#ReviewTour “Eye for Eye Trilogy (Talion Series)” by JK Franko

On Tour October 19 – December 31, 2020

Eye for Eye Trilogy by JK Franko

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko’s Eye for Eye Trilogy!

“REALISTIC & CHILLING!” – Mystery Thriller Week

~~~

Talion Series Review

5/5 Stars!

Eye for Eye

A childhood secret is the catalyst for two sets of parents to extract their own brand of vigilante justice. However, the perfect crimes aren’t so perfect and more lives are at risk when lack of trust and feelings of betrayal surround the couples.

Tooth for Tooth

There’s no such thing as a perfect murder and the karmic consequences of actions kick in doors like an L.A. SWAT team. What began in book 1 as vigilante justice/retribution has flipped to survival of the fittest—or craftiest, in this case—as two of the four bad actors don’t make it to the end of book 2.

Life for Life

The story’s narrator, the therapist who treats Roy and Susie, is more present in book three, and just as messed up as everyone else. There are no good people in this story. Some are simply more desperate than others. It makes me wonder if a young girl had lived instead of died at summer camp thirty-plus years ago, how different these lives would be. Or would they?

Franko does a superb job with character development and powerful personalities leap from the pages. (That trial judge! Whew!) I highly recommend the Talion Series.


Eye for Eye cover

Eye for Eye

Amazon | Goodreads

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

~~~

cover

The Trial of Joe Harlan Junior

Amazon | Goodreads

A college Halloween party. A night of fun, dress-up, and laughter. But for Kristy Wise, it quickly became a night of horror.

Now, Joe Harlan Junior, entrepreneur and son of a prominent senator, is at risk of losing everything as he stands accused of a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yet the facts are undisputed: Kristy was drugged, and she did have sex with Joe.

But was it consensual?

Read the story. Listen to the testimony. Is everything that happens next justified?

YOU decide.

~~~

cover

Tooth for Tooth

Amazon | Goodreads

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted. 

~~~

cover

Life for Life

Amazon | Goodreads

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

~~~

Eye for Eye Trilogy Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 1050
ASIN: B08KSCHTRX
Series: Talion Trilogy #1
Find out more or get your copy:

Amazon & Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt from Eye for Eye:

When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.

Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.

Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if she was frightened.

Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.

Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.

Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.

True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.

She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy, or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.

Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.

***

Excerpt from Eye For Eye by JK Franko. Copyright © 2019 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.

 

~~~

Author Bio:

JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook!

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card; Two (2) winners will each receive 1 print edition of Eye for Eye, book 1 of the Talion series, by JK Franko (US and Canada Only); and Two (2) winners will each receive 1 ebook edition of Eye for Eye, book 1 of the Talion series, by JK Franko. The giveaway begins on October 19, 2020 and runs through December 21, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#BookSale “Eye for Eye (Talion Series, Book 1 )” by JK Franko

Eye for Eye cover

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

What would YOU do if someone hurt the one you love?

 

Roy and Susie are the perfect couple, an ideal family living a fairy-tale life… until their teenage daughter is senselessly killed.

Just as they’re managing to put that tragic loss behind them, a complete stranger approaches Roy in a bar with a drunken proposal—he invokes their daughter’s memory to ask Roy to kill a man.

All is not as it seems, however, and Roy and Susie soon find themselves navigating an intricate web of deception, betrayal, and revenge.

Can Roy and Susie outwit their hidden enemies? And what secrets lie buried in their past that could destroy them?

“REALISTIC & CHILLING!” – Mystery Thriller Week  

Eye for Eye is the pulse-pounding Book One of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko’s ride on the dark side.

#FREE at time of posting!

(Check price before downloading)

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon

 Goodreads

~~~

#BookPromo “The Trial of Joe Harlan Junior: (Talion Series, Book 0)” by JK Franko

cover

WITNESS THE EVENT THAT TRIGGERED J.K. FRANKO’S SHOCKING FIVE-STAR THRILLER – EYE FOR EYE

“TWO WRONGS MAY NOT MAKE A RIGHT – UNTIL YOU’VE READ THIS PREQUEL !” – Reader’s Group 

“AN ABSORBING PAGE-TURNER OF A NOVELLA” – Reader’s Group .”  What would you do if the law failed you?

A college Halloween party. A night of fun, dress-up, and laughter. But for Kristy Wise, it quickly became a night of horror.

Now, Joe Harlan Junior, entrepreneur and son of a prominent senator, is at risk of losing everything as he stands accused of a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yet the facts are undisputed: Kristy was drugged, and she did have sex with Joe.

But was it consensual?

Read the story. Listen to the testimony. Is everything that happens next justified?

YOU decide.

THE TRIAL OF JOE HARLAN JUNIOR IS THE PREQUEL NOVELLA TO J.K. FRANKO’S SHOCKING THRILLER, EYE FOR EYE 
 
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE STORY
Now, for a more immersive experience, read the book, watch the series and then cast YOUR vote.
GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY?
YOU decide.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU


#BookReview “Life for Life” by JK Franko

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

cover

~~~

5/5 Stars!

I was ready for confessions, courtroom drama, and clean-up in book three of the Talion series.

Silly me!

JK Franko adds new characters, more murders, and a sneaky plot twist that made me sit up and grin! I re-read the scene three times, shaking my head. I was prepared for something, but nothing even close to what actually happened! Well-played, Mr. Franko! Kudos!

As the police work to build a case against Roy Cruise, karma hangs around the story’s periphery, ready to jump in with a gotcha… and boy, howdy!

