02 October 2022

Sanctuary by C.L. Tolbert September 12 - October 8, 2022 Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway!


Sanctuary

by C.L. Tolbert

September 12 - October 8, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

A Thornton Mystery

In SANCTUARY, the third book in the Thornton Mystery Series, Emma is back again. This time she’s agreed to represent a former client accused of killing the leader of a suspicious cult in New Orleans.

James Crosby, the charismatic leader of the Japaprajnas, is found dead one late afternoon, his body draped over an iron fence in the courtyard of the nineteenth-century house where he and several cult members work and live. Although police initially presumed his fall was an accident, they quickly discover that James received a lethal dose of a drug before he was pushed from his office balcony.

The next day the police discover a syringe and a substantial amount of the drug which killed James in Stacey Robert’s bedroom. The nineteen-year-old cult member is brought in for questioning, which leads to her arrest. Emma, who had represented Stacey when she was a sixteen-year-old runaway, agrees to take the case.

Convinced she is innocent Emma begins an investigation into the cult and its members. Emma’s questions uncover dangerous secrets, illicit activities, and the exploitation of innocent victims. Emma’s suspicions lead her to the killer’s trail and the case’s final resolution.

Praise for Sanctuary:

“Brace yourself. Deadly personalities, hidden agendas, and long-buried secrets threaten law professor Emma Thornton, after she agrees to defend a terrified young woman accused of murdering the charismatic leader of an oppressive cult. The dark heart of New Orleans has never felt so dangerous.”

Roger Johns, Author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 2022
Number of Pages: 280
ISBN: 9781685121464
Series: The Thornton Mystery Series, Book 3
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter Twelve

The French Quarter was home to Stacey. She could relax there. She loved the winding streets, the ancient buildings, the ironwork on the balconies, and the festival-like spirit of Jackson Square. Plus, it was easy to blend in. With at least as many tourists as native New Orleanians, no one stood out more than anyone else. The exceptions ˗ the homeless, the street performers, and artists ˗ were part of the scenery. They blended into the background in a multicolor splash.

She needed money and had been watching the tarot card readers in the square. They made thirty-five dollars a read, plus tips. She could do that. She’d been taught the Celtic spread years ago and still had her deck tucked away with the rest of her stuff. It had taken her a few days to get squared away. Yesterday, she’d found a discarded chair on the street in one of the residential areas of the Quarter. She knew someone who worked at a pizza place right off of Pirate’s Alley, a small street next to St. Louis Cathedral. She’d asked if she could stash the chair behind their dumpster, and he’d agreed to it. That was helpful since she could store her things close to the place where she’d be reading. Now she just needed a small table or a box and a second chair, and she’d be ready.

Even though the city required a license and permit for the artists who painted in Jackson Square, there were no such requirements for card readers. But, every once in a while, the Jackson Square artists proposed an ordinance to the City Council to remove the fortune-tellers. So far, they’d been unsuccessful, and recently the readers had come back in full force. They added an ambiance to the area, especially when they burned their incense. She liked the way it smelled.

Stacey glanced at her reflection as she walked by a shop with a large plate glass window. She still wasn’t accustomed to her new look. She’d used some of the money she’d saved to purchase hair color and had dyed her honey blonde hair a dark brown. She’d also cut it much shorter with a pair of cheap scissors in hopes of disguising her appearance. She’d done it herself, and not very well. She didn’t like the jagged ends. But overall, it worked. She had to admit she looked like a different person and thought it was possible to sit in full view in the middle of Jackson Square, conduct tarot card readings, and not be recognized. At least not by the likes of police officers or others who might be looking for her.

She crammed her hand in her pocket, making sure that the wad of dollar bills she’d neatly folded and covered with several rubber bands was still there. One of the problems of not having a place with a door to lock was that you had to carry your valuables with you. She still had some of the money she’d saved from working at the Temple. She was frugal, eating only one meal a day, and that was a cheap one. But she’d been on her own for four days, and her money would run out soon. She hoped her plan to make more money in Jackson Square was a good one.

