#GuestPost “Perfecting ‘The Twist'” by Jeff Bond, author of “BlackQuest 40”

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A note upfront: Blackquest 40 is chock-full of twists and turns so I’ve decided telling the story of one of the biggies here — without getting specific — shouldn’t affect anyone’s reading pleasure. If you’re terrified of spoilers and prefer not to hear even the merest nugget, by all means, bookmark and return after you finish the story. 

Thrillers need plot twists like a home needs its kitchen. Writers of thrillers have to flip their readers’ expectations—often, substantially, and convincingly. My latest book, Blackquest 40, has several twists that I humbly believe deliver on this requirement. But one of them almost whiffed.

First, let me back up and describe my experience crafting “the twist” in my debut novel, The Winner Maker. There’s a large reversal smack in the middle, where you generally want one. Early beta readers of the manuscript really took the twist on the chin. Some found it jarring and unbelievable. Others felt the character involved had behaved far outside her/his established pattern.

I heard enough of this reaction that I decided to rework the twist. I sprinkled foreshadowing throughout the first half, added a few contrary notes to the offending character, then sanitized all the downstream impacts of these changes—which sometimes ends up being the thorniest part.

The next round of beta readers had no problem with the twist, and I sent the book out into the wild. Winner launched in December and, as I write this, has a 4.3 star rating on Amazon. (Sorry, shameless plug.) None of the reviewers who did have issues with the book mentioned that element at all.

Fast forward to Blackquest 40, my follow-up. I had prepared my big twist (vagueness here is intentional) with Winner in mind, planting hints liberally. I felt confident the twist wouldn’t seem to come out of left field. I emailed the manuscript around to a first group of beta readers. I got plenty of positive feedback about the manuscript in general, but the twist landed like a soggy towel.

“Yeah, sorta saw it coming, but still enjoyed it.”

“I was pretty sure something was going on there…”

A few readers said the twist had come off just right, but not enough for me to think I’d struck the right balance.

I went back to the drawing board. I didn’t remove any passage that gave the reader new, salient information about the subject in question, but there were several superficial clues I felt I could fairly zap without cheating my readers.

The next step was, again, further testing with betas. My second round of readers loved the new version — I’d tweaked other things besides the twist, of course — and I was feeling great about the book. I did a third round of betas just to be positive. Again, reaction was solid. I lined up my final proofread, shipped the manuscript off for a spiffy format, then uploaded my files to Netgalley so advance reviewers could start doing their worst. I moved on to my next project. (For more info there, see https://www.thirdchancestories.com/ — sorry, shameless plug #2.)

The early reviews were outstanding, 5 stars right down the line. People loved my protagonist Deb. Some bristled at the tech talk—unavoidably given the setting—but even these readers were enjoying the book.

Meanwhile, I was eagerly awaiting two professional reviews: one from Kirkus and another from IndieReader. These take a month or two to come in, and you never know quite when they’ll show up. Often it’s about a week before the delivery date they quote.

I was in the middle of vacation with my family, a long weekend in Toronto, when my phone dinged: Kirkus.

The review was in! I hurried with my phone to the hotel bathroom so I could read the news, which I expected to be good. Ignoring the niggling worry that my non-international Verizon plan might be racking up exorbitant roaming charges, I downloaded the file and read…

The review was, overall, positive. Definitely positive. But the reviewer had made one passing comment that stopped me from yanking the hotel hair dryer out of its wall charging unit and screaming Queen lyrics into it. A line toward the end: “Readers will likely guess one (plot twist) well before it happens, but others are less predictable.”

What?!

But I’d had dozens of readers! I’d calibrated my twist, I’d weighed one word choice against another, I’d plotted how many pages separated each mention of the element.

How could this have happened? Had I blown it?

As I sit here typing today, I still don’t know whether I just got a real smartypants of a Kirkus reviewer, or whether the twist truly was obvious as written. (A week later, the IndieReader review of the same version came in over the moon—“This book is a delight, and one readers should download right away.”) As my eyes read and reread that comment, though, I was convinced I had committed a mortal sin.

As soon as we got back from Toronto, I pulled up the Blackquest manuscript and searched for all mentions of elements pertaining to the twist. (Again, vagueness is intentional.) I considered their number, how “loud” they seemed next to whatever else surrounded them…and yeah, I thought I saw the reviewer’s point.

