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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Diamond Head Deception by James Blakley - Book Tour - Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host James Blakley and his new book, “The Diamond Head Deception”!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!  Also, come back daily to interact with James and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Please note that this giveaway is only available to US residents.  Sorry INTL – please check out other giveaways on this blog.


The Diamond Head Deception
by James Blakley

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GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

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BLURB:

After putting Iowa crop insurance cheats out to pasture, independent insurance fraud investigator Luna Nightcrow heads to Hawaii, but not for a vacation. The Shilpa, an Indian ocean liner, sinks and Luna is hired to determine if it still carries "Pacific Splendor" (a rare diamond insured for $15 million). The trouble is that Luna's not the only one looking for the diamond. Secessionists, sportsmen, and other suspects might sink to any depths to recover or smother Pacific Splendor.

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EXCERPT TWO:

When dispatch confirmed, Valerosa hit the brakes and twirled a U-turn. The squad car took off in the opposite direction and didn’t stop, until it reached a small, red-and-white colored light house state park off the highway. And parked on the road that led to the historic marker and small picnic area was a battered, gray cargo van with a blown back tire.

Valerosa brought the squad car to a screeching halt. She drew her Smith & Wesson 9 MM pistol and got out. Luna followed, but Valerosa signaled for her to stay back. The Detective Sergeant moved swiftly toward the van. Once there, she peeked through the driver’s side window. No one was inside. Then, Valerosa proceeded to search around and below the van.

Meanwhile, Luna decided to try the light house. She crept down the narrow dirt path to the cliff on which the old structure stood. Once there, she noticed the door was ajar. The insurance investigator drew the Browning semi-automatic handgun from her back pocket. She pushed the door open and stepped inside.

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REVIEW:


This book is a true mystery/thriller book that is jam packed with action, adventure, excitement, and intrigue!  This book was a very quick read with only 216 pages!

I really liked the main character, Luna Nightcrow.  She is smart, witty, sassy, ambitious, beautiful, clever, and entertaining!

Luna is in the top of her field as an independent insurance fraud investigator.  She is hired for the more difficult and complex cases that most investigators would struggle with.  She reminds me of the female version of Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) on the FOX TV Show, “The Finder.”  Luna can find anything and works hard to solve her cases.  Luna also greatly reminds me of Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) from the Janet Evanovich novels/movies.  Although Stephanie is a Bounty Hunter, they both have the same drive, motivation, and determination to go to any lengths to nab the bad guy.  Also, like Stephanie, Luna finds a fun, hilarious, and comical way to go about this that leads her on some crazy, wild adventures and constant laughs.

Although with Luna’s impressive talents and her abilities to investigate some of the most complex cases, her adventures still seem genuine and plausible.

Luna is tasked with going to Hawaii to find the “Pacific Splendor,” a rare and famous red diamond.  The diamond was last seen on the “Shilpa,” an ocean cruise liner that sunk.  Luna must recover the diamond and catch the perps.  However, with this impressive diamond’s value at a cool $15 million, the list of suspects list seems never-ending.  Besides delving through possible suspects, Luna also quickly learns that she is not the only one looking for the diamond and the race is on!  This is one challenge Luna is not going to back down from.

I feel that the author did jump around a bit throughout the story which made some scenes a little hard to follow.  Also, I felt some of the secondary characters weren’t as strong or as well developed as they could be.

However, I think the author did a great job with the in-depth detail of the scenes and locations – whether it was when Luna was in Iowa or Hawaii, I could easily picture it.

This book was very well researched.  I didn’t know much about the insurance claims process or the diamond world – excerpt I do love to wear diamond jewelry lol.  The author does a great job intertwining these concepts and teaching the audience about both of these topics and others in a fun and easy to understand fashion.

Also, like great mystery books, this book does have some exciting twists that you won’t see coming!  So I totally give the author props for keeping the story intriguing and suspenseful!

