Book Showcase: 66 METRES by J. F. Kirwan

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66 Metres

by J F Kirwan

on Tour July 17-31, 2017



Synopsis:


66 Metres by J F Kirwan

A chilling and utterly compelling thriller that you won’t be able to put down!

The only thing worth killing for is family.


Everyone said she had her father’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow, she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.

Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has just one last mission to complete. Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose, a military weapon shrouded in secrecy, Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.

And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her…



Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Published by: Carina
Publication Date: August 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780008207748
Series: Nadia Laksheva Spy Thriller #1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 



Read an excerpt:


‘Let’s see if you can really shoot. Give her your pistol,’ Kadinsky said to one of the henchmen, the one with a pockmarked face – Pox, Nadia named him – who immediately lost his sense of humour.


She took the weapon from his outstretched hand, weighed it in her palm. An old-style Smith & Wesson. God knows why the guy had it. Most blatnye preferred semi-autos, Makarovs or the older but higher-velocity Tokarevs. She checked that it was loaded, all six bullets nestling in their chambers. She glanced at Kadinsky, thought about killing him. But the other henchman, the fat one with slicked black hair – hence, Slick – had his Glock trained on her, his lopsided leer daring her.

Kadinsky waved a hand towards Katya, five metres away. He tilted his head left and right, then settled back against the soft leather, took a gulp of whiskey, and smacked his lips. ‘The red rose in the bowl of flowers behind her left ear. Shoot it. From where you stand.’

Slick’s eyes flicked toward Katya, gauging the angles. His leer faded.

Nadia stared at her sister and the rose. Most of it was behind her head. Only one leaf of the scarlet blossom was exposed. She swallowed, then lifted the revolver, and took up a shooting stance like her father had taught her. Right arm firm, elbow not fully locked, left hand under the fist, prepared for the recoil. She had to do it before anger built and disrupted her concentration. She cocked the hammer, lined up the shot, then spoke to Katya’s serene, trusting face: ‘Love you,’ she said. Then she breathed out slowly, as if through a straw, and squeezed the trigger.

Masonry exploded behind Katya. The crack was so loud that three other men burst into the room, weapons drawn. Kadinsky waved them back as Pox peeled the revolver from Nadia’s stiff fingers. Petals fluttered to the floor amidst a plume of white powder from the impact crater in the wall. Katya sat immobile, pale, the hair on the left side of her head ruffled as if by a gust of wind. A trickle of blood oozed from her left temple, and ran down her cheek.

Katya, lips trembling, beamed at Nadia. ‘Still alive,’ she said, her voice hoarse. She touched the graze with an unsteady forefinger.

Nadia began to shake. She folded her arms, refusing to give Kadinsky the satisfaction.

Excerpt from 66 Metres by J F Kirwan.  Copyright © 2017 by J F Kirwan. Reproduced with permission from J F Kirwan. All rights reserved.



J F Kirwan

Author Bio:

Barry (JF) works by day in aviation safety, and writes at night. He is also a diving instructor and has dived all over the world. He got hooked on writing when people started arguing about his characters as if they were real people. He is married and lives in Paris, because the coffee is better there, and he needs coffee to write.


Catch Up With Our Author On:


Website 
Goodreads 
Twitter 
Facebook 




Tour Participants:

Visit our amazing hosts throughout the tour for great reviews, excerpts, & giveaways!





Giveaway:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for J F Kirwan. There will be 4 winners of one (1) $10 Amazon.com Gift Card! The giveaway begins on July 16 and runs through August 2, 2017.


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2017 Book 255: LAST BREATH by Karin Slaughter

Last Breath by Karin Slaughter 
ISBN: 9780062792365 (paperback)
ISBN: 9789402753530 (ebook)
ASIN: B06XNJDDKL (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 10, 2017 
Publisher: Witness Impulse 


Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home—and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honor-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Razor-sharp and lightning-fast, this electrifying story from the #1 international bestselling author will leave you breathless. And be sure to read Karin Slaughter’s extraordinary new novel The Good Daughter—available August 8, 2017.


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Charlotte “Charlie” Quinn is a twenty-something struggling lawyer. She and her husband have agreed that they want a family but feel that it’s best to wait until they have more of their debt paid down — student loans, car loans, etc. before thinking of starting a family. The only problem with that is Charlie may be pregnant now. Rather than focus on her possible pregnancy, she turns her attention to what initially seems like a slam-dunk case for emancipation by a Girl Scout and supposedly straight-A honor student, Florabama “Flora” Faulkner. The only problem with that is Charlie is taking everything Flora says at face value without doing any due diligence. When her client is arrested and others begin to poke and prod into Flora’s life, what is uncovered is definitely more than Charlie was counting on. The question soon becomes just how far is too far when it comes to protecting a client?

Last Breath by Karin Slaughter is a quick read and one that has just as many twists and turns as her full-length reads. This might be a short read but it packs a powerful punch. Charlie Quinn is missing her mother and comes across a teenage girl that also lost a mother and in need of legal counsel. Is it possible that Charlie is too focused on the similarities between herself and Flora to notice the problems with Flora’s story? Is it possible that Charlie is being played by this teenager or is there something more sinister at work? No, I’m not going to tell you the answer to any of those questions, read the book! If you enjoy well-crafted mysteries, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of Last Breath to read. I’ve read and enjoyed everything Ms. Slaughter has written, including Last Breath, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next with Charlie Quinn in The Good Daughter.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





Book Details:


Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Published by: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 11th 2017
Number of Pages: 48
ISBN: 0062742159 (ISBN13: 9780062742155)
Series: Good Daughter 0.5
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


Karin Slaughter

Author Bio:


Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.


Catch Up With Our Author On:


Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !




Tour Participants:








Giveaway:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Karin Slaughter and William Morrow. There will be 3 winners of one (1) ebook copy of Last Breath by Karin Slaughter! The giveaway begins on July 24 and runs through August 8, 2017.


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Book Showcase: HIS GUILT by Shelley Shepard Gray

His Guilt

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour July 10 – August 10, 2017



Synopsis:


His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.


Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?



Book Details:


Genre: Fiction, Amish Fiction
Published by: Avon Inspire/HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 0062469134 (ISBN13: 9780062469137)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #2 | It is a stand-alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1


Horse Cove, Kentucky
August 4


He was watching her again.

As she handed her customer change across the counter of the Blooms and Berries nursery, Waneta Cain did her best to pretend that their newest employee was not inordinately interested in everything she did. He was simply observant.

Surely, it was just her imagination playing tricks on her anyway. Mark Fisher was probably trying to see how she handled the checkout counter. She used to watch Mr. Lehmann all the time when she’d first started at the nursery.

That had to be the reason.

“Thanks for your help, Neeta,” Mr. Killian said, interrupting her thoughts. “I’d be lost without you.”

“I’m simply glad I could help ya,” she told the Englisher with a bright smile as he lifted his box of seedlings from the wide well-worn countertop. “See ya soon.”

The man tipped his ball cap. “You sure will if I can’t get these to bear fruit. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck and good blessings, too.” After helping him with the door, she let it close behind her with a satisfying thunk.

She chuckled to herself. That Mr. Killian was a terrible gardener but a frequent customer. She sincerely hoped that one day he would develop that green thumb he wanted so badly.

“Do you always act that way?”

A shiver coursed through her as she turned.

Meeting Mark’s dark-brown eyes, which seemed to be studying her intently, she struggled to appear calm. “Like what?”

