LION OF SCYTHIA
Review By Dr. Bob Rich
I hope that Max Overtonís first foray into Historical Fiction will not
be the last. I have just finished reading his The Lion of Scythia,
which is set in the times of Alexander the Great, and all I want to do is
to read on.
Overton has done an excellent job of bringing to life a little-known
corner of ancient history. Having done several years of research for my
own series, I know just how difficult this is. Though larger than life,
his main characters behave in an engagingly human manner and I as reader
identified with their problems in facing their challenges, cheered at
their triumphs, felt with them at their reverses.
This book is a good read if you like fast-moving adventure with a
strong romantic element. And who doesnít?
About the Reviewer
Among other things, Dr Bob Rich is the author of the series, The
Stories of the Ehvelen, published by Bookmice (http://www.bookmice.com/). His stories
are set in 700 BC, well before the times described in The Lion of
Scythia, but in much the same geographic region. He has also written a
science fiction story that has attracted excellent reviews, Sleeper,
Awake. This book is published by Clock Tower Books (http://www.clocktowerfiction.com/). Bob is also a
psychologist. His self-help book Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of
your emotions and control phobias is published by http://red-e2.com/. All of Bobís web sites
can be accessed through http://bobrich.fictionworld.com/.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE
Author: Ariana Overton
Publisher: Atlantic Bridge [HTML,
Publisherís URL: http://www.atlanticbridge.com/
Reviewer: Shirley Truax, Member RIO For:
It was Christmas Eve and death
stalked the living on this holiday night." This near-opening line starts
the prologue to the most convoluted mystery this reviewer has had the
pleasure of reading. Mr. Death is lurking in an alley watching through a
dingy window at a party that is in full swing.
Ah, yes. There she is, moving
among the partiers in a strapless, shimmering, golden, form-fitting dress.
Soon, Dr. Death panted, she would be all his. The thought made his blood
surge and his manhood respond to the ultimate gratification --
Chapter One introduces the reader
to FBI Agent Jake Daniels, and to Profiler Martine Joyner who, on
Christmas morning, are investigating the gruesome murder and mutilation of
what was once an attractive young woman. Like the others, she is hardly
recognizable because her face has been terribly mutilated. How many more
will there be before this trail of torture ends?
Jake is greatly upset that the
brass wonít support him with these investigations, nor will they admit
there is a serial killer on the loose. Enough women have been murdered
that the media has dubbed these as being done by the Holiday Killer. One
field agentís career was almost ruined when he failed to catch this maniac
the year before. Was someone now after Jakeís job? The first agentís
problem added to Jakeís zealousness to catch the mad man, and to reassure
that no other woman died the way all of these tortured women
While the body is being removed
from the scene, Jake receives a call that there is another body in the
park. The MO is the same with one exception; this is the body of a man.
Could this, then, be a copycat killing?
If not, what made the maniac
change the gender of his victim?
The murders hadnít started until
Valentineís Day the year before. Why then and not New Years day? Just the
first question that starts lots of puzzles that Jake must solve. What made
this monster cut out a womanís heart on Valentineís Day? April first he
removed his next victimís brain and put it into a port-a-potty next to
her. Not a funny April Fools joke; no one laughed. On Labor Day he took
out a womanís uterus. On Halloween night the soles of a womanís feet were
cut off. Thanksgiving he trussed up another woman and chopped off her
head. Why the weird theatrical layout of this sickoís victims?
The more Jake investigates, the
more he knows he has come up against the Devil personified. And he and
Marty work hard to find the details.
Ms. Overton has given the reader a
most fascinating mystery to work on. The details are here, but where the
devil are they? If you think you are stumped, then youíll know what Jake
is up against. You wonít figure this one out. An A-number-one
Devil is in the Details
By Steven Philip Jones
Author of King of
Nothing is ever what it appears to be
when the Devil is in the details.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS is the first
novel in a new series of mysteries by Ariana Overton. Overtonís previous
credits include the paranormal Glass House trilogy (GLASS HOUSE, A GLASS
DARKLY, LOOKING GLASS) and time-travel novel TAPESTRY. THE DEVIL IS IN THE
DETAILS introduces FBI agent Jake Daniels and his "dream team" of scruffy
but savvy investigators: psychologist and Danielís childhood friend Dr.
