A limited number of signed copies of the first book published in the Compass Crimes Series are being given away through a Goodreads Giveaway. Readers in Canada and the U.S. are eligible to win. If you love to read, Goodreads is the place to find great books, amazing giveaways, news of upcoming books, and others who love to read.
So far the acclaimed suspense series has three books. The fourth is underway, so you have time to catch up.
As always, new authors like me treasure reviews. Be part of the 5% of readers who take the time to give a book some stars and a sentence or two about what you thought of the book.
Like these readers…
“South of Justice is a multilayered, intricate, and suspenseful page-turner you’ll want to read in one sitting.”
–Diane Capri, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Hunt for Jack Reacher thrillers
“Bottom line is: South of Justice is a multilayered romantic book that will grasp your attention and lure you to read it in one sitting.”
“If you are someone who enjoys a fantastic plot and a crime tale that will make you wonder and keep you guessing until the end, trust me, you want to put this one on your TBR. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next book in this series.”
– Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite, a 5-star review
“South of Justice has an intricate plot with several twists and turns. Long-held secrets keep the reader turning pages all the way to the end. I really enjoyed reading South of Justice and recommend it for anyone who enjoys crime stories with a touch of romance.”
“South of Justice is fantastic and fun—a crisp and suspenseful story. Fisher makes a wonderful entrance as a crime fiction writer. I can’t wait for North of the Killing Hand!”
–Timothy D. Browne, M.D., author of the Nicklaus Hart medical thrillers
“A fabulous start to an intense series with a large cast of characters I couldn’t help but love and cheer for. Fisher is a master weaver of intrigue and strong characters willing to go the distance to get things done while keeping their love strong.”
–K.D. Fleming, author and Golden Heart Winner
“Tightly written, complex characters, intriguing plot—all the ingredients for a great read! This debut book is a winner, and I am looking forward to more books in the future.”
–Diane Burke, award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense
“I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and the twists and turns had me turning pages deep into the night.”
–Vicki W. Tharp, author of Don’t Look Back
“Past secrets test the bonds of family loyalty and a fledgling love affair. The unwavering strength of the protagonists, their commitment to the truth and to each other will have you cheering for South of Justice.”
If you haven’t read the prequel to the Compass Crimes, now is the time to grab a copy for $1.99 before it returns to $5.99.
If you have read it and enjoyed it, pass the word along on the sale! Show your reader friends the love.
And if you’ve read and reviewed it on social media–God Bless You! It is challenging for books by new authors to get discovered by readers with so many books being published each year.
If you read it and enjoyed it and didn’t leave a review, would you pretty please take a minute to review it wherever you bought your copy? It would mean more to me than I can express. Reviews help me get better rates on advertising and help new readers find my books.
To read the first chapter and to buy a copy, click here.
“A gifted story-teller, Joni Fisher writes with energy and passion that comes to life in her characters. North of the Killing Hand is an intricate and suspenseful read that grips the reader from start to finish.”
–John Foxjohn, International, USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author
“Reading North of the Killing Hand means you are in for some suspenseful and gripping storytelling.”
“The international setting is equally fascinating, and readers will enjoy the way the author establishes the contrast between two worlds, building a powerful conflict around it as the protagonist adjusts and evolves. The themes are well explored, including crime, love and devotion, the sense of justice and revenge. North of the Killing Hand is a beautifully paced, absorbing story that keeps readers’ eyes on its pages.”
Goodreads.com is Facebook for readers. If you love to read, this is the place to learn about all the upcoming books in your favorite genres. In fact, many authors giveaway books to Goodreads readers to build readership and gain reviews–that word-of-mouth buzz that can help books by new authors (like me) get discovered. Even the established best-selling authors giveaway books on Goodreads. I won an advance reader copy (ARC) of one of Jody Picoult’s books once. *Fan squeal*
Soooo, I’m hosting a giveaway of ten signed paperback copies of West of Famous to readers in the U.S. and Canada. To win one, simply enter the drawing in September and Goodreads will select ten winners. The winners will receive their books in early October.
