“Forbidden” by F. Stone won the Gold Medal in the Fiction – #Thriller – #Terrorist category.

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Forbidden” by F. Stone won the Gold Medal in the Fiction – Thriller – Terrorist category.

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

Gunfire echoes within the walls of a Middle East police compound. Screams of terror are brutally silenced. Police captain Hashim Sharif captures one survivor. Soon Eliza MacKay will wish she had died with her companions.
The vile act of terrorism is covered-up. Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, MacKay. His corrupt superiors have a gun rammed against his skull. Disloyalty to the mayor will be rewarded with being buried alive. Whatever the cost, his government’s honor must be restored.
Secretly, Sharif hunts forensic evidence. Who is responsible for the murder of fifteen American volunteers? And, why did MacKay lie about her identity? He can’t trust her. Her mental illness is going to get both of them killed. When he receives orders to dispose of MacKay, his Muslim faith is tested. Murder an innocent in cold blood? He will suffer Allah’s eternal wrath. CIA Agent Hutchinson has the lying Sharif in his cross hairs.
Sharif dodges the agent’s traps almost as easily as the hitman on his tail.  When Sharif discovers the shocking truth, he loses all hope of survival.
What is worth dying for? Perhaps it’s not bringing a madman to justice. Could it be saving the life of a woman who kick-started his numb heart? On the knife edge of risk, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.
Research: F. Stone took her time writing Forbidden to ensure the readers would be fully entertained and gain a fresh insight into Islam – moderate Islam. After years of study, and with the guidance of an imam and a Muslim physician, Stone discovered the gentle side of Islam. She met Muslims who respected all religions, who are peacekeepers, and guardians of the environment. The Koran’s messages have suffered under years of misinterpretation when translated from Arabic to English. However, a book, The Clear Quran by Dr. Mustafa Khattab, provides a beautiful and accurate English translation of the word of Allah / God.
NOTE: Due to frequent scenes of violence and strong language, F. Stone recommends Forbidden to only adult readers. Both men and women who crave suspense with a touch of passion will savor each of Forbidden’s thrilling chapters.

One of F. Stone’s favorite paragraphs: Sharif could read her thoughts as the light returned to her eyes. She had feared someone had phoned to tell her he had been killed. The thought made her throw up. He smelt it on her breath. In his mind, he told her how much he loved her. He said things he could never speak out loud. Like how the terrible accident that destroyed her family brought her to him. That he was sad he could never be good enough for her. That she had shown him what real courage looked like – without armor or weapons.
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Press Release: Forbidden Wins Gold Award

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Forbidden” in its annual international book award contest.

The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, we are able to break down our contest into 120+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).

“When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers’ Favorite.”–Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Forbidden” by F. Stone won the Gold Medal in the Fiction – Thriller – Terrorist category.

You can learn more about F. Stone and “Forbidden” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/forbidden/1where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

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Readers’ Favorite Book Review for #Forbidden, #Suspense/Thriller

I’m so thrilled with this review. I entered the Readers’ Favorite competition and received this review. I’m holding my breath to see if Forbidden makes it to the next step in the competition.

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

Suspenseful and beguiling, Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by F. Stone is a #thriller that features #terrorism and political intrigue, a story with breathtaking intricacies of plot and red herrings that will have readers guessing and leafing through the pages with excitement. After a gruesome terrorist attack, police captain Hashim Sharif captures one survivor, Eliza MacKay. There is a cover-up and the police captain has to live with the secret, but there is more to the story than meets the eye. Can he get the truth from the lying MacKay?

While working to keep the respect that his government requires, the police captain is determined to find out the truth and to uncover the brain behind the terror that has cost the lives of fifteen American volunteers. Things get complicated when he receives orders to kill MacKay, the only person who can lead him to the source of the terror. With a CIA agent on his heels and his life threatened, Hashim Sharif has to choose his path wisely and determine what is worth dying for.

F. Stone’s novel is an engrossing story, a page-turner that is masterfully written to keep the reader turning the pages. The plot is strong and has the potential for great entertainment. I loved the writing that features excellent prose, captivating descriptions, and great dialogues. The characters are rock-solid and the reader will enjoy navigating the complex political setting and the powerful conflict that drives the plot. Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket is swiftly paced and masterfully crafted to offer readers the kind of entertainment they’ll enjoy in a thriller. You won’t be able to put it down once started.

I’m Getting Annoyed, Really Ticked Actually With Reviewers.

Reviewers Beware! Some readers have been quite harsh in commenting on Forbidden’s seer – Eliza MacKay.

I should be a bit more blase when it comes to being annoyed with people who believe being a seer is someone with a crystal ball, using super natural paranormal talents.

In fact, we are all seers. To some extent, we all use this ‘gateway’ to a higher awareness but mostly, and often embarrassingly refer to it as ‘my gut, or ‘my intuition.’ I don’t know of anyone of my associates who haven’t experienced an illogical reaction to being in a particular location, attending an event, or making a purchase, etc. etc. You instinctively ‘see’ a consequence, a condition, a reward or threat associated with the idea, plan or action.

The seer is one who has flexed those intuition muscles and has become more adept at discerning what is fact and what is fantasy. Eliza MacKay in Forbidden is a character who has proven she has had success in finding lost dogs, being able to see where they are (if they aren’t running). She doesn’t portray herself having some supernatural gift bestowed upon her by a deity. She’s no goddess, and certainly no saint.

young woman in the dark

My ire with a few reviewers is justified. The first chapter, in fact first few paragraphs, she’s struggling with a strong intuition (seer) that she should get out of RIPT. She’s torn. She’s promised to meet a Habitat for Humanity group to be their interpreter. She can’t abandon them. As the chapter progresses, it is clear that she is truly in great danger.