Martine "Marti" Joyner, former San Francisco policeman M.M. "Sam" Quigley,
and strip club owner and computer whiz "Tigger" Tiggs.
When we meet Daniels he is well on his
way to drinking himself out of a pension, the agent haunted by the murders
of his wife and partner, both victims of serial killers during the past
two years. His career in a nosedive, the FBI assigns Daniels to the
northern California community of Santa Rosa to stop a maniac who has
butchered five women since Valentineís Day. The FBI claims that
apprehending "The Holiday Killer" is Danielsí last chance to rescue his
careerÖor so it appears. Daniels knows one agent has already been
dismissed in disgrace from the case for failing to stop the Santa Rosa
murders. However, he is not too blitzed to realize the FBI expects him to
fail, to justify their finally firing him.
What neither Daniels or the FBI could
have counted on was his uncovering evidence suggesting The Holiday Killer
may have had a hand in his wifeís murder.
Danielsí efforts to discover the truth
are complicated by Santa Rosa Police Chief Hartigan and the local coroner,
Dr. Russell, who resent the FBI agentÖor so it appears. Neither will help
him any more than is necessary, and Daniels suspects they may even be
trying to sabotage his investigation. If it werenít for his own team of
investigators and two token Santa Rosa policemen assigned to help them,
Brian Denton and Cameron Parker, Danielsí task would be hopeless.
Meanwhile an aggressive television journalist, Connie Braxton, is
determined to get the scoop on The Holiday Killerís identityÖor so it
appears. Her commitment sometimes seems to border on the pathological. She
will do anything to uncover The Holiday Killerís identity, including
jeopardizing the career of one of Danielsí team by seducing
Overton has created an intriguing cast of
characters for THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS, as well as weaves an intricate
plot in a fashion that is entertaining and easy to follow. She will not
lose you or bore you, though the book does start off slowly, much in the
manner of a Tom Clancy novel. Like Clancy, though, once Overtonís
characters and situations have all been properly introduced and set in
motion, her novel will carry you away.
Be warned, this is a rough book that
deals with sexual perversion and mutilation. To her credit Overton does
not dwell on every seamy or gory detail, as other authors are wont to do;
however, she does not shy away from them. Danielsí team is pursuing a
clever and elusive homicidal maniac, after all. But Overton, a mature
authoress, makes certain that her novelís suspense and tragedy are as real
as its blood. She is to be complimented for that, as well as her gift for
juggling suspects and plot twists with the adroitness of a street busker.
At one point or another almost every character in THE DEVIL IS IN THE
DETAILS falls under suspicion of being The Holiday Killer. Even Daniels!
That is one neat trick, as is Overtonís ability to create reader sympathy
for Daniels in her novelís early pages. It is not easy to feel sorry for a
drunken protagonist who has lost confidence in himself, but Overton
succeeds. Whatís more, when Daniels does defeat the demons that haunt him,
awakes from his melancholy, and dedicates himself to stopping the maniac,
he establishes himself as a hero worthy of challenging the devilish and
daring Holiday Killer.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS is a
thrilling launch to a new series of mysteries. Ariana Overton is going to
win over a lot of new fans and please a lot of old ones with this
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS is published
by Clocktower Books. It is available at Borders, Amazon &
Booksamillion in paperback.
STEVEN PHILIP JONES
(http://fuziondigital.com/SPJhome.htm) is the author of KING OF HARLEM,
the first in the Sassafras Winters and Chinaman mystery-adventure series
published by Writers Club Press at iUniverse.com
Reviewed by Cindy Penn
Very highly recommended
A single thread, pulled, cut, or
changed has the potential to effect the entire pattern of a tapestry. This
profound metaphor provides an ingenious framework for TAPESTRY by Ariana
Overton. Like any expertly woven masterpiece, TAPESTRY has several complex
plot lines woven together resulting in an extraordinary tale of romance,
suspense, and murder.
