Today, April 29th, 2020, is the release day for the third and last installment in The Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, Heir of Fury.
For me, it signifies the end and the beginning, because the writing is over, the story has been told, and the trilogy is complete.
So here it goes, the third and last book in The Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, and some snatches of a few early reviews:
Three years has passed since Roxanne left. She’s obeyed and fulfilled Remo’s every wish.
His latest command, however, will send her back to Earth. Aware her presence Earth-side is furthering Remo’s plans, Roxanne delves into an impossible chase against time, the preternatural community, and herself.
But she might already be too late, and Roxanne experiences firsthand that when desperate people are pressed against a rock, they’re willing to commit just about anything.
“My overwhelming reaction to this book is centered around how well written it is… as a drama and exploration of family and responsibility.
If you are a fan of trilogies (with a strong prequel), you’ll find yourself enamored with this one. Each book is several hundred pages long, but they are immersive and quick reads. There’s a fine balance between reality and futuristic science-fiction / fantasy that will keep you on your toes. The author has an immense imagination, and she clearly depicts it on the pages well. We can visualize everything going on… the battle scenes alone will prove her writing chops.” Author James J. Cudney IV
“Every once in a while you come across an author’s writing that is so exemplary their storytelling just blows you away. Jina S. Bazzar, Heir of Fury is truly a perfect example of exemplary storytelling. Bazzar has found that perfect balance between reality and science fiction making this a relatable, but futuristic tale.” Tome Tender Books
“Jina S. Bazzar has outdone herself with book #3… It might just be my all time favorite out of all of her books. Storyline is unique even for a fantasy/paranormal world! Great characters that developed through the story. Super settings – makes me want to be there in person…” Victoria Ray
*** Since I’m having trouble keeping up with social media lately, I’m closing comments here to avoid being rude, but shares will be much appreciated!
I read this one a couple months ago, but with the way life is going lately, I kept *cough* putting writing the review off. Yes, I’m a horrible person! In my defense, I’d find myself thinking about what I wanted to write for the review at odd times – while doing the dishes/cleaning, cooking, taking a shower. But whenever I was done and seated in front of my laptop, something always came up. And so *wince( two months went by.
Well, here’s what I thought:
Another great read! James J. Cudney is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.
He knows how to build a plot and make it complex to the point where the reader is wondering how the heck things are going to tie at the end.
Kellan has so much going on in this book, I felt sorry for him. Between his Nana, another murder, his job, the sheriff, and ghosts from the past, I wanted to reach out and give him a hug. Poor thing!
But the marathon kept me engaged, annoyed every time I had to stop reading to check on something.
As usual, there are the funny moments balanced in with the more serious ones, mostly with Kellan trying to keep his Nana out of trouble – and waking with a hangover later. But just when you think the old lady is cruel, she makes up for it.
I don’t find myself reading many murder mysteries, but this one’s got a touch of everything, intrigue, humor, compassion, some detective work – to name but a few.
I enjoyed this read as much as the other books I read by this author, but this time, with the character growth and the hints of things to come, I was left with some book hangover of my own!
I can’t wait to pick up the next book and see what other mess life has in store for Kellan!
Lovers of cozy mysteries with some sleuthing and humor, this one is for you!
The difference between writing a series and a standalone, for me, is the attachment the author feels with their fictional characters. Not that authors don’t get attached with a character if it’s a standalone, but when you work, year after year after year with the same set of MCs, the bond feels stronger.
Today I want to say that my trilogy, The Roxanne Fosch Files is finally done. All three books + a short novella has been written, and the final chapter in Roxanne’s story told. It’s sad and exhilarating at once.
Below is a brief excerpt – that I feel fits perfectly with the current event around the globe – I edited out some of the spoilers to make this excerpt as spoiler-free as possible, but maybe parts of it would spoil something from book 2.
Note: I’ll be looking for some reviews to help launch the book. If you’d like a copy for review purposes, contact me at email@example.com If you would like to help in some way, let me know, we can work something out.
High up on the observatory deck of the Empire State, I leaned against the railing and watched the city. The fierce wind stung my eyes, whipped my hair free, and ruffled my wings. I spread them wider, leaned harder against the rail. From up here, I couldn’t make the sound of the traffic below, or smell the traffic plume. There was nothing but the sound of the wind beating at me from all sides, choking me with fresh air.
