Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Resort Isle by Paul Sekulich ~ 2015

The birth of why killer bees, fire ants and pit bulls flee from
Detective Frank Dugan

Author: Paul Sekulich
Publisher: Omnibus Productions; 1 edition (12 September 2015)
Publication: 12 September 2015
Pages: 388
Language: English
Jacket design: Paul Sekulich
Author photographer: His wife Joyce

"This book was provided by Paul Sekulich in exchange for my honest review alongside my proffered thank-you for asking."

5 Stars

Paul Sekulich

A supreme multi-twist can't-put-it-down crime thriller.  This is a start of a series you will want to follow  ~

Paul's writing is page-turning phenomenal work.  Crafting the flow of the plot with the theme and surrounding you in Frank Dugan's atmosphere page after page after page to an astounding end, I would venture to say Mr. Sekulich is a writer's writer.

I have read Paul Sekulich's The Omega Formula and it grabbed me with an explosion of satisfaction and learned of MacGuffin's in A Killer Season: Betting in Vegas Can Be Murder..  Both of these reads are superb.

Resort Isle is a read I personally waited too long to read, introducing Detective Frank Dugan from the San Diego Police Department and his love with the open water.

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Could you imagine having to go 90 miles out of your way on your 6th wedding anniversary to find out why this dieing man whispered your name?  It's what the boss wants, so you go.

Meanwhile, a horrific crime is taking place and when you find out what took place, you just couldn't get back quick enough. 

Welcome to Resort Isle and Detective Frank Dugan's world  ~ he is now on a mission

Frank had enough of these damn criminals getting to court and eventually back out on the streets.

DA Marty Dimino introduced Frank to Dr. Charlene Stone, his campaign manager; Marty is running for the Senate.

After votes were cast in the election, Senator Dimino.... passed a bill that Frank fervently helped with and now Resort Isle is for the worst of the worst criminals.  For the rest of their natural lives.

An island, just a speck about a 100 miles off the coast of Calif. - all to themselves.  In comparison, Manhattan Island is only 34 sq mil., so here, you have a 32 square mile self-governing community with the waters infested with sharks and with a resident and Navy gunboats floating around.  Hell you could throw up your hammock anywhere and get that tan.  Society is leaving you alone.  Drink your coconut milk elixirs and enjoy the sunsets for the rest of your life.

Frank personally interviews the candidates for the island and over time, the community grows, as long as crime is still happening of course.  And as time moves on, Frank is trying his damnedest to get all four 'suspects' to pay for their horrific crime.  A great chase to the border of Mexico ensues, a couple of  'suspects' on open water ~

Frank knows their luck is running out the way the chapters read, and folks this is a mild spoiler, yet, you know - Two down.  Then,

Frank gets in a jam and witnesses a graphic murder scene take place. Three down.  But the jam he's in, gets bigger.  Finds himself being found guilty of the murder he witnessed and will live for the rest of his natural days on Resort Isle.  On that Isle, the last name on his list.

Spectacular ending!

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Folks, you know the old cliche, 'You have no idea, ...?  In this case Mr. Sekulich, you do.

Paul, your research shows a respectful passion: ships/boats, water, detective capers with the utmost respect to fairness and their procedures, military at the ready, reality, good wine with your victuals and enjoy great entertainment.

I know you have a blast living with Frank.

The appreciation from the reader when reading your work, would be ten-fold on the fusion of reality and fiction.  The atmosphere you build also includes the reader.  Your penmanship to craft a tale remarkably engaging and with such magnetism need to turn the page, I applaud with standing ovation from my chair here.  Kudos and please, an encore, I can read more.

Your writing captures the moments.  You break out eye-popping twists and you have the reader right there with the characters, as if they were eye-witnesses.  And speaking of the characters, their backgrounds were well colored with individual backdrops.  Frank sure has a hell of a background. 

Suspense, well that's where your finger can't turn the page quick enough for starters, outstandingly, this read is chock full of suspense.  Love how you tie your chapters together Paul; I am impressed and fascinated in your writing.

Thank you Paul, I tip my hat and proffer a bow.  Supreme writing in all three reads I have read.

(Willie Sutton - favorite character)

As you read folks, you are immersed in Frank Dugan's world.  Plan ahead -  

Most recommended.  You'll love Frank.

*Note - the graphic scene is graphic ... so ...

Here's where you can get your fingers on Resort Isle:
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $3.99 ~ Paperback $15.95 USD

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About the author  ~


Connect with Paul Sekulich

Paul Sekulich is a thoroughly traveled writer who has lived in New York, Detroit, Chicago; Stuart and Palm Beach, Florida; Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles and Hollywood, California.  He holds a B.A. degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland and Masters of Fine Arts credits from Towson University and the University of Southern California. 

He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (now SAG-AFTRA) and the Actors Equity Association.  As a former adjunct professor of theatre he has directed numerous college productions and has taught acting, directing, and screenwriting.
In Hollywood, he worked as a script doctor and contributor for two, prime time television sitcoms.

