Book Review: Jump Cut: An Ellie Foreman Mystery (Ellie Foreman Series) by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Jump Cut: Rushing Towards Summer’s End
With Exceptional Espionage Action

Libby Hellmann fans will be delighted to hear her protagonist Ellie Foreman, Chicago video producer, is back after a ten year hiatus… and soon entangled in a web of espionage, murder and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear.

Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of Jump Cut (Poisoned Pen Press), is the author of eleven previous novels, and this is her fifth in the award-winning Ellie Foreman mystery series. Jump Cut touches on many issues of what she calls the “Post-Snowden era” – privacy vs the possible overreach of official surveillance; the “clean war” of drone attacks, and computer hacking.

Hired to produce a candy floss corporate profile, Ellie is dismayed when the project is canceled; her suspicions soar when a contact who might have answers is killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now-dead man. Ellie has the drive’s contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she’s under surveillance.

Ellie and her boyfriend, Luke, try to find answers, but they don’t realize how far they ventured into the dangerous echelons of hidden power… where more lives are on the line, including theirs.

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.

With the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her “Revolution Trilogy.” Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection.

In 2005 Libby was the national president of Sisters In Crime, a 3500-member organization dedicated to the advancement of female crime fiction authors. She also hosts a monthly radio show called “Second Sunday Crime” on the Authors on the Air internet radio network.

For more information on Libby and her latest book, please visit http://www.libbyhellmann.com/.

Jump Cut
ISBN: 978-1-464205-19-4
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Kirkus Reviews: “After a long hiatus, Hellmann returns to her Chicago-based sleuth with a chilling tale that may be all too close to the truth.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review: “Exceptional… As Hellman’s convincing, conflicted characters face impossible choices, the tension is real and memorable.”

Booklist: “Hellmann’s writing sparkles…plenty of suspense in this richly detailed thriller, but Hellmann’s characteristic wit and warmth are evident, too.”

Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins: “From spies to drones and hackers, Jump Cut is a heart-stopping tale of corporate espionage that will have you snapping on your seatbelt. The tangled web of international intrigue is riveting. Hellman is a renowned master of suspense, and her great talent shows in the story’s many rich characters, the beautifully honed paragraphs, and the sweep of her provocative story. A keeper!”

Amazon Customer Review:

5 stars  A thriller that will keep you enthralled, a wild joyride into terror  Reviewed by Nightreader

This new Ellie Forman book took me to a place of excitement, creativity and secrets; the creation of a video to be played in sections, ‘chapters’ as Ellie puts it, for a huge aeronautic corporation is very well written, as Libby Fischer Hellman turns out another fascinating storyline of probable murder and plenty of mayhem thrown in the works. Libby has a definite feel for her characters, they always come alive (or dead as the case may be.) I always like to learn something new from a book, and learn I did. I thought the work on the video editing, how and what was done was very interesting, and certainly looked forward to seeing what ‘Waldo’, Gregory Sparks, was up to. Why did he show up in so many places on this coporate video? He said he was a consultant, but who does he really work for? Why is he asking so many questions if he is indeed a consultant? Why is his visibility in the video a cause for Ellie’s work to be shut down immediately?
Now, fired and miserable, Ellie will begin to pick up the pieces and try to learn what happened. Taking action as she always does, she sets up a meeting with Gregory, meeting where their various El trains intersect. But, why is he so late? Screams and panic sound the alarm as she approaches the point where his train should be coming in. She’s not going to get any answers here. As she accidentally discovers a flash drive she knows could only have come from him, she pockets it. Now she hopes to learn the truth about why she was fired.

Here the pace picks up substantially and the reader is thrust into a roller coaster of terror. A thriller that will keep you enthralled with espionage, spies and kidnapping. Her associates trying to keep her safe yet solve the puzzle include her boyfriend and her daughter as well as the police and the FBI, because this has suddenly become an international case. Luke fears for Ellie’s life but has some good connections. Ellie suspects phone-tapping, computer hacking, and the ever-present shadowing of every movement she makes. Libby Fisher Hellman knows how to get your adrenaline going and turns it up with a different version of what she does so well. IEDs, encrypted files, hacked computers, lots to keep the reader on high alert in this one. We always know what Ellie Forman is prone to do, but we never know just what it will be from book to book. So glad she is back, she is a solid character and often unexpected.

Book Review: Liliana by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Book 1 of the Liliana series

Boom!

That deafening sound changed Liliana’s life forever.

Her mother sits dead besides her, shot to death on the streets of Chicago.

Within weeks, Liliana is sent to live with a father she doesn’t know in Colombia – a foreign land filled with challenges for Liliana. While working to pay off her father’s debt, she meets the love of her life, who frees her from her father’s illusory home, only to bring her into a new world of twisted surprises, dangers, and deceit.

