Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci (@DavidBaldacci)

There are certain authors that when their names come up, thriller lovers sit up and take notice.  Baldacci has definitely become one of those names.  Hell's Corner delivers on all the unstated promises of suspense, intrigue and... of course... thrills that have been a hallmark of Baldacci's writing from the get-go.

For the thriller readers, this is one of those no-brainers.  Of course you should read it.  Oliver Stone and his Camel Club are wonderful characters to revisit and this novel takes them to some new and interesting places.  It's a real rip-snorter of a book that will zip you along to its conclusion.  The premise is a stretch, and there are some characterizations that seem decidedly un-Baldacci-ish, but he remains a masterful story-spinner.  You may not fall in love with this novel as much as some of his others, but you'll see that it earns the money you put down for it.

The rest of you out there (you know who you are), may not find this a good place to enter into the Baldacci ocean if you haven't already tested those waters already.  Work your way up to this novel by reading other Camel Club novels first.  The genesis of the series is called, appropriately enough, The Camel Club.  In my estimation, though, Stone Cold is the best of the bunch.  They're fun, they're well-plotted and the characters aren't all dark-haired and chisel-featured supermen.  The Camel Club is made up of the aging and the infirm, with a lot of interesting little quirks that keep them lively and engaging. 

So, if you're a thriller lover, this one needs to be on your to-read list if you haven't gobbled it up already.  If you're not, ease yourself into the series by reading Stone Cold first.  Hell's Corner is available here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"The Emperor's Tomb" by Steve Berry, reviewed by @mrneil98

We brought back @mrneil98 to review this novel for us, because he's a huge Berry fan and because he's just stinkin' awesome!

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift do I have the book for you. For me it was a belated birthday with the release of one of my favorite author’s new novel, The Emperor’s Tomb. It had been over a year since his last, The Paris Vendetta but my appetite had been partially appeased in September with the release of Balkan Escape, a short story e-book that acted as a prequel to Emperor’s Tomb introducing a key character, Lev Sokolov, and establishing a debt owed by Cassiopeia Vitt.

Berry has again delivered a classic Cotton Malone action thriller with exotic settings and loaded with historic facts. This time though, he takes a risk by making Malone and his gang secondary players to the main crux of the story, a power struggle for leadership of China. I was surprised early in the novel when so much of the focus dealt with ministers Karl Tang, a ruthless traditionalist and the more liberal Ni Yong and a third party, the mysterious Pau Wen. Tang and Yong were leading contenders for Primer of China once the aging present ruler stepped down. Pau Wen seems to be working for and against both but his motives are never fully revealed.

There are more twists in the Emperor‘s Tomb than a pound of rotini. Aside from the triangular power struggle for control of China, there is a triangular struggle for Lev Sokolov and his knowledge of “infinite oil” between the Americans, the Russians and the Chinese. The usual cast has reassembled with Malone and Vitt being directed by Stephanie Nell but Viktor Tomas has been reintroduced to confuse things. Tomas was from the last book, and was working against Malone then switched sides. Here he is working every side but is also developing into a rival for Cassiopeia’s attention.

Although the majority of the novel takes place in China, the reader is first treated to tours of Copenhagen and Antwerp, described in detail that can only come from first hand experience. After a brief stop in Vietnam, the remainder of the book spans the vast and varied Chinese landscape focusing a great deal on the history and politics of this mysterious nation. The center piece is the tomb of the first emperor Qin Shi buried with his army of thousands of terra cotta warriors, chariots and horses. I was surprised after reading the notes and a few interviews that Steve Berry had never been to China but he does own a life-sized replica of a terra cotta soldier.

As always Berry fills his novels with meticulously researched details about Chinese history and culture and I couldn’t wait to finish the book just to read the author’s notes sorting out the fact from the fiction. I also enjoyed the map of Asia on the first pages with key cities highlighted and found myself referring back to it time and time again during the book. Reading The Emperor’s Tomb was like visiting friends. The characters have become such a part of my reading world it was just catching up on their latest exploits.

May I wish you all a Berry Merry Christmas and encourage you all to join Malone’s Clones.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Port Mortuary" by Patricia Cornwell (@1pcornwell)

I love getting to review thriller novels by strong women that have strong women as the protagonist of their books.  So, I guess you could say that I'm a happy camper right about now.

If you're a thriller reader already, I probably don't need to introduce Ms. Cornwell to you.  If I do, then all I have to say to you is...WHAT???  You need to be reading this stuff!  Seriously.  This book has got all the bells and whistles, which is sometimes code for a lot of research but not a lot of oomph between the front and back flaps.  That, fortunately, is not the case here.  Cornwell knocks it out of the park, once more.  Loads of cool new toys, fascinating murders, suspense and intrigue make this another strong entry in the Scarpetta series.  Is it any surprise that Angelina Jolie has signed on to play the inimitable Kay Scarpetta herself?  Yowza!

Now, if you're one of those convince-me-that-I-should-read-this-thriller types, wipe that look of skepticism from off your lovely face.  This novel sees a return to the first-person narrative style that was a hallmark of the earlier Scarpetta novels.  This puts us into her mind, and it's a fascinatingly flawed one.  Strong, opinionated, and possibly a bit paranoid, Kay Scarpetta is worthy of the dynasty she's spawned.  Plus, there's all sorts of interpersonal dynamics happening with Benton that will keep your interest piqued if grisly murders don't do it for you.

So...what are you waiting for?  Go check the sucker out!  You can find it here.  You'll see that the reviews are pretty overwhelmingly positive.  Most of the negatives have nothing to do with the book and everything to do with the price of the Kindle version.  Hmmmm.  There may be a reason her publisher feels they can charge that much.  #justsayin'

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"The Confession" by John Grisham

Okay, so Grisham was one of the authors that first got me reading thrillers.  That doesn't necessarily mean that all his novels are going to be the same level of thrilling.

Thriller readers, fear not.  There is still plenty of tense story driving in this one.  It will pick you up and take you along for the ride.  I'm just not sure that it's going to whisk you away in a whirlwind the way that some of his first novels did.  Still plenty of driving action, plenty of brisk pacing, plenty of heart-pounding moments.  If you're an adrenaline junkie, this will be more than enough of a fix.