There were a handful of clues that weren’t integral to the characters or underlying twist, provided no tangible information to the reader. They sort of raised their hands and said, “Hey, look at me! Do you think I might be important…?” Probably I’d stuck them in during the drafting phase, remembering Winner and believing I shouldn’t shock the reader too badly.

Naturally, that very morning, my blog tour coordinator emailed to inquire — politely as ever (I cannot recommend Partners In Crime blog tours highly enough) — whether I’d mailed out review copies to bloggers who’d requested physical books.

Coming! I said. Very, very soon—I promise!

I scrambled to nix my superfluous hints. The changes ended up being minor—maybe a half dozen passages—but, still, I had to square them with everything happening downstream, make sure I wasn’t introducing some newly repetitive word, et cetera. I finished in about a day.

Next, I needed to flow these changes through to IngramSpark and Amazon, the twin behemoths I use to print my books, and get my advance copies out to those bloggers. The beauty of writing books in the Digital Age is that you’re able to pull this off — sling files around the web and implement tweaks like this on a dime.

Well, in theory.

Now is the moment in our tale when we meet The Formatter.

I have an amazing formatter. If you’re reading this, Kind Formatter, know this: you’re tremendous. You design gorgeous-looking interiors. You make no mistakes. You’re creative and clever and have impeccable style. I recently published a short story called The Cleaner (sorry, I believe that’s shameless plug #3), which is more literary in nature than the rest of the books I have out, and asked The Formatter if he could differentiate it as such through formatting. He did a fantastic job—small dignified graphics under the title and chapter heads, perfect fonts and drop caps, everything. I’ve never been anything but ga-ga over his work.

The catch? He can be a little flaky. Sometimes he’ll respond to email in seconds. Sometimes it’s a few days—and I didn’t feel like I had a few days.

I dashed off my changed manuscript file to him, explaining the urgency, asking him to charge whatever he needed for the rush-job. Advance readers were banging down my door…the local Barnes & Noble would be ordering copies from IngramSpark any day now…it was important that I get this reformatted file out as soon as possible.

That was Monday.

I checked my phone for messages throughout the day. I gave up around one a.m., having received nothing from The Formatter.

Tuesday came.

Tuesday went—with no message from The Formatter.

I sent him a poke in the morning along the lines of “I’m sure you’re swamped, sorry to be a nuisance, but would you mind…”

Twelve hours later — right as I was beginning to consider cracking open the PDF file myself and making the changes (if you’ve ever tried this yourself, you’ll understand it’s folly—deleting/changing more than a character or two annihilates your justification) — The Formatter did write back.

He explained his computer had been plagued by the Blue Screen of Death for the last few days so he’d been unable to respond. All good now. He was on it.

My heart-rate returned to normal levels. I won’t say it reassured me to learn my formatter’s laptop had suffered the blue screen of death—it seemed like BSOD peaked around Windows 95, right?—but I felt I was finally on my way to having the twist fixed.

His ETA to turn around the file was a couple days—at the very latest, he said—which by my math meant Friday night or earlier. No problem. My daughters were competing in their Michigan state gymnastics meet Saturday. It was a three hour drive, which meant we’d have to leave at 10:30 or 11:00 for my youngest to be on time for her 2:00 meet. As long as I had my new format file in to IngramSparks before the meet (we had to stay overnight; it might’ve been Monday before I could use a computer again), I would be able to pay for premium shipping and get the bloggers their books in an acceptable time-frame.

Naturally, The Formatter got me the files Saturday morning.

It was fairly early Saturday, though, and I figured I could make it. I moused through the file just to confirm everything was perfect…which it always is from The Formatter…except that this time, on the last change I’d submitted, there was an extra period.

You MUST be kidding.

I dashed off a note to The Formatter, explaining. I thought he might be able to zap the mistake and beam the file right back, but he wasn’t in reply-in-thirty-second mode.

I waited…and waited…and packed my daughters’ leotards and warm-ups and flip-flops for their meet…tracked down all the hair ties and arcane bun paraphernalia my wife uses to do their hair…(that’s very important, if you’re ever a gymnastics parent)…and waited…

It was 10:15. We had to hit the road or my daughter was going to miss her state meet.

Giving up on The Formatter, I decided I could probably delete a period without the whole PDF file collapsing to gobbledygook. I opened my freebie PDF editor, searched for that double period, backspaced over it, and saved.