The story’s narrator, the therapist who treats Roy and Susie, is more present in book three, and just as messed up as everyone else. There are no good people in this story. Some are simply more desperate than others. It makes me wonder if a young girl had lived instead of died at summer camp thirty-plus years ago, how different these lives would be. Or would they?

In Additional Content after the story, the author says he’s working on BOOK FOUR, so even though loose ends are tied and there is some form of closure, the Talion series is far from over.

Franko does a superb job with character development and powerful personalities leap from the pages. (That trial judge! Whew!)

For me, Life for Life is the best of the series so far because the consequences of prior actions hit hardest with a ripple effect. I recommend this read but strongly suggest reading the books in series order or the relevance of a guy named Slipknot, an empty syringe, and a penis nailed to a front door will be lost on you!

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

Life for Life is Book Three of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko.

~~~

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal

Published by: Talion Publishing

Publication Date: July 31st, 2020

Number of Pages: 396

ISBN:978-1-9993188-2-6

Series: Talion Series, #3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10. Amazon GC. Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (Print ~ US and Canada Only) and Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 


#BookTour “Life for Life” by JK Franko

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

Synopsis:

Life for Life by JK Franko

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

Life for Life is Book Three of the Talion crime thriller series which begins with the Eye for Eye Trilogy.

Eye for Eye

Tooth for Tooth

Life for Life

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko.


Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: July 31st, 2020
Number of Pages: 396
ISBN:978-1-9993188-2-6
Series: Talion Series, #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Death is always several seconds and a few footsteps away. Look around you, wherever you are right now. How many things are there within five feet of you that could kill you? An improperly grounded electrical outlet plugged into your tablet. A slippery, wet bath tile that sends your head smashing into the side of the tub. An invisible virus silently multiplying in your lungs.

From the moment of conception, we fight to cheat death. The majority of what parents do for most of a child’s life is simply keep them from dying. And much of what parents teach kids, from avoiding strangers to keeping their fingers out of their mouths, is about staying alive.

Although the odds are stacked against us, we get very good at cheating death. So good that, maybe out of misplaced pride or just to maintain our sanity, we tell ourselves that death is far off.

But it never is. And it comes for us all.

Given my profession, I have always feared death at the hands of a patient. For years, I imagined an unhinged, unmedicated client lashing out at me. Hopefully with a gun, not a knife. When I met Susie and Roy, that changed somewhat. I feared death at their hands not because they were unstable, but because I was expendable.

I must say that after the murder of former Congressman Getz, I believed that I finally had that situation under control. Susie, Roy, and I—and all of our incentives—were finally aligned. We were on the same team, so to speak. I foolishly believed that my life could simply return to normal.

But as I look back on everything now, with twenty-twenty hindsight, I can see that even as Roy was drowning Jeff Getz in the Bay of Pollença in Spain, the rough outlines of our tragic ending had already been sketched—all of the pieces were in place. Death was watching, and planning.

As you must appreciate by now, my story is inextricably intertwined with the stories of others. This is, of course, fundamental to the human condition. We are all part of a larger whole. Seemingly unrelated people and events, distant in time and location, weave their way in and out of our lives like the threads of a tapestry.

I have told you two stories from the past that directly impacted me, Susie, and Roy. I shared with you the tragic tale of little Joan’s death and how she was finally avenged. And, I shared with you the evil done to Billy Applegate and how Jeff Getz paid the ultimate price for that crime.

To complete the circle, for you to understand everything that happened to us, and so that you can take from all this the same cautionary lessons that I have learned, I need to share one final story with you. It is about a woman whose life was irreversibly impacted by our actions.

It is a story about love and death. And, in this case, depending on your point of view, you might even say that her story had a happy ending.

PART ONE

Rebecca Forsyth Turks and Caicos 2020

My work as a therapist requires imagination. To help someone, to really get inside their head, you have to have some sense of what they are going through. If you haven’t experienced what your patient is suffering firsthand, you must imagine.

For example, I have never had a panic attack. But then, only five percent of humans will experience a panic attack during their lifetimes. A pretty low number. So, how can I relate?

I must imagine.

From what my patients tell me, a panic attack closely resembles the feeling of claustrophobia. This is something that I have experienced. What gets me there instantly is that scene from Kill Bill—the one when the heroine Beatrix is buried under six feet of dirt in a coffin and left to die. Do you know it?

Indulge me.

Imagine that you wake up and open your eyes, but you can’t see anything. It’s pitch dark. So dark, you’re not sure your eyes are even open. You’re lying on your back. The air you’re breathing feels warm and slightly humid, the way it does when you’re sleeping with your head under the sheets.

You don’t know where you are, but you don’t hear the usual sounds you would hear in your bedroom. No ceiling fan. No A/C blowing. Everything is silent around you. Muffled.

You try to sit up and immediately feel a thump as your forehead hits something. Your hands automatically react and reach up, discovering that something dry and smooth—heavy, immovable—is laying on top of you, just inches above your body. Right above your face, your torso, your legs.

You try to stretch your arms out to either side, and you feel the same barrier just inches away from your elbows, from your shoulders. You move your legs, spreading them apart and lifting them up. They are able to move only inches before, again, you feel something boxing you in.

Your nose itches, but you can’t reach your face to scratch it. You clear your throat and can hear that the sound doesn’t travel. It’s close to you, stifled by the box you’re in. The box is made of wood. There’s maybe six inches between you and the box, all around your body. It’s so close you can smell it. Damp wood. You can also smell soil.

You’re in a box that’s been placed in a hole, six feet deep. On top of it, and on top of you, are six feet of dirt. That much dirt weighs over two thousand pounds. One ton.