Stacey avoided shelters. Emma knew everyone in the city who ran them and would look for her at women’s shelters before she’d look anywhere else. But Stacey had found the perfect place to stay about three miles away from the Quarter—a small chapel in the middle of a cemetery in the Bywater District. It was called St. Roch’s and was named after the patron saint of dogs, invalids, and the falsely accused. The cemetery, the street, and the surrounding community were all named after the saint. Locals mispronounced the chapel’s name, calling it St. Roach’s. Even though the structure was crumbling, it still provided the shelter Stacey needed.

St. Roch’s had been built in 1867 by a priest who had prayed to St. Roch during the yellow fever pandemic in New Orleans, asking the saint to spare his community. Ten years later, when no one from his parish had succumbed to yellow fever, he made good on his promise, built the shrine, and dedicated it to the saint. It was a small chapel comprised of only two tiny rooms. One room contained a statue of St. Roch and his loyal dog, and the other room was filled with human prostheses, braces, glass eyeballs, glasses, false teeth, and praying hands, rosaries, and religious figurines, all offered to St. Roch as thanks for healing. Bricks on the ground in that room were inscribed with the word thanks and littered with coins. Over the years, a dusty haze had settled over the various prostheses at the shrine. The walls were crumbling, and a statue of Mary had started to disintegrate. Most people considered the chapel creepy, so creepy, that they avoided it at night, although tourists occasionally visited during the day. Rumor had it that voodoo ceremonies were carried out in the cemetery after dark, although Stacey never saw anything like that. She slept in the tiny room with St. Roch and his dog.

It took between forty-five minutes and an hour to walk to the French Quarter from the chapel, depending on whether Stacey stopped for anything. She woke up early in the morning and left the chapel well before any tourists might arrive. She usually walked to Decatur Street, then down to the Riverwalk Mall, avoiding Esplanade Avenue entirely. She liked the restrooms at the mall. They were clean and usually unoccupied early in the morning. She washed up and brushed her teeth. Once, she’d even shampooed her hair. She carried her bag of dirty laundry with her and would occasionally rinse out her things in the sink. What little makeup and toiletries she needed were easily picked up from department store samples. She walked back to the chapel before dark. At night, the same laundry bag served as her pillow.

By Friday, Stacey had found the second chair, a wooden box tall enough to use as a table, and an interesting scarf someone had stuffed in a Goodwill box along the side of the road. She’d decided to throw it over the makeshift table to give her fortune-telling booth some panache. She was ready for business.

On Saturday morning, Stacey walked to the Quarter, freshened up, grabbed her table and chairs from behind the dumpster at the pizza place, and set up her tarot stand, all before ten o’clock. She was pleased with the location. Only five feet from the steps of the St. Louis Cathedral, it was a prime spot. Tourists swarmed to the cathedral at all hours of the day and were already beginning to mill about. Within fifteen minutes, a middle-aged woman wearing a baseball hat, a neon green bandana, and pink tennis shoes, approached Stacey.

“How much do you charge?”

Stacey stood, her hands behind her back, and smiled. “Thirty-five dollars.”

“How long’s the reading?”

“It’s for fifteen minutes.”

“Okay.” She looked around the square. “Looks like that’s the going rate. But you need a sign. Let’s go.”

She sat down across from Stacey, perched on the tiny seat, and waited for Stacey to shuffle the deck.

Stacey mixed the cards a couple of times, then set the stack in front of the woman.

“Cut the cards into three smaller decks.” She’d noticed a man staring at them from a distance. He was too far away to see clearly. Perhaps he was staring at someone else.

The woman cut the cards.

“Now pick one of the three decks.”

The woman chose one.

Stacey fanned the cards from the chosen deck out in front of the woman and removed the other cards. She thought the man looked familiar. He started to walk toward them. As he approached, she could tell who he was. Raphael. He stopped on the stairs of the cathedral to watch.