For a long time, I stood and watched the blinking lights, hoping to mute my thoughts–and failing. Dawn would come soon. And for all that happened during these past days, Dorka, Wallace and Brooks; Vicky; Zantry and me; Roland’s break down; Dathana… one thing kept coming back to haunt me: Remo was ready to move. “Time’s drawn near, Poppet. Everything is set into motion. The portal is too active, my kin are impatient. Get those vessels to me.” His words played in my head over and over, like the lyric to a song that wouldn’t go away. I’d known he was getting close to achieving his goal, but God. I placed a hand over my jittery stomach, over that cold, roiling mess. What had I done?
From the observatory deck of the Empire State, I could almost see it, the end as it may come. Just the lights and the wind left, the clouds and the night. And then I looked down, at all the miniature life still coming and going, focused at those tiny lights blinking on and off in distant windows. And I wondered, not for the first time, what would happen to all the noise, all the people, all those lights, once Remo made his final move? Would a war ensue, destroy everyone and everything? Would the fact the world was unprepared for Remo result in minimal opposition?
I had never, in my wildest dreams considered I’d be well and alive when the end of the world came. I always assumed it’d happen in a far, far away future, at a time my bones were nothing but old dust. I never had reason to fear it, because I was certain I’d never be there.
But here I was, at the cusp of the end, helping the world to break.
I wondered, had things happened differently, would someone, some preternatural group, have found a way to get rid of Remo before he could have gotten this far?
I was the trigger in Remo’s coup, the big surprise at the end of his game. I should have let the guardians of the leeway kill me that first time. My death would have put so many holes in Remo’s plan, eventually, it’d have broken apart, or he’d have to adjust–and add decades, if not centuries, to achieve it. So many times I’d come near death, so many times all I needed was to give up. Hell, if I died now, I’d be giving a fighting chance to those trying to stop him. So why not help everyone? Did I know how to give up? Death, for me, had never been a choice to make, but an enemy to fight. But was my life, after all I’d done, and compared to all that was to come, something worth fighting for?
A scan through headlines every morning gives me a sense of doom, a flashback of dystopian and pre-apocalyptic books I’ve read throughout the years.
Whether aliens, nuclear weapons, biotech destruction–all the books have one thing in common with this coronavirus: mass hysteria.
I wasn’t going to write about this pandemic, I had another post in mind, one with less drama and dread and with an update about my writing. But… this virus is spreading around the world like an ill wind, and suddenly our big, wide world shrank in size and nowhere is far enough.
People dying by the thousands, restrictions, bans, price gouging, quarantines, talk of judgment day and all the finger pointing on who’s the cause. I read the headlines, and I feel half caught in the world of fantasy. It makes me wonder when this pandemic ends, will the blame and accusations without the fear evolve into raging anger and take us to the next step: World war?
People try to underplay the coronavirus by saying it’s just a virus with flu characteristics. It’s a virus, indeed, and as virus do, they infect and they spread. Only this one is highly contagious with a (high?) mortality rate that differs from place to place.
People wonder whose fault it is, where exactly did it start? It could have started in the jungle, in the market, in a pot plant, it could have escaped a lab, a cave, or attached to a person in a flight from place to place. These speculations, at least in the moment, are doing no one any favor. Regardless where it started, it started, it’s spreading, and there’s no end in sight.
We, humanity, have seen pandemics before–The Bubonic Plague, The Red and Yellow Fever, The Spanish Flu–to name but a few. Those have killed millions, if one dare read the accounts, and it took years for them to end (and I’m not counting the occasional appearances still happening), but they didn’t travel as swiftly as this coronavirus. The difference? This last virus is taking advantage of technology. Long ago, it took months for a virus to reach another continent, today, it takes hours.
Every politician and doctor and people who is who got up and told people not to panic. They go on TV and teach the common folk basic hygiene lessons we learned as children–how to sneeze, cough, eat healthy, and they expect that’s enough to keep people calm. In turn it caused shortages of cleaning supplies, sanitizers, and what not, and people are panicking regardless. Coughing and sneezing? That’s become the new threat to humanity. If someone coughs in public, people scatter in fear.
Enterprises and every commerce are afraid of the impact of the virus in their economy, and so the country wouldn’t lose money, they failed to keep their citizens safe. Every country decided to wait and see if the virus would reach them before taking measures, so that their stock shares and economy wouldn’t suffer. But, it did suffer, because once the virus was in, it spread like fire on dry kindling. Whether they were aware or not that it was too late then is hard to tell, but their economy is suffering more for their failure in keeping the virus out.
