Rene Natan

Biography

Rene Natan, aka Irene Gargantini Strybosch was first attracted by the myriad possibilities offered by computers and pursued a career in information technology with the University of Western Ontario. The desire of being a storyteller, however, never left her since plots kept taking shape in her mind. After following a number of online courses on fiction writing, she started to jot down her first story, Mountains of Dawn. Eight novels followed naturally. Most belong to the romantic suspense genre (such The Collage and The Red Manor); The Jungfrau Watch, however, is a political thriller and The Blackpox Threat is a spying story set in Canada. The latter won the first prize in the 2012 Five Star Dragonfly Award and was one on the four finalists in the 2011 Indie Excellence Award competition. The Bricklayer got an honorary mention from the 2012 San Francisco Book Competition.
Rene Natan makes her home in Strathroy, Ontario. Contact: renenatan@aol.com
More information can be found over the Internet:
http://www.vermeil.biz
http://www.facebook.com/rene.natan.7
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Two Love stories will appear soon on Smashwords: The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton (September 26, 2014) and The Woman in Black (December 6, 2014). You can already read the first few chapters!
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From the Social Media

From the Press: http://newsblaze.com/story/20110320075530zzzz.nb/topstory.html
http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=18849
From the Frankie Boyer BLOG: http://frankieboyer.typepad.com/blog/2011/07/ frankie-boyers-guest-line-up-for-wednesday-7611.html
From KEMW-FM radio station Dr. Jim Lee presents Rene Natan: Interview

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Review of Mountains of Dawn

Romancing the Tone:
Review of Rene Natan’s Mountain of Dawns
By Frank Mundo

Mountain of Dawns opens with a bang, literally: an explosion which kills one young woman named Kathy Alcin and injures another named Tanya Caldwell.
22 year-old Tanya Caldwell is an artist, “a dreamer” and a student at the Mackenzie Academy for the Visual Arts in Vermeil, Ontario, 80 miles outside of Toronto. “…Quiet. Well-mannered. Neat,” Tanya’s “a bit strange…like all creative people”. Orphaned as a child, Tanya dreams of dusty roads and the fosters homes she has bounced in and out of throughout her childhood. With no family, no money, and with no apparent connections to the world other than her art, Tanya seems harmless and rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. So, why in the world would anyone want to kill her?
The explosion we learn, however, is not an accident, but a car bomb. A mob-style hit which seems to have been intended for Tanya, who had only loaned her car to her roommate for the day. Oddly enough, we learn that this isn’t the first (and won’t be the last) attempt on Tanya’s life as we follow her through the twists and turns of Rene Natan’s novel billed as a Romance/Thriller.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Oh no, Romance novel, right? Those cheesy books at the grocery store with a glossy, embossed picture of a pastel, ruffle-bloused Fabio and his big tan man-boobs on the cover. That’s what I was thinking too when I was asked to review it. Thankfully, this is not one of those books (which, depressingly, by the way, are among the most sellable and most sought after manuscripts in all of genre fiction these days). Mountain of Dawns is far more thrilling than romantic in that sense. As Tanya flees to the Riviera (a safe haven for her art as well) she does have a romantic affair with a publisher named Kevin Matwin, and does meet up with an Italian Count with suspicious international connections and serious clout. But the “romantic” element, if anything, is linked more to a type of storytelling made famous by “sentimental” writers of the past, writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe or the Bronte sisters, and not the modern, escapist bologna that titillated housewives hide under their mattresses. In fact, Tanya Caldwell resembles, as a character, the character Jane Eyre in many ways, from her orphaned childhood to her mysterious ancestry and surprising windfalls.
The plot of Mountain of Dawns owes quite a bit to the plot of Charlotte Bronte’s famous feminist romance Jane Eyre as well. Those familiar with Bronte’s story know that I can’t say much more about the plot of Natan’s novel without spoiling the twists and surprising turn of events which link the innocent Tanya Caldwell to the financial motive of her corrupted and desperate would-be killers. Those unfamiliar with Jane Eyre (which I was forced to read in five different lit classes over the years) will just have to take my word for it.
Natan’s style, however, does differ from Bronte’s in that it lacks the strong biased tone and the heavy-handed ultra-sentimentalism of the old-fashion Romance novels. At times her prose even seems a bit journalistic and somewhat detached, (void of that tone or bias so apparent in those early romantic works) despite her story’s extremely personal nature and clever plot twists -- a story which closes, as it opens, with another surprising bang. Personally, I think her book might’ve benefited from a first person point-of-view, with a biased Tanya Caldwell at the wheel. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a bias in fiction. Honestly, I prefer it. I’ve even come, in many instances, to expect it. It is what creates the tone of most fiction.
But, then again, I’ve always had a bias toward the first person narrative.