However, if you're not, you'll find this to be a pleasant departure (depending on your politics) from the legal thriller genre.  There's a lot of social commentary in this one.  Perhaps too much, for some.  I like my moralizing well masked and this wasn't particularly.  It's been compared to Upton Sinclair, who frankly is not one of my favs, but I gotta say...I've read his stuff and found it compelling.  Same story here.  If you don't agree with Grisham's premise, you may get a little hot under the collar, but it will definitely give you food for thought.  If you do, you'll find plenty of reasons to rave about it.

Ultimately, The Confession deserves a read, and not just because we "owe" it to Grisham because of his past triumphs.  It stands on its own and would find a voice even without Grisham's name attached.  Get it and enjoy it, whether you're a die-hard thriller reader or not!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cristyn West (@cristynwest) and "Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware"

This is a guest blog from Ben Hopkin (@actingnodrama), brought back for a second time, because...well...he's awesome!

You'll notice I put the writer first in the title.  There's a reason for that.  Before I talk about how awesome Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware is (and wow, it is), I have to talk about the enigma that is Cristyn West.  I thought I'd do it now, because it's her birthday this week.  Happy Birthday/Thanksgiving Cristyn/Carolyn/Craftycmc!

Cristyn West is the pen name for the incomparable Carolyn McCray, an amazing veterinarian-turned-writer-turned-screenwriter-turned-producer/director.  In short, she's done it all.  I had the unique opportunity to meeting her kinda backwards.

I encountered her first wearing her screenwriting hat.  I was a part of workshopping a number of her screenplays, which I found to be incredibly well-crafted and compelling.  When she produced and directed her first short film, I jumped (okay, leaped) on board as her lead.  From there, I was able to start reading her novels, and finally had the chance to see her at work with animals.

You would think with all she has going on, one of those areas would suffer.  Not even a little bit.  Her writing is amazing, her filmmaking brilliant and her work with animals absolutely endearing (which, when you read some of her darker works, is a very good thing to have in the balance).

Okay, enough about the person, what about the book?  Well, Plain Jane kept me up at night.  I mean that in two ways.  I was kept up at first because I couldn't put the #$%#$!* book down!  Then I was kept up thinking about it (okay, and because I was a little bit scared, but don't tell anyone), mulling it over, walking through all the twists and realizing how seamless it all was.

Plain Jane is a thrill ride, plain and simple.  It's got compelling, three-dimensional characters that I cared about, a plot that felt as driving as a jackhammer and dialogue sharp enough that I found myself wanting to steal for my own uses.  It's alternately chilling and steamy (great recipe for a case of the literary sniffles, by the way...where the only cure is another Cristyn West book which better be coming soon, dammit!), with such great sexual tension between Kent and Nicole that at times I felt like I shouldn't be watching/reading.

As an actor, here's the kicker for me.  If I not only can see it as a film, but want to have a leading role in it, it's a home run.  This was a grand slam.  I would be willing to be an extra in this sucker!  And then pay premium theatre prices (with popcorn and drink) to go see it.

And if all this isn't enough for you, the e-book costs $2.99 on Smashwords.  Three bucks!  Are you kidding me?  A good hamburger costs more than that.  So, I guess what I'm saying is, get it now.  Read it.  You won't be sorry.  And if somehow you are, come and talk to me on Twitter--@actingnodrama.  We'll have a fun little conversation about it. :)

Ben Hopkin started his career in entertainment at the age of 10, where he performed alongside his father in the opera Gianni Schicchi.  Since then he has gone on to perform in theatre, television and film, often working with Tony and Emmy award-winning actors and directors.  Ben is a graduate of the renowned Old Globe Theatre MFA program and was Director of the Acting for Film Undergraduate and MFA programs at the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios for five years.  As a director and producer, Ben has won awards for his work in television and his films have screened at festivals around the country.  Currently Ben is co-founder of Off Our Meds MultiMedia, which has a full slate of commercial, television and film projects.  He also teaches online acting and dialect classes and workshops (go here to find out more and/or sign up) and you can find him on Twitter.  He's also got a radio show that you can find here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (@Zafonescrituras)

Not your typical thriller, granted.  But, hey, we're not your typical reviewer.

Holy cow, this novel will grip you and take you on a ride.  It's the kind of Gothic thriller that seeps into your bones, invades your dreams and haunts your every waking moment.  I don't know how she did it, but Lucia Graves, the English translator, somehow manages to make it feel like you're reading the original version in Spanish.  I lived in Spain for a couple of years, and this novel took me back with so many subtle little details.

Zafon bleeds magic into every page.  Even though there's really nothing that's not possible in the real and rational world, this almost feels like a paranormal thriller.  I love thrillers that grab me by the throat and pummel me.  This one wrapped me up in gauzy, silken strands and then whipped me around like a rag doll.  And yet, at the end, in spite of (or maybe because of) all the many tense and horror-filled moments, I felt gently, but shaken...back in my own bed.  Where I promptly revisited the world Zafon created in my dreams.

That's kind of what the novel feels like.  A beautiful, haunting and very realistic dream.

You see that I'm waxing poetic in an uncharacteristic way.  So, let me put it to you this way.  If you love thrillers, this will be an awesome departure from the norm for which you will want to kiss me square on the mouth.  If you're not a big fan of thrillers, this is one of those that you can brag about at your book club while STILL ENJOYING THE NOVEL!!

That's right!  All the literary clout you could hope for...stunning prose, razor-sharp characters (wait until you meet Fermin...he'll keep you in stitches), and a plot that will whack you upside the head with all the weight of a century old cathedral.  But at the same time, it's a page-turner.  It kept me up at night, trying to read just a few more pages before my eyelids sagged.

I'm telling you, read the stinkin' book!  You will be very happy that you did.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Law of Attaction" by Allison Leotta (@AllisonLeotta)

This is not your typical thriller.  While it does have some truly gripping sequences that are quite suspenseful, it's the overall feel of the novel that's building tension.  You know that something's up.  You know it's coming.  You're just not sure exactly what.

