Guest Post: HONOR KILLS by Nanci Rathbun



Hello, my fellow bookish peeps. I’m excited to reveal that we have another character stopping by as a guest (I know, twice in one week). Today’s special guest is Detective Wukowski from the book Honor Kills by Nanci Rathbun, part of the Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries series. The detective will be sharing with us how his relationship with private investigator Angelina Bonaparte began.




A Place of Final Justice

I met private investigator Angelina Bonaparte–and you better pronounce it like the Sicilians do, Boe-nah-par-tay, because she’s pretty down on Napoleon’s version–about nine months ago. Funny, it seems like we’ve always known each other. Back then, I was the lead homicide detective on the Elisa Morano case, and Angie worked for a Mafia lawyer who represented the accused, Tony Baloney. Okay, his real name is Anthony Belloni, but I’m not cutting the local crime boss slack.

Tony was cheating on his wife with Elisa. A wife pregnant with their fifth child. Scum. But as the five-three dynamo pointed out to me, “But the last I heard, running around on your wife isn’t a crime. It’s dishonest and lowdown and immoral, but if I had to report everyone I knew who cheated, the streets would be pretty empty.” She had me there.

I’m a hard-nosed guy. Too many years in the force, seeing the pain one human being can inflict on another, thickened my hide, I guess. It made things a lot worse when my partner, Liz White, was tortured and killed by a drug ring. Hardest thing I ever did was to hold my salute at her funeral.

Somehow, Angie got past my tough hide. She’s a darned attractive ball of determination, though, and we were on opposite sides. I admit to giving her a hard time about leaving the investigation to the police, but she forged ahead and discovered the perp. Got herself shot, too, which set off all my alarms. I had to man up and face the fear of losing another woman who meant something to me. Not just Liz. My younger sister was a teenage victim of gang fire. I decided that having Angie in my life was worth the risk of losing her, and we’ve been together since then.

She had another close call that fall, dealing with a guy who made it out of Bosnia with other people’s money and artifacts. Damnedest escape I’ve ever seen, but you’ll have to read the story, ’cause I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Through the months we’ve been a couple, I’ve faced more than the usual teasing about dating a former Mafia boss’s daughter. The Milwaukee Police Department keeps close track of those who associate with the mob. Internal Affairs put me through the wringer more than once, but there was never anything pinned on me, because I’m too good a cop to cross the line. But this last time … well, let’s just say they gave me an ultimatum about being with Angie.

I’m not giving her up, though. How could I walk away from the toughest, smartest, sexiest woman I know? I’m not that big a dope.






Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries)

by Nanci Rathbun

About the Book

Hard Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Dark Chocolate Press LLC (March 14, 2018)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998755748
Digital ASIN: B07BH61872


Did honor force him to abandon his wife and kids? Or is he just a weasel?

Six years ago, Marcy Wagner hired PI Angelina Bonaparte to find her missing husband Hank, who cleaned out their bank accounts and disappeared. Then Angie finds his obituary in an upstate newspaper. Marcy wants to know what why he abandoned her and the kids. Angie does, too!

She embarks on a mission that will blow the lid off Hank’s hidden life and reveal the reasons he ran. Was he a lowdown skunk? Or did he do the honorable thing when he left? Angie follows a twisted path to the truth and discovers that it lies perilously close to her own family life.



About the Author




Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves.  She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.

Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France, and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Packers fan.

Author Links

Website: https://nancirathbun.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Nanci-Rathbun-162077650631803/

Twitter: @nancirathbun

Purchase Link: Amazon


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, EXCERPT

May 17 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 18 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, EXCERPT
May 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
May 19 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

May 20 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 20 – Book a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 21 – The Editing Pen – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 22 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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2018 Book 203: BECOMING THE TALBOT SISTERS by Rachel Linden

Becoming The Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden
ISBN: 9780718095765 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780718095772 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780718095789 (Audiobook)
ASIN: B072TPB44G (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 1, 2018


Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other. 



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Waverly and Charlotte “Charlie” Talbot had their lives turned upside down just before their thirteenth birthdays when their parents died in a plane crash on their way to South Africa. These twin sisters went from living a life of affluence on the East coast to a modest life with an aunt in Ohio. Now their beloved aunt has died and it seems their lives are coming apart once again. The sisters have grown apart over the years and made lives for themselves on separate continents. Waverly seems to have it all, a popular cooking show on the Food Network, a loving husband, and a wonderful home. She’s been likened to the next Martha Stewart. The only thing Waverly doesn’t have is something she can never have, a child. Waverly has just had her sixth miscarriage and has been told she can’t try to get pregnant again. Charlie travels to central Europe for an NGO teaching sex education. She had left the US with the thought of returning after only a few weeks but found her calling in South Africa. She was even determined to set up a clinic for women there only to have that dream stolen when all of her monies were embezzled by her business manager and then she was attacked and brutally raped. She’s not sure what she wants from life, but she is sure that she can help her sister achieve her dream and offers to be a surrogate. Little do either Waverly or Charlie realize that this offer will send their lives spiraling down paths neither one saw coming. Will they be able to survive the future alone or finally come together as sisters once again?


I found Becoming the Talbot Sisters to be a fast-paced read and one that offered a little bit of everything, family drama, hints of romance, international intrigue, and more. Both Waverly and Charlie do a lot of soul searching and find out what they want from themselves and each other. It was interesting reading about them redeveloping their relationship as adults and revealing the secrets they had tried so hard to keep hidden for so many years. This became not just a story of sisterhood but about women empowering one another in so many ways (trust me, once you read the story you’ll understand), as well as a story about hope, courage, love, and family. Throughout their journeys, Waverly and Charlie find that life is neither “simple” nor “perfect” but together it can be just right. For those of you that enjoy reading inspirational fiction then I heartily recommend you grab a copy of Becoming the Talbot Sisters to read. For those of you that aren’t quite sure about inspirational fiction, then I say this book will surprise you and go ahead and grab a copy to read, you can thank me later. The only problem I had with this book is that it made me incredibly hungry to try out all of the foods being described and I wish there were a few recipes included to try out (and I don’t even cook). I look forward to reading more from Ms. Linden in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, as well as a free print review copy. 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

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and studied creative writing at Oxford University. Rachel lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and two children. She enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy. 


