Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Night of Summer by Landon Parham (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for First Night of Summer by Author Landon Parham!

Author Guest Post

The number one question I am asked as a thriller writer is this: “How can you write about such horrible things?” The second most asked question about my writing is: “How do you capture so much raw emotion?”

If you read my debut novel, First Night of Summer, you don’t have to go far before realizing that I am going to confront an exceedingly taboo subject. Having said that, you don’t have to read much further to understand that the deplorable subject matter is balanced by the deep love of family, the indelible gumption of the human spirit, and the profound power of forgiveness that has the ability to soothe the evilest of wrongdoings.

My most influential author, Dean Koontz, said, “If we are not willing to acknowledge evil, we will never stand up to it.” Another of my favorite quotes is by Edmund Burke. He said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

My purest passion in life—writer or not—is to shed light on issues that the world at large is unwilling to acknowledge. The kind of issues that when finally talked about are referred to with benign words and phrases in order to tame their despicable nature. In doing so, those who have not suffered such atrocities may digest the information in a manner as to not disrupt the delicate balance of their daily existence.

Be not afraid to feel emotion—deeply. Be not afraid to learn about the real truths. Be not afraid to understand—the good and the bad. Life isn’t just about darkness or light, rather it’s about finding light within the darkness.

 Happy reading!

 Landon Parham

About The Author

Landon Parham is a bestselling author who lives in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. His goal as a writer is to raise awareness on everyday issues through fiction, and expose taboo realities that the masses give precious little attention to. The wild, majestic expanses of America inspire his visions and will continue to show up as integral parts of his work.

Parham’s debut novel, First Night of Summer, became a bestseller in August 2013 when it hit #21 on Amazon’s Top 100 overall paid chart, and #2 on Barnes & Noble. It has garnered attention from FOX News, NBC, numerous law enforcement personnel, social workers, child-care advocates, and parents around the globe, as an emotional and true-to-life story. ”If we choose not to recognize the evil in our world, we will never stand up to it.” He is currently working on his next suspense novel following his debut. It will tackle a different, but no less suspenseful issue.

Award-winning 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Award Finalist- Suspense/ Fiction.

Sony e-reader and #1 NYT Bestselling Author, Sandra Brown’s Debut Author Pick 2013.

Become a fan and “like” my author page on Facebook to find out more. Get social with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Book Review

First Night of Summer by Landon Parham
Publisher: Valiant Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover & Paperback - 328 pages / Kindle - 664 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 0988802503
Genre: Crime / Mystery / Suspense / Psychological Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: First Night of Summer

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:

When tragedy strikes, a father discovers that a journey of misfortune is sometimes the path to deliverance. The quaint mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is the perfect place for Isaac Snow to raise his family. But when eight-year-old daughters, Caroline and Josie, commit an innocent act of heroism, media coverage attracts the wrong kind of attention. Soon, their life unravels, leading them to the crossroads of love and hate, forgiveness and retribution.

In the dark hours of a drizzly morning, Isaac, an ex-air force pilot, wakes to find a masked intruder cradling one of the twins in his arms. Before he can react, the man in black leaps through the nearest window, plummeting in a tangle of body parts and glass. Isaac charges in pursuit, but is suddenly faced with a new dilemma. Caroline is unconscious, lying facedown in the lawn, cuts from the shattered window saturating her pajamas. If he gives chase, his little girl will surely bleed to death.

From a secretive loner with a pension for unrestrained violence to the pristine granite peaks of the Rocky Mountains--from laughter filled family dinners to a string of cross-country abductions, Landon Parham's debut novel relentlessly explores the horrific realities of unnatural lust and obsession. Taken well beyond the investigation and law-enforcement tactics, you'll find yourself steeped in journey of evil and torment, and the power of family that overcomes it all. Suspenseful, bold and meticulously researched; a true psychological thriller that captures the heart.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter Six

There was calm before the storm. Like fire and water, the inferno in Isaac’s eyes reached across the room and lit the violent waves dwelling in Ricky’s baby blues.

Not a split second lapsed between realization and reaction. There was never fear or hesitation, only a primal urge to protect his family. A threat cannot be posed if it does not exist, and he fully intended to eliminate the threat completely.

He raced to the window and noticed that both beds were empty. That was what training at speeds well beyond the sound barrier did. It honed an ability to think and work at the same time, in the blink of an eye, blending thoughts and actions into instinct.

The man in black must have known what was going to happen. He dropped the girl from his arms and simultaneously sprang in the opposite direction. The window was open, but not enough to accommodate the violent exit.

The child’s body hit the floor, followed by a crashing of glass. Like it was nothing more than a soap bubble, the window shattered, taking half the frame with it. The masked man fell to the lawn in a storm of debris.

Isaac was in hot pursuit, about to jump out the mangled opening. But the body, which he recognized as Josie’s, was in the way. Where is Caroline? He put his palms on the windowsill, broken glass lacerating them, and looked out. Not three feet away was the intruder. As quickly as he had flown through the window, he got to his feet and ran. And there, lying motionless on the rain-soaked lawn, Isaac found the answer to his question.

Shards of glass covered Caroline’s body. The bastard had landed right on top of her, smashing jagged pieces between their bodies.

Isaac was prepared to hurl himself out the window and give chase. Backing down was not in his nature. He had killed before and knew he was capable of doing it again. And this time, he really wanted to. He was about to do so when the bedroom lights turned on.

“What’s going on in here?” Sarah demanded. She stood in the doorway, wearing a pair of his boxers and a baggy shirt. “I heard glass—”

“Call nine one one!” he barked.

“Josie!” Her face was stricken with horror as she rushed forward. “What the hell happened?”

“Call the police. Now! Someone tried to kidnap them. She’s fine,” he said, meaning Josie.

In fact, he didn’t know for certain that she was fine. He had, however, noticed the strip of tape over her mouth. Dead people didn’t scream, so he assumed the best. She was alive but knocked out or drugged. There was no time to stop and see.

Sarah was frantic. Her eyes searched the room for Caroline. “Where’s Caroline? Where is she?”

“She’s out the window.” He watched the masked man run away. “Now please, honey. Get the phone, call nine one one, and come back.”

With his hands still on the windowsill, disregarding the little cuts and stabs, he vaulted through the open space. He landed over Caroline with one foot planted on either side of her. The blades of grass were soft. The fragments of glass, however, were not. They drove into his feet like nails, but he put the pain aside. His focus was too solitary to allow interference.

The bedroom lights lit the small patch of lawn where she laid, and he knelt. Outside of their island, the night consumed everything. He was about to run after the son of a bitch who had just disappeared behind the Howard’s home, but he stopped short. Caroline’s white sleeping shirt was stained crimson all around the neckline and chest. Had Sarah not flipped on the lights, he never would have seen it. She was hurt badly.

He heard Sarah’s feet pound down the hall and into the kitchen. In a few seconds, she was giving the operator an address and explaining the situation.

In the back of his mind, Isaac thought, I should go after him. But he couldn’t force himself to leave his little girl. Even if I catch him, what good would it do if Caroline bleeds to death? His world had shrunk to a tiny space in the great big mountain night. Outside of that, nothing mattered. Everything else was diminished. He could faintly hear Sarah asking Josie to wake up and the distant sound of an engine revving to life.

Caroline wore a pair of cotton pajama pants with different-colored hearts. The fabric was pulled up around her knees and exposed several scratches. A bead of blood ran down one calf. It was nothing compared to the stain growing around the collar of her shirt.

Moving someone who had just suffered a trauma injury was the last thing you were supposed to do. But Isaac had no choice. The way she was laying, he couldn’t see where all the blood was coming from. He gingerly rolled her flat and almost vomited at what he saw.

The side of her neck was completely sliced open. Blood literally poured from the flesh. The flow was constant and unrelenting. The gruesomeness of the laceration was not the cause for Isaac’s sickness. He had seen much worse. The gut-wrenching heave came from a sobering realization that she might be broken beyond repair. The cut was too deep, too wide, and in the wrong spot. A pool of red was already spread beneath her. The essence of her life slowly covered the green grass. He clenched his teeth and shut off emotions. His baby was dying. He had to do something.

My Book Review:

A parent's worst nightmare ...

First Night of Summer is a chilling psychological thriller about a sadistic child predator who has a penchant for abducting young girls in order to get sexual gratification from torturing, raping and murdering his young victims.

In his debut novel, author Landon Parham weaves an emotional, disturbing, and graphic tale set in the quiet mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, where former Air Force pilot Issac Snow and wife Sarah live with their eight year old twin daughters Josie and Caroline. After the twins are publicly acclaimed for their heroic rescue of a four year old, they become the target of Ricky Doors, a psychotic pedophile with a history of abducting, torturing, raping, and murdering young girls. Issac thwarts the attempted abduction of his twin daughters, but the intruder escapes, and the family is left with a tragic result. The Snow family is haunted by the sadistic child predator as Issac becomes obsessed with tracking down the murderer, who continues to commit cross country abductions of young girls. This is a riveting story of one family's strength and courage to overcome a horrifying and tragic incident, juxtaposed against the evil and cruelty of a psychotic killer whose lust overshadows the innocence of his young victims.

This is a powerful and intense thriller that captivated me from the beginning. The reader can't help but get caught up in the story and experience the full gamut of emotions. It is a fast-paced and riveting story that you won't be able to put down, it keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats in suspense with its vivid descriptions and surprising twists and turns.

The characters are realistic and believable, their emotions and personalities will leave an indelible impression on the reader. The author does a great job of allowing the reader to feel the strength and love of the Snow family, while getting into the mind of the sadistic and evil predator.

The powerful storyline of humanity versus evil is both riveting and disturbing, the intensity of the story is emotional and thought provoking, you can't help but hold your breath as this gripping and tension filled psychological thriller unfolds until the satisfying conclusion.

First Night of Summer is a haunting psychological thriller that captures the undeniable power of the human spirit in this very realistic tale of pure evil vs pure goodness.


First Night of Summer - Book Trailers

NBC 4 Albuquerque Interview with Amazon bestselling author, Landon Parham:

FOX News Interview- Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling Author, Landon Parham:

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

3/03 ~ Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
3/03 ~ Showcase @ Beths Book Reviews
3/04~ Review @ A Bookish Girl
3/06 ~ Guest Post @ Writers and Authors
3/06 ~ Intervew @ Lauries Thoughts and Reviews
3/07 ~ Review @ Teena in Toronto
3/09 ~ Suspense Magazine Talk Radio 10am PST/1pm EST
3/10 ~ Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
3/11 ~ Showcase & Interview @ CMash Reads
3/15 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books
3/17 ~ Review By Carol
3/18 ~ Guest Post @ Omnimystery News
3/20 ~ Review @ Trying to be a Frugal Momma
3/24 ~ Review @ Marys Cup of Tea
3/31 ~ Showcase @ Bookalicious Traveladdict
TBD ~ Review @ Bookalicious Traveladdict


  1. Such an interesting post by your guest author. And thanks for sharing your thoughts on his debut thriller; sounds like a powerful story.

    1. Hi Lance! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. This was a powerful and chilling story that stayed with me long after I read it, it provides much food for thought. It is a wonderful debut novel, I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.