The first thread: Katherine (Kat) Hurston
considers her life to be lacking. At the age of 48, she's lost the man of
her dreams. Miraculously, she has learned the ability to go back in time
and effect the present. She intends to coach her younger self into wealth
and love with the man she's presently lost. But she never considers the
negative consequences to herself or the timeline with such meddling.
The second thread: Dr Max Martin dreams of
scientifically proving the paranormal by finding people like Kat who have
the ability to go back in time. His hidden agenda is to find and bring to
justice the man who brutally murdered his younger brother. Moreover, his
budding relationship with Kat complicates both their plans.
The third thread: Nick Kharija owns the
company funding the time travel research. His daughter is dying a rare of
blood disease believed to have been cured in ancient Egypt. Those cures
were recorded on the scrolls that Max's brother Michael had discovered,
but were lost upon his death. If he has a further agenda, he doesn't
intend to tell anyone.
One again author Ariana Overton presents the
reader with a tale of intrigue guaranteed to entertain. Using the image of
a woven tapestry, and questioning what happens when a thread changes,
Ariana weaves a tapestry of thoughtful suspense.
Shirley Truax, Member of RIO
For Ivy Quill Reviews
Katherine Hurston and her
married lover, Steve Davis, have a cabin out of town, but Steve can only
visit her on weekends. He must stay close to his law office during the
week, he tells Kat. It is Steve who breaks off the affair because he just
canít take the pressure of sneaking around anymore. Kat is devastated and
goes into a depression mood.
Callie Barnes tries to tell her that Steve is not
the one for her anyway. Kat has known her psychic friend for years and has
believed all of Calís predictions Ė until now. Kat still insists that
Steve loves her and will eventually leave his wife and marry her. She
keeps bemoaning to Cal that she wishes she could go back in time and
change things so that she, Kat, is the one who marries Steve, and that the
other woman is out of the picture altogether. Oh, well, we all have our
dreams and wishes. Right? But this reviewer has always heard that one
should be careful of what they wish for. You might get your wish, but not
in the manner you envision.
Cal convinces Kat to come to her home for a bbq and
swimming. It takes some urging but she finally gives in. One of the guests
is Max Martin, an old college friend of Calís husband Chuck. Max is a
Clinical Psychologist, Biologist and Sociologist, whose specialty field is
the Paranormal. When Kat learns that Maxís company is dabbling in
research that allows illusion to become reality, she becomes interested in
being tested for the susceptibility to the drug that is used since there
have been so many people who didnít respond. In the experiments, Kat
proves to be a good subject.
Somehow this information reaches a Mr. Nick Kharija.
Mr. Kharija sends for the scientific team and requests that they send Kat
back in time to retrieve some ancient scrolls that contain the formula of
a cure for a blood disease that only affects certain Egyptians. He says
that his 10-year-old daughter has the disease and only the information the
scrolls hold is all that can save her. He has plenty of money to continue
with the research, so will they please keep experimenting. The team learns
that the last owner of the scrolls was a Dr. Michael Renner, but he has
Since Kat has had success in past experiments, she
accepts the challenge. But does she venture too far with the illusions in
trying to get to the past? Is it all that easy to get back to the present?
Does she always land in the time area she imagines?
Ms. Overton has given the reader another exciting
tale of mystery and intrigue into the world of time travel. And another
unique way of solving a murder.
What really made this reviewer nervous was the fact
that the author assured me that some portions of the story are based on
fact. No, I didnít ask which parts. I donít want to know because the
knowledge might interfere with my sleep.
BOOK ONE OF
THE GLASS HOUSE TRILOGY
Review by Tim 'The Yowie
Cryptonaturalist and international broadcaster for 4ABC Radio,
Jump into the Tardis, trek across
the stars, hitch-hike through the galaxy, beam up both Agent Scully and
Indiana Jones then embark with them on your very own journey to the centre
of the Earth . . .
Sounds a bit far
Well, throw in an international
cast of reputable scientists, adventurers, reporters and a bewitching
smorgasbord of real Australian phenomena. Then breathe new life into the
Dreamtime of the bunyip and yowie by intuitively linking them to
contemporary UFOís and all of a sudden the intrigue riddled Glass House
becomes enchantingly realistic.
Stop only to be baked by the harsh
Queensland sunshine and to unwillingly rip the seemingly unbelievable into
bite size believable scientific pieces.
Glass House is more than just a
novel . . . it will spear you headlong into a mystical waking dream,
entice you into a supernatural rescue mission and finally change the way
you view the world.
Overton has cleverly combined
aboriginal mythology, popular mysterious phenomena, mainstream science and
the quintessential Australian bush into a totally plausible paranormal
In reading Glass House, I
experienced the notorious Ďlost timeí that many people feel when a UFO
encounter happens. It was as if I was hit by a sensory freight train, then
lured by the timeless nature of the unique Australian landscape into an
extraordinary quest saturated with myth and apparitions yet
indistinguishable from the truth.
I found myself snooping around,
even tracking Overtonís characters in their every step. I lived every
moment of their amazing quest.
A must read!
Word Wrap: A book review
by Cindy Penn
In GLASS HOUSE, the first book of
a trilogy, Ariana Overton once again weaves a fascinating tale of
complexity and imagination. Confronting our cultural myths as well as
scientific theory, GLASS HOUSE deftly challenges the fine line between
imagination and reality.
Drawing a bit from her own
background, Ariana's American heroine Samantha Louis (Sam) and Australian
hero James Hay are brought together by a remarkable discovery -- a black
obelisk, made of such dense material as to defy a diamond bit. This find
provides the opportunity for scientific study.
As the Aborigine Elders gather --
in defiance of politics and their own security -- to honor Dreamtime and
the Ancient Ones at the scientific site, the obelisk is shattered and new
possibilities for the human race begin.
The quest for answers regarding
the destroyed obelisk brings together Sam, James, and a half dozen others.
They head toward GLASS HOUSE, a mountain in remote Australia accessible
only by hiking through a dangerous and almost inaccessible land. Along the
way, they meet with both the face of death and the birth of salvation for
the human race.
GLASS HOUSE draws from
science and myth, including Neanderthals, Yowies (similar to Bigfoot),
UFOs, Bunyips (similar to the Loch Ness monster), and the mythology of the
Aborigine. Such disparate subjects become a kaleidoscope of elements that
resolve themselves into a remarkable pattern that leaves the reader
wondering at the simplicity of the explanation for most mythologies. My
hat is off to this remarkable author and this remarkable book. If you've
an appetite for the paranormal or mythological beasts, GLASS HOUSE is a
What author Diana Kirk
says about GLASS HOUSE
"For all who have yearned to visit
faraway places, Ariana Overton's GLASS HOUSE is a delightful journey
filled with intriguing characters. The story begins deep in the heart of
an Australian Rainforest where scientist James Hay and reporter Samantha
Louis begin a quest to solve ancient Australian mysteries. You'll just
have to read this page turner to find out what they discover. If you
enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Mummy, you'll love this must
~ Diana Kirk, best-selling author
of SONG OF ISIS and BAD MEDICINE
A GLASS DARKLY
OF THE GLASS HOUSE TRILOGY
Reviewed by Christine
Spindler, author of The Rhythm of Revenge,
A laboratory inside a dead
volcano next to Glass Lake in northern California is the fascinating
setting of this mesmerizing epic, the second book of the Glass House
Trilogy, but also a perfect stand-alone. With fluid elegance, Ariana
Overton fills in the context from Book One. My husband and I had the great
pleasure to help Ariana with background information in physics. It was
magic to watch how she deftly wove the facts into her
Torn between the wish to find her
missing sister Samantha and the fear of her demonic ex-lover Morgan
Steele, Andromeda Jones agrees to go on a dangerous mission and soon finds
herself entangled in a web of professional jealousy, betrayal and greed.
She helps construct Vox Dei, a machine that ostensibly is built to
eliminate wars. But what is its true nature? Who is pulling the strings?
The experiment gets out of control, dark powers are unleashed and the
danger to mankind unfolds relentlessly.
A Glass Darkly is a quick read,
with gripping action and vivid descriptions. Of all the riveting
characters, Moon Wolf was my favorite. His strong, stoic presence
beautifully balances the breathtaking plot.
This stunning book will please
lovers of tight science thrillers and the paranormal genre alike. I
wouldn't hesitate to liken the masterful Glass House Trilogy to Tolkien's
"The Lord of the Rings".
Evil creepy crawlers are lurking
in the dark and crossing into reality in this latest paranormal
action/thriller from Ariana Overton. As the veil between the worlds thins,
threatening to allow an influx of danger, Overton weaves a deft web of the
fantastic and the paranormal to create A GLASS DARKLY. Although it is part
two of a series that began with GLASS HOUSE, it also a fascinating and
vivid tale that can stand alone.
While GLASS HOUSE was set in the
Glass House Mountains of Australia, this second novel is set in the Glass
Mountain area of northern California where Morgan Steele has assembled
some of the most brilliant minds in engineering and physics. Andi,
Andromeda Jones, left the Glass House Mountains once, fleeing Morgan, but
with her sister missing, returning seems her only link to find Sam and her
Vox Dei, which translates as The
Voice of God, a machine ostensibly created to end war, actually holds a
much more diabolical truth. The military wants it for a weapon, the
mysterious group "The Nine" want it for their own brand of power, and
others seem to also have likewise dangerous motives for gaining control of
this doomsday machine. As Andi brings the machine closer to completion,
she ignores the warning signs, finding herself plunged into danger with
her own work as the possible means to the end of the world as we know
Many favorite characters make a
return with Glass Darkly, including Sam, James, the blues, the greys, and
Yowies. New characters will make an equally vivid appearance, particularly
Moon Wolf, this reviewer's favorite. With a deft touch, Overton has
created a remarkable novel of passion, war, and the quest for power. While
reaching a full and satisfying conclusion, A GLASS DARKLY conversely whets
the appetite leaving the reader ready to read more.
Review by: Tracy
Tracy's Book Reviews
© 2000 by Tracy Eastgate
Andromeda 'Andi' Jones is an out
of work Physicist searching for her missing sister Samantha and Sam's
husband James. She has no idea of what happened to them except that they
disappeared without a trace from their secluded island. Marc, Sam's former
photographer and assistant, calls Andi and offers her an investigative
job, one in which he is convinced is connected with Sam and James'
disappearance and the incident in which the three of them were
with at Glass House Mountains in Australia.
Even though Andi has very strong
reservations about taking the job, she knows she has to. She couldn't pass
up any possibility that there may be a connection and also find her
sister. She has a feeling that there may be more than a possibility of a
connection with this, the job is at a secluded volcanic island in northern
California calledÖGlass Mountain.
When Andi arrives at Glass
Mountain, she is suddenly plunged into something that is beyond belief.
She knows the owner of Glass Mountain, Morgan Steele, and at one time was
involved with him. Morgan is an eccentric millionaire who was rumored to
be in the area when Sam disappeared. Morgan is heading up a project called
VOX DEI. The VOX DEI is a machine being created and built that is suppose
to have the capabilities to alter the brain waves and thoughts of people,
even those on the other side of the world. Morgan claims it is to be used
against people who are considering acts of war, but Andi is sure it is
much more than that. And it is.
Author Ariana Overton has yet
again produced another book in which you won't be able to put down once
you begin to read and when the final page is turned, you are still
reaching for another wanting more. She blends multiple elements into a
superb story. She gives you suspense and danger, love and hate, humans and
spirits and more. Although A GLASS DARKLY is the second book in The Glass
House Trilogy it could also stand-alone. It contains some of the same
characters we met in GLASS HOUSE, but introduces new characters to us in
which A GLASS DARKLY focuses on.