Reviewers seem to get rankled when, much later in the story, she offers to help Captain Sharif find his children through touching the child’s coat or gazing into a map. The reviewers state that ‘suddenly’ she became a seer. No, that characteristic was introduced in chapter one, paragraph one. Damn! Sometime I wonder if reviewers read the bloody story or if they simply skim, reading every other sentence. Is there a trend to see how fast a reader can finish the book? How many books can they read in a year?

This assessment is from reading each review and discovering some readers did not grasp the plot, the motives, the chain of events, etc. Now, if every reader had the same difficulty, obviously the fault is with me, the author, in not writing a clear and well though out story. However, since most did fully understand the story, I wonder why other readers were confused. If they were required to write an exam on what they just read, they’d flunk.

There’s one more point I want to make clear. Some readers believe that what was forbidden is that Captain Sharif was not allowed to have a relationship with a non-Muslim. That is not true. The reader’s personal beliefs and misconceptions tainted their experience with Forbidden. What happened to having an open mind?

Fact: What is true for a devout Muslim, is that he or she should not be intimate before marriage. A Muslim man can marry any woman he chooses, regardless of her religion. Sadly, the reverse is different. A devout Muslim woman must marry only a Muslim man (to ensure the children are raised as Muslims). However, in a moderate Muslim community, there is more flexibility.

I’m done with my rant. Thanks.

Partners in Crime Showcase: Five Ways to Kill a Man, by Alex Gray

Five Ways to Kill A Man

by Alex Gray

on Tour July 10-24, 2017

Synopsis:

Five Ways to Kill A Man by Alex Gray

An unpredictable killer is loose on the streets of Glasgow, experimenting with death. Beginning with brute force, the murderer moves on to poison and drowning, greedy for new and better ways to kill.

Faced with a string of unconnected victims, DCI Lorimer turns to psychologist and friend Solomon Brightman for his insights. Lorimer is also assigned to review the case of a fatal house fire. His suspicions are raised by shocking omissions in the original investigation. Some uncomfortable questions have been buried but Lorimer is the man to ask them.

As the serial killer gets closer to Lorimer’s family, can the DCI unmask the volatile murderer before the next victim is found too close to home?

Book Details:

Genre: Procedural
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062659189 (ISBN13: 9780062659187)
Series: DCI Lorimer #7, All are Stand Alone
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

When Mary heard the back door being knocked, a smile lit up her wizened features: it was him! Danny hadn’t let her down after all, she thought. Shuffling through the hall, the old lady placed one hand on the papered walls for support, breathing hard at the effort. She switched on the kitchen light, an expression of delighted anticipation on her face at the shadow beyond the half-glazed door. The tea tray was still prepared for them; Danny’s favourite biscuits on a plate beneath the embroidered cloth, two china cups and saucers all ready beside them. Mary smoothed down her skirt and patted her tightly permed white curls, just as if she were about to welcome a young suitor to her parlour.

Eager fingers turned the key and then the cold air rushed in, sweeping Mary’s skirt above her knees, making her tremble at the empty darkness. Where was he? The trees outside swayed in the gathering storm. Had she really seen his shadow there on her doorstep? Or was it a trick of the light?

‘Danny? Danny! Are you out there? Come in, lad, it’s too cold for me to leave the door open.’ Mary’s smile faded as she heard the branches of the old apple tree creak in the wind. Had she imagined the door being knocked? Had her heightened anticipation tricked her into imagining that familiar sound? Was it the wind?

Disappointed, Mary was about to shut the door once again when she heard it: a pitiful cry just out there in the garden, some small animal in distress. Was it a cat? She’d had cats for years, but after Tiggle had been put down Malcolm had persuaded her not to have another one. It’s too much for you, Mother, he’d scolded. But Mary still missed the companionable creature and on a night like this a furry body curled on her lap would have been very welcome. So, was it a stray cat, perhaps?

Peering into the darkness, Mary heard it again, a bit closer this time.

‘Puss?’ she queried. ‘Here, pussy,’ she said, her words drawn away by a gust of wind. Venturing forwards, Mary took one step down, her fingers gripping the rail that the nice man from social services had put in for her, and called again. ‘Puss, puss . . .’

The figure seemed to come from nowhere, the hood concealing his face.

‘Danny?’ Mary stood still, wondering, doubting as he mounted the steps towards her.

But in that moment of hesitation she felt her fingers being pried from the railing, then the figure was suddenly behind her.

One blow to her spine and she was falling down and down, a thin wail of pain coming from her mouth as the sharp edges of the stone steps grazed her face, cut into her flailing arms.

Mary closed her eyes before the final thud, her skull smashing against the concrete slab below.

‘Miaow!’ the hooded figure cried, then laughed softly at the inert body splayed at the foot of the steps. Bending down, it lifted one of the woman’s thin wrists, feeling for a pulse. A moment passed then the hood nodded its satisfaction, letting the dead woman’s arm fall back on to the cold, hard ground.

Excerpt from Five Ways to Kill A Man by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Gray. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Alex Gray

Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Connect with Alex Gray on her Website 🔗 & Twitter 🔗.

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
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Giveaway!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray & Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Alex Gray’s Glasgow Kiss. The giveaway begins on July 30 and runs through August 30, 2017.

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