Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Mistaken Enemy" by Dennis A. Nehamen

Mistaken Enemy
(Zach Miller Thrillers Book 1)
by Dennis A. Nehamen

Mistaken Enemy is the first book in the Zach Miller Thrillers by Dennis A. Nehamen. Also available: Insatiable Hate.

The author stops by to share an excerpt from Mistaken Enemy. You can also read my review. 

Controversial, bold, compelling.
A story exploring both sides of fate.
Free-lance writer Zach Miller doesn’t mind going the extra mile for a good story, but 7,500 miles is a bit more than he bargained for. Nevertheless, when his closest friend fortuitously points the way to Israel, reluctantly he goes.
In the caldron of intrigue, politics, and terrorism that is the modern Middle East, Zach uncovers a plot - one that potentially threatens the lives of perhaps millions. His problem? There are two sides to every coin, and at least two sides in every war. But in this kind of conflict, information is a commodity, and misinformation, a weapon. Zach might be the unexpected emissary, the man with an answer, but sadly, neither side trusts him. Worse still, both sides will do anything in their power to stop him.
Far from home, in a strange and at times incomprehensible land, Zach has no resources other than his own ingenuity … and a desire to be on the side of truth. That might be too tall an order in an encounter where both combatants are dead certain that there is only one truth: theirs.
Mistaken Enemy, the first of the Zach Miller Thrillers, is a heart-racing account of hate, revenge and destiny, ultimately testing the boundaries of human love and will.

Book Video

“I’m sorry. I’ll always think of you as my brother.”
Those are the last words I recall him saying.
As I lay naked, shivering on the hot dirt floor, I struggled with an awareness that must have taken a bullet. The whirling fogginess was deadening to my senses.
Then in a flash my mind’s eye blinked, exhibiting for me a panoramic view of all the events that had transpired to land me…in Hell.
I hadn’t betrayed him…but I had planned to.

Chapter 1: The Take Off
El Al Flight 318 to Israel. The announcement sounded like a warning.
Israel? Why in the world was I going?
All I could think of was a hard right turn.
Next I was seven hundred fifty miles from where I intended to shop for groceries.
Finally I was waiting to journey another six thousand miles from my intended destination.
El Al Flight 318 to Israel, the loud speaker pledged for the second time as I apathetically hoisted my carry on bag to enter the plane.
I had a stressful evening before leaving, waking numerous times. Thus, the first leg of my trip, from L.A. to New York, was devoted to catching up on sleep, to which I surrendered much more freely than the night before. The flight zipped by in an instant. 
My plan was to relax, enjoy some reading during the second phase of the journey. But first, it seemed I would have to dispose of the pesky neighbor seated next to me who, immediately after takeoff, initiated a one-way conversation regarding his pursuit of a career in Israel as an actor, playwright, director, producer, musical book writer…time for a second snooze.
After bragging up the fame he imagined, he finally shamed me into agreeing to listen to one of his creations, a musical with an uninspiring story line of adolescent love gone sour, with characters arousing as much excitement as the periodic table of the elements in a high school chemistry class. 
“Amir Hamdallah,” he introduced himself like a celebration after I dutifully complemented his work.
While I had to conclude he would be a bust as an artist, I could imagine him enjoying success as a lady-killer. His black hair was styled into three distinct sections. The longest was on the crown, but still, what most would call short. Trimmed ever so slightly closer was a goatee of matching color. Finally, since he appeared not to have shaved for a couple days, his face was darkly shaded, an intentional act to create the impression of a rugged, untamed man. 
“Wish me luck.”
“Oh, of course. I’m sure I’ll be boasting soon to all my friends that I sat next to you on a plane ride to Israel,” I assured him as I took note of his impeccable dress.
His white linen shirt was perfectly laundered, as were the tan casual slacks. On his feet he wore what looked like expensive, burgundy-colored leather loafers. When he returned from a bathroom visit and was about to sit back next to me, three pieces of jewelry he had been wearing commanded my attention—a gold watch with a black leather band, the dial reading Patek Philippe; a large diamond stud in his earlobe, which, judging from the rest of his apparel I assumed was not a cubic zirconia; and a good-sized silver ring with several small sapphires on the middle finger of his left hand.
Our conversation lasted through the entire flight, at times Amir entertaining me with impromptu comical skits; on one occasion he nearly had me laughing.
“Why are you visiting Israel?” he asked, his first probe to find out something about me.
I smiled coyly. “That’s the same question I keep asking myself.”
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” Amir assured me. “Now, where do you plan to go first?”
“I really have no specific itinerary,” I replied, puzzling over the fact that I hadn’t even considered his question. 
My new buddy proved quite helpful. After a brief historical discourse on the country, he drew up a plan for nearly the first week of my journey. I would spend a couple of days resting in Tel Aviv. Then I would make my way to Haifa, after which I would go to the Golan Heights, before finally looping back to Jerusalem. Then he informed me that he would be leaving immediately for a trip out of the country but he would be insulted if I didn’t come visit him at his home, located just outside Jerusalem. 
As the plane veered off the runway, we exchanged numbers. Then, inside the terminal Amir stopped to bestow a grand smile and substantial double hug on me, thanking me for making his trip a pleasant one and expressing how joyous it would be to meet me again soon.
We went our separate ways; no doubt both assuming it would be the last we would ever see of one another.