I’m not sure how this is going to end, or how many months or years it will take, but the way things are looking, it’ll definitely get worse before it gets better. Maybe people have considered this, maybe they haven’t – but with a virus that has spread in a few months worldwide, infected over a hundred thousand (that we know) killed thousands…. well, at this rate, it’s going to keep on going until most, if not all the world, have been infected. Whether by then a treatment will be found, or if people will be vaccined or not remains to be seen.
With this grim note, I’ll end this post with prayers that this pandemic ends soon, with no more elements of the fantasy books I’ve read (they didn’t end well for humanity).
Lately I’ve noticed that when I tell someone I’m an author, but that no, my books don’t make enough to support me financially, I’m met with silence. I suppose their looks are pitying too. To them, if I’m an author and I’m not making a lot of money, then I must be a failure. On top of that, my books aren’t worldwide best sellers, so I must be just an eccentric with a delusional affliction.
To some, I explain that to be a best seller, one need to have the right marketing tools, a lot of money, or, if the author is lucky, get a movie adaptation. In fact, I can testify to a lot of books I read who could easily turn into best sellers if they were only marketed right. The same, sadly, is also true – meaning I’ve read best sellers that are hardly worthy of the title.
For one, a few years ago, there was this bestselling trilogy by Amanda Hocking called The Trylle trilogy. There was so much talk around it, naturally, I couldn’t help but pick up the first book.
My first impression was that my draft – before the editing – sounded much better. Biased that I am, I put my thoughts aside, aware that a lot of books I read had unappealing beginnings. But it wasn’t just that the beginning was dull, but the characters were 2D, the language boring, the dialogue flat, not counting all the blatant typos. I can’t, in good conscience, mention the plot because I never got around to deciphering it, or even if there was one. Her books sold so many copies, She eventually signed a multi-million dollar deal with St. Martin’s Press.
But before I knew that last tidbit, and after I realized my draft was much better than this already published, bestselling book, I did what any other person in my situation would do: I googled the author’s name with the question why was she a best seller. And surprise, surprise, google provided me with so many links that I realized just by scanning the headlines that I wasn’t the only one confused with the success.
The opposite of Amanda Hocking, I dare say, is Deborah Harkness. The first book, a discovery of Witches, was a best seller when it was released in 2011, but when I read it in 2014 after the final book in the trilogy was released, the books had only a few thousand reviews. The rave reviews came around a few years later when the books were turned into a TV series. Now, around nine years after its release, the book has more than 300K reviews
So then I’m asked, why not send your books to Hollywood?
Hmmm. I’d like to point out the ignorance in that question, but then I remember the days when I too, believed all I needed was to type my thoughts on a page and send a copy off directly to the publisher, and another to Hollywood. Of course, I knew not every book was picked up by a publisher, I was aware there were rejections, but then again, I was also of the mind that I had created a masterpiece and no one would turn it down.
Again, to some, I explain it isn’t as simple as it sounds, and again, I’m met with pity, because, if I’m not making a lot of money, I’m just deluding myself. That could be true to a degree, but the simple task of creating characters and building a world around them makes me happy, not to count the huge sense of accomplishment that follows when the book is released. Maybe it’s a feeling only other authors and artists can relate to, and maybe only a few outside my virtual life will ever understand the feeling, but I don’t plan to give up my writing, even if I never become a bestselling author.
This is not my usual cup of tea, or coffee, but sometimes when I’m in the mood for change, I head off to the mystery/suspense area. Sometimes, I pick up a police/detective book.
This one was a mystery / crime and police procedural read with a touch of humor and the required guess-who-did-it kind of book, and it was done exceptionally well.
The story opens up with a murder investigation – with the dead being the bad guy, killed with an antique elephant tusk. So yes, the bad guy is dead, and from the beginning, we’re wondering if the good guy will turn out to be the murderer.
The story line was gritty, sometimes a little dark, covering heavy topics such as blackmail, prostitution, detailed murder crimes and gore – real stuff real police see a lot in real life; sprinkled every now and then with a romance trying to bud (emphasis on trying) some office humor and family bonding.
I enjoyed the dynamics between the investigative team and the way they were thorough and methodical with the evidence gathering, how things didn’t ‘conveniently’ fall on their laps and make life easier for everyone.
I did have a suspicion halfway through about the killer – I knew the killer would be someone I wasn’t expecting, and I was right, but the killer? I was still surprised.
Detective Jack, aka Jane, is a character full of sass and witty comebacks. He’s also a magnet to disaster, the kind of guy who’s always meeting an accident or another.
