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SOMA COUNTY: book review by ISAR’s “International Astrologer” Journal

28 Aug

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]If the title looks like it belongs on a novel, well, that’s because Soma County is a novel. Specifically, it’s a crime novel. If you’re now wondering why a crime novel is being reviewed here [ISAR Journal], well, possibly you’ve never encountered Alan Annand before. Annand is an accomplished writer of suspense novels; he is also an accomplished Vedic astrologer with a solid grasp of Eastern and Western astrology, palmistry, and more.

He has imbued his protagonist, Axel Crowe, with this knowledge and set him loose in what he calls his New Age Noir series. This is the third book in that series, but you don’t need to have read the other two to understand Crowe (though, as with an old friend, his character has deepened and become more clear with each novel). And Crowe for the most part is a likeable guy – as is his former guru who is an invisible but very definite presence in this book.

newagenoir 3The plot? A beautiful woman dies at a wine tasting at a California vineyard owned by the woman’s close friend and the friend’s husband. The police assume it was a tainted batch of wine. When Crowe is called in by the friend, he suspects otherwise. Who would want to put the vineyard in jeopardy? Hmm… There are several possibilities – a developer, assorted workers (one of whom turns up missing), and perhaps other vintners hoping to capitalize on this vineyard’s ruined reputation.

But this is no simple whodunit. The action takes you from the Napa Valley to India and back again. And along the way, a black market in body parts adds to the intrigue. Am I going to tell you more? Only that the characters are well developed, the plot is rich and fast-paced, and Crowe is very generous in relaying snippets of astrology, numerology, and Vedic lore. Consider this a painless introduction to some very basic astrological principles as well as a thriller you won’t want to put down.

NewAgeNoir3aaNon-astrological readers tend to appreciate Annand’s books every bit as much as we [astrologers] do, so if you want to sneakily pique somebody’s interest in astrology, do leave this book lying about. And if you haven’t read the first two in the series, consider getting them as well if you like this one. Scorpio Rising and Felonious Monk are equally good.

– Reviewed by Donna Van Toen, August 2016 issue of ISAR’s International Astrologer Journal. (International Society for Astrological Research)

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Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer. You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

When Vlad met Donald…

27 Jul
Putin meets Trump - cropAlan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction.

For those who aren’t yet frightened by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, please take a look at this:

Sixty Shades of Greatness.

Felonious Monk: Axel Crowe is an astrologer action hero

14 Apr

AA_FM_1“Axel Crowe, hero of Alan Annand’s New Age Noir mystery series, is the perfect blend of detective, astrologer, mystic and martial artist. Felonious Monk, the second of the series, engages and entertains in just the right proportions. The intricate plot involves a dead guest at a Vermont ashram, a serial killer of Asian women in New York, and a golden Buddha stolen from a Bangkok temple.

Annand weaves his story with irony, wit, information and insight, not to mention some high action scenes. Crowe is a steady, humble, highly brilliant and somewhat fearless hero. But despite his attractions, he feels no need to prove himself a James Bond, rather, he’s sexually circumspect. (Think hot, but restrained.) It’s hard not to respect the way he lives, with a spiritual practice as rigorous as his martial.”

~ Julie Simmons, Astrology Toronto

Felonious 4http://www.amazon.com/Alan-Annand/e/B0052MM0POhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/alan-annand/id442957999http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/alan-annandhttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/Search?Query=Alan+Annandhttps://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AlanAnnand

Astrological sex paradox

27 Feb

Astrological sex paradox - crop

Astrological sex paradox

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Alan Annand is a writer and astrologer. His NEW AGE NOIR crime novels (Scorpio RisingFelonious MonkSoma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.” (Websites: http://www.sextile.com, http://www.navamsa.com.)