Mark stepped away from the row of metal shelves located in the back of the store. He’d been unpacking boxes and restocking shelves for the last hour. Methodically sorting and organizing merchandise while she helped customers. “Like they’re your friends,” he replied. “Like you’re so happy to see them.” Stepping closer, he lifted his shoulder. “Is that how you really are… or is that just an act?”

She didn’t care for the way he seemed to be insinuating that she wasn’t genuine. “It’s not an act. Mr. Killian is in her a lot. He’s nice. We are friends.”

“He’s English and must be fifty years old.”

“I don’t see how that matters. I can like people who are different than me.”

“Maybe you can. But you were sure smiling at him a lot. Or do you do that on purpose? To make sure that he will return?”

His question made her uncomfortable, but his sarcastic tone made her angry. “I don’t know why you are asking such things. I really don’t like what you are suggesting. I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary or smiling at customers in any special way. I’m just being my regular self.”

“Huh. So you treat everyone with smiles and kindness. You are friends with all sorts of people. Even people who are different from you. Except me.”

“I’ve been perfectly amiable to you,” she retorted. Except, of course, that was a lie.

“I don’t think so,” Mark murmured. “I’ve been her seven hours, four of them barely six feet away from you.”

She knew that. She’d known exactly where he was every moment they’d been together. “And?”

“And during all that time you’ve hardly said ten words to me. You sure aren’t smiling at me.”

She opened her mouth, closed it again. What could she say? He wasn’t wrong.

Mark stepped closer, invading her space. She could see the fine brown hairs on his forearms now. Noticed that he hadn’t shaved in a day or two.

“Is it because I was taken in for questioning?” he asked quietly, his dark-brown eyes watching her, as if he feared she would run. “Or, is it just me? Do you not want anything to do with me, Waneta?”

Her palms were sweating. She fisted both as she tried to come up with an answer. He was right on all accounts. She was uneasy around him.

Fact was, Mark Fisher was a large man. Tall and well-muscled. He had a rough way about him, too. It was disconcerting.

Of course, she’d always felt uneasy around him. He’d been an angry teenager, always glaring and short-tempered with most everyone. After he finished school, he’d worked for a few people around town. Rumor had it that his brother, Calvin, had taken off as soon as their mother did. Mark had even lived in Mr. Lehmann’s home for a time, until he was taken in for questioning about Bethany’s assault.

And after he was questioned, then let go for insufficient evidence, he disappeared for two years.

Now he was back.

Mr. Lehmann assured her that Mark hadn’t done anything wrong, but a lot of people in the community still believed that he was the masked man who’d beaten Bethany Williams. It wasn’t much of a stretch. Bethany had told lots of people that her assailant was over six feet tall and was very strong. But she also said she wasn’t able to identify the man.

Few other details had circulated after that. Then Bethany and her family moved up north, practically the moment she was released from the hospital.

Realizing Mark was still waiting, Waneta said, “I haven’t spoken to you much because we don’t’ know each other.”

His eyes narrowed. “But that’s not really true. We knew each other once. We did go to the same Amish school.”

“You were ahead of me in school. We hardly talked then.” He was only three years older than herself, but they were miles apart in terms of how they’d lived their lives. He’d also been the kind of boy she’d been a little scared of. He was rough and always seemed so angry.

For a second, he looked dumbfounded. “So, you do remember.”

“Of course I remember you and your brother, Calvin. Our school wasn’t that big, Mark.” Feeling pretty good about how self-assured she was sounding, Neeta folded her arms across her chest. “But that was a long time ago. Years have gone by.”

“Yeah. You’re right,” he said slowly. “Years have gone by. Practically a whole lifetime.”

He sounded so sad. She wondered what was going through his head. Did he regret hurting Bethany? And what had been doing for the two years since it all happened? Why had he even come back to Horse Cave? Surely, there were other, far better places to start over.

The door jangled as a couple came in. Like Mr. Killian, they were regular customers. James and Katie Eicher were Amish and lived on a large farm on the outskirts of town.

Glad for the reprieve, she smiled at them. “Hiya, Katie. James. How can I help you?”

Just as Katie was about to answer, her husband put a hand on her arm. “Go wait in the buggy, Kate.”

Katie looked at her husband in confusion, then blanched when she caught sight of Mark. Without a word, she turned and walked back out the door.

When it closed again, James glared at Mark. “What are you doing here?”

Mark lifted his chin. “I work here.”

“Is that true, Neeta?” James asked. “Did Henry actually hire him?”

“Jah. Today is Mark’s first day.” Unsure how to handle his anger, she cleared his throat. “Now, um, how may I help you?”

“Where is Henry?”

She looked around the room, which was a ridiculous exercise, seeing as it was perfectly obvious that Mr. Lehmann was not there.

“He’s out back,” Mark said, pointing to one of the four large greenhouses behind the retail store. “You want me to go get him for ya?”

“I don’t want you to do a thing for me,” James said. “I’ll go find him myself.”

Mark rocked back on his heels. “Suit yourself.”

Neeta winced at his flippant tone.

James, however, looked irate. Pointing a finger at him, James said, “I’m telling you now, Fisher. You stay far away from my wife. Don’t talk to her. Don’t even look at her.”

Instead of looking cowed, the corners of Mark’s lips lifted. “Or what?”

“Or I’ll do everything I can to ensure that you leave here for good.”

Mark narrowed his eyes. “Are you threatening me?”

Ignoring Mark again, James turned to her. “I can’t believe you are working in here with him. Do your parents even know?”

Before she could say that they did not, James strode out the door. It slammed in his wake.

For a good couple of seconds, Neeta stared at the door. She tried to calm herself, especially since she’d just realized that her hands were shaking.

Why was she so rattled? Was it because she was afraid of Mark Fisher?

Or because James’s anger had been so scorching?

“You never answered him,” Mark said from behind her, startling her out of her dark thoughts. “Do your parents know that you are working here with me?”

“Nee.”

“Why not?” he asked. “Is it because you’re afraid that they’ll want you to stay far, far away from the dangerous Mark Fisher, too?”

Before she could answer, the door opened again. This time it brought in Mr. Lehmann.

He looked from Mark to her and signed. “I came to check on how you two are doing after James Eicher’s visit. It doesn’t look like you’re doing too gut.”

“I’m fine, Mr. Lehmann,” she said. “But, um, well, it’s four o’clock.”

“Which means it’s time for you to get on him,” he said with a kind smile. “Grab your things and get on your way. We’ll see you tomorrow.”

She smiled weakly as she turned toward the back storage room, where her belongings were stowed. For the first time since she’s started working at the nursery, returning to work filled her with dread.

She didn’t trust Mark. Worse, she didn’t trust herself when she was around him.


Excerpt from His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray.  Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins. All rights reserved.





Shelley Shepard Gray



Author Bio:



Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On:


Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !




Tour Participants:







Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelley Shepard Gray and HarperCollins. There will be 4 US winners of one (1) print edition of His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray. The giveaway begins on July 10 and runs through August 10, 2017.


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2017 Book 244: THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson 
ISBN: 9780062105714 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062670847 (HarperLuxe)
ISBN: 9780062105738 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062682138 (HarperAudio)
ASIN: B01M3QYT9U (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 11, 2017 
Publisher: William Morrow 


With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality—the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.


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Leia Birch Briggs is a professional graphic artist and novelist. Reasonably happy with her career and her life, Leia is thrown a slight curve when she realizes she’s pregnant after a one-night stand at a recent comic con. The only problem is she isn’t quite sure who the father is…okay, she knows who he is but doesn’t really know his name. Then she receives frantic text messages and calls about her 90-year-old grandmother’s unbecoming behavior. Leia is forced to confront her step-sister’s disintegrating marriage, the mystery surrounding her grandmother’s behavior, and the dilemma of what to do or not do about her pregnancy in Joshilyn Jackson’s latest novel, The Almost Sisters.