The weight of the dirt prevents you from opening the box. The lid won’t budge. And even if you could break out of the box somehow, the dirt above you would fall into it, suffocating you before you could dig your way up to air.

There is no way out. No hope.

As you realize this, your heartbeat accelerates—firing more rapidly. Your breathing speeds up. You struggle to take in air. You’re not sure if you’re already running out of oxygen or simply panicking. You can feel the silent, blind weight of two thousand pounds of earth above you crushing down onto your body. Your legs are tight, anxious. Your body fights for more space… to move, to stretch out, to stand, to run. But on every side you are closed in. You know that out there, everywhere, there is air, freedom. A universe of wide-open space.

But not for you.

You scream. The sound is muffled by the box. The only one who can hear it is you, and you know it. And you remember, as you scream, that there is a very small supply of oxygen in the box. With each breath, you are depleting it, converting it into CO2.

You’re going to suffocate. And there is no way out.

That feeling of being closed in, of paralysis, of heart-racing suffocating hopelessness, is what a panic attack feels like. Just like being trapped in a coffin.

My patients say that this is how you will feel when you’re about to die.

When I try to imagine how Rebecca must have felt, 120 feet underwater with an empty scuba tank strapped to her back, I draw on this image.

* * *

Rebecca Forsyth was floating, weightless. Free as a bird. The feeling was otherworldly. And the view was breathtaking. Above her in every direction stretched a majestic canopy of bright blue. Looking heavenward, her eyes traced dancing beams of sunlight up and away until they converged into a round disc of shimmering white firmament. As she gazed downward, the world fell away from her—the bright blue and the light fading, everything becoming darker the further she looked. The only sound she could hear was the too-close, too-loud in-and-out of her own breathing, which she tried to control—relaxing, breathing slowly.

In: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. Out: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She reached up, pinching her nose, and gently blew, equalizing the pressure in her ears—the Valsalva Maneuver.

Scuba diving was something Rebecca enjoyed, to a point. She was no expert, though she was open water certified and dove several times a year. She loved the feeling of weightlessness. And she liked being able to explore the ocean without having to bob up and down for air. She’d never quite mastered using a snorkel—she always had trouble clearing it of water. Scuba was much more convenient. No bobbing up and down. That being said, she had not done many deep dives.

Today was different.

Alan, Rebecca’s husband, had talked her into diving a wreck. A sunken ship. It was all perfectly safe. Alan was an extremely experienced diver. A certified instructor. He had spent numerous summers working as an instructor and had logged hundreds of hours. In fact, he was the one who had gotten Rebecca into the sport.

The plan was for Rebecca and Alan to follow standard protocol and stay close to one another, buddy diving in case of an emergency. As Rebecca floated about 40 feet underwater, Alan was signaling for her to follow him down toward the wreck, which at its deepest was 165 feet below the surface. They weren’t planning to go down that far. The bow of the ship was at about 110 feet.

Although Rebecca wasn’t crazy about diving so deep, she reluctantly followed. They were on vacation, trying to relax. Trying new things to reinvigorate their marriage. After five years married, they’d hit a rough patch. They’d had some issues. Nothing insurmountable, she would have told you.

Part of their problems stemmed from the way they approached things. Rebecca was more conservative in her thinking. Alan was more of a risk-taker. Of course, for her to have chickened out of this dive would only have served to underscore the differences between them.

She checked the air pressure in her tank and noticed that it was dropping a little faster than normal for her, given the amount of time they’d been underwater. But, she knew that she was stressing over the fact that they were going to dive so deep, and she was breathing a little more rapidly than usual. She reached up and slightly reduced the buoyancy of her BCD, then gently frog-kicked her legs to conserve energy and air, following her husband down into the dark blue depths.

Rebecca swam about ten feet behind Alan and a bit to his left. The bow of the wreck still lay another 70 feet below them and hadn’t come into view. Rebecca couldn’t see it yet. She also couldn’t see that, in addition to the bubbles that drifted up and away from her each time she exhaled, a stream of tiny bubbles trailed behind her. Air was escaping from her scuba tank through a small leak in the line to her backup regulator. As she descended into the depths, the water pressure around her grew, increasing the rate at which air was bleeding from her only tank.

Rebecca followed after Alan, taking in the immensity of the ocean floor that lay before her. The vastness of it was almost overwhelming. She tried to focus on keeping pace with her husband, and on breathing slowly.

In: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. Out: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She scanned beyond him, hoping that the wreck would soon come into view as she gently kicked and followed. As they descended, they were following the natural slope of the ocean floor off the coast of the island. The seabed was spotted with seagrass, kelp, small fish, and here and there a lobster. She saw several lionfish as well.

Rebecca enjoyed fish-watching. Although, for her it was always secondary to keeping an eye out for sharks. The Caribbean is home to a great many species—nurse sharks, lemon sharks, reef sharks—which are generally harmless. But now and again, you will see more aggressive bull sharks and hammerheads.

Rebecca followed behind Alan, staying close, but she couldn’t help being entertained admiring the seascape. She regularly pinched her nose to clear her ears. After what felt like just a few minutes, a shape began to take form ahead of them. Alan stuck his arm out to his side and gave her a thumbs-up. It was the wreck. A few more kicks, and she could clearly see the silhouette of the freighter sitting on the ocean floor below.

It was a tranquil day and the water was clear. There was still very good visibility as they passed 100 feet, though at that depth the water filtered out most of the reds and yellows in the color spectrum. Everything was draped in shades of blue and green.

Rebecca and Alan were diving just off the coast of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The wreck they were approaching was the W.E. Freighter, a 100-ton ship that was purposely sunken just north of Turtle Cove to create an artificial reef. The plan for the reef had been for the ship to settle in somewhat shallow waters to create an attraction for recreational divers. The ship had unfortunately ended up much deeper than intended and required a bit of expertise to reach.

