Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have been around since the 1920’s in books, movies, TV and comics. In the beginning their antics were aimed towards a young audience but over the years their audience got older and some of their stories were aimed at an older audience. This brings us to the present day and a new limited edition comic series from Dynamite comicsNancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie is written by Anthony Del Coy with art by Wertr Dell’Edera and shows the characters as you’ve never seen them before.

Frank and Joe Hardy had everything going for them, good part-time jobs, nice girlfriends and the respect of everyone in the town of Bayport. Everything starts to fall apart though when their father and police detective Fenton is accused of corruption. The whole town turns against them and their father commits suicide, or so it seems. After an investigation the police suspect that Frank and Joe murdered their father. The police not have all the proof they need but in the court of public opinion, the boys are already guilty. Luckily for them Nancy Drew doesn’t believe that and has a plan to prove their innocence.

What drew me to this graphic novel was the cover which was drawn by Faye Dalton. I’ve been wanting to know more about the Noir and Hard boiled mystery genre and this book seemed to be a good fit. I wasn’t disappointed either, I haven’t read any Hardy Boys books since I was a kid but that didn’t matter, you don’t need to know the characters well to enjoy this book. From the opening pages you know that these aren’t the characters that you grew up with. Bayport is a dark place filled with crime, drugs and more than one dark secret. I loved how this book goes back and looks at the Hardy’s family and we see that there were a few criminals in the bloodline and the Hardy Boy’s father may have been as corrupt as the public thinks.

I also liked hearing about Nancy’s background and how she finds out that her dad has his own dark secrets. I loved how Nancy was shown in this book, when she finds out details on the death of her mother she decides to do what teenagers are supposed to do which is party. She quickly finds out that partying isn’t for her and goes on to do what she does best, which is solve mysteries. We get to see Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys solving mysteries as kids, then as moody manipulating teenagers and I enjoyed how the book shows the kids changing through the years.

No one is what they appear and everyone has a secret or two and The Hardy Boys have their own ideas of what’s right and wrong and fight quite a bit. There are a lot of great twists and turns to this book and I never saw the ending coming.  Also the art is amazing and adds a lot to the story making the dark mood to the plot even darker. This book was a fun read with the art and story firing together on all cylinders.  If you love graphic novels, this one is a must read.


David’s Haunted Library: Drive-In Creature Feature

Soda? check, Popcorn? check, Blankets? check. These are some of the things you might need if you are going to your local drive-in theater. If you’re 30 or younger you probably don’t know what a drive-in is. You also don’t know the joys of sitting in your car with a group of friends while you watched giant creatures destroying the city on the big screen. Luckily Eugene Johnson and Charles Day have put together a horror anthology that captures the spirit of the Drive in.  Drive In Creature Feature contains 19 stories for anyone who loves a good monster tale.

Since it would take too long to talk about each story I’ll spend some time talking about my favorites. The Tattering and Jack by Clive Barker is about a demon who has the task of driving a man crazy. The job ends up being much harder than the demon…

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The Fabergé Entanglement

Being the daughter of a billionaire isn’t easy, Sabinne Darieux has had to put up with threats and several times her father hired people to watch her. This time Sabinne has a different problem, her father has been kidnapped. In order to get him back Sabinne has to steal an object and deliver it to the kidnapper.

Sabinne has competition though there is also a British Intelligence agent by the name of Adrian Steele trying to steal the same object. If that doesn’t complicate things enough then the mutual attraction they feel for each other should. Now the question is who can get to the object first, and can they deny their feelings for one another.

The Fabergé Entanglement by Lesley Meryn and Elle Brookes is an action adventure story with a great mystery at its core. This is a fast paced novel with several little sub-plots and enough twists and turns to keep you reading all night. My favorite part of this book was how it was all described, it felt like I was watching an action movie on the big screen. This book was a lot of fun and if you love secret agents or mysteries you will love it.


Esmeralda The Great Once Lived Here


This is the end. She saw it coming but no one believed her, they never did. She lived at the amusement park for seven years and was always happy there. Her name was Esmeralda The Great and she told fortunes but no one believed them. They thought it was just for fun but Esmeralda told the truth. She knew what the future held and could tell you what you should do.


No one believed in her abilities, no one except Xander the magician who owned the small amusement park on the ocean. He saw the truth in Lita and renamed her Esmeralda and gave Lita her first real job. Esmeralda loved her work, everyone who came to the amusement park was always nice and she had many friends. People listened to her tell what the future held for them, but they dismissed it as cheap fun.


A few months ago her readings changed, she saw no future for anyone. She saw hair covered creatures with fangs ripping people to shreds and feasting on their body parts. She heard the screams but there was nothing she could do. She told people what she saw but they all laughed. Even Xander said she was working too hard and needed a vacation.


She started to believe them, but one night death came to her amusement park on the ocean. Their eyes were blood red, they smelled like rotting flesh and they were so fast no one knew what hit them. There were so many, no one at the amusement park could escape, except Esmeralda. She fled to an old underground bomb shelter in the park and stayed there for days or maybe months.