Connect with her via her website at RachelLinden.com and Facebook: AuthorRachelLinden 


This review and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours



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Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Becoming the Talbot Sisters :  A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage That Unites Them

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Becoming the Talbot Sisters

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Becoming the Talbot Sisters : A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage That Unites Them

Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Guest Post: BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING SCARAB



Good day my fellow book lovers. I’m always excited when a guest agrees to stop by and share some bookish wisdom with us all. Normally these visitors are authors, but today’s special guest is a character, the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor, from the book Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan. So without further adieu, I give you Hathor!



Hello, everyone, I’m Hathor, and I played an important role in saving the world (again!) in Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab. Really, he couldn’t have done it without me, although I’m sure he’ll get all the glory. Isn’t that just the way of things?

For those of you who don’t know who I am, I’m one of the oldest goddesses around. I was mostly worshipped in Ancient Egypt but I really come from the land formerly known as Punt. Ra (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) is my son. And my father. And my husband. Wrap your head around that, and perhaps you’ll see why I get so cranky from time to time.

For the most part, my goddess-ly duties consist of, well, pretty much everything. I’m the goddess of the Milky Way, meaning that I have control over the very heavens themselves. I know everyone’s fate from the moment they’re born until the moment they die, and then beyond! I help the dead on their final journey to the afterlife. I’m responsible for fertility and beauty and motherhood, and in my spare time, I’m the patron goddess of dancers and music. I have a hand in so many pies, as it were, that it can be a bit stressful at times, and I can feel a bit resentful when my efforts are unappreciated. 

So you can see why I was a bit put out when Mr. Tew showed up at my temple, asking for help. Our first meeting hadn’t gone so very well; he’s a terribly nervous little fellow, and a bit silly, if you ask me. Plus he seemed a bit afraid of me, which I always find a bit annoying. I mean, yes, I know I went a bit crazy that one time, rampaging around and killing people and drinking their blood, but does that mean that’s ALL I’m to be remembered for? The people completely deserved it, besides.  

They insulted my son, er, husband, Ra, and they weren’t venerating anyone properly, really. Do they not realize how much work it is to take care of the entire universe, and help everyone and everything be fertile, and help them get their dead selves to the afterlife? Is it too much to ask for a bit of gratitude? It doesn’t take a lot of effort to drop a few fruits off at my temple, is all I’m saying. So yes, I suppose I may have overreacted a bit, but it was completely provoked. And it’s pretty terrible that you can do all these things for people, and then you go on one silly rampage and that’s all anyone can talk about. So unfair.

Anyway, I digress. We were talking about Barnabas Tew, and how I saved the world. Again. And all the credit goes to this funny little detective-man from Victorian England. Am I upset that he’s got all the credit? Not really; I have more important things to do and, besides, it wasn’t really his fault. It’s Anubis who should have thanked me, since it was his hide I saved, really, if you think about it. Still, I don’t think I’m angry enough to go on another rampage. I don’t really have time, anyway. There’s a dance recital that I’ve got to get to.

And I do suppose that Barnabas helped, just a little. But he really couldn’t have done it without me. So if you wouldn’t mind dropping off a nice apple or a few grapes next time you pass my temple, that would be great. A bit of gratitude goes a long way, you know?





Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab

by Columbkill Noonan

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Cat Books
Release Date – June 3, 2017
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1546786078
Digital ASIN: B072JMJV1F



Barnabas Tew is a private detective struggling to survive in his trade in Victorian London. Fearing that he is not as clever as he had hoped to be, he is plagued by a lack of confidence brought on in no small part by his failure to prevent the untimely deaths of several of his clients.


Matters only get worse when Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead, is referred to Barnabas by a former client (who perished in a terribly unfortunate incident which was almost certainly not Barnabas’ fault). Anubis sends for Barnabas (in a most uncivilized manner) and tells him that the scarab beetle in charge of rolling the sun across the sky every day has been kidnapped, and perhaps dismembered entirely.


The Land of the Dead is in chaos, which will soon spill over into the Land of the Living if Barnabas – together with his trusty assistant, Wilfred – cannot set matters to right. Pulled from his predictable (if unremarkable) life in Marylebone, Barnabas must match his wits against the capricious and dangerous Egyptian gods in order to unravel the mystery of the missing beetle and thereby save the world.




About the Author




Columbkill Noonan has an M.S. in Biology (she has, in turn, been a field biologist, an environmental compliance inspector, and a lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology).

When she’s not teaching or writing, she can usually be found riding her rescue horse, Mittens, practicing yoga (on the ground, in an aerial silk, on a SUP board, and sometimes even on Mittens), or spending far too much time at the local organic, vegan market.

Author Links

Blog – https://columbkill.weebly.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan/

Purchase Link

Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS


May 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

May 24 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 25 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Lori’s Reading Corner – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 30 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

May 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 2 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW




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Book Spotlight: DEAD AS A DOORNAIL by Tonya Kappes

Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)

by Tonya Kappes

About the Book

Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635113341
Digital ASIN: B079V6DNFW


Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.



About the Author


For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.


Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .


Visit Tonya:
Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes,
https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes

Kappes Krew Street Team
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208579765929709/

Website
tonyakappes.com

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423580.Tonya_Kappes

Twitter
https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11

Pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/tonyakappes/

Purchase Links:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

May 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 12 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 15 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

May 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

May 18 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

May 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 21 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 21 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT



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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: I AM JUSTICE by Diana Munoz Stewart

I Am Justice (Band of Sisters, Book 1) by Diana Muñoz Stewart 
ISBN: 9781492662389 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781492662396 (ebook)
ASIN: B0785NC2GV (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: May 1, 2018 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca 


This bad-ass band of sisters plays for keeps.

