THE ALGORITHM WILL SEE YOU NOW by J.L. Lycette book cover featuring a bluish-gray background with a light-colored image of a DNA strand and random floating numbers and a partial view of a women's face on the right side of the book cover

The Algorithm Will See You Now by JL Lycette
ISBN: 9781685131494 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BLD16W7T (Kindle edition)
Page Count: 273 (print) | 303 (digital)
Release Date: March 2, 2023
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Fiction | Science Fiction

The most dangerous lies are the ones that use the truth to sell themselves.

Medical treatment determined by artificial intelligence could do more than make Hope Kestrel’s career. It could revolutionize healthcare.

What the Seattle surgeon doesn’t know is the AI has a hidden fatal flaw, and the people covering it up will stop at nothing to dominate the world’s healthcare — and its profits. Soon, Hope is made the scapegoat for a patient’s death, and only Jacie Stone, a gifted intern with a knack for computer science, is willing to help search for the truth.

But her patient’s death is only the tip of the conspiracy’s iceberg. The Director, Marah Maddox, is plotting a use for the AI far outside the ethical bounds of her physician’s oath. A staggering plan capable of reducing human lives to their DNA code, redefining the concepts of sickness and health, and delivering the power of life and death decisions into the hands of those behind the AI.

Even if the algorithm accidentally discards some who are treatable in order to make that happen…

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble

Advance Praise:

“I’ve been waiting for a book like this: a full-frontal assault on the dangers of artificial intelligence and the failures of our mangled health care system, all wrapped up in a clever, ripping thriller. Jennifer Lycette is an author to watch.” — Rob Hart, author of The Paradox Hotel

“In her debut, Lycette explores the darkest realities about the healthcare system and what generations of the near future could potentially face if power shifts to the wrong hands. Perhaps even more gripping is how she delves into the ways grief can shape someone, causing them to make questionable decisions in the name of redemption. With nuanced characters and a truly terrifying premise, The Algorithm Will See You Now is an ambitious debut that delivers.” — Heather Levy, author of Anthony-nominated Walking Through Needles

“Both tense and topical, The Algorithm Will See You Now is a meticulously researched and deeply informed novel about the perils of where healthcare is likely heading, and the agonizing human costs involved. There are no easy decisions here, and Lycette paints a wonderfully complex portrait in an exciting debut.” — E.A. Aymar, author of No Home For Killers

“Full of intrigue and smart thrills, The Algorithm Will See You Now is an incisive vision of a tech-driven future, amping up the contemporary horrors of our healthcare system to the extreme. Lycette’s mastery of the medical field shines through, and her empathetic storytelling invites us to examine where we are headed and how we treat each other as human beings.” — Victor Manibo, author of The Sleepless

“An AI is putting profit over life. And patients are dying. The Algorithm Will See You Now is a tense, terrifying ride that dives into prescient themes of power, control, and the corruption of Big Medicine. Here’s your wake up call. This disturbing future is closer than you think.” — L.P. Styles, author of The Molecule Thief

“Get ready to be enthralled! Dr. Lycette poignantly lays out the future of healthcare with impeccable lucidity when AI becomes the center stage of medicine. While AI is promised to improve operational efficiencies, streamline tasks and cut down human error, it comes with its own challenges like overlooking personal preferences, fears and economic restraints for patients. A brilliant book with vivid characterizations!” — Rajeev Kurapati MD, MBA, award-winning author of Physician: How Science Transformed the Art of Medicine

“Bringing the reality of the imminent threat to the healthcare system and the patient sovereignty disheartenment to life… the epitome of patient care sceneries at the end of the slippery slope towards which we are headed.” — Dr. Adam Ray Tabriz, MD Medium Author, Physicians Are Working Like Robots for Robots

Book Excerpt:

Jacie shoved her glasses up her nose. “For those not selected, when PRIMA gives its report, or whatever… and if it says the treatment won’t work, how do you tell the patient?”

“We don’t.” Hope paused. “That’s the nurse’s job, of course.”

Cecilia gave her a reproachful glance.

Hope backpedaled. “I mean, PRIMA has proven that training the nurses in the triage and delivery of test results allows the physicians to be more efficient. Physicians only meet the patients who’ve been properly identified as responders. Patrons, I guess we’re calling them now. That allows us to focus all of our medical skills on the people we can truly help. PRIMA trains the nurses to inform those we can’t help.” She tilted her head at Jacie. “You should understand this.”

“Oh, I understand.” Jacie’s voice was soft, but her jaw remained set. “So PRIMA doesn’t have to pay for the cost of their care, you mean.”

Hope couldn’t believe her ears. “What? That’s not the driving force. Not at all.”

Jacie shrugged a shoulder. “Don’t you worry even a little about their motivations? To make a profit?”

Hope’s head went hot, and she spoke in a carefully controlled voice. “Doctors gave my mom chemo—before they had the tech to know she’d be a non-responder. Do you know what happened? All she did was suffer. That’s the driving force. PRIMA helps us prevent unnecessary suffering.”

Jacie didn’t meet her eyes. “I guess—”

“No, there’s no guessing about it. That’s the entire point of what we’re doing here.”

Cecilia cleared her throat, and Hope dialed back down her voice. “Besides, if someone doesn’t want treatment at PRIMA, they can go elsewhere.”

Jacie raised her eyebrows. “Do you really think that? Do you know how hard it is for the uninsured?”

“They have the market exchanges.”

Jacie mumbled something that sounded like, “Yeah, right.”

Hope looked at Cecilia to interject, but her mentor was studying Jacie, a curious expression on her face. Hope shook her head in frustration.

“The reality is someone has to pay for healthcare. You don’t know what it’s like, outside of PRIMA.” Hope thought back to her first year of residency before she’d transferred to PRIMA. “All those prior authorizations and denials. The insurance companies impede doctors at every step. But here, the algorithm guides our treatment decisions. PRIMA’s going to improve the system for everyone.”

“But…” Jacie trailed off.

Hope raised her hands in frustration. “But what?”

Then she recalled Jacie’s words on the unit yesterday—my sister. Hope was truly sorry if Jacie had lost a sister, but Jacie didn’t understand the suffering doctors caused by treating non-responders.

An unbidden image flashed through her mind of the first time she had seen her mom’s bald head—the unexpected smallness. She’d wanted to cup her hands around it and feel the fascinating smooth beauty of it, but she’d been afraid, her mom’s head so fragile, and her eyes so large without her hair to frame her face. So instead, she’d shoved her hands in her pockets and stared at the floor.

Hope forced those thoughts back into the compartment where they belonged. Jacie was making this unnecessarily difficult. All they had to do was perfect their medical skill-sets, and the algorithm would guide them. Yesterday had been an exception. That’s all.

But another part of her mind whispered that she had administered treatments to a non-responder without knowing it. The algorithm had caused her to do what she most dreaded—the thing it was supposed to protect her from.

Maddox’s voice echoed in Hope’s head. The AI doesn’t make mistakes. People are a different story.

Had it somehow been Hope’s fault?

“I almost forgot.” Cecilia interrupted her thoughts, holding out an envelope. “This came for you. I meant to give it to you at our last Saturday breakfast.”

Hope took the letter, palms damp with sweat, her dad’s handwriting visible on the outside. He’d long ago figured out mail had a better chance to get to her here, where Cecilia periodically rounded it up for her, than at her apartment.

It was the last thing she needed right now, and she shoved the letter into her bag without opening it. Cecilia was right. The best thing Hope could do was rededicate herself to her purpose.

An alert popped up on her tablet, drawing her attention, and she forgot all about the letter. She sucked in a sharp breath, not believing her eyes.

Her ranking.

It had dropped, and she no longer held the top position. It now belonged to Leach. But the only person who could dock points was…


It wasn’t fair. The non-responder had been nothing under her control. She wanted to say something to Cecilia—to explain the unsettling interaction with Maddox.

The post-residency position. It should belong to you. I see it in you.

“Hope, if you could stick around, there’s something else I need to talk to you about—”

Cecilia broke off as, behind Hope, a change in air pressure rustled the papers on the floor, signaling the door opening.

Hope rotated halfway in her chair and froze.

Silver hair. A sweater, red as arterial blood. Maddox strode through the doorway, her gaze sweeping the room as if she owned the place.

Jacie said something, but Hope didn’t hear it over the rushing in her ears.

Maddox brushed past them both to get to Cecilia. A hint of her perfume assaulted Hope’s nose. That sharp scent again.

Cecilia rose to her feet, her face pale. “Never mind, we’ll have to talk later, Hope. I have another meeting.”

Excerpt from The Algorithm Will See You Now by J.L. Lycette.
Copyright © 2023 by J.L. Lycette.
Published with permission. All rights reserved.


This is a giveaway for one (1) print copy of The Algorithm Will See You Now by JL Lycette, courtesy of WOW! Women On Writing. This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States only. To enter use the Rafflecopter link below or click here.

This giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on 04/08/2023 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 04/14/2023. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 04/15/2023. Void where prohibited.

