Guest Post: MJ Markovski – WHATEVER IT TAKES

Good morrow, my fellow book people. Have you ever wondered what makes us readers vs. writers? What pushes some of us with the desire to write to actually break free and begin writing? Today’s guest, is MJ Markovski, author of Whatever It Takes and she’ll be sharing with us what pushed her into writing and provide some insight into Whatever It Takes and a few of her other books. I hope you’ll enjoy her story. Thank you, Ms. Markovski, for taking time away from your writing to visit with us today.

My name is Marija (Maria) Salapanov Carpenter and I’m writing as MJ Markovski. I became disabled in 2009 after one exasperation from MS that doctors at that time had thought I would die. But here I am in the worst of that I’m in an electronic wheelchair for mobility. I looked at it as God’s way of giving me more time to write.

There are two things you should know about me and these two words describe me very well: tenacious and complicated.

I wrote two stories during my recovery which I will be submitting to my editor for review and they came to me and dreams. One titled, Not Dark Enough and the other one titled Worse Than Bad. Both are dystopian young adult fantasy novels. But my latest book that was published is titled Whatever It Takes. This was spurred upon a dream but completed when my husband at that time had not only left me but my children.

I chose not to wallow in my sorrows but use those emotions to pour into the novel of Whatever It Takes. Here’s the logline on Whatever It Takes:

On the run from a dark conspiracy she uncovered while working as a law clerk in New York, Regan Argent, a whip-smart but naïve Texas girl, seeks refuge in her hometown of Parker, just this side of Dallas, where she meets Hunter, a pararescue man on leave who is trying to enjoy a rare moment of quiet. But when Regan’s past catches up to them, they’ll be faced with a choice: save each other, or die trying.

Okay here’s a snippet from chapter 3. “So help me, if I find out who you are. I’ll slap a harassment suit on you so quick it’ll set your head spinning.”
“I can see you. I can see you’re scared.” The caller hung up.

Whatever It Takes will be known as The Takes Series.

I am a proud mother of two wonderful children. Technically three because my son is engaged to a wonderful woman who I call my daughter-in-law.

Besides the books here mentioned what I am planning on writing in the near future are two futuristic science fiction young adult novels. One about a boy that’s caged by the CDC. The other boy whose soul is ripped from him but the choice he made and now must wonder his existence and find the soul he was supposed to save before he completely loses his humanity.

Needless to say, I plan to be a writer as a career forever! Thanks for allowing me to be a guest on your blog.


Meet the author

Marija Salapanov Carpenter writing as MJ Markovski was born in Detroit, Michigan to Macedonian immigrant parents, raised very sheltered, and then moved to Arizona for college. Ended up staying in Tucson.

MJ graduated with her Masters from the University of Phoenix in Accounting. She’s worked with government contractor as a Financial Accountant as well as an advisor for taxes. She ran a small business of doing taxes for family and friends for a while in the early 2000s then stopped because of the MS exasperation that landed her in the hospital. But when she regained her health, she put that business aside and she began seriously writing. That self-run business reignited her passion in her writing and to help others as well when the opportunity comes to help other fellow writers.

MJ enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she can, loves reading, watching a movie once in a great while with her daughter, spending some time outside (when it’s cool and not in the heat of Arizona) life is full of complications but every morning getting up in writing with her vitamin smoothies and coffee is a perfect start of the day.

Visit the author at her website

Whatever It Takes, The Takes #1, by MJ Markovski
ISBN: 9781633633773 (paperback)
ASIN: B07ND84Y85 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Regan Argent inwardly uncovered a dark conspiracy that has her on the run. Forcing her to return to her childhood home, a small town just outside Dallas, to seek refuge. Unexpectedly, she bumps into Hunter Grainger, a man she never saw coming. An Air Force pararescue man, with only one person who is supposed to know of his return home. The unexpected meeting ignites a chain of events where they will be forced to help each other or be executed.

This guest post brought to you by BreakThrough Promotions

Buy the Book

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit



Whatever It Takes

2019 Book 96: DEAD IN A WEEK by Andrea Kane

Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane Banner

Dead in a Week, Forensic Instincts #7, Zermatt Group #1, by Andrea Kane
ISBN: 9781682320297 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781682320310 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781541484603 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07MB48Q7Q (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Bonnie Meadow Publishing 
Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | | Booksamillion | Kobo ebook | Downpour Audiobook

What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and given only a week to live? 

Lauren Pennington is celebrating her junior year abroad when life comes to a screeching halt. At Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, she engages in an innocent flirtation with a charming stranger for the length of a drink. Drink finished, Lauren leaves—only to be snatched from the streets and thrown into an unmarked van.

Officially, Aidan Deveraux is a communications expert for one of the largest financial firms in the world. In his secret life, the former Marine heads the Zermatt Group, a covert team of military and spy agency operatives that search the data stream for troubling events in an increasingly troubled world. When his artificial intelligence system detects Lauren’s kidnapping, Aidan immediately sees the bigger picture.

Silicon Valley: Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is about to launch a ground-breaking technology with his company NanoUSA—a technology that the Chinese are desperate for. No sooner does Aidan arrive on Vance’s doorstep to explain the situation than the father receives a chilling text message: hand over the technology or Lauren will be dead in a week.

In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save Lauren from a brutal death.

Lauren Pennington is nothing more than an American foreign-exchange student, biding her time in Germany during her break when an attractive man sits down at a renowned bar and has a drink with her. A few minutes later, Lauren has disappeared. Her family in the US knows nothing of her disappearance, but they will because Lauren has been taken as leverage. Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is a high-ranking executive with a company about to introduce breakthrough technology in the communication industry. Little does he know that he’ll have to choose between his career, company, country, and his daughter’s life in the latest addition to Andrea Kane’s Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week. Fortunately, for Lauren and her parents, Aiden Deveraux has a secretive and behind-the-scenes company, the Zermatt Group, that intuited Lauren’s disappearance from the global computer surveillance and the reasons why well before her father was even contacted by the kidnappers. Now the question becomes, can Aiden, along with a few employees from Forensic Instincts, beat the deadline provided to Vance Pennington, locate and successfully retrieve Lauren before Vance has to do the unthinkable?

Dead in a Week is the seventh book in the Forensic Instincts series and the first to introduce us to the Zermatt Group. This taut suspense-thriller is filled with covert spy-like operations within the US and abroad all in an effort to thwart the kidnappers and the loss of corporate technological secrets to a foreign company. Aiden Deveraux is the defacto head of the Zermatt Group and brother to Mark Deveraux, a member of the Forensic Instincts team. Like Marc, Aiden is well-connected internationally and very well trained, militarily speaking. It is primarily due to Aiden’s connections that the Zermatt Group is able to search for Lauren in such a short period of time, bouncing from New York, to California, to Germany and Croatia, and then back stateside. The investigation is multi-modal as well in that it uses high-tech computer skills and technicians as well as highly-intuitive “agents” for lack of a better term. The head computer guru is a female, as is the intuitive business management operative. The covert and military-style operations are carried out by Aiden, Marc, and one of Aiden’s British compatriots. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on in this story: a kidnapping, family angst and drama over the kidnapping, corporate politicking and machinations, international corporate espionage/blackmail, and more. If you’ve read any of the previous Forensic Instincts books and enjoyed them as much as I did, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of Dead in a Week to read. Even if you haven’t read any of the previous books in the Forensic Instincts series, I think it’s possible to read Dead in a Week and not be lost by any of the previous action. If you’ve read some of Ms. Kane’s historical fiction but haven’t read any of her suspense-thrillers or romantic-suspense books, then I suggest you start with Dead in a Week and then backtrack to the beginning of the Forensic Instincts series, you can thank me later. Seriously, go get a copy of this book ASAP!

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the author/publisher via Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for review purposes. 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.”

Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including fifteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.

Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week, adds the Zermatt Group into the mix—a covert team of former military and spy agency operatives. With a week to save a young woman from ruthless kidnappers, this globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally, the farmlands of Croatia will keep readers guessing until the very end. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks, The Murder That Never Was, and A Face to Die For.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Catch Up With Our Author On:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

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

Enter To Win!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be 6 winners. One winner (1) will receive an Gift Card and five (5) winners will receive an eBook copy of Dead In A Week. The giveaway begins on March 18, 2019, and runs through April 21, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Albert Bell – DEATH BY ARMOIRE

Good day, my fellow book people. There are probably billions of books out there to read and millions of authors. I consider myself fortunate if I get to 0.001% of the books published in my lifetime. Having said that, I’m always eager to learn about new-to-me authors and books and I hope you are as well. Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to a new-to-me author and book, Albert A. Bell Jr. and Death by Armoire, A Palmetto Antiques Mystery. Mr. Bell is a prolific and award-winning author and is going to be discussing with us the importance of not being limited in writing characters and stories today. I hope you’ll enjoy learning from him and, hopefully, you’ll grab a copy of Death by Armoire to read if your interest is piqued. Thank you, Mr. Bell, for stopping by today and sharing with us.

One question that is often posed when people talk about books is whether authors can write about characters who are different from them in various ways—different ethnicity, different sexual identity, different age, different gender. Sometimes today when, for example, white authors write about African American characters, they’re accused of “cultural appropriation.”

But are authors to be limited to writing only about people who are like them? How boring that would be! To be a writer is to try to get inside the minds of different characters and show readers the world from their point of view. Shakespeare was not a love-sick teenager when he created Romeo and Juliet. The ancient Greek playwright Euripides was not a woman, but his Medea gives one of the finest expressions of what a woman’s life was like in that time period. J.K. Rowling is not a wizard-in-training, but she has created a world that shows us what such a character might experience. 

Now, do I have the braggadocio to talk about my writing in the same breath with Shakespeare, Euripides, and Rowling? No, I’m going to sit back, take a couple of deep breaths, and then talk about my writing because that’s what I’ve been invited to do.

I like to write in the first person, but does that mean all of my characters have to be me? My main series is about Pliny the Younger, a wealthy, slave-owning, Roman aristocrat who is about 25 years old. I am none of those things, but readers and reviewers tell me that I’ve created a character who feels real to them. I’ve written three middle-grade mysteries with first-person narrators who are eleven years old. I once was eleven, but that was a long time ago.

In two other books, written in the first person, the main characters/narrators are women. In Death Goes Dutch, Sarah DeGraaf is a Korean-American adoptee in her late 20s. In Death by Armoire, Maureen Cooper is a 45-year-old divorcee. Again, I am none of those things.

So, can a male author write female characters, especially from a first-person p.o.v.? In the movie, As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicholson plays a writer of romance novels. Someone asks him, “How do you write women so well?” Nicholson responds, “I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.” That’s a highly misogynistic attitude, and I certainly don’t endorse it.

People have joked about me getting in touch with my feminine side. I believe I just write about the character who best fits the situation. My wife had worked with an adoption agency doing the work that Sarah DeGraaf does in Death Goes Dutch. I have two daughters who are adopted from Korea. How could I not write about Sarah in the way that I did? In Death by Armoire, Maureen just stepped onto the stage and took over the story from the very beginning. Next to Pliny, I think she is my favorite character I’ve created in my thirteen fiction books.

So, can authors write about characters of the opposite gender? Some don’t think so. They use pseudonyms or they identify themselves by their initials. When I showed Death Goes Dutch to my publisher, I raised the possibility of using a feminine pseudonym. She felt, though, that if people had come to respect me as an author from my previous books, they were more likely to be drawn to the book if it had my real name on it. Using a pseudonym amounted to starting over.

I felt good about Death by Armoire as I was working on it. I really liked Maureen Cooper, as did my writers’ group. I got some affirmation about the character and the book when it won first place in the Genre Fiction category of Writers’ Digest’s 2018 Contest for Self-Published Books. Yes, I did self-publish it, not because of lack of confidence in it, but because I’m getting too old to spend two or three years chasing agents and/or publishers. I have several other books on my “bucket list,” and I’m working on a sequel to Death by Armoire.

Meet the author

Albert A. Bell, Jr discovered his love for writing in high school, with his first publication in 1972. Although he considers himself a “shy person,” he believes he is a storyteller more than a literary artist. He says, “When I read a book I’m more interested in one with a plot that keeps moving rather than long descriptive passages or philosophical reflection.” He writes books he would enjoy reading himself. 

A native of South Carolina, Dr. Bell has taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan since 1978, and, from 1994 – 2004 served as Chair of the History Department. He holds a Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as an MA from Duke and an MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to psychologist Bettye Jo Barnes Bell; they have four children and two grandsons. Bell is well-known for the historical mysteries of the series, Cases from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger. Corpus Conundrum, third of the series, was a Best Mystery of the year from Library Journal. The Secret of the Lonely Grave, first in the series of Steve and Kendra Mysteries for young people, won a Mom’s Choice Silver Medal and the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.

Death by Armoire A Palmetto Antiques Mystery by Albert A. Bell, Jr.
ISBN: 9781545320235 (Paperback)
ASIN: B06ZZ26H1P (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: April 16, 2017

Maureen Cooper values her quiet life in the small Southern town that has been her family’s home for generations. Her work as a ghost-writer for celebrities allows her to work from her large, Victorian house. But when her ex-husband Troy is found dead under a massive armoire in the antique store he and his father maintained as an excuse for their hoarding, distressing complexities mount. Who broke into the store and searched through the armoire and related pieces? How does Troy’s current love interest fit in? What about his high school sweetheart who returns from a prison sentence, and who fathered her son? Will Maureen’s involvement with a local police lieutenant give her an advantage in discovering the truth, or will he betray her to protect a crooked cop? 

This guest post brought to you by BreakThrough Promotions

Buy the Book

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit



Death by Armoire: A Palmetto Antiques Mystery

Death by Armoire : A Palmetto Antiques Mystery

Guest Post: Frankie Y Bailey – A DEAD MAN’S HONOR

Hello, book people. I’m excited to introduce you to today’s special guest, a criminal justice professor and the author of the Hannah McCabe and Lizzie Stuart mystery series, including A Dead Man’s Honor, Frankie Y. Bailey. Ms. Bailey will be introducing us to Lizzie Stuart and discussing the idea of the past intruding on our present. Thank you, Ms. Bailey, for taking time of your busy school and writing schedule to visit with us today.

Out of the Past
By Frankie Y. Bailey

I love film noir. Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum, is one of my favorite noir films. I watch it every time it comes up in the TCM cycle. The movie is about a former private investigator who got into trouble and has settled in a small town and opened a gas station under an assumed identity. But he has not escaped his past. He is summoned to a meeting with the crooked businessman who once hired him to locate a woman and his stolen money. The woman, with whom the PI had a dangerous affair, is back with his former client. Mitchum may hope to do what the businessman has demanded and go back to his new life, but Jane Greer, the femme fatale, has other ideas.  As you might expect of film noir, even the love of a good (small town) woman can’t save Mitchum. 

I don’t write noir fiction. My character, Lizzie Stuart, is a crime historian and the five books in which she has appeared so far are both academic mysteries and traditional classic detective fiction. But, like Robert Mitchum’s character, Lizzie has not been able to escape her past. The fact that she is not sure of who her father was – or is, he might still be alive – means that she must decide later in the series whether she will look for him. There’s also the matter of Becca, her missing mother – who puts in her appearance in Book 4 and can hold her own with any noir femme fatale. 

As the series are being reissued, I’m looking back at how it evolved. Book 2, A Dead Man’s Honor, was initially going to be the readers’ introduction to Lizzie Stuart. Instead, it followed a book set in Cornwall, during which Lizzie’s best friend, Tess Alvarez, a travel writer, and John Quinn, a Philadelphia homicide detective were introduced. Lizzie’s vacation in Cornwall, England, followed the death of the grandmother who raised her. It’s Lizzie’s dead grandmother, Hester Rose, who is front and center in A Dead Man’s Honor.

Hester Rose was close-mouthed about a lot of things – including her childhood in Gallagher, Virginia before she climbed into a boxcar and left the town under cover of darkness. In A Dead Man’s Honor, Lizzie has applied for and received an appointment as a visiting professor at Piedmont State University in Gallagher. She has joined the faculty in the School of Criminal Justice. As is the custom for visiting faculty, she has teaching responsibilities. She also has the research agenda that she described in her application. She wants to investigate a lynching in Gallagher. As a young girl, Hester Rose was witness to a lynching involving a black man accused of murder. She was there in the house with the accused man and the young deaf woman who loved him. As the police and angry white citizens gathered outside the house, Hester Rose was put out of a window. 

It is usually Lizzie’s voice that we hear in the series. She is the first-person narrator. But she sometimes flashes back to a conversation with one of her grandparents. Only a fleeting thought here and there. A Dead Man’s Honor, the only way to describe the lynching was from Hester Rose’s point of view. From the point of view of a frightened child as she hides in the bushes, watching. As Mose Davenport runs out of the house and is shot by someone in the crowd. As, later, she climbs into the boxcar and leaves Gallagher.  

Hester Rose tries to flee her past. Lizzie goes back to Gallagher to dig it up because she wants to know more about her grandmother and herself. 

Meet the author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture and material culture. She is the author of a number of non-fiction books, including local histories and books about crime fiction. Her mystery novels feature Southern-born crime historian, Lizzie Stuart, in five books, beginning with Death’s Favorite Child and A Dead Man’s Honor. The books are being reissued by Speaking Volumes. Frankie’s two near-future police procedurals feature Albany police detective, Hannah McCabe in The Red Queen Dies and What the Fly Saw (Minotaur Books). Frankie has also has written several short stories, including “In Her Fashion” (EQMM, July 2014), “The Singapore Sling Affair” (EQMM, Nov/Dec 2017), and “The Birth of the Bronze Buckaroo” (The Adventures of the Bronze Buckaroo, 2018). She is currently working on a nonfiction book about dress and appearance in American crime and justice, a historical thriller set in 1939, and the plots of the next Stuart and McCabe books. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. 

Connect with the author at her website or Twitter

A Dead Man’s Honor A Lizzie Stuart Mystery #2 by Frankie Y. Bailey
ISBN: 9781628158731 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781628158724 (ebook)
ASIN: B07FTYK444 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 5, 2018 (originally published on January 1, 2001)
Publisher: Speaking Volumes, LLC.

Crime historian Lizzie Stuart goes to Gallagher, Virginia for a year as a visiting professor at Piedmont State University. She is there to do research for a book about the 1921 lynching that her grandmother Hester Rose witnessed when she was a 12-year-old child.

Lizzie’s research is complicated by her own unresolved feelings about her secretive grandmother and by the disturbing presence of John Quinn, the police officer she met while on vacation in England. Add to that the murder of an arrogant and brilliant faculty member on Halloween night and Lizzie has about all she can handle.

This guest post brought to you by BreakThrough Promotions

Buy The Book

Available from          BookDepository     |

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit



A Dead Man's Honor

A Dead Man's Honor


Guest Post: Darcia Helle – OUT OF THE DARKNESS

Good day, book people. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I’m happy to welcome today’s guest, Darcia Helle, author of the Michael Sykora and Joe Cavalli Paranormal PI series, including the latest addition to the Joe Cavalli series, Out of the Darkness. If you’re like me, you often wonder just where an author comes up with these amazing and sometimes twisted stories? What inspires them? Why did they write the story the way they wrote the story? Thankfully, Ms. Helle is taking a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share with us what inspires her. I hope you’ll be inspired after reading this and grab a copy of her latest book, Out of the Darkness

The Inspiration Behind the Stories

I’m often asked about the inspiration behind a novel. Why did I write that specific story? The answer I’m quick to give is: I write the story that speaks to me the loudest. But that doesn’t really answer the question. With twelve novels published, you’d think this would be an easy one for me. In seeking the answer, I reflected on all those books I’ve written. The pattern I found there surprised me.

In the writing world, I’m what’s known as a pantser, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline the plot and I don’t write character profiles. When I start writing, I don’t know what’s going to happen or who these people in my head are. I don’t create the characters or their stories; they pop into my head with something to say. The time plotter authors spend writing story outlines and character profiles is the time I spend in silence, letting my mind roam, and following where the thoughts take me. 

The sum of all that, I realized, is that I don’t write with deliberate intention. I write from a place of curiosity and emotion. 

Still, none of that explains why specific characters and their stories come to me when they do, demanding theirs is the story I tell. I always assumed it was random. And then, as I examined the trajectory of my writing, I realized it’s not.

The explanation as to why I write what I do at any given time is this: I write the story I need to feel, explore, and experience both psychologically and emotionally at that time. 

Oddly, I had no idea this was happening. Perhaps even stranger, I don’t know how it happens.

For instance, my Michael Sykora series is dark suspense/thriller, and consequently, the writing experience is intense. The content is difficult to examine, and I’m hyper-focused. Through these stories, I explore the psychopathic mind, which fascinates me from an intellectual standpoint but also requires me to step inside that mind and feel what it’s like to be a twisted killer. This series forces me to confront the dichotomy between my natural peacenik “live and let live” personality, and the darker part of me that believes some humans lost their humanity and can’t be trusted to exist among us. While I truly love spending time with these characters, it’s an emotionally draining experience.

My Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI series is lighter in content and allows me to step outside real-world boundaries. I knew that writing these books offered me a fun diversion from a sometimes-bleak world. What I didn’t consider is that this series also provides me with a way to gain insight into the meaning of our lives, and to examine, without conscious intent, the ways in which our connections matter. 

Each of my novels is sprinkled with bits of me, whether it’s an issue I needed to work through, a concept I wanted to understand, or just a feeling demanding exploration. 

To further complicate my writing life, the story I think I’m writing is not always the story with which I end up. For example, when Gus from Out of the Darkness popped into my head, I thought I understood who he was. Based on that assumption, I also thought I knew where the story would go. Then, as I wrote, I realized Gus was someone different than I’d assumed him to be. As with real people, the image I saw was only a projection based on my expectation and biases. During the process of getting to know Gus, I felt and understood his complexities. Consequently, the story went in an entirely different direction. 

All this took place at a level deeper than my conscious awareness. I didn’t plan for Gus to be or do anything in particular. I listened, felt, and followed where he led. When we reached the end of his journey, I looked back and realized Gus had served as a reminder for me to focus on what’s important in life, as well as to look beyond the surface.

So, if you want to know what inspired me to write Out of the Darkness, I can only say that my subconscious had something to tell me.

Darcia Helle

Author Bio:

Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

Catch Up With Ms. Helle On:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Out of the Darkness

by Darcia Helle

on Tour March 1-31, 2019


Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle

Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help.

Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac.

Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads

Tour Participants:

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

Enter To Win!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Darcia Helle. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2019, and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight: BROKEN BONE CHINA by Laura Childs

Broken Bone China

(A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

About the Book

Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Berkley (March 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489632
ISBN-13: 978-0451489630

Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview, she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?


Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play

About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Website –
Facebook –


Enter to win one (1) of two (2) print copies of Broken Bone China by Laura Childs. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway limited to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


March 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 6 – Reading Authors – REVIEW

March 6 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – REVIEW

March 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

March 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

March 12 – Nadaness In Motion – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 12 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT 

March 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

March 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

March 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 18 – The Montana Bookaholic – GUEST POST

March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

2019 Book 68: BEFORE SHE KNEW HIM by Peter Swanson

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
ISBN: 9780062838155 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062838179 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062838186 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07BK1HP2L (Kindle edition)
Publisher: William Morrow 
Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door


From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder. . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .

Henrietta “Hen” Mazur is an artist. She’s also bipolar and has a history of obsessions going back to college. In college, she just “knew” her dorm mate had attempted to kill her roommate by giving her the flu. She then “knew” the dorm mate was out to kill her simply because she knew the truth. That whole situation ended with Hen being hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar, a restraining order being placed against her, her withdrawal from that college and transferring to a different college. After her marriage to Lloyd and whilst living in Cambridge, MA, Hen became obsessed with the death of an area resident. Now that they have moved to a suburb outside of Boston, Hen is convinced her next door neighbor is the murderer. She attempts to convince the Cambridge detectives of what she knows, but that doesn’t go very well. She then decides to keep an eye on her neighbor, witnesses him stalking then murdering a local man, and subsequently identifies her neighbor as the killer to the police. Hen is suspicious of Matthew, who in turn is suspicious of her suspicions. Will anyone ever take her reports seriously given her past behaviors or will her neighbor literally be able to get away with murder?

I’ve read several books by Peter Swanson in the past and found them all to be well-written, twisted, and filled with surprises throughout and Before She Knew Him is an excellent example of his work. There are a lot of nuances to this book including the fact that a person with a known mental health problem isn’t often taken seriously by law enforcement despite the fact that they may be able to provide crucial evidence. Hen’s situation is an excellent example of this predicament and seems to exemplify the old adage that just because a person is paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone after them. Hen knows what she knows and no one believes her or so she thinks initially. She quickly comes to realize that Matthew definitely knows what is going on and is willing to use her past against her. When Matthew and Mira get a restraining order against Hen, it seems as if the story might have nowhere to go but then several twists and surprises arise. No, I’m not going to reveal what they are…read the book! Mr. Swanson fills Before She Knew Him with psychological suspense and enough plot twists and turns to give the reader motion sickness (trust me, this is a good thing). It was impossible to determine what was going to happen next and I love that in a story. I empathized with Hen and even Mira and felt Matthew deserved whatever might happen to him. I wish I could say more about Lloyd, Hen’s husband, but let’s just say that even he isn’t as nice a guy as he initially appears. I’m wholeheartedly recommending Before She Knew Him to all of you lovers of the mystery-suspense genre as well as those of you looking for something a little different to read. Come on, read outside of your comfort zone this year by grabbing a copy of Before She Knew Him to read. You may be surprised by just how much you like it. 

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review purposes. 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.”

Read a sample of Before She Knew Him here.

Buy the Book

Available from      BookDepository     |

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit



Before She Knew Him: A Novel

Before She Knew Him: A Novel

Before She Knew Him

ebook: icon

audiobook: icon


Before She Knew Him

Character Guest Post: AS DIRECTED by Kathleen Valenti

Good morning and my apologies for the tardiness (migraine, vertigo, and family issues). I’m extremely excited to welcome today’s guest, Maggie O’Malley, as she takes a few minutes and steps off the pages of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery series, including As Directed by Kathleen Valenti, to discuss new beginnings. I’m hoping I could start this day over just so I could give Ms. O’Malley the timely welcome she deserves. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome.

I’ve never been big on new beginnings.

If you knew my past, you wouldn’t blame me.

Day one of my first real job, I began to receive calendar alerts informing me that I had meetings I never scheduled with people I didn’t know—people who later met with death.

The early days of my next job didn’t go much better. I lost my temper and my job, then found myself in the middle of a murder investigation. It seemed that no matter how I hard I tried, doing the right thing was the wrong thing.

I have a good feeling about this new start, though. I’ve traded the shelter of my lab as a medical researcher for the human interaction of the corner drugstore. I’m a pharmacy tech, working at Petrosian’s Pillbox. It’s the perfect job for me. Not too easy. Not too stressful. A chance to stretch my wings and test my mettle.

Mr. Petrosian, the store’s owner, has left to run errands, leaving me in charge. I take phone calls. I talk to insurance companies. I corral pills and nudge elixirs.

I finish up behind the counter then grab a bin of bottles, intent on restocking shelves before Mr. Petrosian’s return. I bypass the analgesics, skirt the skin soothers and park myself in front of the digestive aids.

As I place the bottles on the shelves, turning out labels, I think about past beginnings. Sudden ends. Bodies discovered and peace shattered.

My heart double-times with the memories, beating a Morse code of fear and dread. I square my shoulders and push back the disquiet, the sense that something new and dangerous lies in wait in the next aisle.

I push face out the label on the Pepto bottle and head for the end of the aisle, readying to round the corner where fear feels tangible. Palpable.

Don’t be silly, I tell myself. There’s nothing to fear. A new job doesn’t mean new danger, new disasters, new risk.

This time, I tell myself, will be different. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

As Directed

(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book

As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
3rd in Series
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at

Author Links


March 1 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST 

March 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – GUEST POST

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST 

March 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

March 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 14 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Spotlight Post: THE HUNDRED WELLS OF SALAGA by Ayesha Harruna Attah

The Hundred Wells of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah
ISBN: 9781590519950 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781590519967 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781978649132 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07CWGHDNS (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Other Press
Release Date: February 5, 2019

Based on true events, a story of courage, forgiveness, love, and freedom in precolonial Ghana, told through the eyes of two women born to vastly different fates. 

Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that transforms her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father’s court. These two women’s lives converge as infighting among Wurche’s people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the nineteenth century.

Through the experiences of Aminah and Wurche, The Hundred Wells of Salaga offers a remarkable view of slavery and how the scramble for Africa affected the lives of everyday people.

Add to Goodreads badge

Read an excerpt from The Hundred Wells of Salaga here.

Praise for The Hundred Wells of Salaga

“A skillful portrayal of life in pre-colonial Ghana emphasizes distinctions of religion, language, and status…[Attah] has a careful eye for domestic and historical detail.” —The Guardian

“Compelling…rich and nuanced…Attah is adept at leading readers across the varied terrain of 19th-century Ghana and handles heavy subjects with aplomb. Two memorable women anchor this pleasingly complicated take on slavery, power, and freedom.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An alluring story…a novel with the power to open eyes and hearts while filling minds with plenty of food for thought.” —Shelf Awareness

“Analogous to Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning Nervous Conditions, this spacious work will appeal to readers of African and historical fiction.” —Library Journal

Meet the author

Ayesha Harruna Attah grew up in Accra, Ghana and was educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University, and New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Asymptote Magazine, and the 2010 Caine Prize Writers’ Anthology. Attah is an Instituto Sacatar Fellow and was awarded the 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship for nonfiction. She lives in Senegal.

Buy the Book

Available from          BookDepository     |

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit



The Hundred Wells of Salaga

The Hundred Wells of Salaga: A Novel

The Hundred Wells of Salaga


The Hundred Wells of Salaga



Guest Post: SC Perkins – MURDER ONCE REMOVED

Good day, my bookish peeps. I’m pleased to host a visit from S.C. Perkins, author of the debut cozy, Murder Once Removed, an Ancestor Detective Mystery. Sit back, relax, and get ready for a little visual road trip, because Ms. Perkins is going to take us all on our whirlwind tour of Austin, Texas. After this quick trip, you’ll probably be ready for some Tex-Mex cuisine and I can suggest the perfect book to read while you’re eating…Murder Once Removed. Okay, you can read the book before, during, and/or after eating.

Deep in the Heart of (Austin) Texas

Hi! I’m S.C. Perkins and I’m thrilled to be on The Book Diva’s Reads for a guest post! Today, I thought I’d show y’all a little bit of Austin, Texas, which is the setting of my debut cozy mystery, Murder Once Removed.

So, why did I put my main character, genealogist Lucy Lancaster, in Austin? Well, it’s a unique and cool city with a singularly small-town vibe. There’s very little of Austin that feels “big city,” even though its population is edging toward a million people. It’s all at once a storied college town, a hotbed of music and musicians, a family-friendly place to raise children, and the center of Texas politics. 

Oh, and if you want great food of all kinds, Austin has it. Especially in the tacos department, which is a huge plus for Lucy, who is a bit of an addict. Okay, a lot of an addict… Anyway, she also loves Austin for its abundance of genealogical and history-related resources. When it comes to Texas settings, there’s no place more perfect for Lucy, or more fun for me to set her adventures. 

And now, I’m happy to present visuals of some of the places Lucy goes in Murder Once Removed, both on her regular days as a professional genealogist and where her first investigation takes her.

