guest post by Sarah

Re-released books can be tricky – it’s easy to mistake them for new novels from your favorite author. But when that author’s earliest books were published in another country, re-releases are a great way to catch the origins for your favorite characters.

One such author is Zoe Sharp, whose first three titles in her popular series about Charolotte “Charlie” Fox – no-nonsense, motorcycle-riding, close-protection specialist – were only released in the UK. One could enjoy Charlie’s missions and personal trials without reading the books before First Drop – which is actually the fourth book in the series – hit the United States in 2004, but fans wanted more.

Killer Instinct introduces Charlie shortly after the British army threw her out for reasons that have estranged her from her family. She’s making something of a living teaching self-defense to women, but one of her classes has to move out of its meeting space when the new owner of the building refurbishes it as a nightclub. Charlie reluctantly agrees to visit the club for a karaoke contest and is forced to use her skills to defend her friend against the jealous reigning champion.

This nets her a new job with the nightclub’s testosterone-heavy, borderline hostile security team – and a bigger problem when the woman she fought is murdered. Charlie figures she’ll be the number one suspect, until it becomes clear that a homicidal serial rapist is stalking are women. And that the killer is somehow connected to the strange goings-on at the club…

Charlie is a terrific protagonist and Ms Sharp is a talented author. Between the two of them they make Killer Instinct a must-read – or even a re-read – for those who enjoy mysteries with strong women, elusive bad guys and just a touch of emotional angst.

I have been a fan of “American Chopper” since it first appeared on the Discovery channel many years ago. The choppers are neat, but what I really enjoyed was the interaction between the family and employees of Orange County Chopper. In watching the show I have watched this company grow from a small cement brick building, to the mega complex it is now. I have watched the family’s ups and downs. This year has been especially hard with Paul Sr firing Paulie and Mickey’s struggles with alcohol addiction. This book shows how Paul Sr. took his hobby and made it into a multimillion dollar company, but still keeping his values intact.  If you are a fan of the show you will enjoy this book, if you are starting your own business, you will enjoy this book as the lessons Paul Sr teaches are practical and sound.

“In The Ride of a Lifetime, Teutul elucidates the business principles that have made Orange County Choppers a household name. His smart, commonsense business wisdom works for businesses both big and small in any industry. Here, readers will learn firsthand how Teutul built a uniquely successful business by working hard and demanding it from others; encouraging and embracing unfettered creativity; establishing well-defined roles for every team member and demanding they support each other; and using honest conflict and confrontation to solve problems and constantly innovate. The Ride of a Lifetime is a smart, tough-as-nails guide to business success that every entrepreneur should read. Paul Teutul, Sr (Montgomery, NY), is the founder of Orange County Choppers, one of the world’s premier builders of custom motorcycles. He formerly ran a family-owned steel fabrication shop before he began building custom bikes as a hobby, eventually founding Orange County Choppers in 1999. Since 2002, he and his business have been the subject of the hit TLC show American Chopper.”  amazon.