Praise for the Book
Finalist--Fiction/Political Thriller ~ National Indie Excellence Awards
Award-Winning Finalist in Fiction: General ~ USA Best Book Awards
"Nehamen maintains the thriller's pace through believable dialogue, short paragraphs, chapter-ending cliffhangers and by weaving in relevant background information on the Arab-Israeli conflict ... similar to those terrorist-themed TV dramas like 24 or Homeland, the prison torture scenes are especially convincing and lifelike. Zach's snappy narration - 'I'm excited! I'm also a damn fool' - enlivens the story ... riveting, ripped-from-the headlines suspense novel." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"Readers not usually interested in political thrillers will find Mistaken Enemy uniquely gripping and nearly impossible to put down, from its intriguing introduction to its masterful method of personalizing politics. Mistaken Enemy features the rare ability to juggle a myriad of plots and subplots to become a real winner. It's a standout in the world of either political novels or thrillers, and is highly recommended as a captivating read." ~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"I enjoyed spending time with Zach since he is three-dimensional, highly intelligent, observant, and expresses himself in an interesting and entertaining manner. The plot is enough to keep pages turning and I believe readers will want to read more books featuring Zach. 5 out of 5 on Structure, Organization, and Pacing; Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Plot and Story Appeal; Character Appeal and Development; and, Voice and Writing Style." ~ Readers Digest Book Awards
"Mistaken Enemy is an intriguing and carefully drawn work that moves at breakneck speed, with early hints that unfold in a series of surprising ways. The novel does not waste words, but instead features a first-person narrator with a distinctive, colloquial, and dramatic voice. It is heavy on action rather than description, from its teaser of a prologue through to Zach's eventual imprisonment. Mistaken Enemy is a smart thriller from a talented voice ... perfect for thriller readers looking for quick scenes and multiple moving parts." ~ Foreword Reviews
"A compelling thriller linking secret operations, deception, revenge and murderous plans! With its quick witted dialogue and storyline that delves deep into the complex world of Israeli-Palestinian politics, Nehamen has crafted a suspenseful and intriguing thriller, filled with revenge, buried family secrets, deception and dastardly intent. With his extensive background in forensic and clinical psychology, Nehamen brings realistic understanding and insights into his characters' motivations and intents to this incredible story that rings both outlandish and credible. His descriptions of Zach's feelings and reactions while imprisoned or in traumatic situations are particularly strong. Zach is also an interesting protagonist who is full of curiosity and has a very adventurous spirit. His views are apolitical and non-religious at the start but as the story develops, his character grows considerably in the story, yet he is still young enough to have lots of room to grow in future books. Thriller fans will find there are more than enough surprising twists and amazing revelations to make for a very interesting story from a new author with the promise of more to come! The implications of the story about what fanatics will consider on both sides in this story will reverberate in your mind long after you finish this dramatic story! Enjoy!" ~ FreshFiction