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Meet the Author

Author JL Lycette Photo: headshot of a red-haired smiling female standing in front of a wooded backgroundJennifer / JL Lycette is a novelist, award-winning essayist, rural physician, wife, and mother. She has a degree in biochemistry from the University of San Francisco and attained her medical degree at the University of Washington. Mid-career, she discovered narrative medicine in her path back from physician burnout and has been writing ever since. Her essays can be found in Intima, NEJM, JAMA, and other journals; at Doximity and Medscape; and her website She is an alumna of the 2019 Pitch Wars Mentoring program. Her other published speculative fiction can be found in the anthology And If That Mockingbird Don’t Sing: Parenting Stories Gone Speculative (Alternating Current Press). The Algorithm Will See You Now (Black Rose Writing Press) is her first novel.

Connect with the author: Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Website

This book showcase and excerpt are brought to you by WOW! Women On Writing 



Guest Post: Ken Harris – A BAD BOUT OF THE YIPS

Good day, book people. As many of you know, I’m a very eclectic reader. I read fiction and nonfiction. I enjoy historical and contemporary fiction, romance and literary fiction, classic literature and popular fiction, true crime and police procedurals, and a little bit of everything in between. I’m constantly amazed at how, as a reader, I can suspend my belief with certain types of fiction, but not with others. Today’s guest is Ken Harris, author of A Bad Bout of the Yips, the third installment in the Steve Rockfish series. Mr. Harris will be discussing the suspension of belief (or reality) and writing believable crime fiction. I hope you’ll enjoy what he has to share and add A Bad Bout of the Yips to your TBR list. Thank you, Mr. Harris, for joining us today the blog is now all yours.

Trials & Tribulation of a 1970s Private Eye in the Modern World
by Ken Harris

After three books in a series, I’m often asked why I choose to model my protagonist Steve Rockfish after many of the 1970s television detectives. You know, Quincy, Columbo, Barnaby Jones, and Rockford. Four of my absolute favorites, by the way. I watched the Rockford Files with my dad and skipped class in college to catch Barnaby Jones reruns.

Again, why not only model but then transport to the current day? Why not create the character and keep him in the time frame in which that type of hard-nosed, hard-drinking and sarcastic private investigator excelled? Is it to give him the technology and tools of today used on shows such as CSI, Criminal Minds, or NCIS? Actually, it’s the complete opposite.

Steve Rockfish uses his wits and sometimes muscles to solve his cases. He’s got ears out on the street, a bottle of Irish whiskey in his desk, and sarcasm for days. He’s not one to bang away on a laptop keyboard for three minutes and then exclaim he’s hacked seven different private servers, analyzed the data, and hits one last keystroke to display it all in a virtual 3D model floating above the conference table. That’s what his partner Jawnie McGee is for. But even she doesn’t stretch the imagination, causing the reader to suspend so much doubt as the investigative fiction television shows of today do.

See, I spent thirty-two years in an investigative and analytical role with the FBI. I can watch an episode of Criminal Minds and tell you the word UNSUB is hardly used to the extent they do (roughly 37 times per episode). I try to tell it like it is. Give my good guys the tools real investigators use on a day-to-day basis and not sprinkle any Hollywood make-believe dust between the words. I had friends that worked in BAU. On Criminal Minds you see them take off on their private jet to wherever the next case is. In actuality, they fly commercial. We actually spend your tax dollars diligently. On television, you’ll see someone issue a subpoena to a telecom company and get back actual text message content. Wrong. To get actual content and not only call data, that takes a search warrant signed by a judge. I watched a television show which shall remain nameless the other day with my wife. She likes it and I only judge her a little bit. Anyway, the computer expert in a matter of less than ten seconds hacks into a private security firm’s live feed of home security cameras. Of private homes. Right. Stuff like that drives me to drink, so I try my hardest to make my characters’ actions as true as possible. Does that sometimes maybe bore a reader? Sure, but I’ll draw them back in with the next paragraph. They won’t even remember it took various software programs and hours to perform analysis instead of fingers bashing a keyboard for thirty seconds and Voilà, Case Closed.

I like to think the case is about the investigative journey. While technology makes Steve Rockfish’s job easier at times, he still strongly feels guilty when he’s spending any extended time in the office, unless it’s accompanied by a rocks glass. Interaction with other characters is a necessity to drive the novel forward. I don’t have forty-three minutes, without commercials, to wrap up everything in a nice bow. Not to mention, sometimes the good guys don’t come out on top.

To close this ramble out, Steve Rockfish loves the new case management system Jawnie McGee installed in the office. He just wishes there was a way to tap the keyboard three times and have all the information entered. Data entry is old-school and time-consuming. He’d rather be out on the street knocking heads and collecting client checks. ♦

A Bad Bout of the Yips

by Ken Harris

March 6 – 31, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


A Bad Bout of the Yips by Ken Harris

PI Steve Rockfish’s morning meeting was supposed to focus on a case of straightforward harassment. Two clients had purchased a miniature golf course and instantly became victims of vandalism and projected intolerance.

But as the team investigates, a neighborhood’s bigoted knee-jerk reaction to a new sapphic-owned business, is, in fact, a laser-focused plan of intimidation. Before anyone can yell FORE!, violence litters the front nine after Rockfish uncovers the real perpetrator, their actual motive, and dangerous accomplices.

Soon, an old nemesis returns to raise the stakes with plans of revenge and domination. Now facing a battle on two fronts, Rockfish finds his allies thinning at the worst possible time, and recklessly goes on the offensive.

The back nine takes Rockfish and McGee on a frenetic ride from a corporate boardroom, across cyberspace, and to the 19th hole where a long overdue showdown will change everything for the partners, for better and worse.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: March 2023
Number of Pages: 356
ISBN10: 1685131530 (Paperback)
ISBN13: 9781685131531
ASIN: B0BTXGVVDD (Kindle edition)
Series: The Case Files of Steve Rockfish – 3
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | | BLACK ROSE WRITING

Author Bio:

Ken Harris

Ken Harris retired from the FBI, after thirty-two years, as a cybersecurity executive. With over three decades writing intelligence products for senior Government officials, Ken provides unique perspectives on the conventional fast-paced crime thriller. He is the author of the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series. He spends days with his wife Nicolita, and two Labradors, Shady and Chalupa Batman. Evenings are spent playing Walkabout Mini Golf and cheering on Philadelphia sports. Ken firmly believes Pink Floyd, Irish whiskey, and a Montecristo cigar are the only muses necessary. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Virginia’s Northern Neck.

Catch Up With Ken Harris:
BookBub – @08025writes
Instagram – @kenharrisfiction
Twitter – @08025writes
Facebook – @kah623
Twitch – @kenharrisfiction

Tour Participants:

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

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Book Showcase: IN COMMON by Norma Watkins

IN COMMON by Norma Watkins book cover featuring a darkly shadowed profile photograph of white woman with her neck elongated; the author's name, NORMA WATKINS, is in all capital white letters at the top of the cover, the title IN COMMON is in capital red letters at the bottom center of the cover.In Common: A Novel of Love and Sacrifice by Norma Watkins
ISBN: 9781684339235 (Paperback)
ASIN: B09V1NNLSZ (Kindle edition)
Page Count: 593
Release Date: April 14, 2022
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Fiction | Family Life

In Common, a first novel from award-winning memoirist Norma Watkins (The Last Resort, That Woman from Mississippi), is a story of the sacrifices women make for the love of an inaccessible man.

Lillian Creekmore grows up at her family’s popular rural spa. She successfully runs an entire hotel, yet longs for a husband. Then she meets Will Hughes.

Velma Vernon accepts life on a small, struggling farm until a boy she barely tolerates proposes marriage. To accept means duplicating her parents’ hard life. Alone, she leaves for the city and triumphs, not as a wife, but by being the best at her job. Velma is content until the most beautiful man she has ever seen walks into her office.

This moving and darkly humorous novel follows the intertwined lives of women willing to surrender everything to a man more in love with success than any female.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | B&N eBook |

Book Excerpt:

On Christmas morning in 1933, Lillian Creekmore woke filled with anticipation. Twenty-four years old, dark-eyed and quick moving, she wore her hair bobbed and possessed a petite, small-bosomed body, perfect for the flapper fashions she could not afford.

Dressing hurriedly in the cold room, she brushed her teeth and hair, and ran downstairs. The family hotel had closed for the winter, but the oldest wing, the Warm Part (though the wheezing furnace never made it so), rang with the voices of everyone Lillian loved.

“Christmas Gift,” she called to her sister Maude. If you were the first to say it, you got the good luck. “Christmas Gift” to her sister Ernestine and sister-in-law Faye. “Christmas Gift” to Knox, Ernestine’s sweet husband. You could not be depressed, even during a Depression with the people you cared for close around. “Christmas Gift,” Lillian yelled to her brothers James and Leland.

“Christmas Gift, Angie,” they yelled back. Angie was her nickname, shortened from Aunt Jemima, the pancake mix. As a child, she loved pancakes so much, James and Leland gave her the name off the box.