This is Allison Leotta's debut novel, and at moments it shows.  The novel became immensely more compelling about halfway through.  But I gotta say, it was worth getting there.  Once it took off, I had a tough time putting it down.  You thriller lovers are perhaps not going to find as much adrenaline here as you're used to, but you will find some nice twists and turns and a building sense of "what's coming next" that'll keep you engaged.

Those that can take or leave the thriller genre will find quite a bit more here.  There are well-drawn and charismatic characters, including a convincingly green but well-meaning and good-hearted heroine.  Some very steamy sex...steamy enough to get me to loosen my collar (and make some other not-to-be-named romance authors step up their game).  Finally, a secondary family plot line that will tug at your heartstrings.

In short, Allison Leotta is an up-and-coming author to watch very closely.  I'm glad I read Law of Attraction and look forward to her next!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with M.J. Rose (The Reincarnationist)

So, Thrillers Rock Twitter decided we really wanted to talk to M.J. Rose (author of The Reincarnationist series) and she graciously (or foolishly, depending on your outlook) agreed.  She had some fascinating things to say, and also told us that she's willing to give away a copy of The Hypnotist (3rd in The Reincarnationist series) to one of our lucky readers. #score!

Thrillers Rock Twitter:  Okay, tell us you REALLY write every single day?  REALLY?? :)
M.J. Rose:  Nope. And I never said I did
There are stages for me in writing a book.
First stage – research. Up to 3 months. I don’t write pages at all – but I make a scrapbook for my characters and take notes and have fun getting them and their lives in my head.
Second stage – first draft.  6 months. I try to write 6 days a week at least 3 hours a day. I just make a mess and keep going. I usually mange three weeks like that and then flake off for 4 or 5 days in a row and have to force myself back.
Third stage – 3 months. Right before I give it to my agent – and I’m really fixing every single sentence and reorganizing and obsesSING. And I do write 6 or 7 days a week for at least 4 hours sometimes 6 or 7.  And then I have to force myself to take time off because I really am crazed with the book and so frustrated that I can’t get it right.
What are your favorite excuses...ahem...reasons for not writing?
Any excuse will do in stage 2.

Now, we've all heard the "what got you into writing" question.  I want to know, what nearly kept you out of writing?  Just about every writer has it...that moment where you could go either way.  What was yours?

Oh I gave up. For three years. I’d had it with my agent not being able to sell my first two novels despite all the rave rejections. I’d had it with the rave rejections. I just didn’t want to hate walking into bookstores anymore. So I quit and didn’t even look back for those three years. It was really very freeing in once sense.  Scary in another.

Again, we know the "what's your favorite character" thing.  Do you have a least favorite?  Or, even better, one that you love to hate?  Both?

If I don’t like a character I don’t read past the first 10 pages of the book.  I’m not very patient. Too many great books to read to bother with the others. 

We'd love hearing about what your inspirations are, but I think even more telling is where you choose to write.  Does it change, or do you have a writing cave?

I had to reach myself to write anywhere. A bunch of family medical issues forced me to learn to write in waiting rooms. My cave is inside the laptop.
Be totally straight with us...when you were deciding upon a genre, did future sales enter into the equation, or was it fully a passion of yours from the start?

I didn’t decide on a genre.  I wrote what I wanted to read. And what came out was a mishmash of genres. Still does. I don’t fit any genre well. And that’s why I still have a day job. I often wish I could write to the market but seem incapable.  

As far as the thrills you deliver in your novels, are you drawing at all from real life, or do you use up all the adrenaline in your stories and then cuddle up with a nice mug of hot cocoa afterward?

I’ve actually had some terrifying experiences and emotionally draw on them… held up at gunpoint… walked into a double shooting… caught in an explosion… but my life is thankfully dull 99.9% of the time.

Was there ever a novel you were writing where afterward you just thought, "Wow.  That was unexpected."?

Yes, all the time. Thank God. I don’t think I’d keep writing if I didn’t have those moments.

Okay, this one's for the budding authors out there.  If there were one thing that you wished you had known (or that someone had told you) "back then", what would it be?

I was so stubborn I wouldn’t have listened. HOPEFULLY THEY WON'T EITHER. YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE YOUR OWN MISTAKES.  (But in my case it would have been not to leave my first publisher after that second book and follow my editor to a new house.)

Finally, if there's something you could tell your readers that you know will never come up in another interview, NOW is the time!  Carte blanche!

Yes, I want to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house and was left back in 7th grade.


We at Thriller Rock want to thank Ms. Rose again, both for writing some majorly kick-butt novels and also for letting us ask her off-beat questions!  For those that would like to participate in the give-away, please follow our blog and comment below (make SURE to leave either your email address or your Twitter handle so that we can get in touch with you).  The winner will be announced on Sunday Nov. 7th at 7 pm Pacific Standard Time!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Trapped" by Jack Kilborn (@jakonrath)

I saved the scariest (and the goriest--fair warning, everyone) for last.  I figured in the week leading up to Halloween, we've got to go for the gusto, right?

And holy cow, Jack Kilborn (J.A. Konrath) does.  If you like going camping, I'm going to tell you this right now:  do not read this book if you want to be able to sleep out in the wilderness ever again.

So, for you thriller readers, I would say that this goes beyond thrills, beyond horror and into a new category all it's own.  Let's call it screaming night terrors.  Okay, I need something punchier, but you get the idea.  This novel is one of the few that I wanted to finish reading quickly in order to NO LONGER LIVE IN FEAR.  Finishing it is a little bit like the relief after having a dislocated shoulder snapped back in place.

Don't get me wrong.  It is a thrill ride and a half.  Just don't expect to be coddled at any point.

Now, for the rest of you who are probably thinking, "Okay, there is no chance whatsoever that I will read this book," let me tell you a trio of things.  One, it's Halloween.  If you're ever going to take a chance on horror, now is the time to do it.  Two, the gore here is very well done.  Sort of a gosh-I'm-embarrassed-I-liked-that-so-much kind of thing.  Like Pulp Fiction.  And third and lastly, this novel is $2.99 on Smashwords.  Yes, you read that right.  Three bucks.  So take the plunge.  Even if you don't like the water, you're not out much.

Now please excuse me while I go burn all my camping gear.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"iDrakula" by Bekka Black (@bekka_black)

That's right! More horror! (Hey, it's that time of year, what can I say?)