1. The Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building. The Archives, as it is most often called, is a National Literary Landmark and is home to, amongst other resources, extensive genealogy and family history assets. Lucy frequents the Archives, especially when there’s records she can only view on microfilm.

2. The Capitol. Austin is the capital city of Texas, and the capitol building is located right in downtown. The Italian Renaissance Revival-style building was completed in 1888 and is made of the same Sunset Red granite as the next-door Archives building. A statue of the Goddess of Liberty stands watch at the top. It’s also home to the Legislative Reference Library, where Lucy goes to do research on her client’s politically-minded ancestors.

The Legislative Reference Library – Copyright, the Texas State Preservation Board

3. The Capitol Rotunda:  the floor. One of many mosaic floors in the building, the Rotunda’s floor showcases the seals of the six flags that have flown over Texas:  Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. 

The Capitol Rotunda  – Copyright, The Bullock Texas State History Museum

4. The Capitol Rotunda: the ceiling. The star in the middle represents the lone star of Texas against a blue sky. In the valley between each point is a letter, spelling TEXAS. Though the rotunda ceiling makes an appearance in Lucy’s adventure, I’m really just showing it to you because I think it’s so pretty.

5. The University of Texas at Austin campus. Though I myself went to Texas A&M University, the longtime rival of UT, many members of my family have gone here. So, I made Lucy a graduate of both great universities.

In Murder Once Removed, I’ve imagined a building for historical research called the Hamilton American History Center. It’s loosely based on UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. I also have Lucy visiting Waggener Hall, which is a real Liberal Arts building on campus. Both my imagined Hamilton Center and the real Waggener Hall are on the southeast side of campus, to the left side of the famous UT tower in this photo.

The University of Texas at Austin Campus – Copyright, The University of Texas

6. The Frost Bank Tower. One of the most iconic buildings in downtown Austin. In Murder Once Removed, Lucy goes to the Frost Bank Tower to attempt to interview someone with a direct connection to both the past and the present murders.

When seen from one side, the building is said to look like an owl. Do you see it? Seen from another angle, one cheeky reporter also claimed it looks like a large set of nose-hair clippers. Both descriptions make me laugh!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest. No copyright found; no infringement intended.

7. Lucy’s Office Building. Though I’ve created a historic building called The Old Printing Office, in which Lucy and her two other self-employed best friends, Serena and Josephine, work, I based the idea on this lovely building I’ve seen many times. It’s located exactly where I have The Old Printing Office located, on Congress Avenue, just a block away from the entrance to the capitol grounds.

This building was built in 1874, as you can see at the top arch, and has a little balcony that is almost hidden by trees. In my mind, Lucy, Josephine, and Serena occasionally have cocktails out on their similar balcony (sans trees) and watch the bustle of downtown Austin go by.

8. Congress Avenue Bridge, and its bats. Over one 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats roost under Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge during the warm months of the year, which, in Austin, can go into early November. Each night at sunset, the bats fly out from under the bridge in a spectacle every bit as cool as Austin itself. Lucy drives over this bridge every day to and from work. 

Congress Avenue Bridge. No copyright found; no infringement intended.

9. Big Flaco’s Tacos. Lucy’s favorite taqueria is another creation of my imagination, which is unfortunate because I love tacos just as much as Lucy. 

If you took this 1950s-style diner interior and put it through a hail storm, that’s about what I imagine Flaco’s taqueria looks like. Flaco’s place had been vandalized before he purchased it, but he liked the beat-up look so much that he kept it. No doubt Flaco’s tacos would be every bit as scrumptious looking as the photo below.

Image found on internet. No copyright found; no infringement intended.

Image found on Pinterest. No copyright found; no infringement intended.

Thank you so much for joining me on a little tour of Lucy’s world in Austin!

Murder Once Removed (An Ancestor Detective Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Minotaur Books (March 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1250189039
ISBN-13: 978-1250189035
Digital ASIN: B07D2BJ2JT

S.C. Perkins’ Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.

Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal proving Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death.

Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.

Purchase links

IndieBound      Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Books-a-Million

About the Author

S.C. Perkins is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up hearing fascinating stories of her ancestry and eating lots of great Tex-Mex, both of which inspired the plot of her debut mystery novel. Murder Once Removed was the winner of the 2017 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery competition. She resides in Houston and, when she’s not writing or working at her day job, she’s likely outside in the sun, on the beach, or riding horses.

Author Links








Enter to win one (1) print copy of Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins in this tour-wide giveaway. Use the Rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


March 5 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

March 5 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

March 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

March 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW*

March 11 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT

March 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 12 – This is my truth now – REVIEW


March 13 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, RECIPE POST

March 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*

March 15 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW *

March 15 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

March 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW*

March 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?