Lillian had a reason to be excited: her brothers had hinted at a surprise. From the secretive looks she’d seen passing between them, she’d become convinced they’d found her a car. She couldn’t imagine how, but James and Leland were shrewd, maybe shrewd enough to pull off a miracle in the middle of these dark years.

Lillian was the baby, the youngest of five Creekmores, and people had been telling her how darling she was since she could remember. The boys at Ole Miss (where she would have stayed longer if a plummeting economy hadn’t dried up the family finances) certainly thought so. It was harder to stay darling when you were poor and stuck in the middle of nowhere. She needed a way out, and maybe today she would get it.

She opened the swinging door to the kitchen. “Christmas Gift,” to Lena, bent over the pink-hot wood stove. To Lena’s son Johnny and his wife Flora May. To Ellis and Preston, the waiters. When the hotel closed for the season, the servants were sent home, but everyone returned for Christmas Day.

In the dining room around the big table, the family sat down to the traditional broiled quail and grits breakfast. Since quitting college four years before, Lillian had helped her brothers and sisters operate Creekmore Hotel and Spa. Most of their guests were older people taking the mineral water cure (a cure that promised to ward off everything from asthma to warts). Nobody with the slightest romantic possibility. Lillian knew how to charm the ladies and harmlessly flirt with their husbands, but as the years went by, she felt her chances slipping. She wasn’t young anymore. She could still pass for young, but on February 11, she would turn twenty-five, and she didn’t fool herself: twenty-five was practically middle-aged when you weren’t married.

Ellis handed around a basket of hot biscuits. Lillian split one and buttered it. Maude passed her the dish of homemade plum jelly.

Their father died when Lillian was three. He had the brains for business, everyone said so, and the hotel thrived. With him gone, their mother took over. Just after Lillian turned sixteen, a doctor in New Orleans botched a simple appendectomy and her mother died on the operating table. The five siblings had been left to keep the place going. Creekmore was a seasonal hotel and needed to make enough money from May through Labor Day to carry them through the other eight months. They’d done it, and with enough left over to send Lillian to college, until the Crash.

Knox lifted his coffee cup in a toast. “Here’s to us. We may not be celebrating next year if Hitler stays in power.”

A murmur from the men, talk of the last war and worries about the next.
Ernestine tapped her water glass. “Adolf Hitler is a failed house painter. A country with Germany’s deep culture will soon come to its senses. Let us not spoil Christmas.” She paused, looking around the table. “The Lord will provide.”

Lillian smiled into her cup: the implication being, if the Lord didn’t, Ernestine would.

People told Lillian she had been blessed with a sunny disposition, but behind a cheerful exterior, she fretted. If she didn’t find a husband soon, she would be stuck here, eleven miles from the nearest town of Canton, and thirty-five miles from the capital city of Jackson. She would grow too old to marry, working to keep this crumbling enterprise going. She wanted her chance and she wasn’t asking for much: a decent man to love, a house of her own, and, please God, not to worry about money every single minute.

Ernestine was going on about the Lord again, how grateful they should be for His help in making it through another year.

Nibbling around a tiny quail leg, Lillian returned to her thoughts. She needed a way out, especially during the long, gray winters with the hotel closed. That meant some kind of independent transportation. She didn’t care how old it was or how beat up, as long as it got her to Jackson for weekends with her former sorority sisters and single men. The friends fortunate enough to graduate had gotten engaged during their senior year, married soon after, and were already having babies.

Summers at the hotel were bearable. Lillian didn’t mind hard work, and keeping the place running took all five of them. From May to September, with the sixty-six rooms filled, she ran from the moment her feet touched the floor in the morning until she dropped into bed at night, too tired to brush her teeth. Summers kept her so busy, she didn’t have time to worry about the future, and there was always the possibility a handsome son might arrive to fetch his mother.

At the hotel, the price of a room included three hearty meals. During the height of summer, the dining room filled twice at lunch and dinner. Extra money came from shipping five-gallon jugs of Creekmore’s famous (and evil-tasting) water all over the country. Additional cash was earned discreetly from a two-story building behind the Annex, where Leland oversaw cockfights in a pit downstairs, while James ran roulette, poker, and blackjack tables above.

Set ups were sold at the Fishes’ Club, the “nightclub” at the far end of the Annex. Prohibition had ended in the rest of the country, but Mississippi chose to remain dry. People brought their own liquor and, if they didn’t, a bootleg bottle could be arranged.

In a pasture behind the kitchen, Alan tended a large vegetable garden. Up the hill in the barn, they kept cows for milk, chickens for eggs, and pigs for sausage, bacon, and smoked hams. With all this, the five of them managed to pay the help who did the planting, cooking and serving, while keeping the place in fairly good repair.

Lillian looked around at the plates piled with tiny bird bones. Today felt fun, but come January, with the rooms empty except for family and one or two servants, she might as well be a monk. Her oldest sister Maude told her not to worry. Look at her at thirty-one, perfectly content without a husband. Lillian did not feel reassured. Maude was a saint, everyone said so, and saints were happy with whatever scraps fell off God’s plate. Lillian wanted life to be a feast and if she ever figured a way out of here, she intended to find a place at the table.

Breakfast over, the family gathered around the fireplace in the big parlor to open gifts. Lillian tried to act nonchalant. She praised the satin slip from Ernestine and the red beret crocheted by Maude. She smiled as Leland and James tried on scarves she’d knitted them in Ole Miss’s colors, cardinal and navy. Faye’s son, followed by Ernestine’s, ran in and out of the room, conducting aerial battles with the small tin airplanes Lillian had given them.

Lillian held off opening the lumpy package from her brothers until there were no more presents. Affecting a modest disinterest, she untied the red string and ripped off the white paper.

Out tumbled an envelope and the radiator cap from some kind of car. She’d seen a cap like this one, with a red-line thermometer that told you if the engine over-heated. This was from her car.

“I can’t believe it.” She leapt to her feet, dumping the wrappings on the floor, threw her arms first around Leland, then James. “You are the best brothers in the entire world. Where’s the rest of it?” She slammed out the front door, looking up and down the graveled parking area. James and Faye’s beat-up Chevrolet Coupe stood alone.

“Okay, you two,” Lillian said. “Where’d you hide it? Is it in the carport?” She ran past them, headed through the dining room.

James called her name, puffing along behind. At thirty-two, he was getting fat. She did not stop to listen.

“Wait,” Leland said.

She dashed through the kitchen and out the side door, racing along the frigid open porch and down the stairs by the family’s summer quarters. Her brothers tried to catch up, but Lillian was thin and faster. The low open carport held the hotel’s one and only vehicle, the battered 1925 Packard used for hauling guests and supplies. Lillian stood confused. “Where is it?”

“This was Leland’s idea.” James bent, hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath.

“Where’s the rest of my car?”

“We knew how bad you wanted one, so we—” James trailed off. “You didn’t open the envelope.” Leland handed it to her.

Lillian tore it open and found a twenty-dollar bill inside. Stabbed by disappointment, she flung the money and the radiator cap into the dirt.

“The radiator cap was sort of a guarantee.” Leland said, “and the money is our first installment. That’s all we could afford this year.”

Seeing her brothers’ forlorn faces, Lillian laughed through her tears. “I hate you both.”

“Please don’t be mad,” Leland said. “We thought you’d get a kick out of it.”

The red birthmark on her forehead must be showing. It blazed forth when she got angry. “Only you two would treat me this bad.”

James tried to hug her. “We’ll get you a car, you know we will, as soon as we find the money.” He picked up the radiator cap and the twenty-dollar bill.

“When things get better,” Leland said.

Lillian shook her head. “I’m not ready to forgive you.”

James handed her the money. “Put this away and we’ll add to it.” They looked like hound dogs, wet-eyed, begging for reassurance.

She could not stay mad. Forgiveness was one of her best qualities. Walking back toward the hotel, she linked arms with them. “Let me see if I have this straight. I’m getting this car one piece at a time.” She poked Leland in the ribs. “A chunk each Christmas. By the time I have the whole thing, I’ll be so old you’ll have to wheel me to the driver’s seat.”

James pulled her closer. “You’re our baby sister and we’ll always take care of you.”

She knew they would, which almost made up for being an orphan with no hope of escape.

After a late afternoon dinner of turkey and dressing, ambrosia and coconut cake, Lillian went upstairs to her room. Christmas had been splendid, but she’d had enough. She kicked off her shoes and crawled under the quilt in her clothes. This might not be the life she dreamed of, but it was not a bad life. How many girls had older brothers like James and Leland, and a sister as good as Maude? She might have no money or prospects, but she was rich with love.

A soft knock on the door. “It’s me—Faye.”

Lillian sat up. She loved James’s wife. Faye was like a blood sister, only better because she wasn’t.

Faye crawled under the covers next to Lillian and took a hammered metal flask out of her purse.

“This is why I adore you,” Lillian said. “You’re the only woman I know with a flask.”

“Men shouldn’t have all the fun.”

Faye was six years older, tall to Lillian’s short, and languorous compared with Lillian’s energy. James married her when she was sixteen, so Faye had never finished high school, much less college. She gave birth to one baby, declared the experience horrible, and told James not to plan on more. They named him James Junior, but everyone called the child Jimbo, after Jumbo the elephant. He weighed nine pounds at birth, and at twelve was twice as large as Ernestine’s Knox III.

Lillian loved Faye for being pretty and lazy, and not caring what Ernestine or anyone else thought. James adored her. He called her “baby” and treated her like a precious, breakable object.

“Have a swig.” Faye held out the flask.

The whiskey went down hot and Lillian shivered. She didn’t really enjoy the taste of straight bourbon, but she loved the way it made her feel. “I’m going to be stuck at this hotel for the rest of my life.”

“The boys would have given you a car if they could.”

Lillian took another swallow. “I know.”

“And you’re not stuck. You’re too cute to get stuck anywhere. If this were Ernestine we were talking about—” She poked Lillian and they laughed.

Ernestine was the most proper member of the Creekmore family. She knew the right way to do everything, and didn’t mind correcting your manners or your grammar. It felt good to laugh at her.

“Ernestine’s already got a husband,” Lillian said, “even if he is short and nearly bald.”

“You are going to meet someone so wonderful.” Faye stretched her long legs under the covers. “I can feel it in my bones. All you’ve got to do is keep your eyes open and recognize good fortune when he shows up.”

“What about love?”

“You know what I say.”

“It’s as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one.” “Easier.” Faye tapped a cigarette out of her pack of Pall Malls and offered Lillian one. Her lighter clicked and they sat back on the pillows, inhaling with satisfaction.

“But you love James and he’s not rich.” Lillian made a smoke ring and watched it rise toward the ceiling.

“Not yet, but he has prospects. I could see that in him, even at sixteen. You know he’s been buying and selling cotton?”

Lillian got out of bed to fetch an ashtray. “I know he’s spending more time in Canton than here at the hotel. Makes Ernestine furious.” “He’s good at brokering cotton. It takes a knack and James has it. If this pans out, he’ll be more help to you than working here. There’s good money in cotton.” Faye ground out her half-smoked cigarette.

“That dinner knocked me out. I’m going to my room for a nap.”

The door closed behind her. Lillian took a final puff, made sure both cigarettes were out, and set the ashtray on the floor. Faye thought she had a chance, which felt comforting. Comforting under a comforter. She closed her eyes. Nice to hear wood crackling in the corner fire place. This was her favorite room. Out there somewhere, a wonderful man waited. Behind her closed lids, Lillian tried to picture what he might be doing as they traveled toward each other in time.

Excerpt from In Common by Norma Watkins.
Copyright © 2022 by Norma Watkins.
Published with permission.
All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Author Norma Watkins photograph: smiling older white woman with short silvery-platinum colored hair, wearing black eyeglasses and a dark top with both hands cupping her face.Raised in the South during the civil rights struggles, Norma Watkins is the author of In Common and two memoirs: The Last Resort, Taking the Mississippi Cure (2011), which won a gold medal for best nonfiction published in the South by an independent press; and That Woman from Mississippi (2017). She lives in northern California with her woodworker husband and three cats.


Connect with the author: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Website

Blog Tour Participants

February 13: The Muffin – Author Interview
February 15: Michelle Cornish – Food Feature
February 18: A Story Book World – Guest Author Post
February 20: Lisa Buske – Guest Author Post
February 22: Author Anthony Avina’s Blog – Review
February 24: Fiona Ingram’s Author Blog – Guest Post
February 25: The Book Diva’s Reads – Excerpt
February 27: Mindy McGinnis’s Blog – Guest Post
February 28: Seaside Book Nook – Spotlight and Excerpt
March 1: The Mommies Reviews – Review
March 2: The Frugalista Mom – Guest Post
March 4: World of My Imagination – Guest Post
March 5: A Wonderful World of Words – Special Feature
March 6: Life According to Jamie – Review
March 8: Author Anthony Avina’s Blog – Guest Post
March 9: The Knotty Needle – Review
March 10: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews Blog – Author Interview
March 11: Reading In the Wildwood – Review
March 12: Jill Sheets’s Blog – Author Interview

This book showcase and excerpt brought to you by WOW! Women On Writing 


Book Blast: INHUMAN ACTS by Brooke L. French

Inhuman Acts

by Brooke L French

October 6, 2022 Book Blast


Inhuman Acts by Brooke L French

A deadly, incurable disease creeps silentLY through Chattanooga. And its victims aren’t random.

When inexplicable human rabies cases appear in Tennessee, disease ecologist Letty Duquesne jumps at the chance to trace the virus back to its source. But the closer Letty gets to finding the outbreak’s origin, the further someone will go to stop her.

With an unwanted promotion threatening to take Letty far from the field work she loves, this outbreak feels like her last chance to make a difference. It’s not something she can ignore, especially now. The spillover of zoonotic diseases to the human population is on the rise and violent animal attacks — like the one that killed her sister — are becoming all too common.

Something in nature has gone very wrong.

Local authorities would rather she go home, but Letty can track a source animal like no one else. With the help of disgraced detective, Andrew Marsh, Letty follows the virus’s epidemiological trail. But her every move is watched. And the source animal is closer than she thinks.

Inhuman Acts is a pulse-pounding thriller. Gripping and intricately paced, Brooke L. French’s debut novel will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: September 29th, 2022
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN10: 1685130356 (paperback)
ISBN13: 9781685130350 (paperback)
ASIN: B0BG6BPGF8 (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B0B1RT5Q48 (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Barnes & Noble | | | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

April 7, 2017

A week at sea produced a lot of laundry. It fluttered above Jessa Duquesne as she lay on the foredeck of her parents’ sailboat, soaking up the morning sun. The air smelled of salt, waves splooshed against the hull, and seabirds cried out in the distance. It was everything she loved about a life lived outdoors.

Jessa lifted her head, searching the water for Mark. The ocean glittered, and the Nápali coast rose in the distance. Razor-sharp crags, each peak edged with green. Beautiful but empty. Just like the sea. No Mark.

She twisted to check their port side and spotted him beneath the surface. His body slid through a seemingly endless expanse of water, all sun-kissed skin and muscle.


She’d never planned to marry, never had any interest in men that a one night stand couldn’t fix. At least, not until she’d met Mark. He surfaced for a breath then slipped back under the waves. Something moved behind him, further out. A dark shape, getting closer. Thick body, elongated dorsal fin, maybe eight feet long.

Jessa rolled onto her stomach and undid the shoulder ties of her bikini.

The sandbar shark was probably a female, given the size, and harmless as sharks went. Odd it was out this far from shore, though. Poor thing would probably be lunch for a bigger predator. A great white or a tiger shark. And it shouldn’t have been so close to the surface. Sandbar sharks usually hugged the bottom.

She should go get her camera. Maybe make a note of when she’d spotted it so she could have the data point. She could look up any other odd behavioral patterns when—

Stop it, Jessa.

There would be plenty of opportunities to study marine life when she got back to her office at the university. What she needed to do now was focus on all the wedding planning still left undone. She’d been putting off the worst of it — seating charts and table linens and all the other things she didn’t actually care about — hoping she could pawn them off on her sister. Or, at least, that she and Letty could handle them together this week, powered by a steady rotation of caffeine and wine.

Jessa sighed and shifted on her towel. It couldn’t be helped. Letty wasn’t the type to say no when work called, and it wasn’t like Jessa was sorry to be here. A little get-away with Mark was the perfect use for the week she’d already taken off work. But still…

Seating charts and table linens.


The minutiae danced through her mind, conspiring with the warm press of the sun to lull her into a near-doze…

Ice-cold water dripped onto the small of Jessa’s back, and she jumped with a yelp. “What the—?”

Mark stood over her, a grin on his face, dark hair dripping onto the deck. And her.

“Asshole.” She laughed, using the edge of her towel to wipe the water away while she admired the broad stretch of his chest, the V of his abdomen where it disappeared into the top of his swim trunks. “How was your swim?”

“Lonely.” He pulled a T-shirt from the rigging, where she’d hung it to dry. “Want to go below for a bit?”

She shook her head with a smile. “We’re out of condoms.” They’d used the last one the night before, and the memory brought heat to her cheeks. Even in the cramped confines of the cabin, he was a remarkable lover.

Mark shrugged. “The wedding’s in a month. You wouldn’t even be showing by then.”

His dark eyes sparked with mischief.

“You’re so bad.” Jessa retied the straps of her suit. “I’ll meet you down there. I need to hop in and cool off first.”

Mark helped her to her feet and pulled her close. “Don’t be long.” He pressed a kiss to her lips that tasted like salt water. “We’ve got to return the boat to your dad by four.”

She stepped back, winked at him, and dove off the side.

“Show-off!” he called down after her.

Jessa slipped into the water with barely a splash, like the lifelong swimmer she was. The water brushed a cool relief against her hot skin. Moored as far from land as they were, there was nothing to swim to. She settled for circuits around the boat. After a dozen, she turned onto her back and floated, giving her shoulders a break. The sky was a bright almost unnatural blue. It made a wide crescent against the darker indigo of the sea where the two met at the horizon.

Something brushed her foot.

Jessa stilled her legs, paddling with her arms to keep herself afloat as she searched for the culprit. A light-blue mass swirled below her.

Oh shit.

Ghostly strands reached up, inches from her skin.


And not just any jellyfish — box jellyfish. Large, square bodies with tentacles trailing below. Lots of them. Some as long as ten feet. Each tentacle had as many as five thousand stinging cells. Each one capable of causing excruciating pain and even death.

Don’t panic.

She had to stay calm, keep her wits. Which would be easier if she didn’t know their venom was deadlier than a cobra’s. Her mouth went dry. She turned in a slow circle, her breath tightening with each new jelly she spotted. They pulsed through the water underneath her. A writhing, growing mass.

She shifted the direction of her strokes, pulling herself away from them. How many were there? And why were they out now? Box jellyfish were always in the ocean, but Hawaii’s jellyfish tended to come and go with the cycle of the moon. And they weren’t due for weeks, especially not here. She and Mark had dropped anchor off Kauai, nowhere near the beaches of Oahu where box jellyfish were usually spotted.

“Mark?” She called out, but there was no sign of him.

Must be below deck.

She judged the distance to the boat. Maybe fifty yards. It would be easier and faster if she could kick. But she didn’t want to accidentally make contact with the jellyfish. Even one sting could send her into cardiac arrest. Her mouth was so dry, she could hardly swallow. The world shrunk to nothing more than the distance between her and the boat. She treaded water using only her arms, her muscles protesting, tired from the laps she’d done.

Just get to the ladder.

If you get stung, you’ll find the vinegar and douse yourself.

Jessa kept swimming, trying not to move her legs, gliding over the still-growing mass of jellies. Her heart pounded and she struggled to keep herself from hyperventilating. Forty yards, thirty, twenty-five. This was taking forever.

A lightning bolt of pain shot up from her ankle, a radiating burning sting. “Shit.”

Fuck this.

She kicked off, powering toward the boat. Her ankle burning, her jaw clenched tight against the pain.

Another strike, this one on the other leg and higher near her thigh. Like a thousand wasps stinging at once. Sweat broke out on her forehead, and she gasped at the sudden shock of pain, then another struck. And another. Her body seized, her arms freezing in place as the jellyfish wrapped themselves around her. Delicate strands weaving bands of fire across her body. Her heart thundered. The sear of agony blotting out the rest of the world, until it was the one true certain thing left.

Not the only thing.

“Mark!” Jessa forced out the word as her head slipped under the water, a sharp pain slicing her chest. She willed herself to push toward the surface, not to breathe in the saltwater around her. Except it wasn’t water. The jellyfish were everywhere.

A few feet below the surface, she opened her mouth and screamed.


Excerpt from Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French.
Copyright 2022 by Brooke L. French.
Reproduced with permission from Brooke L. French.
All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Brooke L. French

Brooke L. French is a recovering lawyer turned writer who lives with her husband and sons between Atlanta and Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She spends most of her days gleefully researching and writing about fatal viruses, terrorism, and murder.

Brooke is likely on numerous watch lists.

Catch Up With Brooke L. French:
Instagram – @brookelewisfrench
Facebook – @brooke.l.french

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great posts and giveaway entries!


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Brooke L. French. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Guest Post: David Rabin – IN DANGER OF JUDGMENT

Whew, we’ve made it to another Friday, my bookish peeps. I’m looking forward to the weekend because I get more reading done (as if a book-a-day wasn’t enough for any book lover!). As most of you know by now, I’m an avid reader and enjoy reading from a variety of different genres. Regardless of genre, my fiction preferences are for a well-crafted storyline with a believable plot as well as realistic characters. I’m in awe of the great skill and talent to craft an entrancing read, whether it’s story or character driven. Today’s guest, author David Rabin, will share how he crafted the characters in his character-driven thriller, In Danger of Judgment. I hope you’ll enjoy what he has to say and add In Danger of Judgment to your growing TBR list. Thank you, Mr. Rabin, for joining us today, the blog is now all yours.

By David Rabin

My slogan is “Character-Driven Crime Thrillers.” The books I’ve enjoyed most were those with characters I bonded with and wanted to spend time with, characters so charismatic and fascinating that I wanted to buy the next book so I could spend more time with them. When it came time to conceive my debut novel, I created the characters first and then crafted a story I thought would be a good vehicle for those characters.

First, an introduction to the story to get you oriented. In Danger of Judgment follows two Chicago police detectives in 1987 as they investigate a series of drug-related murders that pull them into a much larger conspiracy originating fifteen years earlier during the Vietnam War. As they dig deeper and try to prevent a drug war, they’re caught in a conflict between a drug lord and a man seeking revenge against him.

Now, on to the characters. I wanted to present multiple points of view because each character can bring something different to the story—different pieces of the plot and different personalities expressing themselves.

The two heroes are the detectives: Marcelle DeSantis and William “Bernie” Bernardelli. I wanted two protagonists because I like the dynamic of characters playing off each other. To pull it off, I had to make them different but complementary.

Marcelle is in her late twenties, brilliant and tough. As a female detective in the Violent Crimes division of the Chicago Police Department in the 1980s, she has to deal with sexism from within and without the law enforcement community.

Bernie is twenty years older than Marcelle and has been a Chicago cop for nearly three decades. He’s the book’s moral center, someone who’s seen it all and has learned to adapt to the horrors of his job without losing his sense of empathy and desire to help others. He and Marcelle have a mentor-protégé/uncle-niece relationship.

One of the lessons I learned when reading comic books during my youth was the importance of great villains. The best villains were as well-developed and interesting as the heroes, and I didn’t want a mustache-twirling Snidely Whiplash (yeah, I’m dating myself now).

The villain is Robert Thornton and he’s the subject of a six-decade backstory. He has a Ph.D., briefly taught as a college professor, served in the OSS during World War Two, spent several years with the CIA, worked as a mercenary in Asia and Africa, and when we see him in the main story, is the chief enforcer for a Southeast Asian heroin cartel. He’s erudite, articulate, unflappable, and has all the social graces, but has devolved from being a hero early in his life to being utterly amoral. I designed him to be not just a formidable adversary but to be equal parts charming and revolting.

The book has two secondary characters, again with the goal of presenting different perspectives and personalities. John Shepard is an accountant who’s a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division, assigned to work with Marcelle and Bernie to take down Thornton. He’s another complementary character—he suffers from tic and generalized anxiety disorders, which prevent him from developing relationships.

The other secondary character, Ed Stepanek, was the most fun to write. Ed lives in suburbia, is well-liked by his neighbors, dotes on his lawn, kills people for a living, and has a tenuous relationship with reality. Rational characters come with restrictions—once we establish their personality, we expect them to stay within certain boundaries of behavior. But with Ed, I gave myself permission to make him as plumb crazy as I wanted.

It took me twenty-eight years to get from the book’s conception to its publication, and I lived with these characters every day during that span. I’m excited to finally be able to present them to the world. ♦

In Danger of Judgment

by David Rabin

August 8 – September 2, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


In Danger of Judgment by David Rabin


When a covert operation during the Vietnam War ends in tragedy, one of its members resolves to kill the man who betrayed it to the enemy. Now, fifteen years later, he’ll finally get his chance.


Chicago, 1987. Home of mediocre baseball teams, gangs that rule the streets, and a Mexican drug cartel that supplies the city with heroin. Chicago Police Detective Marcelle DeSantis and her partner, Bernie Bernardelli, are working a series of heroin-related murders, and their job just got more complicated. The man who sabotaged the Vietnam operation, Robert Thornton, is now the chief enforcer for a Southeast Asian heroin cartel, and after fifteen years overseas he’s arrived in Chicago to eliminate the reigning cartel and seize control of the city’s heroin trade.

Racing to stop a drug war, Marcelle and Bernie don’t realize they’re about to be caught in a deadly crossfire: another man is circling in the wings, one of Thornton’s soldiers from Vietnam, who’s preparing to exact his long-sought revenge against his former mentor. He’s the last person anyone would ever suspect, and when he finally makes his move, the paths of these four people will explosively converge.

Praise for In Danger of Judgment:

In Danger of Judgment does a masterful job of juggling multiple, full-blooded characters through high-octane storytelling as they make their way to a shocking, violent ending. David Rabin is a name that is sure to become familiar among lovers of best-selling, full-throttle thrillers”

––David Shawn Klein, award-winning author of The Money

“Mr. Rabin brings a fresh set of characters to the tried-and-true crime drama, and his breezy narrative style and crackling dialogue kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime.”

––Ronald Aiken, author of Death Has Its Benefits and former president of The Atlanta Writers

“Kudos to Mr. Rabin on the high quality of the prose, the thrilling plot with a twist and surprise ending, and the extensive research that went into this novel. I highly recommend it.”

––Jill Caugherty, author of Waltz in Swing Time

“Well-developed characters drive Rabin’s taut thriller. . . . the story builds to a lengthy, sensational final act, brimming with well-earned suspense.”

––Kirkus Reviews

“A stunning debut, David Rabin’s In Danger of Judgment is an engrossing page-turner. Shocking twists barrel full-speed into an action-packed and tense crime thriller readers won’t see coming… Builds an intricately-plotted crime thriller that’s cinematic and wildly compelling. The author’s prose is concise and ‘unputdownable,’ skilled at giving a tangible sense of the time period these characters inhabit.”


Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: August 4th, 2022
Number of Pages: 369
ISBN10: 1685130593 (Hardcover)
ISBN13: 9781685130596 (Hardcover)
ISBN13: 9781685130008 (Paperback)
ASIN: B09ZVPW2NN (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon (hardcover) | Amazon (paperback) | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | | | Goodreads | Black Rose Writing

Don’t Miss this Video Trailer

Author Bio:

David Rabin

DAVID RABIN was born in Chicago and raised in its Lakeview neighborhood. He later moved to Atlanta, where he worked as a trial lawyer for thirty-three years. Now retired, he writes fiction, runs a competitive shooting program, and competes in rifle sports, including the discipline of Highpower Rifle, in which he holds two High Master classifications. He and his wife, a former clinical social worker, have two grown sons. In Danger of Judgment is his first novel.

Catch Up With David Rabin:
Facebook – @DavidRabinAuthor

Tour Participants:

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


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for David Rabin. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours


Guest Post: Ken Harris – SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY

Saturday greetings, my bookish peeps. Have you ever pondered the quirks we bring to our various routines, including reading? Some of us can’t sleep without reading a few pages. Some of us find reading digitally abhorrent, whereas others find they can only read digitally. You might have a favorite reading chair or spot on the sofa. Perhaps you have a favorite mug or glass you sip your preferred beverage out of while you read? Whether we consider these habits or quirks, we all seem to have them to some extent. Authors are no different, whether speaking about their reading or writing habits. Some authors will only write using certain types of pens or pencils. Others may prefer to use manual typewriters to create their literary works. Please help me welcome back, Ken Harris, author of the recently released See You Next Tuesday. Mr. Harris will be discussing his writing quirks with us. Thank you, Mr. Harris, for taking time away from your busy writing schedule to visit with us again.

What are your writing quirks?

Writing quirks? Oh, I’ve got ’em. Some common, some off the wall. The follow-up question asked is does your routine play into somehow traditionally publishing a complete trilogy in fourteen months? The not, out loud answer is, by the seat of my pants like a rocket sled going off the rails. But, instead, I usually shrug my shoulders with a dumb look and mention I thrive in creating fictional universes and the characters that fill them.

Truth be told, I really do enjoy banging on a keyboard for a handful of hours each day. But there are a few steps, quirks if you may, that lead me to that point in the process. I’d like to share exactly how I manage to keep up this frenetic pace.

All of my ideas start with a pad of paper and a handful of sharpened Ticonderoga #4 pencils. Why #4 is a common question. Being left-handed, as my hand moves across the paper, left to right, graphite from most pencils (#2s) smears across the side of my hand. I find a #4 has a much harder lead and there is practically no transfer from the page to my hand. Less time spent washing my hands equals more pages of notes.

The pencil and pad of paper are also portable and you never know when an idea will hit you. That being said, the notes app on my phone works wonders too, especially when you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea you know that will be forgotten the moment your head hits the pillow again. I’ve lost count of the trips I’ve made, tiptoeing down the hallway to my office and speaking notes into my phone.

What usually is a boatload of handwritten pages are then typed into Word where I can edit and move sections around more freely. This results in the thinnest of outlines, most of which never make the first draft. Finally, those edited pages are cut and pasted into Scrivener where I start pounding away to make the magic happen.

Speaking of making the magic happen, what happens when those creative juices dry up faster than the water at Lake Powell? Enter my strangest but most productive quirk to date: Introvert turned Twitch streamer.

Writer’s block hit me hard during the drafting of the 3rd book in the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series. I hit the wall at 40,000 words and didn’t write a thing I didn’t not trash the following morning for three months. Going against my previous stance of never forcing the issue (It’ll come, Ken, just give it time), I logged on to Twitch one morning and began live streaming my writing sessions. It turned out to be one of the best writing decisions I’ve made in a very long time. Yes, people draw, paint and play video games on Twitch, but did you know there is an up-and-coming writers’ community on the platform?

I assumed I would have the occasional friend or family member stumble across my stream, but soon I reached affiliate-status and began to look forward to the regular viewers that wander into my channel each morning. Six weeks after I started streaming, the block was crushed and the first draft of the novel came in at 113,000 words. My protagonists were out of their individual quagmires, back together, and moving forward on the big case again.

Apparently, I do my best writing in front of a virtual audience while carrying on and keeping up with the chat. Not to mention my viewers are a great help when my brain dies and I can’t come up with the word I’m looking for.

I’ve used giveaways to attract viewers, followers, and even subscriptions. Yes, I can make the occasional dollar doing this. I’ve given away mugs, Audible codes, challenge coins, and even mentions in the acknowledgments section of that upcoming third in the series (drops March 9, 2023). Twitch has a thing called Channel Points, which viewers can earn by watching and participating in chat. I’ve used these to create rewards that keep me engaged with the viewers. They can use points earned, called Writer’s Blocks, to purchase such things as play DJ and pick a song to be played, buy me a shot, tell them a little-known fact about me from work or writing, and even a community challenge where viewers pooled their points to rename a secondary character in the draft.

In the end, my quirks might seem normal to some, off the wall to others. But in the end, it’s all about getting words down on the screen in a timely fashion in a way that works for you. Sometimes the most off-the-wall idea works. And if it doesn’t, move on. Don’t get stuck in that rut. It sucks there. ♦

See You Next Tuesday

by Ken Harris

July 11 – August 5, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


See You Next Tuesday by Ken Harris

From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish

PI Steve Rockfish’s father loses part of his retirement savings in an online romance scam while partner Jawnie McGee handles the firm’s newest client who spins a tale of alleged spousal infidelity. Rockfish ignores his current case load and becomes fixated on tracking down those responsible for the fraud. Restitution is coming in the form of cash or broken bones. At the same time, Jawnie’s surveillance of the cheating spouse reveals more acts of kindness than sex leading to a client who doesn’t want to believe the good news.

Unbeknownst to the partners, each investigative path leads the partners to the Church of the Universal Nurturing II where the fraud is on a cryptocurrency level. Their new SunCoin is marketed as the only post-rapture currency accepted inside the pearly gates. After all, who wants to show up to the after party with out-turned pockets and not get past Heaven’s paywall?

Church elders court Rockfish and his new-found Hollywood wealth with an old-fashioned honey pot. The danger level ratchets up as Rockfish counters by sending the firm’s two new confidential informants undercover only to find the church’s endgame grift is larger and deadlier than anyone expected.

Praise for See You Next Tuesday:

“Action-packed and smartly written.”

Kevin Somers, GoodReads Review

“Harris has created his own sub-genre with this series, which is a beautiful and unique thing to see. Beloved characters must brave the most dangerous, harrowing journey yet. The suspense woven through this tale is done with a finesse rarely seen, and ensures we stay glued to the page.”

Ben Eads, author of Cracked Sky and Hollow Heart

“The second in the Case Files of Steve Rockfish series begins with separate cases involving a cheating husband, a corrupt religious cult, a stockpile of poison gas, and a currency scam. The cases come together in a wild ride worthy of a chase scene in a movie, as the detectives pursue the cult leader in a rip-roaring page-turner of an ending.”

Carolyn Geduld, author of Take Me Out The Back and Who Shall Live

“Harris takes you on two journeys you hope will never happen to family members but fear it could. The emotional roller coaster you will ride, keeps you reading and hoping the end comes with a taste of sweet revenge. Harris finds a way to weave a story that keeps you turning the pages and wanting more Rockfish.”

Stephen W. Briggs, author of Family of Killers-Memoirs of an Assassin

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Crime Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: July 14th, 2022
Number of Pages: 546
ISBN10: 1684339898 (paperback)
ISBN13: 9781684339891 (paperback)
ASIN: B09ZKQ1S3P (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B09VLKZ291 (Kindle edition)
Series: Case Files of Steve Rockfish, #2
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Barnes & Noble | | | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Ken Harris

Ken Harris retired from the FBI, after thirty-two years, as a cybersecurity executive. With over three decades of writing intelligence products for senior Government officials, Ken provides unique perspectives on the conventional fast-paced crime thriller. He is the author of the “From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish” series. He spends days with his wife Nicolita, and two Labradors, Shady and Chalupa Batman. Evenings are spent playing Walkabout Mini Golf and cheering on Philadelphia sports. Ken firmly believes Pink Floyd, Irish whiskey, and a Montecristo cigar are the only muses necessary. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Northern Virginia.

The Pine Barrens Stratagem was published on January 27, 2022. The sequel, See You Next Tuesday published July 14th, and the third in the trilogy, A Bad Bout of the Yips, is coming March 9, 2023.

Catch Up With Ken Harris:
BookBub – @08025writes
Instagram – @kenharrisfiction
Twitter – @08025writes
Facebook – @kah623
Twitch – @KenHarrisFiction

Tour Participants:

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


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Ken Harris. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Guest Post: Haris Orkin – GOLDHAMMER

Good day, my fellow book lovers. I hope you’re all having a good week and staying cool and dry. Have you ever given any thought to the psychological issues some of our beloved characters reveal but also deny? For example, Scarlett O’Hara uses denial as a massive coping mechanism throughout her life, but occasionally she uses it as a weapon or tool to get what she wants. Gone With the Wind just wouldn’t be the same if Scarlett were as sweet and kind as her “friend” and rival, Melanie. Authors intend for some characters to be more flamboyant and over-the-top because it makes for a more interesting story, as well as making for a memorable character. I’m pleased to welcome Haris Orkin, author of Goldhammer to the blog today. Mr. Orkin is an acclaimed author and he’ll be talking to us about Bond, James Bond. Thank you, Mr. Orkin, for joining us today. I look forward to learning your thoughts on James Bond and now turn the blog over to you.

By Haris Orkin


Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie was finally released after a long delay and right now, there is no new Bond film on the horizon. Ladbrokes, the storied British betting and gambling concern, publishes odds every day as to who the next James Bond might be. People can lay bets on it. The top contenders at the moment are Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Richard Madden from Game of Thrones, Aiden Turner, Idris Elba, and Rege-Jean Page of Bridgerton fame. Whoever Barbara Broccoli chooses to be the new Bond will take this sixty-year-old blockbuster franchise into the future. Currently, it’s the fifth highest-grossing movie franchise of all time.

When Goldfinger first came out I couldn’t wait to see it, but my parents thought I was too young. They thought it was too violent, too sexy, and too grownup for a fourth-grader. (The movie poster featured a nude woman painted entirely in gold.) They finally gave in to my nagging the following year when Thunderball came out.

In the pre-title sequence, Bond punched out a guy dressed as a lady and then escaped by donning a jetpack and taking off into the sky. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. One week later there was a promotion in the parking lot of our local mall. In 1965, Randhurst was the largest shopping center under one roof in the world. I lived in suburban Chicago and it was one mile from our house. A man donned that same (or similar) James Bond jetpack and took to the sky with an earsplitting whoosh. I was thrilled and inspired and right then and there I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

James Bond.

Who wouldn’t? He traveled all over the world and drove super cool cars with built in-machine guns and ejector seats. He sky-dived and scuba-dived and gambled in casinos on the French Riviera. Every woman he met shamelessly threw herself at him. Bond had no fear of anyone or anything. He was confident in every situation and comfortable in his own skin. I think that was the biggest fantasy of all for an awkward pre-teen from the suburbs of Chicago.

Two years later I saw You Only Live Twice. Two years after that, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I owned a James Bond toy camera that turned into a pistol and a toy radio that turned into a sniper rifle. That was also the era of The Wild, Wild West, The Man From Uncle, I Spy, and The Avengers. (The one with Emma Peel and John Steed, not the one with Iron Man, Spiderman, and Thor.) But Bond was the original. The first. The best.

It was also the era of Get Smart and that was the first hint to me that there was something vaguely ridiculous about Bond. When Roger Moore replaced Sean Connery, the Bond films turned slightly more comedic. I missed Connery’s cool edge and I didn’t think Moore exuded the same sense of danger. I wanted to believe in Bond. I wanted to buy into the whole ethos of a lone secret agent who could save the world.

Gradually, over time, as much as I loved Bond, I was beginning to see the absurdity behind what he did and how he did it. Bond always accused the supervillains he confronted as being barking mad. But in truth, he was no less crazy. I began to understand that only someone completely crackers could do what James Bond did.

I started reading the books as well and Fleming’s Bond wasn’t as over the top as the movie Bond. He was more grounded and a bit more realistic. The villains weren’t quite as insane as the ones in the movies, but they were definitely crazier than Bond. Over time, however, the books became as fantastic as the films. Even as a twelve-year-old kid I could see that Bond was probably a few egg rolls short of a pu pu platter.

Who in their right mind would cross a river by jumping over the backs of a bunch of crocodiles? Or leap out of a plane without a parachute? Or bungee jump off a thousand-foot-high dam? These are things only a person with a death wish would do. Or someone so insanely confident that they didn’t believe death or serious injury was even a possibility. Of all the nutty things Bond did in those early films, the craziest to me was when he decided to go undercover as a Japanese fisherman in You Only Live Twice. As a six-foot-two Caucasian with a Scottish accent and bangs, Bond didn’t seem convincingly Japanese to me. Hell, he didn’t even speak Japanese. For Bond to believe that anyone would actually believe he was Japanese didn’t just strain credulity, it was batshit crazy.

Still, I continued to love James Bond. I still do. He continues to be the ultimate escapist male empowerment fantasy. He also reminded me of another famous literary hero who made it his mission to right wrongs, save damsels in distress and slay dragons. This hero was also famously delusional.

Don Quixote.

A few years back it crossed my mind that today’s equivalent of a knight errant would be a secret agent. A contemporary Don Quixote would likely imagine himself to be a super spy like James Bond.

That’s how James Flynn came to be.

Oscar Levant, the virtuoso pianist and world-class wit, once said, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.”

The same could be said for the line between bravery and batshit crazy.


by Haris Orkin

June 6 – July 1, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Goldhammer by Haris Orkin

A James Flynn Escapade

A young actress, involuntarily committed to City of Roses Psychiatric Hospital, plunges James Flynn into a dangerous new adventure when she claims one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood is trying to kill her.

Still convinced he’s a secret agent for Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Flynn springs into action, helps her escape and finds himself embroiled in a battle with a dangerous sociopath worth billions. In the process, he uncovers a high-tech conspiracy to control the mind of every human being on Earth.

With the help of his reluctant sidekick, Sancho, and a forgotten Hollywood sex symbol from the 1960s, Flynn faces off with Goldhammer and his private army in a desperate attempt to save the young actress…and save the world…once again.

Praise for Goldhammer:

“One of those books that has you laughing and turning pages well into the night.” —Len Boswell, Bestselling author of The Simon Grave Mysteries

“A riotous comic novel that’s also a legit page turner. A deftly plotted, swiftly paced thriller.” —R. Lee Procter, Author of The Million Dollar Sticky Note and Sugarball

“A fast-paced quixotic thriller that would make Miguel de Cervantes and Ian Fleming proud. The third James Flynn novel is a powerful cocktail of suspense, adrenaline and a whole lot of laughs. Orkin has the remarkable ability to keep the reader straddled between a genuine spy thriller and an off-the-wall comedy” —Joe Barret, Award-winning author of Managed Care

Book Details:

Genre: Comedy Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2022
Number of Pages: 240
ISBN: 1684339677
ISBN-13: 9781684339679
Series: The James Flynn Escapades, Book 3 | Each is a stand-alone thriller
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Author Bio:

Haris Orkin

Haris Orkin is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and game writer. His play, Dada was produced at The American Stage and the La Jolla Playhouse. Sex, Impotence, and International Terrorism was chosen as a critic’s choice by the L.A. Weekly and sold as a film script to MGM/UA. Save the Dog was produced as a Disney Sunday Night movie. His original screenplay, A Saintly Switch, was directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starred David Alan Grier and Vivica A. Fox. He is a WGA Award and BAFTA Award nominated game writer and narrative designer known for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Mafia 3, and Dying Light.

Catch Up With Haris Orkin:
BookBub – @HarisOrkin
Instagram – @HarisOrkin
Twitter – @HarisOrkin
Facebook – @AuthorHarisOrkin

Tour Participants:

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Join In:

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THE PINE BARRENS STRATAGEM by Ken HarrisThe Pine Barrens Stratagem

by Ken Harris

February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Hello, my bookish peeps. Have you ever given any thought to what makes a book memorable? Can you imagine To Kill A Mockingbird NOT taking place in the South or in the 1930s? Would the story have had the same impact? Needless to say, authors have to take into consideration not only the locale of their settings, but also the time period, when crafting their stories. I’m pleased to welcome Ken Harris, author of The Pine Barrens Stratagem to the blog today. Mr. Harris will be discussing with us the importance of location in his writings. Grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and enjoy Mr. Harris’s visit. Thank you, Mr. Harris for being with us today, the blog is all yours.

Location, Location, Location
by Ken Harris

More than one friend, publisher, and interviewer has asked me why I chose the setting of The Pine Barrens Stratagem to be smack dab in the middle of the pandemic.

Aren’t you going to turn off readers, they asked? In fact, that point was brought to my attention from a small publisher in the text of their query rejection email. “We just don’t know if people are going to want to read about the pandemic,” were the words used.

Fear of the unknown, but this is the story I wanted to tell. If my story was set around 1929 to 1930, I would be remiss if I just ignored the stock market crash and impending depression on the characters and the environment all around them. If I wanted to write a book that I knew the general public would willingly accept and if I were in this solely for the money, I would have thrown in half a dozen zombies into the story. Apparently, the zombie apocalypse might be the only pandemic people won’t get upset reading about.

Suspend belief, others say, when questioning my setting. If I was capable of suspending belief as an author, I’d write horror. I am an absolute horror nut when it comes to books and movies. But I can’t write it. Tried. Failed. Can’t suspend belief as I type. I guess that’s what 32 years with the FBI does to a person. Just the facts, ma’am.

There are many detective novels written in sunny conditions with no rain in sight. I wanted the opposite. Something out of the ordinary that would be a challenge. My goal was to reinvent the sarcastic fast on his feet private eye I watched as a kid in The Rockford Files, but in modern times. When I began this book in September of 2020, the sun didn’t come out most days and the news was overflowing with Covid stories. I wanted to see how my protagonist would deal with this additional adversity in his investigative work day.

Right off the bat, I knew Steve Rockfish would be having money problems. People were no longer going into the office each day. Working from home was becoming the norm. That meant no one was going into the office to continue that romantic fling with a co-worker or stopping at the local bar after work to meet the other half of their affair. The bread and butter of a lot of private detective work was out the window. The flow of rejected spouse banging on a private eye’s door to get proof of the infidelity slowed to a trickle and then stopped altogether.

Secondly, I wanted to challenge myself as a writer. I was very interested in how Covid restrictions would impede a Rockfish investigation. He would need a mask, pretty much everywhere he went. Would restrictions prevent him from just gaining access to places or people that he would normally just walk up to? How would his demeaner change? Would he follow the government’s guidelines even if they caused him to not properly work the case and possibly, in the end, not complete the job for his client? All of this made me think out of the box. I really hate that phrase, but it fits here.

Emotional or non-verbal tells are a tool used to express the tension of a scene or the mental state of a character. I could easily write a character smiled in response to something someone else said. It shows the reader that particular character’s frame of mind. Not so easy to do, as an author, if someone is wearing an N95 mask. It made me write outside my normal comfort zone.

In the end, Covid is just another bad guy that Steve Rockfish has to face off against in the modern world. I would hope readers agree with me when I say the action, humor, and sarcasm of the book demote the pandemic to a small character of the book, but one that is important and had to be addressed in the world we currently live in. ♦

The Pine Barrens Stratagem

by Ken Harris

February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


The Pine Barrens Stratagem by Ken Harris

Private Investigator Steve Rockfish needs cash, like yesterday. The bad news is that yesterday, a global pandemic raged, and Maryland was headed toward a lockdown that would ultimately lead to cheating spouses no longer “working late,” and hence a lack of new clients.

Rockfish’s luck changes when a Hollywood producer reaches out, but the job is two states away and involves digging up information on a child trafficking ring from the 1940s. What he uncovers will be used to support the launch of a true crime docuseries. He grabs a mask, hand sanitizer and heads for South Jersey.

On-site, Rockfish meets Jawnie McGee, the great granddaughter of a local policeman gone missing while investigating the original crimes. As the duo uncover more clues, they learn the same criminal alliance has reformed to use the pandemic as a conduit to defraud the Federal Government of that sweet, sweet, stimulus money.

It’s not long before the investigation turns up some key intel on a myriad of illicit activity over the last eighty years and Rockfish rockets toward a showdown with the mafia, local archdiocese and dirty cops. COVID-19 isn’t the only threat to his health.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thriller
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: January 27th 2022
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 1684338719 (ISBN13: 9781684338719)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Ken Harris

Ken Harris retired from the FBI, after thirty-two years, as a cybersecurity executive. With over three decades writing intelligence products for senior Government officials, Ken provides unique perspectives on the conventional fast-paced crime thriller. While this is his first traditionally published novel, he previously self-published two novellas and two novels. He spends days with his wife Nicolita, and two Labradors, Shady and Chalupa Batman. Evenings are spent cheering on Philadelphia sports. Ken firmly believes Pink Floyd, Irish whiskey and a Montecristo cigar are the only muses necessary. He is a native of New Jersey and currently resides in Northern Virginia.

Catch Up With Ken Harris:
BookBub – @08025writes
Twitter – @08025writes
Instagram – @KenHarrisFiction
Facebook – @kah623

Tour Participants:

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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ken Harris. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: Kat Flannery – THE MEMORY BELL


Good day, book people. I hope those of you in the USA will get to spend some of your Labor Day holiday today reading. I hope those of you elsewhere are able to find some time today to squeeze in some reading. If you’re like me, an avid reader, I’m always amazed when I pick up a new-to-me book or series about how much detail the author will include about the characters. Some authors provide glimpses of the characters backstory and other authors will weave the backstory into overall story. It doesn’t seem to matter how they craft their characters, the more details I have about a character, the more three-dimensional they seem to become. Today I’m pleased to welcome an award-winning and bestselling author, Kat Flannery, whose latest book, The Memory Bell, was released a few months ago. Ms. Flannery will be discussing the importance of character biographies with us today. I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to say, follow the blog tour, and add The Memory Bell to your TBR list. Thank you, Ms. Flannery, for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining us today. The blog is now yours.

Character Bios

Kat Flannery

The Memory Bell was so much fun to write, but that didn’t mean there weren’t challenges along the way. I’d be lying if I told you the whole writing process was a breeze, and nothing went wrong. Ha, I don’t think any author could spout that sentence as true. There are always problems and as the author—the creator you have to figure out how you’re going to fix them.

With all of my novels there are problems and sometimes they’re really big ones. You know, ones that require me to rewrite 10,000 words, or scratch a whole beginning, or worst-case scenario delete the whole manuscript and start over. Every single one of the above happened when I was writing The Memory Bell in the first four months. I honestly didn’t know if the book would ever get written.

When I set out to write a contemporary mystery littered with family drama, I had no idea how in-depth I would need to go to put the Penner’s to paper. The process was crazy and long and at times annoying. Why? Well for starters I had to write a bio on every single one of the Penners so that I could understand them better, really get to know them. Yeah, I had pages upon pages of backstory and conversations that I never used. Alas it was all necessary so that I could write each character perfectly. Did it make the process any less painful? No, it did not, but I know it needed to happen.

My job as an author is to deliver well researched, three dimensional characters that are real to my readers just like they are real to me. AND if that means I write 22,000 words of character biographies and backstory, then that is what I do. I hope you enjoy reading The Memory Bell and learning all about the devious Penner clan.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

The Memory Bell

by Kat Flannery

September 1-30, 2021 Tour


The Memory Bell by Kat Flannery

Grace Penner’s safe haven crumbles when a body is found outside of town.

Gifted the memory bell, a family heirloom, from her grandfather’s will, Grace’s excitement is soon squashed when the bell gets broken right after she receives it. While gluing the pieces back in place, she discovers three are still missing.

Determined to find them, she is halted when the new detective, Bennet James, investigates her family. Grace is intent on showing the detective her family isn’t capable of murder, but as the investigation deepens, and pieces of the bell show up with ominous notes, Grace soon realizes the Penners are not what they seem. Amidst the tightly knit family; dark secrets, deception, and possibly even murder unfold.

Will Grace be able to save the family she loves more than anything without losing herself forever?

Praise for The Memory Bell:

“A naïve small-town girl and a disillusioned big-city cop, drawn together by an unsolved crime that is itself only the tip of the iceberg, The Memory Bell serves up the perfect steamy summer read.”
–Jenny Jaeckel, author of House of Rougeaux

“The story moves beyond a small town whodunit to probe the underlying bonds of history that connect a family.”
-Midwest Book Review

“Wonderful, engaging, and fast-paced! Flannery knows what she’s doing!”
-Jonas Saul, author of the Sarah Roberts series


Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: July 1, 2021
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1684337089 (ISBN-13:978-1684337088)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Kat Flannery

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. A member of many writing Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. When she’s not busy writing, or marketing Kat volunteers her time to other aspiring authors. She has been a keynote speaker, lecturer and guest author inspiring readers and writers at every event she attends. Kat’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career, and continues to write for blogs and online magazines. A bestselling author, Kat’s books are available all over the world. The BRANDED TRILOGY is Kat’s award-winning series. With seven books published, Kat continues to plot what story will be next. Creativity is in all aspects of Kat’s career. She does Social Media and Marketing for her own career and businesses, writing ads, and other content.

Catch Up With Kat Flannery:
BookBub – @KatFlannery
Instagram – @katflannery_
Twitter – @KatFlannery1
Facebook – @kat.flannery.5


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This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kat Flannery. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs September 1 through October 3, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Book Showcase: SAVING GRACE by D.M. Barr


Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

by D.M. Barr

on Tour October 12 – November 13, 2020



Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at its core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

“A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long.”

–Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Suspense

Published by: Black Rose Writing

Publication Date: October 15th, 2020

Number of Pages: 255

ISBN: 978-1684335565

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Black Rose Writing | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”


“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”


Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr.  Copyright © 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Author D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations, and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…

Catch Up With Our Author On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and, Facebook!

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Enter To Win!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 12, 2020, and runs through November 15, 2020. Void where prohibited.

Click here to enter!

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