Title: THE FLYING DRAGON
Author: Georges Ugeux
Publisher: Archway Books
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book:
Celebrated non-fiction author Georges Ugeux delivers an intense, imaginative and intriguing financial thriller in his debut novel,The Flying Dragon. Set against the backdrop of the high-energy, high-tension world of global finance, The Flying Dragon plunges readers deep into a world where power, greed, money, and passion can intersect in a most dangerous way.
The Flying Dragon introduces protagonist Victoria Leung, a beautiful, brilliant, fearless, and highly accomplished financial fraud investigator. Responsible for taking down Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Kwok Brothers, a real estate empire, Victoria not only established herself as a formidable talent, but earned the nickname “The Flying Dragon” in the process. When she leaves the fraud department of the Hong Kong Police, Victoria accepts a position as a senior detective at Pegasus, an international security firm based in London. The Pegasus job affords Victoria much-needed freedom, but that calm is shattered when Victoria receives an urgent message from her close friend Diana Yu. It seems Diana’s ex- boyfriend Henry Chang is in danger. Henry’s co-worker, Bertrand Wilmington, head of the derivative trading desk of a global bank, has fallen from a window of the twenty-second floor trading room.The Hong Kong Police Force quickly concludes that the death was a suicide, but is there more to this story than meets the eye? Henry Chang thinks so—and knows that if anyone can find answers, it’s Victoria, the Flying Dragon herself. Hong Kong and Mainland authorities are unsuccessful in cracking the case, but Victoria uses her expertise to discover key clues. And Victoria, a dogged, tough, tenacious investigator, won’t back down until she gets answers. As she races to piece together the puzzle of what really happened, Victoria is swept up in a world of danger, deception, and deadly consequences. Can she extricate herself from this perilous web of arrogance, power, money and greed? Will she expose the corruption and bring down a financial giant? Or will time run out? The clock is ticking….
The crowd around the Hong Kong Arts Center seemed happy as they streamed out of the concert by talented Chinese pianist Yuja Wang. They enthusiastically shared their impressions about her beauty, musicality, and talent. Some of the patrons had seen videos of Yuja Wang playing Chopin at the age of six. Victoria Leung was so in sync with the music she had played tonight: Schubert’s impromptus. She also felt so close to the pianist, who commanded the keyboard and seemed on the verge of tears when the third impromptu moved from lightness to depth and passion. At twenty-seven, Yuja Wang was one of the best-known pianists of her generation and now lived in the United States. She had the same drive, intensity, and grace as Victoria herself.
The Center’s superb architecture had always given Victoria pleasure. It was modern without ostentation, and its acoustics were close to perfect. Over the years, classical music had increasingly been a source of inspiration in the Chinese world, and the public was ecstatic. For a Chinese pianist to reach this level of excellence and artistry was a source of pride.
Since she had left the financial fraud department of the Hong Kong Police Force, Victoria Leung had enjoyed the freedom attached to her new status of senior detective at Pegasus, an international firm headquartered in London. She intended to fully enjoy this period of her life. Having a family was not on her agenda. Like most thirty-six-year-old women, though, she was starting to give it some thought. Her biological clock inexorably ticked. She knew it. But at the same time, she didn’t know what to do about that reality.
Victoria was an assertive and attractive young woman well aware of the impact she had on the male-dominated financial world of Greater China. She had initially faced difficulty demonstrating her leadership and competence, partly because of her good looks, femininity, and youth. She had learned to turn these qualities into assets that she used subtly and wisely. While she remained vulnerable to some aggressive behavior from male colleagues, she knew how to garner respect. Her body was slim and strong; she exercised regularly. She liked having the freedom to wear dresses and skirts rather than a police uniform. But what struck everybody who met her was the power of her demeanor and her smile, which revealed her complexity.
Wearing a short red dress, Victoria drank her green tea as she peered through the glass of her office windows into the Hong Kong morning: Kowloon Bay on one side and the old British Empire buildings and parks at the center of Hong Kong on the other. The traffic was penetrating and created an impression of energy and intensity. Hong Kong was not a city for the fainthearted. Victoria was an early bird, and relished the atmosphere of the office before anybody else was in. She was in control and serene.
Victoria looked down at the document on her desk:
Henry Chang is in danger. I urgently need to meet you. Meet me at 9:00 a.m. at the Mandarin Oriental for coffee. I desperately need your help. —Diana Y.
Victoria was stunned. For Diana Yu to send such a dramatic message was unusual. Henry Chang was Diana’s former lover until he broke it off and publicly humiliated her. Now, Diana was asking Victoria to help the bastard. It didn’t add up. Did Diana still have feelings for him? Victoria hoped not, but it was the only explanation that made sense.
She sighed. If it had been Chang asking, Victoria would have said no. But Diana was a dear friend. If she was willing to swallow her pride and ask for help, then the least Victoria could do was find out why.
Diana Yu and Victoria had started together at the Hong Kong Police Force. Soon after, Henry Chang became Diana’s boyfriend. While she had given the relationship all she had, she was never sure whether Henry was playing or being earnest. Unexpectedly, after they had dated for a year, he dropped her for a Hong Kong socialite, Helena Lee. He then became head of the fixed-income department of the Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai, or BHS.
The breakup had been particularly painful for Diana since Henry had been cruel enough to do it publicly at a 2012 New Year’s party.
Diana was now reaching out through a confidential police cable; whatever had happened to Henry must have been fairly dramatic. The Wan Chai Police headquarters was close to Hong Kong Central and near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Ronald Kidd's YA novel Dreambender tells the story of a society without free will and the children that dare to ask “What If”.
A cataclysmic event called the Warming occurred when the days were hot and the seas rising. After many generations, when the great flood receded, people arrived at a place called The City. Here they learned to live strict, structured lives where at the age of 12 a future occupation is decided for them. Society lives without machines, music and art all claimed to have contributed to the Warming. Hope and joy are discouraged as well as thinking for yourself. Most seem content, but a few adolescents begin to question is this all there is. Callie Crawford is just one of those adolescents.
While a quiet and orderly society is maintained in The City, another secret society lives in The Meadow. They are called Dreambenders. They are responsible for changing the dreams of the people in The City. Dreams of machines, music, art or hope have to be changed for the good of society. Fear of another Warming has convinced the Dreambenders what they are doing is best for mankind. In denial, they are really controlling the minds and free will of the people. Jeremy Finn, a rising star among the Dreambenders, is not completely convinced what they are doing is morally acceptable. One night finding Callie singing in a dream, an act that is forbidden, Jeremy makes a decision that will dramatically change his and Callie’s lives, as well as the world they live in.
Ronald Kidd's Dreambender is a thought provoking novel with characters that are rich and rebellious. It’s a story of survival, learning who you are and what you are meant to be. It’s listening to that small inner voice that has long been suppressed, letting go of control and working for a bright and hope filled future. A book to make you think at any age.
I was given an advanced copy of Ronald Kidd's Dreambender for a fair and honest review.
Guest post: "What Kind of Yoga Teacher Writes about Murder?" by Tracy Weber, Author of 'Karma's a Killer'
I’ve made my living teaching yoga and running my Seattle yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga, for almost fifteen years, and I’ve certified well over 200 yoga teachers through my teacher training program. But anyone who knows me can attest that I am not a typical yoga teacher.
I came to yoga with significant back injuries, and I can’t do any of the cool poses pictured on the cover of Yoga Journal. I cringe every time I hear something woo-woo. But I love yoga. It has transformed my life, and sharing it with others brings me great joy.
Still, I’m not a typical yoga teacher.
Most of my students weren’t surprised to learn that I spend my spare time plotting murder. It makes sense if you know my warped sense of humor. After all, I’ve been known to hide books on poisons all over the kitchen where my husband can “accidentally” find them.
Yoga practitioners who don’t know me are sometimes taken aback—even a little affronted—however. How can a yoga teacher combine yoga—a practice designed to promote inner peace—with murder?
My top four reasons are outlined below.
My light-hearted mysteries allow me to share my love of yoga with people I may never meet.
Most of my readers don’t practice yoga, which isn’t surprising. Reading immerses us in worlds we might otherwise never experience. I write murder mysteries, but I don’t expect my readers to be killers, either. ;-)
Kate Davidson, my novel’s protagonist, is a yoga teacher and the owner of a Seattle yoga studio, Serenity Yoga. Like most of us, Kate won’t be in the running for Buddha’s successor. She has a fiery temper and often lashes out impulsively, only to regret it later. Yet she has a great heart and, like me, she believes in yoga and has dedicated her life to sharing it with others. If Kate loves yoga, anyone can love yoga—even mystery fans who have never considered trying it.
People are murdered in my work, but death isn’t the only theme.
Solving crime definitely takes center stage in my books, but The Downward Dog Mysteries are ultimately about transformation. The yoga teachings don’t promise that we won’t suffer traumas. Practicing yoga doesn’t protect us from the real world, which sometimes is violent.
Yoga does, however, give us a path to acceptance—to finding peace in the midst of chaos. It helps us to learn how to live our values. Like most of us, my protagonist struggles with inner demons, and she doesn’t always react to life’s stressors the way she wishes she had. But yoga gives her a roadmap, and she tries to follow it, in spite of some notable traffic jams. Along the way, she learns, she grows, and she tries to do better in the future.
If my books were movies, they’d be rated PG.
The Downward Dog Mysteries are cozy mysteries. Cozies are typically light-hearted, often funny (I think mine are!) and written to appeal to the faint-hearted. Gore is minimized; killing takes place off screen; sex happens behind closed doors. My mother has read all three books in my series, with only minimal blushing.
Last but not least, I love it!
But if I’m honest, the real reason I write yoga mysteries is simple. I’m a huge mystery fan, my life-work is yoga, and I’m absolutely, embarrassingly, head-over-heels in love with my German shepherd, Tasha. I write about a yoga teacher who solves murders with a wacky German shepherd sidekick. Writing about yoga, dogs, and murder. What could be more fun?
Title: KARMA’S A KILLER
Author: Tracy Weber
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
A fun, fresh, feisty new mystery featuring Seattle yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her trusty canine companion Bella,Karma’s a Killer is a taut tale with more twists and turns than a vinyasa yoga class. In this charming, clever and utterly captivating cozy mystery, Kate Davidson discovers that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like om.
When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems… The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them. And if solving a murder weren’t complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy Weber is the owner of the award-winning yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program which, to date, has certified over 250 yoga teachers. She and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha.
Connect on with Tracy on the Web:
#FREE Kindle download through 1/18/2016 NEW RELEASE - Ranked #1 in 2 categories of Health and Fitness on Kindle after only 2 weeks!
You would think family addiction, abuse, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, crippling anxiety and financial struggle would be enough to put a woman in her grave. As a single mother cluttered with a messy adolescence, the author had plenty of adventure; still, it wasn't the kind she wanted. Internal disarray revealed itself as chaotic outward circumstances, including a career cleaning homes and a head just above water. Craving an existence infused with quality, she determined to robe herself in armor and face weaknesses head-on. Now a maid-turned-doctor, she easily demonstrates how to obtain abundance through a firsthand account of a miserable life altered into magical livelihood. With one foot on the humble "school of hard knocks" side of the fence, and the other firmly planted on the professional, scientific and spiritual side, she compassionately comes alongside the reader to empower a remarkable existence.
Late in the 21st century, the United Continental States of America (or UCSA), comprising the former USA, Canada and Mexico, is running smoothly: unemployment has been all but eradicated, terrorism is quashed in the country, and internal dissent diminishes by the day. Most people thank President Meyers for this. Many can no longer remember when there was last an election, but as long as he keeps the country safe from the terrorist group Hariq Jihad (‘Fire War’), this seems a small price to pay.
Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Jackson is the model Marine: highly trained, absolutely efficient, and unquestioningly dedicated to his country. The only thing he can conceive of putting before his nation is his family, his wife Courtney and two daughters Maya and MacKenzie. Conscripted into the personal security detail of President Meyers, he begins to get glimpses that not everyone is as content with the current situation as he is, but attributes this to terrorist agitation and fringe lunacy. When his older daughter Maya begins to question the creeping erosion of personal liberties and the revoking of democratic rights, however, he begins to fear for her safety, as well as his own and that of his family. In a climate in which entire families disappear due to minor offenses, one can’t be too careful.
The tensions between liberty and safety, between family and country, will force Jackson to rethink all his beliefs, and lead to a collision with the system he has dedicated his life to serving.
Fire War is a suspenseful, gripping and unnerving examination of the paradoxes of power, the price of liberty, and the dictates of conscience. The world you live in will never look the same again.
July 14th, 2051. 15.15 hours
Wrigley Field, Chicago, USA
The sun burnt down on the bleachers and Tom wriggled uncomfortably on his metal seat. He was hot, sweat trickling down the back of his neck, but he didn't want to ruin this – his first real baseball game. He didn't want to disappoint his father who hadn't wanted to take him until his mother insisted. He was worried that complaining would spoil the mood and end the afternoon although it was sticky, loud, and sweaty. Seven, he thought to himself, was certainly old enough to be sitting up here watching one of the biggest games of the season – the Cubs versus the Giants. Both are big names though the Cubs were going to whoop some Giant ass today; he just knew it. He glanced over at the scoreboard, smiling to himself as he read the glowing numbers. A fanfare blared so loud that he felt the music vibrate inside his chest.
“Okay, Tommy boy?” asked his father, looking down briefly and grinning at the serious look on the boy's face. Maybe he'd been wrong and Kim was right; the kid was old enough for this. The boy was doing well. He'd try to remember to pick up some flowers on the way home to make up for the yelling this morning. It could be he'd even be able to sneak in a couple of beers with the guys before they had to get back, since Tom was behaving himself so well.
“All good,” Tom said, trying to ignore the prickly feeling of drying sweat in the small of his back and a mild, but increasingly growing, urge to pee. “All good,” he repeated, as much to reassure himself as anyone else.
Up and down the aisles, vendors hawked peanuts, beer, and hot dogs, and people milled around, getting back to their seats for the beginning of the fourth inning. Tom’s hand itched inside the big foam hand his father had bought him, emblazoned with the Cub's logo. He was more than sure that his beloved Cubs were going to win. A small breeze buzzed across the field, faintly carrying the scent of cut grass over the sweat and alcohol. Life was good.
The breeze tickled the hair on the back of his neck and Tommy sighed. It felt nice after the heat. Suddenly, it got stronger, and a rumbling, roaring sound replaced the metallic jollity of the baseball field jingles. Unconsciously, Tom slid closer to his father, who looked down, annoyed that the boy was asking for affection now, in the middle of a manly day. Kim spoiled the kid, and he reconsidered his idea of buying her flowers.
Tom felt his father stiffen so he pulled away, not wanting to be yelled at. However, the noises grew louder, and people stirred. Almost as one, they turned their heads to the sky. The sun seemed to have gone behind a cloud. Tommy wanted to look up, too, but he was afraid.
“Man up,” he told himself. “Man up.” It was what his father always told him, and there was nothing more that he wanted than to be a man. So he took a deep breath, filling his nose with the scents of baseball and looked up to the sky, squinting a little.
It was a plane, not far from the blimp he noticed earlier; that was all. Nothing to be afraid of. A tiny sigh of relief escaped his lips as he saw the familiar shape outlined over his head, wings spread out against the sky.
It was the last thing he saw before the explosion ripped his small body apart with the force of a hundred suns. The quiet of thousands of lives extinguished in the blink of a second took over, disturbed only by falling rubble. The sun beat down again, hot and sticky, on what remained of Tom, his father, and all the others who had been unfortunate enough to be at Wrigley Field for the biggest game of the season.
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About the Author
As a child, Teri made up her own bedtime stories. When her children came along, Teri always tweaked the fairy tales she told her daughters, giving them a bit more punch and better endings when needed.
Now she spends her days turning her ideas into books. She lives in Marietta, GA with her husband.