Book Showcase: LIES, LIES, LIES by Adele Parks



Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks
ISBN: 9780778388142 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778360889 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780778388142 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488208638 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781094103648 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B081ZFZGMN  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07R52L4NN   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication Date: August 4, 2020


Daisy and Simon’s marriage isn’t what it seems…



After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. They’re a happy little family of three.

So what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes—Daisy’s used to it. She knows he’s just letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And their happy little family of three will never be the same again.

In Lies, Lies, Lies, #1 Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks explores the darkest corners of a relationship in free fall in a mesmerizing tale of marriage and secrets.




Purchase Links: #CommissionEarned   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Nook Book  |  B&N Audiobook on CD  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  eBooks  |  Harlequin  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo Audiobook  |  Kobo eBook  |  Powell’s





Read an Excerpt


Prologue


May 1976

Simon was six years old when he first tasted beer.

He was bathed and ready for bed wearing soft pyjamas, even though it was light outside; still early. Other kids were in the street, playing on their bikes, kicking a football. He could hear them through the open window, although he couldn’t see them because the blinds were closed. His daddy didn’t like the evening light glaring on the TV screen, his mummy didn’t like the neighbours looking in; keeping the room dark was something they agreed on.

His mummy didn’t like a lot of things: wasted food, messy bedrooms, Daddy driving too fast, his sister throwing a tantrum in public. Mummy liked ‘having standards’. He didn’t know what that meant, exactly. There was a standard-bearer at Cubs; he was a big boy and got to wave the flag at the front of the parade, but his mummy didn’t have a flag, so it was unclear. What was clear was that she didn’t like him to be in the street after six o’clock. She thought it was common. He wasn’t sure what common was either, something to do with having fun. She bathed him straight after tea and made him put on pyjamas, so that he couldn’t sneak outside.

He didn’t know what his daddy didn’t like, just what he did like. His daddy was always thirsty and liked a drink. When he was thirsty he was grumpy and when he had a drink, he laughed a lot. His daddy was an accountant and like to count in lots of different ways: “a swift one’, “a cold one’, and ‘one more for the road’. Sometimes Simon though his daddy was lying when he said he was an accountant; most likely, he was a pirate or a wizard. He said to people, “Pick your poison’, which sounded like something pirates might say, and he liked to drink, “the hair of a dog’ in the morning at the weekends, which was definitely a spell. Simon asked his mummy about it once and she told him to stop being silly and never to say those silly things outside the house.

He had been playing with his Etch A Sketch, which was only two months old and was a birthday present. Having seen it advertised on TV, Simon had begged for it, but it was disappointing. Just two silly knobs making lines that went up and down, side to side. Limited. Boring. He was bored. The furniture in the room was organised so all of it was pointing at the TV which was blaring but not interesting. The news. His parents liked watching the news, but he didn’t. His father was nursing a can of the grown ups’ pop that Simon was never allowed. The pop that smelt like nothing else, fruity and dark and tempting.

“Can I have a sip?” he asked.

“Don’t be silly, Simon,” his mother interjected. “You’re far too young. Beer is for daddies.” He thought she said ‘daddies’, but she might have said ‘baddies’.

His father put the can to his lips, glared at his mother, cold. A look that said, “Shut up woman, this is man’s business.” His mother had blushed, looked away as though she couldn’t stand to watch, but she held her tongue. Perhaps she thought the bitterness wouldn’t be to his taste, that one sip would put him off. He didn’t like the taste. But he enjoyed the collusion. He didn’t know that word then, but he instinctively understood the thrill. He and his daddy drinking grown ups’ pop! His father had looked satisfied when he swallowed back the first mouthful, then pushed for a second. He looked almost proud. Simon tasted the aluminium can, the snappy biting bitter bubbles and it lit a fuse.

After that, in the mornings, Simon would sometimes get up early, before Mummy or Daddy or his little sister, and he’d dash around the house before school, tidying up. He’d open the curtains, empty the ashtrays, clear away the discarded cans. Invariably his mother went to bed before his father. Perhaps she didn’t want to have to watch him drink himself into a stupor every night, perhaps she hoped denying him an audience might take away some of the fun for him, some of the need. She never saw just how bad the place looked by the time his father staggered upstairs to bed. Simon knew it was important that she didn’t see that particular brand of chaos.