To my readers in the U.S.–thank you! To my readers in Canada–Thanks, eh?
To my readers in Japan:
Doumo arigatou gozaimasu! If you are a fan of my Compass Crimes books and you live in Japan, add your name to my newsletter so I can let you know when there will be giveaways of digital copies for you. At this time it is a logistical and cost issue to run a giveaway of paperbacks from the U.S. to Japan.
Why would you want this book?
West of Famous is a finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards in the suspense category. The winners in all categories will be announced in October.
The action and mounting tension in West of Famous doesn’t stop till the end. This is a book you won’t want to set aside for later. Coupled with a touching rendering of family love and values, along a belief in God, West of Famous will appeal to all who believe in the ultimate goodness of human beings. Don’t hesitate to read this one.
Fisher also packs the pages with a supporting cast of FBI agents, investigators, Florida retirees, and eco-tourists that add intrigue and subplots which propel the story forward. The author expertly develops fringe characters to add another layer of relationships and unpredictability to this riveting crime story. With an emphasis on following the evidence and clues to find the kidnappers, crime fiction fans will appreciate the details of the investigation. Fisher’s ability to anchor the story with a strong sense of place makes this a memorable story with a unique Floridian flair.”
So, enter today on Goodreads.com and if you win a signed copy, please post a one or two-sentence review on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, and whatever other social media you use to connect to your world. As the author of one of 800,000 books published in 2019, I greatly appreciate your spreading the word.
Kimberly Russo is the Director of America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association.
Meet Kim Russo. She’s the Director of America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association (AGCLA). I called her out of the blue over two years ago to ask questions about the AGCLA, or Loopers. The questions could not be answered by browsing their website. I needed to know more about the spirit, the camaraderie, and the collective nature of the Loopers. I knew one couple. Were they the norm? Who are these people who live on boats?
You see, I hit a snag in the plot of my third novel.
As a plotter, I had planned out certain events in the story to happen a certain way. Inspired by movies like The Guardian (2006) and Finest Hours (2016), I wanted to feature the Coast Guard in my book. In my mind, the nearest Coast Guard station in the story was supposed to be involved in the search for a kidnap victim. I had planned for them to gear up, arm themselves, and launch a search mission.
Then I visited the actual station mentioned in the story.
It was an Auxiliary Coast Guard station manned by retirees who taught boating safety classes and did boat inspections. They weren’t allowed to carry weapons.
Egad. I needed boaters willing to risk their own safety to help FBI agents find someone being held hostage on a boat in the 10,000 Islands of South Florida.
On 9/11, an untold number of men and women launched boats toward Manhattan to rescue strangers. This unplanned flotilla sprang up because boaters saw a need and were willing to risk themselves to save others. A poignant video tells about this. “Boatlift, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience” is narrated by Tom Hanks.
I needed to know the group character of the Loopers. As the Director of a huge boating group, Kim would know the character of her group. She told me about their website and newsletter and the Great Loop Radio Podcasts. She told me about Harbor Hosts and the kinds of activities that happen when Loopers find one another in the same harbor. The Loopers can track one another through their own mobile app “America’s Great Loop Cruisers.”
The popular image of people who live on houseboats comes from TV shows like “Miami Vice,” and movies like African Queen. In books, John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series features a womanizing private investigator who lives on a houseboat. Other Florida authors have written crime stories set on boats, such as Carl Hiaasen’s Skin Tight and James W. Hall’s Off the Chart. Charles Martin’s 2013 novel, Unwritten, features a loner who lives on a houseboat. In all these stories, houseboat dwellers come off as loners, con men, pirates, outcasts, and people who live on the fringes of society.
Kim said, “The typical Looper is nothing like the impression you might get of those who choose to live aboard a boat from movies, TV, or a lot of novels. AGLCA members tend to be very social and lifelong friendships often form among them because they all share a common interest…The Great Loop. And because cruising the Loop is seasonal (you want to be on the Great Lakes in the summer when it’s warm and Florida in the winter when the northern part of the route is frozen), there are several boats cruising in the same direction at roughly the same pace, so you tend to run into the same people repeatedly, making it even more likely that you socialize with others along the way.”
