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HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT: ebook giveaway

20 Jul

HIPS_free_thumbHIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT (psychological mystery thriller): A man assumes the identity of his dead twin brother in order to alibi his guilty wife.

Alex Carson is in mid-life freefall. He owes a quarter million in back taxes, his bipolar wife Connie keeps going off her meds, and his dog’s just died. When his estranged twin brother Dave, a multi-millionaire with a disease that’s reduced him to crutches, invites him for a weekend visit, Alex is so eager to escape his own reality that he accepts, even though his wife decides at the last minute to tag along.

Over drinks that evening, Dave tells them he suspects his wife Kristina of having an affair. Uninterested in Dave’s marital problems, Connie seeks sympathy for Alex’s tax debt and asks for a loan, which Dave refuses. In a fit of anger, Connie knocks Dave down a flight of stairs and accidentally kills him.

Given their motive and opportunity, Alex and Connie fear a murder charge if they inform the police, so he decides to take Dave’s place long enough for her to return home and establish an alibi. In a few days, he’ll engineer Dave’s “death” all over again, and escape to rejoin her. Although she suspects he just wants to sleep with Dave’s wife Kristina, she’s forced to go along with the plan.

It’s supposed to be simple but it gets very complicated. Kristina is drop-dead gorgeous, and lying next to her at night gives Alex a libidinous fever. Ironically, when it also comes to light that Dave appears to have been having an affair with their hot-blooded domestic, Alex finds himself trapped in a ménage-a-trois from hell.

And now someone is trying to kill him…

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For a limited time, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT is free in all ebook formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59291.

If you take advantage of this offer, please consider writing a review on Smashwords and/or Goodreads.

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Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction whose books are available at AmazonAppleBarnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

Alan Varanasi @ 50%

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SCORPIO RISING book review: “Speak to the stones and the stars answer.”

28 Jun

SR3 ebook thumb7th-star heaven! 

Every now and again, I get a book review that makes me feel guilty. First, it’s so good I don’t believe it, so I keep going back to re-read it. Make sure there’s no hidden sarcasm, some kind of back-handed compliment.

But no, it is true and well written, as Papa would say. I get a warm fuzzy feeling from re-reading it. Somewhere out on the west coast, a smart sensitive woman is stroking me, and I like it.

But it reminds me again of why I write for this niche – because I know my tribe is out there, and I write for them.

Here’s what Laura of Oregon posted on Amazon:

Seven stars (out of five) to Alan Annand!

As book one in a series named “New Age Noir,” Scorpio Rising lives up to its series name in every way. With spare, yet brilliant prose, multi-faceted character development and seamless dialogue, the complex stories within stories unfold, and suspense gathers momentum surrounding the many esoteric and intuitive profiling techniques of the humble and honest protagonist, Axel Crowe.

I will begin book two, Felonious Monk, immediately. Then I will set about reading everything Alan Annand has written to date. His intelligence, his mastery of his craft, his humor, and his keen insight into the precarious toe dance on the high-wire we humans are set upon to undertake is profound.

I have to say, without explanation, that there is a certain subtle balance inherent throughout this book. While in any murder mystery there are the inevitable terrible and dark elements, in Scorpio Rising the presence of the light and conscious elements are woven into the vast tapestry that comprises all life – not as opposites, not as existence being black or white, nor it being good or evil – but as necessary parts of a grand dance in which everything is connected in mysterious ways.

As poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “Speak to the stones and the stars answer.”

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Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction, including his New Age Noir series featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, a criminal profiler with a horoscope.

AmazonAppleBarnes&NobleSmashwords

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SR for print spread v3 jan 2013 web

Book review: The Experiencers by Val Tobin

14 Jun

the experiencersFor anyone who’s ever lent credence to the notion that aliens visit Earth, The Experiencers by Val Tobin is frighteningly real. Michael Valiant is a black ops assassin for a government agency that shields alien presence from public knowledge by silencing UFO researchers who know they are here among us. Carolyn Fairchild is a psychic medium who functions as a sort of spotter for her local research group, and when they see something they shouldn’t, Valiant and his partner are dispatched to shut them up before they blog about it.

Just when Carolyn’s group starts having fatal accidents at the agency’s hands, Valiant has a crisis of faith. He’s discovered our government is in league with the alien “establishment”, with the joint goal of global subjugation. But Valiant learns there’s a rebel alien base in a wilderness park, whose mission is to work with the people, not against them. So instead of killing Carolyn, Valiant enlists her help to find the base. Now the agency wants them both dead before they reach the rebels.