Barnes & Noble Customer Review

BN 5 stars

The child Liliana talks you into her life …

The child Liliana talks you into her life until you feel you are her, growing up in the Chicago slums with Mom, and still “Daddy’s girl” in secret phone calls. Life with her father is shockingly different from her expectations. and the plot twists and turns as Lily grows into a sexy, passionate woman. Reading this book will leave you watching for the next in the series. It’s thrilling, and full of passion and suspense.

About the Author:

Neva Squires-Rodriguez was born and raised in a neighborhood located on the North Side of Chicago. Mother, Wife, Expert at Multitasking… and now, Author; Neva creates electrifying stories with a twist.

Neva Squires-Rodriguez earned her Masters Degree from National University, a feat which she worked very hard to obtain and says she will work even harder to pay off.

She claims to be a typical American, full of dreams that will hopefully get her to a more comfortable lifestyle one day. She says, “God has a plan and I will follow wherever it is that He takes me.”

Liliana
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Find Neva Squires-Rodriguez online:

Website: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com
Twitter: @NevaRodriguez22
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com

About some of the VHP .99-cent’rs

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2015 Christmas Short Story CVR

 

“Great book, loved the characters. I was able to relate with the characters and the story drew me in like no other. I would highly recommend this phenomenal Christmas tale.” ~ Author Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Believing in Santa
a Holiday Short Story
by Chelle Cordero

Dini didn’t want to think about her past. And, Seth wasn’t thinking about anything but his past. Thrown together as Santa and his Number One Elf at the homeless shelter, Dini and Seth seem to be on opposite sides… of everything. Her past is catching up to her, and Seth may risk his future to protect her.

 

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“Paul Zunckel’s descriptive words take you on a harrowing ride as Piet battles to save the child he is responsible for. Readers can feel his desperation and his fears as he struggles to right a mistake. It’s an excellent read.” ~ Chelle Cordero

The Smoke that Thunders
a Holiday Short Story
by Paul Zunckel

Piet and Peggy, along with their infant daughter, Heather, are about to have a guest at their safari camp home…Taking care of their friends’ daughter for a few days will be easy. Piet, the rough and tough safari owner, has been Uncle Piet to little Debi since the day he brought her safely from the wreckage of the plane that killed her parents. As thunder rolls across the African sky, sending out a warning to those who would care to take heed, the mighty Zambezi River moves forward like a bulldozer, with nothing to hold it back… Can Piet save the child from the raging waters of the Mighty Zambezi before she crashes over the falls and to the tumbled waters and wicked rocks below?

 

The Holiday Secret CVR 3F

 

 “The love between sisters can transcend even the seemingly impossible. This poignant story about a Christmas miracle teaches Evaliz a lesson and memories to last a lifetime.” ~ Chelle Cordero

The Holiday Secret
a Holiday Short Story
by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

When Evaliz’s parents send her to New York to visit her sister, Tatiana for the holidays, she has no idea what the weekend has in store for her. After a devastating conversation with her boyfriend she is doubtful that her visit with her sister, who she’s always been jealous of will be any better. After Tatiana reveals a shocking secret, Evaliz wonders how her life will ever be the same.

Will Evaliz finally realize that the most important thing she could have wanted for Christmas was something she had the entire time?

 

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 “This holiday tale is guaranteed to put you in the Christmas mood!  Ms. Philip combines humor with real life predicaments to entertain and put a smile on the reader’s face.” ~ Chelle Cordero

Romancing the Grinch
a Holiday Short Story
by Tamara Philip

Lenora Winslow absolutely despises holiday cheer. Logan Darling thrives in the festive season. When the two meet by chance on Christmas Eve, will love be in the air or will it be a case of the winter blues?

 

 

First Christmas CVR

 

“This is a delightful love story within a love story, definitely cements the mood! Leave it to Lauren Shiro to craft two intense love stories in the same story. It’s heartwarming romance at its best.” ~ Chelle Cordero

First Christmas
a Holiday Short Story
by Lauren Shiro

A heartwarming holiday short story – Corrine and Darryl haven’t spent much time together, with Darryl away in the military. Now, Darryl is coming home. Corrine has changed… grown… become a woman he barely knows… a woman who amazes him at every turn. He’s coming home to their first home for their first Christmas… together, at last.

 

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“The tale of the Costigan family that began with Reconstructing Charlie has come full-circle to a new beginning, one where the four siblings, torn apart by tragedy and greed, are once again re-united just in time for Christmas. Holiday warmth and love fills the home of the kindly aunt and uncle who took Charlie in so many years before.” ~ Chelle Cordero

Home for the Holidays
a Holiday Short Story
by Charmaine Gordon

Eight year old twin sisters were placed in a private religious school in Utah years ago. Ten years later, they reach out to the kind aunt and uncle who raised their older sister and brother. An escape plan is made and their truly wicked mother is forced to face what she did by throwing away her children in exchange for her own freedom.