“Choose fourteen cards.” Stacey glanced up at Raphael. He hadn’t budged.

The woman carefully chose fourteen cards and handed them to Stacey, who began laying them out in the traditional Celtic cross. The woman had chosen the King of Pentacles as card one, crossed by the Tower. The King of Pentacles, which represented business acumen, was in the position of present influence. And the Tower, which was a card of catastrophic or shocking change, and chaos, crossed the King, indicating the nature of his obstacles. The third card, placed under the cross, was the Death card. Death also represented change, and even occasionally, but rarely, death. Stacey froze. Had the cards picked up on what had happened to James instead of the woman’s situation?

Stacey sensed movement and glanced up. She flinched when she saw Raphael walking toward their table. Raphael stopped about a foot away from where she was reading, stopped, then crossed his arms.

“This is a private reading.” Stacey stopped laying out cards. Her heart was pounding.

“Interesting that you got the death card, don’t you think?”

“Sir, please leave. This isn’t any of your concern.” She didn’t want him drawing attention to her. She just wanted him to go away.

“I’ll leave. Sorry I interrupted.” He nodded toward Stacey’s client. “Thousand pardons, ma’am.”

“If you haven’t cut into my fifteen minutes, I’m fine.”

“Of course not.” Stacey smiled at the woman. “You’ll get your full reading.” She stood and turned toward Raphael. “We have nothing further to discuss.”

Raphael shrugged. “I’ve been worried about you, and so are a couple of other people. And just in case you thought that new hair color was a disguise, let me just tell you it isn’t. If I know who you are, so will others. They’d be very interested in knowing where you are now and what you’re doing.” He nodded toward the cards in her hand. “Good luck with that.”

“You need to leave immediately.”

Raphael started backing away. “I’ll be back.” He put his hand to his forehead in a farewell salute. “You can count on that.”

Stacey didn’t know if Raphael was threatening or warning her. But she knew she didn’t want him to come back to the Quarter to see her anytime soon.

Stacey glanced back at her client. “I’m so sorry for the interruption. Where were we?” She sat back down. “Oh yes.” She examined the cards. “Has a man in your life undergone a significant change, the end of a relationship, or even a death?”

“No, not that I know of.”

“Alright, well, let’s proceed.” Stacey watched as Raphael retreated across the square and took a right at Pirate’s Alley.

She continued to lay out cards for the woman.

The fourth card, the card of past events, was the seven of swords, the card of deception. As far as she was concerned, that card certainly applied to James. He’d deceived her from the very beginning. She’d fallen for his tricks. She couldn’t see through his deception at first, but she caught on, finally. The fifth card, the card of the present, was the Chariot, the card of courage and movement. She smiled. She was hoping to do something about the mess she’d gotten herself in. At least she wasn’t sitting in jail like a scared rabbit. For the final card in the cross, the card of the near future, the woman had drawn Justice. She held the final card in her hand for a couple of seconds before laying it down in front of the woman. Even though she hadn’t drawn the cards, Stacey still believed they were telling her story, not the woman’s. Justice, the card of fair decisions, gave her comfort.

“The final outcome, Justice, relates to karmic justice. It refers to legal matters as well, but generally, it’s telling you that all actions have consequences. Have your own actions contributed in any way to any of the circumstances you find yourself in today?”

The woman nodded. “I can see that they have. I’m not sure that a man in my life has met any sort of catastrophic end, though. Maybe something’s coming up. I hope not.” She shook her head, reached into her pocket, and handed Stacey three tens and a five. “That was fun. I love getting tarot readings.”

Stacey watched the woman walk off and thought about the consequences of her recent actions. She’d been trying to avoid that for months. It was so easy to blame others. It was also easy to turn a blind eye to what was going on in front of you. She was young, but she wasn’t stupid.