She’s ready to start a war

Justice Parish takes down bad guys. Rescued from the streets by the world-renowned Parish family, she joined their covert sisterhood of vigilante assassins. Her next target: a sex-trafficking ring in the war-torn Middle East. She just needs to get close enough to take them down…

He just wants peace

Sandesh Ross left Special Forces to found a humanitarian group to aid war-torn countries. But saving the world isn’t cheap. Enter Parish Industries and limitless funding, with one catch— their hot, prickly PR specialist’, Justice Parish. 

Their chemistry is instant and off-the-charts. But when Justice is injured and her cover blown, Sandesh has to figure out if he can reconcile their missions. With danger dogging their every move, their white-hot passion can change the world— if it doesn’t destroy them first.   





Praise for the book


“Diana Muñoz Stewart explodes onto the scene with I Am Justice. It’s witty, dangerous, fun, and smoking hot–the perfect can’t-put-it-down read if you love badass women, honorable men, scary bad guys, non-stop action and steam heat.”–CINDY DEES, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author


“Revenge is best served cold, but Justice serves it scorching hot. Spellbinding, sizzling. Takes your breath away. Unsurpassed romantic suspense.”–PATRICIA GUSSIN, New York Times bestselling author of Come Home


“A tense, fiery writing style that drags you in and won’t let go.” –PAIGE TYLER, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the SWAT series



Meet the author



Diana Muñoz Stewart is the award-winning, romantic suspense author of the Band of Sisters series, which includes I Am Justice, I Am Grace, and I Am Honor. Visit her at dianamunozstewart.com.




Connect with Diana
Website  | Facebook  | Twitter 





Follow the I Am Justice by Diana Muñoz Stewart tour:


Monday, May 21st: The Book Diva’s Reads – spotlight
Tuesday, May 22nd: From the TBR Pile 
Wednesday, May 23rd: A Chick Who Reads 
Friday, May 25th: Bewitched Bookworms 
Monday, May 28th: Books & Spoons 
Tuesday, May 29th: Reading Reality 
Wednesday, May 30th: The Book Disciple 
Thursday, May 31st: What is That Book About – spotlight
Friday, June 1st: Moonlight Rendezvous 
Friday, June 1st: @novelgrounds 
Friday, June 1st: @booknerdingout 
Monday, June 4th: Books a la Mode – spotlight
Wednesday, June 6th: Evermore Books 
Thursday, June 7th: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Tuesday, June 5th: Stranded in Chaos 
Saturday, June 9th: @jesssiereads 
Monday, June 11th: @girlandherbooks 
Tuesday, June 12th: Mystery Suspense Reviews 
Wednesday, June 13th: @_literary_dreamer_ 
Friday, June 14th: Why Girls Are Weird 



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I Am Justice

I Am Justice

I Am Justice

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I Am Justice 


I Am Justice

Book Spotlight: SAVING EACH OTHER by Stacy Mitchell

Saving Each Other (Saving Series, Book 1) by Stacy Mitchell 
ISBN: 9781974591718 (paperback)
ASIN: B07CLDKKQG (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018 (re-release date)


Two hearts, two souls. Devastated by loss, united through destiny. 

The rules: Communicate only through text messages and never reveal our real names or other personal details.

My name is Ean Montgomery. After the drunk-driving accident that killed my wife, son, and unborn daughter, I was forced to see a grief counselor. In an unconventional move, she gave me a private cell phone and the first initial of the name of a woman who had been widowed by the same accident. I had no intention of ever texting her but with all hope and the will to live gone, I found myself quickly slipping down the rabbit hole. Desperate, lonely, and unbelievably sad, I reached out to her and she became my everything.

Everything is excruciating! Everything is broken!

My name is Dani Adams. I was married to my college sweetheart, the love of my life. Together we were raising our four-year-old daughter and running a successful business. Then the accident happened and life as I knew it ended in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want to answer his text but I was barely hanging on by a thread and he was in tremendous pain, so I replied. And once again, my world was forever changed.

I can’t lose you, I won’t survive…

Over the course of a year, through texting alone, we bond. Friendship blossoms into something deeper. We were never supposed to meet, but fate had other plans, and into this world of loss and despair, something amazing began to grow… But can the passion we’ve found sustain itself with the deep, soul-twisting pain that never seems to fade?   



AUTHOR FAQ


Where did you grow up/live now?  I was born and raised in Los Angeles,  moved to the South Bay when I met my husband, and then relocated to the  Conejo Valley when my oldest son, Jason, started middle school.  

Do you have kids and/or pets?  I have two sons. Jason graduated from Rutgers, and stayed there, while my youngest, Brian, is about to start design school. I’ve never owned a cat but may get one. I lost my Goldendoodle, Norman, last year, and my labradoodle, Maddie, is lonely. Look for my tribute to Norman in the back of my book.  


Who are some of your favorite authors?  My son Brian is gay and I wanted to be there for him, to guide him. So I turned to gay romance novels. I’m now completely addicted to them. People who live in the LGBTQ+ community have much higher hurdles they have to scale, so the love they share is much deeper than straight couples. Most of the time they’re better than mainstream books. NR  Walker is my favorite M/M author. I also love Riley Hart, Lucy Lennox, Alexa Land, and Pandora Pine to name a few. When I read “straight” romance novels, I tend to lean toward Contemporary and romantic comedy. My favorite M/F author is Sandi Lynn. Other one-click authors are Adrianna Locke, Corinne Michaels, BN Toler, and Kristen Callahan.  