This week, we've got an fascinating take on an oldie but goody.  With iDrakula, Becca Black has pulled Bram Stoker's Dracula kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  Instead of letters back and forth, it's emails, text messages and websites sizzling across the pages.

And it works. Totally.  At 160 pages, this YA chiller will be a quick read for you or your teenager (or tweenager, or whatever), but it's such a great new spin on an old tale that it's completely worth it.  If you're a big fan of classic horror, you'll chuckle at the wonderfully innovative updating while still feeling the chill creeping down your spine at the horror of what you know is happening.  And, come on, you know you dig getting back to the vampire nitty-gritty, right? Much as the thought of vegetarian vamps may be's just not that time of year.

And if you're not such a fan of horror, this is such a clever modernization that it's worth reading just for the new spin Black puts on it.  The format is engaging, and before you know it, you're halfway through the book.  There is an essential disconnect in our use of modern technology, and you can feel it increase the stakes (and yes, that pun was intended) as the horror mounts.  And again, if there's ever a time to branch into the rich (and creepy) world of horror, it's this time of year.  iDrakula will be as gentle and fun a way to do that as you can find.

So, pick up a copy.  In fact, do yourself one better.  It's a novel that uses modern methods of communication to tell a story.  So, use a modern method of downloading!  If you haven't tried out e-books yet, now's the perfect time.  iDrakula's available on Kindle through and other e-book platforms through  Download the sucker (and that pun was intended, too)!

One final item, thriller fans!  I have 3 copies of iDrakula to give away!  If you would like to be entered, leave a comment (you MUST include either your Twitter handle or your email so I can get in touch with you).  The winners will be picked on Friday at 7pm Pacific Standard Time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill

It's October.  Time to get creepy.

First off, for you thriller fans, if you have anything that you want to get done over the course of the next few days, do not, I repeat DO NOT pick up this book.  Your life will be sucked down the creepy, compelling and just plain-ol'-awesome black hole of a book that Joe Hill has put together.  His writing's lean and mean and drags you on a ride that'll have you turning on the lights during the daytime.  Word.

Here's the thing:  Hill goes there.  And once he goes there, he doesn't retreat.  He's out on that ledge looking for a toehold to take you to the next insanely dangerous (but totally thrilling) place.  And the whole time, his story's so completely grounded that it doesn't feel like a story.  You're there.  You're seeing it.  And what you're seeing will scare the beejeebers out of you.  Oh yeah, and the gore.  Did I mention the gore?  #notmeantforaweakstomach

Now I know for you non-thriller types that telling you to take an even bigger leap to horror is asking a lot.  I get it.  But listen...Hill's writing something that goes beyond horror here.  His prose approaches poetry at times, without feeling all self-conscious.  Know what I mean?  The guy can craft a story and get your heart racing, but there's also a real sense of kindness underneath the horror.  The main character's going through this whole transformation that leaves us feeling like change is not only possible, but actually a good idea.

Oh, and one more thing to think about.  It's coming up on Halloween.  If now isn't the time to experiment with some horror, when is?

So, go out and buy a couple of nightlights, clear your schedule and pick up this book.  You may curse my name while skipping your daily hygienic routine in order to keep reading, but once done, you'll come back and thank me again and again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Postmortem" by Patricia Cornwell

Yeah, I know.  We normally go for books that are at least somewhat new-ish.  Not the first of a series of novels whose 18th installment is due out in November (the Kay Scarpetta Mysteries).  But, hey, it's us.  We're nothing if not unpredictable.  So, for you Patricia Cornwell fans out there that are like, "Dude, we KNOW already!"--Chill!  Just take this review as an aperitif for "Port Mortuary" which is due out at the end of next month.

For you thriller fans that haven't read this yet, I have only one thing to say to you.  What the freak!!??  Seriously, you have to read this one, like, yesterday.  A smart and twisted serial killer, plenty of chills and thrills, and an unerring sense of this-really-happened writing makes this a novel that I was truly bummed to have end.  There's a reason that this one spawned a 20 year series of novels that have won between them pretty much every award to ever be given to crime thrillers.

As for the rest of you "ho-hum, another thriller" types, here's what you have to look forward to.  This is a novel that will have you turning pages.  "Yeah, every other thriller people try to foist on me, " you say?  Yes, but while turning those pages, the honesty of the writing will have you believing it really happened.  Seriously, I was doing some research for another novel and tried to look up the case from "Postmortem".

Plus, this is an awesome example of a woman writing in a typically men's genre, who has the chutzpah to use her own (obviously feminine) name, with a kick-butt female protagonist.  And she is KICK-BUTT!  And no demure and false self-modesty from this one.  She knows she's awesome! 

So, for you that love and follow this series, take this chance to go back and re-read the one that got you hooked before the next installment comes out.  As for everyone else--what are you waiting for? :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Dude, I know.  I get it.  You're tired of vampires.
But hold on a sec.  These vampires aren't sexy.  They don't sparkle.  They don't engage in the teenage angst-filled equivalent of "No, you hang up the phone first.  No you."

These vampires scare.  These vampires spread.  These vampires destroy.  A lot.

I know that horror and thrillers are not the same, but in this novel, Del Toro and Hogan manage to bring horror firmly into the thriller genre (I know, I know...don't get your underwear in a bunch).  By taking the whole vampire thing into the realm of a virus (not completely new ground, but done with real panache), it creates a real-world feel to what could otherwise be just another bunch of blood suckers.

There's loads of action, tons of destruction, and plenty of saving-the-world stuff here, and I was definitely thrilled, both in the adrenaline pumping way and in the "finally, another good book" way.

Now for all you "I could take thrillers or leave them" folks, don't let either the horror or the blowing-things-up stuff scare you off.  This novel has got the kind of appeal that Outbreak did.  There's a present and growing threat that feels real.  The menace smacks you in the face without the cheese factor that you might expect out of either the horror or (okay, occasionally...I admit it) thriller genres.  You're also getting some wonderful cultural stuff from the modern day Van Helsing, Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor.

