To keep all my activities on an even keel, I write my email VIP subscriber messages well before each release date. This one will appear in mailboxes at the end of April and follows about eight hours of organizing documents, receipts, and other income or expense-related details to begin filing my income tax for the past year.
On days like this, I’m tempted to question how beneficial it really is to have a diversified investment portfolio in multiple currencies, leading to dozens of reports and summaries provided by investment services to satisfy a government’s demand for minutiae, then money.
But the annoyance will soon pass. I know I’ll be able to pick up a good book and escape to an alternate reality in just a few hours! Of course, it’s a therapy I heartily recommend. Yesterday I did a count of books read this year as I record them on my Goodreads page, and was pleased to see the total year to date is 12 books—almost one book a week when I write this message.
I read all genres and mix non-fiction with mysteries and novels of all types. I’m also a member of a writers’ community, so I like to include books by fellow members to support their efforts. Sometimes this tugs me into urban fantasy, poetry, memoirs, and other interesting reads outside my typical zones of comfort and interest. I find every book is an escape from the real world of tax return preparation and other essential but unexciting demands we all face.
What book are you reading? I’d love to know. Please leave me a note in the comments section here. Then make a good escape!
Reviewed by Norm Goldman of
Gary D. McGugan has set his riveting thriller, A Web of Deceit,in the early days of COVID-19.
As the narrative evolves, one of the protagonists, Suzanne Simpson, CEO of Multima Corporation, a multi-national company, is apprehended by the FBI and charged with money laundering.
The charges are thereafter mysteriously abandoned. And as we slowly discover, someone in or around the White House had been influential in her arrest.
This is not the sole issue that Suzanne and Multima will encounter. Multima becomes the victim of fraudulent supplier invoices, culminating in substantial monetary losses.
Europe’s central bank withholds approval from Multima from doing business in Europe, reasoning that these billings were designed to unjustifiably launder the firm’s money offshore. The company further runs into complications with the Toronto Stock Exchange. It is pursuing a listing that would establish it the third-largest traded company in Canada.
And if that is not abundant to worry about, a couple of employees of the company meet disastrous endings costing them their lives.
While this part of the yarn develops, McGugan’s second protagonist, Fidelia Morales, seizes control of a villainous criminal entity known as The Organization after brutally slaying its chief honcho, Giancarlo Moreno.
Witnessing the murder is a criminal, Howard Knight, who had been snatched in Austria by Moreno’s goons. They whipped him to a pulp and transported him back to Moreno’s estate in Martinique, where the homicide unfolded.
Howard was on the run from The Organization after turning into an informant against them. He also looted a sizable sum of money from them. Moreover, he is the target of an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.
After murdering Moreno, Fidelia asks Howard to join her in The Organization, but he rejects the offer and takes his chances. He chooses to live free of The Organization.
With the onset of the coronavirus spreading, Howard frustrates his pursuers and heads directly towards Cambodia, a country the developing virus had already infected.
Even though she does not trust Howard, Fidelia doesn’t press the issue and informs him he is free at last of The Organization. In the back of her mind, she aims to employ his services in the future, which, as we learn, develops into part of a convoluted plot.
After reinforcing her grip on The Organization, Fidelia recognizes that diverse criminal activities than the traditional kinds must be pursued to flourish during the pandemic.
This would encompass cyber technology. She sees an opportunity to siphon off billions of dollars from companies’ weak surveillance structures. Her new revenues base would involve banks, governments, and corporations such as Multima. To achieve her objective, she brings together a brilliant squad of technological experts.
After meticulous planning, Fidelia is in for quite a jolt when her project is in peril when she discovers that someone is stealing money from The Organization. It is a “no-no” when you have gangsters embezzling other gangsters!
You can well imagine what kind of retribution is exacted if the offenders are captured.
During the tale, McGugan fills his readers in on the broad and diverging landscapes of the lives of the two protagonists, and how their paths cross.
The above is the periphery of the narrative and is merely an inkling of the plot twists and dizzying journey. Believe me, there is plenty here to chomp on.