What do you like to do when you are not writing? When I’m not writing, I’m reading. I  could spend the day writing, and still, want to read. My goal with  Goodreads is 200 books. And, when I’m not reading, I can be found being creative in other ways. Brian designs fashion, and I love sewing with him. I also love designing jewelry, scrapbooking, and making gift baskets. Look for some of the fun giveaways, coming in the near future, many of them will be handmade.  


What are some things unique to your books?  Aside from adding details that make it seem like you’re watching a movie, I love quotes, or as my husband calls them, Squotes. It’s something you’ll see throughout my book. You also don’t find many books on the market where the main characters share chapters. Originally, I had five, but, over time, I narrowed it down to two. In the scene where Ean quotes Dani, mimicking her slurring her words, I actually slurred into my phone and let autocorrect do its thing. Also, in my second book, Josh talks with his mouth full. I shoved a bunch of crackers in my mouth and repeated his words. It was both messy, and effective.  


Where/When do you best like to write?  I have a small deck off my bedroom. I bought an oversized chair from Costco, and spend my days writing with my laptop on a polka dot, pillowed LapDesk. I’m a night-owl and find I write the best when the moon’s miling in the night sky.


What do you think makes a good story?  I’m a very visual person, I was an interior decorator in my last life, so I love books with a ton of imagery. I also love books with real places in them. It’s so much fun to stumble across one when I’m reading, and I always Google and bookmark them. It’s also why I only include real places in my books.  


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?  Let’s start with the first question. Until three years ago,  I  never read a book that I wasn’t required to read. Eleven years ago, my son Brian went away to summer camp. My husband and I decided to take advantage of our time off, hopped in my car and took a road trip up the West coast, from California to Washington. We were in Oregon, nine hours away, when the call came in that  Brian had had a seizure. It was the hardest drive of my life. Thankfully, we got in touch with my mother, so I knew he wasn’t alone. When I got there, I was a  basket-case, and that’s where the double-edged sword of having my mother there came into play. She handed me a little blue pill, to calm me. She then gave me a  few more. She also gave me the name of a “dirty” doctor and told me what to say.  The little blue pill was Xanax. By the time I ended my addiction, which was eight years later, I was, not only taking twelve to fourteen milligrams a day, I was also hooked on over a dozen prescription drugs. In 2014, I traveled to Ireland and ran out of most of them. The withdrawal was so bad, I spent the entire time there in the hotel room. When I got home, I was in the doctor’s office bright and early the very next day. Six months later, I was back in the same boat. The only difference was, this time I was still in California. That was when I said, “Enough is enough,” and flushed every other pill I had. In hindsight, it was completely the wrong way to quit. Three years later, I still feel the effects, especially when I’m stressed. So this brings me to the second question. Dani and Ean inspired me to write. Six months after I stopped the pills, I was in bed in that space between consciousness and subconsciousness when Dani and Ean came to me. The best way I can describe it is…like watching a movie. I felt their pain with such intensity it took my breath away. I got up, opened notes on my iPhone, since I didn’t own a laptop, and my thumbs got to work.  


What are some of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?  Keep your ears open and your mouth closed. Ideas can come from anywhere. And it really does take a village. I originally published my book August of last year. When the reviews came in, I not only read them, I got in touch with the people who wrote them. Best. Move. Ever! I got great advice and made a ton of new friends. It’s because of them that I re-opened Saving Each Other and spent the last four months revising it. Look for their names on the acknowledgment page. And, don’t even get me started on the amazing women who helped me make my book what it is today, Stacey Blake, Judy Zweifel, Francine LaSala, and Sara Kocek.  


When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?  Writer’s block isn’t an issue for me. Saving Each Other is the first in a series of five books. I wrote my second book, Saving Them, a month after my first, and I also wrote it in a month. The last three in the series, Saving Ourselves, Saving Christmas, and Saving  Maybe, are partially written and completely mapped out. Going back to “ideas can come from anywhere,” I was in San Francisco last year and met an amazing man,  who sadly was homeless. While talking to him, a sequel series, The Finding Series, played out in my mind. It’s all their kids. Even though I haven’t experienced “Writer’s Block,” I have times when I’m uninspired. My words come from my characters, their voices roll through me. So, for the times I can’t hear them, I found that stepping back usually does the trick. By the time I start writing again, the words are much easier to find. Brian helps too. He’s my official “name” man. Other than the main characters, he named everyone. Talking it out helps too. I bounce ideas off my best friend, Leslie, and after a half an hour, I’m good to go.  

What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?  You won’t see it,  because I’m surrounded by such amazing women, but I suck at grammar! Like legitimately suck!    


What is the one book no writer should be without?  One word…Thesaurus!



Meet the author



Stacy Mitchell was born and raised in Los Angeles and lived in the South Bay for 20 years before moving to the Conejo Valley. She lives with her husband of 29 years and is the mom of two grown sons. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains or enjoying a glass of cabernet.





Connect with Stacy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/savingeachother/ 
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sixmitchells/saving-each-other/ 



Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of Saving Each Other by Stacy Mitchell courtesy of PR By the Book. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only, anyone not residing in these two countries will be disqualified. This giveaway will run from 12:01 AM ET on Thursday, May 17, 2018, through 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. All entrants must use the Rafflecopter form below.


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Saving Each Other


Saving Each Other



Saving Each Other

Guest Post: Susan Hunter – DANGEROUS MISTAKES

Dangerous Mistakes Tour Banner



Good day my bookish divas and divos. I’m always a little amazed when an author is willing to stop by and provide us with insight. Today I’m pleased to welcome award-winning journalist and author, Susan Hunter, who will be introducing us to the idea of writing genre mysteries and promotion. Without further adieu, I give you Ms. Hunter, author of the Leah Nash Mysteries series, including Dangerous Mistakes.



Who Do You Think You Are?