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, entertaining, exciting, and intriguing mystery/thriller book.  This book does also fall in the romance category, but I think the romance genre plays more of a backseat role, as the main focus is the mystery.  There may be a few hang-ups on the writing style, but you will enjoy Luna and her exciting adventures!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

Did you find this review helpful?
If so, please, please, please mark it as helpful on Amazon here:

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AUTHOR BIO:


James Blakley was educated at Missouri Western State College and Washburn University. While at MWSC, he was a local and national award-winning columnist and section editor of "The Griffon-News." Blakley worked 10 1/2 years as a page and as an Assistant Librarian for the River Bluffs Regional Libraries of St. Joseph, MO. He currently lives in Topeka, KS where he worked for The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and several years in clerical and customer support capacities for international computer companies, such as EDS and HP.

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CONNECT WITH JAMES:

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

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BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:

Inkwater Press:

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

James will be awarding a $50 Walmart Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner (US Only) via Rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

7 comments:

  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your review :)

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    1. I enjoyed Ally's review as well, Victoria. It's a cogent analysis that excels in presenting prospective readers essential information for an informed choice. I liked Ally's unique parallels to popular entertainment (e.g., cable TV and pop fiction protagonists) for reference; additionally, her identifying aspects of the book (e.g., being "very well researched") that some reviewers hadn't is helpful; and finally, her tactful citing of areas for future writing improvement is invaluable. Such thoroughly written reviews with unique perspectives are often hard to come by, thus making them the most prized--at least for this author. Thanks again, Ally.

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  3. I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

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    1. Thanks, Rita.

      One of the things that I hope makes the book "great", in addition to those positives mentioned by Ally, is that I worked hard to create a rather unique character in the mystery-thriller genre: A contemporary Native American (American Indian) heroine.

      Native Americans (American Indians) are arguably pop culture's least represented and statically portrayed racial group. Whereas blacks and Asians have risen from stereotypical roles in literature and film to become prominent, groundbreaking characters, Native Americans are still rarely afforded more than pigeonholed parts in Westerns or as solemn spiritualists/naturalists.

      I wanted Luna Nightcrow to break that mold and she does in key ways. The most important being that while some aspects of her Cherokee heritage are explored in the series, they don't drive the stories. This gives the reader a view of Native Americans as fully modern and capable of having an impact on any part of society that they choose. For example, Luna is cosmopolitan, not relegated to traditionally-explored Native American settings. Yet, like many minority groups, she draws strength from her cultural history and uses it to better herself and the perspective others have of Native Americans.

      Writing about another race or gender can be tough. Luckily, as a black man, I have a lot of sympathy [for Native Americans] going in that was fairly easy to convey. That includes the obvious shared struggle for inclusion and success among the majority culture. Also, the Midwest (particularly my section of it) is home to many Native American communities. However, I still had to research many different aspects of Native America, in order to try and give a fair and respectful presentation. This meant not only delving into the different Cherokee nations, but also getting an overarching idea of how many Native Americans view themselves in today's society. In the end, the key word that remained with me is "human": Native Americans are capable of the same greatness and blunders as any of us and want to be treated [portrayed] as such.

      In a way, I think Luna Nightcrow resembles "Shaft." What?! Let me explain. The breakout movie role of an independent, dynamic black hero wasn't originally written by a black man, but instead a white man (Ernest Tidyman). And while not immune to some lingering cliches, the "Shaft" novels, movies, and short-lived TV series were a much-needed collective shift from the generations of step-and-fetch roles for blacks. In the long run, it helped blaze the trail for blacks to craft greater stories and characters about ourselves or to be considered for mainstream roles.

      Likewise, Luna Nightcrow is written by a non-Native American. I strive to present her in a way that might make Native Americans proud, but realize that there are things I may miss or misrepresent. For example, whether to use "Native American" or "American Indian" as how Luna identifies herself led me to much research. While I came to a decision that Luna can justify choosing, based largely on her age, it may be one that strikes a negative connotation to Native American readers.

      Overall, I still enjoy the challenge of writing outside my race and gender. Native Americans deserve greater consideration for romantic, sci-fi, and other mainstream roles that other races have fought for and finally flourished in. While Luna Nightcrow is not a perfect attempt, maybe she will give Native Americans a model by which to continue to create even greater interpretations of themselves in popular fiction.

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  4. I appreciate your hosting "The Diamond Head Deception", Ally, and also thoroughly reviewing the book in several venues.

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