Occasionally there would be a small amount of beer left in one of the cans. Simon would slurp it back. He found he liked the flat, forbidden, taste just as much as the fizzy hit of fresh beer. He’d throw open a window, so the cigarette smoke and the secrets could drift away. When his mother came downstairs, she would smile at him and thank him for tidying up.

“You’re a good boy, Simon,” she’d say with some relief. And no idea.

When there weren’t dregs to be slugged, he sometimes opened a new can. Threw half of it down his throat before eating his breakfast. His father never kept count.

Some people say their favourite smell is freshly baked bread, others say coffee or a campfire. From a very young age, few scents could pop Simon’s nerve endings like the scent of beer.

The promise of it.



Excerpt from Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks. 
Copyright © 2020 by Adele Parks. Published by MIRA Books. 
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.





Meet The Author

Adele Parks Photo by Sekkides


Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages, including I Invited Her In. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana, and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son, and cat.




Connect to the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.



This excerpt brought to you by MIRA Books

Book Showcase: THE CRUSHING DEPTHS by Dani Pettrey



The Crushing Depths

by Dani Pettrey

on Tour July 1-31, 2020



Synopsis:


The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey


When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.




Book Details:


Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Published by: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0764230859 (ISBN13: 9780764230851)
Series: Coastal Guardians #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ChristianBook | Goodreads




Read an excerpt:




Chapter One



Late September



Thirty-eight miles off North Carolina’s coast



Greg Barnes clinked along the grated metal steps, his boot heels rasping with each shuffle as he headed topside for a much-needed breath of smoke.

Thrusting the door open with a resounding creak, he stepped out into the night air.

A litany of protestors’ chants mimicked the shrill whining of cicadas.

He glanced at his watch. 1930. Didn’t those eco-nuts ever give it a rest?

As if the cursed rig wasn’t enough—they had the dang relentless protestors going practically day and night.

Exhaling, he rubbed his thumb along the smooth surface of the tarnished gold lighter in his pocket. His tight muscles seized, making his movements stiff. He shook his head. Those people needed to get a life.

Edging around the far corner of the main separator facility, he pressed his back against the structure’s cool outer wall. Generators whirred across from him, finally drowning out the clatter. He scanned his surroundings and exhaled in relief. Finally, alone.

His leg twitched. Just one drag . . . maybe two. It’d been an awful day, and that was the gentleman’s way of putting it.

With unsteady hands, he pulled the plastic-wrapped pack from his shirt pocket.

It crinkled beneath his hold and the sweet scent of tobacco wafted beneath his nose. He tamped the cigarette in his palm and slid it between his cracked lips. Just one drag.

Tugging the lighter from his pocket, he flipped it open, then rolled the pad of his thumb across the ignitor.

A spark flashed and fire roared, hissing over him in a sizzling cascade of torment.



Chapter Two



Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina



Rissi Dawson sat at the long table on Dockside’s waterfront deck, gaping at Mason Rogers. He turned to look at her, his green eyes illuminated in the bright pole lights lining the wooden structural beams. She averted her eyes as heat rushed up her throat, spreading across her cheeks. He’d caught her staring again. Embarrassment drenched her. It’d been three days since his arrival, and she still couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact he was actually sitting next to her.

The boy she’d had the biggest crush on as a teen was back in her life. And on her Coast Guard Investigative Service team.

He handed her the basket of hush puppies the restaurant served instead of bread to start everyone off. His hand brushed hers with the movement, and her heart fluttered. “Thanks,” she said, keeping her gaze fixed on the red basket as she pulled two balls of fried cornmeal from it. She plopped the still-warm puppies onto the round plate to the right of her Coke. Get it together, girl!

The whir of a boat’s motor dropping to an idle sounded over the deck’s edge. A teen jumped out of the white outboard and onto the pier, tying her up to the cleat. Rissi loved living in a place with a boat drive-thru.

