Book Review Tuesday – The Treasure #BRT


In author Julien Ayotte’s latest novel, The Treasure, newspaper columnist Sebastian Reynolds finds himself at the center of a real-life treasure hunt after he’s contacted by a retired Army officer, Jerry Woodrow, who unexpectedly received two boxes of items from an old friend. The boxes contain papers, maps, and very old coins, leading Woodrow and Reynolds on an exciting quest to find what could be a centuries-old treasure.

Ayotte is very adept at writing thrillers, and he has done what is surely a tremendous amount of research into settings (Turks and Caicos, the Pitcairn islands, Florida, Virginia, Nova Scotia) and history of pirated ships. He develops realistic characters and the plotline is believable, which brings the reader along on the journey to avenge a murder and (hopefully) find the treasure.

Along the way, our intrepid hero Reynolds falls in love, but this is not a romance – the romantic element is a nice subplot to round out the characters. There are a few moments when the pacing is slow – perhaps it was done on purpose by the author to give the reader time to catch up, but the story never fails to engage. And there is an almost-not-realistic age difference between two of the characters that needs to be there to fit the narrative – don’t dwell on it and keep reading, it’s worth it.

I do believe this novel would have benefited from a professional edit. Not a copyedit – the spelling is perfect throughout. The use of dialogue tags is a tricky issue for writers. For the most part, “said” and “asked” are sufficient. And there are a few instances where the dialogue is stilted. But these are very minor issues when the entirety of the book is considered. It’s a read that is well worth your time.

You can pick up a copy of The Treasure in print or digital form from Amazon (https://tinyurl.com/2p9yxauk).

Note: I’ve got a couple of projects coming up in March and April, so book reviews will be more sporadic (meaning when I get the time to read!).

RI Authors Showcase – Meet Julien Ayotte


Welcome to the Rhode Island Authors Showcase! Each day in November, this blog will feature a different Rhode Island author. Read the post and leave a comment and you are eligible to win this day’s giveaway!

Leave a comment every day this month for over 30 chances to win either our Grand Prize (a $250 Amazon gift card), our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card), or a Cheer-Up Prize (amount to be determined), just in time for holiday shopping!

A winner will be randomly selected one week after the publication of the blog post, and the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize winners will be randomly selected on December 7, 2021. For the daily giveaways, the author will contact you directly to coordinate delivery. Print books for delivery within the US only, please.

Julien Ayotte

Perennial favorite and, in his own words, “one of the oldest members of ARIA,” Julien Ayotte has been there almost from the beginning of ARIA back in 2012.  He is the author of seven novels and is currently working on number eight.  His novels have amassed twelve national book awards, and Jon Land, the USA Today best-selling author, says that Julien’s mystery thrillers are comparable to Harlan Coben and David Baldacci.  Paul Caranci, another Rhode Island author and historian, has called Julien the best mystery-thriller writer in Rhode island.  Julien has been a featured speaker at numerous venues in New York and New England on his best-selling and award winning historical fiction Code Name Lily.  His latest release, The Treasure, promises to be as engaging as all his others.

In The Treasure, Sebastian Reynolds, a noted Canadian columnist, teams up with Colonel Jerome Woodrow, a retired Vietnam veteran with a heart of gold, to find the killer of his old military comrade on a Caribbean island.  Together, they unearth a treasure from the past.  From the Nova Scotia peninsula, to a South Sea island, to a villa on Turks and Caicos, and to the rolling hills of Virginia, the quest for pirated riches from long ago leads to murder, intrigue, and an unexpected romance along the way.

Julien will be giving away a signed copy of this book to a lucky winner.  Interested in taking a peek at his other award-winners, go to www.julienayotte.com for more.  You won’t be disappointed. 

Join us on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the CROWNE PLAZA in Warwick for the 9th Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo!

Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Julien Ayotte


Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of the book.)

Code Name Lily Julien Ayotte

World War II certainly had its share of deserving heroes and heroines, many of whom have received their due recognition.  But how many civilian women can say they saved the lives of at least 250 downed airmen in just over two years?

Code Name Lily takes you on an unforgettable journey from Belgium, into France, and over the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain.  An extremely clever and persuasive young Belgian nurse outsmarts the Nazis time and again, risking her life if she is caught, but protecting every airman she successfully aids to evade the Germans.

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Code Name Lily is based on the true story of Micheline “Michou” Dumon-Ugeux, a legend in the Comet Line escape network from 1940-1944 who went only by the name of Lily.  You too will fall in love with Lily.  She may have stood only five feet tall, but she was a giant of a woman.

 

Julien Ayotte

Julien Ayotte is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Flower of Heaven and Dangerous Bloodlines.  Code Name Lily is his first historical fiction based on a true story.  His mother emigrated as a child to the United States from Belgium just after World War I, so the themes and places in this book hold special meaning for the author.

Julien’s other novels include A Life Before and  Disappearance, all Amazon best-sellers and award-winners with hundreds of 5-star reviews.  To learn more about Julien and his books, visit his website, www.julienayotte.com.

Julien is giving away a print copy of his new novel Code Name Lily. Just leave a comment on this post and a winner will be chosen at random next week.

Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the RI Author Expo!

It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Julien Ayotte


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I write because I breathe.  As long as I can hold a pen in hand, I will come up with a new idea for the next mystery thriller, and I will develop the characters and the plot to satisfy my readers.

I once was asked how it was that I did not yet have a literary agent and major publisher after three very successful novels, Flower of Heaven, the sequel Dangerous Bloodlines, and A Life Before.  One of my readers said in a review that I was still a closely-guarded secret about to be revealed.

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So, this past spring, armed with my fourth novel, Disappearance, a suspense thriller about troubles in the witness protection program, I was determined to try literary agents again. And guess what? After hundreds of queries, I still do not have an agent, but I was so very close on two occasions. Major publishers, I was finally told, won’t take you on unless your novel is at least 85,000 words and, preferably, 100,000 words or more. My books are more like 70,000 words. So, in essence, literary agents would have much more difficulty in shopping my books to major publishers because of their size, not the quality of the writing or the unbelievable plot to the story…the freaking size!

While my first three successful thrillers all have sold thousands of copies and carry great ratings and reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, all of these sales were due to my own marketing efforts. Imagine if I had been in the Ingram distribution network of over 40,000 bookstores. A traditional publisher will do this for your books, while my CreateSpace Amazon publisher will not unless, by some stroke of luck, your eBook version goes viral one day.

But, you know what. I will go on. I know my readers will thoroughly enjoy Disappearance, and I keep adding more readers with every novel. And you can bet that my next book will exceed 85,000 words, whatever story I come up with the next time around.

If anyone had told me in 2013 that I would write four novels in just over four years, I would have laughed out loud. But that’s exactly what happened. At the young age of 75, soon to be 76 (December 5th), my goal remains to write 10 books in the next 10 years.  And as long as people like Jon Land compare me to Harlan Coben and David Baldacci on the thriller scale, I am blessed beyond words.

I write about what people hardly think about…a young priest who finds out thirty-five years later he is the father of twin sons, the French mother, turned queen of a Mid-Eastern country, who is determined to find her sons, a young college student who is the reincarnation of a woman murdered twenty years earlier, and a very troubled U.S. marshal who jeopardizes the lives of witnesses in the government protection system.

What’s next?  I don’t have a clue, but then again, I didn’t have a clue for the first four thrillers either!

My name is Julien Ayotte, and I am an author.

Julien

Award-winning author Julien Ayotte co-authored his first book, Wealth Building for Professionals, in 2001, drawing from his years of experience as a corporate executive and business teacher at the high school and college graduate levels. In addition, he spent nearly fourteen years in legal administration at two law firms. The author holds a BA, MBA, and a PhD, all in business and finance. Flower of Heaven was his debut novel in 2012, followed by the sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, in 2014. His third novel, A Life Before, was released in March 2016. Ayotte lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Pauline. They have three children. Visit the author’s website here.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of his latest book, Disappearance, to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. Winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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Nov. 8 – Meet RI Author Julien Ayotte


Ayotte Julien

Following a successful career in the corporate and legal worlds as a financial executive, I retired in early 2002, expecting fully to enjoy myself traveling, and playing golf and tennis. Never did I expect to become an author of mystery and suspense thrillers.
When I was cleaning out some drawers in my office at home, I came across several chapters of a novel I had started to write in 1987. The first chapter was so old that the typewritten pages had turned yellow….aah, the good old days of the electric typewriter. My oldest daughter Barbara, an English major and graduate of Boston College, read the fifteen chapters in my manuscript and insisted I complete it. This happened in 2012, and out came Flower of Heaven, my debut novel.
Since its release, Flower of Heaven has won four national book awards, has gained over a hundred reviews on Amazon, has been cited by Kirkus Reviews as an intriguing global thriller, and has been an Amazon best-seller twice in the last year.
Thousands of readers told me they wanted a sequel. So, in 2014, I released Dangerous Bloodlines which picked up right where Flower of Heaven left off. In the short time since its release, Dangerous Bloodlines has attained a 4.9 rating out of 5.0 on Amazon, and has captured two national book awards. Bill Reynolds, a columnist from the Providence Journal, cited Dangerous Bloodlines as a thriller that is well worth your while.
In Flower of Heaven, a young French woman, Franҫoise Dupont, has an innocent affair with a young American on holiday in Paris, never aware that he was a priest. The affair ends as abruptly as it began, but not without its consequences. Franҫoise is pregnant and delivers twin sons. Virtually penniless and destitute, she gives the boys up for adoption and begins to pick up her life again. While working at the Louvre, she meets her Prince Charming, an Arab prince. They fall in love and marry, but Franҫoise is constantly tormented at having given up her sons years before. The aftermath of this bad decision is revealed in international thrills and intrigue.
In Dangerous Bloodlines, Franҫoise Dupont, now Queen Farah of an oil-rich Middle Eastern country, continues the search for her twin sons. Thirty-five years later, their lives now are at risk from ruthless enemies of her husband, the King. A page-turning journey from Paris to Stockholm, to the vineyards of Orvieto, Italy, and to a remote hospital in war-torn Ethiopia, Dangerous Bloodlines will keep you guessing.
Julien Ayotte has a B.S., M.B.A., and PhD, all in business and finance, and served for many years as an adjunct professor of finance and investments in five graduate school MBA programs. During his extensive career, he has written over fifty articles in major legal publications and co-authored a financial planning book in 2001 entitled Wealth Building for Professionals.
A Life Before, his upcoming third novel, is expected to be released in February, 2016. His goal is to continue to write a new novel every year or so for many more years. To read more about the author, visit his website here. Both of his books make excellent holiday gifts and he will be signing and selling them at the Association of Rhode Island Annual Author Expo at the Lincoln Mall on December 5th…….his seventy-fourth birthday.
Ayotte and his wife live in Cumberland. He is an Extraordinary Minister at St. Joseph’s Church in Woonsocket, the chair of its finance committee, and an altar server. He also is the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors at Community Care Alliance.

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