That day she had four other readings, making a total of $175.00. She was stunned. She’d made money at the temple, but they held on to it for her rent and food. So, she’d never had much cash, even though the temple made seventy-five dollars per massage. She packed up for the night, brought her table and chairs back to the pizza restaurant, stashed them behind the dumpster again, and tipped the manager. She was glad she knew the guy. That was the thing about New Orleans. If you knew how to get around, you could make things work for you, even though it could be a dangerous place.

She was starved and decided to treat herself to a shrimp po’ boy from Felix’s on Bourbon. She hadn’t had one in forever, and she felt like celebrating. And now that she had enough cash to last a few days, she could afford it. Plus, she wanted to walk by ETC to talk to the girl who was working in the back of the shop. She didn’t know who it was, and she didn’t care. But she hoped she could work out a deal with her. Pay her a little cash and get her to leave the back door open so she could start sleeping there at night instead of St. Roch’s. The chapel floor wasn’t comfortable, and the cemetery wasn’t safe at night. An option would be nice. It was worth a try.

***

Excerpt from Sanctuary by C.L. Tolbert. Copyright 2022 by C.L. Tolbert. Reproduced with permission from C.L. Tolbert. All rights reserved.

 




After winning the Georgia State Bar Journal's fiction contest in 2010, C.L. Tolbert developed the winning story into a full-scale novel. OUT FROM SILENCE was published in December of 2019, and is the first novel in the Thornton Mysteries series. Her second book, THE REDEMPTION, was published in February of 2021, and SANCTUARY, the third book in the series, was published in July of 2022.

Licensed in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia, C.L. practiced law for thirty-five years before retiring to pursue writing. During her legal career she spent several years teaching at Loyola Law School in New Orleans, where she was the Director of the Homeless Clinic. She also has a Masters of Special Education, and taught in a public school prior to enrolling in law school.

C.L. has two children and three grandchildren, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and schnauzer.

Catch Up With C.L. Tolbert:
www.CLTolbert.com
Goodreads
Instagram - @cltolbertwrites
Twitter - @cltolbertwrites
Facebook - @cltolbertwriter

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The Oracle's Sprite Series: Oracle, Book Four by Mell Eight Release Blitz and Giveaway! @ninestarpress @indigomarketingdesign #LGBTQIA+


Title:  The Oracle's Sprite

Series: Oracle, Book Four

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/27/2022

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 26100

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, MM romance, explicit, anthropomorphic, mythical creatures/dragons, magic users, hurt-comfort, soldiers

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Keir became the leader of the opposition army when he was barely eighteen years old. He led the fight against the usurper king from land while Prince Edan and Regent Egan led from the sea. Keir also had hundreds of men at his command and one invisible dragon, nicknamed Sprite, who likes to help out from time to time.

Sprite is friendly and fun-loving, happy to play tricks on Keir’s sister and keep Keir company. When a letter arrives from the Oracle asking for Keir’s presence, he expects Sprite to calmly travel with him. Instead, the strong gale that erupts sends Keir flying overboard and into an adventure he and Sprite might not walk away from alive.

Excerpt

The Oracle’s Sprite
Mell Eight © 2022
All Rights Reserved

Keir smelled blood in the air. He knew that scent intimately from growing up with the Captain of the Guard as his father. He had stood at the man’s knee while his father directed the army against the marauding thieves plaguing the people of northern Altnoia. Keir had learned to wield a sword and fire a pistol in training grounds soaked with the blood and sweat of the trainees before him.

It was a scent he was all too familiar with, but he had never before smelled it inside his mother’s home. She insisted that blood belonged on the battlefield and training grounds, not on her fancy rugs. Neither Father nor Keir had ever dared allow even a speck of blood into the house for fear of her wrath.

Keir rolled out of bed and grabbed his muzzleloader out of the nearby cabinet. A fast peek into the hallway showed nothing out of the ordinary. He quickly pulled on sturdy breeches and a shirt, over which he clumsily laced a vest of leather armor. If the scent of blood was only his imagination acting up, Keir didn’t want to scandalize anyone by walking through the halls naked. He tied his sword to his belt, hiking it high because Father had ordered he train with the sword into which he would grow as an adult rather than a child-sized one, and made sure his gun was loaded.

When he opened the door this time, the smell in the hallway was even worse than in his bedroom, which he hadn’t noticed when he’d first glanced out. Keir carefully peeked around the doorway into the hall. A stranger stood in front of his parents’ room at the far end; he hadn’t been there moments before, and Keir didn’t recognize him as one of his father’s men.

“Make sure they’re dead, then hurry,” the man snarled.

Keir lifted his pistol, aimed, and fired. The man fell to the ground in a spray of blood, a hole in his forehead. Blood and death weren’t something Keir shied away from after everything his father had taught him; this didn’t faze him now. Keir ducked back into his room to reload, then poked his head back into the hall. Two men had run out of his parents’ room at the noise and stood there exclaiming over their leader’s death. They hadn’t seen Keir yet, and he killed one of them with another headshot.

It gave away his position, but one-on-one odds were better than trying to take on both of them at once anyway. With no time to reload, he tucked his gun back into its holster and drew his sword. He rushed the lone man and slashed at him. The man clumsily blocked with his own sword; he hadn’t had the training Keir had. After a few more thrusts, Keir impaled the stranger, and he fell to the floor, dead.

Keir hurried to his parents’ room and stopped short in the doorway. He gagged, trying not to vomit even as tears blurred his vision. They were both dead, their necks thoroughly cut in their sleep. Blood stained the bedclothes around their bodies, their eyes closed peacefully, as if they hadn’t even known their death was approaching so swiftly. Keir spun around and forced himself to walk away. He couldn’t do anything for them, but his baby sister might still be alive.

Her room was down the hall in the nursery. Her nurse had no doubt snuck into the kitchen for a bit of fun with the butler once Claire was asleep. Claire still slept in her crib, unknowing of all that had just happened. Keir carefully gathered her into his nondominant arm, just in case he needed to fight again, and hurried from the nursery. He went upward, traveling the many steps to the bell tower. In ringing the bell, he signaled warning and death to everyone within hearing distance. His father’s loyal troops would come, and they would find out who had murdered the Captain of the Guard of Altnoia.

Should the child test anywhere but the Air Caste, his spirit would be crushed. The Oracle knew that without a doubt. The child looked the part prior to his testing. Thin and willowy, it seemed as if his body had been carved slender by the constant gusting of air. His hair was long and pale blond, barely a shade too colorful for someone in the Air Caste. His eyes were the gray of a wind-tossed sky before a storm. A flighty child, he liked to skip while everyone else walked and to hum to himself. He was echoing the flow of air inside the Monastery and giving voice to the sounds the wind carried to him. It made him seem odd to many of his peers, yet those who knew the wind understood the strange child perfectly. The Oracle had him test first, as she did with all children destined for greatness.

He was expected to test highly, given his strong ties with the Air Caste as a child, and he did. The previous Dragon of Air had passed away forty-five years ago; the fact that no new Dragon had arrived to replace her for so very long set an unhappy record. It wasn’t a surprise that when he emerged from the testing chamber, his hair had paled to pure white, and the Dragon of Air was tattooed on his back.

The dragon was formless. His back might have still looked blank if it weren’t for the slightest blurring of the skin as if an invisible wind was forever etched there. The Oracle could see a pair of eyes hidden there, as well as a pair of clear wings attached to a massive body. She knew where to look to find the dragon tattoo, as did the watching Masters.

Her Dragon of Air remained in the Monastery only a short year for training. It was an unhappy time for him, she knew. Her Monastery was sick, and that sickness fixated on those with prestige, particularly the Dragons, and in the end made him suffer for testing well with both physical and psychological attacks. The Dragon of Air tried hiding away, and he even tried ineffectually confronting it, only to fail. Eventually, he simply flittered off wherever the Air would take him. He traveled the world on the wings of the wind. The Oracle smiled and let him go, glad to let him finally escape. Confining the Dragon of Air in the Monastery for her to eventually send him out on a quest would be cruel. Besides, her Dragon of Fire would soon come of age, and she needed to focus on his future if she wanted the world to survive for the Dragon of Air to continue his aimless travels.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

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Ghost Cat on the Midway (A Tenth Life Cozy Mystery) by Mollie Hunt Book Tour and Giveaway!

 

About Ghost Cat on the Midway


Ghost Cat on the Midway (A Tenth Life Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting - Ghost Cat on the Midway (A Tenth Life Cozy Mystery)
Independently Published (August 29, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 195 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8WGLNMT

This summer, there’s trouble brewing at the Cove County Fair.

 Camelia Collins, Ocean Cove’s most recent resident over seventy years of age, is all set to go to the fair! The smell of the popcorn, the roar of the crowd, the Ferris wheel and the pony shows—things she remembers from childhood and looks forward to experiencing again.

 But something’s up at the Cove County Fair. When Camelia meets the keeper of a rescued tiger, she could not have predicted that keeper would soon be dead and the tiger gone missing. A rogue band of aggressive animal activists seems the obvious culprits, but they deny the act.

 Only one entity knows the truth—the ghost cat Soji, but will the capricious spirit decide to come forward before someone else dies?

Cat Writer Mollie Hunt is the award-winning author of two cozy series, the Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries and the Tenth Life Mysteries. Her Cat Seasons Sci-Fantasy Tetralogy features extraordinary cats saving the world. Mollie also pens a bit of cat poetry.

Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, and Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats.

Author Links

Purchase Link -  Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 26 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 26 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 26 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 27 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 27 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

September 28 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW

September 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

September 28 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

September 29 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR GUEST POST

September 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 29 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 30 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 30 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

October 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 1 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT

October 2 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT

October 2 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT

October 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Green House Haunting by @authoroliviayork Book Blitz and Giveaway! #oliviayork #GreenHouseHaunting #XpressoTours @XpressoTours⁣

 

Green House Haunting: An Andy Watts Ghost Column


Olivia York
Publication date: September 29th 2022
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Supernatural, Suspense

A terrible tragedy dead and buried. Can a young woman dig up the haunted truth without falling into madness?

Andy Watts needs a break. So when the struggling journalist is asked to revisit a fifty-year-old mystery, she jumps at the chance to move into an abandoned house and honor her long-gone mom by becoming a respected reporter. But she’s shocked when she discovers not only did a polio-stricken boy disappear from within its rooms, but his mother took a fatal tumble down the stairs.

Stonewalled by the locals and unnerved by unexplained events in the eerie home, Andy fears the town would rather bury evidence than admit one of their own could commit murder. And with the ghostly image of a youngster in leg braces persisting, she’s terrified by hints that the awful answer is calling from beyond the grave.

Can Andy deliver justice for the voiceless before she becomes the next victim?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Green house stood solemnly in a noiseless field of overgrown vegetation. The dim rays of daylight disappeared in the distance beyond, darkening the front while sharpening the jagged exterior outline with a looming violet glow. It rose above the ground, perhaps two floors high, but a lack of windows at the top told Andy it may not have an attic to speak of.

The house drew her closer. The windows appeared somewhat new, the lining freshly painted white. It contrasted the worn, splintered wood on the verge of collapsing from the weight of a perched bird. At the base of the sagging stoop was the frame of a crumbling, rusted bicycle, rendered useless by the rain and condensation.

Andy climbed the front steps. Two, three, four steps upward, each one creaking an undecipherable note of an ominous melody. An unraveling front door mat read “Home” in tattered, fading letters.

This isn’t so bad.

Andy winced, unable to swallow her own lie. Quickly, she found the key in the envelope before she could change her mind and turn back. The shiny silver looked brand new compared to the decrepit bronze lock on the door. Studying the door closer, she spotted the new keyhole. A stern-looking deadbolt glinting a couple of inches above what must have been the original lock.

She pushed the door open, and the weight dragged it all the way open to gently bounce off the interior wall. Andy peered inside, but her feet stayed glued to the mat outside the door. The interior contents were fuzzy in the fading light, yet she could spot the three glinting hooks on the wall for sweaters and hats. A little deeper inside was one wing of the house, and to the right was another. In the center was a semi-carpeted staircase leading upstairs, where what followed remained unseen around the corner.

There was nothing particularly extraordinary about the home. She was no expert on houses made in the ’30s and ’40s, but it looked about how she’d expect. The ceilings were low, and the wooden floor was dull. However, Andy couldn’t help but feel something was different. That there was something in plain sight she couldn’t see. She stood motionless at the door, searching for what she thought was missing. The house stood, too, waiting patiently.


Olivia York writes supernatural suspense novels with family drama woven throughout (and hints of mystery). After a stint working for a local news station as reporter/anchor in the Midwest, she decided to make the switch to her imaginative side and write.

She is a lover of cats, road trips, and visiting old fashioned candy shops along the coast. Olivia lives with her husband and two cats, who are kind enough to humor her love of paranormal TV shows and never-ending collection of horror films.

Sign up for Olivia York’s Newsletter to find out about new releases, updates, cover reveals, and more!

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01 October 2022

In the Mood – Broken Wings book 3 by M W Arnold Blog Tour!


 In the Mood – Broken Wings book 3

During a hectic couple of weeks in February 1944, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club must face devastating personal loss amongst their number. A member of an illegal faction blackmails Betty, whilst a mystery at Mary's ancestral home threatens to cause more trouble than anyone thought possible. In the midst of what should be the happiest of times, the portents seem to be catching up and little is what it seems to be. Can the girls find the strength to battle forces both internal and external, yet still maintain their dignity and friendship?.

Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mood-Broken-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B0B669NQ12

US - https://www.amazon.com/Mood-Broken-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B0B669NQ12

A word about the author…


Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. He’s replaced it somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.

 He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were Cats bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. In the Mood is the fourth novel in his Broken Wings series and he is very proud to be a part of the Vintage Rose Garden at The Wild Rose Press.

 https://www.facebook.com/MWArnoldAuthor

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When the Children Fight Back by Barry Kirwan Blog Tour!

 


When the Children Fight Back

In the near future, Artificial Intelligences will be smarter than us. Is that a good thing?

"Really entertaining, a brilliant balance between action and emotion."

"A wonderful story. So much imagination!"

A mega-AI known as the Eye is intent on purifying the galaxy, by annihilating all 'organics'. Humanity, itself already decimated after an attack by the Eye, must join eleven other species in the final battle at Orion's Gate to stop their nemesis. Led by Sally, humans have a secret weapon: Ares, the last AI from a dead alien race. But can they really trust Ares? And as the battle rages in the heart of a star nursery nebula, Sally realises that one of the other species is about to betray them all...

The thrilling climax to the Children of the Eye series...

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09KNVQVXT

US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09KNVQVXT

Author Bio – I was born in Farnborough and grew up watching the Red Arrow jet fighters paint the sky at airshows. I didn't get into writing until years later when I arrived in Paris, where I penned The Eden Paradox series (four books) over a period of ten years. My SF influences were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card, but also David Brin who writes about smart aliens. Iain Banks and Alistair Reynolds remain major influences, as well as Neal Asher, Peter F Hamilton and Jack McDevitt. My main SF premise is that if we do ever meet aliens, they'll probably be far more intelligent than we are, and with very different values and ideas of how the galaxy works. As a psychologist by training, that interests me in terms of how to think outside our own (human) frame of reference. This current series is exploring Artificial Intelligences (AIs), and how they could either be our nemesis or saviour.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EdenParadox 

Website:  www.barrykirwan.com

Twitter: @Eden_paradox



30 September 2022

Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock Book Tour and Giveaway! @ElaineStock @AmsterdamPB @AuthorElaineStock @Amsterdampublishers


Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock

Publication Date: September 19, 2022
Amsterdam Publishers

Genre: Historical Fiction/WWII
Series: Resilient Women of WWII, Book 2


A mesmerizing story, set during one of the world’s most harrowing carnages, of two mothers as they cross enemy lines for the sake of their daughters’ futures.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands 1940 Herta, and her family, Jewish refugees, are living contentedly until the Nazi invasion, which echoes the persecution and fear they experienced before fleeing Germany. Across town, another wife and mother, Julia, also faces upheaval when her husband becomes more involved in the Nazis’ effort in controlling the world.

