Uncle Neddy’s Funeral by L.M. Pampuro – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L.M. Pampuro will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Also, don’t miss reading our review here!

Giuseppe Vittorio Vaffanculo, a.k.a. Neddy, is not a bad person, he just holds himself in high praise. Neddy is the perfect target for Rayleigh O’Connor, member of an underworld organization and soon to be Ms. Neddy number five. As part of the Vaffanculo-Cuzzuto clan, Neddy is the perfect mark Rayleigh needs to avenge the death of a comrade by killing Victor Cuzzuto.

All Victor Cuzzuto wants to do is finally retire to the beach, spend time with his family, and hand over the reins of his Federal Investigation branch office to his protégée, Bruno.

Uncle Neddy’s Funeral – The King Of Bad Decisions.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Neddy took in a deep breath of air. A violent cough followed. Surrounded by darkness, he had zero perception, which, for him, was fortunate. His arms touched the silky sides, as did his legs. He tried stretching his feet to the end. It figured, where he didn’t need it or couldn’t use it, he had the space. His breath bounced back from the top. He could smell mama’s tomato sauce from breakfast. Leftover gnocchi and eggs made the perfect meal to get him through the day. With each exhale his heart skipped.

About an hour ago, the air became lighter, best he could tell. The stench had to be from his exhales. He tried not to smell, breathe. Leave it to Joe and Victor to come up with a plan that involved a disgusting odor. Those two could fill a room after one of mama’s meals. Not that mama’s meals were gassy, it’s just those two needed no incentives to let one loose. Neddy’s laughter broke into a coughing fit.

“Ah, minor inconvenience,” he said. In the distance, he could hear hushed voices yet couldn’t make out the conversation. The voices grew louder as Neddy assumed, people came closer.

“Be careful with this one,” Victor’s brogue came through clearly.

“Why boss,” another voice spoke. “Ya think he can feel anything?” Laughter filled the room. Neddy strained to hear the paused conversation. A couple of awkward coughs filled the space.

“Just be careful,” Ah, Victor used his I am in charge voice. Neddy knew the tone. His crew isn’t following directions. Neddy smirked. “Think of this as precious cargo.” Footsteps followed, growing weaker by the clank.

“I think the boss is getting weird”

“In what way?”

“Well he’s worried about a corpse.” Neddy smiled. He curved his temptation to knock. As funny as he thought it would be to make whoever jump at the sound, he knew better. Victor Cuzzuto would kill him.

“Victor got his job. Our job is to move the sucker.”

“Well, if Victor had finished the last job we wouldn’t be here, now would we?”

“Not our problem.”

“When will the old guy retire…” Neddy banged into the side of the casket. His head bounced off the top.

“Ouch!” he exclaimed as he bit into his hand. The casket stopped moving.

“You hear something boss?”

“I ain’t heard nothing,” came a quick reply along with a jolt. “Let’s just finish this up. Place like this gives me the creeps.”

About the Author: L.M. Pampuro is the author of five novels: Dancing With Faith, Maximum Mayhem, The Perfect Pitch, Passenger – the only game in town, and Uncle Neddy’s Funeral. (All available at Amazon.com)

She is an avid skier, loves dancing to live music, and possess a warped sense of humor.

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All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Celia’s house was set back from the wide boulevard on a street that never seemed to be busy with traffic. I pulled up in front and climbed the stairs. After her husband died, Celia was fortunate. She could still afford to live in her home. The front lawn was perfect, a postage stamp of lush brilliant green bordered with hydrangeas. No leaf would dare be out of place in Celia’s garden.

I lugged the shopping bag up the stairs, forcing myself not to think about the remnants of Michael’s life that I had packed away. After all, the very least she could do would be to open the door and say thank you. When I reached the top of the stairway, I rang the bell and waited. I waited a few minutes more and then rang the doorbell again. She was home. I was sure of it. She simply refused to have anything to do with me. That old familiar ache rose in my chest. The orphan with her nose pressed against the window looking in on a life she couldn’t hope to have. Angry at my automatic reaction, I rang the bell a third time. Finally, I gave up. Okay, Celia, you win. I placed the bag at the front door and returned down the steps. As I was opening my car door, someone called my name. I turned back. It was Maggie, Michael’s sister.

“Julia. Wait.” She rushed down the stairs, out of breath when she reached me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the bell. I was upstairs.” She gave me a warm hug.

“Hi Maggie.” I smiled. “It’s great to see you.” I had always liked Michael’s younger sister. I had never known their father, but they both must have taken after him. There certainly was no spiritual resemblance between them and their mother.

“How are you?” I responded.

“I’m fine. I was just visiting at Mom’s.” Her smiled faded. “Julia, I’m sorry she’s treating you this way. She’s home. She just won’t answer the door.”

“Maggie, I gave up a year ago, wondering what she held against me.”

“It’s not just you I’m afraid. She won’t talk to anybody in the family. Doesn’t see her old friends. She rattles around that big old house day and night. She’s made a shrine of my brother’s room. I think she spends most of her time there.” Maggie shrugged. “I’m really worried about her but I just don’t know what to do. That’s why I try to stop by whenever I can.”

“I wish I could help, but I’m likely the last person she wants to see. You don’t have to apologize for her.”

“I know that. I just don’t think you need to be treated like that. We all hurt. It doesn’t help to be cruel to you. Michael really loved you. I just hope you always remember that. Don’t let my mother’s behavior color your feelings about him and what you had together.”