Mountain of Dawns is Rene Natan’s first novel published in 1999 by Juppiter99 (available both in eBook and paperback versions) at very reasonable prices. Her other novels include Cross of Sapphires and The Collage (reviewed by Adrienne Jones and available in The Swamp’s “Review Archives“). Natan is also the author of shorter works Killing on Mount Yula, A Pair of Wings for Christmas, and Operation: Woman in Black. She is currently at work on a new novel.
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Review of The Blackpox Threat

The Blackpox Threat
A Rene Natan Novel
An Old Line Publishing Book
ISBN-13: 978-0-9845704-5-4
ISBN-10: 0-9845704-5-4
Website: www.oldlinepublishingllc.com

It is my belief that not many readers of this review have dreamed of becoming a spy for their country. In reading The Blackpox Threat by Rene Natan, you will meet Tamara Smith of London, Ontario who was challenged to do this very thing. It wasn’t an easy decision as the nightmares of her early youth had finally begun to fade, and she was living a comfortable life. Her parents, political refugees from the USSR, had been murdered because of her father’s covert activities. Endangering her own life was the last thing on her mind when she accepted a job with the Modano Company—Ship Me Safely—as a public relations person. Her boss, Charles Modano, hired her to assist at his antique shop two days a week and also asked that she occasionally accompany him to social functions where many potential buyers of antiques were contacted. The Modano Company had an excellent reputation for shipping valuable items without incurring any damage. At thirty-two years of age, Tamara felt the need for financial security and to have a relaxed, stable life. She loved her job and life was good. However, her new job brought challenges that she could never have anticipated!

Vassilli Petrovic and Brad Wilson asked her to become involved in a dangerous covert operation in which she would actually spy on the company where she was now enjoying employment. Vassilli had been a lifetime friend who helped her before and after her parents’ death and she owed him much. But she didn’t owe anything to Brad Wilson, who was ever so determined that she go along with their request. She had been singled out because of her position with the Modano Company whom they suspected of handling the shipment of some very dangerous cargo. But what was this cargo? Tamara learns that it is a deadly virus called “The Blackpox” and that it is on its way to Canada. And so this beautiful woman who hadn’t wanted to leave her comfort zone agrees to participate in this dangerous mission; the operation is called “Bullfrog.”

Tamara is giving some special training as well as recording devices and other equipment to help her carry out this undertaking with as much safety as possible. It is, however, her father’s gun—a Smith and Wesson—registered in her name that gives her the most confidence.

The characters in this novel are all believable, and their personalities developed skillfully by the author who employs natural sounding dialog to move the exciting plot forward at a fast pace. Along with the excitement and danger, there is a romantic interest that slowly develops between Tamara and a young man named Justin Devry. Although she is obviously attracted to him, she is not eager to get involved because of her connection with “Operation Bullfrog.” Personally, I wasn’t sure I trusted him or even those involved with her in the covert operation. As it turns out, there was a mole in their team—someone they all trusted with their lives.

Boris Youkenoff, a man knowledgeable in microbiology and organic chemistry, had worked in a natural, underground cave in Western Ukraine where there were the remains of an old lab that had been established by the Soviet Union for the development of biological weapons. When he meets Frank Milton, who has expertise in Biology, they become a deadly duo focused on coming up with a virus that would make them rich. Then there was Nekton who would go to any lengths to get hold of the virus. Just how many people were involved in this threat? Was there a vaccine? Could they be stopped by “Operation Bullfrog?”