So, do yourself a favor and get that glittery image of star-crossed vampiric lovers out of your skull.  Seriously, there's no better way to do it than by reading this book!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

Okay, all you thriller lovers out there.  Most reviewers of this genre are overly fond of using words like "taut" and "tense", so I won't use them (as much as I'd love to).  This is the third in the Reincarnationist series, and after reading it, I'm going right to the bookstore to snatch up the other two.  Holy cow!
It reads pretty well as a stand-alone, although I'm sure I'll get more information from reading the first two.  The honest truth is, this book has got all the nail-biting, stomach twisting, I-just-have-to-read-one-more-page addictiveness that any lover of thrillers is going to want and then some.  There needs to be a category that's one step beyond page-turner.  Then this one gets put above that.  Seriously.

But what rocks about this novel is that it's got so much more than elevates it above the thriller genre...and that's from someone that loves thrillers.  It's got some history, some romance, some steamy sex, some tidbits of the paranormal.  And yet, with all that, it doesn't feel like some sort of hodgepodge homemade arts and crafts project.  It's a totally absorbing blanket of a book that wraps you up, smacks you around a bit and then lets you go...kind of.

And, of course, I've gotta give props to any woman that decides to write in what's typically a man's genre.  I've gotta give bigger props to one like Rose that knocks it out of the freakin' ballpark.

Just a little side-note for any of you readers out there that like to write as well (I know you're out there).  Take a second to go to the Indie Book Collective's website.  There's all kinds of amazing information on what you can do to get your novel out there.  Oh, and follow them on Twitter, too:  @IndieBookIBC.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Marks of Cain" by Tom Knox, reviewed by @mrneil98

The Marks of Cain by Tom Knox
reviewed by @mrneil98

A dying request made by a destitute old man to his grandson consists of a map of the Basque Mountains in France, the name of a contact and two millions dollars if the request is carried out. This begins the adventure of lawyer David Martinez that will take him on a journey from Arizona to France and finally Africa unraveling a mystery entailing a lost tribe of pre-Caucasian people, Nazi experimentation and religious persecution ultimately revealing the secrets behind is parents death. Wow!

Then there is the parallel story of recovering alcoholic British journalist Simon Quinn investigating three grisly murders of elderly wealthy people who all were originally from the Basque region and all the victims seem to have some minor mutations. Double Wow!!

I’ve read a dozen books this summer and several have stood out but none have been as intelligent and thought provoking while delivering in the thrills department as well. While reading the last two thirds of the book I was constantly referring to an atlas or encyclopedia, following the travels of David and Simon and researching their discoveries along the way. I love books that stimulate the mind as well as increasing the heart rate with death defying chases and escapes.

Tom Knox (a former British journalist turned thriller writer) has used his investigative reporter skills to meticulously research the Cagot people and obviously has traveled extensively through the Pyrenees and Basque country. The descriptions of the villages and especially the churches, could only be from first person accounts. Mr. Knox is able to deliver the information without slowing down the action and is able also able to flesh out some interesting minor characters and develop a perplexing, complicated female companion for David. All of this adds up to a first rate thriller with something for everyone (over the age of seventeen). Fair warning, there are somewhat graphic description of the murders and more S-E-X than I normally find in these types of thrillers (not that it is overt or distracting).

After you read the novel you must visit his website which includes a ton of additional information and photo taken during his journeys. I had previously read his first novel The Genesis Secret and enjoyed it but Marks of Cain is more consistent and a superior story. I am looking forward to his third book The Severed Men, due out in England in March and the US later next year. If you need one more thrill (and who doesn’t) to extend the summer I strongly recommend Tom Knox’s The Marks of Cain.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich

"There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me -- not forever, but periodically."  Right from this opening line, you kinda can't help but feel for the tough, flawed and utterly charming Jersey girl, Stephanie Plum.  This quirky mystery, set against a backdrop of the connected and not-so-connected, introduces us to a character that was compelling enough to demand a series of novels...not to mention a film deal with Katherine Heigl playing the lead.

There's more character work and slightly less action that most thriller readers look for, but the humor added to the suspense of the mystery involved should keep all but the most hardcore thriller readers entertained.  Plus, let's face it, we all need to branch out from time to time, right?  This heroine is gutsy enough to impress the women and sexy enough to keep the men intrigued.  And while the characters practically reek of Jersey flair (replete with dialects), they don't keep the action from moving along.

For those not-so-much-with-the-thrillers readers out there, the heroine alone is enough to keep you going here.  Then there's the cast of just-off-the-sterotype toughs and Italian mothers and guys those mothers keep trying to set their daughters up with, which provides plenty of opportunities for off-beat humor that will make you laugh out loud.  Add to that a sexy ex-flame who may or may not be guilty but is certainly bad, and you've got a novel that'll keep you up to the wee hours of the morning.

This is a novel that definitely deserves a read, and since the film's due out next July, you've got plenty of time to build up your anticipation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Deep Six" by Mark Powell

Pirates!  We love pirates, right?  Whether they look like Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom, they've got rugged charm and great accents.

We are not talking about those kind of pirates here.  In Deep Six, Mark Powell has crafted a tale that takes us into the brutal world of modern-day Somalian pirates and the over-privileged, ennui-filled civilians that are recruited to kill them.

This is Powell's second Mark McCabe novel, the first being Quantum Breach.  McCabe is ex-SAS, an ex-banker, heavy on the charm and masculinity with a penchant for getting himself into some extremely adrenaline-pumping situations.

The writing is straightforward, open and honest, although at times it feels as if Powell doesn't completely trust his reader enough and resorts to over explanation.  The only other observation is that Powell will occasionally switch perspectives mid-chapter which can be jarring.  However, the characters are engaging, which, when added to the gripping action, can make for a compelling read.

If you were a fan of Quantum Breach, you will find Deep Six an improvement on a promising series, instead of the occasional dreaded sophomore slump.  We revisit some old characters we love (and love to hate) and the back-story is further fleshed out.  McCabe is definitely a character worth revolving a story around. 

If Powell is new to you, you should give this author a try.  The fact that he's drawing from his own military (and financial) background lends a truthfulness to his story lines that's exciting.  The novel is filled with deeply flawed human beings that Powell wisely refrains from psychoanalyzing.  The Somalian pirates and their hierarchy is fascinating and topical, giving this novel a very up-to-date feel.

Take some time to check this promising new-ish writing talent out!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Review of "The Ark" by Boyd Morrison

The Ark by Boyd Morrison
reviewed by @mrneil98

   With blurbs of praise from Douglas Preston, Steve Berry, James Rollins and Chris Kuzneski, how could I not be drawn to The Ark, by Boyd Morrison. If that weren’t enough the plot involves a female archeologist teaming with an ex-military engineer in order to search for Noah’s Ark in order to save the world from a mysterious virus that could potentially kill billions. Wow!! That is a lot to take on for a debut novel but Boyd is up to the task.

   The plot concerns archeologist Dilara, whose father disappeared three years ago while pursuing his obsession of finding Noah’s Ark. After telling her a mysterious message, her father’s friend is poisoned in a mall food court. This leads to multiple attempts on her life and into the protection and (as if you couldn’t guess) arms of former combat engineer Tyler Locke. Together they try to construct the picture from assorted puzzle pieces following a path from the pacific northwest to the southwest and back, eventually winding up in the Middle East where the all good stories involving Noah’s Ark tend to culminate. The antagonist is a billionaire religious fanatic which has become the staple bad guy in recent novels. Although that road has been traveled before, Boyd is able to keep the story fresh with new storylines and interpretations of the religious themes.

   Using his real world background and experience (PhD in Engineering, work at Lockheed Martin and Microsoft), Boyd creates realistic but still thrilling scenarios for getting his protagonists into and out of precarious situations. The presentation of the virus and its devastating potential is as convincing as Rollins’ Judas Strain. Familial relationships throughout the book are convincing and varied as are the characters themselves.

   As the summer begins to wind down, it is well worth the price of admission for an action packed voyage on Boyd Morrison’s Ark.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins & "Mind Walker" by Roy McConnell

For The Hunger Games, we've asked Ben Hopkin (@actingnodrama) to guest review.  Ben is an actor, a producer and also a writer, so is bringing a slightly different perspective to things.  'Cause you know, at @ThrillersRockT, we like to shake things up a bit!

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is up for review this week.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  What the bleepedy-bleep-bleep is a Young Adult novel doing getting reviewed on Thrillers Rock Twitter?  Well, here’s the thing.  It's a YA novel, but really there's nothing stereotypically YA about it.
And while it isn't classified as a traditional thriller, it is well... thrilling.  And I mean, shouldn't that be the basis for deciding if a book is truly a thriller?  And trust me this  is an absolutely, positively adrenaline-pumping, page-turning, hair-raising piece of work.

What The Hunger Games also has is a superbly crafted plot, razors-edge-sharp characters and plenty of emotional resonance. 

But what elevates this novel is the clarity of its characters.  Every character I encountered, even briefly, in this book was given three dimensions.  There are characters in this book that I miss right now because I'm not currently reading it.  I'm not going to spend much more time talking about the story or the people within it, but I will just throw out one name for you.  Cinna, the stylist.  When you read The Hunger Games (as you really MUST), keep him in mind. 

As an actor, my litmus test for characters is whether or not I would want to play them (yes, even the female characters... What can I say? Actors are weird), and I can honestly say that it would be an honor to play any of them.  Especially Cinna.  In case it's in development.  And those casting are reading this blog.  #justsayin

Okay, disregarding that little self-promoting sidestep... It's the combination of the tight-as-a-drum plot and the crystalline-clear-as-snow-melt characters gives Hunger Games an honesty and emotional through-line that I've rarely felt in another author.  When a writer can evoke an epic quality and at the same time ground the sweeping action in believable and lovable characters, magic happens. 
Oh, there's one more thing, just in case all of the preceding rambling wasn't enough to convince you.  The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy.  Catching Fire is the second, and Mockingjay, the final installment, is due out on August 24th.  If you're at all like me, you'll get to the end of this novel and be intensely grateful for that fact.
Finally, I want to thank @ThrillersRockT for the chance to guest review this week.  Not only because I get to review alongside some awesome writers, but because the novel I'm reviewing was good enough to keep me up until 3 am to finish it.  I also believe there may have been a skipped meal or two in there as well, and for anyone that knows me, that's a big stinkin' deal.

"Mind Walker"
by @rjmc100

Just as we asked why guys would want to read "Hunger Games" we ask why should chicks want to read "Mind Walker?" Because let's face it, most guys are going to automatically dig this book.

So for my other female readers why should you give this first time novelist a chance?  Well, besides the fact we have a great female lead, I would have to say for the roller coaster action and a great female lead.

As always we don't give spoilers here but oh how I would want to. Somehow Roy has managed to create a taut, page-turning thriller with just a twist that is sure to surprise.

Also, I find that we girls also really enjoy a story with rich settings and exotic locations.  Mind Walker takes us on ride across continents that you won't want to end!

So give this indie author a chance to rock your world!

How about you friend him on GoodReads

And check out his book on Amazon

Until Next Week!

Don't forget that Plain Jane is also out.  A Patterson-style thriller that harkens back to the "Kiss the Girl" days with a slash of Harris' macabre.
You should read 50 pages for free here.
And if you decide to buy the entire book, here is a 50% off coupon: RH88E

Thanks so much!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An "Inside Out" review of Barry Eisler & "Madness & Murder" by Jenny Hilborne

Inside Out

Reviewed by @CristynWest

Alright, I am just going to come out and say it...

Inside Out Kicks A**

Ok, maybe I said it with asterisks, but still, you get my point.

If you like any type of political thrillers, you are going to LOVE Inside Out.

So let's talk to the non-political thriller readers, especially my gal pals. 

This book feels REAL. Eisler has seeped this puppy in research with enough twists and turns to make it quite the roller coaster ride. Inside Out pushes every conceivable controversial button there could be in a political thriller set in current times.

And Eisler's sex?  Well, let's just say he could give some romance writers a run for their money.

Is there violence? Yes, but it is so integrated into the plot, it feels necessary to the story line.  Besides, if you get a bit queasy, that's what skimming is for, right?

But I truly can't imagine anyone wanting to pass by a single word of Inside Out.

So if you still want to call yourself a thriller fan, you better get Eisler's latest under your belt!

Next up:
Murder & Mayhem
by @JFHilborne

First off, I have to give props to another woman writer that choose to use her full, female name. It takes guts to say, "Hey, I am a chick and write thrillers."

So the pluses just keep adding up on this book.  It's about catching a serial killer.  Ok, I am definitely going to give it a try. 

Next it is set in San Francisco.  One of my favorite cities of all time.  That means I am going to give it at least 100 pages.

But Madness and Murder didn't need the leg up.  First from the first chapter you are intrigued by the grisly murder of a child and sucked in to keep reading until you find out who done it!

A great first novel from a brave new chick writer with 2 more on the way!

So, guys, give us girls a break and read a thriller that doesn't have just initials as the author!

You can buy Madness & Murder here.

And don't forget @cristynwest's novel, Plain Jane is available at smashwords
Read 50 pages for free and if you decide to buy, use this 50% off coupon! RH88E

Until next week!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ark of Fire & Vigilante

Yep, folks this is a 1-2 punch so if you have come here looking for new thrills, I think you will be satisfied!

First up: Ark of Fire by C.M. Palov - reviewed by our own @MrNeil98!

            What do S. E. Hinton, J. K. Rowling and C. M. Palov have in common? Yes, they are writers, but more specifically female writers who were encouraged to use their initials to hide their gender from the predominantly male target audience. Let’s face it guys, this is the 21st century! We shouldn’t be threatened by a woman with a pen (or laptop, as the case may be). Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwall follow a well worn trail blazed by Agatha Christie in crime/mysteries, but the genre of thrillers is still dominated by male authors.

            C(Chloe). M. Palov’s debut novel Ark of Fire attracted my attention with blurbs by James Rollins (“Heart-stopping suspense, ancient mysteries, and roller-coaster action. A true gem.") and Steve Berry ("A thrilling romp with a plot that unfolds with vivid velocity to an explosive conclusion. The story crackles with tension and imagination from the first to the last page."). Any book garnering the praise of my two favorite authors is worth a read, and I was not disappointed.

            From the opening murder of a D. C. museum curator to a shoot out in the National Gallery, then on to England and finally Malta, “Ark” is a nonstop thrill ride. Throw in some ancient puzzle to solve and an evil mysterious organization and you’ve got a female Dan Brown with a side of Steve Berry. Did I mention the sought after relics: the breast plate “Stones of Fire” that Moses wore and the trope,  the Ark of the Covenant. With those elements in place, there is only one thing missing…. Romance.

            As photographer Edie Miller gets tangled in the mystery and intrigue, she joins forces with an archeological author, the prudish Caedmon Aisquith. Together they try to evade the villains, solve the puzzle and discover the whereabouts of the golden Ark, concealed by Crusaders 800 years ago. Is it the Ark of the Covenant? Do I sense a budding romance? You’ll have to read it to find out. I, for one, am looking forward to the follow-up “The Templar’s Code” due out in November. In the meantime let “Ark of Fire” heat up your already too warm summer.

And next: Vigilante by Claude Bouchard @ceebee308, reviewed by our very own @cristynwest

The debut title from Twitter superstar @ceebee308 is a gritty look at what creates and propels a person to seek justice outside the law.

The chapter grips you with a painful yet heartfelt scene of a family destroyed priming the pump for the mayhem that ensues. 

This is a tight, fast-paced, multi-layed story that dives deeper and deeper into the mystery of who and why these vigilante style murders are happening.

Besides the great story telling and ultimately satisfying conclusion, you can dig into Vigilante knowing that Claude has several other books in the series so no waiting around for him to write the next.  You can get your Bouchard fix immediately!

You can purchase Vigilante at: and hook up with the author on Twitter #ceebee308

*My only caveat to this review is that for women who are not that fond of rape imagery might find the beginning of this book a bit challenging

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Deliver Us From Evil & Forsaken By Shadow: Your Double Feature!

First off - What an exciting few weeks!  

We've got a guest review by Professor Thriller himself @MrNeil98 (seriously, he is a walking encyclopedia of thriller writers and their work)!  

Plus Barry Eisner asked for us to review his book!  #WTH  So be looking for "Inside Out's" review on July 26th.  Until then check out these two great reviews to help you pick your summer entertainment!

Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci
review by @MrNeil98
            For those of you looking for a “thriller-ing” summer read, I strongly recommend the latest best seller from David Baldacci, Deliver Us From Evil (DUFE). If you’ve never read him before, think Brad Thor meets Steve Berry.
           In DUFE, Shaw  (just Shaw, no first name unless that is his first name, then no last name) is chasing Evan Waller, a human trafficking, war criminal who represents the Evil from the books title. Also chasing Waller is the beautiful, mysterious Reggie Campion and soon Shaw and Reggie are at odds while pursuing the same goal. They fall in and out of dangerous situations all the while falling for each other. 

            DUFE  is disturbing at times but Baldacci is able to generate the emotion and intent without being overtly graphic. The setting of the majority of the novel is in France with wonderful first hand descriptions of markets and churches (reminding me of recent Berry and Rollins works).

            I don’t want to divulge too much of the plot or action but there is plenty of both. I am drawn to novels that have strong female central characters and Baldacci has a proven track record in this regard. With Reggie he has created a thoughtful, complex character that leaves you wanting more at. There is potential for a continuation of her adventures.

            For an entertaining and satisfying summer thriller you can’t go wrong with Deliver Us From Evil but , fair warning, you may be “Hooked on Baldacci” and spend the rest of the summer getting caught up on the remainder of his books (try the Camel Club series).

Next up;  Forsaken By Shadow by Kate Nolan 

Okay, I am going to fess up that this is probably more of a paranormal romance/action than a thriller, however all you manly men, stick with me!

If you are chick, of course you are going to want to read this.  It's got powerful beings banished from their world, hiding out in ours.  Add in some hot male and female lead characters and you've got yourself a great paranormal novel on your hands.

But Kate was smart and gave the guys something to latch onto in this book as well.  You see the male lead has lost his memory and becomes an Ultimate-style fighter.  

So yes, there is romance, but I wasn't kidding about the action.  Cage fighting, military stealth, and all out mayhem at the end.

Forsaken by Shadow.  A book to satisfy both men and women readers as well! 

