MANAGING EDITOR FOR NOIR NATION NUMBER 4

NoirNationEddie Vega, publisher of Noir Nation Books, has asked me to be the managing editor for the latest edition of Noir Nation: International Journal of Crime Fiction, Volume 4. I’m excited to take over the responsibilities for this issue with selecting the highest quality of crime fiction from the hundreds of submissions received. This volume will be the “Canada Issue” and the stories will feature a connection to the country that has its own share of shadows. Look for more information in the New Year about this exciting issue!

final-cover-nn-3Also, don’t miss Volume 3, which is out now! Make sure to check out my exciting short story, FEED ME, which is about a mysterious bird who terrorizes an unsuspecting family.

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NEW NOVEL RELEASED: HIS FIRST, HER LAST

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His First, Her Last is based on the true story of my journey to the Philippines in March 2011. A collection of more than 7,000 islands lost in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is a place unlike any other. A driver of a $100,000 Mercedes-Benz talking on a cell phone shared the road with a man whipping a horse. In a traffic jam, a woman walked between cars selling cooked eggs containing partially developed chicks. Just beyond a city with lights as bright as Las Vegas, the ghost of a woman wearing white has been seen for decades lurking in the night.

These slivers of culture inspired me to share this beautiful land and its people with you through the eyes of Jason and Hazel, an engaged couple about to put their relationship to the ultimate test. Their worst fears come true inside this island nation and it takes their will to survive to find their way together. I invite you to take a journey across the world where you will find love, life, and what it means to be alive.

Click the cover to download the FREE opening chapter, which is where the journey begins. Cheers!

VEGAS WAS HER NAME – NOW AVAILABLE

Noir Nation Books has just released my exciting new thriller novel, Vegas Was Her Name. The book is available now on Amazon. Take a journey through the shadows of Las Vegas where you’ll follow the lives of four individuals all concealing a secret. Be sure to check out a sample on Amazon!

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EXCITING NEW NOVEL OF 2013: VEGAS WAS HER NAME

Forthcoming from Noir Nation Books, my new thriller novel, VEGAS WAS HER NAME. The story is about a wealthy businessman who finds his family, his business, and his life in jeopardy after having a secret affair. More information coming soon!

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SPRING 2013 BOOK SIGNING SET

Book Signing April072012

If you are in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 6, come out to the Clark County Library where Jonathan and a dozen other authors will be signing copies of their books. Whether you’re in the mood for some romance, some Vegas nonfiction, some thrills, or some chills, the Spring Fling Book Fair at the Clark County Library is sure to satisfy!

When: Saturday, April 6, 2013, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Where: Clark Country Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV, 89119

REVIEW OF STRIPPER LESSONS

Stripper LessonsStripper Lessons by John O’Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever felt alone?

Stripper Lessons provides a window into the life of a lonely man. Carroll is the guy who watches the world turn from the shadows, the guy you walk past at the mall, never knowing he was ever there. But that guy was there, watching you walk past.

The story is personal and the plot only occurs over a few days. I wondered why O’Brien chose this part of Carroll’s seemingly repetitious life. But then Stevie dances her way into his world. O’Brien describes the breathtaking blond with some of the most vivid prose I’ve ever read. I found myself re-reading some of these passages, mesmerized as if I were beholding an artist’s painting or listening to a classical masterpiece. O’Brien gives us very little backstory on these characters, but I can appreciate the “here and now” with Carroll and Stevie’s interactions. I wanted this guy to find what he was lacking. He tried everything, an infomercial video for “shy men,” flashy clothes with “curlicues,” and even alcohol (Carroll’s naivety with booze is the opposite of Ben’s overindulgence in Leaving Las Vegas). But even though Carroll alienates coworkers, barmaids, and strippers over the course of the book, he gains a deeper understanding of himself and an acceptance of who he is, and who he is not.

You always glean new words from O’Brien’s works, and this fact, in my opinion, adds another layer to his stories. As I read Strippers Lessons, I became emotionally involved with Carroll and feared for him as the end neared. In the few days we spend with him in the story, it seemed his subconscious prompted him to grow, and made him become not the guy watching from the shadows, bottling his emotions up, but the guy shouting, tossing and shattering said bottle onto the ground. And I particularly liked how Carroll ran up to Stevie in the parking lot outside of Indiscretions. He was no longer afraid to be a lonely man.

Read Leaving Las Vegas for a view into a character losing his way; read Stripper Lessons for a view into a character finding his way. -Jonathan Sturak 12/08/2012

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A BRUSH OF LOVE – RECOUNTED BY TENILLE HOUSTON

Watch as actress Tenille Houston (How I Met Your Mother, GCB) becomes Anne Daniels, a woman who shares the secret of her true love and a decision that would change her life, and her heart, forever. This is the full version, uncut and shot in one take!

REVIEW OF THE SIEGE OF TRENCHER’S FARM – STRAW DOGS

The Siege of Trencher's Farm - Straw DogsThe Siege of Trencher’s Farm – Straw Dogs by Gordon M. Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

George Magruder is a civilized man, a man who doesn’t believe in violence or guns. He believes in the advancement of mankind, using debate and discussion to address problems. George is an American. He married a Brit named Louise and together they have a young impressionable daughter. The Magruder family has been living in Louise’s country for several months as George works on a research paper. They have bypassed the civilized city, renting a sprawling home called “Trencher’s Farm” inside a mysterious village in the fringes of England, miles away from London, miles away from the rest of the world.

As George, the civilized outsider, complains to his wife about the uncivilized village surrounding him, a storm begins brewing. George is about to clash with a group of locals who wants to bury him and his family along with the other secrets plaguing this backwater village.

During a series of bizarre mishaps, George finds himself harboring a legally insane pedophile as a group of hostile men, under the influence of not only alcohol, but years of repression, attempts to breach his house. A blizzard has crippled this small village, but it hasn’t crippled the action unfolding at Trencher’s Farm. George has the simple yet very powerful objective of protecting his home and his family. The last half of the book plays out in near real-time. This is the book’s best and, conversely, most critical feature. It’s literary genius to see George transform right in front of your eyes. He becomes a “man,” at least in his wife’s eyes, and uses his book smarts to defend, and ultimately attack, these intruders. Every man has his breaking point and Mr. Williams provides us with a window into George’s transformation from a coward, to a strong man, to an inhuman animal.

If you enjoy action and becoming immersed into the details of an elaborate plot, then you must read this classic. Two films have spawned from Mr. Williams’ words. This book has similarities in characters and form, but it’s nothing like the film adaptations. Read it!

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