Once at the bow of the freighter, Alan stopped and gave Rebecca the “okay” sign. She responded in kind, indicating that she was fine. She checked her depth gauge and saw that they were at 110 feet, just what the guidebook had promised. Alan and Rebecca had agreed on the surface not to go inside the vessel. There was always danger of collapse or of getting trapped due to gear catching on something. There was also the risk of getting cut since what remained of the ship was decaying metal that tended to be sharp and jagged. A cut meant blood in the water. And blood in the water attracted sharks.

They hovered for a moment by the bow of the wreck.

As they looked about them, a small school of fish swam out of the boat through a hole in the hull. They were silver with what appeared to be yellow fins and tails, though the color was muted and dull due to the depth. Most were about two feet long. Rebecca recognized them as horse-eye jacks. They shimmered in the water as they swam past the husband and wife, less than three feet away. Alan reached out and touched one of the fish as it went by. It didn’t seem to notice or care.

Rebecca watched the school of fish briefly, then her focus shifted. Always scanning for sharks, she’d seen a shadowy movement not far from them—maybe forty feet. Whatever it was had whipped its body and quickly disappeared into the dark, murky distance. She kept scanning as the small school of fish swam away from them.

Suddenly, her peripheral vision registered a rapid movement coming from their left. She focused just in time to see sparkling glints of silver—a large barracuda rocketed in from the murkiness and sank its teeth into one of the jacks as the remainder of the school scattered. Thin wisps of black blood trailed behind the barracuda as it swam off, chomping and chewing on its prey. In the wake of the attack, the remaining jacks re-grouped and continued on as if nothing had happened.

It was not the first time that Rebecca had seen a predator make a meal of another fish. It never ceased to amaze her how an underwater scene could turn from completely tranquil to suddenly violent and bloody, and then return once again to the prior calm as though nothing had happened. She turned to Alan, who was shaking a hand back and forth as if to say, “Holy crap!” She gave him a thumbs-up in reply.

Rebecca continued to scan. Now there was blood in the water. And she was nervous—looking for sharks. As she looked around, Alan drifted a bit deeper examining the wreck. Rebecca was about to follow when a strange shape on the seafloor caught her eye. She felt her belly tighten and reached for her dive knife. She froze and watched carefully. Her patience was rewarded.

A sludgy-looking grey rock, which had apparently been laying low waiting for the barracuda incident to pass, decided that the coast was clear. Rebecca marveled as the rock changed color and texture, turning back into an octopus. The little guy half-swam half- crawled away, in the opposite direction of the barracuda. Rebecca smiled to herself. She loved those smart, creepy, eight-legged mollusks.

The octopus gone, she turned and saw that Alan had drifted about twenty feet away from her, deeper, exploring the hull of the wreck. He looked back at her and waved her towards him. Apparently, he’d found something of interest. Rebecca gave him a thumbs-up, and as she began to move, she looked down at her depth gauge.

Still at 110 feet.

They had agreed not to go below 130 feet, which was the official cut-off for recreational divers. Realizing it had been a while since she’d checked, she also took a look at her air pressure gauge.

Red.

A cold claw of panic squeezed Rebecca’s chest when she saw that the needle was in the red zone, between 200 PSI and zero. Almost empty. The gauge had to be wrong. She and Alan had both checked her tank in the boat. It was full then. And they’d not been diving that long—certainly not long enough for her to have used up a full tank of air.

She tapped on the gauge with a gloved finger. The needle didn’t move. Still red.

She carefully reached back behind her head with one hand to make sure the tank was fully open. Sometimes a not fully open tank would give a bad reading on a gauge. She turned the air valve in one direction and the flow of air stopped. Then she turned it in the other direction, fully opening the valve, and air flowed. She checked the gauge. Still red.

Rebecca looked up and saw that Alan had swum farther away from her, about thirty feet. And he was still moving. She fought down the panic and breathed out slowly: one-two-three-four-five-six- seven-eight-nine-ten.

Then in: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten.

She had two choices.

She could try to ascend. If she did, she’d be abandoning Alan—leaving him at risk. She also had no idea if the air in her tank would get her to the surface. If it didn’t, she’d have to make a “controlled emergency ascent.” She remembered from her training what that meant. Possible decompression sickness. Possible pulmonary barotrauma—essentially her lungs exploding. And, of course, she could drown.

Her other option was to get Alan’s attention and return to the surface using his backup regulator—an “alternate air source ascent.”

She had to choose quickly. Given her options, Rebecca decided she had to get to Alan. She frog-kicked gently, trying not to accelerate her heart rate or breathing, conserving air, swimming down deeper into the cold sea after her husband. As she swam after him, she removed her dive knife from its sheath and used the metal ball on the end of the hilt to bang on her tank, making a high- pitched metallic clink clink clink hoping to get Alan’s attention.

Alan continued to descend. He was too far away to hear her.

She was still breathing. She still had air.

But her brain began to work against her. Fear gripped her throat like a noose slowly tightening. As Rebecca swam deeper into the sea, the ocean began to collapse in on her. Tunnel vision. Panic began to rise in her belly. She felt boxed in.

Trapped.

She fought the fear, trying to keep her breathing slow. Kicking gently, trying to get to her husband. He had air. He was only thirty feet away.

Life was only thirty feet away.

She began to feel desperation. To lose hope.

Is this it?

Is this how I die?

Alan didn’t hear the continued and more desperately rapid clinking of her knife on her tank. He wasn’t turning. He was swimming deeper, and she was barely gaining on him. She began to kick harder, knowing that her heart rate would increase. And her breathing as well. She had to get to him. He was still too far away.

Rebecca kicked and breathed. Kicked and breathed.

Kicked and…

…she breathed in, and three quarters of the way through the breath she hit a wall—it was like she was sucking on a rubber hose that was closed at one end. There was nothing. She was out of air.

She couldn’t fight the panic any longer. Sheer panic.

The feeling of being closed-in, of paralysis, of heart-racing suffocating hopelessness hit Rebecca Forsyth like a brick wall.

***

Excerpt from Life for Life by JK Franko. Copyright 2020 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be Six (6) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $10. Amazon GC. Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (Print ~ US and Canada Only) and Two (2) winners will each receive LIFE FOR LIFE by JK Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020 and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 


#Review “Tooth for Tooth (Talion Series Book 2)” by J.K. Franko

cover

