Book Showcase: FAR OUT by Khaled Talib

Far Out

by Khaled Talib

June 5 – 30, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Far Out by Khaled Talib

Hollywood movie star Goldie Saint Helen comes out of a coma after a car accident with an altered identity. She now believes she is a hippie detective living in the Sixties, hired to find a missing teenage girl who is about to end up a guinea pig in a CIA drug experiment.

Goldie also thinks screenwriter Blake Deco, her husband, is an intern at her detective agency. For the time being, Blake plays along as advised by the hospital until she recovers her memory.

However, sinister plotters think it is better that Goldie does not wake up from her fantasy-and they have their reasons.

The couple finds themselves embroiled in a dangerous situation. Blake must use his past military skills as he races against the clock to save his wife before she loses her mind forever.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Running Wild Press
Publication Date: January 2024
Number of Pages: 325
ISBN: 978-1955062923

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise for Far Out:

“Here is Hollywood in all its glam, seductive sleaze as a cast of greed-enabled sharks angle to glom on to a famous movie star’s megamillions. Lots of action plus insider gossip in a witty, entertaining thriller with a groovy 1960’s vibe.”
~ Ruth Harris, NYTimes & Amazon bestselling author

Far Out Trailer:

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

As she lay on the verge along the Pacific Coast Highway under a starless April sky, a faint bleat caught Goldie’s lips. Her heart pounded irregularly as her breath whizzed in and out of her mouth. Blurry faces swam in her vision, and obfuscated voices floated through and lingered in her distorted senses. She heard maybe six; maybe more, maybe less. Her fading bleariness made it hard to tell.

Out of the corner of her eye, Goldie noticed the coils of steam spewing from the hood of an overturned Lexus underneath the mountain incline on the other side of the road. The red car had smashed into a barrier.

How did it happen?

She sucked in the salty breeze, struggling to refocus despite her discombobulation. As she writhed in pain, she felt her eyelids flicker, pulled down by her mortality.

Is it time to go?

Too soon to die.

At least let me say goodbye to…who?

Why can’t I remember anyone?

A hand repeatedly patted Goldie’s cheek, pulling her out of her stupor.

“Stay with me, okay? Don’t sleep. Help is on the way.” The soothing feminine voice kept Goldie in a state of equanimity. Her gaze strayed toward its owner, a young woman with long, dark hair bracketing a set of angelic eyes within a pale, long face etched with concern and worry.

Angel Eyes leered down at Goldie. “Do you feel pain anywhere? Blink once for yes, and twice for no.”

Goldie blinked once.

“Don’t move.” Angel Eyes gleamed with emotion. “An ambulance will be here shortly.”

“She sure looks like Goldie Saint Helen, the movie star,” came from another, astonished voice, this one belonging to a plump curly-haired girl with ringlets across her forehead. “Hey, wait a minute―it is her!”

Movie star? Who? Me?

“You sure?” Goldie heard another voice ask, this one from a man. Moments later, he inched forward, revealing himself: A blond with a surfer haircut.

“Remember Gun Kiss? We watched the movie last year,” said the curly-haired girl. “Goldie Saint Helen. She was kidnapped by a Mexican drug lord. Her husband saved her, and he wrote the original screenplay inspired by the incident.”

Mexican drug lord? Husband? What’s my husband’s name?

A chilly breeze carrying the salty air swept over Goldie’s warm body, and she shivered involuntarily.

“Someone get her a blanket from the van,” Angel Eyes demanded.

The curly-haired girl stood up and scampered away. She returned momentarily with a blanket.

Goldie felt the thick blanket spread over her right up to her neck, rendering immediate warmth.

A smile blossomed across Angel Eyes’s face. “We’ll stay here with you until the ambulance arrives. You’ll be okay.”

A sting suppressed Goldie’s attempt to raise her lips into a smile. So, she blinked once to acknowledge Angel Eyes’s statement.

Car doors banged shut, and Goldie looked up as she heard someone approach.

“What happened here?” asked a woman wearing a jumper.

Goldie looked up at the woman, but the throbbing headache behind her eyes, which had spread across her cheek and down her ears, restrained her from prolonging her focusing. She dropped her eyes, subsiding the tension.

The woman doubled over, hands on her knees, her eyes fixed on Goldie; the look in them was somewhat curious, somewhat empathetic.

“We’re not sure,” the blond man replied. ” We pulled her out of her car,” he said, pointing to the burning car. Flames unfurled from the hood, but were being fought by men with handheld extinguishers containing the fire from spreading in the interior and trunk.

“Did you kids hit her?” a beefy man asked, to which he received a volley of antagonistic replies.

The blond man stood and cocked his head towards a white van parked up ahead, along the verge. “That’s our van over there. Go see if there’s any damage, then come and apologize to us.”

The beefy man raised both hands, palms up. “Take it easy, man. Just making sure.”

“Why don’t we let the police handle it?” said the curly-haired girl.

The beefy man balked, pulling along the woman in the jumper.

Goldie saw more cars blur by, some stopping. Onlookers approached and jostled for a good spot.

“Hey, isn’t she Goldie Saint Helen?” asked a man in a yellow polo T-shirt. He took his phone out of his pocket and took a few pictures of Goldie. The camera flashed repeatedly, briefly blinding her.

“Have you no shame, Mister? She’s a human being,” snapped the curly-haired girl, glowering at the opportunist.

The man in the yellow T-shirt retreated to his car.

“Asshole.” The curly-haired girl stood up and snapped at the other bystanders. “Well, what are you people waiting for? Go ahead and take some more pictures!”

“Take it easy, I can help,” said a bob-haired woman in a gray sweater and white athletic pants.

“Nothing much to be done here, unless you’re a doctor,” Angel Eyes replied to her.

“I’m a nurse,” the bob-haired woman said. “I just thought―”


Excerpt from Far Out by Khaled Talib.
Copyright 2024 by Khaled Talib.
Reproduced with permission from Khaled Talib. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Khaled Talib

Born and raised in Singapore, Khaled Talib’s books have received reviews in Publishers Weekly and international newspapers.

The author is also a member of the International Thriller Writers.

His books have received praise from New York Times bestselling thriller authors, Gayle Lynds, Ruth Harris, and USA Today bestselling authors, Jon Land, Jean Rabe, and Fiona Quinn.

Before he started writing thrillers, Khaled was a magazine journalist and public relations consultant.

When he is not writing, Khaled spends most of his time reading, baking, and traveling the world.

Catch Up With Khaled Talib:
BookBub – @KhaledTalib
Instagram – @khaled_talib_books
Twitter – @KhaledTalib
Facebook – @khaled.talib
YouTube – @KhaledTalib

Tour Participants:

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


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

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Book Spotlight: DEATH OF A SOPRANO by Nupur Tustin

Death of a Soprano: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin

About Death of a Soprano

Death of a Soprano: A Joseph Haydn Mystery

Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Eighteenth-century Royal Hungary, Habsburg Empire
Foiled Plots Press (May 27, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 319 pages
ISBN : 9798986399539 (Paperback)
ISBN : 9798986399522 (eBook)
ASIN ‏: ‎ B0C3SR4GGW (Kindle edition)

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Buy Direct & Support the Author ( | | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | B&N eBook | Apple | Kobo

When murder invades Haydn’s opera stage, scandal isn’t far behind…

Charged with ensuring that an imperial wedding transpires without mishap, composer Joseph Haydn has his hands full. Barely seventeen, Archduke Ferdinand Karl, the imperial bridegroom, is reluctant to marry. And the bride, Maria Beatrice, has her reservations as well.