He’s also a kind, humorous widow with a big heart and a teenager’s attitude.
The topics covered in this book are hard, dramatic and heavy (not for the faint hearted) – going as far as child abuse.
Detective Jack is determined to get to the bottom of his cases, and he doesn’t care who he’ll have to cross to get there.
Along the way we have some romance, which was a nice addition and somewhat a mood lifter from all the darker aspects of the story.
The writing style is unique and it took me a few chapters to get used to it, but once in, my cynic heart was amused. There are a lot of references to Mary Poppins and other classics, mostly used to humor some other character.
All in all it was a complex, great book. I recommend it to those who enjoy witticism, sarcasm, and heavy and hard British detective work.
Every now and then I like to delve into a good mystery/thriller. Sea scope is a psychological thriller, the kind of book that gives one pause and makes one wonder how the mind works.
The book oscillates between present time and two decades earlier, slowly bringing the reader up to date with events that caused a business to close, a family to break, a girl to become mentally unstable, and the reasons behind it all. And they’re all connected to a murder that was ruled then as a suicide. The question throughout the book is whether Michael committed suicide – with all the bright opportunities he had ahead of him – or whether he was killed. However, all the suspects on that day had an alibi, and all seemed to actually like the guy. So which was it?
Alternating in between present and past are notes about lighthouses, real facts with references – a boost of information for the reader to store.
At first I was sure about what happened to Michael, but the author kept throwing new hints here and there, enough to shadow the truth and keep me guessing.
And then, about midway through, I was sure I knew what happened. And yeah, I thought, no surprises here, but I couldn’t see the motive and how it happened so I went on, sure of my assumption.
I was wrong. So wrong, when the twist at the end came, I was left gaping.
The writing is suspenseful throughout the entire book, both in the present and in the past, with first person pov in the present and third in the past, and the distinction was done exceptionally well.
Have you ever had something happen to you as a kid, build your beliefs upon that event, only to realize as a grownup there were other sides to that story?
This was a great book with a great twist. I recommend it!
So here it goes, peeps, the third Bartholomew incident. Hope you enjoy it!
I leaned a casual hip on the table edge and watched cousin Laura open and close cabinet doors, muttering to herself. “What are you looking for?” I asked when it was obvious she hadn’t noticed me.
My cousin stiffened, turned her head slowly and smiled at me, the kind of smile that made me straighten and check my back for a sticky note, begging for a kick to the butt.
Dropping a wooden spatula on the counter, she turned and faced me. “You’re my savior!” There was a maniacal gleam in her eyes I wasn’t sure could be blamed on her upcoming nuptials.
“Yeah?” I took a cautious step back, calculating how fast I could run and trying to remember if there was a key for the guest bedroom door.
She came closer, hands outstretched, a patch of white powder on her cheek. “You still like cookie dough, don’t you?”
I scanned the kitchen counter, found no bowl filled with the sticky dough. “Sure. Want me to taste it?”
“No, no,” she cackled, lowered her voice. “I need you to go pick me some baking soda. I sent Barth earlier and he brought me some white powder I suspect he picked from the meth lab fronting as the grocery store on the corner road.” She showed me a small plastic bag with the label ‘sodium bicarb’ written in black marker. “I think it’s a code for meth.”
“You know, I think baking soda and sodium bicarb is the same thing,” I mused.
“Maybe,” Laura said, raising the bag to my nose. The powder looked suspiciously like sugar, and it smelled like bathroom cleaner and paint thinner.
My eyebrows shot up. I had no idea how meth looked or how it was cooked, but paint thinner definitely didn’t go with cookies.
“You have to help me. I need to get rid of this and I need real baking soda before everyone comes back.”
“So what, you want me to go to the grocery where meth is being cooked and – what?”
“No,” Laura scoffed, “to the Walmart.”
“But that’s seven blocks away.”
“Eight, actually, and Barth can drive you.”
Before Laura could say anything more, Barth strolled into the kitchen.
“I heard my name,” he said, smiling at me.
I suddenly needed to get out of there fast. “You know what,” I said, snatching the bag from her hand, “I’ll go get you what you need. Anything else?”
“A bag of chocolate chips, I think I’ll make another batch.”
“You’re goin’ out?” Barth asked, taking out keys from his pocket, “I’ll drive you.”
“Thanks, but no, Barf.”
“That’s what I said.”
“I’ll drive you,” he insisted.