~~~

5/5 Stars!

“Well, I wasn’t expecting that,” was my reaction several times through much of the four hundred pages of Tooth for Tooth.

There’s no such thing as a perfect murder and the karmic consequences of actions kick in doors like an L.A. SWAT team. What began in book 1 as vigilante justice/retribution has flipped to survival of the fittest—or craftiest, in this case—as two of the four bad actors don’t make it to the end of book 2.

The author’s slow, meticulous build continues with details that seem unimportant… until ten pages later when I sat up and my mouth dropped open! Franko also does an impressive job of baiting with distractions then dropping plot twists that change everything.

As the rape victim in book 1 who had to watch her rapist go free, Kristy Wise was one of only two characters I had any sympathy for, but after so much death and loss, she showed she was a force to be reckoned with. The other character was Billy Applegate, whose childhood trauma had directed most of his adult life.

But everyone else? Nope! I understood them as parents, but they were all just too “into it,” especially Roy with his list of rules, and Deb’s apparent ability to simply forget and move on to the next thing. Tom is pitiful but learning just how dirty his hands are said a lot about him.

The cops are also unimpressive. To be fair, law enforcement has endless cases to deal with and don’t have the luxury of focusing on one case, especially one four years old with very little evidence. Yet, college senior Kristy and grieving mom Liz Bareto pieced together most of the puzzle and even shared info with detectives that reinvigorated the case. Not a good look for professional lawmen and investigators.

A great continuation of the Talion Series that closes the walls in on the good and bad and the living and dead. Even our anonymous storyteller will not escape unscathed from this tightly woven web of lies and deceit. Tooth for Tooth is complicated, suspenseful, and intelligent, and I highly recommend it… but not without reading book 1, Eye for Eye, first. Motivations and repercussions will not make sense without ALL the details. Fortunately, you have a couple of months to catch up before book 3, Life for Life drops!

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

 

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted.

IN THIS BLISTERINGLY RELENTLESS SEQUEL TO HIS DEBUT SHOCKER, EYE FOR EYE, J.K. FRANKO TAKES READERS ON A BREATHTAKING JOURNEY OF CAT AND MOUSE

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal

Published by:Talion Publishing

Publication Date: April 4th 2020

Number of Pages: 400

ISBN: 9781999318819

Series: Talion Series, #2

Purchase Links: Amazon || Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be six (6) winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by JK Franko (print) and two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by Jk Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on June 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#BookTour “Tooth for Tooth (Talion Series Book 2)” by J.K. Franko

on Tour June 1 – July 31, 2020

Synopsis:

Tooth for Tooth by JK Franko

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted.

IN THIS BLISTERINGLY RELENTLESS SEQUEL TO HIS DEBUT SHOCKER, EYE FOR EYE, J.K. FRANKO TAKES READERS ON A BREATHTAKING JOURNEY OF CAT AND MOUSE

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal

Published by:Talion Publishing

Publication Date: April 4th 2020

Number of Pages: 400

ISBN: 9781999318819

Series: Talion Series, #2

Purchase Links: Amazon || Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Before meeting Susie and Roy, I had never met a murderer. But then, I had also never lied to the police or destroyed evidence. I had never seen the inside of a jail cell. And I had most certainly never been complicit in a homicide. I have to reluctantly admit that I am a better person for the experience. I now appreciate that murderers really are just regular people like you and me. Indeed, I have come to consider Susie and Roy more than mere patients… they are friends. And I think back on our time together with nostalgia—fondness, even. This did not happen overnight. It was a process. What would you do if you found out that your neighbor was a murderer? Would you double-check that you’d locked your doors every night? Keep an eye out for strange comings and goings? Would you ultimately put your house up for sale, not disclosing what you knew about the folks next door to potential buyers? For most people, being in the proximity of a killer is neither pleasant nor desirable. Imagine how I felt about having not one but two as-yet-undetected murderers as my patients. Sitting with each of them for hours every week. Trying to guide them toward more moderate conflict resolution techniques. And failing. Well, I’m here to tell you that despite the complexities inherent in that situation, I found my path to inner peace and happiness. I know. I may have said elsewhere that, as a psychologist, I’m not a big believer in “happily ever after.” But my thinking has evolved. I’ve come to believe more in choices—in the power of decision. This is the key nugget of wisdom I have taken away from this whole mess: We are not what happens to us. We are what we choose. And I am pleased to report, for the first time in years, that I can finally say I am happy. You have to understand that my unhappiness was not due to lack of trying. Chalk it up to naiveté—but, at first, it was difficult to process everything Susie and Roy told me and still be happy. It’s hard to put a positive spin on murder. Selfishly, I was overwhelmed by the fear that they might turn on me. They had shared everything about their crimes with me in meticulous detail. It was manifestly apparent that I was the weak link. The one person who could bring them down. I was not just a loose end. I was the loose end. And, though I tried, I could not initially find peace under these circumstances. But, as I said earlier, happiness is a choice. And it was a choice that I made which finally ended my torment and brought me to a place where I could be at peace—even though everything ended tragically: my relationship with Susie and Roy, their marriage, the whole mess. For you to understand the rest of my journey with Susie and Roy, I must share with you something that happened years ago at an ostensibly happy event. I say ‘ostensibly’ because it was a wonderful night for almost everyone concerned. There were two people at that event who figure in this story—in my story. The first is Sandra Bissette. For her, the night in question was the beginning of what would become a successful career in politics and law. For the other, Billy Applegate, the night would end in tragedy.

