Matthew Horn – Nothing Good is Free


About this Book

Detective Martell of the Chicago Police Department has a big problem on his hands when he discovers a connection between a recent drug bust and a case he worked on in the ’80s. Not sure if he can trust his peers, Martell goes to the one person he knows he can count on: Jeff Scott.

Jeff has taken over as the city’s vigilante after Jim, his predecessor, was killed in a drug bust. Toward the end, Jim’s demeanor took a turn for the worse as he became more violent in his work and went after bigger thugs, which ultimately led to his untimely demise. The last thing Jeff wants is to let a life of violence get the better of him and end up like Jim. So, in a pursuit to avoid the same destiny as his mentor, he seeks the truth about Jim and the life he led before the two joined forces.

In his heart, Jeff knows right from wrong, but in his work, the distinction isn’t always clear. He doesn’t want to let the vigilante lifestyle take him over, but he has responsibilities: to look out for the little guys.

Being the city’s vigilante, however, becomes a bit more complicated after he’s spotted doing what he does best. An assignment from Martell puts him under the microscope of the Chicago Police Department. Vigilante work is supposed to go unnoticed as Jeff intends to stay anonymous to the public and criminals alike…

…but now he’s gotten himself noticed—and in a very big way.

His do-gooder, crime-fighting ways put him in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he has the Chicago Police Department on his trail.

To complicate matters further, when he isn’t wearing the vigilante suit, he’s trying to maintain a relationship with his girlfriend. But now her new job is taking up all her time, just when Jeff needs her most. He fears he’ll lose her to her hectic schedule and a schmoozing boss, and the only way to make things right is to be the best vigilante that he can be.

To add to the mess Jeff has gotten himself into, there is a new vigilante in town—and it isn’t Jeff. Now, the only question is…

Will this new vigilante work for good or for evil?

Title: Nothing Good is Free: The Good Fight Sequel
Author: Matthew Horn
Publisher: Brighton Publishing, LLC
Publish Date: November 2012

The Interview

I’m excited to have Matthew back at FCB with his new book, Nothing Good is Free. This time I asked Matthew questions more about this series and his character, Jeff.

FCB: What prompted you to want to write The Good Fight and Nothing Good is Free?

Matthew: My inspiration for The Good Fight came while listening to a speaker at the 2009 Indiana Christian Youth Convention. I remember him talking about our good fight, and suddenly I had a desire to write a book about a young hero coming of age with the help of a mentor. After passing the idea by my wife she let me know that I should add some conflict with the mentor to freshen the idea up a bit. The result was Jim McMillan and I think it couldn’t have turned out any better. When I got to the end of The Good Fight it just seemed right to leave it open. I didn’t think the story was done yet. What came next was Nothing Good is Free which really gave my hero, Jeff, a chance to shine on his own without a mentor. I wanted him to experience some of the things that caused his mentor to turn away from what he knew to be right. It was a lot to fun to see Jeff go through those things and find out what kind of person he would be at the end.

FCB: Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Matthew: At the start of The Good Fight, yes. I loosely based Jeff and Brooke off of my wife and I. Their relationship in terms of how they interact is similar to my wife and mine, but as the story has progressed now into two books and hopefully three by the end of next year, everyone has taken on a personality that is uniquely their own. My wife gave birth to our first child in January 2012 and it has been amazing to watch our little girl’s personality develop over this first year. I think my characters have done the same thing. They were born based off of an idea of people I knew, but since creation have developed their own way of thinking and acting. It’s a really neat thing an author gets to go through with his characters as time goes on.

FCB: What is the biggest challenge in writing a story like Nothing Good is Free?

Matthew: I think there were two major challenges of about equal size. First, there just aren’t crimes out there that haven’t already been written about hundreds of times. It’s a genre that just doesn’t have a lot that is fresh. It can be really hard to come up with an idea for a crime that readers will think is unique. In Nothing Good is Free I really tried to not center the storyline on the crime. It’s the rest of the story this is so unique. Secondly, keeping things based in reality is a must for me. These stories are dangerously close to a “comic” style of story. I don’t want Jeff flying or using lasers, etc. He’s a regular guy that has had some good training and has found some neat things to wear and use in case of trouble. I do want the story to be fun and almost dreamlike, but achieving that while at the same time keeping Jeff grounded is a major task.

FCB: What’s in store for Jeff in the future?

Matthew: Jeff will return in The Price We Pay which I hope to have in paperback by the end of next year. Brooke and Detective Martell will be there along with him as they deal with the repercussions of their actions from Nothing Good is Free. It will be a great ending to the trilogy, and will incorporate some things that I think readers won’t see coming. I’m about halfway through it now and just can’t wait to see what readers think about it.
FCB: Do you have any other projects in the works?

Matthew:I must have 10 other ideas going right now. I’ve got a sci-fi that I’m sort of co-writing with my father, a zombie apacolypse story, another thriller, an epic fantasy trilogy, etc. I really don’t want to always write one genre and I try to write down all of the ideas that come to me. Hopefully I’ll get time in this life to get them all down on paper. I would love to start another storyline with Jeff and Brooke, but I haven’t been able to outline anything yet.

FCB: After reading this book, I’m excited to see what’s in store for Jeff and Brooke.
If you want to know more about Matthew Horn check out his website http://matthewrhorn.com/index.htm You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.


My Review

Having read book one in the series the first thing I noticed in this book was a maturity in the author’s writing, this story just flowed better than book one and the characters seemed to have more depth than in book one.  I also enjoyed Jeff’s development as a person. In this story he’s more than the introverted loner training to be the city’s next vigilante, he wants to help people, but also is becoming a successful businessman. The author did a nice job with portraying relationship issues through Brooke and Jeff.

The storyline was stronger in this book as well. I liked Detective Martell, he plays a great supporting role in the story. Although, he appeared in book one, here you know where he stands. There is a nice “whodunit” perspective to the story that the author allows the reader to follow the clues along with the characters.

There seemed to be less violence in this book than the first, much of that is due to Jeff’s perspective of his role as the city’s vigilante. There is more of a spiritual aspect to this book where both Jeff and Brooke reference church and prayer. Yet it is not overtly Christian.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an adventure that’s has a somewhat “super hero” aspect to it, although Jeff doesn’t leap tall buildings.

Disclaimer: I did receive this book from the author, but was under no obligation to give anything but my honest opinion.

 

The Give Away

I’ll be giving away an e-copy of this fun adventure, so leave a comment I’ll pick a winner on March 31st.

Firefly Island – Lisa Wingate



About the Book

At thirty-four, congressional staffer Mallory Hale is about to embark on an adventure completely off the map. After a whirlwind romance, she is hopelessly in love with two men–fortunately, they’re related. Daniel Everson and his little boy, Nick, are a package deal, and Mallory suddenly can’t imagine her future without them.

Mallory couldn’t be more shocked when Daniel asks her to marry him, move to Texas, and form a family with him and motherless Nick. The idea is both thrilling and terrifying.

Mallory takes a leap of faith and begins a sweet, mishap-filled journey into ranch living, Moses Lake society, and a marriage that at times reminds her of the mail-order-bride stories. But despite the wild adventure of her new life, she discovers secrets and questions beneath her rosy new life. Can she find answers on Firefly Island, a little chunk of property just off the lakeshore, where mysterious lights glisten at night?

Read a Three – chapter excerpt of Firefly Island on Lisa’s Reader’s page here: http://on.fb.me/Vj5q85

 

The Interview

I would like to welcome Lisa Wingate to FCB!LisaWingatepubpic

FCB: When you were a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up

Lisa: As long as I remember, I wanted to be a writer. There were two early defining moments for me.
I was a preschooler when we had a family gathering and my older brother came home from school with a blue ribbon stapled to his Bee Under the Sea story. Everyone listened while he read his story to us. A light turned on in my brain. ‘You can get attention with your writing. You can get a ribbon for your writing.’ You always want to do what your older sib can do, of course. Brandon taught me to read and write those stories in my mind and I was offering to sell my writing to my relatives before I started school.
A first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhart picked up my Bear Cave story one day, saying, “You are a wonderful writer.” Then she read it to the class and when the bear went into the cave everyone looked at me wondering what happens next. I wrote sequels to the story for days or weeks.
You believe what your teacher tells you, of course. I kept writing from that day to this.  I have gotten attention and recognition and a few ‘blue ribbons’, too, so it’s been a dream come true! I was able to get in touch with that precious teacher years after she had retired and thank her for the inspiration. Thank your teacher today!
FCB: We see a lot of advice out there for writers, but what advice would you give someone like me, who enjoys reading and writing reviews on a book? What makes a good review?
Lisa: It goes without saying that a review should be honest, but beyond that, I think a review is best when it answers the question other readers have: Would I like this book and why or why not? The reader wants to know a little about the story, but not too much. The review shouldn’t be a “spoiler” but it should tell enough to interest a reader.
Readers like to know what characters they might relate to and how the book will live on in the reviewer’s mind.  What would a reader take away from the story? For example would the novel be interesting to a grieving person, a person who was  close to a grandmother, who is struggling with empty nesting or with forgiving a neglectful parent, etc.
A good reviewer looks for elements that stand out in the book. These are all things that can be discussed if they are features of the novel: Are there moments of LOL or that tug at  other emotions? Great descriptions that take you right to the time and place, that you can see, feel, taste, smell? Lots of action and conversation vs. pages of narrative? A plot with plenty of action throughout the whole story? An attention-grabbing opening? Are there noteworthy, beautiful phrases and sentences, anything inspiring? Did it keep you reading and turning pages to find out what happens? And, was there a satisfying ending or maybe a surprise ending?
And if the book left you wanting to read more of this author’s work, that’s a thing readers want to know and music to an author’s ears.
FCB: Thanks so much Lisa for taking a few minutes from your busy schedule to share a little about yourself. And yes, teachers are so important and at least in California really struggling. If you want to learn more about Lisa visit her website at: http://www.lisawingate.com/

My Review

This story started out a little slow for me. I tend to read fast paced, dead bodies in the first two pages types of books, this is not that type of story. But what I found, is a story about life from the perspective of Mallory Hale,  a Washington up and comer who falls head over heels for Daniel Webster Everson and his young son, Nick.

There is so much to enjoy about this story. Mallory is the baby of her family and has some growing up to do as a new wife and instant mother. Not only is she use to getting her own way, but she’s use to a certain amount of pampering. When the newly formed Everson family move to Moses Lake Mallory is in for a rude awakening about life. Some of the things she faces made me laugh while her developing maternal feelings and relationship with Nick are sweet. You add the quirky citizens of Moses lake and you get several funny moments.

The story not only dealt with real life issues that a city girl faces moving to the rural Texas but you have the mysterious boss, Jack West and the disappearance of his second wife and stepson. I enjoyed  trying to figure out the truth about Jack right along with Mallory.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about life. If you are an adrenaline junkie that needs super fast paced, action packed stories this probably wouldn’t be the book for you.

Disclaimer: I did receive this book from the author, but was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.

If you found my review helpful please click “yes” on Amazon – Thanks so for stopping by!

The Give Away

For one lucky winner you will get a copy of Lisa’s new book, Firefly Island. Leave a comment and on March 31 I’ll pick a winner!

 

A Duke’s Promise – Jamie Carie


About this Book

From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen — Italy and the marble caves of Carrara — but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other — a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.

 

My Review

I found this a very enjoyable read. The story opens just before Alexandria and Gabriel’s wedding. I found it interesting some of the conversation between Alex and her attendant regarding the wedding night. But it plays into the storyline and a secret that Alex kept from Gabriel. I love the romance and the humor between Alex and Gabriel.

The storyline was different than anything I’ve read before. I enjoyed the adventure aspect of the story as Alex and Gabriel. The author did a great job as she told the story of weaving the characters thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed watching the development of faith in all the characters, but especially Gabriel as he dealt with his affliction.

I was a little surprised by the ending. Not what I expected, but that’s okay it was entertaining.

This is book 3 in a series and I didn’t read the previous ones. I felt fairly comfortable with following the story, though I think I would have enjoyed it even more had I read the others. Still an enjoyable story  and I would read more by this author.

Disclaimer:

I did receive this book from the publisher through www.netgalley.com however, I’m only expected to give my honest opinion.