Tears sprang to my eyes. I hadn’t expected this greeting and hadn’t thought it would strike such a chord. “Thanks, Maggie. I do appreciate that.” Her eyes were Michael’s eyes, the same green flecks in the brown that gave them a hazel tinge.

“You can call me anytime.”

I glanced up at the front door. Maggie had left it wide open. I spotted Harry, Michael’s dog. When Michael and I first started seeing each other, we went bicycling in the park whenever we could. One day, I spotted something moving under a bush and halted. We investigated and found a beautiful white poodle, half starved, smelling very badly, and suffering from infections. He had obviously been abandoned and someone had beaten him severely. Michael left me to watch over him, and hurried back to retrieve his car. We loaded the bikes on the back and I held Harry on my lap all the way to the emergency vet. Michael paid for all his treatments and then adopted him. His budget as a student was tight, but he didn’t hesitate to help a wounded creature. I think that was when I fell in love with him.

“Harry’s with you?”

Maggie followed my gaze. “Harry! What are you doing?” Harry had knocked over the shopping bag and was sniffing it. When he heard his name called, he raised his head, one of Michael’s gloves in his mouth. He whimpered and looked at us.

“Oh, God.” Maggie said. “He knows that’s Michael’s glove. Poor guy. Come here, Harry,” she called. Harry dropped the glove and bounded down the stairs. He came straight at me and leaped towards my face. “He remembers you.” Maggie said.

“Of course, he does.” I bent down and hugged him as Harry left slippery kisses on my face. I looked up at Maggie. “I’m so glad you’ve kept him.”

“Of course, I’d never let him go. I just love Harry to death. It’s like having a part of my brother to hold on to.”

Seeing Harry had brought a rush of memories. I had to get out of there before I turned into a blubbering idiot. I hugged Maggie and thanked her. As I started the engine, Maggie leaned in the window. “Just remember, Julia – it’s not you. It’s nothing you’ve done.”

About the Author: Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Book 2 in the Zodiac Mysteries is All Signs Point to Murder, to be released on August 8, 2017.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime), set in the village of Snowflake, Vermont. Her recently released A Clue in the Stew is the fifth in this series. Some of her favorite recipes can also be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.

Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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How to Handle Negative Criticism by Ginger Black – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ginger Black will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour and check out our review here.

How to handle negative criticism

Gaynor Pengelly: My co-writer, Julia Thum and I make a point of not taking negative criticism personally. In the same way, she enjoys completely different types of books to me, it’s only natural that our novel is not going to appeal to everyone on the planet.

Rather than focus on the negative, we take pride in the fact Riverside Lane is a well-written, intelligent book – if the genre or story is not some readers ‘cup of tea’, then so be it. There’s nothing we can do, so there’s no point in getting upset.
That said, we feel it’s important to listen to constructive criticism. Occasionally an observation resonates and we’ve taken it onboard when writing our second novel.

It doesn’t matter what you do, for a living, there will always be criticism. You only have to pick up a newspaper, to understand criticism is part of the modern-day culture, whether you’re a banker or real estate worker, doctor or journalist, everyone gets criticised at some stage in their career, so why not a writer?

At the end of the day, Julia and I have had the focus and commitment to sit down and write an 85000 word novel, we’ve found the energy and drive to market and promote it. We’ve had the resilience to face being turned down by agents, and the strength to cope with rejection from publishers. We are just one of a tiny percentage of the world population that has actually completed a novel, and then an even tinier percentage who has got our book published. If that is not a reason to hold your head up high, then what is?

Joyfully, a lot of people have praised our efforts and given Riverside Lane rave reviews, a few haven’t, but that’s life. In the words of the late, great Bing Crosby:

‘You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between’

After arranging a house swap with a debonair antiques dealer, a darkly handsome American named Luca Tempesta arrives in a quaint English village. Tempesta, who claims to run a detective agency in Los Angeles, is supposedly on holiday – but the inhabitants of the village are unconvinced.

Yet, as they attempt to solve the mystery of the stranger in their midst, it gradually transpires that there are more than enough secrets to go around in the village itself, harboured by the local MP and his uptight, ambitious wife; the has-been former game show host; the respectable couple with the jailbird son; the hometown journalist, striving for a scoop that will rescue her from debt; and so on. The place is revealed as a labyrinth of deception masquerading as a picture-postcard hamlet; tension begins to mount in between the dinner parties and evenings at the pub, and soon culminates in an unexpected death.

Behind perfect privets and brightly painted front doors, the lives of Riverside Lane’s residents slowly unravel. Tempesta, guarding his secrets with a vengeance, is suddenly threatened with exposure by the elderly religious zealot Ivy Midwinter, whose own past involved keeping professional confidences. When she challenges him in church, she learns that Tempesta will stop at nothing to protect his privacy …

Set against the exquisite backdrop of a gastronomic village by the Thames, Riverside Lane is a tautly paced page-turner that also gently satirises middle- class English manners: the upstanding denizens of the village watch and whisper behind a mask of English hauteur, whilst their own fragile lives come undone.

Enjoy an Excerpt

A dusky gauze veil lifted to reveal the soft pink light of dawn. The sun recast the Earth in a glorious patchwork of fields, and a cacophony of birdsong stirred the residents of Riverside Lane from their slumber. Cherry and magnolia trees formed a guard of honour over the lane, which lay tranquil, deserted and calm.