PART ONE

Billy Applegate

1974
Everybody loves a party. And there’s nothing quite like an election night party. What makes an election night celebration different? The guest of honor. You see, all parties—birthdays, anniversaries, wakes—feature a guest of honor. But an election night party is a completely different animal because it isn’t about any one person or couple. It’s not even about the candidates. At an election night party, the guests of honor are the attendees. The people who gather to watch election results together are all of one mind. Of one spirit. They are like pack animals, all focused on the same outcome. They all share the same heroes and the same enemies. If their candidates win, they all win. And a “win” means real-world changes for them—tax breaks, preferential government spending, judicial appointments—and money in their pockets. Now, that’s a party. This particular election night party took place in Maryland in 1974. To be precise—because I can be—this party was held on the night of the 1974 midterm elections, on Tuesday, November 5th. It was a good year for Democrats. This was the first national election after Watergate. Nixon’s resignation had severely damaged the Republicans’ chances in the election. Gerald Ford was just three months into his presidency, having taken over from Richard Nixon a few months earlier. And, of course, having pardoned Nixon in September, Ford had destroyed his own hopes for re-election and added to the national animus against Republicans. This election night party took place in a spacious colonial-style home decorated in red, white, and blue, with American flags hanging from the windows and banisters. It featured a spacious living and dining area. The kitchen was large and well-equipped. There was a generous backyard with a comfortable deck and a terrace around the pool. All four bedrooms—aside from one guest bedroom—were upstairs. There was even a “pin the tail on the donkey” game set up near the bar, for those with a sense of humor. No one actually played. This house belonged to Dan and Annette Applegate, two proud and active members of the Democratic party in Maryland. Dan’s family had always been active in politics. His grandfather had been a state representative. His father had served as a county judge for most of his career. Dan—born Daniel Parsons Applegate IV—was the fourth generation of Applegates admitted to the Maryland bar. While he would never actually serve in public office, he understood the value of political contacts and actively cultivated them. This party was part of that effort. Dan was dressed in a three-piece, tan wool suit, a white Brooks Brothers shirt, and a burgundy silk tie. The lapels and tie were wide, and the shirt collar oversized—all very fashionable at the time. Annette wore a slim, gold-belted, navy blue flare-leg pantsuit with a pale blue silk blouse and a pair of simple gold earrings. Apropos for the gathering, and it went quite nicely with all the flags, she’d decided. Their twelve-year-old son, Billy Applegate, was in dark green overalls with a white shirt and blue Keds. A handsome boy, Billy had inherited his mother’s cornflower blue eyes and his father’s thick sandy blond hair, which he wore in a neatly trimmed surfer cut. Billy was an only child. His parents doted on him, as did his grandparents since he was the only grandchild in both families. Even so, Billy was a good boy and knew to stay out of the way when his parents had guests, though he stayed close enough to be in the mix and see what was going on. He was at the age where he still enjoyed watching the grown-ups. Spying on them. In fact, he was familiar with many of the faces that night from other events of this kind. It was a small community. Tonight, Tuesday night, the guests were arriving early, many coming over straight after work before polling places even closed. It was going to be a long night. The band played. Alcohol flowed. Anticipation and excitement were in the air at the prospect of big Democrat wins. And, after everything Nixon had put the nation through, how could voters not want a change? In the living room, a handsome mahogany console TV with a big twenty-five-inch-diagonal color screen announced results as they came in. Dan was loitering by the avocado green Trimline rotary phone, mounted on the kitchen wall, that rang periodically with live information. The spring-coiled, twelve-foot receiver cord allowed him to pace anxiously as he fielded calls from the few Democrats charged with providing up-to-the-minute results from county polling. Remember, this was back in the days before computerized voting machines. Back then, voters travelled to their precinct’s designated polling station and used a machine to punch holes in their ballot. These were then collected and transported to a central counting center where the ballots were put through a counting machine which tabulated the results that were then released to the public. Dan relayed results to his guests, with each ring of the phone bringing more good news. More cheering and more drinking. It was a good year to be a Democrat. At the peak of festivities, there were over 250 guests in and around the property, to the point where the party overflowed onto the street, which was not a problem. No one was going to complain, as most of the neighbors were in attendance. And these were all good white folk. The police were kind enough to block off both ends of the street and make sure that those who’d had too much to drink made it home safely. Inside, the house was a political orgy. Supporters rubbed elbows with candidates. Candidates rubbed elbows with incumbents. Incumbents rubbed elbows with donors. And lobbyists rubbed elbows with everyone except each other. There were a number of judges in attendance. Several city council members hovered by the buffet, and a few state representatives were sprinkled through the crowd. It was into this whirlwind of excitement that Sandra Bissette arrived. At a time when men still ran everything in politics, Sandra hoped to make a name for herself. The fact that she was a Yale-graduated lawyer didn’t hurt, nor did the fact that she had both the figure and the looks of Jackie Kennedy. Sandra was the daughter of lifelong Democrats, and her father happened to be the county sheriff. Although Sandra was not part of the elite set in Maryland, she was making her way. She was two years into working as an associate at a top law firm after having done a couple of high-level summer internships in D.C. That night, Sandra was primarily interested in meeting two people: one was Annette Applegate. Although Sandra knew that both Dan and Annette were active in the Maryland Democratic party, Dan was known to be a snob—his career consisted of riding on his family’s coattails. Annette was universally recognized as the nicer of the two. Annette knew everyone, and everyone loved Annette. It was with her that Sandra was hoping to build a connection. The second person who Sandra had added to her charm offensive for the evening was Harrison Kraft—another young Yale lawyer who, unlike her, was connected in all the right ways. Having graduated a few years ahead of her from law school, Harrison was running for state representative. He checked all the right boxes— family pedigree, education, professional credentials. There was no doubt the man was going places. Sandra had heard good things about him as a person and was interested in seeing for herself. It was a little after 9:00 p.m.