I asked about the demographics of the AGCLA membership.
Kim said, “My guess would be that 90% or more of the boats out there cruising the Loop are retired couples. But we are seeing more and more Loopers who don’t fit that ‘typical’ demographic. Over the past few years we’ve had about ten different families cruising the Loop, and technology is making it easier for folks to do the Loop while still working. It’s also become more common for people to single-hand all or parts of the Loop if they don’t have a friend or family member willing to serve as their crew for all 6,000 miles of the route.”
Do they come from military or civilian backgrounds?
Kim said, “I would say that we have a higher percentage of military members than other groups our size. We also seem to have a higher percentage of people from technical occupations, like pilots and engineers. However, we have school teachers, nurses, firefighters, politicians, yoga instructors, you name it. The Loop has been called ‘the great equalizer’ because once you’re out there cruising, it doesn’t matter what you did before, how old you are, or how big your boat is. Everyone has the same challenges and triumphs.”
I met Kim Russo in Stuart Florida.
I sent Kim an eBook version of West of Famous for her opinion. She read it and I got to catch up with her in Stuart, Florida on March 5th when she was on her way to Trawler Fest. I asked what she thought of how the Looper community was depicted in the book.
Kim said, “I would say that the Loopers depicted in West of Famous were very true-to-life. Besides being friendly, most Loopers are super helpful and are generally willing to assist others they meet along the way. It’s a pretty close-knit community so they look out for each other and lend a helping hand whenever they can.”
Paul and Caryn Frink hosted me during my research. They earned their gold burgee after finishing their first loop in 2018. Kim will get to meet them at the The AGCLA Spring Rendezvous in Norfolk Virginia from May 5 to 9.
“I have not met Paul and Caryn Frink,” Kim said, “but I’m really excited because they volunteered to speak at our upcoming Spring Rendezvous, so they’ll be sharing their knowledge of the inland rivers with our attendees. They’re covering the details of the route from Chicago to the Tennessee River, including things to see, places to go, hazards to navigation, and more.”
“We have two Rendezvous each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Each are about four days long and include two seminar tracks: the route sessions (like the one Paul & Karen are presenting) and a Looping 101 track that covers topics like weather, marine electronics, handling emergencies aboard and provisioning. In the afternoons, the action moves out to the docks where there are typically 50 to 60 Loopers boats tied up. Many of the owners will allow other attendees to board their boats, which gives those so are still planning for the Great Loop some wonderful ideas on the type of boat they might like to purchase, and to ask questions of the owners. It’s also a very social time with many enjoying ‘docktails’ as they tour the boats in the marina. Meals are also included, so the event offers a lot of time to socialize as well as a large amount of educational content.
Kim said more about the Looper community.
“They are honestly the most kind and fun group I’ve people I’ve ever had the privilege to spend time with,” Kim said. “I find them to be a ‘self-selecting group of really nice people.’ I say that, because the Great Loop is not for everyone. Someone who is very high-strung or ‘type A’ may not enjoy it as much as those who are laid-back and easy going. It doesn’t take long on a boat to realize that mother nature will determine when you travel and when you don’t, and you have no control over mechanical issues that might arise, for example. So those who are intent on keeping a schedule or maintaining control of every aspect of their life may quickly weed themselves out. So overall, the AGLCA community is group of really fun-loving people who are out there enjoying the adventure of a lifetime!”
If you go, look for SEEKER, a lovely Nordic Tug, docked at the Waterside Marina. She’s the boat in West of Famous and her owners are Paul and Caryn Frink.
The good folks at The Reading Frenzy interviewed me and are handling a giveaway of a set of my books in paperback!
These are all the books in the Compass Crimes series so far. I’m working on the fourth, the East book which is set in along the Appalachian Trail. For those of you who asked for Nefi to rise into a lead role once again, rejoice.
If any of you have hiked the Appalachian Trail, please contact me. I’d love to learn about your experience for research.