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Monday, February 27, 2017

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Cardiac by author Jeffrey Monaghan!

Author Guest Post

The 7 Things You Must Have in Place to Successfully Publish Your Own Novel

When I decided to write a novel, I didn’t put much thought into how I was going to publish it. I just assumed I would figure that part out once I got there. And I learned that there is some serious figuring out to do. 

Initially, I went with the traditional publishing approach. I sent out query letters to literary agents (and boy did I send out query letters), waited for responses (still waiting on some of them), and kept my fingers crossed. But the more I repeated this process, the more disillusioned with the traditional model I became. 

The traditional publishing process is VERY slow. If you can find an agent, it can still take years to get your novel published. You also lose complete ownership and control of your novel. That wasn’t appealing to me. Not to mention the financial side of things is extremely different when you compare traditional publishing to independent publishing. When you take these factors into account and also consider that in 2016, for the first time, independently published books outsold books published by the Big Five publishers, going it alone becomes more appealing. Make no mistake, you will need help along the way, but if you keep these 7 things in mind your chance at success is much greater.

A Good Novel

Nothing else matters unless you have a good novel. In the beginning, focus solely on writing the best novel that you can. Take as much time as you need and don’t worry about anything else. It’s better to have a great novel after five years than a mediocre novel after one. Without a good novel, your efforts to market and sell your book will be difficult if not impossible. And there is no going back once you publish your book and start soliciting reviews.

Content Editor

You will need to find someone who can read your novel and provide detailed feedback. A content editor will check your novel for contradictions, plot holes, factual errors, character issues, and opportunities to improve dialogue. A good content editor will read your novel multiple times and provide a page-by-page markup as well as a two to three page overview of the strengths and weaknesses of your novel. This will be the most expensive part of publishing your book should you choose to hire a professional. A top-notch content editor can cost up to $2500, although you can find them for less. Be sure to ask for references before investing in a content editor. I have heard stories of authors getting less than they expected from a content editor. 

Trusted Critics

You will need a small group of people who are willing to read what you have written and provide general feedback. These are often friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. Prepare them ahead of time and make it clear what you are looking for. Emphasize the need for honesty. Complements are great to hear, but they don’t make your novel better.

Copy Editor

You may have gone through your novel multiple times and think you’ve caught every punctuation and grammar error possible. But I am here to tell you, there are more. And once you find those. There are still more. One of the knocks on self-published authors is the large number of errors in their books. Don’t be one of the authors. Spend a few hundred dollars and hire a professional. This step comes near the end after the story itself is structurally sound and ready to publish.

Good Cover

While the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a nice thought, it’s far from an accurate description of how people actually respond to seeing a book for the first time. And for good reason. The time, effort, and thoughtfulness that goes into a book cover often reflects what a reader will find inside. Spend time looking at covers for books that are similar to yours and use them as inspiration. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Many of the top selling books hire experts to design their covers and they design them in a way that works. Follow their lead or hire an expert. You should be able to find someone to make you a cover for under $500.  


Soliciting advice from trusted resources is important. But that doesn’t mean their advice is always correct. Having the judgment to know when to take advice and when not to is a must. It’s your novel. You need to make the final decision as to what goes in it and what doesn’t


This 2-minute video says more about perseverance and the creative process than I ever could.

About The Author

Jeffrey Monaghan is a Silicon Valley executive with an unhealthy obsession for technology. He grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children. Cardiac is his debut novel.


Book Review

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan
Book 1: A Jack Getty Thriller Series
Publisher: DLW Publishing
Publication Date: eBook - May 23, 2016 / PB - July 21, 2016
Format: Paperback - 296 pages
               Kindle - 660 KB
ISBN: 978-1533641465
ASIN: B01G448C1E
Genre: Thriller

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Embattled CEO Jack Getty is nervous. This is his final chance to save his company. He is announcing his firm's breakthrough discovery at the world’s largest annual biotech conference. A discovery that trials show will extend human life by 75%. But as Jack approaches the podium, he suffers a major heart attack and collapses on the stage, stunning the conference attendees.