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Zacchaeus Miller is a novelist traveling to Israel for the first time, for reasons that are not immediately revealed. On the plane, he sits next to Amir Hamdallah, who engages Zach in conversation and invites him to visit during his stay. After a few days, Zach decides on a whim to take up Amir's invitation. The Hamdallahs welcome him into their home, where he is introduced to the Arabic lifestyle and meets Amir's sister Bahlya, with whom he becomes smitten. Amir and Bahlya are vocally pro-Palestinian and try to educate Zach about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But do they have a more sinister game plan in mind? What Zach uncovers is a plan even more devious than he could ever imagine. But is he too late to stop it?
This tale full of politics and intrigue is set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cleverly demonstrates that there are two sides to every story. Throughout his narrative, Zach foreshadows events to come, leaving us with a sense of foreboding. His wry sense of humor stays with him throughout his ordeal and may be the only thing keeping him sane. The author's literary style of writing is detached and doesn't provoke an immediate emotional response from the reader to Zach's situation. However, it becomes apparent that Zach is relating his tale after the event, removing the immediacy normally present in a page-turning thriller. This is not your typical thriller; it is more literary fiction and political commentary, with a dose of family drama and a hint of romance. And Dennis Nehamen can actually write, weaving rich imagery, imaginative metaphors, and thought-provoking insights into his story.
I'm interested to see where Zach future adventures take him - and us.

Favorite Quote
"I had to hide the books, but I imbibed them with the thirst a drunk has for alcohol." ~ Kaye Miller to her son, Zach Miller

From the Author
During the writing of Mistaken Enemy, the first of my Zach Miller Thriller books, a deviation from the initial conception of the story took place. It was conscious and deliberate on my part and while it does not significantly alter the work, it is worthy of highlighting in that this theme subtly threads its way through the novel, and in fact I believe stitches all of the books in the series together.
It has to do with what is now a subtle emphasis on fate and destiny. That in and of itself is not particularly earth moving, but what does deserve attention is the fact that Mistaken Enemy was inspired by a young boy. He was a client of mine early on in my practice, and I'll have to admit he was the most remarkable human creature I have ever met. Furthermore, his impact on me was profound, curiously more so as the years passed after his disappearance from my life.
In fairness, I am indebted to him for discovering the wonder of creative writing. He'll mosey into the story well after the halfway mark. I've given him the name of Jivin. I've presented him as a Mescalero Apache Indian though, as his parents are aware, his true identity is well-protected.
I wrote a short story, a blog piece, about my experience with him. If you care to read it, I've posted it on my blog. My blog is entitled 97% True, the names have been changed to protect the innocent - even the guilty are exempt from being publicly exposed. You can contact me via my website. I love to hear from readers and as time permits I do my best to reply to every email.

About the Author
Dennis A. Nehamen (pronounced nee-min) was born and raised in Los Angeles. He attended U.C.L.A. After earning his Ph.D. in psychology he began his practice, specializing in forensic and clinical casework. Dennis has served as an expert witness for high-profile legal proceedings and consulted on traumatic situations; he’s also been a guest on numerous media shows.
His experience treating criminal and deviant behavior has contributed toward an unusual depth and authenticity in his writing, an adventure into the fictional arena that began almost a decade ago. He’s created screenplays, novels, and an award-winning musical. Mistaken Enemy is the first release of his Zach Miller Thrillers.
Dennis enjoys the outdoors, hiking especially. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and their English Cocker Spaniel dog, Henry Higgins - named after the cranky yet adorable phonetician of My Fair Lady. He has a grown son and daughter.


Friday, April 29, 2016

"Mystique" by Shari Arnold

by Shari Arnold

Mystique is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what?
Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers.
In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed?

Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. His dark blond hair is tucked behind his ears, and his full lips are still pink. I’m drawn to his reflection in the gold cross hovering above his casket. His body is laid out as if in sleep. The church is overflowing, mostly with students. Some faces I recognize, but most are still a blur of new; new school, new town, new, new, new. I stand near the back of the church. I want to sit, pretend I’m one of Bauer’s friends here to mourn a life unfinished, but the truth is I’m working. For the last twenty minutes, I’ve been chasing down pings, chirps, and pop song ringtones, doing my best to silently convey “Turn off your cell phone. You’re at a funeral!” Apparently sadness is best communicated through text messages and Facebook status updates.
A tall middle-aged man who introduced himself as Bauer’s uncle reads his eulogy—seventeen years of life summarized in three short paragraphs. The congregation sniffles and weeps along with Bauer’s family, who are sitting in the front row. No one is more distraught than his mother, who clutches a pale blue handkerchief in her right hand, her eyes disbelieving, while a parade of tears soaks the collar of her black dress.
I think back to Monday and how I awoke to sunshine, but once the news started circulating, it was as if someone had placed a lampshade over the town of Mystique. The clouds grew thick, the sky turned dark, and down every hallway at school, someone was whispering his name.
Bauer. Bauer. Bauer. When said in a hush, it sounds like wind blowing. And that’s when the November chill arrived. I watched it move the trees outside my English class while the girl behind me wept silently into her notebook. I wanted to offer her comfort, but instead, I handed her a crumpled-up tissue from the bottom of my backpack. And later, when I passed her in the hall, she smiled and said, “Thanks, new girl.” You’d think in a town this small they’d remember my name.
I still don’t know how he died. I asked my boss Lisa, who is the funeral director, but she mumbled something about how it wasn’t important. “Just keep the aisles clear, Presley.” Words she said so often they could be her life’s mantra. While herding people to their seats, I tried my best to eavesdrop, but all I got was “So sad to lose someone so young” or “Without Bauer, there’s no hope for the football team.” And that was only near the back of the church. No one was talking up by the family, where the collective silence was as respectful as it was unsettling.
His uncle’s voice breaks, and the microphone amplifies it to the back of the church. He barely gets to his seat before losing it altogether. I shift my feet awkwardly. I can’t cry. It wouldn’t be right. I didn’t even know Bauer. Even though I saw him every day at school and occasionally kept an eye out for him in between English class and calculus, when we’d usually pass in the hall, that still doesn’t make him my friend. And yet since the moment they wheeled his casket into the church, my throat has felt tight.
The service ends with a song. The congregation finds the strength to sing, even though most of the people around me appear to be busy staring down at their hands while they fight off the tears that will eventually flow at the cemetery.
I move to open the back doors, lifting empty Kleenex boxes as I go. Three men stand near the exit, looking very military in pressed suits so clean and dark in color that without the shiny trinkets pinned to their chests, they’d blend into the walls. They haven’t spoken a word to anyone since their arrival, instead, they just continue to hold up the back wall with their regulated posture. Is Bauer’s family military? I shrug internally. One more thing I never knew about him.
I glance back at Bauer as the music swells to a finish, and he’s still where I left him, laid out in a velvet-lined box. Everyone files out of their seats, eyes touching upon Bauer’s face for the last time.
Lisa busies herself with gathering the flowers to take to the cemetery. She looks up and summons me with her eyes. I know what she wants. It’s my job to explain to the family how they have a few more minutes to say their good-byes before we close and seal the casket.
I glance over at the front pew. Bauer’s mother and father are huddled together as if drawing strength from each other. Bauer’s thirteen-year-old sister, Ophelia, is staring straight ahead as if she’s willing herself to be anywhere but here. With her right hand, she pats and soothes her younger sister, Jill, who in her three-year-old state doesn’t appear to know exactly why everyone is so sad. Or why Bauer isn’t responding to his name being called over and over again.
When Lisa sees me falter, she approaches the family. Perhaps I’m not cut out for this. It feels insensitive to rush them. Lisa does it with a smile. My thoughts return to Bauer. For someone so popular, he sure did know how to look right at you in the hallway and make you feel like you weren’t invisible. I was too afraid to approach him when he was alive. And now that he’s dead, I’m still afraid.
His eyes are closed. I try to remember what color they are, but my mind is blank. Blue? No. Green? I’m pretty sure I never noticed. I was too busy trying to look away. No one wants to get caught staring at the hot, popular kid. It’s so unoriginal.
I reach out, daring my fingertips to touch him. I keep expecting his chest to rise and fall, but he remains still and silent. He’s cold, not like ice cold (which is what I was expecting), but more like when you touch one of those wax figures at Fisherman’s Wharf. You expect them to come to life, turn to you and brush your hand away, but instead you realize they aren’t real. They were never real, unlike Bauer. He may look too good to be true, with his clear skin and long eyelashes, but just last week, he was kissing his girlfriend in the doorway of my calculus class. Right before I reached them, Bauer stepped out of the way, narrowly missing me. I wanted to roll my eyes and be all “get a room,” but once Bauer looked at me, I forgot to use my words. The blush that colored his cheeks when he apologized did funny things to my stomach. He seemed genuinely sorry. All I could do was race for my seat, hoping no one else noticed how Bauer’s embarrassment was contagious. But Sam noticed. It appears Bauer’s best friend misses very little. Sam’s eyes followed me from the front row and only moved on once our class started.
The lights in the church begin to dim as if a show is about to start, and I slip away from the casket. I can hear Lisa explaining to his family how in a few minutes the pallbearers will be coming to get the casket. “It’s okay,” she whispers. “It’s time to say your good-byes.”
Bauer’s family rise to their feet as one, their arms encircling each other like a football huddle. Their next play: saying good-bye. For a split second, I wish I could be a part of that huddle, slip right under the rope of arms and move into the center. It’s very different from how my aunt and I acted at my grandmother’s funeral. It was just the two of us, and yet not once did we touch.
A single-file line of men enters the church and gathers around the coffin. I recognize Sam near the front. His hair is cut short, neat and trimmed around his ears, and normally he would be one of the taller boys in the church, but today his shoulders are slumped. I can’t make out his expression as he stares down at his friend, only that his jaw is clenched. When the man closest to him calls his name, he looks up and our eyes meet. I’m the first to look away.
The pallbearers’ heads collectively crane toward Bauer as if in prayer. Lisa moves toward the casket with a large metal key in her hand, and I’ve already forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing. What was I thinking when I took this job? Oh, yeah, college.
Suddenly, a loud gurgling noise fills the church, followed by a gasp of breath. The pallbearers spring back from the casket. Some fall to the floor. I’m left a clear view of Bauer, who is no longer still but shifting restlessly in his casket like a fish pulled from the water. The sound that escapes my lips is something between a scream and a gulp. I take a step forward and then another—I have to see it for myself. Bauer’s flailing stops as abruptly as it began, and his eyes snap open. When he sits up in the casket, my face is the first thing he sees.
I hear a solid thunk from behind me as Lisa hits the floor.

Praise for the Book
"Mystique has an amazing story to tell, and you don't want to miss it. The writing is glorious, the characters are authentic and every page of this book just keeps on getting better and better. [...] This page turner is definitely a must read!" ~ Paula M. @ Her Book Thoughts!
"This was such an interesting read and so different. Author Shari Arnold never disappoints. She keeps you glued to every story she writes. And Sam. Wow, what a guy. Sam definitely got me hooked on him throughout their crazy journey to freedom. Love this." ~ Neilliza Swaffar
"The storyline was fresh, the characters were complex and the dialogue was perfect. There were no boring moments throughout this whole book, the storyline was kept fast-paced and kept me on the hook the entire time. I absolutely enjoyed Mystique, and I'm really looking forward to reading some more of Shari Arnold's work! She definitely knows how to keep it intriguing! I'd easily recommend this book for any aged reader from Middle Grade on up!" ~ Crystal Gomez
"I flew through this book, literally. That’s how much I enjoyed it and had to find out what was going on. [...] I definitely hope there will be more like this from Shari Arnold, because I will read them all. I recommend for any YA paranormal reader." ~ kristen
"The first chapter of this book blew my socks off and the rest followed suit, with crazy twists and turns, an intriguing mystery, and characters that came alive on the pages. I love how the story is by turns creepy and sweet, complex and intense. Shari Arnold is one of my favorite authors and Mystique does NOT disappoint!" ~ T. Banghart

Guest Post by the Author
My Inspiration for Writing Mystique
I’ve always been intrigued by stories that are set in a "real world" with just a hint of un-believability. Or magic. And that’s what inspired Mystique. It began with a "What if people began to come back to life?" and lead to a "Why would they?". And that’s pretty much how Mystique came about.
Once I had an idea to make the most popular boy in high school come back to life I had to figure out the "whys" and "hows" and "whats". That’s the best part. I had to create the story around him and where it would go from there and who would be affected and all that fun stuff.
And that’s pretty much how Presley Caine, the female protagonist, came about. She and Bauer (the most popular boy) were supposed to be a love-at-first-sight thing, drawn together by some otherworldly magic, but that didn’t happen. You see, Sam (Bauer’s best friend) entered the story and, all of a sudden, nothing was as I’d planned. I really hate love triangles, so I knew it had to go down a different way.
And I knew it had to be creepy. Or creepy enough for me to write. I really can’t handle creepy. But then Royce entered the story, and creepy went to an entirely different level for me.
In the end, Mystique didn’t get planned at all. It created itself, which is true of all of my books. I always start with a feeling, an idea, and they usually go down a path I never saw coming.

About the Author
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of Mystique by Shari Arnold (open internationally).


