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THE SALSA CONNECTION--AN INTERNATIONAL ROMANTIC THRILLER (The international romance series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Johnny Ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A spellbinding International romantic thriller from one of Amazon's bestselling authors.

This award winning novel of a family torn apart has a gripping quality that offers a mesmerizing look into Russian life with riveting insights into the word of competitive salsa dancing.

When you never give up hope
love will find a way
Where ever you have to go
love will lead you
and all you have to do
is simply--DANCE!

already won the Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller. The story moves from the salsa clubs of St. Petersburg, Russia to New York to Louisiana and, finally, to Italy. The red-hot thread of the dance runs through a novel that
explores the Russian mob, slavery and prostitution rings, and the art world, as well as love, loss, revenge and the strength of family ties.

When Nickolay Panov left St Petersburg, Russia to go to New York City for an international ballet competition 25 years ago, he was considered one of the best ballet dancers in Russia. The Americans say he was murdered. The Russians say he defected. In any case, he never returned. Just before Nickolay disappeared, several priceless paintings and icons from a major museum were stolen. While he was accused of the theft, no solid proof has ever been offered to tie him to it. However, evidence shows that the stolen goods were shipped to America. The CIA and the Russian Government are still pursuing all leads connected to the heist, and so is the Russian mafia.

Sveta was three years old when her father disappeared, so it's a shock when, in the mail, she receives an invitation to a salsa dance competition in New York. At the bottom of the invitation is a note: "Please come to the competition and
enter, my little lady." No one but her father has ever called her that. Why has her father surfaced after all these years? Sveta wants answers, even if it means entering the late-night, sultry world of salsa dancing in St Petersburg
and New York City and coming into uncomfortably close contact with the Russian mob.




Editorial Reviews


What others are saying about Johnny Ray's novels.

Johnny Ray, a master of romantic suspense, never disappoints his readers. His books
are guaranteed to grab you and not let go. If you like a little suspense with
your romance, try Johnny Ray. Single Titles Book Reviews

Johnny Ray has the unique ability to blend intense thrillers with hot romances,
making him one writer you definitely want to follow ---- KINDLE BOOK PROMOS

Johnny Ray is able to really bring out just what we need in a good romantic
thriller. There was a lots of mystery.....who was doing what?.... who done
it? will be kept wondering up until the very end of this read---- Arlena
Dean, book reviewer

Johnny Ray is a great writer and an even nicer person. His willingness to help
other writers out in their pursuits is a pleasure for everyone involved ----
Author Brian Brown

Johnny Ray is quickly making a name for himself as the master of the romantic
thriller---- JT Kalnay is a writer and a patent attorney

Johnny Ray is one author you won't want to miss. He writes suspense and adds a
touch of romance. And....who doesn't like a little romance? Add Johnny Ray to
your list of "must" check out for the new year.----SILVER'S REVIEWS

Johnny Ray offers interesting stories, likeable characters, well developed
plots, and satisfying endings in his fun-to-read, fast-paced novels. My
favorite is Journey to Whitestone with a metaphysical conspiracy

From the Author

My motivation in writing THE SALSA CONNECTION came from my love of dancing salsa, which I have since I was six years old. This work is full of research I have completed over many years. This dance has evolved and will continue to do so.

The inside story of one family torn apart in Russia was developed over a number of years. While it could in many aspects be considered a family drama, this novel has lots of action and adventure in it, making it perfect for what I normally write -international romantic thrillers.  The mystery of her father's disappearance is revealed one layer at a time as Sveta outfoxes the Russian mafia in order to find the truth about her father. The romance in this novel comes from the most unlikely place, one you will have to read the novel to understand.

My wife is Russian and she helped me with the traditions and customs of the Russian people. Without her help this novel would never have been possible.  

Product Details

  • File Size: 2880 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494434024
  • Publisher: Sir John Publishing (October 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009UX5O7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,897 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dancing & Mayhem December 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A famous Russian ballet dancer killed half a world away, a treasure of Russian art smuggled from the Soviet Union, a mother and daughter struggling to hope the man of their family is alive, the action moves swiftly to a resounding conclusion in The Salsa Connection. Sveta, through a meeting of circumstance and luck, begins to learn salsa dancing, a far cry from her ballet training. As her dancing improves, she receives an amazing opportunity to visit the United States, as a contestant in salsa competitions. This is her chance to give her father, missing for twenty-five years and presumed dead, an appropriate goodbye. But once her preparations begin, she finds herself watched by the Russian mafia, by the CIA, and by several other men whose intentions are far from clear. An interesting look at the many renditions of salsa, the dedication of those who dance it, and how often things in life are not what they seem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing romantic thriller in an unlikely setting December 6, 2012
By Adria
Format:Kindle Edition
Book was provided by author in exchange for an honest review

The Salsa Connection is yet another well written tale of mystery, suspense and romance by author Johnny Ray.

At first I was a little skeptical about a romantic suspense set in the world of dancing. How interesting and engaging would a romantic suspense novel set in the salsa dancing world be? Would it be full of terminology that only dancers would understand? Worst of all, would it bring visions of an alien hybrid version of Alias and Dancing with the Stars gone wrong? So many disastrous scenarios raced through my mind in the few minutes it took to turn on my computer and begin reading.

In a matter of 15 pages, Johnny Ray put my fears to rest. The Salsa Connection is a fast paced, thrilling story that just happens to take place among dancers. Though to be honest, it is not entirely set in the dancing world, there are a few scenes involving dancing and such but for the most part the book is constantly moving and switching scenes. This is definitely not a slow paced story, which for me is essential in a story that involves murder, mystery and running for your life.

There are quite a few characters (including two with very similar names) and twists and turns in this book and it is easy to get lost if the reader isn't paying close attention. The pace at which the story is told matches the heart pounding, full steam ahead events so be sure to keep outside distractions at a minimum to fully enjoy The Salsa Connection.

Sveta, the female protagonist is not as fiery as previous characters in Johnny Ray's books, she's naive and has a sense of innocence about her. Still, she doesn't shy away from dangerous situations if it means she'll get answers. She definitely grows throughout the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Johnny Does It Again October 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Sveta, a beautiful Russian dancer, receives a mysterious letter that she figures must be from her long lost father. The letter invites her to travel from her home in St. Petersburg to a dance competition in New York City. Join Sveta as a journey into the world of salsa dancing becomes entwined with a search for the truth about her father's disappearance. Once you get hooked, you won't be able to put it down. But be ready for the twists and turns that are the signature of Sir Johnny's tales!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book. December 9, 2012
By Willow
Format:Kindle Edition
It was an excellent book. I really enjoyed it & I also learned alot about that style of dancing too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salsa Intrigue December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book free from Library thing to read and review. After reading this book, I know two things about the author. He knows how to write a suspense mystery novel well. He knows and understands what salsa is all about and how the dance style came to be, has evolved and is even now still evolving. From the outset, I was immediately taken in by Sveta, a young Russian woman who becomes involved in learning salsa and with the mystery intrigue of her life. Her innocence is refreshing and welcoming. Her devotion and loyalty are also endearing. The reader takes a journey with her across the salsa world to finally find out what happened to her father, a famous Russian dancer, before he died (or was killed) twenty-five years ago. Along with Sveta, the reader meets her good friend Olya, Denis, Andrew, Danny, her boss and her mother, plus the mafia, who follow her silently along the journey. There are secrets and unanswered questions galore in this book, all of which the author manages to explain and tie in very well at the end of the story. As the journey progresses, the reader is transported across time and distance from Russia to New York, New Orleans and to Italy, finding out a little more with each stop. Will Sveta find the answers she seeks? How will it all end? These questions and others keep the reader fully engaged with the story and plot. This is a great suspense thriller/mystery for the reader who is looking for something to grab and hold his/her interest. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, exciting story from beginning to end. October 29, 2012
By Lynelle
Format:Kindle Edition
The first thing you notice when you start to read this new book of the author is his love of Salsa dancing. His in depth look at this exotic and very sensual dance that brought all the characters of the story together in New York City.
We are taken from St. Petersburg in Russia to New York in USA to Tuscany, Italy visiting the night life and introduced to the beautiful dance and the training to make this a beautiful and sensual dance.
The suspense building as Sveta learns that her father after twenty-five years is still alive. The strong willed woman made decisions to follow every lead with what she has. Joining a exhausting training schedule to learn all she can to get to America. On her journey we met her good friend Olya, Denis, Andrew, Danny, her boss and her mother. The mafia follows her trail and people started to get murdered. Doors open up to make her dream come true and she embarked on a adventure of a life time.
Danny was a wonderful young man that had all the best attentions and lead her further on her quest. His willingness to help and making sure she was safe as a true gentleman should do. A man of his word.
Secrets unraveled as you get closer to the end. Interesting and well written plot right through the end.
I really enjoyed this book with all its interesting twists to keep you wondering if she would find what she was looking for while capturing the man' heart as her own.
Once again a very good book I can recommend to all suspense readers with a touch of romance on the side. Traveling the world and learning to appreciate the passion filled dance of Salsa.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing; my HS English teacher would have red-penned this to...
OK - the basic plot is ok...but the writing...not so much. Ditto the editing. Clearly written & edited by folks who do not speak English well. Read more
Published 9 days ago by L. Grundy
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Mystery
An unusual plot that spans Russia, America and Italy combined with Salsa dancing is sure to please anyone looking for a different kind of mystery. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mariann
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story; terrible editing
Although a little contrived, I really enjoyed this story, particularly it's setting. It was fast paced and offered the reader a view of life we generally see only in newspapers or... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bf
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
a great book that keeps you interested throughout . a few spelling mistakes but overall great. has a nice twist to it that I did not
Published 2 months ago by monika barnes
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun and unique romance
I enjoyed the plot and characters in this story. There were enough little twists to keep it from being formulaic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth A. Gijlstra
3.0 out of 5 stars Linda P.
The plot/story of this book is a good one. Some editing problems but I've seen worse. Now for the problems with it. Lots, and I mean lots, of redundancy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Linda R. Pollard
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read !
While searching for a way to market my book, I joined Twitter. I randomly picked a few authors to follow. Johnny Ray personally thanked me for following him on Twitter. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Todd Whittier
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is different from the normal spy thrillers
I enjoyed the book. Perhaps a little naive here and there but overall qiute intreging.. Nice to read something not totally American
Published 10 months ago by cornelius
2.0 out of 5 stars Stilted story with bad dialogue
I wasn't sure what to expect when I received the story. The story seemed to be an early version as the dialogue and descriptions were lacking. Read more
Published 10 months ago by J. Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
This is the first I have read by Johnny Ray. I am not a dancer but the descriptive way in which he writes makes it easy to see in your head. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Johnny Ray won the Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller, and he is often interviewed on various literary blogs, as well as TV and radio shows. His blog, located at, has a large following from around the world, and this is his central hub to his other social media activity. There you can find his links to other social media sites, such as twitter (sirjohn_writer) where he has over 150,000 followers. He also would love for you to join Sir John's Army, his fan club, which is located on his blog.

Johnny Ray belongs to the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. He loves attending various national and international writer conventions, like the Frankfurt Book Fair, throughout the year.

As an avid traveler and international businessman conducting business worldwide for years he has made many interesting contacts and received numerous awards for top sales production. He loves radio and TV talk shows, as well as speaking in front of various audiences. Feel free to contact him if you need a guest speaker.

When it comes time to play, he is very active in many sports including dancing, swimming, tennis, biking, and skiing. While he loves a life full of action and adventures that are new, interesting and challenging, making friends that share his passions is a special gift.

Johnny was born in Texas, raised in Alabama, but now loves living in Clearwater, Florida where he works full time as a writer. He can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next international thriller, murder mystery, or perhaps a contemporary romance novel that is guaranteed to be full of action and adventure you should expect from a romantic suspense novel. His signature combination, however, is international romantic thrillers.

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