Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: No Justice (Book 1 - Michael Sykora Series) by Darcia Helle

No Justice (Book 1 - Michael Sykora Series) by Darcia Helle 


Book Description: How far would you go to right a wrong?

For Michael Sykora, killing started as blind rage. Then it became something he's good at. To most of those who know him, Michael is a software designer, a smart but average guy with a workaholic nature. To a chosen few, Michael is a part-time hit man whose specialty is eliminating hard-core criminals.
Michael has managed to keep his two personas separate. Until now. When Nicki, a close friend, gets into trouble, Michael steps in to help. Having lost his fiance to a brutal crime, Michael will do whatever necessary to keep from losing another woman in his life.

About the Author: Author's Website
Where to start? My oldest son once described me as a "tree-hugging, peace-loving, hippie". I suppose that about sums me up!
I grew up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, a small town south of Boston. I now live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I don't miss the New England weather, though I do sometimes miss the overall feel of "home".
I am married to an amazing man. I have 2 grown sons, though merely typing that sends a shiver up my spine. Time has a way of marching on without me noticing! Anthony is grown up and on his own. In fact, I now have a gorgeous daughter-in-law and the most adorable granddaughter ever! Joseph is at home and still attending school, with no particular direction yet in mind. They are as different as night and day and both are amazing young men.
I was a hairstylist for about 15 years. Back in the late 1990's, health complications forced me to give up that career. I have chronic, late-stage lyme disease, as well as chronic Epstein Barr virus. It's a constant battle to keep the symptoms under control. On the bright side, it allows me lots of time for characters to roam free in my mind.
I love words. Language intrigues me. Therefore, reading and writing are addictions I hope to never live without.
I'll read everything from the ingredients on a cereal box to a super thick text on medieval history. But there's nothing like escaping into a good novel. I'm partial to suspense and mystery, although I occasionally wander in a variety of other directions.
The novels I write are mystery/suspense. I always seem to have several novels in various stages of completion. I call it writer's A.D.D. The characters that float through my mind can be unrelenting and often lead me in too many directions at once. They become like children who lack discipline. And apparently I lack parenting skills.
Aside from my passion for writing & reading, I am a music addict. I have an expansive eclectic CD collection that includes rock, blues, folk, country, jazz, electronic, and new age. I love exploring new sounds and reminiscing with the old ones.
Then there's my love for animals. From my early youth on, I have always had dogs - and often cats as well. I currently have 2 of each. My dogs are my babies. They keep me smiling, make me laugh, and give me comfort. I talk to them all the time. And while they haven't yet learned how to answer me, they always listen. And sometimes that's all we need.




I had a chance to ask Darcia "What's the back story on the big story?" and here is her response:
Some time ago, I served on a jury for the murder trial of a man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. While I had known that our justice system had flaws, this was a close-up view of those injustices behind our justice system. We, the jury, were not allowed to hear anything about the defendant's past. His life as a locked box. The victim, however, had no such privacy. The defense attorney gleefully flaunted the victim's past, including her sexual history from as far back as her teen years. I will never forget the look of
anguish on her parents' faces.
The defense did a great job of spinning the tale and making the victim out to be less than virtuous. After a week of this, when we were sent to deliberate, only two of the 12 jurors initially voted for murder one. I was one of them. The other 10 wanted involuntary manslaughter, citing her behavior and his cocaine use as "excuses". I should mention here that the man had left his dead girlfriend in his bed, while he went out and partied with friends all night. Also, according to witnesses, he was quite sober at the time of the murder. The other juror and I fought for, and eventually won, a murder one conviction. Before we left the courthouse, the judge spoke to us privately. She congratulated and thanked us for the conviction. At that time, she was able to tell us what had been carefully kept from us throughout the trial; the man we'd just convicted had a long history of abusing women. He'd already been convicted of several assaults and one rape. An involuntary manslaughter charge would have been little more than a slap on the wrist. He'd have been out in no time, free to rape and murder yet another woman.My husband and I were discussing this one day; that case specifically
and the justice system in general. That's when the character Michael Sykora was born. In many ways, Sykora is my husband's alter ego. (But, to be clear, my husband does not moonlight as a hit man!)
As for the specific plot, that developed from a combination of the characters' voices and the conversation with my husband. I don't write from an outline. I start with a character and a vague idea. Then I listen and follow where that leads me. About midway through writing No Justice, I realized that I had way too many plots and subplots going on. At that point, I knew that Michael Sykora needed to be a series. He wasn't happy with one book. I stripped down that initial manuscript and told the story of where I thought the series needed to begin. That became No Justice, because Michael Sykora doesn't believe in true justice.
Here's What I Think:
Let me just tell you that I stayed up till 1am to finish the last bit of this book! It is wonderfully written and I cannot wait to start the next in the series - Beyond Salvation. Michael is your average guy, not too ordinary but not exactly exceptional. But then you discover that he is a real-life hero and protector of the innocents. The flow of the writing weaves you through the disgusting underbelly of life while keeping you in suspense. You find yourself totally routing for the hit man - Michael - which seems like a strange thing, but he has all the right motivations. There is a bit of language but it is all contextually accurate. Also there are several typographical errors, but it is to be expected from a self-published book. I really really enjoyed the characters and story line of this book.
  
WIN IT! Darcia Helle has agreed to give one very lucky winner their own copy of No Justice!

Here's How It Works:
A Few Rules:



You must be a US Resident. And You must provide a Street Address upon notification of winning (NO PO BOXES)

 Mandatory Entry: (you must do this one first or I will be forced to remove all of your entries)

Become a Follower of BMWL2R In some form - GFC, Twitter, or Facebook.
Please include your email address in your comment. (feel free to use the antiSPAM version - yourname[at]yourserver[dot]com)
Get More Entries: (LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY)

  • Become a GFC Follower (if you already are one, just tell me so)
  • Tweet about this Giveaway (include @1outnumberedmom) please include your status link
  • Follow me on Twitter @1outnumberedmom
  • Become a Facebook Fan of BMWL2R (see sidebar) and leave a comment on the wall telling me you want to win!
  • Friend Darcia Helle on Facebook
  • Follow Darcia Helle on Twitter
  • Grab my button (see sidebar) and put it on your blog (include a link to your blog in your comment) (3 entries)
  • Add a post to your own blog about this giveaway (include a link to your post in your comment)(5 entries)
All entries must be in by October 15th at 9:00AM PST. I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator.!

I wish you the best of luck!

Disclaimer: Although, I did receive a copy of this book for review, I received no direct compensation for the post.

If you are an author or publisher and would like for me to review your book please contact me directly: polsen11[at]comcast[dot]net


48 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting - please enter me - I am an old follower!
    bevsharp@desch.org

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the awesome review! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the book! Those typos make me crazy. It's so hard to proof your own work. (You'd never know I proofed it 5 times!) I do have an editor now (thankfully!). I plan to have this one edited, then release a revised edition.

    Also, thanks for running the contest! I'm looking forward to sending a copy out to the winner.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I follow you on facebook!

    disneykayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a GFC follower.

    disneykayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://twitter.com/Disney_Kayla/status/25352138968 Tweet.

    disneykayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I follow you on twitter.

    disneykayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow Darcia Helle on twitter.

    disneykayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like a great book! Can't wait to read it!

    I follow Darcia on Twitter

    readerrecommended@yahoo.com

    http://readerrecommended.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Coming over from Book Blogs and became a GFC follower:) Would love to have you check out my blog. I do book reviews, product reviews and giveaways as well. Thanks!

    http://giveawaygal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for hosting. Loved the review. I follow you on GFC.

    Lou

    ReplyDelete
  11. I grabbed your button for my review blog. Come check it out :)

    Lou

    http://readerrecommended.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm a follower! I was lucky enough to get a copy of Miami Snow through LibraryThing, and I loved it. I now want to read everything she writes!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello - I'm following you on GFC. Tried to do FB but kept getting an error message.

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    http://familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com
    http://givingnsharing.blogspot.com
    http://holidaygiftsandmore.blogspot.com
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm following YOU on Twitter - @familyliteracy

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Tweet: http://twitter.com/familyliteracy/status/25650425197

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Following Darcia on FB - Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I put your button on my blog roll:
    http://familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com/p/family-literacy-more.html

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm following Darcia on Twitter: @familyliteracy

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm following you on FB now - I had to go through my FB page. Don't know if that counts as an entry?

    Tina "The Book Lady"
    contact(dot)thebooklady@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a gfc follower.

    shaneemcfarland@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm a fb fan and I posted on your wall.

    shaneemcfarland@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow you on twitter. (mcfarland629)

    shaneemcfarland@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I tweeted this at: http://twitter.com/mcfarland629/status/25804319649

    shaneemcfarland@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Follower via GFC

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. GFC follower

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

    bloggyig at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Google follower!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Twitter follower, same name

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. i'm a follower via gfc

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. i Friended Darcia Helle on Facebook

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. i'm a fb fan and i left a comment on the wall!

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Already a follower :)

    littlebearries@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. i follow you on google friend connect
    Thanks!! :)
    Lisa
    gobblenews(at)gmail.com
    gobblenews.com-social news network

    ReplyDelete
  33. I follow on GFC
    snugles4433@hotmail.com
    shelby

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow on gfc as Becca sbcashortie at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I follow you on twitter as sbshortie

    ReplyDelete
  36. I friended Darcia Helle on fb as Becca Okaneko

    ReplyDelete
  37. I follow Darcia Helle on twitter as sbshortie

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have your button up on the right at http://beccascontestlist.blogspot.com (entry 1)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have your button up on the right at http://beccascontestlist.blogspot.com (entry 2)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have your button up on the right at http://beccascontestlist.blogspot.com (entry 3)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I follow with Google Friend Connect. garrettsambo@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I follow you on twitter.
    @1naynays
    mightynaynay(at)cs.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I follow on GFC
    Jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. follow you on twitter @macmomof3
    Jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. follow via GFC

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  46. I follow on GFC
    danvice[at]yahoo[dotcom]

    ReplyDelete
  47. I follow through gFC

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

I love love love love to hear what other people think - share your thoughts so we can start a dialogue!