The file looked fine.

Then I uploaded to IngramSparks, viewed the preview, accepted the preview, and ordered enough paperbacks for my antsy bloggers — on rush delivery, arriving as soon as possible. I’d be okay with advance readers. Barnes & Noble could order copies for my signing whenever they wanted—and receive the newer, less-obvious version.

Whew. I loaded up the car and off we went. I hadn’t forgotten the leotards, the bun supplies, or either of the girls’ special hair ribbons. Traffic was light. My daughter had a great meet.

I did forget the overnight bag, though. We had to buy toothpaste and pajamas at some Target off the interstate.

~~~

Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training.BlackQuest 40 cover

Her company’s top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.

Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.

Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What’s the worst that could happen?

Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour — Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart-drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.

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Jeff BondAbout Jeff Bond

 

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:

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#BookTour “BLACKQUEST 40” by Jeff Bond

Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond Banner~~~

Synopsis:

Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond

Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training.

Her company’s top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.

Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.

Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What’s the worst that could happen?

Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour – Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart-drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.

Praise for Blackquest 40:

“Deb’s first-person narrative is brisk, gleefully snarky, and filled with indelible metaphors… A clever, spirited tale with a brainy, nimble heroine at the helm.”
~ Kirkus Review

“Bond weaves an entertaining story filled with deceit, robots, Russians, and tech entrepreneurs that all combine to give the reader a reason to flip pages furiously to find out what might happen next… BLACKQUEST 40 sparkles with imagination. Code flies from keyboards, setting off ingenious flying devices, hatching plots and subplots and, ultimately, giving heroes the chance to help the good guys win. This book is a delight, and one readers should download right away.”
~ IndieReader’s 5 star review

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Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Jeff Bond books

Publication Date: May 15th, 2019

Number of Pages: 348

ISBN:9781732255227

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

I am in the middle of solving homelessness when my boss raps his knuckles on my cubicle border. I know it’s Paul – my eyes stay on the computer monitor, what with an intractable social ill hanging in the balance – by the timid tap… tap-tap pattern. Also the smell. Paul eats McDonald’s every morning for breakfast. He’s a Sausage McGriddle man.

“Deb, we’re heading up to the meeting – “

“Busy.” I squint around the San Francisco street map on-screen, mousing over a blinking dot labeled Wanda. She isn’t moving. None of them are moving.

Paul sighs. “We’re all busy. But it’s a Company-All, so if you – “

“Is it a Susan meeting?”

“No. It’s the kickoff for Blackquest 40.”

“Means nothing to me.” I click Wanda. Why aren’t they moving? Database problem?

Paul says the meeting invite should have explained everything. Blackquest 40 is a training exercise, mandatory for every employee in the company.

I look up and see that, indeed, he has the whole team in tow. Jared in his My Code Can’t Fix Your Stupid trucker hat. Minosh fingering his spiral-bound notebook, peeking at a clock. They are watching me – all 5’2″ if you count the platinum spikes, and a decade younger than them – like zoo visitors wondering if the glass is thick enough around this freak-colored poison frog.

“Susan hired me,” I say, invoking our rockstar CEO again. “Susan said I don’t have to participate in anything I don’t believe in.”

“Look, this project – “

“Is corporate training. High on my list of things to not believe in.”

With that, I pop over to the log file, which confirms my worst fear: the Carebnb database isn’t refreshing. The last GPS coordinates are from eight minutes ago, meaning Wanda and every other unhoused person on that map is misplaced.

Ugh.

The timing is brutal. Today is my launch, the day I am supposed to start demonstrating to all the venture capitalists not funding my side project that a little technology plus basic human decency can equal disruptive positive change.

Across the city, 137 unhoused San Franciscans are wearing 137 smart wristbands, produced at great expense by a local micro-manufacture co-op, in the hopes of connecting with a beta host. I signed up 344 hosts, but that number is dicey because many I bullied into joining. Some will have uninstalled the Carebnb app, not anticipating that I’ll soon be combing my list for chicken-outs and visiting their apartments to measure, then post on social media, just how many square feet of covered living space they waste nightly.