Noah raised his glass of iced tea. “Everyone . . .” The team lifted their glasses in response to their boss’s prompting.

Noah dipped his chin. “Welcome, Mason. Happy to have you on board.”

The team clinked their glasses together, even Caleb who sat brooding to her left. Observant as he was, there was no chance he missed the way she looked at Mason. In recent months, he’d developed feelings for her, so it wasn’t surprising he’d bristled at Mason’s arrival—especially after learning she and Mason shared a past, though he didn’t know the half of it. Only that they spent time in a children’s home together for a handful of months as teens.

The opening riff of “Sweet Home Alabama” emanated from Noah’s jean pocket. He hitched up as he extracted his phone. “Rowley,” he answered. “Yes?” Standing, he headed down the ramp toward the restaurant’s pier.

“Rockfish tacos,” the waitress said, placing the plate in front of Rissi. The sweet, tropical scent of the mango slaw swirled in the air.

The waitress handed out plate after plate to each of them, setting Noah’s burger at his spot while he continued to pace the pier.

Caleb bit into his Carolina BBQ pork sandwich, the scent of vinegar wafting in the night’s gentle breeze.

Finn Walker did the same with his crab cake sandwich. He and Noah, who was from Maryland, had argued for months over which state had the best crab cake. Finn had been convinced it was North Carolina, right up until Noah had crab cakes flown in fresh from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore. It took two bites for Finn to concede the win.

“Sorry about that, folks,” Noah said, retaking his seat.

“Everything okay?” Emmy Thorton asked. Rissi looked forward to seeing the quirky angel every day at the station.

“Rissi, Mason.” Noah lifted his chin in their direction. “I’ve got an assignment for you.”

Her and Mason? They’d worked a case his first day on the team, but Finn had joined them for most of the investigation. This would be the two of them . . . alone. A mixture of elation and fear sifted through her.

“Great.” Mason set down his lemonade.

“We’ve got a death out on the Dauntless.”

“The offshore oil platform?” Mason asked, swiping a drop of lemonade from his bottom lip.

Stop staring, girl. So he’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. So you share a past. Still, staring is plain rude. Despite not having a mother to teach her, Rissi knew or, at least had come to learn, her manners.

Noah laid his napkin across his lap. “You two need to determine if the death was an accident or if foul play was involved. Helo is leaving from Textra Oil’s copter hub in forty-five. I need you both on it.”

Mason pushed back from the table. “No problem.”

“Great,” Noah said. “You’ll be joining the head of operations, a commercial diver, and the deceased’s replacement on the company copter.”

Rissi took one last bite of her taco before setting it down. She dabbed the corner of her lips with a napkin. “They aren’t wasting any time in replacing the deceased.”

“The deceased’s name is Greg Barnes. I talked to the head of operations, Bob Stanton, and he said they needed to replace him ASAP.”

“Must be an important position.” She reached for her glass and took a final sip.

“You’d think,” Noah said. “But Bob said the main reason they need to replace him fast is they’ve been working with a skeleton crew.”

Mason’s brows pinched as he stood. “Why?”

“Several guys didn’t show up for their three-week rotation transport out,” Noah said, popping a fry in his mouth.

“I know why they didn’t show up for that copter ride out there.” Tom Murphy leaned toward them from his table situated to their right.

“Why?” Mason asked, moving around to the back of Rissi’s chair. He held it out for her as she stood.

She glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled. “Thanks.”

He nodded.

Tom, one of Wrightsville’s most colorful fishermen, crooked his index finger, drawing them in. “That rig’s cursed.”

“Cursed?” Caleb chuckled. “You can’t be serious?”

Tom waggled his finger. “It’s no laughing matter, young man.”

“I’m sure it’s a good story, Tom,” Rissi said. No reason not to be polite. “But I’m afraid we’ve got to catch a copter ride.”

Tom shrugged and turned back to his food. “It’s your lives at stake.”

“What do you mean?” she asked before they passed his table, unable to stem her curiosity.