Thursday, April 28, 2016

"The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller" by M. Pepper Langlinais

The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller
by M. Pepper Langlinais

The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

In 1960s London, British Intelligence agent Peter Stoller is next in line to run the Agency. But when he falls in love with cab driver Charles, his life goes off the road. Charles is accused of being an enemy spy, and Peter is guilty by association. Though they manage to escape, the seeds of doubt have been planted, leaving Peter to wonder how much he can truly trust his lover. Is ignorance bliss or merely deadly?

December 196x
“Get him out or take him out.” Peter’s heart was in his knees, but he made sure it didn’t sound in his voice.
Noise on the line as Jules Maier shifted. Peter pictured him tucked up in a dark, cramped flat with too-low ceilings and flimsy furniture. It would be perpetually damp there. Musty. And yet Jules would still somehow manage to look perfectly put together. Jules rolled out of bed perfectly put together. It was sinful.
“After all that work to get him in?” Jules asked.
Perfectly put together but, Peter was reminded, also a tad whiney. Gordon had once told Peter he couldn’t think of the men out in the field as real people, not if he wanted to be able to do the job well. “Don’t think of them as men you’ve met, had lunch with, drinks with,” Gordon said. “Think of them as characters in a book or players in a game.” Peter had wondered at the time whether Gordon thought of him that way, but he’d been too afraid of the answer to ask.
And now, with the file open in front of him and the face of Alexander Sepiol staring back from his desk, it was difficult advice to take. Peter closed the folder. “You know how this goes, Jules.”
A heavy sigh. “I’ll try to get him out, of course.”
“Don’t waste any time,” Peter instructed. “And, Jules?”
Peter imagined the arched eyebrow, the tiny smile. He was probably wearing one of those goddamned turtlenecks. “Get yourself out as soon as you can. I don’t want to have to send anyone in after you.”
* * *
He hoped the drive down to Oxshott would clear his head, but his mind continued to jump from Jules to Alexander and back again. Why wouldn’t Alexander leave Germany? How could they coerce him? Had Alexander already given them away? If so, to whom? Was Jules really doing everything he could?
Probably not. Jules was lazy. But if Alexander had leaked, Jules was also in trouble. Along with a half dozen more people in Brandenburg’s Frankfurt.
Peter was surprised to find he’d arrived, his musings having stolen the time. The grass in front of the Lessenbys’ was dead with winter and flat with cars. Peter added his TR3 to the fleet.
He didn’t bother to knock; he never did at the Lessenbys’, and with the party, no one would have heard it anyway. Gordon and Elinor held it every year at the holidays, this odd assemblage of people whose jobs were to be quiet and unseen, Gordon a gaunt anti-Fezziwig.
Peter spotted him standing near the fireplace, Trevor Tillholm planted squarely in front of him, and he started in that direction, but Elinor Lessenby caught sight of Peter and moved in, arresting his progress. Her oversized hat forced him to rock back a bit on his heels; he then took a full step backward as her oversized body followed the brim.
“Peter!” she shrilled as she held out a hand. “How did you sneak in without any of us noticing? Oh!” she laughed, not waiting for him to answer, “no, I know, it’s what you do!”
[Want more? Click to Look Inside.]

Praise for the Book
"Well-written, closely plotted, and tense, this was a highly enjoyable and very different take on the spy genre." ~ Writing Round The Block
"I found it difficult to put my ereader down as each chapter beckoned me on to the next. There is a little quirkiness to the style which I thoroughly enjoyed, and it fits a man like Peter. I highly recommend The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller to everyone, not just the suspense and spy thriller fans." ~ Christine Rains
"Looking for complex characters, unexpected plot twists, and tautly sustained suspense? M Pepper Langlinais delivers in the Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller. In Peter, Langlinais creates an intelligent and engaging protagonist whose fate readers will care about. The author skillfully tightens the web of intrigue until you can't turn the pages fast enough!" ~ JJ
"This is a very well written story of a British Intelligence officer with an open secret. It's set in the 60s, which adds a significant amount of tension to the situation. The author does an excellent job of creating tension and suspense with nothing more than the main character's emotions, thoughts and simple actions. All the characters are well developed and I was easily able to picture them as I was reading." ~ L Levey
"This is a well written novel that kept me engaged all the way through. It is an excellent character study of a British Intelligence agent and ends in a way that suggests there could be a sequel. Highly recommended! Well done M P Langlinais!" ~ VL White

About the Author
M. Pepper Langlinais is best known for her Sherlock Holmes stories. She is also a produced playwright and screenwriter. She lives in Livermore, California.