He has completed his first three thriller novels, The Omega Formula, and A Killer Season. His third book, another Detective Frank Dugan thriller, Resort Isle, is complete and available now.  In the spring of 2017, he plans to debut Murder Comes to Paradise, another in the Frank Dugan detective series.

He has written, acted in, produced and directed films, commercials and stage productions since he was eighteen and has won awards for his work.  He owned and operated The Limestone Dinner Theatre for several years and now teaches college seminars on novel writing, self-publishing, and scriptwriting for television and the movies.

Paul lives with his wife Joyce in Maryland.

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Reviews for

~  Paul Sekulich  ~ 

Resort Isle

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall ~ 2013

That's what Daddy called it when you did something to keep your mind off your most worstest fear ...

Author: Susan Crandall
Publisher: Gallery Books / A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Publication: June 2013
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0772-3
Language: English
Jacket design: Layman Kwan
Jacket photograph: Silas Manhood Photography
Ferris Wheel by Stephen Alvarez / Getty Images
Author photographer: Melissa A. Crandall

... Book Clubbin' with Ms. Susan

5 Stars

Susan Crandall
Last Thursday, my sister-club the Rookie Bookie's and I got together and whistled past a graveyard.  Susan Crandall's graveyard.

There were a few in total agreement with Karen White - Sea Change 2012, - this read is destined to become a classic.

Whistling Past The Graveyard is a nine year old's POV look into race relations in the early '60's.  With spit fire red hair and an innate drive for seeing justice through, Starla Claudelle is a drive herself through this read.

When Starla Jane Claudelle! broke Jimmy's nose, (page 9) this story took off for me.  In regards to her reasoning, I wanted to see more of how her personality is depicted in the tale.  Reading how the little 'shitbird' excersized her innate ability to see righting the wrong, was fun to read. Yet and so sad in a comical way, her sassy mouth is not in sync with it.

Starla is growing up with her Mamie in Mississippi, while her Momma left to become a singer in Nashville and Daddy is working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Her tongue has gotten her into more trouble than Mamie likes.  Teaching Starla the ways of being a lady (and mostly just staying quite and out of the way) will be an uphill battle.  After Starla broke Jimmy's nose, she was restricted to her room/house and - it's the fourth of July to boot.  The festival is happening and it is, the best time all year in those parts.  Oh hell!

Mamie went to the festival.

Afraid of being sent off to reform school from her continuing bad actions (according to Mamie of course), Starla breaks free and hits the road toward Nashville to find her Momma.  Then Daddy and Momma and Starla could be a family again, and of course, live together happily ever after and enjoy Momma's stardom.  Yes, that's right, a fairy tale.  Ahh - no. (no spoiler)

On the way she meets Eula, a young black woman who has appeared to have kidnapped a white baby.  Eula talks and brings Starla home with her at least for some dinner then tomorrow, yes tomorrow, sounds better to take off for Nashville.  Eula's husband, Wallace, is one worried character.  Personally, I don't think he would ever have found peace.

On this journey to Nashville, Starla and Eula experience adventures that were live and kicking of racism back in '63.  This is some beautiful writing.  I'm sitting here imagining the fear & anger & acquiescence that went through Eula at times throughout the story.  These two characters are shining stars in Mississippi.  You gotta pick this read up folks.

They run into problems on the way as you can imagine, and Starla gets slapped smack dead in the face of actual real-life situations.  Her "red-rage" (as her Daddy called it) spirit runs free and Eula pours out her own personal maternal love to cover some of the outcome.
Eula being through her own hell before Wallace's, she is a character detailed so nicely - you can feel her emotions.

Starla, herself, is a star in this future classic.

I could write and go on about my issue with Mamie keeping Starla's momma's letters and packages from her, the carnival's, the Jenkins boys, Miss Cyrena, Patti Lynn, Daddy, Starla's Momma  -  all these character's and issues  -  but, I'm going to let Susan tell you.

This is one hell of a read.  It was a hell of a roadtrip for Eula, Starla and baby James.

Susan Crandall's tone covering this theme of racism and friendship is spectacular.  The dialog for each character was absolutely distinct with its southern patois penned at the right moments I felt.  Her atmosphere she built, sure I was in the south.  What made this book for me was the POV.

I most recommend folks, most.

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Here's where you can get your fingers on Whistling Past The Graveyard:
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $11.99 ~ Hardcover $22.09 ~ Paperback $10.44 USD
  •  Barnes & Noble ~ NOOK $11.99 ~ Hardcover $22.39 ~ Paperback $10.67 USD

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About the author ~

Connect with Susan Crandall

Unlike so many writers, Susan Crandall did not emerge from the womb with a pen and paper in hand and a fully formed story in her mind.  Instead, she was born with an incredible love for books.  This must be genetic, because her father and now her son, both hated school, but are somehow addicted to books.

For much of her young life, even those exhausting years when her children were young and Susan worked in her previous profession (yes, the rumor is true, she was a dental hygienist) she was an avid reader.  Susan has always been fascinated with words - those of you who catch yourself reading the dictionary when you cracked it open to look up mesopelagic you just might have a writer hiding inside you, too.

