The Face of Bo

Erm, no. Not to be confused with The Face of Boe from Doctor Who.

I just sent off a mockup of the cover for BARRON’S LAST STAND to cover artist extraordinaire, Tomomi Ink, (a.k.a. author TK Toppin,) as well as the elements I used. She is going to be putting everything together for me and adding that magical flash of brilliance that she does to make my book covers “epic” (as my readers have called them.)

Bo’s eyes appeared on the cover of SOVRAN’S PAWN and Blade was shown in silhouette on HERO’S END. (Or it could have been Bo’s father, or her uncle Royce — jussayin’.) BARRON’S LAST STAND will show an actual, recognizable female face and…well…you’re just going to have to wait for the rest. I am really loving what I sent to her. I cannot wait to see what she does with it because she’s brilliant, you know.

And in other news:

Several short stories are currently making the rounds among my beta readers. I hope to have a collection of short Bo and Blade adventures ready to go very soon which I hope will tide readers over until BARRON’S LAST STAND is finished and polished up.

And…

Editor par excellence, Laurel Kriegler has talked me into making preliminary notes for a series on the ill-fated love story of Bhruic Barron and Marissa Kiara – Bo’s parents. There is a lot about their story that has never been revealed beyond my copious backstory notes and I think Laurel developed a little crush on The Barron while editing HERO’S END.

But wait, there’s more!

Fans of Blade (and let’s face it, we are legion,) will be happy to know that the first of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON:  ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS is still simmering on the stove top. The first draft is complete, as is the back cover blurb, and I am also toying with cover ideas.

And while BARRON’S LAST STAND may be the end of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, it is by no means the end of Bo and Blade’s story. I’ve also started working on notes for the as-yet-unnamed series that follows.

Book Review: Purged In Fire by TK Toppin

Purged In Fire (A Jax Marlin Novella - To Catch A Marlin #2)Purged In Fire by T.K. Toppin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of TK Toppin’s “To Catch A Marlin” series. I just love the way the author has drawn the characters of Jax Marlin and her copper, Michael Pedroni, and I love how they do their intricate dance in a cat-and-mouse chase.

In Purged in Fire, Jax is up to her old tricks, tracking down a sadistic bad guy at Ring of Fire space station in order to give him some of his own. Pedroni, her ever dogged shadow is hot on her trail, still undecided whether to kiss her, or take her in.

Peppered with sly humor, the dichotomy between Pedroni’s by-the-book life view and Jax’s skewed perspective of right and wrong creates just enough conflict between the two that the reader can accept their unusual relationship. Both characters see their world in absolutes of right and wrong, though Pedroni insists on working within the system, Jax sees the system as part of the problem. While you cheer for them to share more than the occasional kiss, phone call, or flirt, your rational mind knows their relationship can never be, though these two are so obviously perfect for each other.

In true Marlin fashion, the setting is exotic and skillfully woven into the story, Jax and Pedroni spend a certain amount of time distracted by thoughts of the other, and the villain’s comeuppance is gruesome and in keeping with his crimes.

My only complaint with Purged In Fire is that it was far too short. I really enjoy the convoluted twists and turns of Toppin’s longer works. However, Purged In Fire was a fantastic escape and a quick read that I highly recommend.

View all my reviews

Book Review: To Catch A Marlin

What a fun ride!

From the start, the cat-and-mouse game between copper Pedroni and vigilante Jax had me hooked! I was in the boat from the get-go!

Pedroni is a burned-out police detective who would rather keep his feet on good old terra firma than go chasing a slippery vigilante to a space-based wonderland of debauchery. But because it’s Jacinda Fish, a.k.a Jax Marlin, he goes.

In the tradition of Leslie Charteris classic series “The Saint,” Jax is a cross of Catwoman, Xena, and Simon Templar, with ninja skills and catlike reflexes. Pedroni reminds me of both Columbo, with his sometimes deceptive and intentional bumbling, and Nick Charles with his delightful biting wit and self-effacing view of the world. In TK Toppin’s deft hands, the mix is pure GOLD!!

As the story progresses we get a sense of both characters’ internal conflict as they fight their attraction to each other. Pedroni, jaded enough to wonder if Jax way isn’t better, and Jax idealistic enough to want to do the right thing, come together in a perfect blend of moral ambiguity that leaves the reader questioning where the line should be drawn.

I laughed out loud at some scenes and held my breath in heart-pounding excitement at others. Toppin creates a full and rich world with amazing wonders and believable details and paints a brilliant picture of them in crystal clear detail. She does it with a light hand and a master’s touch. Her action scenes only lack the heart-thumping bass rhythms of a musical score.

Just when you think the story couldn’t get any better, there are space pirates! Not just any space pirates, either. Captain Taris is a memorable rapscallion who deserves a book or two of his own!

I didn’t want this book to end. My one consolation is that this is one of many stories starring Jax and Pedroni.

Please Ms. Toppin… keep them coming!

NEW RELEASE: “To Catch A Marlin” By TK Toppin

Don’t you just love the cover?

I don’t make it a practice to hawk new releases without a review, but I can’t wait to finish writing the review before I tell you the exciting news about TK Toppin’s latest release TO CATCH A MARLIN that hit the stands today.

I was fortunate enough to beta read this book for the author, and even in its rough drafts it captured my imagination in a way that…well, let’s just say I have been counting the minutes until I could order this completed, polished novel for my very own! I really believe this is the author’s best work yet!

It’s a lighthearted adventure with parts that will make you laugh out loud and other parts will keep you turning the pages well into the wee hours of the night. I just bought my copy for my Kindle. I’ll be purchasing the paperback as well. This is one book I want for my permanent library. Keep an eye on this page for the review, hopefully next week. I can guarantee 5 Stars.

Congratulations to TK Toppin on her newest release and best of luck.

***

In the tail end of the 24th Century, Special Inspector Michael Pedroni pursues a beautiful and elusive vigilante, Jax Marlin, in a wild cat and mouse chase that will take him from Earth to the Bacchus Dome and beyond.

Jax Marlin is not your average criminal; she seeks out evil-doers and law-breakers, doling out justice in whatever way she sees fit. But lately, she finds she’s been gift-wrapping criminals specially for her favorite copper.

Four of the world’s leading criminals are determined to form an alliance. Jax is determined to stop them. Hot on her heels, Inspector Pedroni finds himself questioning the difference, if any, between her justice and his. More than that, he wonders why, when he’d had her in his grasp, he was unable to slap on the restraints and bring her in.

Both want the same thing–to stop criminals. But the growing attraction each has toward the other becomes a dangerous hindrance.

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Pick up your copy of TO CATCH A MARLIN here