The Experiencers is written with a deft hand, and well-paced between thoughtful character development and straight-on action scenes. Lurking in the background is some entirely plausible bleeding edge technology. The few psychic episodes are both real and out there. And for the tender-hearted, there are a couple of poignantly human sex scenes between two people thrown together by fate and accepting it. Meanwhile, pursued by government men with stones where their hearts should be…

Amazon, Apple, Barnes&NobleSmashwords

New Age Noir: #1 Scorpio Rising, #2 Felonious Monk

8 Feb

thumb_SRThe long-awaited sequel to Scorpio Rising, #1 in the New Age Noir series by Alan Annand, is coming soon.

In Scorpio Rising, criminal profiler Axel Crowe investigates the killing of a New York heiress, and discovers her death is linked to two other murders on the same day: a dot-com millionaire in San Francisco, and the team leader of a CIA counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A finder of wayward people and stolen possessions, the enigmatic Crowe profiles subjects in a distinctly unique manner – using astrology, palmistry and other esoteric techniques. Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, Crowe’s guru used to say. And although the truth behind this three-way conspiracy lies buried in the past, Crowe is relentless until he uncovers it.

The reviews thus far:

Scorpio Rising does for astrology what The Da Vinci Code did for art history.” ~ Suite101 Book Reviews

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, the first of his New Age Noir series, is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist.” ~ The Mountain Astrologer

“Annand is a terrific mystery writer who weaves a convincing working knowledge of a metaphysician’s world view into each page.” ~ Steven Forrest

“Axel Crowe, the brilliant investigator of Annand’s Scorpio Rising, is Agent 007 for the New Age noir set.” ~ Astrology Toronto

“Annand has done a masterful job in creating a whole new type of hero – astrologer as detective.” ~ North American Jyotish Newsletter

“Incredible power as a poet in prose – in the style of Hammett and Hemingway – to describe places and people.” ~ Michael Lutin

“If you like detective stories featuring astrology and palmistry, this is a terrific read that will keep you flipping the pages.” ~ NCGR Newsletter

“Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with a momentum that sends you rushing to the end.” ~ Horoscope Guide

“A fascinating murder mystery, and a wonderful book for anyone with even a little knowledge of astrology and palmistry to enjoy!” ~ Ray Merriman

“For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat.” ~ Dell Horoscope

winged helmet

For more on these reviews, see Scorpio Rising on Pinterest. 

Because Mercury retrograde doesn’t always spell disaster, Scorpio Rising will be available for the whole of February and March as well, for an introductory price of only $0.99, after which the price will return to $2.99. 

The ebook is available at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, KoboSmashwords and Sony.

The second installment in the New Age Noir series will be released on April 6, 2014. Pre-orders are now available at Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

thumb_FMIn Felonious Monk, a  reporter is found dead on a Vermont ashram. Summoned by an old friend who runs the retreat, astrologer Axel Crowe barely has time to assess the situation before the police arrest his friend for murder.

Believing him innocent, Crowe suspects instead a mysterious devotee who may be ex-CIA, and the beautiful Thai woman who accompanied him to the retreat. But when Crowe follows them to New York, the woman disappears and the man threatens to make Crowe disappear.

In exchange for NYPD help, Crowe agrees to take a look at a cold case file – the Riverside Rapist – who killed eight Asian women over 12 years. The timing of the murders intrigues Crowe, who sees in it an astrological signature of the killer.

Coincidence or not, the cold case overlaps some of the stories the reporter was working on – sex trafficking, heroin smuggling and the theft of religious antiquities  – all from Southeast Asia. None of it hangs together until Crowe goes to Thailand, and then it all makes perfect, horrible, sense.

Note: You can subscribe to future posts by clicking the [+ Follow] button in the lower right corner of this page.

Until then, remember, Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad.

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Up here in the polar vortex…

9 Jan

stone colder cdn - editAA

FREE for a limited time only at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and Sony:

mystery thriller AL-QUEBECA by Alan Annand
Female cop investigates Montreal hit and run, discovers terror cell.
http://www.sextile.com

 mini_AQ

HARM’S WAY: This 99-cent book is terrible!