—Dan had just announced the results from Precinct Four in Montgomery County when Sandra saw an opening. Annette was by the buffet chatting with Howard Patrick, an older lobbyist—handsy, and a bit of a bore. Sandra straightened her back, raised her chin, and approached. “Hello Howard,” she said with a big smile. “Sandra! Hello, my dear. Don’t you look beautiful tonight?” “Why, thank you, Howard. Ever the charmer,” she said, allowing him to kiss her hand. “Have you met our hostess, Annette Applegate?” As Sandra turned to greet Annette, she noticed that the woman was looking past her, over her shoulder. “Um, excuse me, young man!” Annette said, eyebrows raised and pearly white teeth dazzling. Sandra turned and followed Annette’s gaze to a young boy in green overalls filching shrimp from the buffet. She guessed he was just shy of being a teenager. “Aw, crap,” said Billy as he chewed. “Come here, you,” Annette said, narrowing her eyes in mock disapproval. The boy hesitated as he took in the young woman, the fat old man, and his mother, who stood waiting for him expectantly with her hands on her hips. He’d never seen the young woman before. She was new. Unconsciously, he slowly moved to return the three shrimp in his sticky hand to the platter. “With the shrimp, silly,” his mother said, shaking her head. Billy moved toward her, chewing rapidly so he could stuff the other shrimp into his mouth. Howard put his hand against the small of Sandra’s back, a little too low, and harrumphed to her under his breath, “Better seen, not heard. That’s how it used to be.” Sandra tried to smile and fought the instinct to pull away. Howard’s breath smelled of scotch and cigarettes. Annette overheard, but ignored the old lobbyist’s comment. “I suppose I don’t need to ask if you’ve had dinner? I left meatloaf for you in the kitchen.” “I know. But, Mom, these shrimp are amazing.” “And the meatballs?” asked Annette, looking over Billy toward the platter on the buffet. Billy blushed. “Those, too.” “Well, it’s getting a bit late for you,” Annette said, ruffling her son’s fair hair and then kissing him on the forehead, making him squirm. “Finish up the shrimp and get to bed.” “What about Dad?” Billy asked, looking around. Annette’s face darkened, and she sighed. “I’ll send him up for a goodnight kiss. But you come along now, young man.” She put her hands on her son’s shoulders and steered him towards the stairs. “Excuse me for a moment,” she said over her shoulder. Shit, thought Sandra as she twisted politely away, getting the old lobbyist’s hand off her lower back as he struck up a conversation. While she tried to focus on what he was saying, it was all she could do not to stare at the green thing wedged in between the man’s tar-stained teeth. It took her ten minutes to extricate herself from Howard, thanks to Alan Watts—a wiry man who was only modestly more interesting. His family ran a small chain of grocery stores. Alan had asked her out a while back, and though she’d declined, he still had hopes—she could tell. After a few more minutes of polite conversation, Sandra fell back on “old reliable” with a forced smile. “Excuse me, gentlemen… ladies’ room.” Once she was sure she had escaped, she continued to work the room. About half an hour later, as she accepted another glass of white wine from a passing waiter, she felt a hand pressing low on the small of her back. Oh fuck, not again. “Yes, Howard?” She turned, fake smile firmly in place, to find Annette Applegate standing behind her. “Gotcha!” laughed Annette. Sandra laughed, both from relief and from delight at the inside joke made by the woman to whom she’d hoped to ingratiate herself. This is going to be a great night. While Sandra and Annette chatted amiably, many other members of the party were well beyond civility. The drinking had begun five hours earlier, but there was more than just alcohol flowing. Other substances were being abused. It was all very discreet, of course. Most were partaking solely for recreational purposes, but a few were ingesting more heavily. Beyond alcohol and drugs—and most hazardous of all, given that it was infecting everyone to some degree and was in ample supply—was the potent and dangerous combination of two psychological stimulants, victory and power. You see, politics doesn’t attract only “normal” people. As in every part of society, there is a spectrum. And politics, too, has its outliers. The smug and the superior. The arrogant and the snide. And the sociopaths. Victory and power are dangerous to all, but more so to the sociopath. Do not consume alcohol or operate heavy machinery while taking… For these select few, the alcohol, drugs, and victory combined with power was toxic. It created a euphoria that knew no rules. No limits. No fear. * * * Upstairs, Billy had fallen asleep with the soothing press of his mother’s goodnight kiss still fresh on his cheek. A small nightlight plugged into a wall socket illuminated his bedroom, casting a warm glow on a baseball snuggled in a catcher’s mitt that lay in a corner next to a wooden Adirondack baseball bat. On one end of his small dresser sat a model airplane—a Douglas A-20 Havoc that he’d built with his grandfather. It was a replica of the plane Gramps had flown during World War II. The model was flanked by a teddy bear that Billy claimed he’d outgrown but refused to give away. The other end of the dresser was reserved for the little boy’s current prized possession—Rock’em Sock’em Robots. A gift from his parents for his birthday. The room was quiet, the party sounds muffled. Suddenly, the door opened, spilling light into the little boy’s room along with the blare of music and the chaotic chatter of voices. Then, just as quickly, the door shut, returning the room to calm semi-darkness. Billy was groggy and didn’t try to open his eyes. Instead, he just spoke out loud. “Dad?” He felt the bed sag as his father sat next to him in a cloud smelling of alcohol and cigars. Then he felt dry lips on his forehead. The kiss made him smile sleepily. A hand stroked his head and his hair as Billy snuggled into his pillow and drifted back to sleep. Suddenly, the same hand that had been stroking his hair gently clamped over his mouth. It was a man’s hand, but it was soft. Clammy. It was not his father’s…. Billy tried to sit up, but the hand squeezed harder, the man leaning into him, pushing him down and pinning him to the bed as a second hand groped at him, pulling away his sheets. Billy didn’t know what to do. He was terrified. He opened his eyes, but with just the little nightlight on, he couldn’t see anything other than the vague shape of the form pressing down on him. He could smell booze and food on the man’s warm breath. Tears came as the vise over Billy’s mouth forced him to suck air noisily through his nose as the groping continued—searching, finding, fondling, stroking, then reaching, penetrating, sending a hot shard of searing pain through his body. Inside. He tried to fight, but couldn’t. The hands were too strong. The body too heavy. He felt sick. The stench of cigars, food, and alcohol on fetid breath was nauseating. And he was scared. Terrified. In pain. Bile rose in Billy’s throat. But the hand over his mouth prevented him from vomiting. He gagged, then swallowed everything back down. His body began to convulse. To thrash. As it did, the second hand stopped. The man’s weight eased on top of his body, no longer pinning him down. The hand over his mouth loosened slightly, and Billy felt the other stroking his hair. He wanted to move, but he was paralyzed with fear. The whole ordeal lasted minutes, but it felt like hours. Then the presence leaned over and whispered, “Sleep. Sleep. You were dreaming. Go back to sleep.” The weight lifted from the bed, and as it did, the hand fell away from Billy’s mouth, leaving him shivering in the aftermath. The door opened, first slightly. Through the crack, the man looked out into the hall as the babble of music and voices invaded the bedroom. Then the door swung fully open, and as it did, Billy saw the man clearly in the light from the hallway. The image burned itself into his memory. The image of a stranger whose identity he would eventually learn. The door closed and the crowd cheered as the band started playing—“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” And Billy Applegate cried himself into a fitful sleep. *** Excerpt from Tooth for Tooth by JK Franko. Copyright 2020 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

