Max Overton

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 ( 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 ( Bob is also a psychologist. His self-help book Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias is published by All of Bobís web sites can be accessed through

Author: Ariana Overton
Publisher: Atlantic Bridge [HTML, PDF, CD]
Publisherís URL:
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 0743300874
Reviewer: Shirley Truax, Member RIO For:
Ivy Quill Reviews

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 -- death.

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 had.

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 book.

REVIEW: The Devil is in the Details
By Steven Philip Jones
Author of King of Harlem

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 him.

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 novel.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS is published by Clocktower Books. It is available at Borders, Amazon & Booksamillion in paperback.

STEVEN PHILIP JONES ( is the author of KING OF HARLEM, the first in the Sassafras Winters and Chinaman mystery-adventure series published by Writers Club Press at



Reviewed by Cindy Penn ~~ Wordweaving

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.

Reviewed by: Shirley Truax, Member of RIO
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 been murdered.

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.


Review by Tim 'The Yowie Man',
Cryptonaturalist and international broadcaster for 4ABC Radio, Canberra

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 fetched?

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 thriller.

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
February 2000

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 must read.

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



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 fiction.

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".

Cindy Penn
Senior Editor/Web Wizard

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 husband James.

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 it.

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 Eastgate
Tracy's Book Reviews
Copyright © 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
involved 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.

A Glass Darkly
Genre    Action/Adventure
ISBN    0-7433-0023-8 (electronic), 0743300513 (paperback)
Formats    PDF, HTML, LIT, Paperback
Cost    $6.75/download, $9.25/CD, $14.50/paperback
Reviewer Lyn Lawrence, Ivy Quill Reviews

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.

A 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 work.

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 read more.


Reviewed by J.B. Scott

Prolific author 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 of today.

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 to?

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 voice.


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


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