But when an extortion note surfaces—an unpleasant reminder of the bridegroom’s shameful past—the wedding seems truly doomed. Worse still, all the evidence points to Haydn’s prima donna, Lucia Pacelli, being the blackmailer.

Before Haydn can confront her, however, Lucia is fatally poisoned. And Haydn is left to wonder whether his imperial charge had a hand in her death.

Troubled by the dark secrets he might uncover, Haydn is nevertheless compelled to investigate. Will the young Archduke be found innocent? Or must Haydn lead His Imperial Highness to the gallows?

About Nupur Tustin

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate murder. She also writes the Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries based on the Gardner Museum theft. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her musical works.

Get Two Complimentary Mysteries At:


Tour Participants

June 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Brooke Blogs – EXCERPT POST

June 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – EXCERPT POST

June 11 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT


June 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – EXCERPT POST

June 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 15 – The Mystery of Writing – EXCERPT POST

June 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – EXCERPT POST

June 16 – My Reading Journeys – EXCERPT POST


This is a Rafflecopter giveaway for one (1) print copy of Death of a Soprano by Nupur Tustin via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States. Any entry received from residents outside the United States will be disqualified. Void where prohibited by law.

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Book Spotlight: LITTLE FOLLIES by Carolyn Korsmeyer

Little Follies: A Mystery at the Millennium by Carolyn Korsmeyer
ISBN: 9781685131050 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BHJDK961 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: January 19, 2023
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Fiction | Mystery

A visit to Krakow intended to test a new relationship turns out to be fraught with danger when two Americans encounter a man pursuing a dark ambition in the waning months of the last millennium.

Adam Kasper is a historian delving into the archives of an old museum; traveling with him is Joan Templeton, a journalist. Although they have come to Poland together in hopes that their new romance might flourish, Adam’s work is all-consuming, and Joan finds better company with Rudy Vander Lage, a lecturer at the university who is coping with widowhood. By chance, they cross paths with Pawel Radincki, a man of unstable mind who hopes to transform his life by means both criminal and occult.

Adam’s obsession with his research leads him to commit a serious breach of academic protocol. Although their relationship is disintegrating, Joan decides to help him with a bold and risky plan, and she enlists the aid of Rudy. Neither realizes that the risks they take will stymie Pawel’s plans and put Joan’s life in danger. Theft, murder, and magic propel the plot, which reaches a climax at the turn of the millennium, when relationships are realigned and follies laid bare.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle

Praise for Little Follies

“As the millennium draws to a close, two Americans arrive in Krakow. Adam is on a research mission and his new girlfriend Joan is looking for a fresh start. Both find themselves tangled in a surprise plot of deceit, lies, and museum intrigue. Rich with twists and turns, Little Follies will keep readers hooked chapter after chapter. Korsmeyer seamlessly weaves multiple viewpoints to create a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.” —Kerry Chaput, author of Daughter of the King


“A really enjoyable and engaging crime caper with well-rounded and believable characters.” —David Philips, author of The Judas Conspiracy


“Carolyn Korsmeyer’s stellar writing, infused with history and philosophy, captivates the reader in this phenomenal character-driven mystery. Equal parts international art heist and exploration of human nature, Korsmeyer accomplishes that rare feat with Little Follies: a book about characters experiencing self-discovery while simultaneously keeping the reader engrossed in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse.” —Rob Samborn, author of The Prisoner of Paradise and Painter of the Damned

Meet The Author

Author Carolyn Korsmeyer

Carolyn Korsmeyer is both a novelist and a philosopher. She is especially interested in how the senses and emotions are engaged by works of art, themes prominent in three of her philosophy books: Things: In Touch with the Past, Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics, and Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy. She is keen to explore the ways that fiction can revive lives from long ago by engaging the reader in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the past. Her first novel, Charlotte’s Story, imagines the life that Charlotte Lucas (of Pride and Prejudice) might have had after her hasty marriage. Little Follies is her second novel.

Connect with the author via website | Facebook | Goodreads


This is a Rafflecopter giveaway for one (1) print copy of Little Follies by Carolyn Korsmeyer courtesy of Saichek Publicity. This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States and Canada. Any entry received from residents outside the United States or Canada will be disqualified. This giveaway is open from 12:01 AM ET on 06/08/2023 through 11:59 PM ET on 6/15/2023. The winner will be selected and announced on 06/16/2023. Please note that the book will be sent to the winner by Saichek Publicity. Void where prohibited by law.

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Guest Post: Jodé Millman – THE EMPTY KAYAK

Good morrow, my fellow book lovers. I’ve got to admit to one of my reading quirks. I seem to read a lot of books set in the fall and winter during the heat of late spring and throughout the summer. Just reading about books set in a cooler clime seems to help me cool off. Yes, I know, this isn’t really a thing, but hey it works for me (okay, that and a lot of iced green tea or peppermint tisanes). Setting is an important feature for this reader, as well as for most authors. I’m honored to welcome Jodé Millman, author of the recently released The Empty Kayak, back to the blog. Ms. Millman will be sharing her thoughts on the “scene of the crime” or the importance of setting in mysteries. Ms. Millman, thank you for coming back to visit with us, I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

The Scene of the Crime–Making Setting
a Lead Character in Your Mystery
by Jodé Millman

Recently, I had the honor of being a panelist on this topic at the Malice Domestic Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, and rubbed elbows with the incredible Hank Phillippi Ryan and Anne Cleeves. One common theme of our panel discussion rang true. Whether you’re writing cozy, historical, or traditional mysteries, or police procedurals or legal thrillers, setting establishes the structure for your novel. The 1940s Hollywood of David Baldacci, the contemporary Los Angeles streets of Michael Connelly, and the idyllic Canadian Three Pines of Louise Penny depict are perfect examples of setting not only creating the atmosphere of a novel but also becoming a unique character in the narrative.

As the writer of a mystery series, the “Queen City Crimes Series,” which is set in New York’s majestic Hudson Valley, I’ve learned to respect this region as more than just a place where I live and write. The craggy mountains, thundering waterfalls, mighty suspension bridges, and the ever-changing weather have become principal players in my novels. In my current novel, The Empty Kayak, the murky Hudson River takes center stage, the “x marks the spot” where the deadly, inciting incident occurs.

Consider your favorite mysteries by Agatha Christie or Anne Cleeves. Christie sends us sailing down the Nile in the pre-WWII 1930s or chugging along in the Orient Express. Cleeves draws us into the rocky coast of North Umberland or the town where the three rivers converge in rural Devon. Both mistresses of mystery engage setting as more than just the time of day or the physical location where their mysteries occur.

Through setting, we discover the social status of the suspects, victims, and cops, the weather at the time of the event, the historical period in which the characters live, the dialectic spoken, the characters’ names, as well as their immediate surroundings at the time of the crime. We also peek inside the inner life of Hercule Poirot and Vera Stanhope; what they like to eat and drink, the clothing they wear, and their households. Even their idiosyncrasies are ruled by their stories’ environment. Vera drinks hard Scotch Whisky, where she wears a well-worn Macintosh, muddy boots, and drives her father’s ancient Range Rover; Poirot fashions himself as a Belgian man of class and sophistication.

Setting can also serve as a respite, a beat, in the middle of your narrative. If writers need the readers to take a breather from the action or to consider a bombshell of a clue, setting can provide the reprieve. It’s amazing how your character’s opening a window for a breath of fresh air and their gazing outside can clear the head and prepare everyone for the next round of action.

As for the Hudson Valley, I incorporate landmarks like parks, historic monuments, and buildings to give readers the rich context in which my characters operate. My readers have remarked on how they enjoy recognizing their favorite markets and coffee shops in my novels. But beneath the valley’s panoramic beauty lurks a dark underbelly.

In my most recent thriller, The Empty Kayak, Detective Ebony Jones reunites with her estranged best friend, Jessie Martin, when a fatal kayaking accident occurs on the Hudson River. Imagine the Hudson River as a crime scene—all 300 miles of it from the Adirondack Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. This expansive area dispatches my protagonists throughout the Hudson Valley searching for clues, potential suspects, and an explanation of the heartbreaking tragedy. The plot is so steeped in the history and geography of the Hudson Valley that this mystery could only have occurred there. This setting is inseparable from the plot or the characters.

As you consider the setting of your novel, remember that your location establishes more than mood and atmosphere. Setting is a living, breathing character, which impacts your characters and plot like any other element of your story. Let your locale take the lead and enjoy the fantastic journey.

The Empty Kayak

by Jodé Millman

June 5-30, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


The Empty Kayak by Jodé Millman

For Detective Ebony Jones, crime is always personal. But this time, it strikes too close to home.

A pop-up thunderstorm marched its way across the Hudson River, ambushing a young couple’s kayaking trip. The woman miraculously made it back to shore, but her fiancé remains missing. Ebony and her partner are the first responders who rush to the river to assist in rescuing the capsized boater.

The victim’s identity shocks Ebony to the core. Kyle Emory, the ex-boyfriend of her estranged best friend, attorney Jessie Martin, is the man who never made it out of the water. The accident ignites a firestorm between the two friends, pitting them against each other in a race to discover whether Kyle survived or whether he met his untimely demise. Under pressure from the chief and the DA, Ebony needs to solve the mystery, while Jessie seeks justice for the sake of the daughter she shares with Kyle.

The investigation leads them through the dark worlds of social media, online sports betting, and extreme sports. Along the way, they uncover lies and betrayals, and gather a list of dangerous suspects who are all linked to the accident survivor, Kyle’s mysterious fiancée. Even more, the discovery that Kyle possessed his own life-shattering secrets has trapped Ebony between her career and her lifelong friendship with Jessie. Yet neither Ebony nor Jessie will stop until they unearth the truth. Even if it destroys their friendship and their lives.

But the evidence is as murky as the secretive Hudson River. Only the river knows whether Kyle’s untimely death was an accident, a suicide, or murder.


Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN13: 9781685122874 (Paperback)
ISBN10: 1685122876 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781685122881 (eBook)
ASIN: B0C1PT8484 (Kindle edition)
Series: Queen City Crimes Series, Book 3
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | B&N eBook | Kobo eBook || Goodreads

Praise for The Empty Kayak:

“Three strong women follow their own inexorable paths to justice in The Empty Kayak, and it’s a pleasure to cheer them on. The Empty Kayak is not only a compelling and believable mystery, but a sharply drawn portrait of women’s friendships”
Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of House on Fire


“Twisty personal relationships build to a satisfying, stunner finale in The Empty Kayak.”
~ Lisa Black, NYT/ bestselling author of the Locard Institute series

Author Bio:

Jodé Millman

Jodé Millman is the acclaimed author of Hooker Avenue and The Midnight Call, which won the Independent Press, American Fiction, and Independent Publisher Bronze IPPY Awards for Legal Thriller. She’s an attorney, a reviewer for, the host/producer of The Backstage with the Bardavon podcast, and the creator of The Writer’s Law. Jodé lives with her family in the Hudson Valley, where she is at work on the next installment of her “Queen City Crimes” series —novels inspired by true crimes in the region she calls home.

Catch Up With Jodé Millman:
BookBub – @JodeMillmanAuthor
Instagram – @jodewrites
Twitter – @worldseats

Tour Participants:

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


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

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Guest Post: Marlene M. Bell – COPPER WATERS

Hello, fellow book divas and divos. I’ve attended a number of author presentations (virtual and IRL) over the years and it seems like there are quite a number of the same questions asked, no matter the author or genre. First, is usually “What’s your inspiration?” Next, is usually “Do you base your characters on real people?” And that is generally followed by “What’s next?” It doesn’t matter how many books an author writes, we readers are always interested in what’s coming next! Please help me welcome back to the blog, Marlene M. Bell, author of the “Annalisse Series” including Copper Waters. Ms. Bell will be sharing with us “What’s next” and I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to say. Thank you, Ms. Bell, for returning to visit with us today, the blog is now all yours.

What Writing Project Is Coming Next?
by Marlene M. Bell

The idea of Annalisse Drury as a main character who lives in New York began as a single book with her first name as the title. Only through a number of drafts and too many subplots did it become evident to my developmental editors that Annalisse’s story was much bigger than a standalone book. Several books have become the current series of four with more books on the way. Stolen Obsession‘s first draft held too many mischievous characters for a single Annalisse novel!

The scenarios for the next untitled book #5 are floating around in my mind even as I’ve released book #4, Copper Waters. When writing, I typically imagine one novel ahead so that I can end the current book in a manner that sends the reader right into the next book. Each chapter in every one of my books is designed to finish as a segue that asks the reader to jump into the following chapter—propelling them forward with a strong desire to find out what happens next. My motto, “mystery at a killing pace,” highlights my writing style; short, punchy sentences that get to the point quickly and move on while applying conversational dialog. One recent blogger used a word to describe the pacing in Copper Waters as meteoric. What a great word! As far as the next Annalisse novel is concerned, she and Alec will concentrate on his horse breeding in upstate New York…as things go terribly wrong for the couple.

My current work in progress is a break from the Annalisse and Alec story. It’s a fresh standalone novel unrelated to the series that takes place in East Texas circa 2010. Staying with my love of cozy mysteries and eclectic personalities, an entire batch of new characters will experience a tricky murder in the Woodlands! The story opens in a fictitious town of three hundred people where the protagonist, Sharon Harris, is a trained pastry chef and soon-to-be cookbook author. A culinary expert who left a cushy personal chef position in Beverly Hills. Tragedy has driven her closer to her father after the passing of her mother. More than one suitor, (a known and an unknown,) will vie for my main character’s affections as they solve the unfortunate murder of a dear friend of Sharon’s. A home invasion? An inside job? Only the old home built during the 1860s holds clues to the mysterious death. A home Sharon inherits from the now-deceased widow.

A chapter or two into writing this Texas mystery, I’m finding it a challenge to develop new characters in a different part of the country after spending thirteen years in Annalisse’s head. Once I’m solidly convinced of the new book’s title, I’ll announce more details including the cover artwork.♦

Copper Waters

The Annalisse series, Book 4

by Marlene M. Bell

May 29 – June 23, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Copper Waters by Marlene M Bell

A rural New Zealand vacation turns poisonous.

Annalisse Drury and Alec Zavos are on opposite sides when an ex-lover from Alec’s past introduces him to his alleged son. With Alec’s marriage proposal in limbo, Annalisse accepts a key to her dream cottage—an invitation to a sheep station on South Island, New Zealand—only this time, she travels alone.

Unbeknownst to her, a mutual friend follows on the flight, and together they are confronted by two peculiar deaths—either accidental, or the deliberate acts of a psychopath.

Temuka police investigators are closing these cases too quickly. They want Annalisse to exit their country before she reveals the town’s darkest secrets. Will she return to Alec, or sacrifice their future together to expose it all?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery (cozy type)
Published by: Ewephoric Publishing
Publication Date: December 2022
Number of Pages: 342
ISBN: 9780999539491 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BL42NBFY (Kindle edition)
Series: The Annalisse series, Book 4
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Praise for Copper Waters:

“Marlene M. Bell’s COPPER WATERS is a well-written murder mystery with descriptive scenes, an intriguing setting, and enough push and pull between the characters and within the plot to keep readers engaged.”
~ IndieReader

“Marlene M. Bell is a master storyteller when it comes to the cozy mystery genre.”
~ Book Review Directory

Copper Waters is an entertaining and fast-paced mystery, where small-town intrigue, family drama, and a high-stakes whodunit will deepen readers’ affection for the tenacious Annalisse.”
~ Self-Publishing Review

Copper Waters is emotional and thrilling, surprising and life-changing.”
~ Review by Book Excellence

Copper Waters Trailer:

Author Bio:

Marlene M. Bell

Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep on a ranch in wooded East Texas with her husband, Gregg.

Marlene’s Annalisse series boasts numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romantic suspense are found at her websites or at online retail outlets.

She also offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

Catch Up With Marlene M. Bell:
BookBub – @dorsetgalwrites
Instagram – @marlenemysteries
Twitter – @ewephoric
Facebook – @marlenembell
YouTube – @marlenebell4960

Tour Participants:

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


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

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Guest Post: Kelly Irvin – A DEADLY WILDERNESS

Hello book people. As the weather warms across the United States, people’s minds turn to various outdoor activities: visiting local parks, cookouts with family and friends, boating, swimming, hiking, warm weather sports, or just sitting in the sun. Authors have the unenviable task of crafting a setting and describing it in a way that the reader can picture it in their minds, even if they’ve never been to that particular location. The setting and action have to be realistic, or at least plausible, for me to gain any enjoyment from the story. I’m pleased to welcome back to the blog, Kelly Irvin, as she celebrates the re-release of her suspense thriller, A Deadly Wilderness. Today, Ms. Irvin will be sharing with us her thoughts on setting and character. Thank you, Ms. Irvin, for this return visit. I’m looking forward to learning more about setting and character. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

Park setting, Swoon-worthy Cop Combine for One-Two Punch in A Deadly Wilderness
By Kelly Irvin

Readers often want to know how I get my ideas for my romantic suspense novels. It can be a difficult question. Sometimes I find a kernel of a story in a newspaper article or a TV news piece. Sometimes it simply comes to me while I’m washing dishes or taking a shower. That’s not the case with A Deadly Wilderness. With this novel, the setting(s) drove the story development, and the hero barged into my brain from an earlier unpublished manuscript. I simply had to figure out what to do with these two elements.

Here’s how it started. I worked as the public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for more than 20 years. The city has myriad of beautiful parks ranging from large, historic parks that date back to the 1800s to small neighborhood parks crowded with amenities, to sports complexes to a few virtually undeveloped wilderness areas. It occurred to me that especially the latter would make great spots to pounce on an unsuspecting victim with murderous intent. They also would make lovely places to stow bodies where they won’t be found for a long time. Because that’s the way a crime novelist thinks. The PR manager in me didn’t necessarily think it was a great idea, but the writer in charge off-the-clock loved it.

Then there was my hero Ray Johnson. I never intended for this cowboy from East Texas turned homicide detective to be a leading man. I actually created him as a sidekick to a hero in an earlier novel (which was never published). This homicide detective needed a partner so I gave him Ray. But Ray refused to remain in the background. He kept hogging the scenes. He proved himself to be everything a hero should be—brave, loyal, smart, loving, kind, and yep, good-looking. But he was a cowboy from East Texas, and I’d never even been in that neck of the woods. It didn’t matter. Ray was the closest thing to a swoon-worthy leading man I’d ever written so I gave him a novel of his own.

Then all I had to do was find a suitable plot to test the man to his limits. That’s when the fun really began. I love writing villains, and Lalo is the most dastardly villain I’ve ever written—and I’ve created some doozies. Lalo is a paid assassin who truly enjoys his job. They say characters—even the bad guys—should never be flat. In other words, all good or all bad. Lalo has at least one good quality. He loves his wife. No matter how busy he is pursuing a victim, he tries to make it home for meals. He knows she’s lonely in a town where she has no family or friends, and he worries about her. That’s about it, though. Otherwise, he’s a stone-cold sociopath.

So what about the heroine? It’s important to create as many problems for a hero as possible, right? Ray’s a widower, and it’s taken a long time for him to get over his wife’s death. Finally, he falls for Suzanne. Suzanne is a widow who lost her firefighting husband in a fire. She’s not interested in a relationship with another man who puts his life on the line every day. Did I mention that Suzanne is the sister of Ray’s boss, who is very protective of his grieving sibling? Cue the conflict.

It’s no wonder I had such a good time writing A Deadly Wilderness. I hope reading it will be equally enjoyable. One final note: San Antonio parks are very safe places for family fun. I don’t work for the Parks Department anymore, but the PR manager in me just had to point that out for the record! ♦

A Deadly Wilderness

by Kelly Irvin

May 22 – June 16, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


A Deadly Wilderness by Kelly Irvin

A frantic anonymous crisis center hot-line call propels counselor Susana Martinez-Acosta smack into the center of a murder investigation and a homicide detective’s arms. Exactly where she doesn’t want to be. Following the tragic death of her husband, she’s struggled to build a safe haven for herself and her son. That new world doesn’t include hit men and persistent detectives with dangerous jobs.

An idyllic wilderness hike turns deadly when homicide detective Ray Johnson tumbles into a ravine and lands on a corpse later identified as the son of a prominent citizen. Ray works to solve the political hot potato murder before city leaders bumps him from the case. His determination to find the man’s killer leads him from the wealthiest enclaves in San Antonio to the city’s dark underbelly, all the while trying to win the woman he loves.

A Deadly Wilderness is a romantic suspense novel that will take the reader along on a tumultuous journey as the consuming need for material wealth drives a deadly wedge among family members who haven’t learned when enough really is enough.

The journey ends where it began—in a deadly wilderness. Not everyone will survive the trip.

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Ally Press
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Number of Pages: 388
ISBN: 9781953290229 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BZX54S1G (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is the author of more than 30 Amish romance and romantic suspense novels. She has penned eight critically acclaimed romantic suspense novels, including Trust Me, which debuted in 2022. Publisher’s Weekly said of the novel: “(In this) whirlwind romantic thriller . . . Irvin follows the characters through twists and turns, writing through the lens of faith and broken faith, while illuminating a bridge across shattered relationships to second chances.” Her latest novel is A Deadly Wilderness, released May 23, 2023, from Ally Press.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than 30 years, including 10 years as a newspaper reporter. She retired in 2016 after working 22 years in public relations for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. She is a member of ACFW and Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband make their home in South Texas. They are the parents of two children and the grandparents of four grandchildren. In her spare time, Kelly reads, writes poetry and short stories, and spends time with her grandchildren as often as possible.

Catch Up With Kelly Irvin:
BookBub – @KellyIrvin
Twitter – @Kelly_S_Irvin
Instagram – @Kelly_Irvin
Facebook – @Kelly.Irvin.Author

Tour Participants:

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Guest Post: James McCrone – BASTARD VERDICT

Good day, book people. As most of you know by now, I’m an avid reader. I strive to read a book each day and on a good day, with a few fast-paced reads, I might actually hit two books for the day. One of the many things I’ve learned since starting this blog is that authors do a ton of research for their writings. If a book is set back in time, then the author must research the political clime of the time, the language used during that period, as well as the correct fashion, foods, eating utensils, and housing. The same holds true if an author is setting a book in a different country. Language and slang usage isn’t the same in the United Kingdom as it is here in the United States, even though both countries supposedly have English as their official language. I’m incredibly pleased to welcome back to the blog, James McCrone, author of Bastard Verdict. Mr. McCrone will be discussing with us the assistance of others in his research and writing. Thank you, Mr. McCrone, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to rejoin us today. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

It Takes a Village
by James McCrone

The writer needs a combination of arrogance and humility—arrogance to carry you over the bad spells of imposter syndrome and worse, and humility about the work itself, and your own limitations. Research is key, and taking editorial advice on board when the time comes is a must. But during the writing, there must be a balance.

I’ve written elsewhere about my difficulties in letting go. But I’m not quite a control freak. It’s true that most of the work of putting words onto the page is done alone. But just as it takes a village to bring up a child, it also takes a village to bring out a book. I look to all kinds of people for help as the book develops. And setting Bastard Verdict in Scotland made the collaborative effort more necessary.

My first reader, biggest fan, and harshest critic is my wife, Lisa. Before dinner, I’ll often print out the pages I wrote during the #5amwritersclub for her to read. (I work 9 to 5 at my day job, and so need to write in the wee hours of the morning—usually 5 am to 8 am—before heading off to work.) She’ll note inconsistencies, or things she likes, or question why a character does something, and I’ll take her comments and suggestions under advisement for the following morning when I make a new start. Generally, I start my writing day with minor edits to the previous day’s writing before continuing. And sometimes I delete the whole previous day’s work.

My protagonist, FBI Agent Imogen Trager, is a woman, and I look to my wife and daughters to make sure my descriptions, her inner thoughts and her portrayal ring true. With Bastard Verdict, I added yet another degree of difficulty. Imogen is an American in Scotland.

Though I lived in Scotland as a boy, and have been back many times, I was keenly aware that my own American-ness might inadvertently throw in something implausible or somehow “off.” I sought out a Scottish editor for Bastard Verdict, suggested by another friend there, to make sure my depictions, descriptions, and insights rang true. I also pressed Scottish friends into service. When I needed insight into the workings and intricacies of the British constitution, I reached out to a scholar I know at the University of Edinburgh. For help finding a good editor in Scotland, I reached out to another friend, a professor at the University of Glasgow.

My books deal with sometimes arcane political rules or institutions. I don’t put all my research on the page, but I need to understand it thoroughly to write about it convincingly. I’ve found that academics are very giving of their time, and they’re pleased to offer insight and expertise when you can give them focused, specific questions. (I also leaned heavily on insights from a Political Science professor and Electoral College scholar for my first book, Faithless Elector). In Bastard Verdict, I showed a crucial scene to a British constitutional scholar for review and comment. I needed to make sure I wasn’t going off the rails, and that I had it right. Or at least plausible. He offered some tweaks and explanations that I worked into the book. I was grateful for the help.

In another instance, I was having trouble thinking of a place where Imogen and her friends could hide out for a few days. While I lived in Scotland as a boy, I don’t know the country as well as some friends do. So, I asked another friend in Scotland if Alyth was a good place for my fictional purposes. He not only said that it was, but he quoted from a poem about the little town, a snippet of which I duly put into the book.

Finally, like the child raised by the village, the book is ready to face the world. Like the child, the book is as ready as it will be, and holding it back will only harm it. ♦

Bastard Verdict

by James McCrone

May 15 – June 9, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Bastard Verdict by James McCrone


In politics, people cheat to win, or because they’re afraid to lose. Which isn’t always the same thing. A second referendum on Scottish Independence looms, an unlikely investigator uncovers meddling in the first, and desperate conspirators panic, with deadly results. Bastard Verdict weaves high stakes, low politics, and complex characters into a noir tale of power, loss and Faustian bargains.

When a Scottish government official enlists FBI Elections Specialist, Imogen Trager (on research leave at the University of Glasgow) in the fall of 2023 to look into the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum—ostensibly as a means of ensuring that a possible second referendum will be conducted fairly—he claims that he wants an outsider’s unencumbered view.

The government official may not be what he seems, and the trail Imogen follows becomes twisted and deadly, leading to a corrupt cabal intent on holding on to power.

But they didn’t count on Imogen, a feisty, conflicted and driven investigator who goes strictly by the numbers, if rarely by the book. To find the truth, Imogen will risk everything—her reputation, career, and possibly her life. None but a very few know that truth. And those few need it to stay hidden. At any cost.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery-Crime, Thillers
Published by: Hernes Road Books
Publication Date: May 2023
Number of Pages: 293
ISBN: 9780999137741

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads

Author Bio:

James McCrone

James McCrone is the author of the Faithless Elector series—Faithless Elector, Dark Network, and Emergency Powers—”taut” and “gripping” political thrillers about a stolen presidency. Bastard Verdict is his fourth novel. To get the details right for this thriller, he drew on his boyhood in Scotland, and scouted the locations for scenes in the book while attending Bloody Scotland in 2019 and again in ’22.

His short stories have appeared in Rock and a Hard Place; Retreats from Oblivion: The Journal of NoirCon, and in the short-story anthology Low Down Dirty Vote, vols.2 and 3.

He’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Int’l Assoc. of Crime Writers, Philadelphia Dramatists’ Center and he’s the vice-president of the Delaware Valley Sisters in Crime chapter. A Pacific Northwest native (mostly), he lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and three children. James has an MFA from the University of Washington, in Seattle.