High above, skimming the rose-coloured clouds, a British Airways jet descended over the River Thames. Luca Tempesta checked his seatbelt and reached for his cigarettes, curling his fingers around them with the zeal of a junkie. He flipped the packet, prompting disapproving looks from a couple playing chess beside him, and thought about his meeting with the Russian academic. He had felt bound by reckless honour to visit his wife’s friend and mentor in Moscow, despite the risk. The man had deserved to know what happened to Natasha, but it gave Luca even more to hide.

The scent of freshly ground coffee permeated the cabin, reminding the American of his caffeine-addicted wife; he missed her clear, analytical mind and ability to rationalise situations. He thought of her final moments, and her terror as the net had closed in. She had paid the ultimate price for her loyalty. He stretched his legs into the aisle, seeking a comfortable position for his tall frame, and quashed a familiar feeling of dread that he knew served no purpose. It was imperative that he maintain a cool head; he could not afford the luxury of surrender. He turned his attention to a photo of Kingfisher House. Luca’s agency partner, Maria, had found the place through a movie-industry fixer who knew an Englishman in need of a roof over his head in California.

About the Author: Ginger Black is a writing partnership between Gaynor Pengelly and Julia Thum.

JULIA THUM

Julia left Somerset for London at 16. She founded & ran her own consumer P R agency representing a range of international brands including Braun, Molton Brown, Clairol & Kleenex. After selling the business she trained as a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders & hosted a phone-in show on Radio Luxembourg.

Julia writes bespoke literature & articles for private clients and visits secondary schools & prisons representing two national charities in providing emotional support to pupils & inmates. A keen kayaker and a passionate cook, she lives in Bray-on-Thames with her husband Nicolas and their four children.

GAYNOR PENGELLY

Gaynor has worked as a national newspaper correspondent for more than twenty years, interviewing everyone from the great and the good to extraordinary people in ordinary lives. The rich variety of her subject matter and their circumstances has given her a rare insight into human nature and the challenges many people face.

Gaynor’s great loves include sitting in pavement cafes watching the world go by, National Trust and English Heritage and hiking across the windswept Yorkshire moors. She lives in Bray-on-Thames with her husband Jonathan and their son, Freddie James.

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Writing What You Know by Sarah Skilton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Sarah Skilton, who is celebrating tomorrow’s release of her first book for adults Club Deception. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Writing What You Know by Sarah Skilton

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Write what you know,” but what does it really mean? That every book is a thinly veiled biography? Nope–not at all.

In my experience, it means writing the types of stories only you can tell, and it comes from three possible areas:

1) Drawing on past emotions or experiences to authenticate a story

2) Using the most unique aspects of your life to shed light on an otherwise hidden subculture

3) Taking a hobby you already possess, that’s independent of writing, and giving it double duty as research

While my characters and storyline are fictional, certain elements of the plot or aspects of characters’ personalities were inspired by things I’d either experienced or witnessed. Each of the three novels I’ve published so far have had personal connections to my life and interests.

In my debut young adult novel, Bruised (Abrams/Amulet Books, 2013), the main character loves tae kwon do. Although I didn’t get my black belt until I was in my ’20s (as opposed to my protagonist, who received her black belt at 16), I was able to use my old tae kwon do diaries, charts, calendars, and instruction manuals to verify specifics about the art. I then imagined how it might feel to be a teenager with those kinds of skills. The portions from real life, although presented in a fictional way, helped provide a behind-the-scenes look into a sport not everyone knows about.

High & Dry (Abrams/Amulet, 2014) was a little trickier. What do I have in common with an 18-year-old high school boy on the soccer team? Not much, except for being a fan of the sport. During the 2010 World Cup I developed a passion for watching soccer on TV, so when it came time to write scenes from the POV of a soccer star, I felt comfortable describing high-paced, action-filled games using the appropriate terms. I never necessarily predicted it would come in handy for my writing, but due to the hours I’d logged “on my own time,” I didn’t need to conduct much additional research to make those scenes work.

Likewise, in Club Deception, my first book for adults (on sale July 25th, through Grand Central Publishing), I was able to parlay the most unusual elements of my life into the story. The novel is a murder mystery set at an underground magic club in downtown L.A. My husband is a full-time, professional magician. I enjoyed observing him and his friends at gatherings, and of course watching him perform on a regular basis. It was important to me that I depict magic and magicians in an entertaining way, while still keeping the magicians’ abilities grounded in reality.

So whether the part you “know” is something you’re on the periphery of, something you’re a longtime fan of, or something that even defines you, finding ways to integrate personal components in your writing can provide honesty and authenticity to keep readers engaged.

I hope you enjoy reading Club Deception as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Claire Fredericksson is the beating heart of CLUB DECEPTION, LA’s most exclusive magician’s society. She’s the Queen Bee of Magician WAGs (“Wives and Girlfriends”), and the real genius behind her philandering husband Jonathan’s award-winning magic show, but her debilitating stage fright has kept her out of the limelight. Claire’s life is upended by the arrival of two new women to the closed group of magicians’ wives—Jessica, a young trophy wife with a secret, and Kaimi, an art expert looking for the long-lost Erdnase papers by posing as a girlfriend. When a magician rivalry and a stolen routine erupt into murder, the women must uncover the truth and set things right for the men they love. With a cast of endurance experts, Vegas stage stars, close-up card handlers, and a pick-up artist or two, this glamorous novel weaves a tale of murder, fame, and many, many illusions.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Every magician has another magician he hates. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist or a top performer, a stage illusionist or a close-up expert. Somewhere, for whatever reason, another magician hates you.”

He regarded her carefully. “You’ve given this speech before.”

“I try to warn the new wives. Most of them have no idea what they’re getting into.”

“What are they getting into?”

She dismissed him with a wave. “Oh, I don’t know. Disillusionment. Misdirection. Now you see him, now you don’t.”

“I thought that was every marriage.”

“A lot of magicians—the good ones, anyway—lead a double life. It can be disconcerting to discover. On the other hand . . . he might make us float. He might make us fly.” She sounded far away, and her pale-green eyes shimmered like gemstones. He was certain a tear would slip down her cheek but she kept it at bay, perhaps through sheer willpower.

“Is that why you married Jonathan?” he asked.

“No.” She looked straight at him. “I wanted to disappear. And that was the only way I knew how.”

CREDIT: Excerpted from the book CLUB DECEPTION by Sarah Skilton. Copyright © 2017 by Sarah Skilton. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the Author:SARAH SKILTON is a book blogger with Barnes & Noble, as well as the author of two young adult novels, Bruised and High & Dry. This is her first adult novel, which will also appeal to her devoted audience of teen readers. Sarah Skilton’s
husband is a full-time professional magician and a member of the exclusiveclub, The Magic Castle! Visit Sarah at her website.

Parent Teacher Association by Jennifer Soosar – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer Soosar will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Fresh out of a mental hospital, Lizanne Demeter is thrilled to get a second chance at her career when she’s hired to teach third grade in the backwater town of Splinter Wood, Pennsylvania. But hopes for a peaceful new life are ruined when demanding ‘helicopter mom’ Naomi Seabrook pushes Lizanne to the brink.

While struggling to maintain control of her classroom, Lizanne begins to unravel the secret behind Naomi’s hell-bent agenda. As deadly clues emerge, Lizanne suspects Naomi is guilty of more than just overindulging her child.

With her life teetering on chaos, Lizanne risks everything to expose the shocking truth. But first, she must race against her own spiraling sanity to prove herself a more dedicated teacher than anyone dared imagine—the kind of teacher who makes ALL the difference.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Lizanne’s heart beat faster when the page loaded. LockupLink.com was a website for prisoners looking for pen pals. Free to Join! Connect with Lonely Single Inmates!

She couldn’t remember how or when the idea had first dawned on her—a Reader’s Digest article glanced at in the day room? Something on Maury Povich ages ago? But now, here it was, a practical and obvious solution.

In seconds, she was scrolling through listings of incarcerated men in Pennsylvania’s prisons. Her hand trembled over the mouse.

The ads were fascinating to read, and she poured over them, one after another. All pertinent information on each prisoner at her fingertips, his photograph, and a written greeting.

Some were murderers, others in for sexual assault, armed robbery, or drugs. It felt dangerous and wrong to look at some of the profiles. These were evil men, no denying it. But she found herself feeling sympathetic, and strangely turned on.

A lot of these desperados were very good looking, posing shirtless against a hand-painted mountain range, their bodies as fine and masculine as the models on the covers of her romance novels. They were heavily muscled and tattooed. Some guys smiled while others had tough, stiff expressions.

Her body felt a ticklish excitement as she browsed photos and read descriptions—all written with a strong undercurrent of wistfulness and remorse.

Lizanne felt powerful. In control. They all wanted her. They were practically begging for her companionship, like stray dogs in a kill shelter. If she didn’t like the looks of someone, or the tone in the description—click—and she was on to another.

About the Author:Jennifer Soosar watched too much ‘America’s Most Wanted’ growing up and has been writing about shady characters ever since. She was born and raised in Toronto and has a degree in Anthropology from York University. Her short fiction has appeared in the Toronto Star and in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada, the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

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Creepz by Ruth Bainbridge – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ruth will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour and, (US/CANADA ONLY) Ruth is hosting an EXTRA CONTEST. The prizes are a Kindle Fire HD8 and (5) $10 gift certificates. It’s a CRYPTOGRAM CONTEST and all winners will be randomly drawn via rafflecopter.

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June 2017. New York is suffering under the worst heatwave in centuries, but it’s the barrage of grisly murders that has city dwellers on edge. Since the homicides don’t fit a pattern, the NYPD is treating them as unrelated, but Detective Grace Jarrod isn’t so sure. Graffiti left at the crime scenes points to the crimes being linked and part of a rampage.

The delivery of a cryptogram to her precinct proves her theory correct. A group calling themselves CREEPZ takes credit for the deaths and for the war they wage. They promise not to stop until a societal revolution is achieved. Jarrod leads the investigation and goes after the madmen that strike at will and profess to kill for love. Little does she know that the group of homeless drifters is led by a genius who believes himself God.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“It’s the things right under your nose—
the things you don’t notice
—that get you killed.”

— Detective Grace Jarrod, NYPD

The express train thundered down the subway tracks, speeding past the commuters huddled on the platform. The breeze broke the solid wall of heat, giving the crowd on the underground platform some relief from the steam bath they were caught up in.

A sigh rippled through the human herd as they edged away from the mechanical beast clearing the station. When the last car was swallowed up by the darkness of the tunnel, they eased back into position and anticipated the arrival of a local that would stop at the 72nd Street station.

In the commuters’ minds, getting home took precedence over everything, even the colorful graffiti spray painted on the tiled wall. If only they’d divined the signs right before their eyes, they could have prevented a war.

About the Author: Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol’s achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime–on paper at least. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love–murder.

Her works include: THE CURT SAVAGE MYSTERIES (a four-part series that should be read in order); DEADSPEAK, a detective Twin Peaks; and ONLY ONE WILL FALL, the first in THE NICK CROSS MYSTERIES. CREEPZ is her eighth published work. The most intense read of the season, it’s a complex adrenaline rush that’s filled with suspense.

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Sick Like That by Norman Green – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Norman will be awarding an digital copy of Sick Like That to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

PI Marty Stiles was shot and paralyzed and is now in rehab, trying to decide whether to fight to recover. Meanwhile, his agency is being run by two women: the street-smart and savvy Alessandra Martillo, who’s the muscle, and Sarah Waters, a naïve, single mom, new to the job but who quickly becomes the brains. Though the two women grew up only a few miles from each other in Brooklyn, it might as well have been worlds apart. Now they’re partners, and for all their differences, are committed to their joint venture. When Sarah’s deadbeat ex-husband gets into trouble, Al would rather let him suffer, but she agrees to help Sarah figure out where he is and why another man has ended up dead.

This follow-up to The Last Gig features a tough and edgy, one-of-a-kind heroine—an entirely fresh take on the hardboiled women private investigators who dominate so many crime fiction classics.

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Alessandra Martillo did not like Marty Stiles, she thought he was a pig, but if so he was a pig with many useful skills and she had learned a lot from him. In short, she owed him, and she hated that, which was why she sat on the hard plastic seat of a southbound A train that was headed for Coney Island where Stiles slumped motionless in a wheelchair and waited for death.

Death, it seemed, was taking her own sweet time.

Please, his sister had begged, tears in her eyes. Please . . . I flew all the way up here from Valdosta, he won’t even look at me, he won’t even press the call button for the nurse when he makes a mess in his . . .

Oh, Jesus, Al told her, uncomfortable under the weight of obligation. I ain’t trying to hear about that.

Please, oh God please, I’ll pay you what ever you charge, please just go talk to him, I can afford it . . .

All right all right all right, Al told her, not too graciously, but she knew it was something she needed to do. I’ll go. I’ve got business this afternoon, but I’ll get down there after I’m finished. About nine- ish.

Thank you, thank you, the sister told her, sick with gratitude. I’ll call ahead, I’ll make sure they let you see him, they won’t care if it’s late, I’ll make sure . . . How much do I owe you?

Don’t worry about it, Al told her.

Christ.

And they got hospitals all over town, Al thought, but no, they have to send Marty’s fat sorry ass to some rehab all the way down in Coney Island, God ever decides to give Brooklyn an enema, here’s where the bone goes in . . .

About the Author: Norman Green is the author of six crime novels, most recently Sick Like That. Born in Massachusetts, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.

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Deception by Samuel Jay – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Samuel Jay will be awarding a signed copy of Deception to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lieutenant Jack Morro has just days to go before being sent home from the war in Vietnam. But after inadvertently learning of evidence of a conspiracy involving his captain, he is hit by the captain’s ‘friendly fire’ in the midst of battle. He is left for dead but is only wounded, captured by the Viet Cong, and imprisoned. When Jack is reported killed in action, his fiancé, Diane – a rising New York journalist – plunges into alcoholism. A media giant named Vidal helps her recover, and Diane falls in love with him. But Vidal has secrets – including a connection to Jack’s supposed ‘death.’

However, Jack is alive, and after a year of imprisonment, he manages to escape. But he comes home to find Diane married to Vidal and his life still in peril from the information he learned in Vietnam.

Vidal, Jack, and Diane find themselves wrapped in a web of romance, deceit, and danger – and none of them will escape unscathed.

Read an Excerpt:

Manhattan, November 1971

Standing in the men’s department at Macy’s, Diane Gannon smiled as she enthusiastically fingered her way through layers of folded sweaters to find one for her fiancé, Jack, who’d soon be coming home from the war in Vietnam. Alongside her was future mother-in-law, Grace Morro, also smiling as she held a shopping bag in both hands. Out in the center aisle, heel-clicking women shoppers marched along on their way to Ladies’, some of them peeling off near Diane and Grace into other rows and racks of men’s clothes. Brightening the scene, broad paths of sunlight flowed through the large windows on Seventh Avenue, revealing rows of appealing merchandise as saleswomen stood behind glass counters, chatting with customers or placing clothes in gift boxes.

Diane stood in low heels, wearing a brown suede jacket over a white sweater and black slacks, her dark, reddish hair pulled back in a ponytail, her sculptured face of fair skin and striking eyes heightened by a cleft in her chin. Holding up a light blue sweater by its shoulders, she looked over at Grace and said, “What do you think, Mom? Wouldn’t this look great on Jack?”

Wearing a gray overcoat open down the middle, Grace nodded. “Yes, it would. It really would, but I can’t stop feeling nervous about him. Him still over there. Won’t stop ’til he’s home. Two years of worrying. Sorry, hon.”

Diane lowered the sweater and arched her eyebrows at Grace. “Thirty-five more days and all our worries will be gone! He’ll be home just before Christmas!”

Grace nodded. “Meantime, he’s still over there, in the fighting.”

About the Author: The author and his wife, Joan, live in Hunterdon County, NJ. As a public relations professional he and his firm successfully handled major public issue campaigns, including raising $68 million to build Liberty Science Center, now the nation’s fourth largest hands-on science museum. He is also president of a family-owned water utility. Deception is his third novel.

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Drama Luau by Joe Cosentino – Character Interview

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Joe Cosentino with an interview with Noah Oliver from the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance series, Drama Luau. 

Welcome, Noah Oliver. Thank you for chatting with us today about the fourth novel in your popular Nicky and Noah mystery series.

Thank you for letting me out of the books for a while. It feels good to stretch out. 

Does Joe Cosentino tell you and Nicky everything to say.

We tell Joe everything to write. He has a soft spot in his head for us.

Before Joe became a college professor/department head and novelist, he was an actor working in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Bruce Willis, Charles Keating, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. If there is a TV series version of the Nicky and Noah novels someday, who do you see playing you?

Liam Hemsworth. He fits my description perfectly. Though Nicky says I’m cuter.

Who would play Nicky?

Joe Manganiello. Though Nicky is cuter.

Is he as well-endowed as Nicky?

You’ll have to ask Sophia Vergara.

How about your parents, Bonnie and Scott Oliver?

Rosie O’Donnell and Nathan Lane. Joe worked with them, so hopefully he has an in.

Do you think the novels would make a good TV series?

The best! Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do the Nicky and Noah mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers to Joe (who by the way never stops telling Nicky and me how much he wants to play Martin Anderson our department head)!

Why did Joe write a gay cozy mystery/comedy/romance series?

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are the kind of books he likes reading: funny, theatrical, sexy, wild, and wacky with a solid mystery full of plot twists and turns at its center—and a surprise ending! There aren’t a whole lot of books like that out there if I do say so myself. The ending in book four is especially shocking! 

For anyone who hasn’t read them (and they should!), tell us about the Nicky and Noah mysteries.

Our mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. The clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Nicky (Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza) and me (Assistant Professor of Acting). In the first novel, Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015), college theatre professors are falling like stage curtains (while Nicky directs the college play production), and Nicky and I must figure out whodunit and why. In the second book, Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Nicky is directing the college’s bodybuilding competition, and bodybuilding students and professors are dropping like barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (which Joe and his spouse also did). Nicky and I must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring other college theatre professors including me. Complicating matters are our both sets of parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us. In each book Nicky and I eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book. 

Have your mysteries been well received so far?

They like us! They really like us! Reviewers called the books hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer wrote it was the funniest book she had ever read. Who am I to argue?

Since Joe is a college theatre professor/department head, is Martin Anderson in the series based on Joe’s life?

Joe’s faculty colleagues kid him that if anybody at the college ticks him off, he’ll kill him/her in the series? Hah. Don’t believe it. Joe likes his colleagues and students too much to murder them in his books. Almost as much as he likes Nicky and me. Martin Anderson, our department head, is based on Joe though. He’s a loyal, hardworking department head and professor who fully supports his faculty colleagues, office assistant, and the students in his department. Like Joe, Martin is also a little bit, well quite a bit, of a gossip. His spouse, Ruben, is based Joe’s spouse. Joe’s knowledge of theatre is also very evident in the series. The other characters came from Joe’s head. That’s probably why we’re so entertaining.

Why did you like being in Hawaii for the fourth novel?

They call it paradise for a reason. Maui is the most beautiful place on Earth. The white sandy beaches, tall and majestic waterfalls, multicolored craters on mosaic mountaintops, palm trees waving in the soft breeze, and laid back and friendly Hawaiians were amazing. Nicky and I marveled at the hidden beaches, took the white-knuckle drive to the gorgeous Seven Sacred Pools, gasped at the sunrise at Haleakala, swam in the clear turquoise water, and flew through the crystal blue sky while parasailing. Of course we also went to the luau complete with the boat procession, pig roast, huge and sumptuous buffet of Hawaiian foods, and the hula dancer show. The dancers were amazing! Incredibly muscular Hawaiian men wearing grass skirts, leis (no pun intended), flower headdresses, anklets, and bracelets, gestured with their arms, waved their knees, stomped, and grunted on an outdoor stage masked by a dormant volcano. It was a blast working with them on the show and getting to know them. That is until they were murdered one by one. 

Tell us about the storyline in Drama Luau. But no spoilers please!

In Drama Luau Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort. He and I need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Our department head and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In addition to the sexy hula dancers, we meet a handsome Hawaiian detective, a Bloody Mary type housekeeper, a cigar chomping hotel manager, the hotel owner and his senator wife who give new meaning to the term family values, and a cute young waiter who wants to be a hula dancer more than an anti-gay politician wants a dark backroom in a gay bar. Nicky and I have the time of our lives solving this one, and also find our relationship in for quite a change.

And your and Nicky’s parents make a brief appearance in book four.

They’re absolutely hilarious. Nicky’s mama and papa are pretty outspoken on just about everything. I love my mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and my father’s fascination with seeing movies. I also love how my dad is an amateur sleuth like Nicky. As they say, men marry their fathers. Also, both sets of our parents accept their son’s spouse as part of their family. Kudos to them. 

Who is your favorite character in Drama Luau?

Nicky of course! He’s smart, handsome, strong, affection, and my partner for life. I love how he cares so much about everyone, and tries so hard to solve the mysteries. Our favorite new character in book four is Mark Iona, the Maui Mist Resort waiter who desperately wants to become a hula dancer in the luau show. I also like his secret crush on hunky island detective John Nohea. 

Martin and Ruben are an older couple in love. You don’t see that very often in modern literature.

I love Martin’s paternal instincts toward Nicky and me, sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind. I also like how Ruben keeps Martin in line. Finally, it’s wonderful to see how Martin and Ruben can read each other like a book—no pun intended. I hope Nicky and I grow up to be just like them. 

Which character do you like the least in book four?

The hotel owner and his state senator wife are quite vocal about their religious freedom, in their case meaning their right to discriminate against gay people. Religious freedom means you are free to practice whatever religion you like, not take away someone else’s civil rights. But as is always the case in the Nicky and Noah series, everything is not always what it seems, and Mano and Joanna Kapena offer lots of humor and surprises. 

Tell us about Joe’s Jana Lane mysteries published by The Wild Rose Press.

Nicky and I aren’t in them, but they’re still really good. Joe created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. In Rag Doll Jana stars in a television mystery series and life imitates art. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.

Joe’s Dreamspinner Press novellas (An Infatuation—Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award 2nd Place for Best MM Romance, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland) were so well received, the first two winning a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. What do you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different?

I’d ask them to give Nicky and me a chance. As my mother said to me as a kid about asparagus omelets (now one of my favorite foods), “Just try it, you may like it.” 

And how about Joe’s New Jersey beach series?

Nicky and I aren’t in that series either! NineStar Press published Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings about handsome Cal Cozzi’s gay beach resort on a gorgeous cove. Joe spent his summers as a kid on the Jersey Shore, so it’s a special place for him. The first novel was a Favorite Book of the Month on The TBR Pile site and won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. I love the intertwining stories so full of surprises. Some reviewers have called it a gay Fantasy Island. Maybe Nicky and I will check in there one day. 

How can your readers get their hands on Drama Luau, and how can they contact you?

The purchase links for Drama Luau are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. Joe loves to hear from readers. You can get to Nicky and me through him! 

Thank you, Noah, for sharing with us today.

It is our joy and pleasure to share my stories with you. So grab your plate at the buffet table, and take your front row seat for the luau show. The grass curtain is going up on Drama Luau!

DRAMA LUAU (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO

Theater professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha!

Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, Contemporary Novel of 2015):

“This fast-paced, hilariously funny, entertaining novel will have you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who-dun-it!” Joyfully Jay

Praise for DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention):

“reading these books is like watching a fabulous comedic, murder mystery, action, adventure, romantic film.” “I was giggle snorting and laughing so much I had to stop reading. Joe Cosentino’s writing is absolutely flawless. He’s a master storyteller and will keep you guessing and utterly riveted until Drama Muscle’s highly satisfying ending. This is an absolute gem of a book, and series.” Divine Magazine

Praise for DRAMA CRUISE, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press:

Joe Cosentino does it again with Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery. I loved the humor, drama, and theater work inside. Plus, the romance and murder investigation keep readers turning the pages. Absolutely, must read this latest book in the series.” Urban Book Reviews

Enjoy an Excerpt

Excerpt of Drama Luau, Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino

The olive-skinned, barefooted muscular men wore loincloths (malo), coconut necklaces, shell bracelets and anklets, and flower (lei) head garlands. With the powerful emerald mountain behind them, the dancers (‘olapa) aerobically executed hand signs, knee sways, and foot stomps toward the turquoise sea (makai), as their deep, full voices chanted to the goddess of the ocean (Namakaokahai). The lead dancer (alakai) and the dance captain (kumu) moved front and center executing their tree in the breeze hand gestures. The dancer helper (kokua) made gestures to the ocean waves behind them.

“Stop!”

The ‘ukulele, steel guitar, and bass accompaniment ended. The dancers slouched and looked toward the rows of tables and chairs facing them.

“Kimu, stand further upstage.”

“Nicky, they don’t know what upstage and downstage mean.”

“Thanks, Noah. Kimu, stand behind the other dancers, so Kal and Ak are the focus of the dance.”

That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Associate Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, an Edwardian style private college in the quaint state of Vermont. My husband and the love of my life, Assistant Professor of Acting at Treemeadow, Noah Oliver, is by my side, right where I like him. Why am I directing a luau show at the Maui Mist Resort in Hawaii? Our honeymoon in Maui was a gift from our parents. But when the customers of my parents’ bakery in Kansas became glucose intolerant, and the clientele of Noah’s parents’ dairy farm in Wisconsin found themselves lactose intolerant, Noah and I were left tolerating the bill. So my department head and his husband hit the internet and found this luau show directing job, which came with free airfare, hotel, and food for two. Enticed by the gorgeous tropical location and the gorgeous luau dancers, Martin Anderson, Professor of Theatre Management at Treemeadow College, and Ruben Markinson, director of one of the top gay rights organizations in the country, decided to tag along and keep us out of trouble. Since Martin and Ruben are our best friends, that was more than fine with Noah and me.

Since you can’t see us, I am thirty-six, tall, with dark hair, green eyes, a Roman nose, cleft chin and long sideburns. Thanks to the gym at Treemeadow College (named after Tree and Meadow, the gay couple who founded it), I am pretty muscular. One minor thing. Actually, it’s pretty major. I have a nine and-a-quarter by two-inch penis, which causes Noah to tell everyone we are “going clubbing” when we have sex.

Noah is handsome with wavy blond hair, crystal-blue eyes, porcelain skin, and hotter and sweeter buns than any found in my dad’s bakery. Martin is short, thin, and bald. As an incredible gossip, he resembles an alien looking for a good piece of news to bring back to his home planet. Ruben is tall, thin, distinguished-looking, with salt and pepper hair and two large eyes watching over Martin. Though Ruben would never admit it, like his husband, Ruben revels in the dish too.

I said to the dancers, “The opening (ho’i) number will be fine. Let’s move on.”

Whereas the first dance was an introduction to the dancers, the second number, in honor of the creation gods (Kane and Lono), is a sensual dance, where the muscular dancers get to flex, grunt, and gyrate.

Sitting next to me at the front table opposite the stage, Noah rested a hand on my knee. “Did my character work with the dancers pay off?”

I nodded. “They all seem like characters to me.”

Noah squeezed my hand as the five dancers came on stage, now wearing grass skirts. Kal (short for Kalani), at twenty-five, is tall, strikingly handsome, muscular, the leader of the pack, and he knows it. Ak (Akamu), at thirty-five, was once the stallion of the troupe, but a receded hairline and wrinkles had transformed Ak to dance captain. As leaders, Kal and Ak take focus in the dance numbers, either dancing downstage center or up center on the platform in the shape of a volcano. Pretty ironic since Kal and Ak are ex-lovers and ex-friends.

Current lovers Keanu (dancer helper), at medium height with a growing paunch, and Ahe, young, small, and cute as a button, took their places midstage and looked at each other adoringly.

Finally, Kimu, at medium height with a bull dog face and protruding belly, stood farthest upstage. The only straight member of the troupe, Kimu, said, “Are you girls ready to dance?”

Keanu left his lover, Ahe, and approached Kimu. “What a surprise, Kimu. Liquor on your breath.”

Leader Kal added, “Yeah, Kimu, during the last number you were wavering more than the palm trees near the stage fan.”

Kimu answered, “Hey Kal, is it true that you gave Keanu a pity lei?”

These guys are worse than the divas I work with in the theatre. “Can we please start the number?”

About the Author: Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) and Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau; In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (TBR Pile Book of the Month/Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries; and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015! Coming next: Drama Detective, the fifth Nicky and Noah mystery.

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The Devil Orders Takeout by Bill A. Brier – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author is awarding a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A tax attorney with integrity…a powerful mobster determined to bend his will…

Grayson Bolt isn’t about to compromise his integrity to help a notorious crime boss escape the cross-hairs of the IRS. But there’s a steep price to pay for defying The Man–Grayson’s beloved wife and older son.

There’s only one way for Grayson to prevent his younger son, Jim, an innocent golf prodigy, from also being taken out: play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. And what will Jim be forced to do when the woman he loves gets ensnarled in a web of betrayal and deceit?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“I’m afraid you’re going to get it hard, Mr. Bolt.” Costanzo had that fatherly tone of this will hurt me more than you. “Did you ever stop to think that there’s only one way of being dead, but many ways of dying?”

Grayson felt something cold touch his spine, all the way down. “I don’t follow.”

“Take your man Stockard. He killed two of your beloved family members, wife and eldest son. Isn’t that right?”

A strangling tightness gripped Grayson’s throat. “That— that’s right.”

“Wouldn’t you say a part of you died too?”

“What’s your point?” Grayson’s voice erupted in suppressed panic.

“You don’t have to die to feel dead. I’m going to kill your other son. That’ll be your punishment.”

The blood drained from Grayson’s face. Just like that. Most people held the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. Costanzo was not one of them. Grayson would be cut right to the bone, and his son would be the sharpest knife Costanzo could use. Costanzo had spelled out the thought in invisible brushstrokes. It was there and Grayson had tried not to see it.

About the Author:Bill grew up in California and went to Hollywood High School, then served in the Air Force as a combat cameraman.

After hiring on at Disney Studios as a film loader, he soon advanced and moved on to other film studios.

He earned a master’s degree in psychology. A big help when working with Trumpish Hollywood producers. You’re fired!

During his more than twenty-five years in the movie business as a cameraman, film editor, and general manager, Bill worked on everything from the hilarious, The Love Bug, to the creepy, The Exorcist, to the far out, Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.

Eight years ago, Bill switched from reading scripts to writing thriller/mysteries and driving racecars. After completing three award-winning novels, he signed with Black Opal Books. His first novel, The Devil Orders Takeout, is about a devoted father and husband who makes a deal with a real-life devil to protect his golf-prodigy son after his wife and older son are killed in a mysterious accident — and pays hell for it.

Bill’s second mystery, The Killer Who Hated Soup, is Book One in the 1950s The Killer Who series, and it launches this Summer. The Internet? Never heard of it. Smart phones? Who you kiddin’?

Energetic and eager to make his mark on what Time magazine called the next great boom town, Bucky Ontario leaves his daddy and little sister in Louisiana and rides a bus to Defiance, Oklahoma, a town not particularly adverse to murders, just the embarrassment of them when committed by high officials.

Book Two, The Killer who Wasn’t There, will be on bookshelves this fall.

Bill writes every day and golfs infrequently (that damn right knee!). His five children and eight grandchildren keep him busy going to birthday parties, and he never misses a one!

The Brier Patch is Bill’s wildly entertaining blog about his shameless early days in Hollywood. It’s on his website along with a contest linked to The Devil Orders Takeout, which will award the grand prizewinner $1,000.

Bill is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Bill’s USA Today revealing interview

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