Find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

~~~

“Al-Quebeca” ripped from tomorrow’s headlines

9 Oct Al-Quebeca_1

Ebook Al Quebeca v4darker charcoal thumbFor years nothing happens. Then everything happens at once. This applies both to writing novels and launching terror strikes.

For the record, I’m a writer, not a terrorist, although I admit to a fascination with the latter. As a Canadian, I’ve watched terror events unfold across the world with frightening speed and consequences. These events usually occur at a distance, allowing Canadians to be mere spectators rather than forced participants. But sometimes, things happen right in our backyard.

In 1999 the LAX bomber, Ahmed Ressam, was intercepted in Port Angeles, WA, with a carload of explosives destined for the LA airport. He’d entered Canada in 1994 with a forged French passport and lived in Montreal for almost five years, surviving by stealing airport luggage. After a trip to Afghanistan where he learned how to build bombs, the RCMP began following him, and alerted US authorities when he crossed the border from Vancouver en route to Los Angeles.

In 2006, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) arrested a group of jihadists, the Toronto 18, as they took delivery of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate with which they’d planned to build massive bombs in U-Haul trailers. Their targets: the Toronto Stock Exchange, the CSIS offices in downtown Toronto, and a military base. After the bombs, they would storm Parliament, seize the Cabinet and behead the Prime Minister, all in time for the evening news and instant fame via al-Jazeera. But the Toronto 18 had been infiltrated and monitored for over a year by 700 security officers gathering evidence via 80,000 electronic intercepts.

skull-bomb@50%In April 2013, following hard on the heels of the Boston Marathon bombings, two men with alleged al-Qaeda connections were arrested in Canada for plotting to derail a Canadian train travelling from Toronto to New York. Turns out there may have been an Iranian connection, wherein financial or technical aid was provided on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Apparently, news of that domestic terrorist plot raised only tepid interest from the US media, while the Twitter-verse responded with several jokes on the subject. Understandably, a neutralized threat in Canada pales in comparison to exploding bombs in Boston, but seriously, folks… Just because Canadians are liberal and polite doesn’t mean our society is any less liable than America’s in unwittingly harboring terrorists in our midst. Quite the contrary.

I wrote the first draft of my novel Al-Quebeca in 2009 and revised it several times over subsequent years. Each time it all seems even more inevitable. The plot involves an al-Qaeda sleeper cell in Montreal summoned to life by order of a Paris-based mullah. Although Osama bin Laden is dead and gone, he’d issued a fatwa several years ago, vowing revenge against any country, Canada included, that had sided with America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In Al-Quebeca, the Montreal terrorist plot involves a simultaneous three-pronged strike: to sabotage the Hydro-Quebec electrical grid that supplies power to Boston and New York, behead the visiting Governor of New York and, for body-count bonus points, kill thousands of hockey fans with nerve gas.

Preposterous? Not really. For years the CIA has warned CSIS that Montreal, where almost one in four residents is Muslim or has ties to Arabic-speaking homelands, is a hot-bed of al-Qaeda sleeper cells awaiting the call to jihad. We all think it could never happen here. Until it does.

guns_in_the_sky(Currently, in a case of life mirroring art, the radical jihadist group ISIS is encouraging independent acts of terrorism in every western country that participates in the US-led coalition against their brutal insurrection in Iraq and Syria.)

In Al-Quebeca, the heroine Sophie Gillette is a Montreal homicide detective dispatched in the middle of a snowstorm to investigate the suspicious hit-and-run death of an Iranian engineer who worked for Hydro-Quebec. Defying easy resolution, the case launches her on a collision course with biker wars, arms smuggling and, unexpectedly, a terrorist plot.

In the course of her investigation, Gillette uncovers militant students at Concordia University, drug financiers and a rogue professor with a PhD in chemical toxicology. All are linked to a shadowy figure called al-Quebeca whom Gillette must track to a brutal confrontation.

I just hate to be prescient, but as Aldous Huxley once said, The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Al-Quebeca and judge for yourself.

You can purchase it at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo or Smashwords.

 

SOMA COUNTY: New Age Noir no.3

8 Oct

NewAgeNoir3A

It’s coming. The third installment in Alan Annand’s NEW AGE NOIR series, featuring astrologer extraordinaire Axel Crowe, will be released Fall 2015.

With rave reviews from The Mountain Astrologer, Stephen Forrest, Dell Horoscope, Michael Lutin and Horoscope Guide, this series delivers literary and esoteric crime fiction unlike anything else you’ve ever read.

The 5-star reviews: https://www.pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

“Annand portrays an investigator using an esoteric toolkit – astrology, palmistry, numerology – in a serious and effective way that shines new light on the so-called occult arts. Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope. ” ~ an Amazon reviewer

 

SPECIMEN & Other Stories

10 Sep

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-hand-butterfly-image1071848

SPECIMEN & Other Stories by ALAN ANNAND

A six-pack sampler of short fiction by Alan Annand:

Bananarama: Reformed meat-eater embarks on a 15-day bananas-and-orange-juice diet, with surprising side effects.

The Date Square Killer: Mild-mannered hit man finds love, social justice and the meaning of life in non-random acts of murder.

River Girl: Middle-aged bureaucrat takes a detour on his morning jog that leads him to an unexpected rendezvous with Fate.

Specimen: A wealthy butterfly collector visits his twin brother, warden of a penal colony, who is building his own unique collection.

The Bassman Cometh: My night with Margaret Atwood: Hapless university graduate student in 1975 ruins famous Canadian author’s poetry reading.

The Naskapi & the U-Boat: A German U-Boat in WW2 visits northern Quebec to install a weather station, but a native family compromises their secret mission.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Specimen-Other-Stories-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B00THKBJ22

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/specimen-other-stories/id966756381

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/specimen-other-stories-alan-annand/1121209434

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/specimen-other-stories

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/518775

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