Jack is rushed to the emergency room where surgeons implant the latest Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker, saving his life in the process. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is that an underground hacking group has its sights set on manipulating his “secure” pacemaker to get information only he can provide. Despite the hackers unrelenting terror, Jack refuses to give them what they want and soon starts to uncover the true motives of this mysterious and powerful group.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Jack dropped his cell phone into his pocket, took a deep breath and focused on the moment at hand. The lights on stage were intense, their heat radiating to the dark spot where he stood just behind a thick, dark curtain off stage. A deep, musty odor floated off. A smell that reminded him of his grandmother’s sewing room. It was comforting during such an anxiety filled moment. He leaned closer, unaware, and took a deep breath. Then the stage exploded with light.

The energy and murmurs of the enormous crowd filled the auditorium. Jack’s heart began to race with a nervous excitement. He had done this a dozen times, but this time he was literally going to change the world, and hopefully save his company at the same time. He closed his eyes and took a deep, slow breath. Deep inhale. Deep exhale. And again. Slow, deep inhale. Slow, deep exhale, pushing the recent phone conversation to the back of his mind. The moisture on his palms felt cool and the tips of his fingers, cold.

He concentrated on the moment as thoughts of his pending presentation repeated in his head. Introduction...industry direction...announce test results of groundbreaking new drug...then Algen’s plans for the future...closing. Introduction...industry direction...announce DD13...Algen’s plans for the future...closing. With this announcement, he was about to push his company to the forefront of the biotech industry, and garner worldwide recognition and influence for himself and Algen.

The waiting was the torturous part. Once he started speaking it always came together. In fact, once he began, he usually slipped his notes into his pocket after the first few minutes. It was a rush having the attention of thousands waiting on every word. In fact, he enjoyed speaking in front of large crowds far more than speaking in small groups. He could avoid questions in a large crowd by simply not asking for them. He could just keep speaking. Small groups were more intimate and Jack was not good at small talk. He did his best to avoid talking to others about his personal life.

The announcer’s voice reverberated through the vast hall, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank you all for attending our 10th Annual ASR International Life Sciences and Biotechnology Conference." Jack rubbed his palms on his pants, standing just out of reach of the bright lights.
"As many of you know, this is a very exciting time in our industry. A time that has shown extraordinary advancement in our understanding of the fundamental biological mechanisms of human life. A time when major discoveries are coming at an increasingly accelerated rate. And a time that will be looked back on as the dawning of a new age in meeting the needs of patients and doctors across the globe.”

Jack fiddled with the knot in his tie, wiggling it to make sure it was straight. He ran his palms down the front of his suit and tugged at the bottom of his jacket to eliminate imaginary creases. He stood waiting for his cue. As he waited, two sharp buzzes stung his thigh. He fumbled for the phone in his pocket.


He slid the cool metal phone from his pocket and braced for more bad news. Instead, it was a text from his wife.

‘Are you free? I have more questions about Miller’

‘can’t right now. about to go on stage’

‘OK. Good luck. You’ll do great.’ ‘will call you later’

Jack grinned and wished he could talk to his wife now, but there wasn’t time. He allowed himself a moment. A moment to remember how lucky he was. His heart rate slowed and he felt calm. He reread the exchange with Cynthia as he noticed the subtle aroma of the stage curtains again. His eyes closed and he tipped his head back. She had always believed in him. Even when he told her about the times when he drank too much and ended up on the streets. Even when he didn’t believe in himself. She was the talented one, an amazing writer. But it was always she that insisted he was the one who capable of doing big things. Jack was not so sure back then. But here he was, about to do something unimaginable.

A light tap on the shoulder startled Jack. A thin, dark-haired young man stood beside him. A large identification badge hanging around his neck. He looked like a local college kid, called to work at the convention center whenever there was a big conference in town. He wore the basic conference employee uniform. A black t-shirt and khakis. The name tag hanging from his neck read Zachary Dietrich, 10th Annual ASR Conference Employee.

“Don’t forget this, Mr. Getty. You know how to use it, right?” The young man handed Jack a small remote that would allow him to change the slides in his presentation.

“Oh shoot, thank you...” Jack looked at the employee's name tag, “...Zachary. That would have been a little embarrassing getting stuck on the first slide.”

“I’m sure you would have figured something out, sir.”

“Well, I appreciate the thought, but you can’t always save someone from themselves.”

The young man smiled. “Is there anything else I can get for you, Mr. Getty? Would you like some water?”

“I think I’m good for now, thank you.”

“I don’t mean to be pushy, sir, but I highly recommend at least one drink.” Zachary lifted a steel thermos. “It’s warm water with a little lemon. My public speaking professor recommends it. It helps with dry mouth and cuts through any mucus buildup in your throat. It’s awesome.”

“Well, okay, just a quick sip.”

The young stagehand unscrewed the top and handed the thermos to Jack. Jack took it and tipped it to his lips. The young man was right. The warm, slightly sour water provided immediate relief to his parched mouth. Jack took a second drink.

“Thank you, Zachary,” Jack said as he handed the thermos back to the stage hand. “I appreciate your help.”

“No problem, Mr. Getty. Good luck, you’re going to do great,” replied the youthful man, visibly pleased that he was able to help the man of the hour. Jack smiled as he watched the young, go-getter scurry off to attend to other business. He turned his attention back to the stage.

“And we are so thankful to the city of Baltimore for making us feel so welcome." The speaker clapped in appreciation and the crowd joined him with pleasant applause. Without thinking, Jack applauded as well.

"We have a number of excellent speakers over the next few days. And I will get to those in a few moments. But first, I'd like to introduce one of the top leaders in our industry. He's a true innovator and respected member of our community. His company, Algen Incorporated, is leading the way in minimizing and reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s and other age related diseases. Please help me welcome the CEO of Algen, Mister Jack Getty!" The speaker reached his hand out towards the side of the stage, inviting Jack to come out and join him. Jack put on a smile and headed out into the lights; confident, adrenaline pumping through his veins and heart pounding in his chest. He was about to shock the world.

The crowd stood and cheered. Jack raised his right hand in acknowledgement, “thank you” he mouthed, walking onto the stage. The spotlights caused him to squint as the crowd roared in the darkness just beyond their hot, white brilliance. Jack turned back towards the speaker and continued walking, hand extended for a firm handshake. As he moved across the stage, his vision blurred. He opened his eyes wide and then squeezed them closed for a moment.

“What the...” Jack murmured.

When he opened them the speaker split in two, then four, then dozens of images swirled in front of him. Another step and now his chest began to tighten. Jack moaned, putting both hands on his chest. He blinked again. His vision began to fade and the muscles in his chest squeezed ever tighter. A heaviness pulled him towards the floor. Gasping for air, Jack struggled to keep his balance.

His next step became a lunge and he felt himself falling, unsure of when and what he would hit. A desperate reach for the shape of a podium turned into a vain attempt to catch himself. His left hand grasped for the microphone, snagged it with two fingers, and pulled the entire podium to the floor as he fell. It smashed on the stage, breaking into large pieces. The squeal of feedback ripped through the auditorium speakers. Jack slammed into the floor next to the podium with a heavy thud. His vision focused long enough to catch a glimpse of a woman in the front row, hands over her ears grimacing at the screeching microphone. He heard screams in the distance.

A hushed murmur fell over the crowd. Jack fought to stay conscious; the heaviness in his chest forced the air from his lungs. The lights above flooded into his spinning vision. He lay flat on his back, struggling to fight off the darkness that threatened to consume him.

“Someone call an ambulance!”

The pain in Jack’s chest shot down his left arm. I’m dying! The silhouette of a person appeared above him and blocked out the light. “Jack, can you hear me? Jack? Shit!” Jack wanted to respond but couldn’t. He was directing every effort to staying conscious.

“Shit, shit, shit,” Jack heard the frantic, trembling voice say. There was a firm tugging around his neck and a second voice broke into the chaos.

“Loosen it as much as you can. And unbutton his shirt. Make sure he can breathe.”

“I’m trying. Shit! Come on, Jack. Keep breathing.” The tugging at his neck became more frenzied. The voices started to fade and Jack could feel himself losing awareness.

“We’re losing him! We’re losing him! Someone please...”

He could hold on no longer. Jack willingly gave in to the darkness that was pulling him away from the voices. His body relaxed and he felt at peace. He saw his oldest son as a toddler, football grasped with both hands and that lopsided smile that warmed his heart. He saw his youngest son putting on his baseball uniform for the first time. And a vision of his wife on their wedding day pulled him deeper into his memories and away from the desperate voices.

All the commotion provided a distraction for a young, red-headed man seated at the end of the aisle. He was thirty rows back near one of the exits.

“Everyone, please remain seated,” came an announcement over the loudspeakers. The man ignored the instructions. He rose from his seat, doing his best not to draw attention. “Mr. Getty is getting the necessary medical assistance and will be okay.” The red-headed man knew this wasn’t true, at least not the part about Jack being okay. He slipped out the side doors and onto the busy streets of downtown Baltimore, anxious to blend in with the pedestrians. As he walked, he turned on his cell phone. He fought against his shaking fingers as he dialed. The phone rang.

“Yes, it’s done...yes I’m sure...I saw him hit the stage...I don’t know...they were tending to him as I left....I said I don’t know...sorry, I’m not going back in way...I don’t care. I did what you asked and now I’m done.”

The man ended the call, slid the phone back into his pocket, and looked around to see if anyone had listened to his conversation, still disturbed by what had taken place. The people on the street had more important concerns than eavesdropping on a conservatively-dressed college type, so he vanished into the afternoon sun.

After a few blocks, a park appeared on the opposite side of the street. The man looked both ways and careened across the street, horns honking at him as he went. His stomach churned with anxiety and he was not completely aware of his surroundings, focused on creating as much distance as possible between him and the conference hall. He needed to find a calm, secluded place to sit and catch his breath; and his sanity.

He entered the park and saw a worn, stone bench under a large elm tree about fifty yards away. He turned to see if anyone had followed him, then made his way to the tree and settled on the hard, cool bench. He took a deep breath. His right leg bounced, quick and uncontrollable.

“Son of a bitch...”

The man ran his hand up his forehead and grasped a handful of hair between his fingers in a tight fist. He breathed again. His leg stopped bouncing and he began to relax. Then, just as he had begun to calm down, his phone buzzed in his pocket.

“Hello...sorry, I didn’t mean to hang up on you...the whole thing freaked me out. I’ve never seen anything like that in person. There’s a big difference between seeing Darth Vader choke out Admiral Motti and seeing a real human being hit the ground like that. I had to get out of there...yes, I know. All I can tell you is that it worked. I’m guessing we’ll be able to find out by the end of the day...Will do.”

The red-headed man dropped his head, slumped his shoulders, and rested his elbows on his knees. A pleasant breeze rustled the leaves in the tree above.

My Book Review:

In Cardiac, the first book in the Jack Getty Thriller Series, author Jeffrey Monaghan weaves a fast-paced debut medical techno thriller set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that follows Jack Getty, the CEO of Algen Incorporated, a biotech company, as he tries to protect his company from a hostile takeover, while dealing with a dangerous hacker group called Mentor, who has taken control over his body via manipulating the latest Wi-Fi enabled heart pacemaker implanted in his chest after he suffers a heart attack at a biotechnical conference in Baltimore. Can Jack find a way to stop the dangerous group's intentions, or will he fatally fall victim to their nefarious demands?

Cardiac is a riveting medical techno thriller that is full of intrigue, action, drama, suspense, kidnapping, murder, and blackmail. Jack's story easily draws the reader in and keeps them captivated and turning the pages. As the reader follows Jack's desperate quest to stop the hostile takeover of his company, and the dangerous demands of the hacker group called Mentor, the multitude of plot twists and turns will keep them guessing what will happen next. You can't help but ponder if this futuristic and cutting-edge medical technological device could someday become a reality.

With a multidimensional cast of characters who leap off the pages; gritty dialogue and vivid interactions; richly detailed description of suburban Boston setting; and a no-holds-barred storyline that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats; Cardiac is one hell of a thrilling story that you won't be able to put down!


Book Trailer

Contest Giveaway

Win An eBook Copy Of Cardiac

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeffrey Monaghan. 

There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan. 

The giveaway begins on January 31st and runs through March 3rd, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

02/01 Showcase @ The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

02/02 Interview @ BooksChatter

02/02 Review @ Tome Tender

02/03 Showcase @ Mythical Books

02/05 Guest post @ Suspense Magazine

02/06 Guest post @ Writers and Authors

02/08 Review/showcase @ Books, Dreams, Life

02/10 Review @ just reviews

02/11 Showcase @ Hott Books

02/12 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

02/13 Interview @ Books Direct

02/15 Review/showcase @ CMash Reads

02/17 Review @ Blog Rockin Book Reviews

02/20 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads

02/21 Review @ Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine

02/24 Review @ JBronder Book Reviews

02/27 Review & Guest post @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

02/28 Review @ Celticladys Reviews


  1. Fantastic post. Like you, I had a hard time putting this book down and anxiously wait for his next novel.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you for stopping by, I really enjoyed reading this book. :)

  2. Thank you, Kathleen, for the great review. I am so glad you liked Cardiac.


    1. Hi Jeff! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. What a great debut thriller! Can't wait to read more of your books. :)