Although Leia is well-known and respected in the graphic artist and fan community, to her family she is simply an “artist” and they’re waiting for her to get a real career. It doesn’t matter that Leia has supported herself for more than a decade as a graphic artist/novelist they simply don’t understand that genre or how anyone can make money out of “drawing pictures.” Leia has always perceived herself as somewhat of an outsider within her family, perhaps because her father died before she was born. She loves her mother, stepfather, and stepsister, but she’s always felt that she could never really be as good as Rachel in looks, behavior, or demeanor. It doesn’t really matter that no one wants her to be a Rachel duplicate, but that’s how Leia thinks. Now Rachel’s marriage is on shaky grounds and it doesn’t help that Rachel’s husband is Leia’s first almost, sort-of, maybe, not-quite boyfriend. Leia might have been somewhat disturbed over JJ’s marriage to Rachel, but she’s moved beyond that and is happy for her sister or was happy for sister while she was happy. Now she doesn’t know what to do to make her happy. The only thing she can think of is to take her 13-year-old niece, Lavender, with her to Alabama to check up on her 90-year-old-grandmother, Emily Birch Briggs or Birchie. Upon arriving in Alabama Leia finds out that Birchie is suffering from Lewy body dementia causing her to speak out inappropriately, hallucinate, and more. Until recently, this behavior was moderately well controlled by medication and Birchie’s lifelong friend, companion and roommate Wattie Price, as well as kept secret from Leia, Birchie’s only relative. Without asking Birchie or Wattie their opinions about matters, Leia decides that the estate must be evaluated and appraised and arrangements made for both Birchie and Wattie to move into assisted living. What follows is more like a scene from I Love Lucy and Murder, She Wrote. A steamer trunk is taken from the attic and skeletal remains are found that appear to be over 50 years old. Just who was in that trunk and why? How will the answers to those questions and more impact Birchie, Wattie and the residents of Birchville, Alabama?

Just in case you couldn’t tell, there’s a lot going on in The Almost Sisters, yet I found this to be a compelling story that had me turning page after page to find out what would happen to everyone next. There were parts of this story that had me laughing out loud, seriously I spewed hot tea all over my keyboard at one point (don’t drink or eat anything when reading pages 22-26). There were parts of the story that had me grabbing tissues. The Almost Sisters is a story about love, what we’re willing to do for love, family (the family we’re born into, the family we marry into, and the family we make from those we surround ourselves with), loyalty and community. There are several stories within stories happening here and no I’m not going to tell you all of them, but there’s Leia’s pregnancy story, her internal debate about writing her graphic novel origin story, Birchie and Wattie’s story, Leia and Rachel’s story, race in the South, and more. I loved the small town setting of Birchville, Alabama (there’s something about Southern small towns) and it plays just as much of a character in the story as the others. There are plenty of strong women in this story and I LOVED them all: Leia, Birchie, Wattie, Lavender, and even Rachel. I could go on and on about this story, but if I did then there’d be nothing left to your imagination. I can simply say that if you want to read a well-written story that incorporates humor, grace, a sweet sense of family with realistic and realistically-flawed characters, then you’ll want to grab a copy of The Almost Sisters to read ASAP. I do encourage you to wait until you have a few hours to sit down and read this book because you won’t want to put it down (yes, it is that good). The Almost Sisters is the third novel that I’ve read by Ms. Jackson and as impossible as it sounds, each one is just as good as the one before if not slightly better.  I enjoyed reading The Almost Sisters so much I’ve given a copy to my 82-year-old mother to read and will be recommending it to several of my book groups. This is one book that I’m hoping several of my book groups will want to read just so I will have an excuse to reread it a few more times.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Meet the author

Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including gods in Alabama and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. A former actor, Jackson is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.


Connect with her through her website, Facebook, or Twitter.


This review and blog tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours


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Book Showcase: DUPLICITY by Jane Haseldine

Duplicity by Jane Haseldine | Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tour Banner

Duplicity

by Jane Haseldine

on Tour July 1-31, 2017



Synopsis:


Duplicity by Jane Haseldine

In Jane Haseldine’s new novel of riveting suspense, Detroit newspaper reporter Julia Gooden is up against the city’s most devious criminal—and her own painful past.

Julia Gooden knows how to juggle different lives. A successful crime reporter, she covers the grittiest stories in the city while raising her two young boys in the suburbs. But beneath that accomplished façade is another Julia, still consumed by a tragedy that unfolded thirty years ago when her nine-year-old brother disappeared without a trace.


Julia’s marriage, too, is a balancing act, as she tries to rekindle her relationship with her husband, Assistant District Attorney David Tanner, while maintaining professional boundaries. David is about to bring Nick Rossi to trial for crimes that include drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and bribery. But the story becomes much more urgent when a courthouse bomb claims several victims—including the prosecution’s key witness—and leaves David critically injured.

Though Julia is certain that Rossi orchestrated the attack, the case against him is collapsing, and his power and connections run high and wide. With the help of Detective Raymond Navarro of the Detroit PD, she starts following a trail of blackmail, payback, and political ambition, little imagining where it will lead. Julia has risked her career before, but this time innocent lives—including her children’s—hang in the balance, and justice may come too late to save what truly matters…


What Reviewers are Saying about Duplicity:

“Haseldine has a gift for atmosphere, setting, and suspense, and the many twists and turns will keep readers guessing.”—Library Journal

“Julia, introduced in The Last Time She Saw Him (2016), is ferociously bold and persistent as she deals with professional and personal adversity laced with duplicity in this action-packed, plot-driven mystery. This is hard-bitten crime fiction with changes ahead for its unrelenting series protagonist.”—Booklist

“Haseldine (The Last Time She Saw Him, 2016) uses her experience as a crime reporter to bring authenticity to this exciting and gritty tale.”—Kirkus Reviews



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Kensington Publishing
Publication Date: April 2017
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 149670407X (ISBN13: 9781496704078)
Series: Julia Gooden Mystery #2 | Duplicity can be read as a stand alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


Read an excerpt:



Chapter 1

Glenlivet, light on the rocks. A cocktail waitress with bright fuchsia lipstick delivers the drink and motions her head in the direction of the aged fifty-something women two tables down. The recipient of the cocktail turns his head toward the hoots and low whistles from the likely recent divorcees who are ogling him like a lusty spectator sport.

“Want to join us, hon?” the ringleader asks and adjusts her leopard print halter-top to reveal an extra inch of orange, tanned cleavage. In case her intent wasn’t clear enough, the woman scoops a sugar cube from her champagne cocktail, places it between her teeth and starts sucking.

“No thank you,” the businessman answers coolly and places the unwanted drink back on the cocktail waitress’ tray.

He turns his back on the spurned women and locks in on a tall, willowy blond in a white dress that clings to her slender curves as she moves fluidly across the casino floor in his direction.

She pauses at his table, slides into the empty seat across from him and carefully tucks a leather briefcase between her legs.

The rowdy commotion from the neighboring table of women abruptly stops as they wordlessly concede, they’ve been bested by a thoroughbred.

The businessman slips an Italian charcoal grey suit coat over his tall and tightly muscled frame. He tips back the last few sips of the drink he ordered for himself ten minutes earlier and heads toward the lobby, not bothering to look back. He knows the blond will follow.