JK Franko J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia. His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel. J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On: jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be six (6) winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by JK Franko (print) and two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by Jk Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on June 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#Review “Eye for Eye” by J.K. Franko

Eye for Eye cover

~~~

4/5 Stars!

Plot twists drive this suspenseful read right up to the last page.

With a nod to Strangers on a Train (and at times, Throw Mama from the Train) Eye for Eye centers around the biblical idea of revenge—you lose what you take—in this case, life.

A child murdered at summer camp, a young girl killed in a car accident and a college coed dated-raped appear to be unrelated crimes that span decades. The summer camp murder is pushed from memory for most except for those who remember for the cruelest… and most painful reasons.

Affluent Roy and Susie Cruise lost their daughter because of the carelessness of someone texting while driving. They’re broken and struggle to hang onto their sanity and marriage. The driver who caused the accident that cost them their only child also dies as a result of his injuries, but Susie feels there was no justice for her daughter.

The guy who raped Tom and Deb Wise’s daughter walks out of court a free man, acquitted despite the drugs found in Kristy Wise’s system. The son of a senator carries on with his life while his victim is fearful and withdrawn and never far from her parents. She didn’t get justice for what was done to her.

It’s the mothers of these two young women who crave modern-day vigilante justice. Their husbands’ only crime was loving them and being willing to do anything for them… in the beginning.

This is not a read where you take sides or get behind a favorite character. I felt sorry for Roy because he was so deftly manipulated, but even that doesn’t excuse him as he seeks justice for his own reasons.

Eye for Eye is deftly written with well-drawn characters in a twisty plot that keeps you on the edge, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Story delivery is unique with an anonymous narrator whose surprising identity is revealed at the end and serves as the basis for book 2 of The Talion Series.

I  recommend this read not only for lovers of thrillers, suspense, and mysteries but also those who go for psychological head games.

Enjoy!

~~~

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime & Mystery

Published by: Talion Publishing

Publication Date: June 22nd 2019

Number of Pages: 400

ISBN: 1999318803 (ISBN13: 9781999318802)

Series: Talion #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.

Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.

Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if she was frightened.

Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.

Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.

Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.

True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.

She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy, or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.

Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.

***

Excerpt from Eye For Eye by JK Franko. Copyright © 2019 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.

~~~

Enter The Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

#BookTour “Eye for Eye” by J.K. Franko

on Tour July 22 – September 20, 2019

 

Eye for Eye cover

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime & Mystery

Published by: Talion Publishing

Publication Date: June 22nd 2019

Number of Pages: 400

ISBN: 1999318803 (ISBN13: 9781999318802)

Series: Talion #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.

Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.

Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if she was frightened.

Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.

Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.

Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.

True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.

She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy, or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.

Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.

***

Excerpt from Eye For Eye by JK Franko. Copyright © 2019 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter The Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours