Each of these novels were interesting to create and both mean a lot to me but for different reasons. I like to write about people and situations that I feel are important.

Tainted Waters: Sam is a woman who has struggled to find herself, she has flipped from job to job and just can’t seem to settle down. The suicide of her father when she was seven has left her scarred and lost. He’d been her world. After being fired from her latest job she moves to the family cabin which she hasn’t been in over twenty years, since her father’s suicide. A series of events happen that soon pull her into a web of mystery, where she soon discovers that not only might her father have been murdered but so might a few of the other owners around the lake.


Deadly Ties: Kyara has always been embarrassed about her home life. Her grandmother went to jail for murdering her husband and her mom is hopeless and helpless. After her mom is attacked Kyara realizes that what she knows is not the truth. Going on a quest, she discovers many secrets that others will go to any lengths to keep hidden. A golf course was built but not because the sport was gaining in popularity but to hide a deadly secret. It pulls Kyara into 30 years of lies that she must untangle before a whole town ultimately pays the price.

Tom: What do you find to be the most exciting part of the creating process?

Maggie: Letting the ideas fly. I used to worry that my story sucked when I was finished writing it. It wasn’t until I realized that rewrites weren’t a form of punishment that I really realized that is where the magic happens. I love rewrites because that is where I get to really make the story the one that I want. The one that has twists and turns and is full of lies, deceit and secrets.

Tom: Along the same subject as above, what do you find to be the most difficult area in the creating process?

Maggie: I think I’m at the point that I don’t really find any of it super difficult. To me it’s all about focus and time. I used to think the rewrites were impossible but that was because I saw it to mean I wasn’t a very good writer. In truth, all it means is that I get to create the story I want. Each part of writing has its own challenges but I just remind myself I could be working my 60 hour a week director position again. Writing is so much easier and more enjoyable.

Tom: There was a three-year gap between Book 2, Deceitful Truths and Book 3. Split Seconds. Are you working on a sequel or anything else right now? And if there is a sequel in the works, when do you expect it to be out?

Maggie:  There is not a sequel in the works right now. Actually, I’m working on a fiction story that I wrote years ago. I really like the story but it needs a lot of work. I had originally written it as a romance but want to change it to a suspense/thriller. Which is what happened with Captured Lies. I am also working on two nonfiction books.

Tom: Besides family and writing, tell us about any hobbies or community service you may be involved in, and any other activity you would like to mention.

Maggie:  I love going out in nature – hiking, kayaking, just walking, sitting and enjoying. I love to read – fiction and nonfiction - but don’t read as much as I used to. I also build websites and love to create images with quotes for social media. I am currently a member and on the board for a Women’s Business Networking Group. We do everything from fundraising, to networking, to training, to community events. I belong to a few author groups online, where we work together to help each other with everything from writing to marketing. I’ve also started a women’s writing group online, to help women find their voice through writing. I also teach writing workshops – on and offline. And I teach how to write compelling fiction book blurbs.

Tom: What advice would you give other aspiring authors hoping to break into the writing field today?

Maggie:  Go for it. Writing is such a gift but there are many fears and issues that might get in your way. Connect to other writers and authors, ask for help, join groups, take writing classes… know that you are on the right path. Keep writing and know that your first draft is meant to suck. It’s just about getting the ideas down. It’s in the rewrites that you get to create the story that you want.

Tom: And most important, where can fans find – and buy - your novel, and do you keep copies on hand for autographs? Please include website and Blogs.

Maggie
(pre-order Split Seconds and receive some amazing bonuses).


Tom: And now another question from left field.  If you could, would you choose to live in a parallel universe as one of the people in the worlds you create?

Maggie:  Interesting question. Hmmm…  I think to some degree I do. Although I don’t live with or see a lot of what I write about, truly most of what I write does happen in our world.

Tom: Maggie, thank you very much for sitting down with me for this interview.

Maggie Thom’s Bio
Want to take an adventure beyond your fingertips?
Award winning author, Maggie Thom loves the challenge of creating a web of secrets, lies and deceit. She doesn’t want you to figure it out until the end. Author of The Caspian Wine Suspense/Thriller/Mystery Series – Captured Lies and Deceitful Truths with Split Seconds about to be published – and her other individual novels Tainted Waters (2013 Suspense/Thriller Book of the Year through Turning the Pages Magazine) and Deadly Ties. Take the roller coaster ride. It’s worth it. Get your free copy of Captured Lies.
Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…

"Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.”  Dii - TomeTender



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Share A Crooked Rickshaw

Rick Donovan is having a tough time. First a fellow Hong Kong police officer goes missing, then a friend is killed, and that's only the beginning.  Finding love amid the chaos was an unexpected bonus, then that too is in peril as the dangers spill out of control.


Share A Crooked Rickshaw (International Thriller)
By Norman Price
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1482391497
Price $10.15
268 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

"A Fascinating Story, And Very Enjoyable."

It’s the 1960s Hong Kong, and Chief Inspector Rick Donovan, of the Shaun-Shui-Po police department is leading a raid on a drug house when one of the perps, a Chinese, a killed by one of the officers. Found in the perp’s pocket is a wallet containing the warrant card of a fellow officer. He is told to look into the evidence, and attempts to contact the officer, but learns from his wife that her husband has been missing for several days. Further investigation becomes even more clouded when the officer doesn’t show up for work. Has he turned, and is working with the Triads, or have they murdered him? To make matters worse, Rick has fallen for the man’s wife, and they begin an affair.

More problems arise when gangster disguised as police set up a road check and rob an army bank run, killing the guards, then a smoke bomb is discovered on a tram, and inside is a demand for one billion American dollars, or a dirty bomb will be detonated over Hong Kong. Both seem connected to the missing officer. But everything goes awry when a typhoon approaches Hong Kong.

This was a fascinating story, and very enjoyable. The author ties the whole plot into the Rachael typhoon of the period, and works it into the plot. There was a neat twist at the end, which was totally unexpected, but I definitely liked. Highly recommended. PULP DEN

Tom Johnson

Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA