Showcase: SUSPENSE Magazine

Suspense Magazine
by John Raab
on Tour June 2015


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Suspense Magazine is an all digital magazine that was founded in 2007. We publish short stories, interviews, exclusive excerpts, articles and more. We have also in the past published alternate endings to very popular books, IE: Sara Paretsky’s book Critical Mass.

Suspense Magazine is chock full of stunning artwork, intriguing fiction, and interviews It’s a winner!”  —Tess Gerritsen, International Bestselling Author




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More About John:

John Raab founded Suspense Magazine in 2007. Also the host of three radio shows on Suspense Radio Network (Inside Edition, One on One, and Beyond The Cover) also the producer for two more shows, Crime and Science Radio and The Story Blender.


The CEO / Publisher of Suspense Publishing a book publisher that publishes #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Paul Kemprecos, along with several other authors.



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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for John Raab & Suspense Magazine. There will be 1 ebook winner of Cornerstone by JM Leduc, 1 ebook winner of The Lone Wolf by Joseph Badal, and 1 winner of the next e-release of Suspense Magazine. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through July 3rd, 2015.


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Book Blast/Showcase Post: THE JONES MEN by Vern E. Smith





The Jones Men: 40th Anniversary Edition


by Vern E. Smith


Book Blast on August 4th, 2014








Book Details:



Genre: Crime


Published by: Rosarium Publishing 


Publication Date: May 2014 


Number of Pages: 264 


ISBN: 978-0989141185 


Purchase Links:    




Synopsis:



DETROIT, 1974

To become the King, you have to take the crown. It won’t be given up lightly. Heroin kingpin, Willis McDaniel, has been wearing that particular piece of jewelry for far too long, and youngblood, Lennie Jack, thinks it would look really good on his head. When a junkie tells Jack about a big delivery, the young Vietnam vet makes his move. Feeling his empire crumble, McDaniel puts the word out to find whoever’s responsible. The hunt is on, the battle is engaged, and the streets of Detroit run red with blood.

In 1974 Vern E. Smith took the crime fiction world by storm with his debut novel, The Jones Men. Heralded as “a large accomplishment in the art of fiction” by the New York Times, The Jones Men went on to be nominated for an Edgar Award and became a New York Times Notable Book. The art of crime fiction has never been the same since.



Read an excerpt:

Profane language alert!

For Bennie Lee Sims’ wake, Lennie Jack chose the sky-blue Fleetwood with the chromed-up bumpers and the bar-line running from the trunk to the dash, dispensing six different liquors with chaser.

Joe Red brought the car to a halt in front of Fraser’s Funeral Parlor on Madison Boulevard. He backed it in between a red El Dorado with a diamond-shaped rear window and a pink Lincoln with a leopard-skin roof.

Lennie Jack wore a medium-length Afro and had thick wide sideburns that grew neatly into the ends of a bushy moustache drooping over his top lip. He got out of the passenger seat in a manner that favored his left shoulder. He had on a cream-colored suede coat that stopped just below the knee, and a .38 in his waistband.

Joe Red was shorter and thinner and younger than Lennie Jack. He got his nickname for an extremely light complexion and a thick curly bush of reddish brown hair; it spilled from under the wide-brimmed black hat cocked low over his right ear. He had on the black leather midi with the red-stitched cape; he had a .45 automatic in his waistband.

They came briskly down the sidewalk and went up the six concrete steps to the entrance of Fraser’s.

An attendant in a somber gray suit and dark tie greeted them at the door.

“We’re here for Bennie Sims,” Joe Red said.

“Come this way,” the attendant said.

He guided them down a narrow hallway past a knot of elderly black women waiting to file into one of the viewing rooms flanking the hall on either side. The hallway reeked of death; the women wept.

They passed three more doors before the attendant led them left at the end of the hall and down a short flight of stairs. A single 60-watt bulb illuminated the lower level. The attendant went past the row of ebony- and silver-colored caskets stacked near the staircase and stopped at a door in the back of the room.

“They’re in there,” he said. He turned and headed back up the stairs. Lennie Jack rapped softly at the door. They stood a few feet back from the doorway to be recognizable in the dim light.

The door cracked.

“This Bennie Lee?” Lennie Jack said.

“Yeah, this it,” said a voice behind the crack.

A man with wavy black hair in a white mink jacket and red knicker boots let them in. He relocked the door.

The room smelled of cigarette smoke. A row of silver metal chairs had been stacked in a neat line on one side, but most of the people come to pay their respects were scattered in the back in tight little clusters, talking and laughing.

At the front of the long room, near a small table of champagne bottles, Bennie Lee Sims’ tuxedo-clad body lay in a silver-colored coffin with a bright satin lining.

His face was dusty with a fine white powder.

Lennie Jack walked over to the coffin. He dipped his fingers in the silver tray of cocaine on top and sprinkled it over Bennie Lee.

Joe Red stepped up behind him and tried to find a spot that wasn’t covered. He finally decided on the lips and scattered a handful of the fine white crystalline powder around Bennie Lee’s mouth and chin.

They moved through the crowd, shaking hands and greeting people. Almost everybody had come to see Bennie Lee off.

The Ware brothers were there: Willie, the oldest at twenty-four; Simmy, who was twenty; and June, who often swaggered as if he were the elder of the clan but still had the baby-smooth face and look of wide-eyed adolescence. He was seventeen.

Pretty Boy Sam was standing in one corner with his right foot resting on one of the metal chairs. He had smooth brown skin and almost girlish features, topped off by a pointed Van Dyke beard. His good looks masked a violent temper.

Pretty Boy Sam had worn his full-length brown mink and brought his woman to pay his respects to Bennie Lee Sims, who had two neat bullet holes right between the eyes and underneath all the cocaine on his face.

Slim Williams was there with his woman. He was a tall, thin dark-skinned man whose left eye had been destroyed by an errant shotgun blast. He now wore a variety of gaily colored eye patches the way he had heard Sammy Davis did when he lost his eye. He had on a patch of bright green and red plaid and stood conversing on one side of the room with Hooker, Woody Woods, and Mack Lee.

Willis McDaniel was not there, but then, he never came. He had probably never considered it, but it was a source of irritation to the others.

Joe Red said, “Hey Jack, he the man. He don’t hafta come see nobody off if he don’t wanta come. Ain’t none of these people thinkin’ bout makin’ him come. Who gon make him come?”

“Why he can’t come like the rest of the people?” Lennie Jack said. “Has anybody ever thought of that, you reckon? He too big now to bring his ass out here to see a dude off? He probably had him ripped anyway. I don’t understand how these chumps let an old man like that just get in there and rule.”

“Now we both know how he got it,” Joe Red said. “He took it. He say, ‘Look, I’m gon be the man on this side of town cause I got my thing together and I got plenty big shit behind me. Now what you motherfuckers say?’ Everybody say, ‘You the man, Mister McDaniel.’ That’s the way he did it.”

“That is the way to take it from him, too.” Lennie Jack said. “We gon get lucky pretty soon. I think he can be had and I know just the way to do it. I got some people working on it. The first thing they teach you in the war is to fight fire with fire, you know?”

He took the tiny gold spoon on the chain around his neck and scooped a pinch of cocaine off the tray Joe Red handed him. He brought the spoon up to his right nostril and sniffed deeply.

The crowd was beginning to drift to the corner of the room where Slim Williams was holding court. Slim was thirty-seven, and much older than most of his audience. Lennie Jack was twenty-six, and Joe Red had just turned twenty-one three days ago.

Slim Williams had diamond rings on three fingers of his left hand, and he was waving them around in a dazzling display and talking about Joe the Grind.

“Joe used to walk into a bar with his dudes with him–he always carried these two dudes with him everywhere he went. He’d walk into a place fulla people and say, ‘I’m Joe the Grind, set up the bar! All pimps and players step up to the bar and bring your whores with you.'”

Slim Williams chuckled. “Then Joe would talk about ’em. He used to say, ‘You ain’t no pimp, nigger. What you doin’ up here? I ain’t buying no drinks for you. Sit down!'”

Slim Williams laughed; so did everybody else.

“Joe used to rayfield a chump bag dude too,” Slim Williams said. “He used to tell ’em ‘Just cause you got eight or nine hundred dollars worth of business don’t mean you somebody.’ Then Joe would throw a roll down that’d choke a Goddamn mule and tell the chump: ‘Looka here boy, I just had my man sell forty-two thousand dollars worth of heh-rawn, and I got twenty more joints to hear from fore midnight. Gon sit down somewhere, you don’t belong up here with no big dope men.'”

They laughed again and somebody passed the coke tray.

June Ware took his pinch and squared his toes in the eighty-dollar calfskin boots from Australia, via Perrin’s Men’s Shoppe on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

“What happened to Joe, Slim?” June Ware said.

“Oh, somebody shot ‘im in the head in an after-hours joint,” Slim Williams said. “And lemme tell you, you all shoulda been there to see Joe’s wake. It put this thing to shame. Compared to Joe’s, this thing ain’t nothing. This light-weight. They say there was coke in the block wrapped in foil and pure heh-rawn set out on silver trays with diamonds in the sides.”

“So they partied all night till twelve the next day, then they all went to Joe’s funeral. After the funeral was over, everybody got on the plane with his woman and went to Jamaica for two days.”

“Say what?” June Ware said.

“Yeah, that’s the truth,” Slim Williams said. “And you shoulda seen that funeral too. They say a broad came over from Chicago in a white-on-white El Dorado, and she was dressed in all white with a bad-ass mink round her shoulders. Then when she came out of the hotel the next day for Joe’s funeral, they say she was in all black. She went to the graveyard and threw one hundred roses on Joe. Then she got in her ride and split. Don’t nobody know who she was. When they had Joe’s funeral march, there was one hundred fifty big pieces lined up for blocks down Madison Boulevard. They pulled a brand new Brough-ham behind the hearse, and when the march was over they took the car out to the trash yard and crushed it.”

“Goddamn Slim!” June Ware said.

Mack Lee, who was twenty-two years old and decked out from the top of his big apple hat to the tip of his leather platforms in bright lavender, came their way with his woman on his arm.

The woman looked about nineteen; she wore diamond-studded earrings and a matching bracelet. She carried a tray of glasses and an unopened bottle of champagne.

“We oughta drink a toast to Bennie Lee,” Mack Lee said, “and ask the Lord how come he made him so stupid.”

The laughter rippled through the room; Mack Lee popped the cork in the champagne bottle and poured the rounds.

Trailor:




Author Bio:


A native of Natchez, Miss., Smith is a graduate of San Francisco State University, and the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He began his journalism career as a reporter for the Long Beach, Calif. Independent Press-Telegram.

From 1979 until 2002, Smith served as the Atlanta Bureau Chief and as a national correspondent for Newsweek.

Vern Smith’s work as a journalist, author and screenwriter spans four decades.



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Showcase post & Giveaway: THE ALMOND TREE by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
ISBN:  9781859643297 (paperback)
ASIN:  B008XM0AZM  (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Garnet Publishing
Publication date:  September 30, 2012

Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ichmad Hamid struggles with the knowledge that he can do nothing to save his Palestinian friends and family. Ruled by the Israeli military government, the entire village operates in fear of losing homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other. On Ichmad’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes a reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to the dangers of war, Ichmad begins the endless struggle to use his intellect to save his poor and dying family and reclaim a love for others that was lost when the bombs first hit.”The Almond Tree” capitalizes on the reader’s desire to be picked up and dropped off in another part of the world. It tackles issues that many Americans only hear about on World News or read about at The Huffington Post, such as the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the scholasticide that is being imposed upon the Palestinians in Gaza and the current Gaza blockade. But even more, it offers hope.



Click here to read some excerpts from the book.


Watch the trailer:




About the author:

Michelle Cohen Corasanti has a BA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a MA from Harvard University, both in Middle Eastern Studies. She also holds a law degree. A Jewish American, she has lived in France, Spain, Egypt, and England, and spent seven years living in Israel. She currently lives in New York with her family. The Almond Tree is her first novel.

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Book Giveaway:

Ms. Corasanti, via Authors on the Web, has graciously offered to giveaway two copies of The Almond Tree to readers of The Book Diva’s Reads (two winners, one copy per winner). Regrettably this giveaway offer is limited to residents of the US and Canada. To enter the giveaway, please click here and complete your entry using Rafflecopter (comments are appreciated but are not considered an official entry). This giveaway ends on September 2, 2013. The winner will be announced on September 3, 2013.



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Showcase post: REESE’S LEAP by Darcy Scott

Reese’s Leap

by Darcy Scott

on Tour August – September 2013
 

Book Details:
Genre:  Mystery
Published by: Maine Authors Publishing
Publication Date: March 23, 2013
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-1938883347
Purchase Links:    
Series: Island Mystery Series #2 – Can be read as a stand-alone
(You may also request/review #1 Matinicus)
Disclaimer: 
Excessive strong language

Recently, Matinicus (prequel to Reese’s Leap) has won both the “Best Mystery,” 2013 Indie Book Awards and the Bronze Prize for Regional Fiction from the 2013 IPPY Awards!

Synopsis:

In this much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning “Matinicus,” five longtime friends—briefly freed from their complex lives for an annual, all-female retreat on Adria Jackman’s remote, 200-acre enclave of Mistake Island, Maine—are forced to put the partying on hold to host the hard-drinking, bachelor botanist, Gil Hodges, stranded there for what could be days.  A hopeless womanizer, Gil is secretly pleased at the layover, but soon finds Mistake’s deeply forested interior deceptively bucolic and the women a bit too intriguing for comfort, stirring both glorious memory and profound regret. When a diabolical stranger appears out of nowhere, insinuating himself into the fold to exact a twisted kind of revenge, it falls to Gil to keep the women safe, despite a dawning awareness that not everyone will make it off the island alive.

Read an excerpt:
I’m slow coming to in the early-morning stillness—arm slung over my eyes, something lumpy under my butt I only now realize has been digging in for some time. It seems I slept fully clothed, too—something I never do—but the damp chill beneath me makes even less sense, the fusty smell wafting from my bedclothes not quite the permeating fug of the hammock I’ve grown used to. I could crack my eyes and get a visual, I suppose, but that would involve prying the pasty things apart first—something that’s beyond me just now.
The shamelessly chipper bird sounding off just above me and the dry whisper of field grass are what tip me off. The meadow. I spent the night in the fucking meadow. 
My groan is of the just-how-big-an-asshole-did-I-make-of-myself variety, chased by the kind of creeping, morning-after dread I’ve come to know so well. I vaguely recall a bottle of tawny Port, unearthed by Adria from some secret stash of her father’s after everyone else had gone to bed—which was earlier than usual, thanks to the pall Brit and Pete cast over the evening. Just the two of us, then—well, three, if you count the bottle. Pure liquid ambrosia, if memory serves. No doubt I went a bit overboard. But it wasn’t the booze or the thought of another night crammed onto that miserable hammock that got me out here, I recall now, but the fear of what I might do about Nora’s tempting proximity while I lay in such a weakened and vulnerable state. Still, I’ve no clue how I managed it. Could have walked, could have flown, could have been wheeled in a barrow. But however I did it, I slept like the proverbial rock. 
No reason to get up now either, I figure—at least not ’til the mosquitoes find me. Another hour, I plead, rolling over, which is when I see Pete down on his haunches studying me, face not a foot from mine. 
“Jesus!” I bark, adrenaline powering my scramble to clear the sleeping bag I apparently dragged out here with me. “Don’t do that!” 
He cocks his head, rising to meet me as I stand. Not a good idea as it turns out, this standing business, considering the explosion of pain at the top of my head. At six-two, I’m five or six inches taller than this guy—something that would normally make me feel pretty good, only nothing feels good just now. My legs are so wobbly, it’s all I can do to remain vertical. I glance down at the cool breeze running over my left foot. 
My sore, bare left foot. 
Where the fuck is my shoe?
“Piece of advice,” Pete says, glancing toward the mountain, gaze flat and unreadable as he swings it back my way. Think Clint Eastwood’s slow burn, but with none of his style. “Right now we got no real beef, you and me. Keep out of this and it’ll stay that way.”
What this? There’s a this? 
“Let me guess,” I say, pinching the bridge of my nose against the vise slowly tightening at the top of my head, the forks carving out the backs of my eyeballs. The things I do to myself. “This is about your brother, right? What—you were too busy lobbing the n-word at Adria to hear her say she wasn’t around? That none of these chicks know anything about this?”
“They know,” he assures me. “Just not sayin’.”
“They—as in…”
“All of ’em, probably.”
Of course. Conspiracy among the conifers. I’ll have to remember to suggest this to Duggan for the title of whatever mystery or thriller he’s hoping to eke out of all this. 
“Come on, man. You saw the looks on their faces—total fucking surprise.” 
“Brit said they come out here every year—same women, same week in July.”
Good old Brit. “I wouldn’t know.” Nor do I care. Once around with this shit’s more than enough for me; besides, I desperately need to keep the sun from hitting my retinas just now. Shades, I think. I pat my pockets.
“Earl was killed the week they were here. July 21st.”
“July 21st what?”
“Day he died.”
“You can’t possibly know that,” I say, carefully lowering myself to rummage in my 
rucksack for those miserable Maui Jims. Sliding them on makes things marginally better, but mincing my way back to my feet brings stabbing pains from the sole of the shoeless one. Man, it hurts. What the hell did I step on, anyway? Glass, rock—what?
 “So, okay,” I say, cranking the foot up stork-like to peer at the dried brown goo stuck to the bottom. Mud? I wonder, hopping awkwardly to stay upright. Blood? “Say you’re right, and he was here. Doesn’t mean they knew he was here.” Gently probing the most tender places for lacerations, protruding foreign objects. “If Adria even suspected he was camping on the island, she’d have booted his ass off. You’ve seen the way she is about this place.” 
 “Earl don’t listen to nobody when his mind’s set. Kind of his trademark.”
 More of that unremitting Eastwood gaze, which is frankly starting to piss me off. Out of nowhere, another piece of yesterday slips along the edge of my mind—something weird about the timing of all this. And then it hits me. If Earl died two years ago, why’s this guy just turning up now? 
 “You were in prison when it happened.” Pure hunch, of course, but it fits. Explains why he seemed so hinky from the start, that vague whiff of what I now recognize as recent and intimate acquaintance with Maine State Corrections. I do the mental math, take a stab. “You and Earl were sent up together; only he got out early. Drugs would be my bet. That or a juicy little B&E.” 
“Fuck them bastards. Bullshit’s what it was. Lousy pot bust. My second time, so the judge bumped me a couple extra years.”
“So Earl gets out, comes here to revisit the old stomping grounds, and ends up dead.”
“I knew there’d be trouble, what with me not around to keep him in line. It was me always looked out for him.”
“Plus, you landed him in jail. What a bro. But hey, at least you knew where he was; there’s that.” Screwing with him like this probably isn’t smart, but I’m still kinda punchy, and I need to piss. Besides; I really, really, really don’t like this guy. 
Pete cocks his head. 
“This funny to you?”
Fucking hilarious, actually, only it’s fast becoming clear that leaving Adria et al alone while a deluded nut like this is wandering the island wouldn’t be smart. There’s my conscience to consider, what’s left of it anyway. “So you got sprung—what—a month ago? Two?” 
“Sat in that shitty jail two years knowin’ he’d been murdered, countin’ the days ’til I got out.”
“Accidents happen, pal. You’ve seen the cliffs out here—dangerous as hell in the wrong conditions.”
“Earl never went near them cliffs. Hated heights. No, somethin’ happened out here. I’m gonna know what and I’m gonna know why. I owe him that. You bein’ here just complicates things.”
“Yeah, well, only person leaving the island is you,” I say, trying to sound all bad-ass as I fight the urge to toss my cookies. “I’m not going anywhere.” 
He considers. “Your decision. Things been put in motion. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” A smirk as he nods toward the sleeping bag. “Nice.”
I glance down, following his gaze. A faded field of blue dotted with yellow and pink flowers, the darker hue of a minimally sullied ball gown and white-gloved hands—all this capped with the lemon yellow orb of Cinderella’s hair, her face lit with a saccharine smile. A little girl’s sleeping bag, I realize. Swell.
“So here’s what you do,” he says. “You and the other girls have a meetin’. You explain how things are gonna get really ugly, really fast, if I don’t find out what went down.” 
With that he trots back into the brush like something out of The Last of the Mohicans—all that bouncy action enough to set my eyeballs aching. What the fuck was in that bottle, anyway?
Nothing for it but to head to the house and fill Adria in, come up with some kind of plan. 
After I find that fucking shoe.

Author Bio:
DARCY SCOTT is a live-aboard sailor and experienced ocean cruiser who’s sailed to Grenada and back on a whim, island-hopped through the Caribbean, and been struck by lightning in the middle of the Gulf Stream. Her favorite cruising ground remains the coast of Maine, however, and her appreciation of the history and rugged beauty of its sparsely populated out-islands serves as inspiration for her Maine Island Mystery Series, which includes 2012’s award-winning “Matinicus” and the newly released “Reese’s Leap.” Book three, “Ragged Island,” is currently in the works. Her debut novel, “Hunter Huntress,” was published in June, 2010 by Snowbooks, Ltd., UK.

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