Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce Review

A brutal murder. A desperate detective. In the middle of a sinister cat and mouse game between a ruthless serial killer and the seasoned detective
desperate to put him away for good, a stalker with an unhealthy view on love may be the only person that can tip the scales in Robert Skuce’s
novel, Kiss of Death. This intense thriller explores the dark depths of humanity and showcases that not everyone in this world is good, and those
that we consider our heroes may end up being the villains of their own story. As a heartbroken father becomes a ruthless vigilante, the detective
must race to find the killer before his best friend becomes the monster he’s already starting to become. First here is the synopsis:

Homicide detective, Bruno Norcross, is called to investigate the brutal murder of a college call girl. This isn’t just any other crime scene.
Bruno has seen this scene before, only the last time, the killer got away leaving Bruno feeling as though his career is incomplete. Nobody
escapes Bruno’s grasp twice and when his nemesis arises again, it’s time to bring him in. A serial killer, only known as the Kiss of Death, is
back, only this time he made a mistake. A witness, like no other, was left behind and this witness knows the victim better than anyone.

Rosie’s stalker, Ashley Truelove knows everything about her, from what she wears to who she sees. The question isn’t can Ashley help Bruno catch
the killer, but will he? With meager and confusing clues, two known victims and time running out, Bruno realizes that the cost of bringing the
murderer to justice will be paid in blood. With the police Sergeant on his back to catch this killer and provide justice for the death of his
daughter, Bruno is racing against time. Kiss of Death only hunts occasionally and time is running out before he vanishes again. Can Bruno find
the evidence to stop him or will he escape his clutches once again?

This story had an incredible plot. A true credit to the author’s handle on the thriller genre, this story takes the readers through twists and
turns galore as they begin to question who they can trust, who the true suspects are and who can really call themselves the hero of this story.
Allies become enemies and suspects become partners as the hunt for this ruthless serial killer will take the reader into the minds of both the
delusional yet crafty killer and the respected detective who desperately wants to avenge the death of his friend’s daughter and prevent more lives
from being lost.

Now, I will say that if I were to have any critiques for this story, it would be the editing. I do feel that this story could have been improved
if an editor had been able to catch the grammatical errors in this story. While the errors didn’t deter me in my enjoyment of the story at all,
I will say that it was noticeable and with this writer’s powerful storytelling power I’d love to see a keener eye help clean up the grammar to make
this story shine even brighter. However the character development was great in this story, as each character was very human in that they suffered
from various flaws and showcased how darkness can reside in the best of us, and how we all have the power to overcome that darkness if we so choose.

 

Overall this was a fun read that I highly recommend for any psychological thriller fans out there. It’s a classic noir detective book with a 21st
century technological spin as the hunt for the Kiss of Death begins. Be sure to pick up your copies of Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce today!

Rating: 7/10

 

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Book Trailer Announcement: I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered 

I just wanted to share with you guys that my official book trailer for I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is now live on my YouTube channel. I will be posting this trailer here and on my social media feeds later but for now I hope you’ll check it out on my channel! 
http://bit.ly/2xkmQLL

Dracula Prequel To Be Adapted 

Some fun and exciting book news from author J.D. Barker:
Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to Dracul, the first prequel authorized by the estate of Bram Stoker. The film will be developed as potential directing vehicle down the line for Andy Muschietti, teamed with It producers Barbara Muschietti and Roy Lee.
Written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker, the tale is set in 1868, where a 21-year old Bram Stoker meets with an ungodly evil, which he traps in an ancient tower all the while scribbling the events that led him there. The monster origin tale just went to Putnam’s Mark Tavani in a 5-house auction brokered by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. The UK rights for Dracul were bought by Simon Taylor of Transworld and to Michel Lafon France in a pre-empt.
The film deal was brokered by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company Inc. and attorney Wayne Alexander. Paramount executive, Vanessa Joyce brought in the project and will oversee the development with Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment.

“I can’t imagine a better team to tell this story.”

– J.D. Barker

Why Should You Re-Release Old Books?