Catch Up With James McCrone:
BookBub – @JamesMcCrone
Instagram – @james.mccrone
Twitter – @jamesmccrone4
Facebook – @FaithlessElector

Tour Participants:

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Book Blast: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY by Elizabeth Pantley

The Disappearance of Emily

by Elizabeth Pantley

May 23, 2023 Book Blast


The Disappearance of Emily by Elizabeth Pantley

A magic mirror. An enchanted world. A mysterious missing mother. A suspicious package. An unexplained death. A community of strange, quirky people. A sassy cat and a hilarious, perpetually annoyed witch. Come visit Destiny Falls and escape to a great time.

…Hayden’s life was normal until she fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, and the amazing mansion she lives in changes to meet the needs of the people who live there, including her! Every day she discovers a new enchantment.

But something is amiss. Hayden gets an ominous warning from a strange woman, who promises to tell her the town secrets and give her a package – if she’ll meet her at the mysterious ferry that lacks a published destination. The ferry visit is cancelled, but the package is delivered. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead. Then the suspicious episodes start, too many to call them coincidences. She and her family are targeted and in danger.

Who or what is causing the chaos? All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away? Can she learn more about the secrets kept for her lifetime? With the help of her sassy sidekick cat, and a host of new family and friends, Hayden finds herself surrounded with support as she solves the mystery of the death and learns secrets about herself.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Better Beginnings, Inc.
Publication Date: March 2021
Number of Pages: 208
ISBN: 9798495587342 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0B9T14TP2 (Audible Audiobook)
ASIN: B08MDZDQY7 (Kindle edition)
Series: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series, Book 2
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Goodreads

Praise for The Disappearance of Emily:

‘Intriguing and totally unputdownable, it draws you in from the word go, and you will not want to leave until it chucks you at “The End.”‘
~ Carol, Goodreads

“Will blow you away!”
~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

Read an excerpt:


The mountain trail was tricky. I was moving slowly through the deep snow. I knew the lake had to be nearby. It was important to find it, but I could barely see ten feet in front of me due to the storm. The trail was steep and slippery, and I was making my way using trekking poles to assess where I should step next. My hands and feet were cold. I heard Latifa calling out to me. Where was she? What was she saying?

“Good morning, Sunshine!” Her lilting voice woke me from my dream. “Happy one-month-a-versary!”

It’s amazing how accustomed I’d grown to my cat’s telepathic voice in my head. I squinted at my fluffy Himalayan sidekick. She was sitting beside me on the bed. I stretched out my arms and gave an extra-loud yawn in her direction, hoping she’d get the hint that she had woken me up.

“Message received. Woke you up. So sorry. Got it.” She squinted at me and whispered, “Not sorry.”

I yawned at her again.

“Bet you forgot today is one month from the earth-shattering day we arrived in Destiny Falls.” Her big, baby blues were focused on me, and her whiskers were twitching. “I have appointed myself Keeper of Your Calendar. You can be so forgetful about celebratory dates.” She shook her furry head as if it were impossible to believe.

I gave another exaggerated stretch and reached over to the bedside table. With a flourish, I presented her with a small, gift-wrapped package.

“Squeeee! You remembered!” She head-butted my face and spun a little circle on the bed, then turned to tear open the package. There was more squealing as she discovered her new, feathered cat toy.

I patted my sidekick’s head and tossed my legs over the side of the bed. A glance at my phone confirmed that Latifa-the-alarm-clock was right on time. I needed to get changed and meet Axel downstairs for a morning jog into town. He was often too busy with work to join me in the morning, so it was a wonderful treat to have some extra time with my newfound brother.

My brother. How I loved the sound of that. After a lifetime as an only child in a tiny three-person family, finding out that I had siblings and a large hidden family was monumental. Add to that a mysterious, magical new world, and I was floating on cloud nine.

The only dark spot was missing my family and my best friend, Luna. I was still trying to figure out how to tell them about Destiny Falls. I’d have to sort this out soon, since my cover story of a working trip to Denmark was nearing its expiration. A month overseas was feasible, but as the timeline continued, I’d need to address my disappearance.

My Nana and Granana would be happy that I was happy. They’d been my biggest cheerleaders my entire life. They always said my happiness mattered most to them. Both my parents disappeared the week I was born, so my grandmother and great-grandmother jumped into raising me. They were dedicated to the job, with an enthusiasm that was a complete contrast to their tiny, delicate appearances. Luna and I referred to them as the Mighty Minis, which was an apt description.

Figuring out how to explain that I wasn’t really in Denmark, but in a magical, hidden town in an unknown location was a whole new ball of wax. Especially since the town was finicky about who it revealed itself to. Any e-mails or texts I attempted to send explaining my location, disappeared into the ether in a wisp of bounces— undeliverable, message not sent, connection lost. Even phone calls suddenly lost the signal. Maybe Axel, my brother—deep sigh of joy—could help me solve this problem.


I turned on the movie channel for Latifa, my furry little movie buff, tucked my ponytail through the back of my baseball cap, and headed out. I strolled slowly down the hallway, so I could absorb the beauty of this amazing home.

Hmm. That was odd. Where was the window seat? It was usually somewhere in my hallway, but it was oddly absent. There was a glorious swatch of sunlight, which is where it normally would be lounging. I snickered. Imagine that. A window seat that can lounge in the sun. Magic touched the Caldwell Crest home in the most interesting ways.

Caldwell Crest is a masterpiece of design. It could be described as a cozy, mansion-sized mountain cabin. I felt embraced by the sweeping staircase made of polished wood. I loved the plank wood floors and ceilings and the gorgeous but understated chandeliers. I adored the stone fireplaces that soared all the way up to the tall ceilings. The earthy colors of the décor were soothing. Even after a month, I was still adjusting to the fact that it was now where I lived.

The home was enchanting. I could almost believe the rumors that it was originally built as a castle back in the 1800s and magically remodeled many times. It’s difficult to understand Caldwell Crest and the mysterious place that was Destiny Falls, especially since the definition seemed to always be changing.

It had been a wild ride of a month since I’d been thrown through a portal and landed here.

Destiny Falls is different from any place I’ve ever known before. I had to let go of my preconceived notions of what defines a town. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that the town isn’t on any map and isn’t accessible by normal means.

You must be called here by either the home or the town. Then you whoosh through time and space, to the accompaniment of a flash of brilliant light, as you tumble through a mirror. It’s a one-way trip. Once you’re here, you are, well . . . “trapped” is a harsh word for such a lovely place. However, it’s accurate. I cannot choose to leave. Destiny Falls controls the comings and goings.

I feel a bit like Alice falling through the mirror into wonderland. Albeit a much nicer wonderland than Alice had to deal with.

I’ve figured out that’s it’s easier if I just go with the flow and don’t try to understand all the nuances of this place.


Excerpt from The Disappearance of Emily by Elizabeth Pantley.
Copyright 2023 by Elizabeth Pantley.
Reproduced with permission from Elizabeth Pantley.
All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents, published in over twenty languages.