Thanks for checking in with us again this week.  Don't forget James Rollins' paperback edition of Doomsday Key is out!  Order yours here: 

Also other exciting news, Plain Jane is available through iBooks!  Or you can read up to 50 pages of Plain Jane for free here...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

From Sookie to Senior Sleuth

Today I am going to be reviewing 2 distinctly different authors.  One name you will recognize, the other you might not, but that doesn't mean you should read him!

Charlaine Harris, infamous for her Sookie Stackhouse paranormal romances (the source for True Blood) and Bob Moat, an amateur sleuth writer extraordinaire!

Let's get to the vampires first (because, you know that's how we roll :-) 

Again, I am not writing this review for someone who likes paranormal romance or vampires in general.  Because, let's face it, you are already reading Charlaine.

I am writing this for, well... mainly guys.  Guys who shake their head at the vampire/romance genre.  And I don't blame you.  There is a LOT of silly stuff that goes on in a lot of them and even in Charlaine's work.

However, with Charlaine, I do have to say no matter some of the silliness, there is such good writing under there that whatever she puts out, I want to read.  Because isn't that the crucible?  Not genre, or subject or silliness, but whether or not it is a good read?

And let me tell you, any of the books are a good read.

Plus for you single guys, I am telling you, it gives you something to talk about with the chick in Starbucks watching True Blood on her iPhone :-)

Onward to Bob Moat.

To be honest when this one came across my desk, I groaned.  As I mentioned on the stream, I'm not a huge fan of amateur sleuthing, especially in the senior citizen bracket.

I like my investigators hot and knowledgeable.   Top of their field.  I am far more of a 'procedural' girl (evidenced clearly by Plain Jane).

So I can honestly say I was not just pleasantly surprised by Bob's "Classmate Murders" but downright shocked at how engaging and entertaining a read this book was.

He threw my pre-conceived notions about what a senior citizen sleuth could be out the window and made me sit up and pay attention.  I was immediately drawn in my his beautifully honest lead character, Jim Richards, who is putting up one heck of fight against aging, while of course solving crimes that hit a little too close to home.

From Richard's deep relationship with his old co-worker (without a hint of any weird, latent, homo-eroticism) to his complicated feeling for his own aging parents, I can say that Jim Richards is as interesting as any hunky C.S.I. professional.

Would I like to have seen smoother dialogue and Bob to trust his reader enough to not lay in so much description?  Yes.

Do I want to read more of Jim Richards adventures?  Heck Ya!

Again, if you love amateur sleuths, you've got to check out "Classmate Murders."  But honestly, even if you are like me and a little iffy on the sub-genre, I am telling you that this book packs a big bang for it's buck! (and yes, Bob, that pun was intended :-)

Find "Classmate Murders" eBook on Smashwords:

Until next time!

Don't forget "Plain Jane," my new thriller is out!

You can buy the eBook at http://bit.lyb60jVe and a 50% off coupon (just cuz you are cool) RH88E

Leave a comment below with your twitter or email contact and Bob will send you the code for a FREE eBook of "Classmate Murders!"

And if you have your own thoughts about either Harris or Moat's work, leave a comment below :-)

Also please join me @cristynwest on GoodReads at:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Doomsday Key and Plain Jane

Doomsday Key by James Rollins

If you are at all a fan of Rollins, Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, or Dan Brown, you simply must read (or re-read) Doomsday Key.  And the very least you  need to pick up the paperback version for a peak into Devil Colony.

But what if you aren't a Rollin's fan or you keep trying to talk your non-Rollins fans into his work.  What would motivate you to read Rollins?

I am going to say that usually the reader that is resistant to Rollins is a woman.  Because let's face it, most guys are going to be all over 'scientists with guns' and a series of books based on a team called Sigma Force.

What most chicks don't understand is that while Rollins loves to blow things up and really crank up the tension, he also writes rich prose and has very strong female characters that will go toe-to-toe with any male character and his romantic tension is lightyears beyond most of the male action/adventure authors out there.

So as much as I love Doomsday Key (full of fact/fiction blurring of history and science delving into ancient cartography and killer fungi) I would recommend any newbie to Rollins (especially female) to read Altar of Eden first.  #kindoflikeyourfirsthitofheroin

This novel has a female Hero (a veterinarian, Jim's homage to his previous profession) and is a stand alone book so you can get a sense of his innate, intricate story-telling without having to worry about a lot of back story (although to be fair, he blows a lot of stuff up in this one too, after all, he is still Rollins).

Now, once you've whet your whistle with that baby, grab yourself a copy of Sandstorm.  The first Sigma novel then work your way (I anticipate very quickly if you are anything like most people) through the 6 novels until you consume Doomsday Key (and yes, that pun was intended #onlysuperfanswillprobablygetitthogh :-)

Here is the link to Doomsday Key:

Here is the link to Altar of Eden:

Plain Jane by Cristyn West

First of all, yes this is my own book.  I confess.  So why am I reviewing it with Rollins?  Well, because he said I could! And I'm going to let Jim do most of the talking....

This is the blurb he gave my "Kiss the Girls/Silence of the Lambs" style novel:
"Wickedly macabre and blisteringly paced, "Plain Jane" marks the debut of a thriller for the new millennium.  Brash, funny, terrifying, and shocking, here is a story best enjoyed with all the lights on!  Don't say I didn't warn you!"

So, if you are a guy and like Patterson, it's pretty certain based on that Rollins review that you're going to like Plain Jane.  But what about chicks?

Well, did you know that the majority of Criminal Minds fans are female?

Yep.  So it isn't that chicks don't groove on serial killer stories, I feel they don't like serial killer stories that demean or victimize women (it is one thing to have female victims, it is another thing altogether to victimize them). And being a chick myself I try to... well... empower them #inthecoolway #withguns #notthep.c.way

But enough about what I think...

Here is the link to if you would like to buy the paperback of Plain Jane:

Or you can buy the eBook at for $2.99: http://bit.lyb60jVe
Leave a comment below with your twitter or email contact to receive a 50% off Plain Jane ebook coupon!

And if you have your own thoughts about either Doomsday Key, Altar of Eden or Plain Jane, leave a comment below :-)

Also please join me on GoodReads at:

Until next time!