When I wrote the first book in the Leah Nash Mysteries series, I didn’t give much thought to what category of mystery it best fit. I just wanted readers to meet an interesting lead character, find her story intriguing, the characters around her engaging, and the mystery she solved worth the effort.

But I soon learned that promotion requires that books be defined. Is it a police procedural? A hardboiled detective novel? Softboiled? Thriller? Suspense? Cozy?  You have to check off the right box, use the right keywords to make sure the right readers find your book. 

There’s enough of the rebel in me to resent being forced to categorize and file my series into a tidy box. Like any parent, I feel my “baby” is unique and deserves the widest possible recognition. But feelings of pride and ownership aside, there’s also enough of the practical side in me to realize that readers and booksellers need a way to organize mountains of books into separate tidy stacks for ease of discovery.

Still, when a long-established writer of mysteries suggested to me that the category my series fit was cozy, I was surprised—and I’m chagrined to admit it now, a little insulted. I assumed, based on nothing more than quick glances at pun-laden titles and book covers featuring quilts, cats or cartoon illustrations, that the cozy genre consisted of light and fluffy quick reads, featuring sweet heroines and easy solutions. Somehow not quite a “real” mystery. My book, in contrast, had some very dark happenings, a heroine more prickly than cozy, and a truly disturbing crime. How could it possibly be cozy?

She soon schooled me on the most basic definition of a cozy: a story featuring an amateur sleuth, with minimal sex and violence, set in a small town with a recurring cast of characters. Check, check, and check again as far as my book went. She also suggested in the kindest terms, that I stop being such a genre snob. Clearly, I needed to do some reassessing.

I may hold them close, but my after my biases take a whack and fall down around me, I’m a fairly quick study. I learned from first-hand reading and a little research that cozies come in all shapes and sizes, from frothy reads that are more romance than mystery to extremely intricate puzzles that deftly handle some serious themes. And that I had been reading them for years. Yes, Agatha Christie, I’m looking at you.

The heroines can range in age from roughly 18 to 80—and occasionally the lead character is male rather than female. But no matter the gender, the amateur detective is typically competent, quick-thinking and courageous. And sometimes funny and prickly as well. 

So, I reconsidered my position, assumed the mantle of cozy mystery writer, and now happily select that as a top classification category for my series. My only regret is that for readers who still hold the condescending opinion I once had—that cozies are to mysteries as stevia is to sugar: a close approximation, but not the real thing—a whole genre of reading pleasure remains untouched.





Dangerous Mistakes

by Susan Hunter

on Tour May 7 – 18, 2018



Synopsis:


Dangerous Mistakes by Susan Hunter

A clever killer. A smart reporter. An unexpected twist.


Small-town reporter Leah Nash investigates a murder no one else believes happened—until a second death signals the killer’s first mistake. Nothing is as it seems, and the twisting trail she follows pits Leah against her police lieutenant best friend, her new boss, and even her mother. Still, the smart and smart-ass Leah can’t back down. If she’s right, she can save someone she loves. If she’s wrong, the next victim could be her.

Independent, intrepid and irrepressible Leah Nash can’t resist a good story, especially not one that ends in murder. Sharp dialogue, plots that move and storylines full of unexpected turns make this series a fan favorite.




Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Himmel River Press
Publication Date: November 2015
Number of Pages: 370
ISBN: 1519208588 (ISBN13: 9781519208583)
Series: Leah Nash Mysteries #2 (Each is a Stand Alone Mystery)

Click to check out Dangerous Mistakes on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Goodreads!!




Author Bio:


Susan Hunter

Susan Hunter is a charter member of Introverts International (which meets the 12th of Never at an undisclosed location). She has worked as a reporter and managing editor, during which time she received a first-place UPI award for investigative reporting and a Michigan Press Association first place award for enterprise/feature reporting.

Susan has also taught composition at the college level, written advertising copy, newsletters, press releases, speeches, web copy, academic papers, and memos. Lots and lots of memos. She lives in rural Michigan with her husband Gary, who is a man of action, not words.

During certain times of the day, she can be found wandering the mean streets of small-town Himmel, Wisconsin, dropping off a story lead at the Himmel Times Weekly, or meeting friends for a drink at McClain’s Bar and Grill.


Catch Up With Susan Hunter On:


leahnashmysteries.com, Goodreads, Twitter – @LeahNashMystery, & Facebook – leahnashmysteries!



Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!





Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Hunter. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com gift card. The giveaway begins on May 7 and runs through May 20, 2018. Void where prohibited.


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Q&A with Jane Marlow, author of HOW DID I GET HERE?

How Did I Get Here? by Jane Marlow 
ISBN: 9781632991645 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781632991652 (ebook)
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: River Grove Books


In the 1800s, two events altered the course of Russia’s future— the emancipation of the serfs and the Crimean War. Author Jane Marlow takes readers back to this significant time in Russian history, journeying  800 miles south of Moscow to the frontlines of the Crimean War, in her second novel, How Did I Get Here? 

Andrey Rozhdestvensky enters his final year of medical studies in 1854 with an empty belly, empty pockets, and secondhand clothes held together by wishful thinking. When Russia blunders into the misbegotten Crimean War,  Tsar Nicholas recruits medical students to the front. Andrey grabs at what he believes to be free passage out of his vapid life—a portal to a new identity.  

Volunteering as a surgeon for the Russian army, Andrey travels to the frontlines in Sevastopol and Simferopol on Russia’s Crimean Peninsula,  where he discovers the atrocities of war, and fights to keep death and disease—scurvy, typhoid, typhus, cholera, gangrene and frostbite— from decimating the troops. As the war progresses, Andrey fears his mind is becoming unhinged as he witnesses the most senseless disregard for human life imaginable.  

But even after the ink dries on the peace treaty, the madness of the war doesn’t end for Andrey. He scours city and countryside in search of a place where his soul can heal. Emotionally hamstrung, can he learn to trust the woman who longs to walk beside him on his journey?  