She simultaneously writes the well-loved Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic book series and the new Magical Mystery Book Club series.

Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest, the gorgeous inspiration for the setting in many of her books.

Catch Up With Elizabeth Pantley:
BookBub – @DestinyFalls
Instagram – @destinyfallsmystery
Facebook – @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic

Tour Participants:

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Guest Post: Kelly Oliver – COVERT IN CAIRO

Greetings, my bookish peeps. I often find it amazing that we can travel the world and even back in time simply by opening a book. As readers, we can borrow a book from our local library system or purchase a book from our local indie bookseller and travel the globe. Readers reap the benefit of untold numbers of hours of research done by the writer. I, for one, am incredibly grateful that writers are so diligent in their research and incorporate the knowledge they’ve gained via this research into their writings. One such writer is Kelly Oliver. Ms. Oliver is the author of the recently released, Covert in Cairo, and she joins us today to discuss the research she made into early twentieth-century Cairo. Thank you, Ms. Oliver, for joining us today. I can’t wait to learn more about your research and writing.

Banner with Guest Post in a script font under a line and with a stack of books over the word "guest"

Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane’s latest adventure, Covert in Cairo, takes them to… you guessed it. Cairo! This is the only place Fiona has been that I haven’t. I’m so jealous. But I sent to her Cairo at the end of the pandemic, and I had to settle for a trip to Cairo in my imagination.

As a result, I did a ton of research for the book. And I had so much fun learning about the history of Cairo and the place of Egypt in the First World War. I especially enjoyed reading about the grand hotels of Cairo.

In Covert in Cairo, Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane stay in Shepheard’s Hotel. I first heard of Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo in the novels of Elizabeth Peters. Her Amelia Peabody Mysteries are set in Egypt, and they were a huge influence on Fiona Figg. I absolutely love Amelia Peabody, especially as read in the audiobook by the incredible voice artist Barbara Rosenblatt.

I’m thrilled that in a month, at Malice Domestic, I get to dress up at Amelia Peabody as part of the celebration of Elizabeth Peter’s mysteries. I have my pith helmet and my red parasol with matching outfit. I’m just waiting for the lace-up boots to arrive. It’s going to be so much fun.

Amelia always spoke so fondly of her times at Shepheard’s.

Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo was built in 1841 by Englishman Samuel Shepheard. By the end of the 19th Century, it was known throughout the world as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, and the first to have private bathrooms in each of its guestrooms. Its corridors were large enough to turn a four-horse carriage. And it was famous for its open-air terrace.

It was said, if you sat there long enough, you’d see the entire world pass by.

With lush gardens, a private zoo, grand granite pillars, magnificent stained-glass windows, and was adorned with colorful tapestries and Persian carpets, it was one of the finest hotels in the world. Weekly balls with evening gowns and dress uniforms were a must for ex-pats.

The hotel had many famous guests, including Theodore Roosevelt, T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Gertrude Bell, Winston Churchill, and the Prince of Wales, among many others. Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell have supporting roles in Covert in Cairo.

I read fantastic stories of the Prince of Wales hitting golf balls in the garden, to Winston Churchill forgetting his hat and claiming it a decade later with the same claim ticket.

I also enjoyed researching the food of Egypt. Wherever she travels—at the encouragement of her more worldly friend Clifford—Fiona tries the local cuisine. In this department, I’m a lot more adventurous than Fiona.

Still, Fiona likes to eat. I mean, who doesn’t, right? And good food is a staple of cozy mysteries. I love to include recipes in my newsletter for the food Fiona tries on her various missions.

In Cairo, she was especially taken with the pudding course or dessert. And her sidekick, Kitty Lane is famous for her sweet tooth. Kitty’s favorites are Konafa, a warm dessert made of vermicelli-like strands of dough and either custard or warm milk and nuts, and Om Ali or fragrant Egyptian Bread Pudding, a simple pudding made from special bread, milk, and butter, possibly topped with rose petals and pistachios.

Not as adventurous as Kitty, Fiona’s perennial favorite snack is a few slices of toast served with a whole pot of marmalade and a strong cup of tea.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry! Time for a snack. ♦

Covert in Cairo

by Kelly Oliver

April 24 – May 19, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Covert in Cairo by Kelly Oliver

1917 Cairo.

Ancient mummies aren’t the only bodies buried in the tombs of Cairo.

The notorious Fredrick Fredricks has lured Fiona to Egypt with a cryptic threat on the Suez Canal.

But when a cheeky French archeologist is murdered, and an undercover British agent goes missing, the threat moves closer to home.

Is the notorious Fredrick Fredricks behind the murders? Or is the plot even more sinister?

Competing excavators, jealous husbands, secret lovers, and belligerent spies are the leading suspects.

As they dig deeper, soon Fiona and Kitty are up to their donkeys in dead bodies.

If they can’t unwind the clues and catch the killer, they might end up sharing a sarcophagus with Nefertiti.

With humor as dry as the Arabian desert, and pacing as fast as a spitting camel, Fiona and Kitty are back in another sparkling adventure, this time in WW1 Egypt.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: April 2023
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781804831700 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BMF2YYQM (Kindle edition)
ASIN: B0BXYT5XKB (Audible audiobook)
Series: A Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mystery, 2 (These are Stand-Alone Mysteries)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


“Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and Maisie Dobbs.”

“Tantalizing and riveting with a good dose of humor while keeping the heartbreaking reality of war in the mix.”
The Los Angeles Post

“A clever mix of humor and espionage that will keep you turning the pages and laughing all the way!”
Dianne Freeman, author the Countess of Harleigh mysteries.

“A perfect blend of wit, fun, and intrigue.”
Debra Goldstein, Author of the Sarah Blair Cozy Mysteries

“The perfect wartime spy: Fiona Figg. Smart, sneaky, and full of surprises… A fun whodunit that will keep you turning the pages!”
Cathi Stoler, author of The Murder On The Rocks Mysteries

“Fun, easy-to-read, witty mystery that had me happily turning the pages.”
Melissa’s Bookshelf

“Humor, action, and intrigue. I found myself thoroughly entertained.”
Urban Book Reviews

Covert in Cairo Trailer:

Author Bio:

Kelly Oliver

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning and bestselling author of three mystery series: the seven-book suspense series, The Jessica James Mysteries; the three-book middle-grade kids’ series, Pet Detective Mysteries; and the four-book historical cozy series, The Fiona Figg Mysteries, inspired by those trips to the Green Hills Library.

Currently, Kelly is the Vice President of Sisters in Crime.

When she’s not writing novels, Kelly is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

To learn more about Kelly and her books, go to:
BookBub – @KellyOliverBook
Instagram – @kellyoliverbook
Twitter – @kellyoliverbook
Facebook – @kellyoliverauthor

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: IF I HAD A HAMMER by Teresa Trent

If I Had a Hammer

by Teresa Trent

May 1-26, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


If I Had a Hammer by Teresa Trent

A new job, a brutal murder, and Camelot has ended.

In 1963, Dot Morgan’s life was changed forever. She witnessed the assassination of John F Kennedy through the lens of her boxy Kodak Instamatic camera, bringing traumatic aftereffects of the brutality that happened as they stood on the parade route in Dallas.