“You’ll see.” He smiled, his right incisor missing. “Henry’s curse is real.”

“Henry?” Why was she letting herself get sucked into this?

Tom let out a high-pitched chuckle. “Oh, you’ll learn all about Henry.”

“Shall we?” Mason said, gesturing to the wooden ramp leading down to the gravel parking lot.

Excusing themselves, they moved down the ramp. Mason leaned in. He smelled of the ocean and warm spice. He whispered, “Did that guy seriously just cackle?”

She nodded, strangely curious about the old man’s ghost story.

“I thought people only did that on Scooby-Doo.”

She let out a slip of laughter.

“I wouldn’t be laughing,” Tom called after them as they rounded the ramp on his side of the deck. “You two be careful out there, you hear? It’s a dangerous place to be. Just ask the men on board.”

***



Excerpt from The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey.  
Copyright © 2020 by Dani Pettrey. 
Reproduced with permission from Dani Pettrey. All rights reserved.





Author Bio:


Dani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.

Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon #1 bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.


Catch Up With Dani Pettrey:


DaniPettrey.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, 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 Dani Pettrey. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey (Print ~ Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.


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Book Showcase: THE KIDS ARE GONNA ASK by Gretchen Anthony


The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony
ISBN: 9780778308744 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488051005 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488208720 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B07R16ZYV2   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication Date: July 28, 2020


A whip-smart, entertaining novel about twin siblings who become a national phenomenon after launching a podcast to find the biological father they never knew.

The death of Thomas and Savannah McClair’s mother turns their world upside down. Raised to be fiercely curious by their grandmother Maggie, the twins become determined to learn the identity of their biological father. And when their mission goes viral, an eccentric producer offers them a dream platform: a fully sponsored podcast called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. To discover the truth, Thomas and Savannah begin interviewing people from their mother’s past and are shocked when the podcast ignites in popularity. As the attention mounts, they get caught in a national debate they never asked for—but nothing compares to the mayhem that ensues when they find him.

Cleverly constructed, emotionally perceptive and sharply funny, The Kids Are Gonna Ask is a rollicking coming-of-age story and a moving exploration of all the ways we can go from lost to found.






Purchase Links: #CommissionEarned   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  AppleBooks  |  Barnes & Noble  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Google Play



Read an Excerpt

JULY



The house had become an aquarium—one side tank, the other, fingerprint-smeared glass—with Thomas McClair on the inside looking out. There had been a dozen protests outside their home in less than a week, all for the McClairs to—what, enjoy? Critique? Reject? There was no making sense of it. 

Tonight, Thomas pulled his desk chair up to the window and kicked his feet onto the sill. He’d been too anxious to eat dinner, but his mind apparently hadn’t notified his stomach, which now growled and cramped. He was seventeen. He could swallow a whole pizza and wash it down with a half-gallon of milk, then go back for more, especially being an athlete. But that was before. 

Before the podcast, before the secrets, before the wave of national attention. Now he was just a screwup with a group of strangers swarming the parkway across the street from his house because he’d practically invited them to come. 

He deserved to feel awful. 

The McClairs had been locked in the house for a week, leaving Thomas short of both entertainment and sanity. He had no choice but to watch the show unfolding outside. Stuck in his beige bedroom, with the Foo Fighters at Wembley poster and the Pinewood Derby blue ribbons, overlooking the front lawn and the driveway and the hand-me-down Volvo neither he nor Savannah had driven since last week. There they stood—a crowd of milling strangers, all vying for the McClairs’ attention. All these people with their causes. Some who came to help or ogle. More who came to hate. 

Thomas brought his face almost to the glass and tried to figure out the newly assembling crowd. Earlier that day, out of all the attention seekers, one guy in particular had stood out. He wore black jeans, black boots, a black beanie—a massive amount of clothing for the kind of day where you could see the summer heat curling up from the pavement—and a black T-shirt that screamed WHO’S PAYING YOU? in pink neon. He also held a leash attached to a life-size German shepherd plushy toy. 