She didn’t want to leave the shelter but she was lonely and out of food, she really had no choice. The amusement park is a different place now. Its quiet and the weeds are getting long. There is dried blood on the pavement and a horrible smell still hangs in the air. This is no happy place anymore, it’s a place of death and now its time for Esmeralda to move on.


The streets are quiet but Esmeralda knows there are still people out there. She can feel them and they’re in danger. She will find a way to help and restore her happy home. Once she finds out what happened she will rebuild and her amusement park on the ocean will live again.  

The Black Market Concierge

Most people don’t know what it’s like to work as a spy or a confidential informant. It’s the type of lifestyle that you would only expect to hear about in an action movie or a mystery novel. For Barry Oberholzer the dangerous world of international espionage is real. When I started reading The Black Market Concierge my first thought was that this has to be fiction but it’s real and it gives a glimpse into a world that few of us know about.

Barry’s story begins with his birth in Huston Texas during a hurricane in 1983. He describes his life as being a little like a hurricane and as you read you see he has been through more upheaval than most people. His father was a South African diplomat and Barry lived in Cape Town South Africa as apartheid was ending and the political scene was changing. He grew up playing rugby and had an interest in aviation. As an adult he worked as a helicopter pilot which led to him selling planes and other flying equipment to foreign countries. After building a broad network of clients, the US embassy in South Africa reached out to him for information on his clients.

Barry didn’t get involved with the U.S. government because he felt obligated to do the right thing, he was more worried about what could happen to him if he didn’t work with them. He had dealings with Iran at a time when the U.S. had sanctions against them and Barry was also getting requests from shady organizations for materials that could be used for combat. First and foremost Barry was a businessman but being on the CIA and FBI’s radar led to some life changing situations.

The Black Market Concierge is a fascinating read that will give you a glimpse into the world of organized crime and government corruption. It was also hard to read in places such as when he describes having to meet a man who has threatened to kill him. He goes into detail on how he and his brother are forced to take a lie detector test to find out if Barry is a mole. As he fears for his life he glances around the room looking for anything that can be used as a weapon.

Barry also gets into his time in a South African prison, he was accused of fraud and brought in for an old business dispute. Barry was jailed by a deceitful government and that is one of the main ideas of his book. The author speaks about the corruption in the South African government but he also speaks about how all governments have corruption. He states how politicians care more about power then helping the people who elected them and gets into why there is a black market in the first place. My favorite part of the book was hearing how he felt about the government and his feelings on the people he met. He does find God but not before suffering great losses.

The Black Market Concierge is the story of one man’s journey through major highs and the lowest of lows. In the end he talks about the importance of faith and how it got him through. It’s hard to believe this is a true story but it is and Barry Oberholzer gives some great life advice that he learned from his ordeal.

Guest Blog Post: Chris Ledbetter

Why Social Networks (Facebook, twitter, bloggers) are the Keys to book promoting


Chris Ledbetter

The answer to why Social Media Networks are so important to promoting a book lies in the ever-changing global technological landscape. Before the Internet, books were produced and sold in a very limited funnel of distribution. Now, books are produced and sold in many formats, including electronic versions and across the Internet.

Social media has created one of the most efficient means of interaction and communication on a mass global scale. Without the Internet, I had all local friends. I now have friends in Italy, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Greece, Korea, and all over the United States. But social media means more than that when the topic of promotion arises because social networks amplify any message. It’s like the old multi-level marketing concept adapted to word-of-mouth.

Any time you share a message and then the people in your social network interact or share it, your message increases its reach in ways regular word-of-mouth can’t begin to touch, in part because it’s so fast. A message, good or bad, can go viral in seconds. In a similar fashion, bloggers are the standard bearers of the book world, leading the charge in content creation for literature. Over time, they gain followers who hang on their every word and when they post their reviews, the followers drink in the message, good or bad… and then proceed to share it widely. But being readers themselves, those same followers also follow the bloggers to find their next reads.

So for authors, social media is invaluable as a promotional tool. There’s no substitute for face-to-face communication like there is at book signings and conferences. But it’s difficult to beat the reach of social networks. Without them, there’s no way for me to reach my fans in Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, et al.

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USATODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel.

He’s a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Additional Information:
Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly “walked-on” to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He’s worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.

As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers.

The Sky Throne

Zeus felt like he didn’t belong, it’s like he was invisible at school and the only thing he had to look forward to was taking over his mother’s goat farm . He was a student at Eastern Crete Lower Academy but he found school boring so he spent his time pulling pranks with his best friend. Life changes quickly though as Hyperion attacks his home, now his best friend is left for dead and Zeus is left with the knowledge that the woman raising him is not his real mother.

Now Zeus is being taken away to Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia so he can be protected from Hyperion and to prepare him for what’s coming. Now he has a new life and is meeting new people in the academy but now his classmates are beginning to vanish and its up to Zeus to find out what’s happening and who is trying to kill him.

The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter is a coming of age story for people who love Greek mythology. The story has a lot of action and is a great read for kids with an interest in mythology. I enjoyed how the schools are described and how the book gets into describing what Greek society is like. This is a perfect read for kids in middle school, they will love the introduction to mythology and will find all the characters easy to relate too. This is also a good starting point for kids who are wanting to become better readers and discover the joys of YA fiction.