Good 3 Star Review from Book Blogger Never Hollowed by the Stare

The Illuminati Circle has a Hollywood feel to it, like something directed by Ron Howard. We get fast-paced action, gorgeous French scenery, beautiful women and gun-fights. We can cast Clive Owen as SSA Bing Ingram, Brie Larson as Trish and Amber Heard as Haseena.

The Illuminati, unlike the occult Illuminati we typically know of, are a group of criminals with an MBA-like criminal network specializing in child trafficking. What I know of child trafficking is that they usually get their victims from poorer countries like Cambodia or the Philippines. It’s an eye-opener that they also abduct children from developed countries. The Illuminati caters to extremely rich clients by providing them what they specifically requested via the dark web. This is a very sickening crime and the book did a good job showing the extent of these criminal activities and the experiences of the children without getting too explicit or too graphic.

Plot-wise, you can’t go wrong with a really interesting one like this and it was a breeze to read as well. However, I wasn’t feeling the characters. There is a good attempt to give them their quirks, personalities and sexual tension but they still come across as flat. LeFrenniere, who was an amoral, professional criminal (and played by Vincent Cassel), came the closest to being the most interesting but he didn’t quite get there. I would have wanted him to be more nuanced or at least be intimidating. Meh, he caved in too easily to Bing’s bluff. The female characters were the type you would call ‘strong’. They know how to fight and take charge but again, I wish there were some backstories. It would also give the book an extra layer and make the most of the omniscient POV if the relationship between Haseena and Enrika Venclava (played by Eva Green) was fully fleshed out. It would make Enrika’s motives in the next book much more convincing.

All in all, I want to witness CARD destroy the Illuminati and rescue the children but hopefully we get that much needed depth to the characters.

Big Day Selling at United Farmers Market in Belfast

Had a very successful day selling my two suspense thrillers at the United Farmers Market in Belfast this Saturday, October 6. Sold out. Thanks to Ivy and Michaela who proved a delight selling botanicals in the adjacent booth. Look forward to returning later this fall. Need late Christmas presents visit me Saturday, December 1, at the Maine Authors booth, United Farmers Market.

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The Illuminati Circle Now Available

The Illuminati Circle – the second book in my Illuminati Cycle – has just been published in paperback. Took a year but it is finally here. Just received a shipment of 20. If you enjoyed The Illuminati Protocol, you should love this sequel, a Rick Steves tour of the United Arab Emirates, France and Poland, featuring wonderful scenery, beautiful countryside, historical sites and the occasional dead body or two. Just sit back and enjoy the cross-continental travel excursion while following a trail of corpses, all the work of a cold, calculating, and beautiful assassin and her killer mate.  Here’s a synopsis:

The Illuminati Circle – the second book in my Illuminati Cycle – has just been published in paperback. Took a year but it is finally here. Just received a shipment of 20. If you enjoyed The Illuminati Protocol, you should love this sequel, a Rick Steves tour of the United Arab Emirates, France and Poland, featuring wonderful scenery, beautiful countryside, historical sites and the occasional dead body or two. Just sit back and enjoy the cross-continental travel excursion while following a trail of corpses, all the work of a cold, calculating, and beautiful assassin and her killer mate.  Here’s a synopsis:

The Illuminati Circle – the second book in my Illuminati Cycle – has just been published in paperback. Took a year but it is finally here. Just received a shipment of 20. If you enjoyed The Illuminati Protocol, you should love this sequel, a Rick Steves tour of the United Arab Emirates, France and Poland, featuring wonderful scenery, beautiful countryside, historical sites and the occasional dead body or two. Just sit back and enjoy the cross-continental travel excursion while following a trail of corpses, all the work of a cold, calculating, and beautiful assassin and her killer mate.  Here’s a synopsis:

On their trail are SSA Bing Ingram and his FBI CARD team assigned to an Interpol task force charged with destroying the network uncovered in the United States. The sicarii and the task force find themselves in a cross-continental race to locate the one man who could cause the ultimate destruction of the network – a high-ranking member of the Illuminati Circle. With the lives of countless children hanging in the balance, the task force must find the cunning Circle member before the sicarii do. The race from Abu Dhabi to Torun is as thrilling as the Grand Prix … but far more deadly.Two sicarii, the Illuminati’s deadly assassins, make their way from the Arab Emirates to the French Alps leaving a trail of bodies as they search for one of their own. They are cleaning up loose ends caused by the FBI’s disruption of the Illuminati’s child sex trafficking network. 

Here’s what one reviewer said about The Illuminati Circle:

“ ‘Illuminati Circle’ was one of the most original, suspenseful, and just flat-out interesting thriller/ mystery novels I’ve read lately. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was stellar…. The chapters are short and brisk, so you keep wanting to read ‘just one more’… and another and another … It definitely shocked me several times and isn’t predictable – especially at the end!” (5 stars). Gillian Hancock—Indie Book Reviewers

You can either order a copy from me direct at rjristino@gmail.com or from Amazon.com. The price of the book is $17.95 USD. You can send payment to me at 45 East Trout Lane, Swanville, ME 04915. Please include postage which for snail mail is $3.50. Also, it will soon be found at local Maine bookstores and as an ebook. If you buy it from me I’ll autograph the book. If you buy it from another source, and you’d like me to autograph your copy, just send it to me. I’ll be happy to inscribe it and send it back to you. Please include postage.

Literacy Volunteering at Memorial Elementary School, Brooks, ME

I recently finished my first full year volunteering at the Memorial Elementary School in Brooks, ME. Once a week I read to the third and fourth grade classes. I also continued a writing project with the fourth graders. With the students help, I’ve been writing a sci-fi novella with dogs as the heroes and featuring Brooks as a location. I began it last year with the third graders, continued it this year with them in the fourth grade. We’ll conclude the project and the book next fall as they enter the fifth grade. The kids are a joy to work with. 
As I tell all the teachers at Brooks, the children give me far more than I give them. Typical of their goodbye comments: “I had fun writing the book with you”; “Thanks for writing with us. Have a nice summer and beware of the aliens”; and “Have a great summer! Both you and your dog.”
We will … and thanks to all the children for making my year. If you want to make a difference, especially in your own life, I strongly recommend volunteering wherever and whenever you can. 

 

The Illuminati Circle scheduled for publication in early 2017

The publication of my second suspense thriller featuring Bing Ingram has been rescheduled until early 2017. The Illuminati Circle begins where The Illuminati Protocol ended with Bing’s FBI CARD team assigned to Interpol to assist in the destruction of the Illuminati child sex trafficking ring. Here’s the promo for The Illuminati Circle:

 

Two sicarii, the Illuminati’s deadly assassins, make their way from the Arab Emirates to the French Alps leaving a trail of dead bodies as they search for one of their own. They are cleaning up loose ends caused by the FBI’s disruption of the Illuminati’s child sex trafficking network. On their trail are SSA Bing Ingram and his FBI CARD team assigned to an Interpol task force charged with destroying the network uncovered in the United States. The sicarii and the task force find themselves in a cross-continental race to locate the one man who could cause the ultimate destruction of the network – a high-ranking member of the Illuminati Circle. With the lives of countless children hanging in the balance, the task force must find the cunning Circle member before the sicarii do. The race from Abu Dhabi to Torun is as thrilling as the Grand Prix … but far more deadly.

 

The book is being published by Maine Authors Publishing and will be available through Amazon.com, Maine bookstores and maineauthjorspublishing.com.

On Volunteering

 

I’m a literacy volunteer in Midcoast Maine. It has been a very rewarding experience working with great people helping others to learn or improve their reading skills. I also volunteer at the Morse Memorial grammar school in Brooks, ME. One week I read to third graders and on the other I work with the children in the fourth grade writing a sci fi novel with a locale in Brooks. Great fun! Whatever your passion I strongly recommend that you consider volunteering. It’s an ideal way to pay forward by sharing your skills, knowledge and passions with others. Volunteer! 

Named Among World's Top 30 Organizational Culture Professionals

I have been named to the World’s Top 30 Organizational Culture Professionals for 2016. The list is published by the Global Gurus research organization that chooses remarkable leaders who make an impact and who were voted to the list by a panel of judges. Judges are leaders in organizations or credentialed academics in leadership studies. Those chosen for the list are professionals who support knowledge and personal/organizational development in their fields through speaking, training, books and media. For more go to: http://globalgurus.org/organizationalculture/organizationalculture30.php