Some of the demonstrators had gone home for the night, only to be replaced by a candlelight vigil. And a capella singing. There were only about a dozen people in the group, all women, except for two tall guys in the back lending their baritones to a standard rotation of hymns. “Amazing Grace” first, followed by “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Now they were into a song Thomas didn’t know, but the longer he listened, he figured hundred-to-one odds that the lyrics consisted of no more than three words, repeated over and over. They hit the last note and raised their candles high above their heads. By daaaaaaaaaaaayyyy. 

“No more,” he begged into the glass. “I can’t take any more.” 

A week. Of this. 

Of protests, rallies and news crews with their vans and satellites and microphones. 

Of his sister, Savannah, locked in her room, refusing to speak to him. 

Of his grandmother Maggie in hers, sick with worry. 

Of finding—then losing—his biodad, the missing piece of his mother’s story. And his own. 

Thomas was left to deal with it all. Because he’d started it. And because he was a finisher. And most of all, because it wasn’t over yet.



Excerpt from The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony. 
Copyright © 2020 by Gretchen Anthony. Published by Park Row Books. 
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.





Meet The Author


Author Photo by M. Brian Hartz
GRETCHEN ANTHONY is the author of Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners, which was a Midwestern Connections Pick and a best books pick by Amazon, BookBub, PopSugar, and the New York Post. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Medium, and The Write Life, among others. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.



Connect to the author via her website, Goodreads, Instagram, or Twitter.



This excerpt brought to you by Park Row Books

Book Spotlight: BRASS CARRIAGES AND GLASS HEARTS by Nancy Campbell Allen

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen
ISBN: 9781629727370 (paperback)
ASIN: B086WQCTTQ (Audible audiobook)
Publication date: October 6, 2020 
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing


A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?





Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Audible  |  Barnes and Noble  |  BookDepository  |  Deseret Book      



Advance Praise 

“Once again proving that genres are made to be melded, Allen puts a suspenseful twist on this enticing, steampunk retelling of Cinderella. Allen seamlessly integrates gentle romantic tension and nods to the original fairy tale with paranormal and steampunk elements and political intrigue. This is a fun, arresting break from reality.” –Publishers Weekly

“Relocates a classic fairy tale into an imagined future packed with airships, automated carriages, vampires, and corsets. Nancy Campbell Allen’s lively reimagining of the Cinderella story features an empowered, outspoken heroine who’s driven by a vision of a more equitable, futuristic Britain.” –Foreword Reviews




Watch the Book Trailer  





Meet the Author

Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of seventeen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children. 

Visit her on Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and on Twitter




This book spotlight brought to you by Shadow Mountain Publishing

Guest Post: Jennifer S Alderson – DEATH BY WINDMILL


We made it to another Friday, my bookish divas and divos. YAY! I’ve always wanted to travel the world and realized at a young age that I could do just that through reading. Although my actual travels have been somewhat limited, today’s guest travels extensively IRL and virtually in her Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, including the latest Death by Windmill, Jennifer S. Alderson. Ms. Alderson will be giving us a “behind-the-scenes” look into the development of her travel series as well as providing us with a glimpse into Death by Windmill. Divas and divos, I turn the blog over to Ms. Jennifer Alderson. 



My Agatha Christie Challenge and the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries by Jennifer S. Alderson



“Agatha Christie said that most murders were committed for one of four reasons: jealousy, greed, a desire for power, and revenge.” –  excerpt from Death on the Danube

When I began writing the Travel Can Be Murder cozy mystery series, I decided to use Agatha Christie’s four reasons for committing murder as the motives my killers would use to justify their actions.

Like many mystery authors, Agatha Christie was an early favorite of mine. My mother had all of her books and, after I had worked my way through the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, I read all of them!

When I was writing book one of my new travel cozy series, Death on the Danube, mentioning Christie’s theory about murder fit naturally into a scene at the spa. And in book two, comparisons between Christie’s poisonous plants garden in Torquay and the one my tourists were visiting in Paris, were also easy to make.

Though I am by no means trying to emulate her style in this series, I thought it would be a fun challenge to work a reference to Agatha Christie into each of my own mysteries. 

However, when I began writing this book set in Amsterdam, I wasn’t able to find a clear link between Christie and the Netherlands and feared that was the end of my experiment. Until I discovered a local establishment, the Pulitzer’s Bar, creates a special themed-cocktail menu each year – and in 2020 the twelve drinks are based on characters in Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Problem solved!

Death by Bagpipes, book four in the Travel Can Be Murder series is set in Edinburgh. From my preliminary research, I won’t have much trouble finding a way to mention Agatha in this one!

In this short excerpt from Death by Windmill, Lana and her tour group are visiting Pulitzer’s Bar:



Lana had not been looking forward to the tour of the Rijksmuseum this morning, but it ended up being the perfect distraction from her current troubles. However, by the time they were finished with the drawing lesson, dark thoughts had taken over again, leaving her feeling restless and distracted.

She followed her group in a daze as they traversed the cobblestoned streets of Amsterdam. Bikes, pedestrians, delivery trucks, and cars all fought for space on the narrow strips of road running parallel to the many canals crisscrossing the city. After almost getting run over by an angry bicyclist, Lana pushed her thoughts aside and focused on getting herself and her group to Pulitzer’s Bar in one piece.

Randy led them to the upscale bar on the Keizersgracht. The elegant space was divided into several small rooms, almost like a home, and each was decorated as if the owner had just stepped out. The art deco furnishings and fixtures made it a timeless and relaxing space.

Her group settled around several small tables in what could have once been the living room. Luckily most were getting along well enough that all she and Randy had to do was take their orders, then sit back and relax. Lana was grateful; her mind was racing through her list of suspects on an unending loop that she couldn’t switch off.

She chuckled when she saw the bar’s cocktail menu was inspired by characters in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the twelve suspects in her mystery had a drink dedicated to them. Lana waffled between “The Gangster” or “The Conductor,” ultimately settling for “The Maid” when she noticed lemon sherbet was one of the ingredients.

The drink list made Lana think of her own group—the cleaner, retiree, personal assistant, social influencer, writer, and advertising executive. What would her suspects’ drinks be made of?






Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam

(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson



About Death by Windmill




Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Independently published (May 16, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8646330070
Digital ASIN: B0843K7HNQ


Purchase Links – Amazon


A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…



Wanderlust Tours guide Lana Hansen and her mother, Gillian, haven’t seen eye to eye in over a decade, ever since Lana was wrongly fired from her job as an investigative reporter. So when Lana’s boss invites Gillian to join her upcoming Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands, Lana is less than pleased.



What could be worse than spending ten days with her estranged mother? Lana is about to find out…



The tour begins on a high note when the majority of guests bond during their visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and a cruise around the picturesque canals of Amsterdam.



Despite her initial reservations, Lana thinks this might be the best group she had ever led. Until she discovers one of her guests—a recent retiree named Priscilla—is the person who destroyed her career in journalism.



All Lana can see is red. But circumstances dictate that she figure out a way to lead the tour, make peace with her mother, and not murder her guest. She doesn’t know whether she can handle the pressure.



Lana needn’t worry. Shortly after their fight, Priscilla falls off the balcony of a historic windmill at Zaanse Schans. Was she pushed or simply careless? The investigating officers suspect murder—and topping their suspect list is Lana’s mom!



Can Lana save Gillian? Or will her mother end up spending the rest of her days in a Dutch prison?




About Jennifer S. Alderson




Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.


Author Links

Website: http://www.jennifersalderson.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JennifeSAlderson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferSAldersonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSAauthor

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/JenniferSAlderson

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-s-alderson



TOUR GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway




TOUR PARTICIPANTS


July 13 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW 

July 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW


July 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

July 17 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

July 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 20 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 20 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 

July 21 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

July 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 23 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

July 23 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW




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Book Spotlight: LARCENY AT THE LIBRARY by Colleen Shogan


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)

by Colleen Shogan


About Larceny at the Library



Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP



Purchase Links – AmazonB&N


Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.



About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.


Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. Stabbing in the Senate was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. Homicide in the House was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. Calamity at the Continental Club was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.



Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cshogan276

Website – www.colleenshogan.com

GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/cshogan276



TOUR GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway




TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW 

July 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 17 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 19 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

July 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 21 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW

July 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 

July 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

July 25 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

July 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST




Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?



Guest Post – Carrie Stuart Parks RELATIVE SILENCE



Good morning, my bookish peeps! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that you got some reading in while enjoying your weekend activities. I am pleased to welcome today’s guest, an award-winning author and internationally known forensic artist, Carrie Stuart Parks to The Book Diva’s Reads. Many authors have to combine hours of research into an unknown area of expertise to write stories about an unknown subject, but Ms. Parks is a forensic artist that combines her unique background in that area with her writing for some wonderful scenarios. Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you Carrie Stuart Parks, author of Relative Silence




What If? and Forensic Art
by Carrie Stuart Parks



Like most authors, I start out with two simple words, what if? What if my character has her dog bring home a human skull? (The Bones Will Speak.) What if my character lies about her training as a forensic artist and stumbles upon a secret from World War Two? (Formula of Deception.) What if my character has the face of her long-dead daughter age-progressed and becomes convinced she’s actually alive? (Relative Silence.) What might set my what if questions in a different direction from most authors is that the what if usually includes forensics. Specifically forensic art. As a forensic artist myself, I know the field intimately, and I know the many applications of this skill. 

Before I go on, let me define forensic art. It’s any art used in law enforcement or legal proceedings. This includes composite drawings from witness descriptions, measuring and recording crime scenes, and doing the courtroom sketching for television or print media. Any image enhancement such as adding or removing beards and glasses, drawing video surveillance images, or age progression falls under the forensic art umbrella. Facial reconstruction, either two-dimensional (drawing) or three dimensional (clay) over a skull for identification would be considered forensic art. Even preparing charts and exhibits for court is a form of forensic art.

Because the field is so exciting and varied, I try to shine a spotlight on one particular area in each of my novels. In Relative Silence, I wanted to present child age progression. I first heard of this in 1986 at a forensic art symposium in New Orleans. Two men had sketched the face of some missing children that had led to their recovery. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, founded just a year earlier by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates, was in its infancy. Although most of America had heard of Etan Patz (abducted in 1979) and Adam Walsh (abducted in 1981), this was the first I’d heard of a way in which I could use my art skills to help children. Thirty-three years later, I was able to write about it in my novel.

I still teach and practice forensic art, and as each case crosses my drafting table, I now look at the possibilities for a storyline. What if . . ?







Relative Silence

by Carrie Stuart Parks

on Tour July 13 – August 14, 2020


Synopsis:


Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks


A powerful family with lots of secrets. A forensic artist with his own tragedies. And a hurricane drawing bearing down on their private island.

Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s almost perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.

But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.

Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.

Unraveling the family’s true history will be the key to Piper’s survival—or her certain death.




Book Details:


Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: July 14th 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0785226184 (ISBN13: 9780785226185)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads




Author Bio:


Carrie Stuart Parks

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy, Carol, and Inspy award-winning author, an award-winning fine artist, and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.


Catch Up With Carrie Stuart Parks:


CarrieStuartParks.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, &  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 Carrie Stuart Parks. There will be 1 winner of one (1) print copy of Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks. The giveaway begins on July 13, 2020 and runs through August 16, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: Rachael Tamayo – CARNAL KNOWLEDGE



Good day, my bookish peeps. I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and is staying safe and cool! One of the many things I love about having a book blog is learning about new-to-me authors and books. I’m constantly adding new books to my TBR list, which has well-over 3500 titles on it now. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Rachael Tamayo, an Amazon best-selling and award-winning author as today’s guest. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy Ms. Tamayo’s words of wisdom about underrated authors, learn a bit more about her latest book, Carnal Knowledge, follow the blog tour, and, I hope, add this book to your TBR list as I have. Thank you, Ms. Tamayo, for stopping by today and visiting with us. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.