She starts her first real secretarial job with a boss who has no sympathy for her trauma. When Dot’s only work friend has a mysterious accident at a demolition site, she digs around on her own only to find very little love between two brothers and no one hammering out justice to find a murderer.

The suspects are all around Dot and as she tries to sift through their motives, her cousin Ellie is going through PTSD on her own, losing interest in work, and her fiancé all the while quoting some of JFK’s finest speeches.

With so much change in her world, can Dot still tell the difference between good and evil?

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: March 2023
Number of Pages: 230
ISBN: 9781685123017 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BWPJFY5T (Kindle edition)
Series: The Swinging Sixties Mystery Series, Book 2 | Each is a stand-alone

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Ellie screamed, making the driver jump. “Right here! Stop here,” Ellie said as she passed bills from the back seat to the front.

I looked up over a light brown building with straight white letters reading Texas School Book Depository. Above it was an ad for Hertz Rent-a-Car with a clock attached to it. It was straight up noon. The crowd was thickening as people found places to stand in a grassy area next to the street. It was almost as if the original landscaper had known this historic day would take place and designed the gradual slope along the road. According to the newspaper, Kennedy’s motorcade would arrive soon, and I felt the excitement building as we prepared to join the crowd. I pulled my arms through my sweater.

Ellie extended a hand to help me out of the yellow Checker cab. “Are you ready?”

“Oh yes. Let’s go over there.” I pointed to one of the few open spots next to the curb. “Hurry, before someone else gets it. I just hope we can hold the spot. There are some pretty big guys who might want to stand in front of us.”

Ellie smirked. “You know what I always say. ‘Knee them in the crotch and they sing a new song.'”

“Seriously, Ellie. I’m not attacking some poor man just so I can stand in front.”

“You’re right. I was trying to sound sophisticated Maybe not here but remember that. It may come in handy someday.”

I had decided to wear a new pair of black heels and felt them wobbling. We crossed the street and grabbed our spot just in time, causing another viewer to crowd in next to us. The smell of cigarette smoke circled us as people fiddled with cameras and readjusted black-rimmed glasses.

“Jack Kennedy is so handsome.” Ellie placed her hand over her heart, popping it on her chest like a heartbeat. “Too bad he’s already taken.”

“Stop.” I laughed. “I believe you’re already taken as well. Didn’t I hear something about you and Al getting married next June?”

Ellie gave a sweet smile as her eyes drifted upward. “I can’t believe that either. June. That’s just a little more than six months away.”

“Well, you deserve the happiness coming your way.” I patted my cousin’s shoulder. Ellie was in her thirties, practically spinsterhood in 1963. Finding Al, the electrician, had been the best thing for her. Love and marriage. It filled me with warmth. We were all living the American dream just like the characters in our favorite movies at the Rialto theater. The lyrics of “Young at Heart” drifted through my mind.

I sang a few lines from the song.

Ellie linked her arm with mine as she watched the street. A few cars drove by, but none that looked like a presidential motorcade. The breeze drifted across my exposed knees. A longer skirt would have shielded my knees, but I would endure the shivers for the sake of fashion.

“Ellie, did you see that picture of Jackie in the paper? She’s gorgeous. I saw her tour of the White House on TV. She’s so classy and looks beautiful in everything she wears.”

“Except she talks funny,” Ellie said, her Texas drawl turning “talks” into “tawks.”

“That’s because she’s from the East. She can’t help it. I’ll bet she thinks Texans talk funny. I’m sure they hear a lot of Texas twang coming from LBJ and Ladybird.”

“But that’s just music to anyone’s ears,” Ellie said. “Be serious.”

I glanced up and down the parade route. “Ben said he was going to be here. Maybe he’s farther down the street.” I pulled out my new Kodak Instamatic and hooked the leather strap around my neck. I raised the camera up to my eyes. “I hope I can get a clear picture of Jackie and John.”

“Listen to you. You talk like you know them,” Ellie laughed. “Jackie and John.”

“Well, in a way, I feel like I do. They’re America’s perfect family. I love them all. Jackie, John, Caroline, John-John.”

Ellie sighed and then drew in an excited breath with her hands clenched in front of her. “This is so exciting.” People continued to crowd up to the curb. A tall man in a brown plaid sport coat, holding binoculars up to his black boxy glasses, elbowed me to move over. I could feel tension in the air that comes when people anticipate witnessing something spectacular.

Just then, a line of shiny black cars came into view, ambling down the street in our direction. The breeze turned into a slight wind. I leaned forward and squinted, trying to identify who was in each vehicle. I felt my heart race as I recognized John and Jackie Kennedy sitting in the back seat as the car was surrounded by men on motorcycles. She was stunning in a pink wool suit and matching hat. I felt special knowing Jackie and I had worn the same color on this memorable day. She, of course, looked so much better. John had a healthy tan and a wide smile on his face.

I raised my camera and willed the man in the brown plaid coat not to step in front of me. This was a moment I was sure we would always remember. I hoped I could wind the film cartridge fast enough to take several pictures. Maybe they would want to use them in the Camden Courier? I wanted a good one of John, and another of Jackie. Just like real people, I thought but really, they looked like royalty, sitting in the open top limousine with policemen on motorcycles riding silently alongside—sort of a mobile palace guard. When the hood of the limousine was directly in front of me, I brought the Instamatic up and clicked to take a picture. I rolled the film to the next frame, took another, and repeated the process. Suddenly, I heard a popping sound somewhere behind me. I rolled the film lever with my thumb, now an automatic action, then turned toward the sound, only to see people scrambling and running to higher ground. The sound I heard wasn’t a pop. It was a gunshot. I looked back toward the motorcade and stood in horror as a man crawled over the back of the open convertible and the thing that caught my attention was the splotches of red invading Jackie’s beautiful pink suit. John Kennedy no longer sat smiling in front of me but was down in the seat on Jackie’s lap.


Excerpt from If I Had a Hammer by Teresa Trent.
Copyright 2023 by Teresa Trent.
Reproduced with permission from Teresa Trent.
All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent is the author of over 15 books. She started writing cozy mysteries with the Pecan Bayou and Piney Woods Mystery Series. She sets her stories in different geographical areas of Texas and The Swinging Sixties historical series is set just north of Dallas, starting in 1962. You might think with so many books set in the Lone Star state, she was born there, but no. She has lived all over the world, thanks to her father’s career in the army. After living in Texas for twenty-five years, she’s finally put down roots.

Teresa is a hybrid author, self-publishing early in her career, which led her to traditional publishing with Level Best Books and Camel Press. She is the author of several short stories that have appeared in a host of anthologies. Teresa publishes the blog and podcast, Books to the Ceiling at where she loves to read the book excerpts of other writers and share in the writing community.

Teresa is a member of Sisters in Crime and lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son.

Catch Up With Teresa:
Books to the Ceiling Podcast
BookBub – @TeresaTrent
Instagram – @teresatrent_cozymys
Twitter – @ttrent_cozymys
Facebook – @teresatrentmysterywriter

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