Blood Ties

My travel blog

Find out about author J.D Cunegan. His second novel is out now, Blood Ties.

Author interview

Tell us your latest news?
January 5 marks the release of my second full-length novel Blood Ties – the follow-up to my debut novel Bounty (which published last June). Blood Ties will be available in both paperback and Kindle through Amazon, and in paperback through CreateSpace. In Blood Ties, Baltimore homicide detective Jill Andersen is confronted with a murder that leads her to believe she can exonerate her father Paul, who is sitting on Death Row after being convicted of three murders over a decade ago. But the case goes far deeper than Jill realized, and she eventually faces the fact that her father might be beyond saving.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Bounty was almost 20 years in the making. I created Jill Andersen, the main character, when I was…

View original post 1,467 more words


In which I review works by Jason Luthor, Andrew Gladman, and Kathy Reichs.

Floor 21 by Jason Luthor

Floor Floor 2121 by Jason Luthor is one of the more unique novels I’ve read in some time, owing much of that to the first-person narrative structure that plays out through a series of audio recordings from Jackie, the teenage girl protagonist, and Vick. This structure gives the novel a time-capsule feel to it, as if the readers have stumbled upon these recordings.

This is a fresh twist on the first-person narrative, and I feel like this story couldn’t have been told the traditional way.Floor 21 is equal parts thriller and horror, but the horror isn’t the predictable gorefest one might expect. Jackie is a wonderful character whose voice practically leaps off the page, and the pacing keeps this from being a chore of a read, even when the questions are plentiful and the answers don’t seem to be on the horizon.

Vick’s recordings fill in the gaps in a way I don’t see often in first-person novels — the Hunger Games trilogy, in particular, suffered from being first-person at times — and Vick’s “chapters” gave the novel a surprising amount of backbone. Jackie is the hero of the tale, but Vick is no less important in the overall scope of the story.

Jason Luthor has created a fantastic universe, at once limited and incredibly deep. I hope there is another book on the horizon, because Floor 21 set a fantastic foundation on which Luthor could build. I highly recommend this book.

Rating: *****

Buy Floor 21 on Amazon


Superhumanity: Superhero Short Stories by Andrew Gladman

SuperhumanityGiven the sort of stories I’ve been writing, I’ve wondered what the landscape of superhero stories in prose was. From what I can tell, superhero novels and short stories are hard to come by.

Fortunately, the collection Superhumanity fits the bill, offering several snippets that appear to be loosely connected that build up to a finale in which all of the previously-introduced heroes are fighting a grand battle, and a seemingly ordinary human takes change in his own way. It was a satisfying conclusion to a collection of well-told, if at times all-too-familiar, stories.

Each story is told from a different perspective, through different points of view. Each story acts as its own entity, but everything is still connected. Occasionally clunky prose aside, each tale is adrenaline-packed, intense, and powerful in unique ways. Some stories are violent. Others are emotionally charged. All highlight different aspects of the superhero archetype.

Superheroes will likely always rule the world of comics and graphic novels. And while I love comics and graphic novels (they influence much of my own writing), it’s nice to see this particular genre also represented — and represented well — in prose form. If costumed superheroes are your thing — or even if they’re not and you’re just looking for something different — Superhumanity would make a fine addition to your Kindle library.

Rating: ****

Buy Superhumanity on Amazon


Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

I almSpeaking in Bonesost wish I could give this book 2.5 stars instead of three, but such that it is.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Speaking in Bones — I did — but it was the most underwhelming of all the Temperance Brennan novels I’ve read. A fair bit of this novel is slow-paced collecting of puzzle pieces. Pieces that don’t begin to fit until roughly halfway through the book. It’s not until the end, where Tempe acts surprisingly reckless not once but twice, that things really pick up.

The saving grace, what keeps this book from plodding along early on to the point of being unreadable, is Reichs’ style of rapid prose and short chapters. Those serve to provide the illusion of a quick-moving narrative, even if chapters pass without anything terribly consequential happening.

There are a few subplots dangled about — some interesting, others not — and even though I’m not necessarily sold on the eventual outcome (at least, not entirely), it is wrapped up in a nice little bow for us.

Overall, though, this is one of the weaker installments in this series.

Rating: ***


Todblood-ties-ebook1ay’s the day!

Blood Ties, the second novel in the Jill Andersen mystery series, is now available in paperback ($14.00 USD) and Kindle ($2.99 USD). Head on over to Amazon to pick up your copies today.

Also, if you purchase the paperback edition, through Kindle BookMatch, you will be able to buy the Kindle edition at the discounted price of $0.99.

Blood Ties is also available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Also… starting today, to celebrate the release of Blood Ties, my debut novel Bounty will be on sale in the Kindle store for just $.0.99. That will last through next Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The digital short Boundless will be available for free through Friday, Jan. 9.

Click here to pick up your copy of Blood Ties.

Pick up Bounty here and Boundless here.

BLOOD TIES Out NOW in Paperback!

The oblood-ties-ebook1fficial release for Blood Ties, the second novel in the Jill Andersen mystery series, is still a few days away (Tuesday, Jan. 5), but the paperback edition is available NOW on CreateSpace!

Pick up your copy here!

The paperback edition is $14.00 USD, and the Kindle edition will go live for $2.99 USD on Jan. 5. An updated Amazon listing for the paperback edition should be available in a few days.


For as long as Jill Andersen could remember, her father was a hero.

But heroes don’t commit murder, do they? The state of Maryland said Paul Andersen did just that, three times over, and was set to execute him for it. But Jill and the rest of her colleagues at the Baltimore Police Department come across the murder of a law student that leaves her hopeful that she can clear her father’s name.

While Jill and her colleagues work against the clock to clear her father’s name, new players emerge, hinting to a deeper, darker conspiracy than what was previously known. An enigmatic faction known as The Order reveals itself, and the mystery surrounding Paul’s alleged duplicity leaves more questions than answers.

Along the way, Jill must not only face the possibility that her father was not who she thought he was, but she must also face the prospect of her secret being revealed. The stakes are higher than ever in Blood Ties, the intense follow-up to J.D. Cunegan’s debut mystery Bounty.

Can Jill save her father before it’s too late? Will she even want to?