Once again, McGugan has crafted a bold, intriguing, and ultimately terrifying cerebral convoluted plot. And with an unfaltering hand, he effectively steers his readers to an unforeseen grand finale. He pulls out all the stops, repeatedly blindsiding his readers with shifts in the narrative and surprising turns of events.
Readers will become enmeshed in this carefully calibrated spine-chiller. And to keep score as to who's who in the novel, there is a list of the principal characters in Multima Corporation, Law Enforcement and The Organization on the first page
You may know I labor longer over the titles of my stories than almost any other individual component. I think about appellations for months, seek feedback from readers, and mull over dozens of possibilities before I settle on one.
As we start a new year together, I’m delighted to announce the title of novel # 6 is A Slippery Shadow.
I’ll drop references to #6 now, and tell you about the exciting new book using its official title. A Slippery Shadow will feature an added element of mystery. Here’s what I say about the novel on its back cover.
Snatched from her private jet, crime-boss Fidelia Morales barely escapes with her life. Now she wants revenge. But her criminal element is thrown into chaos as dozens of key operatives suddenly disappear.
The Shadow lurks in the background, but might other culprits be responsible?
Fidelia’s former lover—and accomplice in her latest heist—walks free from the same plane. Then Howard Knight flees in a desperate quest to escape The Organization. He too is hounded by unexpected events.
Both become entangled with massive Multima Corporation led by Suzanne Simpson. Amid a global pandemic, this powerful business executive scrambles to fill crucial executive roles while dealing with bizarre threats and mysterious interference on three continents. All seem connected and threaten her empire.
With breath-taking reach and bewildering influence, is it possible an unseen and elusive power can pull strings manipulating companies, criminal organizations and governments?
Do the title and blurb encourage you to read my story? Please let me know. Make a comment here!
A medium-sized city about halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Hue is a charming spot. I had the opportunity to visit there in January 2020—just before the coronavirus evolved into a pandemic.
Some people were already wearing masks as several Asian cultures tend to use face masks at the first hint of becoming unwell. It’s a common practice to avoid spreading any nasty malady to others and a habit we North Americans would be wise to emulate. Our visit to the city was a true pleasure with no adverse events.
In novel # 6, we can’t say the same for one of our principal characters. Despite Hue’s real-life beauty and relative calm, I’ll create a little havoc and danger for one of the protagonists. I won’t tell you which one yet (you’ll need to read the book to find out), but you will get a glimpse of why I found the city so intriguing.
A reminder: Novel # 6 carries on from where A Web of Deceit left off. So, if you’ve put off reading my latest novel, I encourage you to read it soon. # 6 will be released in early 2022!
Over the past two years, family occasions, parties, and celebrations have evaporated. With COVID-19 now well into a fourth wave, there’s tremendous pent-up demand for social interaction among the fully vaccinated. Economists tell us that means we’ll all be giving and receiving more gifts in the coming months.
As an author who still can’t do promotions inside stores, I’ve been exploring alternatives to boost my readership. And I’d like you to help me take part in the expected increase in gift-giving by considering my books as gifts for a spouse, parent, neighbor, friend, or other folks you gift like teachers, hairstylists, or your local mail delivery person.
Each of my stories sells individually at $19.95 Canadian. That’s about 15.00 USD. Individual novels are available anywhere you order your books. Plus, Escapades Abound is a trilogy gift set that sells for $49.95 (about 33 USD) and includes Three Weeks Less a Day, The Multima Scheme, and Unrelenting Peril.
To that mix, we’ve just added the Gary D. McGugan Collection. This is an exciting new gift set that includes all 5 novels at the special price of $79.95 (or about 53 USD)! This collection will have very limited production and distribution, making it an ideal special-occasion gift. Selected Indigo and Chapters bookstores feature the Gary D. McGugan Collection in Canada, but you can also order for shipment anywhere in the world from my website.
An added benefit: Orders from my website will include personalized signatures on each book, and I’ll pay all shipping costs. For your autumn and holiday season gift-giving, please consider a Gary D. McGugan book.
Last week, I shared exciting news with VIP readers that initial copies of my latest suspense thriller --A Web of Deceit—arrived at my office. It gave me an opportunity to sign and ship the very first copies to folks who subscribe. Thanks for all your book orders! It was wonderful to personalize so many copies and felt almost like I was at a live signing event again!
All initial VIP copies have been shipped and I hope each of you will find time to start my story soon. I suggest you start reading on a weekend though, because I think you’ll have trouble putting down A Web of Deceit once you start!
As you see videos, posts, reviews, interviews, and other snippets of information on social media in the coming days, I’ll be grateful if you can share them with your friends and family. In this pandemic world, your shares mean the world—helping me to let people know about a story I think many will enjoy.
A Web of Deceit is now available from 37,000 resellers wherever you buy books around the world. If you order from your favorite retailer’s website, you should receive a copy within a few days. If you’re buying in a store, you might need to ask the retailer to order it for you as many locations don’t stock lesser-known writers. If you’re downloading to an eBook, every format is ready to go!
Of course, if you’d still like a signed copy, I have books available and ship free anywhere, if you order below. Heartfelt thanks to each of you for your support and efforts to help me “spread the word” about A Web of Deceit!
All my books are listed on GoodReads and your friends can see ratings and reviews readers have shared for each of them. But it gets even better for the next few days. GoodReads is giving away 100 free Kindle copies of Three Weeks Less a Day!
Share this message with your friends so they can enter the contest to win 1 of the 100 copies available. (They might also like to subscribe to my VIP Readers list to get their own inside scoop about all my stories. They can do that here.)
Be a good friend and share this message with as many as possible!
Readers will remember Suzanne Simpson from Three Weeks Less a Day, The Multima Scheme, and Unrelenting Peril. In each of those stories, she is the consummate business executive, climbing the ladder of corporate success.
Reviewers like her strong character—regardless the challenge or circumstance she faces. Whether coping with personal tragedy or a business win, Suzanne consistently demonstrates the best qualities of controlled, sure-footed business leaders.
In Novel # 5, Suzanne continues in her role at the pinnacle of power in Multima Corporation, but almost immediately finds herself in totally unfamiliar and uncharted territory. We’ll get a glimpse of another aspect of her character and beta readers tell me they find Suzanne more intriguing and complex in the new story.
Suzanne has evolved over time and in different environments. Readers will best track her growth and development by reading the trilogy about the goings-on at the top of Multima Corporation. You’ll learn much about her surprising rise to power in Three Weeks Less a Day and The Multima Scheme. But it is in Unrelenting Peril where she clearly stakes out her position of authority and fearlessly defends her corporation from nefarious criminal elements.
In Novel # 5, expect to learn more about what drives Suzanne to become one of the most successful people in the American business world. Before that, you still have a few weeks to get to know her better in the earlier stories!
This blog article was first distributed to my VIP List of readers. To get your info earlier, subscribe today in the block just to the right!
I first became intrigued with the Mekong Delta during a war between Vietnam and the Americans that ended in the early nineteen-seventies. Unsurprisingly, while North Americans think of the nineteen-year conflict as the Vietnamese War, people there call it the American War. And it was one of the first examples of how a small, impoverished country might defend itself against a much richer country with almost unlimited military might.
A massive network of underground tunnels helped the Vietnamese launch surprise attacks on the Americans, then often disappear quickly below ground before the Americans could retaliate. Tourists today can visit those tunnels and marvel at the ways Vietnamese soldiers constructed and lived in a world below.
In my new story, Howard Knight visits the Mekong Delta. I’ll tell you now. He doesn’t visit the tunnels, but he uses another useful bit of information. This region of Vietnam used to be part of the Khmer Empire based in what is now Cambodia. While most of the residents of the area today are ethnic Vietnamese, the largest population of Khmer people outside Cambodia live in the fascinating river delta.
After I learned that tidbit of information, my imagination ran a little wild as I wrote the story, and I think you’ll enjoy reading about Howard’s fleeting experiences there. He’s a fugitive. So he didn’t have much time to see sights. But I think you’ll get to know his ever-flawed character better.
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Dictionaries might define the word ‘rendezvous’ as a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place (and that is often secret); or a place where people agree to meet at a particular time; or perhaps a place where many people go to spend time. Here, Rendezvous is a place where we can share information and get to know each other better.
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