Tamara faced many hurdles in her short spying career that included murder, her own kidnapping, betrayal, and other breathtaking twists and turns. This is a mesmerizing novel, and individuals who purchase it will agree with me that it is a “must read.” I give The Blackpox Threat my highest recommendation.

Bettie Corbin Tucker
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers
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Review of The Red Manor

The Red Manor
Rene Natan
PublishAmerica
ISBN: 1-60672-325-1
344 pages

In reading The Red Manor by Rene Natan, I found myself totally captivated by the storyline, the characters, and the creativity of the author. With a book of this caliber, we reviewers tend to say, “I just couldn’t put the book down once I started to read it.” Although a cliché, I can honestly say that this is how I felt as I eagerly progressed from chapter to chapter of The Red Manor, anticipating what would follow.

Christopher Sandcroft, one of the main characters, is introduced in the first chapter as he agonizes over his decision to move his father Lucio from the Red Manor, a castle in Italy that had been in the family for 600 years. Chris was taking him to Harrisville, Canada to live with him in a magnificent house where he hoped this elderly man in a wheelchair would adjust and find some contentment. The son was very well off, having taken over a company his grandfather had started that built seismographs as well as some other equipment. Living with Christopher on his estate was Kathy, the housekeeper and her husband Gideon who was in charge of maintenance. Before long Chris hired Lillian Carrigan as a caregiver for his father who very slowly seemed to be adjusting to his new surroundings. Lucio liked the staff and the fact that a few paintings from the family collection had also made the trip to his new living quarters; however, in the back of his mind he often thought about the ancient curse that had been cast on his family, one that predicted the extinction of the Red Manor and its occupants. By going with Chris to live in Canada, he hoped to break the curse. When his other son Rick had lost his life at sea as a young child, his wife had left Lucio and taken Chris to Canada to live. Rick and Chris had been identical twins.

As the storyline unfolds, readers are introduced to other characters—some friendly and trustworthy while others are sleazy and dishonest. The Howards, friends from England who had stayed at the Red Manor in the past, visit Lucio and his son in Canada. The visit opens a door that leads to danger and romance. The romance is between Vivian, the visiting couple’s daughter and Chris. A spark of an old romance is rekindled and quickly grows into a serious relationship. The danger involves a search for two missing cups of historical value that were once part of a collection of four that had been manufactured for a coronation. Lucio had given the two missing cups to his wife when she moved to Canada. When found, the publicity leads to much more than they had bargained for.

Among the twists and turns, readers learn that Lillian Carrigan is raped by a man who looks very much like Chris but, of course, it wasn’t him. If you are thinking that his supposedly-deceased twin brother is the one who attacked Lillian, you would be wrong. DNA cleared Chris, and identical twins have the same DNA. But why did this man look so much like Chris and why did he rape Lillian? Also who later broke into the Sandcroft estate to steal what they believed to be the valuable cups?

Chris returns to Italy to take care of a life-threatening situation. As all the pieces of this intriguing puzzle fall together, readers will feel satisfied when they read the final chapter. Although there is a funeral; there is going to be a wedding.

This is an exceptionally well-written book by a very creative author who has researched her material and knows how to keep the eyes of readers riveted to the pages. The storyline reflects realism, the description is outstanding, and the dialog flows naturally. I give it my highest recommendation as a “must read.”

Bettie Corbin Tucker
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers
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Review of Fleeting Visions

5.0 out of 5 stars Got me pinned in the book for hours February 18, 2014
By Earl Reylan Sarsuelo
Amazon Verified Purchase
All puzzles are getting solved in a very sophisticated manner. Detective Stevenson, a remarkable law enforcer tied up his career to a case he's been handling for several months only to end up doing it all over again after a missed operation. I do not want to be spoiling the readers, but I might say some details that you will find interesting in the book.

I got seriously pinned down in to reading the early chapters of the book. Every character has its unique issues and personalities, yet all of them are delivered well to the public. Each plot/scene of one's character is simultaneously telling us his personality and life and his role in the entire story. I consider that as an asset in making books like this very intriguing. Jocelyn, is an example of a highly intimidating character but boosting with charm and is seriously attractive. Det. Stevenson even got his first regrets being single(spoiler alert!) after a scene with Jocelyn.

One thing I really love most about these kinds of stories is that the continuity and the interconnection of scenes and events are puzzling enough to be interesting but not reaching to a point where readers dont get any idea over it - they dont get BLANK. Rene Natan wrote this book with ease and the concept is somewhat very clear in her mind. I was envisioning everything as I read. That's why I skipped a meal in reading this(not a good example but a good thing).

I am commending the author Rene Natan for a well written, highly thought of, careful selection of characters, and intensifying book. A very good read. I recommend this to lovers of Thriller stories.

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Smashwords Interview

Why do you write?
So many reasons…but the most compelling is that a story often bubbles in my mind and that story wants to be told. But to whom, may you ask, to what kind of readers? To those who react to the events of life in a fashion similar to the way I do; in other words I write for people who vibrate at a frequency close to mine. Writing is a form of communication, a search for twin souls.
Then, there is the process of building—not much different from an architect’s job. What a writer creates has to stand up; single parts have to fit together; they have to relate to each other in one way or another.
I also love the excitement of creation, of forging characters with strong and often conflicting personalities so that action follows almost naturally.
Finally, writing is a way of expressing the real myself, of living my emotions—all of them—without worrying about being judged. The characters can be blamed for any wrongdoing or thinking—no penalty for the author.
How do you choose a theme or the background for your stories?
The theme comes from a particular event I’ve witnessed, seen on the news, or heard somewhere. Then I ask myself, what if the circumstances were different, or how would I have reacted had I been there?
For example, when our family house was destroyed and we moved to the country from the city, the change of environment hit me hard. I was an eight-year old, and I remembered the reaction I experienced. Different neighbors, different school, different playground…so, my first novel, Mountains of Dawn, recreated that setting. I chose as protagonist a little girl who is shuffled from foster home to foster home, and only after reaching majority age she finds out who she really is, why her parents were killed, and why her life is in danger.
In another novel, Operation Woman in Black, I portrayed the hardship experienced by one of my stepdaughters, whose third child was born severely brain-damaged. Her strength and courage inspired my novel. My protagonist, a man of the law, has to split his time between devising clever traps to catch dangerous criminals and looking after his mentally handicapped daughter who, unexpectedly and surreptitiously, becomes pregnant.
In The Jungfrau Watch I used as background the suffering of some of my old Italian acquaintances who fell victim to the Red Brigades’ kidnapping and blackmail. I chose as protagonist a member of the same, who, stranded in foreign land after the collapse of the Soviet Union, finds refuge in Canada, fights his former controller and, after much tribulation, redeems himself.
The Red Manor is a family saga; the Lord of a vast and ancient manor leaves his Italian home to go live with his Canadian son, hoping to escape the curse that seems to hang on his castle. But the troubles believed to be caused by the curse continue, as the unearthing of two precious cups, once Red Manor possessions, prompt the criminals to follow the Lord of the manor in the new country.
I used this novel to touch on the hardship older people face when they are uprooted from their motherland.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Rene Natan online


Where to buy in print


Books

The Woman in Black
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,670. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(5.00)
Compelled to be part of a police operation, Savina Thompson is projected into a lavish environment as she impersonates a high-class call girl. She has to help Chief Detective Conrad Tormez penetrate the criminal ring that has been plaguing Varlee with robberies, fraud and blackmail. And Conrad has his own problem: his teenage daughter has been living in the mountains with a baby and a wolf.
The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,630. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
Detective Stephen Carlton of New Brunswick is first in love with model April and then with sweet Gillian, but these relationships aren’t in the cards. After years of tribulations Stephen falls in love with beautiful Livia—a woman who plays with high stakes: her own life. She’s being chased by the law for the hideous murder of lawyer Peter Bishop. Now Stephen has to choose between duty and love.
One Holiday, a Life-time Memory
By
Price: Free! Words: 7,830. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » General
(4.00)
Landed in Italy with the idea of spending the summer admiring the many masterpieces of Italian art, Larry Burton bumps into a girl on the run. She’s clearly in trouble, but she’s also awfully attractive. Against his best judgment, Larry decides to help her. He’s drawn into strange and potentially dangerous situations…but shouldn’t a vacation be also a bit of an adventure?
The Elf Hat
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,470. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Glenda Vaillot is at the local Christmas parade when her little boy is kidnapped. Hearing impaired, and counting only on Zufolo, her service dog, Glenda hunts down the kidnappers.
A Pair of Wings for Christmas
By
Price: Free! Words: 5,440. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Kendrick Malloy is a bright, healthy young man who could achieve anything in life. Unfortunately he often prefers to take shortcuts and avoid working. But when the life of six-year-old Mateo is at stake, he hesitates no more. He jumps in front of a truck and saves the boy’s life.
The Ghost Detective
By
Price: Free! Words: 7,890. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
PI Denys Bellami is in his office when a quake shakes the earth. Within seconds Denys becomes a guest of the White Valley, where ghosts reside. But what about the investigation he was working on? He makes the case to the Great Light: well, Denys will be able to continue investigating but he won’t be allowed to participate in any physical actions. It’s a big challenge, but Denys accepts it.
The Collage
By
Price: Free! Words: 85,780. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(5.00)
A clever plot entraps beautiful Allison Summer in a web of deceit and violence. Alone in her struggle, she doesn’t know whom to trust: not her father, not her husband, not even the handsome man who pledges his love to her. But when the life of the man she loves is at stake, Allison takes control of her destiny. And she will not stop until the innocent are free and the guilty secured behind bars.
Mountains of Dawn
By
Price: Free! Words: 96,580. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(3.50)
‘Pack and Leave’ are the words that twenty-two Tanya Caldwell, orphaned at the age of six, heard many times as she wandered from foster home to foster home. After she narrowly escapes two murder attempts, she hides in the hills of the Italian Riviera. She has just found peace, inspiration for her paintings, and romance when those responsible for her parents’ death surface again.

Rene Natan’s tag cloud


Smashwords book reviews by Rene Natan

  • Murder at the Break on Sep. 24, 2012
    (no rating)
    It’s mayhem at Meredith University when the corpse of a philosophy professor is discovered. Barrett Wilson has been shot to death, the police conclude, and it happened when the campus was deserted because of the Christmas holiday. Dr. Charles Douglas, a professor of philosophy specializing in the work of Michael Foucault, and his wife Kate are prompted to help detectives DeVries and Bolster to discover who murdered Barrett Wilson. A number of suspects surface quickly. There is Janet Milford, Barrett’s old girlfriend, Richard Dalton, Barrett’s graduate student and lover at the time of murder, and Chet McKay, a close friend of the deceased interested in epistemology. Charles himself is not completely exempted from suspicion, as he used to have disagreements and heated discussions with his dead colleague. As the plot unfolds, Charles discovers a mysterious list of rare books, their titles hidden under the listing of an inexistent undergraduate course. The books are collection items of great value. At first nobody can find a company that may have been involved in auctioning or buying these books. Then another murder occurs, followed by a suspicious death. The mystery thickens as a beautiful real estate agent enters the scene. It’s a conspiracy now, and Charles and Kate keep investigating, thus putting their life at risk. Life on campus at Meredith University, located in the small town of Kingsford, is described with a keen sense of humour; the knowledge-based osmosis that exists in an academic environment is well depicted, as Charles gathers information from colleagues of different departments—often leisurely, over a cup of coffee or at lunch break.
  • Sorrento Beach on Oct. 04, 2012
    (no rating)
    Between playing volleyball on a famous Santa Monica’s beach and stringing a tennis racket, protagonist Paul Townsend plays sleuth. His friend Jack Rosen has disappeared and his house ransacked. Jack’s past is a sad one, as his family was wiped out at the end of World War II by the Russian army. Memories of Paul’s youth at a prestigious high school in Winfield, Kansas surface here and there; his encounters with beautiful actress Jennifer Ryan are full of passion and desire, while a new romance appears on the horizon. As the search for Jack progresses the name of Jerry Moberg comes up; when Paul and his friend Tom Ruderman pay a visit to Jerry they are mystified by what they learn. Jack Rosen, aka Isaiah Rosenberg is part of a spying ring involving selling cutting-edge technologies to the Russians. Ivan Sokolov, a movie producer from Germany, enters the scene but the man is not who appears to be; the mystery thickens and soon “Townie” finds out that playing detective can be a very dangerous game.
  • Buried In Benidorm on Nov. 14, 2012

    A defrocked priest becomes a PI…a corpse is buried in a sand bunker for a golfer to find…What better start? On the insistence of the bishop in Alicante, Max Castillo investigates the murder of Anthony Ortega, a real estate businessman of dubious repute. A young woman, Caridad, and a young man, Aurelio, whom Max helped when he was at the service of the church, are useful connections in providing him with information and protection against dangerous criminals who don’t want Max to dig into Ortega’s past. Old and new crimes, and carefully guarded secrets are revealed as the story proceeds. There are speculative transactions--the buying and selling of parcels of land along the Costa Blanca--in which the Alicante diocese is involved; the old relationship of a retired priest with two altar boys; the infidelity of beautiful Esperanza, Ortega’s wife; the murder of Hilario Miguel, Ortega’s business partner on the verge of bankruptcy; competitions and gambling at the La Blanca golf course; the attempt of a French criminal ring to extort money from a local gangster… Aboard his boat, anchored in the Benidorm harbor, Max spends time meditating on the need for religious believes, and on the reasons he abandoned the priesthood. His frequent meditations are accompanied by equally frequent intakes of beer. Consulting the land registry of Gandia and vicinity (where most of Ortega’s properties are located) allows Max to pinpoint the culprits. In a meeting reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s climatic finales, Max convenes all the people even marginally involved in the two murders and, with the help of inspector Nicky Garcia, offers proof of the murderers’ culpability. My take on the book. Set in Spain, “Buried in Benidorm” is a refreshing mystery where violence is present (as required by the genre) but not glorified. The suspense is built step by step, scene by scene; several personas populate the story and almost each of them is a candidate for murder. Written by Rene Natan, www.vermeil.biz First place, 2012 Five Star Dragonfly Award for the Blackpox Threat Finalist in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award for the Blackpox Threat Honorary Mention, 2012 San Francisco Book Competition for the Bricklayer
  • The Pursuit of Emma on May 13, 2014
    (no rating)
    The Pursuit of Emma by Chris Doherty If you ever think of learning a fast transition from your quiet job as an accountant to that of an expert con-man, this book is ‘an essential’ for you. It will take you from scaring mafia’s bosses with a stern look of self-confident intimidation to stealing precious artifacts from well-protected museums or even top-model safes. Things sound treacherous at times, at other times unbelievable—a man risking his life to find Emma, the woman who made him happy for years and suddenly disappeared. But love provides Tom with courage and endurance as he pursues his goal—the danger of losing his life being a negligible detail in view of Emma’s survival. Rene Natan, http://www.vermeil.biz
  • Artful Deception on Oct. 20, 2014
    (no rating)
    Review of Artful Deception by Reta Ross Seriously disappointed because she has missed out on a promotion, Botticelli’s beauty Mynda Shaw takes a leisurely drive to Watersburg to admire the Tall Ships. As she walks toward the harbour, she meditates on her life and, in particular, on her career. She would like to quit her current job (marketing) and start her own business--maybe a fancy print shop. Two sexy men brighten her day. One, Ivan Linton rides with her on the Ferry Wheel; the other, Kelt Gurney offers her hospitality when she gets stranded for the night. Kelt’s monumental residence, the Pearce House, is known to be haunted, even if there have been no sightings in recent years. In the morning, as a storm sweeps in, invisible arms pinned Mynda down while in bed. She already has to cope with a recurrent dream where the number 427 appears at exactly 4:27 a.m., and this new strange, annihilating force doesn’t let her move and gives her the chills of her life. Fueled by a restless ghost of the Pearce family, Mynda experiences an unknown, frenzied passion for Kelt: she wants to touch him, feel his body pressing against hers, make love to him. She resigns from her old job and settles in Watersburg as Kelt’s tenant. She learned more about the Pearce family and the tragedy that marked the life and death of its members; especially that of earthbound Ghost Julia, who now seems determined to run Mynda’s life as well as Kelt’s so that her spirit can be set free. Passionate yet tender encounters fill Myrna’s stay as she sets up and manages her new shop, the Mirror Image; Kelt is mesmerized by Mynda’s resemblance to the woman he once painted while forging the masterpieces of the old school. The plot thickens as Mynda accepts to do some work for her former boss and for the sexy man, Ivan Linton. Linton is a guru specializing in paranormal phenomena and reincarnation. But both men are not who they pretend to be. The presence of a collection of expertly forged paintings has attracted them to Watersburg. A couple of these paintings emanate sensations when Myrna touches them; a suspicious death brings much excitement to the town as the history of the Pearce House unfolds; the presence on the premises, in the olden days, of an Indian tribe and the bloody death of the parents of the last occupant, Earl Pierce, is a mystery that has mystified everybody for a long time. Artful Deception is an original novel with many twists and turns. Its paranormal aspect is intriguing yet not overbearing. It is available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/484039 Review written by Rene Natan, winner of the 2012 Five Stars Royal Dragonfly Book Contest (fiction) for The Blackpox Threat.
  • A Royal Scam on Nov. 07, 2014
    (no rating)
    I had a good laugh. The author’s considerations on today writing and the need for instant gratification are also interesting.
  • Focused Desire on Dec. 12, 2014
    (no rating)
    Jaysa Nolan, a freelance photographer, is offered a contract with Lynx Equipment, the major employer in the small town of Canton. Her job would be promoting the company with a new brochure illustrating Lynx’ salient operational activities. She accepts to work with Lynx in part because she is attracted by Ted Forbes, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, and in part because her father, now in a nursing home, worked there for almost 35 years. Circumstances play a role in getting Jaysa close to Ted, when she is suddenly asked to take pictures of the engagement of Ted with Bethany, the sophisticated daughter of Lynx Board chairman. The engagement comes as a surprise to her. Ted seems out of reach, but his facial features—especially his sensuous mouth and his piercing blue eyes--intrude on her thoughts as she fantasises of meeting him outside the working place, maybe by bumping into him at a mall…She knows that Ted’s Executive Assistant, Edith Henry is on guard, minimizing the chance of any encounter between her and Lynx CEO. Finally an occasion comes up, when she is required to take pictures of the job site that must include Ted. A poetic walk in the nearby woods gets them close, as they talk about the beauty of nature and the nothing of life. But Jaysa is not the only one who feels the throes of passion. Ted feels enormously attracted by beautiful and sexy Jaysa and ponders on the danger her presence poses. He is determined to let her go. He would let her down softly at the upcoming Christmas party, after the presentation of the photo album Jaysa has prepared. As the party winds down, Ted takes her to his cottage and tells her about the lack of contract renewal. But things happen. In an impetus of passion, he makes love to her—and it is something neither of them will easily forget. An intrigue apparently planned by mean Edith, Ted’s Executive Assistant, sends Jaysa to Cuba with the pretext of shooting pictures at a Lynx dealership. When she arrives, she finds out that Edith has provided her with plenty of tourist information, but has packed her expired passport. Jaysa is stuck abroad with little money and no easy way to return home. Here she meets Maitland Wagner, a writer and great talker. On his advice, Jaysa takes a trip to the famous Angel Falls in Venezuela: this excursion is inspirational and allows her to see how the writer has captured the vibrant life of the jungle, as expressed in one of his books. When she returns to Cuba, she finds Ted Forbes waiting for her. He has come to her rescue and to pledge his love to her. She should be thrilled about it, and, in a way, she is. But there are intrigues and plots occurring at that synthetic jungle Lynx has become. She is not keen on being part of it anymore. Things now are not the same as before...the time spent abroad has added a new dimension to her life, and, with that, a deeper understanding of herself and her needs. Written by Rene Natan, www.vermeil.biz, author of Fleeting Visions First place, 2012 Five Star Dragonfly Award for the Blackpox Threat Finalist in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award for the Blackpox Threat Honorary Mention, 2012 San Francisco Book Competition for the Bricklayer