FINE REVIEW: “Outsourced” by Eric Gates. A thrilling twist to ‘a pen is mightier than the sword’…literally!

OutsourcedOutsourced by Eric J. Gates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A friend persuaded me to read ‘Outsourced’, and I’m so glad he did. It was thrilling, topical, unpredictable and after the dramatic climax; an immensely satisfying read. Eric Gates succeeded in taking me to that rare place–the suspension of my disbelief–by making the effort to substantiate his rationale for the deadly artifact at the center of the plot. Without slowing the page-turning high-tempo pace of his thriller, Gates provides a mind-bending primer on quantum mechanics! From that moment I was hooked.

The villain was venal, the authorities were untrustworthy, the leading lady was enigmatic and independent, and the two authors (apparently bitter rivals!) grew in stature and guile as the plot deepened. Gates also succeeded in getting in a few licks against interrogations without due process, unfettered intrusion by the security apparatus in our lives, and a dig or two at the suspect ethics of the traditional print publishing industry. These real world observations grounded ‘Outsourced’ further, feeding this reader’s sense of reality despite what was in fact a deadly pursuit for a mystical device! In short, author Eric Gates provides a thrilling literary twist to the belief that the pen is mightier than the sword….literarily!

View all my reviews

Character Interview: Markus

This was a hoot to do! I wasn’t exactly excellent at maintaining a separation between the character “Markus” from my novel ‘The Zebra Affaire’…and my true self. But it did lead to the expression of bolder opinions–whether they be mine or Markus, that’s for the reader to decide.

Katheryn Caffee’s Interview of author Mark Fine

There’s a sense of common purpose among this generation of Indie Authors. In addition to the creative, we are also here to help, nurture and support each other. Egos and envy have no place “here.” Author and blogger Katheryn Caffee personifies this wonderful ethos; and was kind enough to interview me recently. I enjoyed the process very much…

By the way, since conducting that interview I’ve read several more wonderful books from the “indie scene”~ and have already acknowledged them in reviews on this blog. For instance Jean Gill “Someone to Look Up To,” Charlie Flowers “Murder Most Rural,” Elizabeth Newton “View from the Sixth Floor,” Dave Adair “Random Lucidity,” Wolf Schimanski “Meter of Corruption” and Pamela Crane’s “The Admirer’s Secret” are all fine reads.

WIP (Work In Progress): My forthcoming novel

I admit to being evasive about my next novel. The gestation process is so lengthy I didn’t want to create any immediate expectations. Today, however, some of my author colleagues have goaded me to reveal my WIP (work in progress). Here’s the working title, and a brief unedited excerpt:


Working title: “The Hyena Affaire”

Three bullets struck her; the hip, the arm and her gut. With the tug of gravity she fell to earth, for the second time. This time the impact was considerably less than the plane crash she’d just survived, but this time the consequences were deadly.

As she bled out she saw the tramp of clay-caked combat boots march her way. Soundlessly, a single boot callously pinned down her forearm. Then the hideously scarred face of her killer entered her teared vision. She would never know his name, yet she knew the coldblooded work of a scavenger.

With bewildered curiosity she watched the Hyena with unexpected tenderness remove the still gleaming three carat ring from her finger. Her last thought was surprisingly that of gratitude; that in his lust for treasure her executioner had refrained from hacking her left hand from her wrist.

Her name was Vanessa, she had just celebrated her 25th birthday, and she was no more.

Copyright © 2015 Mark Fine

FINE REVIEW: “Dangerous Wind” by Alan Cook ~ A thrilling fictional global hunt with a real world warning.

Dangerous Wind: A Carol Golden NovelDangerous Wind: A Carol Golden Novel by Alan Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A thrilling global hunt by an alluring woman, suffering amnesia, forced into a mission to track down a former lover she can no longer recall! These are the riddles that make Dangerous Wind such an intriguing read. From the security of my chair I raced pell-mell alongside our heroine, across seven continents, in pursuit of a master mathematician–the alleged villain bent on destroying the Western financial system. Reflecting true life, nothing is quite as black and white as first thought.

And as author Alan Cook’s intriguing story unfolds we witness allegiances change, and in the process motives of the principal characters become better defined; but he is also ringing a cautionary bell about the overreach of big government, the hazards to the world economy by “to big to fail” banking institutions, and the slippery slope spiral of restricted freedoms. Hence, in the spirit of “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” Mr. Cook succeeds in informing us as he simultaneously so ably entertains us.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR READING [Video]: “Hotel Rendezvous” THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE by Mark Fine

More than a daring, multi-racial romance set in a racist South Africa in 1976 on the cusp of abandoning apartheid; the tension is palpable in this character-driven novel. The Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine grips your soul and won’t let go. Never mind zebras, think lions, raw and roar!

“The Zebra Affaire” is a romantic historical drama that fills each page with soul and love, yet serves as a damming condemnation of apartheid South Africa. The novel features two lovers; Elsa a white woman and Stanwell, a black man. A crime in the land of apartheid. This excerpt, read by the author Mark Fine, tells of the couple’s first romantic–but illegal–rendezvous in a plush Johannesburg 5~star hotel.

To buy Kindle edition:

Amazon Worldwide:

Amazon USA:


AUTHOR 2 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Authors Mark Fine & Pamela Crane Reveal their Lives in Pursuit of the Art of Writing.

The Pamela Crane & Mark Fine Interview

Find out what secrets each author reveals in this author-on-author interview between Mark Fine, author of the romantic historical drama The Zebra Affaire, and Pamela Crane, thriller writer of the best-selling The Admirer’s Secret.

Each an admirer of the other’s work, here are pictures of Pamela and Mark “presenting” each others respective novels:

Featured Image -- 124Mark Fine admiring Admirers Secret

A coin is flipped and Pamela agrees to be first questioned by Mark…

Mark: What inspired you to start writing your first novel, and what was your goal for it?

Pamela: My debut novel, The Admirer’s Secret, was initially therapy. I had endured a horrifying experience with a stalker, Continue reading