In the elevator, the mouth of a camera lens captures its occupants’ activities. The pair stand close, but just far enough apart so it doesn’t look obvious they are together, just two attractive strangers in an elevator heading up to their respected rooms. The blond stunner holds the briefcase in her left hand and takes a risk. She lifts her pinky finger up and brushes the back of the businessman’s hand for less than a second.

The elevator arrives on the VIP floor, the best the MGM Grand has to offer.

The blond bends down, slides a key out of the front pocket of the briefcase and opens the hotel room door. Inside, the man stands in front of the floor to ceiling windows. He takes a quick pan of downtown Detroit and then snaps the curtains shut. When it is safe, when they are alone, the blond, now anxious and wanting, drops the briefcase and goes directly for his zipper.

“Wait.” He takes the briefcase over to the bed, opens it, and fans the stack of bills across the mattress like a seasoned blackjack dealer some thirty stories below.

“Two million. You don’t trust me now?” the woman asks with a contrived pout.

He ignores the question until the cash has been fully accounted for.

“Come here,” he commands.

He starts to remove his coat, but she is already there.

“I’ve missed you,” she whispers and cups her long, delicate fingers around his crotch.

He reciprocates by running his hand across the thin silk of her dress directly over her breast, and then squeezes until the blond lets out a gasp.

The blond easily submits when the man pushes her down hard on the bed, letting him believe he still has the upper hand, that he is the aggressor. She stares up at his beautiful face, his breath coming faster now as his body starts to move in a rapid, steady rhythm above her. She doesn’t mind when he closes his eyes. He wants her again, reestablishing her position of control, at least for now. That’s all that matters.

When they are finished, the businessman turns toward the wall in disgust.

“I knew you weren’t through with me yet,” she says. “You take all your hostility out on me in bed. You’re a rough boy, but I like it.”

He ignores her, gets up from the bed, still naked, and heads to the bathroom. The blond is useless to him now. She knows it but still holds on.

“The birthmark on your ass is so sweet. It looks like a crescent moon with a shooting star underneath,” she remarks. “Come back to bed and let me take a closer look.”

The man spins around, anger flashing in his eyes as if the blonde’s comment violated something personal.

“Shut up,” he says.

“No need to talk dirty to me. You know I’ll give you what you want, as long as you give me my share of the money.”

“When it’s over, you’ll get it. That’s the agreement.”

“How do I know you won’t screw me?”

“Because I’m not that guy. The money will be in a safe place.”

“I want access to it.”

“I don’t think so.”

The door to the bathroom slams shut and she is dismissed. Inside the shower, he scrubs every trace of the woman off his body, hoping she will be gone when he comes out. But the blond is still in bed. At least she is sleeping.

The businessman climbs back into his suit, grabs the briefcase and closes the hotel room door quietly behind him. The second elevator in the hallway opens and he disappears inside just as elevator one chimes its arrival to the VIP floor. Its single occupant emerges, a man, squat and thick but moving swiftly like a gymnast. He wears all black, a bulky windbreaker, sweatpants and a baseball cap as if he’s just come from the hotel gym. He lets himself into a room with a key he extracts from a bulky fanny pack that flanks his waist. Inside, he quickly assesses the scene, pulls a tiny camera out from its hiding place inside a fake antique clock on the dresser and tucks it into his coat pocket.

He then retrieves a razor blade and scarf from the pack and heads toward the bed where the blond is still sleeping.

The man moves silently as he eases his body onto the bed. He inches forward across the mattress and then straddles the blond with his hips, locking her in place until she is prone and pinned to the bed. Without opening her eyes, she smiles, thinking her lover has returned. She flicks her tongue across her lips and then opens her mouth expectantly.

“Shhh,” he whispers. “You pay now. We know what you did.”

The woman’s eyes fly open, and she tries to scream out her assailant’s name, but he cuffs one stubby hand across her mouth before she can utter a word. He lifts the razor from his pocket and begins to gently slide the unsharpened side of the blade down her stomach until it reaches the top of her public bone.

“Please!” she begs. “I’ll give you what you want.”

The razor stops short before it makes its final descent.

His breath is warm and steady against her ear. “How do you know what I want?”

“Money. I’ll give it to you.”

He pauses as though considering the request and flicks the dull side of the blade back and forth across her skin.

“God, please. You don’t want money then. Okay. Just tell me what you want and I’ll give it to you.”

He shakes his head and teases the sharp edge of the razor blade against her leg.

“Who is it?” he whispers as the razor makes a tiny, precise knick on the inside of her thigh, drawing a single drop of blood that trickles down her ivory skin like a crimson teardrop.

“The name. I’ll give you the name!” she pleads. “Sammy Biggs, the Butcher. He’s the one. I just found out, I swear. I didn’t betray you. He did. Now please! Let me go.”

The hired hand sighs deeply, as if savoring an indulgent pleasure, now finally satisfied. But not quite. Lessons must be learned and never forgotten. The man stuffs the scarf down the woman’s mouth to muffle the pain of her penance. It is engrained in his soul those who sin must atone. He clasps the razor blade between his thumb and middle finger and cuts the blonde’s left earlobe off in one clean slice.

“Hail Mary, full of grace,” he prays as he pulls out a locket from underneath his black T-shirt. He kisses a likeness of the face of the blessed Virgin Mary etched into the front of the gold necklace charm and stuffs his newly won keepsake from the blond into his pocket.

Chapter 2

Concrete, grey, cold, and quickly passing is the only thing Julia sees. The running started the previous summer when she was at the lake house, the place she mistakenly thought would be a sanctuary for her boys after the separation from her husband David.

The runs started as just one lap around the rocky coastal loop along Lake Huron. But when Julia migrated back to the Detroit suburbs for a second shot at her marriage, her runs progressed and three times a week turned into seven and the start times became earlier and earlier.

Five a.m. Julia conquers the stretch of her Rochester Hills comfortable suburban neighborhood within five minutes. She expands her perimeter to downtown and then all the way to the Auburn Hills border. Ten miles today. No negotiation.

Julia races through the darkness just starting to break and ignores everything she passes, the funky downtown stores, the tidy homes with daily papers waiting on the icy driveway blacktops and the Assembly of God church with its bulletin board warning “Sin: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.”

None of the scenery matters. The steady rhythm of her sneakers pounding against the concrete pushes Julia forward, getting her closer to some invisible finish line as she race her one constant opponent: herself.

Spring officially arrived in Michigan a week prior, but the depressing mounds of frozen grey snow from another cruel Midwestern winter obviously didn’t get the memo. Julia pushes herself harder and starts to sprint as she passes her oldest son Logan’s middle school, her half-mile mark to home, and breathes in deeply. The cold air stings as it goes down, but it’s worth it. Julia is certain she can smell the beginnings of the ground starting its impatient thaw and the bulbs, in a deep slumber since October, beginning to stir. Change is coming and she is ready for it.

A car drives by slowly, reaches the corner and then turns back around in her direction. Julia instinctively moves away from the curb and reaches down toward her waist pack. Instead of a water bottle, Julia packs protection, pepper spray and a folding knife with a three-inch blade. Paranoia always ran hard and deep after what happened to her brother when Julia was a little girl, compounded by twelve years covering the crime beat, not to mention a deranged religious fanatic who kidnapped her youngest son. For Julia, it all adds up to one thing: Trust no one.

The car slows to a crawl as it approaches a second time. A dark sedan, nondescript, probably a Ford model about five-years-old with tinted windows, Julia calculates as her hand sweeps inside her pack. She runs her fingers across the flat side of the knife’s blade as the car’s driver side window opens.

“Hey, Gooden, I thought that was you. If you’re going to jog in the dark, you better wear brighter colors or you’re going to get mowed down out here,” Detroit Police Detective Leroy Russell says. Julia recalls Russell lives somewhere in the Rochester Hills community, where his ex-wife is an assistant professor of journalism at Oakland University.

Julia finally exhales, her breath turning into a puff of white that disappears into the frigid late March morning. Now knowing she won’t have to engage in hand-to-hand combat, Julia fixes her gaze back on Russell whose trademark Mr. Clean buzz cut looks freshly-shaven. She feels the sting of adrenaline coursing through her body as the fear leaves her.

She begins to respond to Russell when the smell hits from the open car window. Julia makes out the distinct aroma of almost metabolized late-night, heavy drinking and Old Spice, the latter applied so liberally, it makes her eyes sting.

“How are you doing, Russell?” Julia asks. “Are you on the early shift?”

Russell reaches toward his glove compartment and extracts a green bottle of Excedrin which he pops open and then crushes four white tablets under his tongue.

“Retirement party last night for Sergeant Walter Shaw,” Russell explains. “I’m meeting Navarro for breakfast, so hopefully an order of scrambled eggs and home fries will soak it all up before a hangover hits.”

“You and Navarro are meeting up to discuss the Rossi trial,” Julia states, no question necessary. “I caught both your names on the prosecution’s witness list.”

“That’s right.”

Julia jogs in place without realizing it and strategizes how she can pump Russell for information for her story. The court part of the crime beat is her least favorite, despite the fact Julia is married to a lawyer. To her, courtrooms feel like tight little boxes where various versions of the truth run fast and loose amidst the big show, and the winner is often selected not by the culmination of the presented facts, but by which side puts on a better performance.

“I heard there’s going to be a surprise witness the prosecution is going to pull out at the last minute. Do you know anything about that? We can go off the record. You know I won’t burn you. I just need a name,” Julia pushes.

Russell reaches up and massages his right temple with his index finger.

“I don’t know,” he says. “Even if there is some last-minute witness, Judge Palmer probably won’t allow it if they aren’t on the list. Why are you asking anyway? You’ve got a much better source at home. You and David are back together, right?”

“We’re working on it. I can’t ask David though. It would be a conflict of interest. The D.A.’s office doesn’t want to get sued for leaking information to the press. Plus, David and I are pros. Neither of us would cross that line.”

“Come on. You can’t tell me you don’t pull some favors in the bedroom to get your husband to talk. Sex is a woman’s secret weapon. It always has been since the dawn of time. A sweet, firm ass has toppled many a mighty man. I’m more of a leg man, myself though,” Russell says as he gives Julia’s well-toned runner’s legs a nod of silent approval.

At thirty-seven, Julia has long mastered the fine art of the dodge and weave around unwanted advances. Unless the guy is completely out of line, Julia ignores the come-on like it never happened. The talent serves her well covering the cop beat, where egos and virility are often intertwined, enormous, and surprisingly fragile.

“Where are you and Navarro having breakfast?” she asks.

“Chanel’s in Greektown. You want to join us?”

Julia gives just a hint of a smile. Dodge and weave successful.

“Thanks for the invite. I’ll try.”

“All right, Gooden. Tell the assistant D.A. we’ll see him later. And be careful out here in the dark,” Russell answers and raps a red-chafed hand outside his driver side window before he disappears behind the tinted-glass.

Julia watches Russell’s car pull away and a small shiver runs down her back.

(Don’t ever take a ride from a stranger, Julia, or I swear, I’ll kick your butt).

The sudden childhood memory jolts her, and Julia starts to sprint as if she could race fast enough to outrun the passage of time and warn her younger self to lock the door the night her older brother Ben was taken.

Julia finally reaches home, nowhere left to run. She drops onto the front step, looks up at the first soft lights of dawn finally penetrating through night’s heavy cloak of darkness and chokes back a sob. She knows how to get through the pain. She always has. Julia pushes her emotions down deep and focuses on what she can control.

Her mind clicks off the pieces of the Rossi story she will have to assemble and file into some kind of compelling piece to run in the paper’s online edition before opening arguments. The facts will be the bones of her story: Nick Rossi’s illegal Detroit empire is believed to encompass hijacking and shipping stolen goods, mainly computers and electronics, illegal gambling and drug trafficking. Both the feds and the Detroit PD had been trying to nail him for years. Rossi finally got busted in a city police sting courtesy of hidden cameras placed in the VIP suites of the MGM Grand Hotel. Images on the tapes showed payoffs to the former Detroit mayor and a city councilman, in addition to drug trafficking and cash exchanges for high-stakes gambling bets.

Julia kicks at the frozen ground with the toe of her sneaker and assembles the color elements she will add as sidebars to the main article, the ones that will make the story real to the readers and ultimately make them care: the seventeen-year-old West Bloomfield high school track star who overdosed and died at a party after he graduated that night from ecstasy to heroin for the first and final time, courtesy of Rossi’s stash. Then there is the story of Rossi himself, only nine years old when he witnessed the rape and murder of his mother during a home invasion while the young Rossi bore silent witness as he hid inside a closet and watched the horror unfold through a crack in the door. Since Rossi’s dad had taken off before his son was born, the young Rossi moved in with his uncle, Salvatore Gallo, who ran a moderately successful dry cleaning business with a small bookie operation on the side. Julia and Salvatore Gallo have history, and Julia makes a mental note to herself to call Gallo before she gets to the courthouse to see if he’ll talk.

Julia’s cell phone buzzes inside her waist pack. She looks suspiciously at the phone. 6:15 a.m. Even as a reporter, no one calls that early unless it’s an emergency, and she knows David is still at the house with their boys, Logan and Will, who are sound asleep. She is about to hit the ignore button but stops at the last second when she recognizes the number. Gavin Boyles, the acting mayor’s chief of staff. The other piece of color she needs for the story.

“Gooden here. You’re lucky I’m up.”

“You told me you ran at dawn, so I figured I’d catch you before you got into the newsroom,” Boyles answers. “I checked online a few minutes ago, and I didn’t see your story posted yet.”

“It’ll be up later today. Do you have something for me?”

Boyles, a former TV news anchor before he became a flack, still has the oozing, ultra-smooth voice of a game show host. Julia met him ten years earlier at the scene of a major fire that obliterated a Detroit high-rise and eighteen of its residents who were trapped inside. Boyles showed up late and asked Julia if he could take a look at her notes and she could debrief him on the situation.

“Always working the story, that’s why you’re so good,” Boyles says.

“You’re too kind,” Julia answers and plays the pleasantry game while she waits for Boyles to cut through the bullshit.

“Are you including Mayor Anderson in the story?

“Acting Mayor Anderson?” Julia asks.

“Semantics. We’d prefer not to have Mayor Anderson’s name mentioned unless it pertains to how he is working tirelessly to turn the city around since former mayor Slidell’s indictment for his involvement in the Rossi case. If you write another story about how Slidell took bribes from Rossi to shut him up, you’re doing a disservice to the people of the city. Detroit has suffered enough, don’t you think? You could turn this into a positive story.”

“And how has Anderson turned the city around exactly?”

“Public perception. I want to share something with you. This is off the record for now, all right?”

“Of course,” Julia answers and wonders whether the call might not be a complete waste of her time after all.

“Mayor Anderson will be holding a press conference today announcing a strategic task force dedicated solely to promoting all things positive in Detroit, including a volunteer-driven beautification project to help improve blight. It was my idea. Detroit is trying to make its way back. The residents don’t need a rehashing of another corrupt city official story.”

“Politics isn’t my beat.”

“Neither is business, but your articles are hurting the casinos. Detroit got gutted after the auto industry crashed, and God knows we can’t afford to take any more hits. There’s a responsibility, a fine line, we journalists need to ethically tow.”

“I’m still a journalist. Last I checked, you weren’t.”

On the other end of the phone, Boyles blasts an obnoxious guffaw.

“Always blunt, aren’t you? The press conference is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on the steps of city hall. I assume you’ll be available since the trial will break for lunch. Mayor Anderson specifically asked for you to be there.”

“Thank you for the invitation. I’ll run this by my managing editor and let her decide who to send. You know how this works. It’s not my call.”

“Got it. I’ll call Margie myself and put in the request. I’m surprised the paper is letting you cover the story when your husband is prosecuting it. Good for you though. You won’t have to work as hard this time.”

Julia grits her teeth and forces herself to still play nice. She may need Boyles in the future.

“I always work hard.”

“I just meant…”

Julia cuts off Boyles before he can finish. “Thanks for the call and the heads up on the press conference.”

Julia gives her phone the finger, the sentiment she’d really like to give Boyles directly. Instead, she shuts her phone off and heads into the warmth of her house that hits her like a blowtorch. She strips off her North Face jacket and then peels off her running pants and nylon shirt that stick to her clammy skin. She frees her curly, dark brown hair from its ponytail and pads softly down the hall as not to wake the boys. Inside the office, she leans over the desk and begins to search for her competitor’s coverage of the Rossi trial. She pulls up the Detroit News website and feels a tug in her stomach. In addition to a big picture preview story on the case, Julia knows the Detroit News reporter is writing a sidebar profile on David as first chair for the prosecution and his likely run for D.A. next year, a promise David made to himself after he gave up a lucrative private practice partnership six months earlier to become a public servant. Still standing, Julia bends down closer to the desk and begins to search whether the Detroit News found out about the surprise witness, or worse, if they got the name before she did.

***


Excerpt from Duplicity by Jane Haseldine. 
Copyright © 2017 by Jane Haseldine. 
Reproduced with permission from Jane Haseldine. 
All rights reserved.



Author Bio:


author

Jane Haseldine is a journalist, former crime reporter, columnist, newspaper editor, magazine writer, and deputy director of communications for a governor. Jane writes the Julia Gooden mystery series for Kensington Publishing.


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Book Showcase: COLORBLIND by Leah Harper Bowron

Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron
ISBN: 9781943006083 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781943006090 (ebook)
ASIN: B071JNGJSD (Kindle edition)
Publisher: SparkPress
Publication Date: July 11, 2017


The time is 1968. The place is Montgomery, Alabama. The story is one of resilience in the face of discrimination and bullying. 

Using the racially charged word “Negro,” two Caucasian boys repeatedly bully Miss Annie Loomis–the first African-American teacher at the all-white Wyatt Elementary School. At the same time, using the hateful word “harelip,” the boys repeatedly bully Miss Loomis’s eleven-year-old Caucasian student, Lisa Parker, who was born with cleft palate and cleft lip. 

Who will best the bullies? Only Lisa’s mood ring knows for sure.



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Meet the author


Leah Harper Bowron is a lawyer and James Joyce scholar from Birmingham, Alabama. Her article “Coming of Age in Alabama: Ex parte Devine Abolishes the Tender Years Presumption” was published in the Alabama Law Review. She recently lectured on Joyce’s novel Ulysses at the University of London and the Universite de Reims. She lives in Texas and has a daughter named Sarah and a cat named Jamie. Her debut fiction book, Colorblind, was released in July 2017.




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Enter to win a print copy of Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron, courtesy of the PR By The Book. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only (sorry). This giveaway runs through 11:59 PM ET on July 25, 2017, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. 


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Colorblind: A Novel

Colorblind: A Novel
  

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Guest Post: Gary Grossman – EXECUTIVE ACTIONS



Good morning my bookish friends. As most of you know, I have incredibly eclectic fiction reading tastes and enjoy thrillers, suspense, mystery, romance, historical, YA, classical literature, literary fiction, etc., so needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to host a visit from the acclaimed thriller author Gary Grossman. Then I learned that he taught at Emerson College (Boston MA) and that just ramped up my enthusiasm even more (I attended Emerson for my Freshman year many, many years ago). So sit, back, relax, and learn a bit about Mr. Grossman’s writing process and the adaptations he’s had to make as a result of recent world changes. Thank you, Mr. Grossman, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit and share with us today.




THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.
SO I’VE HAD TO CHANGE 
HOW I SEE IT AND WRITE IT.
by Gary Grossman
author of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS



     I’ll start off with what I used to do.  

     As a journalist, TV documentary producer, and novelist, I would begin each day reading the LA Times, watching local TV coverage and national and international cable news, and listening to talk radio on the way to work.

     I’d think about where we were going today and consider why the things that were happening were actually happening. I’d ask myself, “Why Today?”

     That approach often led me to create television documentaries that were based on what we knew and where we were going – both historical and relevant stories. It worked for years.

     But on September 11, 2001, the unthinkable replaced the historic and the predictable.     

     Now, there’s hardly an hour or a day without a significant surprise. I think we can all agree that revelations, rumors, leaks, whispers, and testimony constantly take us to new territory.  

     As I evolved from documentary producer to thriller novelist, I realized I had to adjust my way of thinking to more than just staying ahead of the curve. I had to anticipate how sharp and unexpected those next carves were going to be. Along the way, I decided I was writing in a new genre, a fiction genre I call political reality.  

     Here’s how I’ve done it as the author of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and the sequels EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND, and in my geographic thriller, OLD EARTH.  

     I take a three-level approach. As a matter of fact, I recommend this for anyone writing thrillers and for readers trying to figure plots out ahead of the characters.

     I start with known knowns. They’re the things that we do know. They’re in the news or certainly within grasp of my characters and the experience of readers. Known knowns are the firm ground we walk on. The familiar. They’re the dramatic hooks; the way into the action.

     Then it’s time to change things up, to challenge the characters and readers, and take the plot into the realm of unknown knowns.  

     Simply put, unknown knowns are the things that we may see happening, but the characters don’t. Or they don’t make complete sense yet. Here, readers are often ahead of the characters in the plot encouraging them to discover the unknown knowns. Just when they do, I shake things up again.    

     Time for the unknown unknowns. These are major red herrings, twists and turns; surprises for both the readers and the characters in the book.

     What I love about constructing an exciting plot based on this approach is that the unknown unknowns are there to be researched and discovered. They are real or about to become real. We just might not know about them yet. But we better.

     For EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, it’s recognizing that Cold War Russia’s school for training sleeper spies to pass as Americans still has long roots. REAL. Well-funded plots sponsored by both rogue nations and American businesses are aimed at drastically changing American politics. REAL. Manipulation of markets, media and people move these diabolical plots along. REAL. And the public’s belief that most of it’s not possible is the ultimate danger. EXTREMELY REAL.

     Unknown unknowns until it’s too late.

     The plot of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS weaves through the three categories starting with we what know and climaxing with a scenario that very well could be just around one of those curves.

     The great fun in the reading is the same fun I had in the writing. The characters take over. Secret Service agent Scott Roarke really does learn along the way. He meets Boston attorney Katie Kessler, not because I outlined her role, but because he needs a smart, dynamic woman to help him. He’s up against a masterful assassin who constantly stays one step ahead as he delves into the life of Teddy Lodge, a charismatic congressman, who runs a brilliant political campaign.

     They emerge and converge in a story that begins with knowns – news that we can all recognize and figures that seem relatable and reliable. And then EXECUTIVE ACTIONS kicks into gear, exploding from what we do know into the other realms. I’m not painting a picture of an alternate reality, though it’s fiction. It’s the political reality of tomorrow…or maybe even later today! You decide.

     I hope my writing approach works for you. It’s driven with a fast-paced cinematic style. Lots happening simultaneously. Things to figure out. So, let me know what you think. I’m reachable at gary@garygrossman.com, www.garygrossman.com, or via Twitter @garygrossman1.

     Thanks. Enjoy!

     




Executive Actions

by Gary Grossman

on Tour June 1 – July 31, 2017



Synopsis:


Executive Actions

In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke gets an assignment that turns his world upside down. His investigation uncovers a plot so monstrous it can change the course of America’s future and world politics. Roarke discovers that presidency is about to fall into the hands of a hostile foreign power. The power play is so well-conceived that even the U.S. Constitution itself is a tool designed to guarantee the plot’s success. With the election clock ticking, Roarke and Boston attorney Katie Kessler race at breakneck speed to prevent the unthinkable. But they also know that it will take a miracle to stop the takeover from happening.



Praise for the Executive Series:



Executive Actions is the best political thriller I have read in a long, long time. Right up there with the very best of David Baldacci. [A] masterpiece of suspense; powerfully written and filled with wildly imaginative twists. Get ready to lose yourself in a hell of a story.”
Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author

“Break out the flashlight, and prepare to stay up all night … Once you start reading Executive Actions you won’t be able to put it down.”
Bruce Feirstein, James Bond screenwriter, and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor

Executive Command mixes terrorists, politics, drug gangs and technology in nonstop action! Gary Grossman creates a … horribly plausible plot to attack the United States. So real it’s scary!”
Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Exit Plan, Cold Choices, Red Dragon Rising

“Moving at break-neck speed, Executive Command is nothing short of sensational … Executive Command is not just a great book, it’s a riveting experience.”
W.G. Griffiths, award-winning, bestselling author of Methuselah’s Pillar, Malchus

Executive Command ramps up the excitement … A truly bravura performance from a master of the political thriller!”
Dwight Jon Zimmerman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Lincoln’s Last Days, Uncommon Valor


“Intricate, taut, and completely mesmerizing. Grossman expertly blends together globe-spanning locations, well-researched technology, finely crafted narrative, and intriguing characters to create a virtuoso tale. Highly recommended.”
Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author

Executive Treason is more chilling than science fiction … You’ll never listen to talk radio again without a shiver going down your spine.”
Gary Goldman, Executive Producer, Minority Report; Screenwriter, Navy SEALs & Total Recall




Book Details:


Genre: Political Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication Date: TBD
Number of Pages: 556
ISBN: 1626811059 (ISBN13: 9781626811058)
Series: Executive #1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 





Author Bio:


Gary Grossman

Gary Grossman is a multiple Emmy Award-winning network television producer, a print and television journalist, and novelist. He has produced more than 10,000 television shows for 40 broadcast and cable networks including primetime specials, reality and competition series, and live event telecasts.

Grossman has worked for NBC, written for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald American, and the New York Times. He is the author of four best-selling international award-winning thrillers available in print, eBooks, and Audible editions: EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, EXECUTIVE TREASON, EXECUTIVE COMMAND and OLD EARTH. (Diversion Books, NYC) and two acclaimed non-fiction books covering pop culture and television history – SUPERMAN: SERIAL TO CEREAL and SATURDAY MORNING TV.

Grossman taught journalism, film, and television at Emerson College, Boston University, and USC and has guest lectured at colleges and universities around the United States. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Emerson College in Boston and he serves on the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and The Military Writers Society of America.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary Grossman. There will be 1 winner of one (1) $15 Amazon.com Gift Card AND the opportunity to Suggest a Character Name for the Next Book in the Executive Series! The giveaway begins on June 1 and runs through August 3, 2017.


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2017 Book 240: THE COMFORT OF SECRETS by Christine Nolfi

The Comfort of Secrets (Sweet Lake #2) by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781542045711 (paperback)
ASIN: B01N4N00OR (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


Cat Mendoza needs a win. After a business failure and years of dating the wrong men, she’s ready to turn things around.

First, she must convince the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, that she’s taking her responsibilities seriously. As the events director of the newly restored Wayfair Inn, she has the support of her best friends, Linnie and Jada. But everyone elseincluding her overprotective mother and the well-meaning Sweet Lake Sirenscan’t help but chime in with advice about her plans, her apparently too-tight clothes, and her undeniable attraction to Ryan D’Angelo, the charming ad exec hired to promote the inn.

Cat knows she should keep Ryan at a distance, but she’s drawn closer by the heartbreak he tries to hide. Will uncovering his secrets derail the new life Cat hopes to achieve…or will she gain something to cherish forever?

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Author Christine Nolfi returns to the idyllic Sweet Lake, Ohio and its wonderful and quirky small-town inhabitants in The Comfort of Secrets. This amazing follow-up to the first book in this series, aptly named Sweet Lake, sees another romance on the horizon between Sweet Lake resident Cat Mendoza and big-city ad executive Ryan D’Angelo. While they both work to help the Wayfair Inn with marketing, they must overcome their initial attraction to one another that quickly becomes much more. Adding spice to the mix are all of the secrets that abound around them, individual secrets, family secrets, and Sweet Lake Siren secrets. Will these past secrets come back to haunt everyone’s present or can they be finally be laid to rest?

I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Ms. Nolfi’s books and The Comfort of Secrets has been added to the list of enjoyable reads by this author. I found this to be a pleasing and quick read. Ms. Nolfi provides a bit of comic-relief, by way of the Sirens (trust me, these ladies and their antics are hilarious) along with much more serious tones. The Comfort of Secrets touches on some weighty matters such as family estrangement, domestic abuse, child abuse and depression. The author may not go into depths about these matters but she doesn’t sugarcoat them either as these themes are crucial to the storyline. Obviously, there’s a lot more going on in this story, but if I tell you everything then you won’t need to read it. It is sufficient for me to tell you this if you enjoy well-written, women’s fiction then you’ll need to grab a copy of The Comfort of Secrets. For those of you that read Sweet Lake, you already know you’ll need to get yourself a copy of The Comfort of Secrets and I presume you have it on pre-order. If you haven’t read anything by Ms. Nolfi (and I don’t know why because I already recommended Sweet Lake to you), get a copy of Sweet Lake to read and then grab a copy of The Comfort of Secrets to read. These might just be the perfect vacation or even staycation reads! I’m enjoying the Sweet Lake series, thoroughly enjoyed reading The Comfort of Secrets, and can’t wait for the next installment in the Sweet Lake series just to see what the Sirens will get up to next.



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Comfort of Secrets


Book Showcase: MURDER IN LITTLE SHENDON by A.H. Richardson

Murder in Little Shendon by A.H. Richardson
ISBN: 9781515283973 (paperback)
ASIN: B014T5QFTG (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: August 28, 2015



Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens – not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with delightful twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper. Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses.
Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From the murdered man’s housekeeper to Lady Armstrong, her staff and her nephew. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his lady friend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion. Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village.

A.H. Richardson, noted author, places in your trembling hands a mystery murder that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, his friend Sir Victor Hazlitt and the famed Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. Scratch your head with them over the strange clues that turn up. Follow them as they tread carefully among the landmines that appear innocent as they lie hidden beneath the surface of mystery. Something evil skulks in this tiny country village.

Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community? You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead – it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.



Read an excerpt

Chapter One
A Killing in The Bygone Era

BARTHOLOMEW FYNCHE LEANED OVER HIS DESK, adjusted his pince-nez and peered down at the document on his desk. He gave a series of grunts, which culminated in a long “Hmmm”.

He scratched a brief note on the pad in front of him. He always used a pen and ink because he did not approve of ballpoint pens and regarded them as signs of an uncivilized society.

Mr. Fynche turned his attention to the small jade horse in front of him, running his fingers over it gently, almost lovingly. He frowned, took a deep breath, and removed a key from around his neck. He unlocked a drawer to his desk, placed the small statue inside and carefully locked it again.

He glanced at the French Ormolu clock on the wall before consulting his watch, and pursed his lips together in annoyance. He didn’t like people who were not punctual. Time was money, and his time was particularly precious.

The retired Mr. B. Fynche had been involved in a number of most interesting exploits in his life, not the least of which involved his extraordinary knowledge of rare documents, famous objets d’art, and rare paintings. It was rumored that he had been involved with MI5 just after the war, but no one was quite certain about this. Nowadays he puttered fairly contentedly in his antique shop, which he had named The Bygone Era.

He did the occasional appraisal for some local villagers and was occasionally persuaded to go into London (a trip he detested) to authenticate something or other for the odd client he had. He was, as far as anyone knew, unmarried, quite without family, with the exception of a sister who was rumored to live in New Zealand and a brother who was deceased.

At first glance, Fynche’s little shop seemed to be an untidy mass of bric-a- brac, consisting of small statues, framed documents, interesting looking things in glass cases, paintings of all descriptions, prints, watches, chains and… much much more. Mr. Fynche however, knew exactly where everything was, referring to it on occasion as organized clutter.

Today was Thursday, better known as early closing day when most if not all the shops in the village closed about noon, and The Bygone Era was no exception. Fynche liked to lock the doors, put up the CLOSED sign and busy himself with his latest project, and he had many of those.

The little man glanced down once again at some notes he had made. For the first time in his life, he was not quite sure how to deal with this. Probably the best policy was to be frank and explain that this was not something with which he chose to be involved. He scratched the back of his head thoughtfully. Perhaps no mention of the police should be made at this juncture, for he felt instinctively that he would have to be careful here.

A knock on the door interrupted his reverie and Fynche’s eyes again darted up to the clock. He frowned, realizing that the knock was coming from the back door, which was rarely used.

Thoroughly disgruntled, the old man unlatched the door.

“Come in,” he said curtly, “and see that you close the door behind you.” He paused, then growled in a surly manner, “You’re late; we need to talk.”

“I’m sorry. There was some work left to do,” answered the other. A breeze blew through the open window behind Fynche’s desk.

“Close the window, please. That wretched cleaning woman always leaves the window open, and it blows my papers all around.”

“Very well.” His visitor closed the window obediently.

“Come around to the front, where I can see you. Something quite interesting has come up and we need to talk. Clearly, decisions have to be made here. Did you hear me…?”

Fynche made a half-turn, threw up his hands defensively, and gave a smothered cry, but it was too late. The broad brass base of an Edwardian candle holder was wielded aloft and came crashing down with a sickening thud into Mr. Fynche’s skull. Blood flew everywhere, seeping into the dark wood of the desk and into some papers and puddling on to the floor.

Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, open-mouthed and eyes glazed, his hands futilely clutching at the air, slumped over the side of his chair and onto the floor…very very dead.

The visitor spent a moment or two looking around the cluttered shop, hunting for something, but then thought better of it. With a sudden gesture, the visitor pried a large gold ring from Mr. Fynche’s finger, hastily made the decision to leave and, used The Bygone Era’s back door as the avenue of escape. The door was closed quietly, and the visitor slipped out noiselessly into the anonymity of the bustling throng of last-minute shoppers in the High Street. It was a bright sunny day in late spring.


© 2015 A.H. Richardson, reprinted with permission




Meet the author

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.

In addition to children’s books, she also enjoys writing murder mysteries. She is the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick, Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. And she has more ‘who-dun-its’ with this clever and interesting duo… Act One, Scene One Murder and Murder at Serenity Farm.

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voice overs. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.


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2017 Book 238: BAD BLOOD by Brian McGilloway

Bad Blood: A Lucy Black Thriller (DS Lucy Black #4) by Brian McGilloway 
ISBN: 9780062684578 (paperback – July 25, 2017)
ISBN: 9780062684554 (ebook)
ASIN: B01N3KOBQF (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 13, 2017 
Publisher: Witness Impulse 

“Brian McGilloway blends timeless values with ripped-from-the-headlines issues to produce some of the very best crime fiction being written today.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author


A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. One clue is left behind to uncover his identity—an admission stamp for the local gay club.

DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man’s death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement.

Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far-right group targeting immigrants in a local working-class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

Hatred and complicity abound in McGilloway’s new Lucy Black thriller. Compelling and current, Bad Blood is an expertly crafted and acutely observed page-turner, delivering the punch that readers of Little Lost Girl have grown to expect.


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It’s pre-Brexit days in Northern Ireland and tensions are flying high. Anti-immigration, anti-homosexuality, and “us” first thinking are the norm. DS Lucy Black is called to investigate one apparent hate crime after another in the fourth installment in the Lucy Black series by Brian McGilloway, Bad Blood

A young man’s body is found in a park and a bloody stone is found nearby. A local pastor was heard just hours before to say that stoning of homosexuals was acceptable behavior for their sins. A local Romanian family is targeted by anti-immigrant thinkers. The same pastor has been heard saying the communities should be for “us” versus “them.” Things are never quite as simple or black-and-white and DS Lucy Black and her boss DI Tom Fleming know that although this pastor has been spewing what can only be deemed “hate” speech, he’s not the only one with these sentiments. Is it possible they can find the killer before another person is targeted?

As previously mentioned, Bad Blood is the fourth in the Lucy Black series and the second book that I’ve read. As with the previous books in this series, I found this one to be a fast-paced and engaging read. It was quite interesting to read about a pre-Brexit environment in a post-Brexit world. It’s been awhile since I’ve read Little Lost Girl, but the dynamics between Lucy and her coworkers have developed quite nicely as has her relationship with her mother. Bad Blood features a lot more political action than I expected and although timely and topical it casts the bad guys in a strange light (politics makes for strange bedfellows my friends). Are there bad guys in this story? Oh yes. There are bad guys, guys that seemed to be sucked into bad things, and then just really, really bad and very manipulative bad guys. There’s a lot of action going on in Bad Blood including the upcoming Brexit vote, hate crimes, hate speech, murder, multiple assaults, and even attempted rape (no, not going to tell you who, read the book!), and it all takes place in less than one week. The title is perfect because it refers to “bad blood” from past inflictions and the present, “bad blood” between family members, and more. If you enjoy reading crime fiction or mystery thrillers then you’ll definitely want to add Bad Blood to your TBR list. Did I enjoy reading Bad Blood? Yes! I had forgotten why I enjoyed reading Mr. McGilloway’s writing, but reading Bad Blood brought it back to me so much so that I’ll be rereading Little Girl Lost and the remaining books in the Lucy Black series just to catch up. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss Plus. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Author Bio:
Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position at St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling Lucy Black series, all to be published by WitnessImpulse. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children.


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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Brian McGilloway and WitnessImpulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) non-Kindle eBook coupon for a copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Brian McGilloway. The giveaway begins on June 24 and runs through August 1, 2017.


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Bad Blood: A Lucy Black Thriller

Bad Blood: A Lucy Black Thriller
  

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Bad Blood