Author Q & A



What inspired you to write How Did I Get Here?

While I was conducting research for the first novel in the Petrovo series, Who Is to Blame, I kept bumping into this thing called the Crimean War. Eventually, I realized it simply had to be the backdrop of my next novel for two reasons. First, the Crimean War was the guinea pig for a myriad of innovations that forever changed the face of warfare. The second factor that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go was the War’s magnitude as a gruesomely ugly historical reality.  Not only was the carnage on the battlefield hideous, but an even greater number of fatalities were attributable to disease, malnutrition, winter exposure, and lack of competent leadership. Not until World War I would more people die as victims of war.  


What led to your fascination with Russia in the 1800s?

I trace my interest back to 6th grade when mother dragged me kicking and screaming to a professional stage performance of Fiddler on the Roof. But as my feet began tapping with the music, I experienced the proverbial smack-to-the-forehead. I was just at the right age to gain an inkling of understanding about prejudice, suppression, rural culture, and the deep-seated role of religion. 


You researched the book thoroughly. Did you know when you started how extensive your research would become?

Research turned out to be a little more problematic than I expected. Although I located a modest number of books and articles, the Crimean War doesn’t play a prominent role in US history, and I was left with many uncertainties. I attempted to locate a graduate student in the US who would proofread my manuscript for historical accuracy but found no takers. I ended up consulting with the Crimean War Research Society in the U.K. I’m particularly grateful for their expertise for the chapter that took place at the Malakov bastion.


What is one of your favorite stories or details about life in 19th century Russia?

While conducting research, I was taken aback by the fact that prostitution was a regulated business in Russia during the 1800s. For example, in order to control syphilis and other venereal diseases, prostitutes were required to be examined periodically. Their customers, however, had no such obligation. The policy seems akin to placing a dam half-way across the river, doesn’t it? My third book in the Petrovo series offers readers an insider’s view of a Russian brothel.


Where did you begin your research and where did it lead you? Any advice for other authors writing historical fiction?

My research began way back in the late 1980s. Because the Internet wasn’t an option in those days, I scoured the library for books and articles. Thank goodness for the Interlibrary Loan program! I also took a sightseeing trip to Russia which included spending time in the rural farmland that serves as the setting for my fictional village of Petrovo. Nowadays, I’d urge any historical fiction writer to befriend their local librarians. They know the ins and outs of the various online databases.



What was it like writing from the perspective of a male character? Any challenges?

Such a daunting undertaking for a senior-citizen woman to plunge herself into the mindset of a young, virile male! One tool I used was to read and reread Jonathan Tropper’s novels. His flawed, lustful protagonists crack me up!


What distinguishes How Did I Get Here? from other narratives about the Crimean War?

American authors have produced very little in the way of fiction set in the Crimean War; therefore, it’s a wide-open canvas. Second, my novel doesn’t end with the war. It shows a veteran’s struggle with the then unnamed consequence of war, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Third, as a veterinarian, I felt compelled to demonstrate the agony war inflicts on animals. My eyes tear up every time I read my own passage in which the protagonist has to kill a horse that was injured in battle.


As a writer, how do you weave fact and fiction into a novel?

Conceptually, it’s easy if your mind is prone to flights of fancy. However, meticulous research and double-checking is required if the characters are well-known persons or if the setting is a well-documented event.  

This particular book presented an additional challenge. During the 1800s, Russia used what is known as the Old Style calendar (O.S.), which is 12 days behind the Western New Style (N.S.) calendar. Hence, historical Russian events are often dated along the lines of “Oct 24 O.S. (Nov 5 N.S.).”

Imagine being an author (i.e., me) doing research on a war in which one of the military forces used Old Style while the opponents used New Style. Additionally, some authors mark their books, articles, and online resources with either N.S. or O.S., but other authors don’t deem it necessary to specify which calendar style they use. Then try to coordinate actual events (some N.S., some O.S.) into a fictional narrative in which timing was crucial to the story. My sanity underwent a notable decline in during this period of writing.


Were there any unexpected obstacles you encountered when you began writing How Did I Get Here?

The same aspect that I hope will attract readers—a story about a little known but ghastly war—was also a hurdle—finding detailed depictions from the Russians’ point of view.


What do you hope your readers will get out of the novel?

My desire is that readers find several take-home messages:

First, the old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep.”  

Second, malevolence and injustice can mold a child, but fortitude plus a helping hand can remake the man.  

Third, every person is obligated to give back to society. And not just according to what he received from it, but at a higher level. 

Fourth, a better understanding of the demons of war as manifested in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Who’s a character from the book you wish you could meet?

I relish 10-year-old Platon’s inquisitiveness, boundless energy, and joie de vivre. In fact, I’d adopt him if I could. But since I can’t, I’m entertaining the possibility of writing a book with him as the protagonist so I can watch him mature into a man.


What was your favorite novel growing up?

By the time I reached junior high, I was ready to put the Nancy Drew series behind me. Being a typical girlie-girl, I was forever enamored by the first adult, mainstream novel I read, Gone with the Wind


What authors/books do you draw inspiration from?

If only I could be as talented a writer as Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo! During a seminar on writing fiction, the instructor told us that taking pen in hand and writing and re-writing good passages from favorite books would promote brain neuron connections that would improve our own writing. I must have copied the same passage from Nobody’s Fool at least 200 times!


Can we expect more books in the Petrovo series?

You bet! The third novel in the series will offer an insider’s view of the seamier side of 1870s Moscow.


Where can readers find your books and learn more about you?

Both novels are available in paper, Kindle, and Audible formats on Amazon. If your local bookstore doesn’t stock the book, request that it be ordered.


For more about me as an author, plus a few chuckles from Slavic Slapstick, as well as jaw-dropping tidbits about historic Russia, visit my blog at www.janemarlowbooks.com, and subscribe to my free, no sales gimmicks, no obligation e-newsletter with quarterly in-box delivery.



Watch the book trailer




Meet the author

Jane Marlow was 11 years old when her mother hauled her to a stage performance of Fiddler on the Roof—a night that began her lifelong fascination with the grayness and grandeur of 19th century Russia. After a 30-year career as a veterinarian, Jane began writing full-time. She spent years researching 1800s  Russia, the setting for her first two novels, Who Is to Blame? and How Did I Get  Here?, the first and second books in the Petrovo series. Jane holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Texas A&M University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. A longtime resident of the Austin, Texas area, she now lives in Bozeman, Montana.


Follow the author:  https://www.facebook.com/JaneMarlowBooks


Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of How Did I Get Here? by Jane Marlow courtesy of PR By the Book. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only, any entrants not residing in these two countries will be disqualified. This giveaway will run from 12:01 AM ET on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, through 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on Monday, May 14, 2018. All entrants must use the Rafflecopter form below.


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How Did I Get Here?


How Did I Get Here?

Guest Post: Alex Gray KEEP THE MIDNIGHT OUT


          Good morning, my bookish peeps. It is an honor to welcome the acclaimed and award-winning author of the DCI Lorimer series, Alex Gray back to the Book Diva’s Reads. I’m pleased that Ms. Gray was able to take time out of her busy schedule to revisit with us today to tell us a little about herself. I also want thank her for today’s visit and wish her and her husband a very happy anniversary. 







Today I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary. This is a wonderful date on our calendar when memories flood back about our special day and the honeymoon that followed. 

     Memories. They really matter to us, don’t they? And sometimes I think they are a great resource for writers. The old adage of write what you know can always be interpreted as writing about things from our own experience just as much as from areas of our expertise.

     Recently I was on tour with my latest book and staying overnight at one of our favorite hotels near the old university town of St Andrews, famous as the home of golf. A memory came back from my first visit there when I went on an early morning walk into the hotel grounds and came across a young deer beyond a swathe of long grass and daffodils. It was a special moment and, as I remembered it, the opportunity came to incorporate that into the book I am currently writing. 

     Not all memories are so sweet, though. Some years back, following major surgery, I collapsed and had to be taken back to hospital where I was placed into a wheelchair and tended with great care. An overnight stay and medication sufficed to set me on my way again, but not until I had written a thousand words in the early morning about what it was like to be in a wheelchair. The different perspective from the previous day lingered with me and I used that in my seventh Lorimer novel. The time I spent in Glasgow City Mortuary was well rewarded when I recalled seeing a post mortem and weaving that into my first novel. Nowadays I would be prevented by Heath and Safety legislation from attending such an event so my memory of that time is most valuable.

     Write what you know, recapture the moments that mean something to you; this is advice I would pass on to anyone beginning to find their feet as a writer. The rewards for recapturing images from our past cannot be valued too highly.

     So, as I celebrate another year with my beloved husband, I am grateful for the passing years and with them, the ability to conjure up memories to use in stories or simply to remember with thanks.


Alex Gray
      


Keep the Midnight Out

by Alex Gray

on Tour May 7 – June 8, 2018



Synopsis:


Keep the Midnight by Alex Gray

When the body of a red-haired young man is washed up on the shore of the beautiful Isle of Mull, Detective Superintendent Lorimer’s tranquil holiday away from the gritty streets of Glasgow is rudely interrupted. The body has been bound with twine in a ghoulishly unnatural position and strongly reminds Lorimer of another murder: a twenty year old Glasgow case that he failed to solve as a newly fledged detective constable and which has haunted him ever since.

As local cop DI Stevie Crozier takes charge of the island murder investigation, Lorimer tries to avoid stepping on her toes. But as the similarities between the young man’s death and his cold case grow more obvious, Lorimer realises that there could be a serial killer on the loose after all these years.

As the action switches dramatically between the Mull murder and the Glasgow cold case twenty years earlier, Lorimer tries desperately to catch a cold-hearted killer. Has someone got away with murder for decades?




Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062659286
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #12 (Stand Alone)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble; | HarperCollins | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

They called it ‘the splash’; though the boat that crept silently, oars dipping lightly in and out of the water creating myriad bubbles of phosphorescence, made little sound at all. It was vital to keep quiet; the time for frightening the fish would not come until the net was properly laid across the mouth of the burn. After that the oars would be raised high and brought down with force, driving the sea trout from their shadowy lairs straight into the trap. It was illegal, of course, had been for decades, but that did not stop more intrepid poachers sneaking in at dead of night and lying in wait for the fish.

Unfair, unsporting, the fishery bodies claimed, though most folk here, on the island of Mull, recognised the thrill of rowing under the stars and risking some wrath from the law enforcers.

Ewan Angus Munro glanced back over his shoulder to see his son playing out the last of the splash net; the ancient cork floats now in a perfect arc across this narrow neck of water.

Young Ewan looked towards his father and nodded; the first part of the deed was done and now all that remained was to ensure that the fish would be scared out from their hiding places by the sudden noise of oars thrashing on the surface so that they would rush towards the net.

The old man turned the boat with an expertise that came from many years of practice, then headed back towards the shallow channel. He raised the oars, resting them in the rowlocks, water dripping like molten rain from their blades. The small craft was allowed to drift a little before Ewan Angus turned to his son again, the eye contact and nod a definite signal to begin the second stage of their night’s work.

Young Ewan Angus stood, legs apart, perfectly balanced in the centre of the boat, one oar raised high above his shoulder as the older man watched him, eyes full of approval. The boy had been given more than just his father’s names: his flair for the splash, too, had been passed down from father to son.

Across the marshy strand full of bog cotton and sweet-smelling myrtle sat a small white cottage. A swift glance showed him that there was no light on anywhere; the holiday folk were doubtless sound asleep, oblivious to the small drama being played out yards from their front door.

The sound of the splash seemed magnified as it disrupted the stillness, echoing over the bay. The young man heaved the oar again and again, each whack making his body stiffen with fear and a sort of bravado. If they were caught they’d lose both the net and the boat, a heavy price to pay for a night of fun and a good catch of sea trout, fish that fetched a decent price at the back doors of the best hotel kitchens.

Several times the boat was rowed up and down, followed by a series of splashes until the old man raised his callused hand to call a halt. Now it was time to wait and see if the fish had indeed been scared witless enough to swim towards their doom.

Once more the old man rowed along the line of corks, his son lifting the net to see if anything lingered below.

‘A beauty,’ the boy whispered, raising the net to reveal a good-sized sea trout struggling in the brown mesh.

‘Ten pounder at least!’ he went on, freeing the huge fish where its gills had caught and hurling it into a wooden box below his feet.

‘Be-wheesht and get the net up,’ his father hissed, though the grin on his face showed how pleased he was with their first catch of the night. The old man bent towards the struggling fish, his fist around the priest, a wooden club that had been in the family for generations. One swift blow and the fish lay lifeless in the box, its silvery scales gleaming in the night.

One by one, others joined the fated sea trout as the two men made their laborious way along the edge of the net.

‘My, a grand haul, the night, Faither,’ Young Ewan Angus exclaimed, his voice still hushed for fear of any sound carrying over the water.

‘Aye, no’ bad,’ his father agreed, a contented smile on his face. One of the middling fish would be wrapped in layers of bracken and left in the porch of Calum Mhor, the police sergeant. A wee thank you for turning his continual blind eye to the nocturnal activities taking place down the road from Craignure. Mrs Calum had guests staying and she’d be fair pleased to serve them a fresh sea trout for their dinner. It was universally acknowledged here on the island that the pink fish was far superior in flavour to the coarser salmon, particularly those that had been farmed.

‘My, here’s a big one!’

The young man staggered as he tried to haul in the final part of the splash net. ‘I can hardly lift it!’ he exclaimed.

‘Must be caught on a rock,’ the old man grumbled, his mouth twisting in a moue of disgust. If they had to tear the net to release it then it would take hours of work to mend, but the operation depended on being in and out of these waters as quickly as they could manage. Hanging about was not an option in case the Men from the Revenue had decided on a little night-time excursion of their own.

Suddenly the young man bent down in the boat, hands gripping the gunwales as he peered into the depths below.

His brow furrowed at the rounded mass swaying beneath the surface, rags of bladderwrack shifting back and forwards with the motion of the waves. Then, as his eyes focused on the ascending shape, Ewan Angus Munro saw pale tendrils that had once been fingers of flesh and one thin arm floating upwards.

He screamed, and covered his mouth as the sickness rose in his throat, then stumbled backwards. The boy flung out his arms, desperate to grasp hold of something solid to break his fall but all he felt under his hands were the wet bodies of slithering fish.

‘What the . ⁠. ⁠. ⁠?’ Ewan Angus turned, an oath dying on his lips as the boat rocked violently, small waves dashing over the bow.


Wordlessly, his son pointed to the waters below. Then, as the old man peered over the side of the boat, he saw the body rising to the surface, its passage out to sea impeded by their net.

***


Excerpt from Keep the Midnight Out by Alex Gray. 
Copyright © 2018 by Alex Gray. Reprinted by permission of Witness Impulse, 
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.






Author Bio:


Alex Gray

Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.


Catch Up With Alex Gray On:


Website , Goodreads , & Twitter !




Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!





Giveaway:


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) print copy of Alex Gray’s THE SILENT GAMES. The giveaway begins on May 7, 2018, and runs through June 10, 2018.

Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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Book Spotlight: SHADOW GIRL by Gerry Schmitt


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

by Gerry Schmitt

About the Book


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Paperback: 320 pages (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281796
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL



The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…


Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.


Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.


The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…



About The Author


Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –

WebsiteFacebook

Purchase Links
Amazon , B&N, BAM



Praise for Shadow Girl

I enjoyed the characters a lot. Max and Afton seem to play off of each other well as far as figuring things out.


~Valerie’s Musings

This is one of those books where the bad men are really bad, and everyone in the case is hiding something to have a money profit…


~Varietats

Afton was a likable character for me. She seemed in tune with some of the other characters. She is good at her job.


~A. Holland Reads

Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt is one of the most gripping and chilling books I’ve read this year.


~Back Porchervations

The mystery and suspense aspect of this book was great. This was a definite page-turner.


~Bookworm Cafe

Can I just say Wow! It’s been awhile since I sat and read a book that terrified me with precision action that intrigued me so much it was impossible to put the book down.


~Texas Book-aholic

It starts off with a bang (literally) and the suspense never lets up. I love stories that grip you right from the start and this thriller fits the bill.


~Brooke Blogs

This is a serious thriller with a lot going on. There’s surface to air missiles, conspiracies to kill no matter who gets hurt and what has to be done, and characters with some seriously shady backstories.


~I Wish I Lived In a Library

From page 1 I was engaged in a thrilling and suspenseful ride!


~My Reading Journeys

As the chapters unfold we get a good look at things from both the good guys’ and the bad guys’ perspectives. This gives you a first-hand understanding of the killer’s motives, but in no way takes away from the suspense or the desire to see Afton and Max bring her to justice.


~The Book’s the Thing

A page turner like you never read before, Shadow Girl is a deeply rooted thriller in the art of murder, mystery, and revenge.


~Bibliophile Reviews


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BOOK BLAST PARTICIPANTS

May 1 –

Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT

Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 –

Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT         

Community Bookstop – REVIEW           

Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW REPOST 

FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 –

Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT       

Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT           

Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW REPOST

Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW REPOST     

May 4 –

The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT 

A Holland Reads – REVIEW REPOST

StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Reading Authors – SPOTLIGHT


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Giveaway

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