“No,” I enunciated slowly, “I’d like to walk and exercise my legs.”
“Your legs look fine to me.” He gave said legs an appraising look that caused Laura to burst out laughing. Her guffaw turned to sniffs when she caught the death glare I aimed her way. I turned to Barth and gave him a practiced smile people claimed made me look deranged.
Barth, of course, smiled right back.
“I’m going to walk, Barf, and that’s that.” I turned and left through the back door, hurrying to cover more ground faster.
I was congratulating myself for a day gone without a Barth incident when there, right in front of me was the LaCross captain I’d crushed on my entire high school year.
Tom turned around, our eyes met, and everything happened in slow motion. He smiled with recognition. I squealed, covered my mouth. Tom took a step toward me. That’s when Barth came in, charging Tom like an enraged bull. Shouts and punches and grunts rang out and because I was a total fool, I threw myself on Barth, meaning to drag him off, but I ended up pinning Tom under our combined weight.
I’ll skip the embarrassing part where people dragged us off, the ride in the back of a police car and the bag of sodium bicarb that may or may not have been meth still in my pocket.
“You were screamin’,” Barth said from the cell next to mine.
“It’s called a squeal, it’s a scream of happiness.”
“You raised your arms to surrender.”
“I was going to hug him.”
“You helped me subdue him.”
“Barf,” I said through gritted teeth, “If you don’t stop arguing, I’m going to walk out of this cell only to be put in another for murder.”
“What? Nonsense, we didn’t even give him a scratch.”
“Guard!” I shouted. “Please!”
To read the previous Bartholomew incidents, check it out here:
This was a fun, non-stop intriguing book. Kellan is like a dog with a bone – determined and persistent, and he won’t let go no matter how many times people tell him to.
When a body is found on campus –the same person he travelled to meet – Kellan is pulled into a tangle of who-did-it; with a lot of sarcasm, suspects, and plenty of murderous reasons to go around.
I honestly had no idea how all the threads would tie at the end, there were so many murderer candidates, I was, like Kellan, trying to figure out who-did-it too. And the real killer? (Not telling you!) But it was definitely none of the various people I’d considered.
I enjoyed the brief glimpses of Kellan as a father, his interaction with his Nana (and boy was she scary and fun), and the dry humor that was thrown around. The mystery of the murder was done exceptionally well, with all the threads tied perfectly at the end. And the killer? Oh, I was so not suspecting that particular character! And once the murderer was revealed, I had one of those ah!-of-course moment.
The tone of the book is light throughout most of the way, humorous and mysterious, with a simple writing style. It’s the kind of writing and storytelling one can’t have enough. My second book by this author, I can definitely say it won’t be the last.
Expect the review of the next book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series, Broken Heart Attack, coming soon!
When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.
Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.
Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. And if that wasn’t enough already, his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.
In the debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Series, you’ll discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic and nosy residents.
I’m back after a very long hiatus – apologies, apologies. But, like I mentioned on my last post, sometimes life brings out fangs and claws and you have to dodge. Well, dodge didn’t work, but you get used and you go with the flow.
So, what I’ve been up to:
I’m going to keep the bad and the hairy parts out– did you know if you stare at the elephant too long, it grows in size?
Anyway, I was going to post the third episode of Barth and his mishaps, but decided to leave it for next week and keep this one short, and re-introduce myself around WP, see what I missed.
As for the good:
I finished Heir of Fury, the third book in the Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, FINALLY!!!
I’m looking for beta readers and early readers. Anyone interested please let me know either on the comments below or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Another good news is that my books are being made into audio. So, naturally, I went back to earlier books and did another proofread to make sure they’re good to be narrated.
And I’ve discovered I have a few more illnesses – aside from RISD (Revisionitis Intolerance Syndrome Disorder), I have two more conditions:
Andophobia – Every time I come upon the “and” in the middle of a sentence, I break out into a cold sweat, and I have to either delete it or take a break.
Butophilia – I have this tendency to add buts everywhere!
*Credits for Butophilia go to Heather tasker – she was the one who diagnosed this new illness.
So, and this is hard to admit… but both my books are now lighter a few thousand words, wince…. but narration has begun!
Writing wise, this is all, I think, unless I’m forgetting something.
Reading wise – I haven’t read one single book in the past 2 months, but I still have a few reviews from before then that I mean to post in the coming days.
That’s it, I guess. I’m eager to do a round and see how everyone is doing!
And oh yes, I remember now – I have a book out for free!
Download your free copy here from anywhere in the world: