NEW BOOK RELEASE! Dragonfish, by Vu Tran (#WhereIsSuzy challenge)

Hi, everyone!

No Exit Press are really, really excited about the release of Dragonfish, by Vu Tran TODAY!  To spread the word about this intriguing debut literary crime thriller, they are inviting bloggers to participate in a 10 minute writing prompt to offer their thoughts of #WhereIsSuzy ?

Dragonfish Back Story

DragonfishRobert, an Oakland cop, still can’t let go of Suzy, the enigmatic Vietnamese wife who left him two years ago. Now she’s disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler who is blackmailing Robert into finding her for him.

As he pursues her through the sleek and seamy gambling dens of Las Vegas, shadowed by Sonny’s sadistic son, ‘Junior’, and assisted by unexpected and reluctant allies, Robert learns more about his ex-wife than he ever did during their marriage. He finds himself chasing the ghosts of her past, one that reaches back to a refugee camp in Malaysia after the fall of Saigon, and his investigation uncovers the existence of an elusive packet of her secret letters to someone else she left behind long ago.

As Robert starts illuminating the dark corners of Suzy’s life, the legacy of her sins threatens to immolate them all.

Dragonfish The Challenge

Using only the information of the synopsis above, (though Google’s help might be acceptable) write a blog post in 10 minutes as to where Suzy is. There is no right answer and no need to think about it for more than one minute, instead, No Exit Press are seeking to display the creative possibilities of where a story can go.

They would like to get as many people involved in this as they can in order to provide as many different ideas and outcomes as possible.

Please share on social media using the hashtag #WhereIsSuzy to encourage others to offer their own imagined answers.

Dragonfis My Thoughtsletters-566420_1920Suzy is haunted. She walked away from a child she held for just a short while when her own young life was falling apart in Saigon. But, she has since built a good life with Robert, a kind-hearted, American police officer, and can’t bring herself to rock the boat by telling him of her unsavoury past – and her secret drives a wedge between them.

Over the years Suzy has cherished the snippets of news about her daughter, who she believed was safe with an old friend in Vietnam. But recent letters hint at the worrying revelation that she has been dazzled by the bright lights of America, edging closer toward a life she cannot escape from – a life Suzy knows only too well from a past she’d left behind.

passport-881305_1920Drawing from life experience and old contacts, Suzy believes a notoriously dangerous smuggler called Sonny holds the key to her daughter’s whereabouts. Although Suzy will not abandon her child again, she never envisaged the depths she would have to sink to while trying to protect her.

Suzy has little choice but hatch an elaborate plan to get close to Sonny and even agrees to marry him to gain his trust. As soon as she discovers what happened to her daughter they will slip away forever, leaving him and his sordid Las Vegas business associates behind. But the hardest journey of all is yet to come as she will return to where it all began, in Vietnam.

After Sonny became wise to her plan she prays she’s not too late, and wonders if any of this would have happened had she placed her faith in Robert when they first met.

#WhereIsSuzy I’d like to think Suzy (and the daughter I invented for her) made it ‘home’ to Vietnam, perhaps joined by Robert later – providing he’s not being blackmailed for anything too awful, that is…

Phew! Well, that’s my random version of events.

The question is: Where do YOU think Suzy is? No Exit Press would LOVE to hear from you!

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s just for fun. If you’d like to join in, don’t forget to use the Twitter Hashtag when publishing your blog post – #WhereIsSuzy

(HUGE thanks to NO EXIT PRESS for inviting me to participate in the launch of Dragonfish, and Matt at READER DAD Blog for pointing them this way!)

All the best,

Wendy sig




Hold The Dark, by William Giraldi

Publisher: No Exit Press | Published: 26th February 2015 | Edition: Paperback

The dead don’t haunt the living. The living haunt themselves…

Hold the Dark is superbly haunting and oddly captivating.

Hold The Dark

A truly remarkable read.

Russell Core, an author of book and expert on wolf behaviour, is contacted by a mother whose boy had perished at the jaws of such a ‘monster’. Core doesn’t know if he can provide a resolution to this woman’s grief. As the death toll now stands at three children, all of whom were taken from the same village, he answers her plea for help.

Surrounded by the Alaskan wilderness, this small village of Keelut is an unyielding place, perilous to anyone unfamiliar with this territory. It’s so bleak in this area, the hands of a town clock are frozen to permanently to display the wrong time.

Shortly after Core’s arrival he becomes aware that the boy’s mother, Medora Slone, is clearly more traumatised and alone than he could have ever comprehended.

With the boy’s father, Vernon Slone, deployed abroad and fighting his own demons in a gritty war, soon he will return to the village to learn the fate of his son – the consequences of which will be far worse than anyone could imagine.

Before Vernon reaches home, Medora vanishes into the Alaskan wilds. At this point it appears that Core’s expertise is exhausted. Yet when he learns that a different kind of predator is traveling with its own agenda, the author has to apply his knowledge to understanding the darker side of human nature.

With the Keelut people talking in riddles and being reluctant to share their ‘world’ with outsiders, their mysterious, almost primeval customs are something that passing visitors may fail to understand. Without their help, will Medora be found before she becomes the prey?

It’s not until the end of a desperate and bloody hunt that you learn that this story has been leading you into a den of disturbing lies.

Despite it being pretty grim in places, the writing is just beautiful – it’s a truly remarkable book.

Rating: 5/5

(Many thanks to Twitter: @thebooktrailer for providing a copy of this book, which I won in a recent giveaway)


The Blood Dimmed Tide, by Anthony Quinn

Publisher: No Exit Press | Publication date: 23rd October 2014 | Edition: Paperback

 Less than seventy miles away in France, men with grimy uniforms exhaled their final breaths in foxholes and filthy burrows, while back home lights were dimmed in sitting rooms as anxious relatives took up their listening posts…Ouija boards, moving tables, listening trumpets, mysterious lights, magic lanterns and crystal balls, all help the population confront its grief…

Blood immed Tide

There’s some cracking artwork on the cover of this unusual crime solving mystery.

Considering the amount of twists and turns in the storyline, you’d expect this book to be much larger than it is!

It’s steeped in Irish history and myth, and portrays the turmoil of the era. Every portion of it makes a play for all five senses (six, if you count the supernatural).

There’s murder, intrigue, rebellion, politics, secret societies, spies, marital disharmony and a bit of smuggling thrown in for good measure *pauses for breath here…*

Briefly, WB Yeats’ interest in the supernatural world is convincingly written into this story, as certain aspects from the reality of Yeats’ life were threaded throughout the pages. The famous poet sends his ghost-hunting understudy (and ex-medical student) to investigate the murder of a young woman, whose body had mysteriously washed up on a beach in Ireland, Yeats’ birthplace.

As the old saying goes ‘the plot thickens’. From the outset of the young man’s journey on the boat, a reoccurring theme accompanied his entire quest – he didn’t know what he’d let himself in for, and he had no idea who to trust.

The writer’s descriptions were phrased quite beautifully. I’d go as far to say that the style was quite calming to read.

Despite this, there were parts that I just found myself skimming rather than absorbing, just so I didn’t miss anything vital in the storyline. For some reason, I wasn’t as engaged with this book as I thought I would be, which surprised me as I do love a good mystery.

All in all I did find The Blood Dimmed Tide an enchanting and interesting read. It was well written and I’m glad I was given an opportunity to read it.

Rating: 3.5/5

(I must thank Oldcastle Books (No Exit Press) for this book, which I was lucky to win in a competition they ran.)

You can follow the writer on Twitter: @ajpquinn | Publisher: @noexitpress