14 Dec

AA & halloween handsAs a writer of mystery suspense, I try to be edgy. For the most part, it’s a juggling act – being the wild man I know myself to be versus the decent guy that my editor (wife) wants me to be.

All of my books cultivate an atmosphere of moral jeopardy, sex and violence. Most of the time, despite my editor, I manage to work in enough action, intrigue, mystery and suspense to keep readers flipping the pages, looking for more jeopardy, sex and violence.

Rarely do I get the kind of off-the-scale reaction I’ve secretly being craving, like this recent review on Barnes & Noble of my mystery/thriller HARM’S WAY:

“This book is terrible! It touched on every low-life, criminal thing in the world. Lying, cheating, stealing, kidnapping, rape, torture, murder, porn, snuff films, drugs, Mafia. I probably missed some, but if it’s bad, it was covered in this book.”

Okay, you had me with low-life.

Finally, someone has seen my inner wild man and damned him with faint praise. Well, maybe not so much praise as outright condemnation. But as some Hollywood agent said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Sadly, the condemnation of HARM’S WAY isn’t universal. Other B&N reviewers haven’t been quite so astute as the one above, and have mistakenly seen this book as an exciting and page-turning romp.

Some of them said: “Get comfortable, you’ll be up all night reading. Once you start you can’t put it down. Exciting, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fast-paced suspense, interesting, plenty of twists and turns. Highly recommended.”

To date, there’ve been 19 reviews on B&N, averaging 4.5 stars. Clearly, I’m doing something wrong here, because most people are completely missing the point – that I am a low-life crime writer who wants to corrupt readers.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harms-way-alan-annand/1106579631

Meanwhile, the crowd at Amazon and Apple are obviously reading the book backwards, because their reviews are also far too complimentary. On Amazon, 20 reviews average 4.0 stars, while at Apple, 46 reviews average 4.5.

thumb_HW

One-liners from Amazon: “One of the best reads in a long time. Everything you want in a story: suspense, action, strong characters, sex, romance and a great storyline. All the twists and turns in the plot make it a page-turner you can’t put down. Hot action keeps you on the edge. A great mystery and detective book.

http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harms-way/id471751935

So the jury’s still out. But did I not plan and execute the narration of multiple heinous crimes? Did I not portray men and women in acts of degradation and violence purely for my own gratification? Did I not kill their children – Innocence, Grace and Hope?

Why don’t more readers hate this book? Am I not edgy?

Read HARM’S WAY and cast your vote.

HARM’S WAY by Alan Annand: Top 10 in hard-boiled mystery!

12 Dec

thumb_HWFor the past three months, HARM’S WAY has been in Amazon’s Top Ten category for hard-boiled mystery thrillers.

Originally published by St.Martin’s Press in 1992 , I extensively rewrote this book for re-issue as an ebook in 2011.

Lee Harms, investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-and-off-again love affair with confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves up a witch’s brew of trouble.

Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a troubled redhead, stir in two kilos of cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of a crime family whose son dies in a midnight bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature keep it bubbling.

As dangerous as it gets, Harms must rely on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a troubled past. But when criminals kidnap his own ten-year-old daughter, he plunges into their underworld to rescue her from harm’s way.

Upon its initial release, here were some of the reviews at the time:

“For Canadian writers setting hard-boiled stories in Canada, the closest thing yet to a US-style private eye is Montreal investigator Lee Harms in Harm’s Way by Alan Annand.” ~ Rara-Avis Reviews

Harm’s Way is a solid P.I. thriller, a nastier-than-you’d-expect slab of pornography, cocaine, gangsters, incest, madness, torture and vengeance.” ~ Thrilling Detective

“Energy, superior punch-‘em out sequences, and humor.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Underneath the New Age trappings, divorced ex-cop Harms is plenty hard-boiled, using fists, guns and sheer wit to escape the many tight spots here.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

In its latest reincarnation, HARM’S WAY has garnered 20 reviews on Amazon averaging 4.0 stars. http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

On Barnes & Noble, there are 18 reviews averaging 4.2 stars. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harms-way-alan-annand/1106579631

And on Apple iTunes, there are 46 reviews averaging 4.5 stars. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harms-way/id471751935

More good news: just in time for Christmas, HARM’S WAY is now priced at only $0.99 for the ebook edition.

And for anyone who still enjoys a physical book (now just $7.65), see Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand/dp/0986920622

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