 

Jock Holiday Special 2014

“The undeniably humorous Jock Stewart, a sarcastically witty (fictional) journalist and the brain child of Malcolm R. Campbell, shares a few of his intriguing “news stories” and personal observations. There are enough amusing quips to put a smile on any reader’s face.” ~ Chelle Cordero


Jock Who? Jock Stewart!

Jock’s Holiday Musings
by Malcolm R. Campbell

Jock Stewart, known for his wit and sarcasm, shares a few news stories he’s written about this holiday, including JOCK STEWART’S HOLIDAY BOOK BUYING GUIDE, NEW INTERSTATE BLOCKS ROAD TO GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE, and A MILLION LITTLE LIES. He also shares a free preview of his comedic murder mystery, Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire.

 

This Season CVR small

“A heartwarming book with two fabulous short stories. Thank you so much for kicking off the Christmas season right girls! I have read these two writers before but they outdid themselves this time. I enjoyed the Love and the Faith this story brings to the table. I would even go so far as to suggest this as a fantabulous Christian read! These girls definitely know what holiday spirit is. Both stories would make great Christmas movies if any producers are listening????”  ~ Gaby Tamayo

This Season…
Two Holiday Short Stories
by Tamara Philip & Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Two Holiday Short Stories in one volume, from Tamara Philip (The Cupid Series) and Neva Squires-Rodriguez (The Liliana Trilogy).

Have Love
by Tamara Philip

Bookstore owner, Danny Archer has always led a quiet unassuming life but when the mysterious Josephine, enters his shop, it’s love at first sight.

With Christmas right around the corner and a little help from his twin sister, it seems like a dream come true.

But will the secret that she’s harboring leave them heartbroken for the Holidays or will love find a way?
Have Faith
by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Things couldn’t get any worse for Yasmin Vazquez this Christmas season. With her life falling apart around her, snatching the wreath off the apartment door that her cheating ex-boyfriend evicted her out of, was just the beginning of a nightmare of a day that led to her meeting handsome police officer, Emmanuel Colon.

Despite all of her misgivings, Yasmin allows him into her life as the magic of faith and hope helps mend her soul. But is he all that he claims to be or is there more to his story?

 

Holiday Happiness CVR

 

“A heartwarming story about life and love, hardships and joys. Sometimes the riches we yearn for come in the most unexpected ways. This story about a struggling couple encourages each of us to appreciate all that we have. It was romantic to read and really satisfying.” ~ F. Ramos


Holiday Happiness

a Holiday Short Story
by Chelle Cordero

A short story about finding holiday happiness when you didn’t realize it was right there with you all along.

Cooking With Paige from Bartlett’s Rule

My characters are very real to me and they do all of the normal things that humans do — like cooking. In this excerpt Paige Andrews has cooked one of Lon Bartlett’s favorite dishes, the recipe is below.

It’s been a while since she walked out on him and didn’t look back so Paige is hoping that a comfortable meal together will help soften the awkwardness a little.

I hope you enjoy!
~ Chelle

Paige prepared one of his favorite dishes, Tortellini Alfredo. There was a tossed salad and warm garlic bread to go with it. The aroma of the Italian cooking mingled with the sweet flavors of the Caribbean restaurant downstairs cast an appetizing smell to her apartment. She hadn’t spent much time cooking since moving to Delaware. Cooking for one never seemed so inviting.

She had just finished setting the small card table she had opened in the living room when he knocked on the door. Taking the time to light candles on their dinner table, Paige called out that the door was open.

Lon came through the doorway and suddenly her small living room just seemed to get a little smaller. He carried a bottle of wine in one hand and a delicate bouquet of flowers in the other.

Paige pivoted to face him. She felt a nervous twinge in her stomach. “Hi.” She motioned to the table. “Dinner is just about ready. Thank you for coming.”

CHEESE TORTELLINI ALFREDO    

1 lb. cheese tortellini
1 pkg. frozen peas
1/4 lb. softened butter
1/2 cup grated Pecorino and/or Parmesan cheese (blend to taste)
3/4 cup heavy cream

Place peas in colander and run warm water to break them up. Cook tortellini in boiling water until firm; drain to the colander over the peas. In a pot on low heat, melt butter and mix with cream. Return the tortellini and peas to pot. On low heat, mix well with butter/cream, add cheese, salt, and pepper; mix well. Serves 4; best served with a side salad and hot garlic bread.

 

Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero shares the story of Lon and Paige’s love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.

Bartlett’s Rule was named one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top Ten Reads for 2009.

Reviews:
Malcolm Campbell
Barbara Moroch
Bobi / Amazon

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