Strangest Experiences by p.m. terrell – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m. terrell will be awarding Celtic necklace containing the Tree of Life. USA only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Strangest Experiences

A funny thing happened this morning. Given a list of blog topics to choose from, the oddest memories began creeping into my consciousness. For example, when I considered my favorite recipes, all I could think about was my mother’s cooking. She was the only mom in the neighborhood that would make grilled cheese sandwiches for all the neighborhood kids and forget to put the cheese in. Then there was the time that she remembered but didn’t realize each slice of cheese was individually wrapped. In both instances, the expressions on my friends’ faces were priceless.

Mom was thrilled when cake mixes were introduced. But when she read the instructions about adding eggs, she thought that certainly you weren’t expected to add raw eggs to a cake, so she scrambled them. The result was layers about the depth of pancakes with large lumps of scrambled eggs interspersed throughout.

Then there was the meatloaf. While biting into a chunk, my tooth hit something hard—a penny. Turned out, it had several nickels and pennies in it. I had this vision of Mom tossing in bread crumbs and money with the ground beef.

Long after I was married with a son, we visited my mom. I remember my son biting into macaroni and cheese and asking me why it crunched the way it did. I told him to inspect every bite because her cooking was always suspicious. Fortunately, no one was ever harmed; no one ever broke a tooth or had to have their stomachs pumped out.

I eventually became a good cook, or so I’m told, by watching cooking shows and following cookbook recipes, though anything more than five ingredients makes me panic. And I don’t believe I have ever cooked a full meal without thinking of my mom and wondering what she was thinking as she cooked. She passed away ten years ago, and I still miss her cooking.

CIA operatives Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire are back in the 6th book of the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries Series. Vicki and Dylan journey to Ireland for their honeymoon and while they are there, they agree to pick up a package from a Russian spy containing plans for Russia’s latest stealth technology. But when the Russian decides to defect, they find themselves trying to get him safely out of the country. They also discover the Kremlin has uncovered their identities and now Vicki and Dylan flee across the island. With breathtaking descriptions of Ireland’s rugged coast and the Northern Lights, romance and suspense come together again.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Dylan set the kettle on to boil and made his way to the kitchen door. He opened it quietly, lest he awaken Vicki, and stepped outside onto the small stoop. It was half past seven but the skies were still dark; it would be another hour before the sun had fully risen. It had rained during the night, leaving behind a heady perfume of wet sod and sweet winter jasmine.

His eyes traveled the length of the tree-lined winding drive, watching the branches dip as though bowing to an invisible monarch. He wasn’t able to see beyond the far lawn; a person could be standing just on the edge of the grass and the mists would obscure him completely. But that’s the way it was here in Ireland, he thought. The mists and the fogs could morph in front of one’s eyes and if he allowed himself to go there, they would take his mind into places better left alone.

A sudden gust rounded the corner of the house and struck him fully and for the briefest moment, his weight was shifted to his toes as he fought to keep his balance. Ah, the wind, he thought as he settled again. She was as much a part of Ireland as the rain. Never referred to as it, it was always she: She’s a blustery one today or She must be sleepin’, she’s so slow. She because the winds were just like a mistress: they could wrap their cool arms around you and calm your nerves; they could give you that extra push up the hill or propel you down one; or they could change in an instant from cajoling to wicked, catching you when you were least prepared. And then there were the lazy winds; the winds that rolled in from the Atlantic or the North Sea on a bitter winter day; lazy because they wouldn’t take the time to go around you, they’d go straight through you instead.

He looked up, registering the gray clouds against the dark skies. She’s comin’ in from the Atlantic, he thought as he watched them roil and tumble toward the east. But there was no more rain in her, at least not now; perhaps later in the day, there would be a mist or two. Now, she was simply playing; skittering across the fields, rippling the grasses, awakening the sheep and the cows as they were set out to pasture half-groggy with sleep.

The teakettle began to whistle and reluctantly, he moved back inside and removed the kettle from the massive stove. He would keep the stove on for awhile, at least; it helped to chase away the chill that inevitably found its way into every nook and cranny. Besides, there was breakfast to be made.

While his tea steeped in a china cup, he placed another peat brick in the fire. The fireplace was along the wall between the kitchen and the living area and visible from both rooms. His eyes dropped to the bearskin rug that lay rumpled in the living area.

He could still see Vicki lying there as she had last night, the fur soft against her skin, the glow from the fire illuminating her curves, her long hair tumbling over her breasts. He had kissed and licked her nipples until she was writhing under him; he had followed those curves with kisses, spreading her legs to find her filled with desire. She had pulled him down to her, her moans filling the air, her fingers threading through his hair, kneading his back, feeling his want. The world around them ceased to exist, his vision filled only with her: amber eyes radiant, silky skin glistening, legs that wrapped him in a cocoon of love.

About the Author: p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in several genres, including suspense, historical and non-fiction. Prior to becoming a writer, she owned two computer companies in the Washington, DC with a specialty in combatting computer crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Technology is often woven through her suspense thrillers. Terrell is of Irish descent, and Ireland often figures prominently in her books as well. She has been a full-time author since 2002 and currently travels between her home in North Carolina and Northern Ireland, the home of her ancestors. She is also the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina’s Writers Conference and Book Fair and The Novel Business.

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Never Go Alone by Denison Hatch – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Denison Hatch will be awarding a physical copy of the Jake Rivett Series, Flash Crash and Never Go Alone, (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Read our review of this book, here.

THE FIRST RULE IS: NEVER GO ALONE.

“Never Go Alone is an explosive return for both Denison Hatch and his hero.” – BestThrillers.com

A rash of elaborate cat burglaries of luxury buildings in Manhattan has the city panicked.

When a group of social media obsessed millennials–a loosely organized crew that call themselves “urban explorers”–are suspected in the heists, undercover NYPD detective Jake Rivett is assigned the case.

Rivett dives deep into the urban exploration scene in pursuit of the truth. But what, and who, he finds–deep in the sewers, up in the cranes above under-construction skyscrapers, and everywhere else in New York–will change not only Jake, but the city itself.

Enjoy an Excerpt

The explorer gazed down the gleaming city from the Upper West Side, all the way through Midtown and into Chelsea. It was more than a place now, more than a landscape. By this point at its evolution, Manhattan represented a geospatial-and-social coordinate on the razor’s edge of modernity. It was no longer what the future could be. It was the future itself, right now, happening in front of one’s eyes and reaching the stage of infinite singularity. As the years had gone on, the surfaces of the metropolis had become smooth, the lights perfect, the façades utterly complete. It no longer beckoned for the masses humbly—it repelled them. The construction site the explorer had ascended from would soon consist of glass, marble, and sex. That was all, and that was everything, and if one was rich enough, one could buy it. The new culture didn’t care for culture itself. It did not bow to subtlety of argument or freedom of soul. It only knew money—astronomical levels of money. The only people who could afford to live here would be the progeny of sovereign wealth fund managers, tech moonshot winners, and industrial titans. Nothing was free, for anyone—not even the views.

About the Author:Denison is a screenwriter and novelist. He has a number of feature and television projects in development, including his original screenplay, Vanish Man, which is set up at Lionsgate. A graduate of Cornell University, he lives with his wife and a big dog in a little house in Hollywood. He is presently working on the third Jake Rivett thriller.

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Interview with Jane Larsen from Weave a Murderous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome back Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks, who is sharing an interview with us today with Jane Larson. Take it away, Ken and Anne!

*****
Anne and I are very happy to have Jane Larson with us today for an interview. Jane is the star of our three books, Weave A Murderous Web, Mind Me, Milady, and Praise Her, Praise Diana. In her spare time, she likes to run, especially around the New York City reservoir.

Anne: Welcome, Jane.

Jane: Thank you for having me.

Anne: Tell us a little about yourself?

Jane: Objection, overbroad!

Ken: Huh?

Jane: The question is overbroad, so I objected. I’m a lawyer, remember?

Ken: Okay, okay. You were born and raised in New York City, correct?

Jane: Objection, leading!

Anne: Omigod.

Ken: (To Anne) What’s wrong with her?

Jane: Hey! I heard that. I’m sitting right here, you know.

Anne: Why are you giving us such a hard time? We’re trying to give you some good publicity.

Jane: Sorry. I’m a lawyer. All lawyers hate to testify. It makes them nervous.

Ken: You’re not under oath or anything.

Jane: What the heck is that supposed to mean? Are you calling me a liar? I always tell the truth. It’s probably my biggest personality defect.

Ken: It’s got a lot of competition.

Anne: (whispering) Hush!

Jane: What’s the matter, Ken. You don’t like strong women? You’re lucky my mother isn’t here. Now there was a strong woman. She wouldn’t even let me call her mom. I had to use her first name: Martha. The other kids thought she was great. Their parents thought she was nuts.

Anne: Tell us more about her.

Jane: Martha lived on 92nd Street when I was born. She had a law office on the ground floor of a tenement building. We lived in an apartment on the second floor. She had an incredibly busy law practice. Unfortunately, she liked working for people who weren’t able to pay so we never had a lot of money for the little extras. Actually, we didn’t have money for any extras.

Ken: So I guess you went to public school.

Jane: Actually, I started in Catholic school. Martha said our local elementary school was a joke, which was true, but I think she wanted me to get some ethical training among other things.

Ken: Good idea.

Jane: What is that supposed to mean?

Anne: Please continue. I didn’t realize you went to Catholic school.

Jane: Just through grade five. I hated it so much that I worked really hard to learn as much as I could to pass the exam to get into Hunter High School. I did well at Hunter and got a scholarship to Columbia University.

Anne: Wow. Congratulations.

Jane: Thanks. I think it was all part of Martha’s plan. She could be very sneaky sometimes. For example, she never told me that working for a large firm and making lots of money was bad for the soul. But I knew the kind of life she had lived, and when I had the law job for the big bucks, I found it hard to sleep at night. So here I am, in her office in the old neighborhood, still representing the people who need it the most and have the least money.

Anne: Martha would be proud of you.

Jane: Maybe. You never can tell with her. (Looks at her watch). Anything else? I’ve got a conference in Supreme Court on a new matter.

Ken: How’s the social life?

Jane: Why do you think there’s something wrong with my social life? My social life is fine.

Ken: Why are you so weird? I never said that.

Jane: But you thought it. You thought that because I’m not married and in my late thirties that I worry all the time about my social life. About having a kid while I still can? Right? For crying out loud, you think my whole life should be defined by a man? (Turning to Anne). Why do all men think that the whole world revolves around them?

Anne: (smiling). It’s a puzzle isn’t it? Thanks for coming in today, Jane. We appreciate it.

Weave A Murderous Web is a mystery novel by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks. It is one of three books in the Jane Larson series, published by Melange Books.

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Enjoy an Excerpt from the first book in the series Weave a Murderous Web

I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.

Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.

“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.

While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.

I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.

“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”

“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.

“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry, Lee.”

“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”

“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”

A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”

Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?

“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”

The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”

“No, I’m busy,” I replied.

Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”

“Goodbye, Lee.”

She disconnected.

Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.

A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.

About the Authors:Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years. Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.

Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The first two books in the series are Weave A Murderous Web and Praise Her, Praise Diana, both published by Melange Books, LLC. A third novel, Mind Me, Milady, will be published in early 2017.

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Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding autographed copy of PURR M FOR MURDER (hardcover – US ONLY)to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

Enjoy an Excerpt

We were in the doorway now. A large desk was at the far end of what appeared to be an office. The light was coming from a small lamp perched on the edge of the desk, and as we crossed the threshold, it flickered and then went out. Kat shone the pencil thin beam of the flashlight around the room, letting out a sharp cry as it hit the wall nearest us. “Lightswitch,” she squealed, and a minute later the room was filled with a harsh fluorescent light.

I glanced around. Yes, this was definitely an office, and not a very tidy one at that. There were several file cabinets pushed up against the far wall, and two of the drawers in the one on the left were half open. Papers were strewn across the desk, and some file folders had dropped onto the floor and were scattered across the Oriental rug.

“Good Lord,” my sister exclaimed. “For someone always so fastidious about his appearance, he certainly likes to work in a mess.”

I frowned. “It looks more to me like it’s been ransacked. Someone was searching for something. What do you think, Kat? Kat?”

My sister had moved over to the far corner of the room and was standing before a large wardrobe. “Wow, this is beautiful,” she said, lifting a hand to run it over the smooth exterior. She balled her hand into a fist and rapped it against the wood. “Solid oak. I saw a picture of one like this in a catalog. French, dates back to the late 1800’s. I wonder what it’s doing in his office?”

“Who knows? Maybe he keeps his suit jackets in it,” I said. “Why do you care, anyway?”

“It’s such a beautiful piece,” my sister murmured. “Too good for that rotter. It seems out of place in this office.”

“Maybe it just came in and he’s got it here for pricing,” I ventured.

“Maybe. I wouldn’t mind having something like this,” Kat said, running her hand once again across the smooth wood. “It looks deep enough – I wonder if the doors swing out all the way? It would be great to put a TV in.”

I eyed the piece. “That thing looks hand-carved. He probably wants an arm and a leg for it.”

“Probably.” She gave the handle a tug. “Hm. The doors seem to be stuck.”

I waved my hand impatiently. “Oh for goodness sakes, leave it alone. Must you examine it now?”

Her lower lip thrust forward. “Yes. Who knows, I might not get another chance.”

I shot her a sharp look. “You’re not thinking of buying this, are you?”

She sighed deeply. “I suppose not. Littleton will probably want some astronomical figure for it. But I might never get another opportunity to see such a finely made one up close.” She shot me an appealing look. “Give me a hand, won’t you? You’re strong. Maybe if we both pull on the handle at the same time it’ll open.”

I knew my sister. Once Kat made up her mind about something she was like a pitbull with a bone. I knew when it was futile to argue with her. “Okay, fine. But if we get this open, one quick look and then we’re out of here.”

She nodded and I placed my hand on top of hers. “On the count of three, give it all you’ve got. One, two—three.”

We both tugged at the same time and suddenly the door flew open. We went staggering backwards at the same time the body of Trowbridge Littleton, his eyes bulging almost out of their sockets, tongue lolling to the side, hit the floor at our feet.

About the Author: While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and < ahref=”http://www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com”>www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com.

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Outcome by Barbara Ebel – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Ebel 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.

Fierce weather stalks Karen Puno and her dog, Putt-Putt, as they flee their home and reach the barrier island’s bridge where both their destinies change. Karen is about to give a woman named Jennifer Barns a gift that she’s been praying for … a new liver.

As a cascading medical crisis begins, it interlocks the lives of Karen and Jennifer’s college-aged children, an anesthesiologist, a crafty surgeon, and a feisty pilot involved with the organ harvest procurement.

Will Jennifer live through the heart-stopping surgical tension in the O.R.? Will Putt-Putt find shelter from the devastating storm and circumvent the horrific events that befall him? From tragedy to triumph, Outcome is an intense, heart-wrenching, and climactic novel.
*****
Has it been a long time since a book made you cry, or cheer, or make you regret finishing the last page?

If it has, then put OUTCOME on your reading list. It’s an emotionally-charged novel about the families, health-care team, and pilot involved with a liver transplant. Keep a box of tissues within reach. You’ll also need them for the heartbreaking yet glorious plight of the donor’s dog who goes missing in the original disaster.
*****
This is a totally new edition of Outcome which was first published in 2011.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Okay boy, we’re going for a ride,” Karen gestured. Putt-Putt readily jumped in the back behind piled-high back seats. She threw in his leash and closed the hatchback. Upon opening the garage door, she sulked at Rick’s Corvette because she was unable to drive it away from potential harm. She backed out and speed dialed Rick, who answered immediately with a groggy voice.

“I’m leaving the island,” Karen said loudly, pulling onto the main western road of the overbuilt sand bar. Crashing waves to her right sounded like muffled thunder and the sand blew hard, pelting her vehicle.

“Be careful,” Rick said, but she barely heard him. “Call me later, anytime.”

“I love you,” she yelled.

She pieced together his response of, “I love you, too,” as the connection severed and she saw a vehicle’s tail lights further ahead. Putt-Putt whined in the back and she checked the rear view mirror to see his wide-open eyes glued on her.

Karen felt terrorized by all the sights and sounds. She trembled and her heart rate sped. As she began ascending the steep bridge incline to cross the bay, waves chased in her direction, towering south in the Gulf to what would eventually be fifty-two foot monstrosities.

The wind and turbulence helped push Karen’s car as she descended the summit of the beach bridge going to the larger barrier island of Gulf Breeze. There police Officer Kent Milton was parked perpendicular to Karen’s northbound lane and monitored the evacuation.

About the Author:Barbara’s Ebel’s writing draws heavily from her experience as an anesthesiologist. As a physician, speaker, and former chemist, she sprinkles credible medicine into the background of her fiction where plots and vivid characters take center stage and her O.R. scenes shine.

She penned the Dr. Danny Tilson novels before the Annabel Tilson novels DEAD STILL and DEADLY DELUSIONS. Her Dr. Danny Tilson novels have received a multitude of accolades including but not limited to: Collateral Circulation was the National Indie Excellence Award 2015 Finalist for medical thrillers and Operation Neurosurgeon was the top finalist for best-selling medical mystery books in 2012. (Best Selling Books’ blog announced on PR Buzz Press Release Wire, Chicago, IL).

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In addition to her adult writing, she has illustrated and penned a children’s book series called Chester the Chesapeake. The books developed during her philanthropic visits with her therapy dog, Chester. The dog books continue to inspire adults and children alike. Along with her husband and four pets, ‘Doctor Barbara’ lives in a wildlife corridor in middle Tennessee.
You may find Chester at Dog Books for Children.

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Lessons I Learned from my Heroine by Dana Ford – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dana Ford will be awarding a $50 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.

Lessons I Learned from my Heroine

The main lesson that I learned from my heroine Constance, is that assumptions are not facts. It is important to follow our instincts and go down the paths of truth even though we may think we already have the answers. Also, there is always hope. Often times, people do not have the courage to pursue hope because they are not presented with the opportunity of reconciliation or forgiveness. We really don’t know what a person is thinking, unless we ask them and then listen – really listen. One thing that I truly love about Constance is that she never gives up. Her determination to not only uncover the truth, but to have truth impact others for their good, is admirable. I think she has used her natural curiosity for good; to help lift up other people and to give them second chances.

In this mystery fiction novel, Georgia Richards lost hope of ever seeing her husband again since he disappeared over a year ago. On a Saturday afternoon, she thought she saw him at a play; on stage at the Oaksdale Playhouse. But, Georgia didn’t have the courage to find out if it was really him. Constance McCauley was empathetic to Georgia’s faint of heart and decided to offer her investigation services to find the true identity of this mysterious man. Would Constance be able to track down Georgia’s estranged husband? If he was found, why had he been missing for over a year? As Constance pursued this case with a combination of faith and persistence, she witnessed the power of forgiveness unfold before her eyes.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Why weren’t there more lights backstage? I felt like a mouse in a maze. It was difficult to tell if the hanging costumes were people or if the shadows were hanging costumes. There he was! “Excuse me sir! Sir!” He turned around and caught my eye. I managed to hold his gaze for a moment. He was nervous, almost frightened. His eyes a deep brown, he seemed to want to say something, but instead he fell into the low lighting and disappeared. I picked up my pace to try and catch him. “Wait!” I briskly walked and then ran past racks and racks of costumes and odd set design items like furniture, tall plants, and a fake standing bear.

“Wait! Please, I want to talk to you!” The backstage door swung open and blinding light flooded me where I stood, and hindered my view. He was gone. I quickly looked to the left and then to the right and no one was there. I looked to the left again and then began to run along the backside of the theatre. I slowed down, because I realized that he was in fact gone. Why would anyone run from a perfect stranger unless they had something to hide or something to lose? Turning around, I walked back towards the backstage door. I again waded through the racks of hanging costumes and walking shadows of actors and busy people. Why would he run? I found myself back in my seat.

About the Author: Dana Ford has enjoyed writing stories since she can remember. She has penned several books and has found a new love in writing mystery fiction. Her favorite hobbies besides writing is watching old movies, volunteering in her community, and spending precious moments with her family.

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The Good Spy Dies Twice by Mark Hosack – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N 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 Good Spy Dies Twice,” the cryptic final words from a condemned death row inmate draw Jake Boxer, the one-time king of cable news, out of retirement, setting him on a collision course with a deadly global conspiracy involving his secretive wife, a depraved New World Order, and the “guests” at a posh Alaskan ski resort. Everyone is a suspect. Part spy thriller, part whodunit, “The Good Spy Dies Twice” is the first book in Mark Hosack’s explosive new thriller series, Bullseye. Called “an undeniably spry and rousing espionage tale” by Kirkus Reviews.

Enjoy an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

He heard it…he finally heard it!

Well, he thought he’d heard it. He couldn’t be sure. His head was still ringing from a massive—and quite unexpected—electrical shock.

One minute Brody had been climbing an old chain-link fence that encircled the mountain—listening intently through his headphones—the next he was flailing backward, thrown by an electrical jolt that had struck like lightning.

Only it wasn’t lightning.

The shock had most definitely come from that fence.

Brody had landed flat on his back on the frozen earth, and the impact had knocked the wind out of him.

Now gasping, he sucked on the cold Russian air, his body desperate for oxygen, but his mind racing for something else.

The sound he’d heard while climbing the fence—the one that had practically vibrated the headphones right off his head—that hum…it was real! And it was right there on his—

Audio recorder.

Oh, shit.

Where was it? His recorder?

His headphones were still on his head, but his audio recorder had bounced out of its satchel. It had been a short fall, just ten feet or so. It couldn’t have gone far, and so long as it wasn’t damaged…

His heart sank into his guts.

What if it was broken? After traveling thousands of miles to Russia? After stealing away from his sleeping fiancée in the dead of the night and driving for nearly twenty-four hours, nonstop? After sneaking into an abandoned Soviet-era military installation?

About the Author:Mark Hosack is the author of THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE (Book 1: The Bullseye Series), and IDENTITY (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote on the web series SEQUESTERED for Sony Crackle, the screenplay for GIVE ‘EM HELL, MALONE (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), and he both wrote and directed the award winning independent film PALE BLUE MOON. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a brood of gremlins that insist on calling him Dad.

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Character Creation and Setting by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens 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.

Character Creation and Setting
SALLY AND JEAN write mysteries. That’s what we do for a living. For fun, we watch movies and television and read books by other authors, oh, and travel—we love to travel. So we find ourselves carried away vicariously to great places we’ve visited ourselves, places we’ve seen in movies or read about, or places we’ve fabricated out of a clear blue sky (or the murkiness of our minds)—places full of great characters pieced together with bits of people we know, bits of people we’ve barely met, and of course bits of people with traits we make up.

DIGBY SLOAN? We saw him in a movie once—we’re sure you all remember the manly yet sweet countenance of Heath Ledger—and then we thought of what traits a good Aussie man would have: smarts, strength, honesty, loyalty (to friends and family), ethics, and—OMG, can’t forget—humor, lots and lots of humor.

And since there’s nothing to hamstring a hero quite like being a fish out of water, we picked up our hero and flew him to London, catching him in the middle between society’s titled well-heeled lords and ladies and always suspicious and stick-to-business-please police force.

And then we gave him a sidekick to bounce things off, a sidekick who’s every bit as useless as Wilson from Cast Away and as fun as Ron Weasley.

LONDON? Well, why not choose a location for our first Digby Sloan Mystery every bit as cosmopolitan, diverse, and steeped in tradition as London? The place is an awesome, yet confusing combination of old ways and new ways, a perfect location for a traditional art museum, and a great place for us to populate with a delicious cast of colorful characters. London, its architecture, traffic, cuisine, and unpredictable weather are as much an element of Kangaroo Dreaming as Digby himself.

Digby Sloan, Aussie private eye, loves his mum, and is loyal as a Queensland Heeler. Now he’s in London handcuffed to a kangaroo.

Kangaroo Dreaming, a valuable aboriginal totem, must make it safely to a London museum for exhibition, and Digby is the one in charge. But within hours of his arrival, the roo is stolen and the curator is murdered.

His bosses blame Digby for the theft and insist he stay to help London Metropolitan recover Kangaroo Dreaming. That’s all well and good, except the lead cop keeps getting in Digby’s way. The case puts everyone in peril, including Digby Sloan, who might not make it back alive to the Land Down Under to find out if he even still has a job.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Collins handed Sharkfella a couple of lethal- looking darts. “There you go, little Aussie.”

Sharkfela took them and looked at them a long time. He shook his head. “Better if you go first, Sydney.”

“Nah.” I waved him away. “Give her a shot. I’ll go later.”

He squinted and looked at the target. “All right.”

Collins moved over by the board, put his hands on his hips, and turned to face the target. “All right, Sharkfella, let’s see what you gents from Down Under can do. Let her fly.”

Sharkfella aimed, aimed again, then let her fly he did.

The dart sailed straight, fast and sure—right into one of the fleshy cheeks of Collins’s enormous bum, where it stuck, quivering.

Collins shrieked and grabbed at the mini missile impaling his backside.

Sharkfella’s eyes were huge. A look of pained disbelief spread across his face, the same look I figured was on mine.

“Oops,” Sharkfella said. There was genuine regret in his voice, but that didn’t make it any more of an understatement. “Sorry.”

Collins rounded. His big face was all scrunched up and red as Ayers Rock. “You meant to do that, you scraggy little wanker. I’m gonna freaking kill you.”

About the Authors:

Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens, are partners in crime—crime writing, that is. They live in the Valley of the Sun in Arizona, awesome for eight months out of the year, an inferno the other four. They write bloody murder, flirty romance, and wicked humor all in one package.

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Casket Girl by Maggie Mae Gallagher – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Godess Fish Promotions. Maggie  will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

All he wants is to find a killer…

FBI Special Agent Josh Blake has seen some bizarre cases in his day. His latest case is one for the record books. He has multiple homicides, corpses drained of every ounce of blood, and no suspects. When rumors surface that the French Quarter may be hiding an insidious monster bent on drenching the streets in dead bodies, he must suspend logic and place his trust in the mystical.

She wants a fresh start…

Isabelle Toussánt left her family home in the bayou five year ago, cutting all ties with her abusive whiskey swilling stepfather, to forge a new life in the French Quarter. Now a successful business owner of Madam Toussánt’s Mystical Gifts in Jackson Square, and a Seer with voodoo roots. The foundation of her new life shatters when one of her employee’s winds up dead and she is dragged into a deadly game where she becomes the target of a serial killer.

A passion neither expected…

Determined to stop the brutal slayings, Josh must rely on the beautiful Isabelle who makes him question everything he has ever known about life and death all while surrendering to a desire hotter than a Bayou night. When Isabelle disappears without a trace, with tourists flocking to the party capital for Halloween, and the body count continues to mount, Josh will be forced to push beyond the boundaries of what he thinks is possible and rescue the woman he loves before it’s too late.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Miss Toussánt.” Captain Tremayne addressed her above the din and chaos.

She swung around, her long dark hair, the silky wave of it, shimmering and rippling as she faced the captain. Josh took one look at Miss Isabelle Toussánt and felt like a thoroughbred had just kicked him in the stomach.

She was exotic, with caramel skin and looking taut and lean in her formfitting tank that displayed delicate arms. He sucked in a sharp breath when she glanced at the captain. Cat eyes. The mahogany color reminded Josh of his chestnut mare as a child, Daisy. They were framed by black brows. One of them was currently raised in his direction as she spoke to the captain.

“Yes, Captain Tremayne? Can I interest you in a cup of coffee?” Her voice reminded him of a shot of smooth, single malt whiskey.

“Miss Toussánt, this is Agent Josh Blake with the FBI. He has some questions, if you’re up for them.”

A wounded shadow passed through her magnetic eyes for a moment before she shifted her gaze toward him. The unabridged effect of her stare was electric and compelling, until he found himself immersed in her eyes. Unexpected lust zinged along his spine, not that he would give in to the temptation she presented, but his body resonated with the siren’s call her body echoed.

“Agent, can I interest you in some coffee?” She held up a glass carafe of steaming brew, already half empty.

“Not right now, Miss Toussánt. Thank you for the offer, though,” he murmured gently but firmly. It smelled like heaven, but he didn’t want to coddle her. She needed to understand he was in charge and would dig into her background no matter how sweetly her hips swished as she walked.

“Please call me Isabelle,” she offered with a slight smile, but it didn’t spread to her eyes. No amount of coffee or alcohol would erase the vision of death. He knew what that first time was like, though, the horror of it, the way it twisted your insides. Seeing for the first time how fragile life truly was made you face your own mortality. And, more important, you began to understand that some individuals just wanted to watch the world burn.

“Is there somewhere we can talk privately?” he asked, assessing her response, both verbal and non-verbal, ignoring the intense desire churning in his gut as he studied her. If there was one thing Miss Toussánt was, it was off-limits. It didn’t matter how long it had been since he’d done the horizontal tango. If there was one thing he was strictly by the book on, it was that he never blurred the lines in a case. The evidence either convicted a person or set them free. As it was, she was a witness to a horrific murder, possibly more.

There was something off about her that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. The way her eyes darted nervously around, and she kept wetting her pouty bottom lip. It could be signs of trauma and shock from discovering the body, or it could be she was hiding something. Perhaps she’d witnessed the incident and feared the killer would come back for her if he knew.

“Certainly, follow me.” Isabelle returned the carafe to the coffeemaker, wiped her palms along her skirt and nodded toward a doorway in the far corner.

He would have followed her into hell if it meant listening to her sultry voice some more and siphoning whatever information she had on this case.

About the Author:Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

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Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!

The Mystic Series
REMEMBER ME
CASKET GIRL

The Cantati Chronicles

RUPTURED
ANOINTED
ASCENDED

And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers!

The Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
HER HIGHLAND MASTER, Book 1
TO MASTER AND DEFEND, Book 2
TWO DOMS FOR KARA, Book 3
HIS DRIVEN DOMME, Book 4
HER COUNTRY MASTER, Book 5
LOVE ME, MASTER ME, Book 6
SUBMIT TO ME, Book 7
HER WIRED DOM, Book 8

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It Hurts So Good by Anna Willett – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anna Willett 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.

It Hurts so Good
Almost everyone can write, but writing something good is the hard part. So assuming one has the knowledge, knowhow and skill to actually put something good on the page, all that’s left is the myriad of other challenges writing a novel presents.

For some, the hardest part is starting. Facing the blank page and trying to focus a maelstrom of ideas into an attention grabbing first chapter is far from easy. Putting aside the self-doubt and stepping into the unknown takes courage. While for others, finishing a novel is the challenge. Putting in the time and effort necessary to wrangle a ninety thousand word beast into submission can be an overwhelming task. Or some might say creating believable characters that readers are willing to invest in their time and money in, is the stumbling block.

Then there’s those pesky parts we all hate. For me, it’s writing the synopsis. What could be worse than trying to condense ninety or a hundred thousand words into one page? It’s enough to send me screaming from the room or wincing with agony. Whittling a novel down to say five hundred words is like squeezing all the joy and beauty out of the text.

The plain truth is, they’re all right. Everything about writing is hard. Ernest Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and bleed”. Even for a giant of the literary world like Hemingway, writing was painful. Tearing the scab off long buried emotions and pouring your heart onto the page is not for the faint-hearted. Some days, sitting down and plugging away, one agonising word at a time is a writer’s lot.

But with all that said, the question then becomes, why do it? If it’s so hard, painful even, why write? For me, the answer is simple. I write because I love everything about it, even the pain. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from creating something out of nothing that’s incomparable. The thrill of building characters and situations born of one’s imagination that then take on a life of their own. There is nothing quite like listening to readers discuss people and situations from your novel, as if they’re real.

The other irresistible lure of writing comes from the days not when you’re bleeding, but when everything’s flowing. The words and ideas come thick and fast. Your fingers are flying over the keyboard and you’re a million miles away from the mundane. In On Writing, Stephen King wrote, “I did it (writing) for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it for ever”. A great deal of joy comes from being fortunate enough to spend your time dreaming up outrageous or terrifying situations and then putting them down on paper. Then sending those pages out for others to read and hopefully enjoy. It’s the best job in the world.

So, what’s the hardest thing about writing? The answer is everything. What’s the best thing about writing? Everything. Strange but true. It’s okay to experience the pain of writing. To sit down at the keyboard and bleed is fine – normal even, as long as there is also joy. Because if you aren’t feeling the joy, it’s going to show in the work. If you didn’t enjoy writing your novel, why would anyone enjoy reading it?

For Milly Birdsworth and Her sister Judith, a two day trip in an isolated area of the National Park seems like an ideal way to mend their tattered relationship. With Milly’s best friend Harper along for moral support and experienced hiker Lucas as their guide, it seems nothing can go wrong.

But when everyone has something to hide, it’s difficult to know who to trust. What starts out as an adventure to bring two sisters together quickly becomes a terrifying ordeal where old wounds are exposed and a deadly tragedy is brought to light. One thing is clear, someone is seeking retribution and won’t stop until the guilty are punished.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Milly reached for her hand under the sleeping bag. It felt icy. “Anything could be happening. We don’t know it was Harper screaming.” There was so much she wanted to say. So many things she needed to tell her, but now wasn’t the time.

“What’s that?” Judith jumped and squeezed her hand tight enough to cut off the circulation. “In the trees, I… I thought I heard something.”

Milly followed her sister’s gaze. Three metres beyond the fire lay only blackness. It was impossible to see anything, human or animal. Suddenly Milly wondered if the fire was a good idea. If there was someone out there, the light would make the two women clearly visible to anyone watching. They’d be easy targets. Targets for what? Her mind raced in a dozen half-formed directions, all of them ominous. She shuddered and leaned against her sister.

“I don’t hear anything,” Milly whispered. “Maybe it’s an animal. A kangaroo or something.”

About the Author:Anna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper and Retribution Ridge. Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna enjoys writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband and two children.

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