 Hidden Diamonds by Rachael Tamayo


We all have a stack of our favorites, don’t we? The big guns like James Patterson, Stephen King, Nora Roberts… just to name a few. However, what about those smaller names? The book you stumbled on and bought even though you never heard of them and it just totally blew you away? That happens to me too. So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite obscure, underrated authors.  

Tatenda Creed, author of the Lost Angels series. I don’t much read paranormal, but back when I started taking my writing seriously, I stumbled upon this author on a writer’s website. I read these books and I was totally blown away. Hands down, this is the best paranormal series I have ever read. I was scrambling for the next book. Simply amazing. If you liked Twilight, I can almost promise that you will like this one even more.  

Cynthia Austin, author of the Pendant series. This was another series that I read in a matter of days. I lived and breathed these books once I picked them up and devoured all three of them in little more than a week. She’s since put out a couple more romantic thrillers, and I read everything she’s written. She’s a hidden diamond that you won’t be sorry you dug out.  

Genevieve Raas, author of the Spindlewood Trilogy. Many of us love a good retelling of an old fairy tale, don’t we? This author’s version of Rumpelstiltskin was simply fantastic. I fell hard and fast for Rumpelstiltskin’s character and simply ate it up. So well done, I was left reaching for more. Now that there are on audiobook, they are on the top of my reading list once again. 

Isabella Adams, author of the Markos Mysteries and the Elon fantasy series. I admit that I haven’t gotten to all these books yet as I struggle to find time to sit with a paperback. I “read” audiobooks now. But I have read several of her books. However, that being said, this author stands out as one of the best mystery writers that you haven’t been reading. Comparable to Patricia Cornwell, if you love her books, then add this author to your reading list. 

Now, there are literally millions of authors who have yet to be discovered. So as an author myself, I challenge you to tell me your favorite undiscovered author.  As a writer, I devour books as often as I can. I create them, I read them, and I’m always looking for more. There is nothing more exciting than finding a new and simply outstanding new story to lose yourself in. My personal favorite is thrillers, but as you can see from the list above, I dabble in many different genres when I search for books. I would love to hear your favorites.

About me:  I’m a mother of two and wife of sixteen years. I live in Houston, Texas, and I am an award-winning, bestselling author. I’m the author of the bestselling psychological thriller, Break my Bones, and its much-anticipated stand-alone sequel, Carnal Knowledge.  I also love to hear from my fans, so please visit me at www.RachaelTamayowrites.com  



Carnal Knowledge

by Rachael Tamayo

on Tour July 11 – August 14, 2020



Synopsis:

Carnal Knowledge by Rachael Tamayo


What do you do when you know you’re on a serial killer’s hit list?

Six women are dead, and Wren Addison is the next victim on the SMS Killer’s list—or so she’s been told after waking in a pool of blood with no memory of the events that have transpired.

Newly separated and struggling to start her life over after her husband’s infidelity, Wren tries to remember what happened to her, but nothing is adding up as more horrors unfold around her. With her life on a timer and the murderer taunting her, she realizes there is nothing typical about this serial killer.

Wren is pushed to the edge as she dances between knowing she’s likely to die and fighting to be the first to survive. As the truth starts to emerge, she rises to the challenge and decides not to go down without a fight.

Someone is going to die, and she’s determined it won’t be her.




Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: Tangled Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 11th 2020
Number of Pages: 301
ISBN: 9781922359124
Series: A Deadly Sins Novel, #2 | Stands Alone
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



Author Bio:

Rachael Tamayo
International Amazon bestselling author Rachael Tamayo is a former 911 emergency operator and police dispatcher. After twelve years in those dark depths, she’s gained a unique insight into mental illness, human behaviour, and the general darkness of humanity that she likes to weave into her books. A formerly exclusive romance author tried her hand at thrillers in her award-winning novel, Crazy Love, and loved it so much that she decided not to turn back. Born and raised in Texas, Rachael lives in the Houston area with her husband of almost fifteen years, and their two young children.

Catch Up With Rachael Tamayo:



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 Rachael Tamayo. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 11, 2020, and runs through August 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.