Then, her younger sister admitted that she'd been writing, secretly of course.  That admission led to Susan editing her sister's work (as the older sister, Susan was never short of opinions to share).  Then Susan and her sister co-authored four novels, none of which were published.  Her sister decided to move on after those four books, but Susan was totally addicted.  She'd learned too much about the process of writing, the craft of storytelling and the world of the written word to give it up.

BACK ROADS was Susan Crandall's first solo work, her first published work, and her first award winning novel, winning a RITA for Best First Book and two National Reader's Choice Awards.
Susan grew up in a small Indiana town, married a guy from that town, and then moved to Chicago for a while.  She is pleased to say that she has been back in her hometown for many years and plans to stay.  She and her husband have two grown children.  "They make me proud every day," Susan glows.  "My son, who has the heart of a poet, is also a writer.  My daughter, who is both beautiful and brilliant, is about to take her first steps into the working world of science."

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hush by Kimberly Shursen ~ 2014

Behind every silver lining are shades of gray.

Author: Kimberly Shursen
Publisher: CreateSpace (January 21, 2014)
Publication: January 21, 2014
Pages: 363
Language: English
Jacket design:
Author photographer:

Read for my curiosity

5 Stars

Kimberly Shursen
Hush will take you on a journey of an unbelievable path destined to destroy your path to an ever-lasting blissful life.

Kimberly Shursen takes her pen and gives a reader pause.  She makes a reader reflect, some soul-search, feel, others may stay aloof for reasons of their own.

Please, pull up a chair, ...

there you go.  Now, first off, I would like to thank you, Ms. Shursen, for another astounding read and a look into your writing style.  You are one hell of a captivating artist writing topics most times society carries with a hush.

Folks, Kimberly Shursen is an Indie author introducing you into a world of thrills and chills and suspense - living in an element of absolute freedom from reality - then closes into a world of pause, then, reflection.  In all her novels.

Lottery, was the first book I read of Ms. Shursen's work.  A beautiful dark and macabre thrilling ride into a look of madness - a madness that as I read the trilogy, the description of what this disease did to a family spanning three decades was packed full of  twists of thrilling suspense.  Super good read, incredible.  I read her next book, a psychological thriller, Conviction and now I see how she's writing.  The way she was penning these topics, these controversial topics, I had to read her debut legal thriller Itsy Bitsy Spider.  I see a flair.  Now folks, Hush ~ ...

Here's such a sad story of a couple, Ben and Ann Grable with a family in mind, but, ended on opposite sides in the courtroom.  The idea/theme here, I can hear some folks would be saying - let's get real here.  You know damn well these circumstances exist.

The subject manners of abortion, divorce, incest, drugs are all under different views from the hoi polloi - even Ben and Ann each had different views.  The completely unexpected twists before and /or after the build of suspense are pretty much a trade-mark of Kimberly's.  This elixir of thrills are throughout her novels.  In Hush, there might not be a 'right' side to the view, except for the matter of the fact there is a right side.

Not going into the story itself here folks.  As I have touched on her writing style, rest assured Hush is another phenomenal time for you as a reader of thrillers, killers, and chillers.  Her suspense is a bit more than palpable, rather, palatable.  Controversial genres - I think Kim, you're starting a new category.

Hush will take you through an opinionated debatable emotional time.  As you could probably attest to from the aforementioned topics, with an ending that will be satisfying, reason being - it will give your cognition something to do.

I most recommend.  This novel and her others, and man, I really loved her Lottery series.  That son-of-a- ...

Here's where you can get your fingers on Hush:

  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $4.99 ~ Paperback $17.95 USD

Looking forward to her paranormal thriller Miracle in 2017

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About the author ~

Thriller/mystery writer, Kimberly Shursen, began making up stories in grade school. Growing up in a small town in Iowa with a population of 2,000, imagination not only became her entertainment, but a passion.

After graduating from a private college with a BA in education, Shursen began writing a musical. Five years later she presented the music, book, and lyrics to private investors. The play premiered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later opened in Sweden.

Eden, Shursen's second full-blown musical was also produced by investors, catching rave reviews.

Knowing her passion had always been to be an author, Ms. Shursen left her position as a marketing director to pursue a full-time career in writing. She has yet to regret the decision.

Shursen's debut novel, political thriller ITSY BITSY SPIDER, was voted one of the top two thrillers of 2013. Legal thriller HUSH was published in January of 2014 and a top pick for Underground Book Reviews.
Kimberly Shursen's psychological thriller series follows the lives of a family caught in the web of a malevolent mental illness that spans over four decades and two generations. LOTTERY, SON OF CALEB, CALEB'S LOT, are available  ~  Amazon


"The absolutely best part of being a writer is meeting interesting people I would never have met if they had not taken a chance on a new writer and picked up my book. I will always and forever be grateful."  ~  Kimberly Shursen

Reviews  for

~    Kimberly Shursen   ~
Itsy Bitsy Spider



Caleb's Lot


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