Time. 
Time has produced new innovations in the world of writing and publishing. In today’s world of publishing authors have more opportunities than ever to showcase their work without traversing through the process of traditional publishing houses. However as many self-published and traditionally published authors can agree, time allows us all to learn from our mistakes and improve ourselves and our writing. With self-publishing it is easier now than ever before to improve on our previous work.
In a month and a half, I will be releasing I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered. This is a three novella series telling the story of Lisa Etron, a seemingly innocent teenage girl with a dark persona bubbling just beneath the surface. I originally published the first novella, I Was A Teenage Killer, in 2010. This story was fun to write, but as the years have gone on i recognize so many grammatical and story based errors that the time to fix it was here. Not only have i and my skills as a writer changed and improved, but the world has changed as well. Whether its our current political climate or the tragedies of our world reshaping our views or the wisdom and strength that comes with age, this book began to feel outdated and in need of serous improvements. So i went through all of the novellas and realized this would make a great remastered novel, and so i began to work.

In the end, i think this remastered book is stronger and more character driven then it ever was before. The themes are more prevalent and the show versus tell style of writing has helped me to improve how the story is conveyed. This is something all authors can do. Our experiences and our understanding of the world can reshape how we view the past, and with the innovation that is online self-publishing it is easier than ever to strengthen the works that came before. I highly encourage any author out there to take the time to reread their books and look to see if time has given them any new insights or views that can improve their work. I hope you guys enjoyed my brief viewpoints on re-releases and book publishing. If you guys want to check out my work for free be sure to sign up for my free newsletter here on my blog, and if you guys are interested in seeing what a remastered book looks like then be sure to preorder your copies of I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered today on Amazon and soon to be available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and more!
I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756SVSGD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_wwqRzb0T6F1VC

Interview with Michael Bernhart1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an author.

A familiar story: Much like the disgruntled admen of Madison Avenue who labor in the evening over their own redemptive great works of fiction, I started on a novel in the mid-80s as an antidote to a bad professional and life situation. This may work as an escape, but it isn’t a guarantor of good literature. The result – in my case – was a peevish, angry half of a book; the hero is unlikeable – as are all the other characters, come to think of it. Thirty years later I’m still trying to salvage that book.

Capitalizing on one advantage, I’ve enjoyed a singularly rich and diverse (and lucky) life. If I were to peal out the list of places I’ve lived and jobs I’ve held it would come across as boasting. It’s not; it’s gratitude, mixed with wonder. (Dumb luck is important.) The consequence is I can draw on first-hand knowledge of life on five continents and a variety of interesting occupations.

2) What would you say is the best description for your series of books based on Max Brown?

I’ve attached the label ‘philosophical thriller’ to the series. Pretentious? Of course. There is dry/wry wit, which seems to be my forte as a writer, and a travelogue-esque element as the settings are unfamiliar – and interesting – to most readers.

3) What inspired you to create this series and delve into this genre in particular?

Evil. Each book explores a different face. Jane Austen famously said it all comes down to love and money. I disagree; there’s more. As we move up the evolutionary ladder the higher-level species show an increasing propensity for dysfunctional mayhem. Animals fight and kill for survival, either as individuals or as a species. Humans often fight for the sheer hell of it, and to their disadvantage. Why? Paradoxically, the modern religions we’ve created – notably Christianity and Islam – take as their starting point that God is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. How can a caring, ever-present, and all-powerful deity be supervising a world that’s convulsing with outright wickedness? It doesn’t square.

There’s no easy explanation for that inconsistency (called theodicy in religious debate) but I did feel some mileage might be gotten out of a closer look at the wellsprings of evil. Hence, greed, lust, ideology and acculturation are central fixtures in the novels. No answers, but if I got it right the questions may have been framed a little differently than in other novels.

4) If you could sit down for a drink with any character from your books, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Ronnie the Redoubtable Scot, a favorite of many readers. I didn’t treat Ronnie well at the end.

I’d ask Ronnie why he does what he does. He’s dedicated his life to the dangerous and underappreciated task of clearing landmines. One of those noble souls quietly trying to clean up humanity’s messes. And a wise-ass.

5) What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as an author when it comes to gaining a readership and marketing your book?

That is the biggest challenge. Each and every blessed day 2,700 new novels are pushed out on an indifferent reading public. Some of them must be good, but average sales are 250 copies, many to family, friends and the author him/herself. How do you break out of the pack? I have no idea. Writing is a losing proposition.

The big houses talk airily about quality control, but there’s little evidence they practice it (e.g., James Patterson continues to be published). I’d like to think the truly good and innovative literature is coming from the independents. The better reviewer/bloggers – like this one – provide a guide and filter but the number of their followers is typically small. 

Are these counsels of despair? Hell yes. If it weren’t for rampant narcissism no one without a signed deal would write.

6) What advice would you give to any new or aspiring authors out there?

I’d like to tell you to scram; we don’t need more competition. More seriously? Read.

7) Any plans for more books in the Max Brown series or any other books on the horizon?

A very difficult one. One of the fascinating jobs I alluded to above was directing a women’s health program in Jordan. Under the umbrella of women’s health I took a brief run at honor crimes . . . and withdrew from the field, unsuccessful. In the current Max Brown novel his wife has liver cancer which leads them to the ‘red-trade’ of organ harvesting and illegal sales. I tie this to honor crimes where victims are plundered for saleable kidneys, livers, etc. Given these topics, it’s been difficult to keep up the dry/wry wit that has received favorable comment in the past.

This is a picture of the author. Some kind folks at a new age festival captured my aura on their aura-cam. They gushed that it was an exceedingly auspicious aura, and they looked sincere when they said it. At least they didn’t ask for money.

Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World by Melanie Murphy: Review

Growing up in the digital age can be difficult. Dealing with issues that arise when growing up such as body image issues, discovering your sexuality
and more can be hampered with the added pressure of constant online scrutiny. In that vein, YouTuber turned author Melanie Murphy has written a
book that explores the important issues of modern life that she has experienced and hopes to pass her knowledge and experiences unto a growing
generation in her book, “Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World. The Irish YouTuber hopes to bring her honesty and
unique brand from her YouTube channel to a whole new audience who may be struggling in life and may get the advice or the comfort they need knowing
they are not alone in their dilemmas. Here is the official synopsis:

In her first book, Irish YouTuber Melanie Murphy shares a series of experiences from the struggle that is growing up in the digital age:
cyberbullying, dumping by text, gaining (and then losing) too much weight, having acne in a world of Instagram filters, and, most of all,
finding the strength to tackle poor mental health. From self-image struggles to important life lessons about family, friendship, love and
mindset, Fully Functioning Human (Almost) is a warm, illuminating memoir full of wit and wisdom that doubles up as a life guide for millennials.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, reviewing non-fiction works is something I’ve only recently begun doing this past year. Normally ensconced
in my office chair with a YA or horror novel, the honesty and real life experiences told in the non-fiction format is something I’ve quickly
come to enjoy and connect with, and I am happy to say no other memoir has had me as invested as Melanie Murphy’s book. The incredible wit and warmth
in which she delivers her own stories is an emotional shot to the heart, (which is a definite good thing). The stories not only allow you to connect
with the author herself, but allow you to find ways to relate to her stories and get a firmer understanding of how to best deal with these real
life situations. Whether you are a young adult struggling to come to terms with your sexuality and the perceptions of said sexuality by those around
you or your having trouble determining which friends are your lifeline and which friends are toxic, this memoir has something everyone can connect
with.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed, I cried and I smiled as I dove into the complicated world of living life while connected to
the online world. As someone who is passionate about equality in all areas of life and thinks discussions about mental health and sex and sexuality
is important to begin incorporating in our lives, this story spoke to me on so many levels. The lessons imparted in this memoir show the honest
struggle of not only our generation but of future generations to come, and I think the kindness the author showcases along with the wisdom that
comes with experience and struggle make this a must read memoir and honestly the best memoir I’ve read in 2017. If you haven’t yet, I highly
recommend you pick up a copy of Melanie Murphy’s “Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World” today!

Rating: 10/10

You can find Melanie Murphy at the following sites:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MelaNiieVideos
Twitter: @melaniietweets
Instagram: melaniiemurphy
WEBSITE: http://www.melaniemurphy.ie