ISBN 0-7433-0023-8 (electronic),
Formats PDF, HTML, LIT,
Cost $6.75/download, $9.25/CD,
Reviewer Lyn Lawrence, Ivy Quill Reviews http://www.ivyquill.com/
In this the second book of the
Glass House trilogy, Andromeda Jones, an unemployed physicist, has
retreated to the Rocky Mountains of America to seek clues to her sister
Samís disappearance somewhere in Australia. Her only companions are Moon
Wolf, a native American, and Piwhacket, her wildcat Ė plus her computer
which she uses in her search for Sam and her husband, James.
phone call from a photographer friend, Marc, who was with Sam and James
before their disappearance, holds out a tantalizing clue to her sisterís
whereabouts. But to investigate the clue, Andi must return to a former
lover, Morgan Steele, and his project where she may be able to find
The book is a grand adventure filled with action, blood and
gore as Andi takes up the task of constructing the Vox Dei, a machine
expected to end strife and war on Earth. Instead, it turns out to be an
instrument of mass destruction.
The creepy, ghouls called up by the
machineís havoc grow stronger as the machine, aided by a fellow physicist,
continues to destroy Australian
targets, and the barrier between their
world and ours thins. Through the aid of the aborigine introduced in the
first Glass House book, Glass House, and Andiís friend, Moon Wolf, the bad
guys are defeated in the end.
Ms. Overtonís vision is grand, her
scope broad. Her weaving together of plot, fantasy, paranormal elements
and science is skilled. The third book of the trilogy, Looking Glass,
should be completed and available soon. There are fascinating things to be
covered in that tale. Thanks for the adventure, Ms. Overton. We wait to
Reviewed by J.B.
BOOK THREE OF THE GLASS HOUSE
Ariana Overton shareds her pen with author-husband, Max, for this, the
third and final manuscript of the Glass House Trilogy. For those discerned
readers of the action adventure genre, this story entwined in fact is sure
to set the standard for many more literary couplings with this talented
husband and wife team.
A meeting is called to advise Samantha
and James Hay that their missing daughter Gaia, has been discovered in
ancient Australia, together with Rima (Cindy) her Yowie nursemaid. Dr
Xanatuo, scientist, has found a way to send the Hays thirty thousand years
back in time and space to reunite them with their daughter. To assist
Samantha and James they are accompanied by Ernie, the old Aboriginal
tracker, and Garagh, leader of the Neanderthals, together with their
friends Ratana and Nathan. However, there is a great price to be paid for
this rescue mission. Not only do they seek Gaia, but they also have the
burden of changing an event in ancient history to right a terrible wrong
The rescue party is plagued with disaster
immediately when their time travel passage goes awry - they are more than
ten years late in their destined time, missing a friend, gaining two
strangers and a third mysterious entity which will plague their steps and
create havoc to their mission.
Will Dr James and his team be successful
in finding Gaia? Will they change that one element in time that will
manipulate the energies necessary to remedy the terrible wrong that has
befallen planet Earth? Moreover, will there be a land to return
All these questions and so much more are
traversed in the Overton's latest action/adventure, Looking Glass. This is
not your atypical save the world fictional quest, this is a high-rise
manuscript towering that additional level to include scientific fact and
research. It is very clear that a great deal of effort has gone into
research of the Aboriginal and Neanderthal customs and the true
representation of Looking Glass' Australian locale.
Like Glass House and A Glass Darkly, this
story is resonant with diverse and unique characters that populate the
journey to ensure an expedition of extraordinary detail to indulge any
literary adventurer. As my eyes absorbed the words, my mind coalesced with
the beautiful imagery of the environment and its inhabitants. The pace
ensured a suspenseful tension that accelerated my pulse and thrummed in my
veins to guarantee that I could not, and would not settle for one chapter
per night just before bed.
A highly recommended read from two very
talented authors that blended so well together their words became one
Ariana Overton takes you on another
spellbinding tale of murder and mystery. When a vicious killer reads part
of a novel by writer Briana Kilmer, mirroring one of his horrific crimes,
threats begin pouring into her e-mail box. With the aid of her
computer-guru son, her daughter-in-law, and a police officer, Briana seeks
to discover the killerís identity.
But when body parts begin
turning up in her apartment, can Briana or those whom she loves ever truly
be safe until the maniac is safely behind bars?
If you love
psychological thrillers then this is the book you want to read. Trapdoor
is a complex mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. (On a
scale 1-5) I give it a scintillating 5 :)
Reviewed By: Jewel Dartt:
Midnight Scribe Reviews