My brain races for solutions, but Paul’s voice and eau de McGriddle distract me. He’s explaining that Susan is out of pocket tying up loose ends in Davos, that Carter Kotanchek has the ball until –

“Okay Paul, honestly?” I click over to the T server, the probable source of my issue. “There is no combination of words or faux-words you can say that will get me off this workstation.”

“You’re the principal software architect, Deb,” he says. “We need you. I’m still in the dark myself, but I’m hearing Blackquest 40 is enormous.”

My mouth twists. “Getting colder.”

Paul hates managing me. I’m sure he goes home every night to Li Wei, his former-secretary-now-wife, and curses Susan for poaching me away from Google.

Now, as his eyes roam my workspace – hemp satchel, bin of droid Hot Wheels, Polarity of the Universe toggle currently set to Amoral, my toes in their sandals (he has a pervy thing for my feet) – his face drops another shade closer to dough.

He looks at my screen. “How much time are you spending on Carebnb?”

“Twenty-five percent, just like my contract says.” I manage to keep a straight face.

It’s a required Company-All. You don’t badge in, you lose network privileges. It would set you back.”

“You can void that.”

“I can.” Paul taps his ample jowls, thoughtfully paternal. “But I won’t.”

I’ve been working throughout our exchange, deciphering error messages, rebooting, tweaking this and that… nothing is helping.

I grit my teeth. Resetting my network privileges would be a big, sticky wad of red tape.

“Fine,” I say, “I’ll do the meeting. But I am still not participating in this Blockquest deal.”

“Blackquest.”

“Whatever.” I can bring my laptop and troubleshoot from the conference room. “Our queue is about ten miles long – whose bright idea was some lame time-suck training?”

Paul grimaces. “Carter is driving it.”

Carter Kotanchek, our chief financial officer, is warring with Paul about the makeup of the Codewise Solutions workforce. Paul favors programmers in keeping with our reputation as the leading machine-learning and optimization company on the planet.

Carter wants more salespeople and has a knack for finding third-party vendors who sport the same Gatsby slickback he does. Inexplicably, Carter is winning.

The engineers behind Paul knock in place like pens in a mug, waiting.

I flop my wrist toward the elevators. “Go, go – I’ll catch up. Two minutes.”

They go. Paul lowers his gaze in a final I know you will choose wisely appeal.

I focus on my screen with a wonderfully McGriddle-free breath, then try refreshing the database.

DENIED: CONNECTIVITY ERROR 612.

I rejigger a script and try again.

DENIED: CONNECTIVITY ERROR 612.

Same error every time.

This is infuriating. Have I been found out? I never officially informed Paul about routing Carebnb’s unhoused-person GPS data through T, Codewise’s least busy server. Did he shut me down without telling me? Coincidentally on my most important day of the year?

No way. Paul would write a huffy email or file a ticket. He won’t refill our departmental stash of teabags without paperwork.

My calendar bleeps. YOU HAVE NOT BADGED INTO BLACKQUEST 40 KICKOFF (ORGANIZER: CARTER K.); NETWORK PRIVILEGES WILL RESET IN 4 MINUTES.

I stand and grab my laptop, then remember it doesn’t have the software to access the T server. I won’t be able to troubleshoot during the meeting after all. I’ll be forced to sit there and eat an hour’s worth of corporate mumbo-jumbo.

“Raven!” I call over my shoulder.

My trusty solar-powered quadcopter perks up. She hums around to my sightline, her underside dome blipping green to indicate her attention.

“Attend meeting in conference room 6-A. Badge in. Watch, back row. Record.”

Raven processes each command using natural language algorithms I wrote in grad school, then lowers her claw – repurposed off a junked arcade game – to accept my keycard.

As the drone whispers up the hall, I feel a twinge of unease. She’s attended meetings in my stead before but never on a different floor. She will need to push a button, read a floor indicator, possibly accommodate human riders… logic I have given her but not thoroughly stress-tested. It’s asking a lot.

I work another five minutes without success.

Air blasts through my nostrils.

I need eyes on a live wristband.

I grab the phone and dial Cecil, my go-to trial user. Cecil has known me since I was a baby, when Mom would push me around in her cart, snuggled in among dumpster scraps and Styrofoam peanuts. Cecil walked me through the roughest part of the city every day of second grade, and taught me the nutcracker choke after a kid pushed a shiv through my septum in fifth.

“Lil Deb, yo,” he answers in a deep baritone.

“Cec! Hey Cec, I’m seeing weirdness on my end and I need to know if you – “

“How’s your mom?”

“Oh, she’s cool, I talked to the orderlies and – “

“They’re keeping her meds straight?”

“No no, yeah, it’s all good,” I say – Cecil is so unfailingly polite you have to move him along sometimes – “listen, what are you seeing with Carebnb? Is your wristband working?”

“Think so.”

“Green light?”

“Yep.”

“Map of available host beds showing up?”

“Yep.”

“How many hosts in range? My database wonked and I gotta know if the problem is local or if peer-to-peer transfers are broken too.”

A guttural breath over the line. “English, Deb. Regular English please.”

I grip the keyboard tray, slow myself down. “Could we possibly meet? I think I have to see the wristband myself to diagnose this. Sorry, I hate to inconvenience you.”

“I’m homeless. Where else I gotta go.”

“Right. How about our usual spot, say twenty minutes?”

Before he can respond, the call drops. Bzzzzzzzzzz.

I clench my jaw and redial.

NO SERVICE.

I stand and waggle my phone outside my cube, I walk to the window, I glare at the Verizon logo and telepathically threaten to hack their transceivers to mush if they don’t find me a signal.

Nada.

I plunk back down. I’m contemplating flipping my Polarity of the Universe toggle to Evil when a tinny sound announces the presence of a new window on my monitor: Raven’s livestream.

She made it up to the Blackquest kickoff meeting. Atta girl. I resize the window to span my entire screen and watch as the big conference room comes into focus.

The Company-All is underway. Carter Kotanchek stands at the podium in a dapper summer-weight suit. Raven’s camera won’t win any TechCrunch awards, but Carter’s teeth still gleam from the middle of a plastic grin.

“Like y’t’meet Jim Dawson,” he says, introducing a stone-faced man in chunky glasses. “Jim here runs Elite Development, the company that will be facilitating Blackquest 40. Guys are doing phenomenal stuff in a new space called Extreme Readiness. Helping organizations build capability to complete projects of extreme complexity, requiring extreme teamwork, on extreme deadlines. So far they’ve been working with high-leverage government agencies, paramilitary, et cetera. We, ladies and gents, are fortunate enough to be corporate client number one.”

Dawson, in a bland accent – Ohio? Indiana? – thanks Carter and says he’s pleased to be here today. Excited for our shared journey.

Gag. So not participating.

As my focus returns to Carebnb, I groan at the ceiling. I need to test a wristband, but if I can’t meet Cecil… hmm. I have a few spares lying around, but none are initialized.

I’m figuring how long initialization would take – and how true a read I’d get from a wristband not in the field – when I hear something that stops me cold.

“… campus quarantine and data blockade will remain in place for the duration of Blackquest 40. If you absolutely require outside contact, in case of emergency or vital family obligation, a protocol exists… “

Wait, data blockade? I rewind Raven’s feed and replay the last fifteen seconds. Elite Development, in the name of “improved focus and personal efficiency,” is collecting every cellphone in the building and blocking all inbound-outbound internet traffic.

I feel slight queasiness at the authoritarianism of the whole setup, but mostly relief. Because now I get it. These jerks shut down T. They killed my call. Probably they’re using some military-grade antenna to zap cellular signals, and a simple software block on the servers.

And that won’t stop me.

***

Excerpt from Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond. Copyright © 2019 by Bond. Reproduced with permission from Bond. All rights reserved.

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Jeff BondAuthor Bio:

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

 

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
jeffbondbooks.com | BookBub | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Enter Giveaway!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 13, 2019 and runs through July 15, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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#BlogTour “The Red Ledger #7” by Meredith Wild

The Red Ledger #7
by Meredith Wild 
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author

Release Date: 11th June 2019
Genre: Suspense/thriller

The Red Ledger, a binge-worthy suspense/thriller series with Wild’s 
signature erotic twist
 
The Red Ledger Series reading order

#TheRedLedger  #meredithwild #waterhousepress
#barenakedwords

SynopsisNo one else can stop them…
I’ve never loved Tristan more. I’ve never trusted him less. Is it murder in his eyes or just jealousy when he insists we’ll find answers in Boston, headquarters of one of our greatest enemies and home to the man I left back in Rio?
I haven’t forgotten Kolt’s betrayal nor the blood that’s already been spilled between our families. Inviting him back into my life with the promise of settling our unfinished business is a dangerous gamble that could end in more bloodshed.
But as his family’s twisted plan starts to unfold, nothing can prepare me for the horror of what will happen if I do nothing. More people will die, and every death will serve a dark purpose. Tristan and I may be an army of two, but one thing is certain—if we can’t save them, no one will.

Buy The Book

“Meredith Wild effortlessly moves into the suspense genre, joining the ranks of James Patterson and Robert Ludlum. Thrilling, suspenseful and heart-stopping!”

-New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre
“The Red Ledger is Wild’s most daring, suspenseful, and brilliantly executed work to date.”
-USA Today bestseller Angel Payne

Start the Series Today!
Red Ledger Part 1 is free. 

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2FcXYJG

Download books 1 – 3 as a bundle  ~~~
Reborn: The Red Ledger (Vol 1)~~~

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JiXjVJ
Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2pDXJxi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2FdXmDx
iBooks: https://apple.co/2oEC4EN
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2F9aUAd
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FboKlv~~~

Meet The Author

Meredith Wild is a #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author. After publishing her debut novel Hardwired in September 2013, Wild used her ten years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to push the boundaries of her “self-published” status, becoming stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains nationwide and forging relationships with the major retailers.

In 2014, Wild founded her own imprint, Waterhouse Press, under which she hit No. 1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. She has been featured on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, the New York TimesThe Hollywood ReporterPublishers Weekly, and The Examiner. Her foreign rights have been sold in over 20 languages.
Living on Florida’s Gulf Coast with her husband and three children, she refers to herself as a techie, whiskey appreciator, and shameless sun worshipper. Find out more about what projects she’s working on next at www.meredithwild.com.
Social Media Links

 

#BlogTour “Reborn: The Red Ledger (Vol 1)” by Meredith Wild

This is where it all began!

Reborn: The Red Ledger Series (Vol 1)

The Red Ledger, is the award winning & binge-worthy suspense/thriller series with Meredith Wild’s signature erotic twist.

by Meredith Wild

Genre: Suspense/thriller

The Red Ledger Series reading order

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GR_RebornTBR

#Reborn #meredithwild #waterhousepress #BlogTourBoost

Synopsis
He’s death for hire…Some people measure life in hours. Days. Weeks. I measure mine in kills. A covert military mission gone wrong robbed me of my memory and any link to my past. This is my existence now. I execute and survive. Nothing more, nothing less. I was ready to write Isabel Foster’s name in my ledger of unfortunate souls until she uttered the one word that could stop the bullet meant for her. My name.
She knows my face. She knows me. She’s the key to the memories I’m not sure I want back. Now nothing is simple. I still have a job to do, and my soul isn’t worth saving. I’m not the man she thinks I am. I can’t love her. And sparing her life puts us both in the crosshairs.

  Reborn: The Red Ledger (books 1-3 bundle)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JiXjVJ
Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2pDXJxi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2FdXmDx
iBooks: https://apple.co/2oEC4EN
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2F9aUAd
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FboKlv

Reviews for Reborn

A non-stop thrill ride packed with heat that will leave you gasping for more.” 
(USA Today Bestseller Meghan March)

“The Red Ledger is Wild’s most daring, suspenseful, and brilliantly executed work to date.” 
(USA Today Bestseller Angel Payne)

“Meredith Wild effortlessly moves into the suspense genre, joining the ranks of James Patterson and Robert Ludlum. Thrilling, suspenseful and heart-stopping!” 
(NYT Bestseller Alessandra Torre)



Meet The Author

 

Meredith Wild is a #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author. After publishing her debut novel Hardwired in September 2013, Wild used her ten years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to push the boundaries of her “self-published” status, becoming stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains nationwide and forging relationships with the major retailers.
In 2014, Wild founded her own imprint, Waterhouse Press, under which she hit No. 1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. She has been featured on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, the New York TimesThe Hollywood ReporterPublishers Weekly, and The Examiner. Her foreign rights have been sold in over 20 languages.
Living on Florida’s Gulf Coast with her husband and three children, she refers to herself as a techie, whiskey appreciator, and shameless sun worshipper. Find out more about what projects she’s working on next at www.meredithwild.com.
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#BlogTour “The Bloodstone Series” by Chris Karlsen

Title: The Bloodstone Series
Author: Chris Karlsen
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Thriller

Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

Three Exciting and thrilling stories which follow the Victorian detective, Rudyard Bloodstone.

Silk:

It is the time of Jack the Ripper, the widowed Queen Victoria sits on the throne of England. The whole of London is on edge wondering when or where Jack will kill next. The Palace, Parliament, and the press are demanding the police do more to find him. In another part of London, rough-around-the-edges war hero, Metropolitan Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone has his own serial killer to find. Inter departmental rivalries, politics, and little evidence to go on hamper the investigation at every turn. In a battle of wills, Bloodstone presses forward following his instincts in spite of the obstacles.

Snifter of Death:

The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner. They had a sexual pervert loose terrifying women. Far more serious were the murders of influential me, which appeared random with little in common other than they were all killed by arsenic poisoning. Never had Bloodstone and his partner had cases with so little evidence. On top of working the difficult murders, Rudyard has a new lady who captured his heart….an clever, beautiful, and talented lady with a scandalous past.

Choosing Heart or Home:

The widowed Queen Victoria reigns over an empire on which “the sun never sets.” London is bright with holiday decorations. Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has grown homesick for his Wales and his family there. He makes plans to see his parents and thinks it is the perfect time to introduce Honeysuckle Flowers, the lovely actress he adores. Once home, nothing goes as he envisioned. His mother disapproves of Honeysuckle’s profession and tells Rudyard he is welcome but not his lady. He must choose between the woman who owns his heart and home and the family he loves

Tweet: #BlogTour The Bloodstone Series By @AuthorCKarlsen Buy the series Box Set today!! http://bit.ly/2JxtfIK #Historicalfiction #Ilovereading #TheShareSquad @BuoniAmiciPress

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.

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#Review “Strong As Steel (Caitlin Strong Novels Book 10)” by Jon Land

Strong As Steel by Jon Land

on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019

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5/5 Stars!

Had I known what I was in for with Strong as Steel, I would have rested up, taken a few deep breaths and prepared myself… because this read hits the ground running and all I could do was… run with it.

While assisting with serving a simple search warrant, fifth-generation Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong ends up in a gun-battle in a downtown Dallas high-rise.

The staff of the firm where Caitlin was headed lies in pools of blood, and the Ranger puts down the four anonymous assassins.

A young girl, proud to be the ring bearer as her parents finally marry, walks up the church aisle focused on her special task, and is the only one to survive the massacre which takes place inside the church.

A man standing on the gallows awaiting execution for murderous crimes gets a last-minute stay-of-execution… from his men and an old friend in a rescue mission that shook an entire military prison.

And all this is in the first fifty pages.

These scenes link past and present, and also connect to a case Caitlin’s father, Ranger Jim Strong, handled twenty-five years past when she was a teenage girl.

Something stolen and hidden two-and-a-half decades ago has resurfaced again, no less coveted and priced at as many lives as it takes to recover it.

And it takes a lot of lives. A lot.

Though this is the tenth book in the Caitlin Strong series and the first I’ve read by this author, I jumped right in and didn’t feel lost or as if I was missing something.

Is there history? Of course.

But enough of the back story is woven through this read to understand connections, bonds, and situations.

And the characters.

The women of Strong as Steel are well-written, complex women of strength.

Despite being on opposite sides of the law, Caitlin Strong and Luna Diaz Delgado and her daughter, Nola, share a mutual respect. They’ll find out before the story ends they share something else as Luna has been a part of this case since Jim Strong caught it.

It’s also telling that the men in this read, all committed to their missions, despite the questionable legalities involved, see the women as equals… if not legends.

There’s a thought-provoking plot that doesn’t just question how far is too far, but also does the ultimate good exist or is it as corrupt as the evil it claims to battle.

Attention to detail is on point. Little world-building is needed when history is the anchor.

The story’s climax is intense and breath-taking, and so well-written I could almost feel the flicker of the flames.

Readers of crime fiction, suspense, and police procedurals will fall right into this read, but it’s international overtones, military precision, and the western flare of the Texas Rangers will hook many others as well. If new to the series like myself, you’ll find yourself in the same predicament—finding time to read the first nine books in the series!

Don’t miss out on Strong as Steel!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

~~~

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Forge Books

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676)

Series: Caitlin Strong #10

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

 

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BookTour “Strong As Steel (Caitlin Strong Novels Book 10)” by Jon Land

Strong As Steel by Jon Land

on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019

~~~

Synopsis:

Strong As Steel by Jon Land

Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

~~~

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Forge Books

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676)

Series: Caitlin Strong #10

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1 Dallas, Texas “You want to tell me what I’m doing here again?” Caitlin Strong said to Captain Bub McNelly of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division. McNelly, who favored string ties and shiny cowboy boots, turned to the quartet of figures in equally shiny windbreakers milling behind him in the makeshift staging area, who looked more like businessmen. Caitlin had heard he was a descendant of the famed Texas Ranger captain Leander McNeely, a man who’d once told the whole of the U.S. government to go to hell, but wasn’t too keen on the freedom with which Rangers still operated today. “Special Response Teams hang their hat on being multi-jurisdictional,” McNelly told her. “Consider yourself the representative Ranger.” “Since when does an SRT look more comfortable holding briefcases than firearms?” “I need to tell you that computers are the real weapons these days?” McNelly asked her. “And those boys accompanying us are forensic experts who know how to fire back.” “Just two guns, yours and mine, backing them up,” Caitlin noted. “I don’t need a computer to do the math, Ranger,” McNelly said, while the four techs wearing windbreakers hovered behind them in front of the elevator. “You and I serve the warrant on the geek squad upstairs and let the experts do their thing with brains instead of bullets. How hard can it be?” They were about to serve a search warrant on an information technology firm on the 42nd floor of the Chase Tower, the city’s tallest building. Caitlin had served plenty of more “traditional” search warrants in her time on the likes of biker gangs, drug dealers, and various other suspects. The kind of service that found her backed up by guns and plenty of them, instead of briefcases and backpacks. A chime sounded ahead of the elevator door sliding open. “In my experience,” Caitlin said, stepping in first to position herself so the door didn’t close again before the SRT computer forensics techs were inside, “it pays to have brains and bullets.” McNelly smiled thinly. “That’s why you’re here, Ranger. You were specifically requested for the job.” “By who?” “I don’t know. Orders came from the top down. The cab began its ascent. If this were a Ranger operation, as opposed to CID, Caitlin would have insisted on securing the space in question prior to bringing up the civilians. Because that was clearly what these personnel in ill-fitting windbreakers pulled from a rack were. Civilians. “Get your warrant ready, Captain,” she told McNelly, as the cab whisked past the floors between “L” and “42.” He flapped the tri-folded document I the air between them. “Got it right here.” “What’s CTP stand for again?” Caitlin asked, referring to the acronym of the company on which they were about to serve the warrant. “Communications Technology Providers. I thought I told you that.” “Maybe you did, but you never told me what the company did to get on the Criminal Investigation Division’s radar. I’m guessing that’s because somebody ordered you to take me along for the ride. All well and good in this political world we live in, until something goes bad.” McNelly flashed Caitlin a smirk, as a chime sounded to indicate the elevator had reached its desired floor. “I can tell you this much, Ranger. The suspects we’re after here don’t know a gun from their own assholes. Worst thing they can do is infect us with a computer virus.” He led the way through the open cab door, without waiting for Caitlin to respond. She exited next, followed in a tight bunch by those four computer techs in their windbreakers which made it look like they’d stuck their arms through Hefty bags. The doors along the hall were uniformly glass, sleek and modern, some frosted. According to the building layout Caitlin had studied, Communications Technology Providers occupied a pair of adjoining office suites adding up to nearly five thousand square feet in total. One was a corner office, meaning at least a portion of those suites would enjoy wraparound windows and plenty of natural light. Caitlin had just reflexively shoved her jacket back behind the holster housing her SIG Sauer P-226 nine-millimeter pistol, when the glass double-door entrance to Communications Technology Providers ruptured behind a fusillade of gunfire. *** Excerpt from Strong As Steel by Jon Land. Copyright © 2019 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Jon Land Jon Land is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the last of which, STRONG TO THE BONE, won both the 2017 American Book Fest and 2018 International Book Award for Best Mystery. The next title in the series, STRONG AS STEEL, will be published in April. MANUSCRIPT FOR marked his second effort writing as Jessica Fletcher for the MURDER, SHE WROTE series, and he has also teamed with Heather Graham for a new sci-fi series starting with THE RISING. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Catch Up With Our Jon Land at: jonlandbooks.com, Goodreads, Twitter @jondland, & Facebook!

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Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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