When their husbands go missing, one accused falsely of crimes and the other to fight on behalf of the Nazis, Herta, despite the heartache, takes charge and places her daughters into hiding believing they’ll keep safe. Meanwhile, Julia, as the only parent home, chooses to redefine family. These unexpected developments bring Herta and Julia together… until their true identities surface and they’re thrown into dangerous consequences that could harm not only them but their daughters.

Following We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy, this story of friendship questions whether two mothers, acting to ensure their children’s future, can put aside the issues of faith and heritage that could bring the Nazis right to their doorstep.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Book Depository



 

Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 19
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 20
Review at A Baker's Perspective
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, September 26
Review at The Page Ladies

Tuesday, September 27
Feature at Reading Is My Remedy

Thursday, September 29
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Friday, September 30
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Our Daughters' Last Hope by Elaine Stock (paperback or eBook, winner's choice).

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on September 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Our Daughters' Last Hope


Half Moon Whim by @erinbrockusauthor Book Blitz and Giveaway! #HalfMoonWhim #erinbrockus #XpressoTours @XpressoTours⁣

Half Moon Whim
Erin Brockus


(Half Moon Bay, #5)
Publication date: September 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sara and Jack… Will her searing flame scorch him to the bone?

Sara Collins never wanted to put down roots. When her sister offers her a job at the sunny Caribbean scuba diving resort she owns, Sara jumps at the chance to manage her own spa. Even if it means interacting with the divemaster who humiliated her.

Jack Powell is finding out his dream life is more challenging than expected. Especially after his boss’s sister moves to town—they don’t exactly get along. He tries to avoid the situation, which is difficult when he can’t stop thinking about her.

Throw in a handsome, successful developer who offers Sara everything she ever dreamed of, and she finds St. Croix might be exactly what she’s always wanted. But which man holds the key to her heart and her greatest dream?

Half Moon Whim is a standalone, sensual beach romance. This curvy girl, enemies-to-lovers novel is Book 5 of the Half Moon Bay series, and is the springboard into the next phase of this captivating series. Dive in today!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Sara Collins climbed onto the pier, the wooden slats creaking pleasantly under her feet. Though Half Moon Bay was primarily a scuba diving resort, Sara’s sister Hope had opened a spa recently. She’d spoken with the new massage therapist, Selena Allen, several times prior to the wedding, and immediately bonded with her enthusiastic personality, especially since the spa was Sara’s kind of place.

Halfway down the pier, she passed through a tunnel of buildings and made her way past the dive shop to a long staircase at the north end. A covered deck with an incredible St. Croix ocean view dominated the area at the top of the stairs and served as the outdoor massage area. Next to the glass entrance door, a wooden wall formed a privacy screen, and a second, more nondescript door led to a restroom. Sara entered the clean, brightly lit spa, where Selena stood behind the glass check-in counter, refilling a small bottle with massage oil. The warm scent of sandalwood filled the air.

The massage therapist glanced up at the door’s opening, her dark face bursting into a wide smile at Sara’s entry. She was a trim, small woman in her mid-twenties, wearing a light-blue staff polo shirt.

What I wouldn’t give to have her small, petite frame… Lucky girl.

Sara made an effort to dress well and appear professionally styled and made-up, partly to compensate for her voluptuous and curvy figure. No manner of diet or exercise had ever changed that and now, at age thirty-three, she was resigned to her fate. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t self-conscious about it

“Sara! You stayin’ a few more days?”

“No, I’m flying out this evening. Hope’s working, so I thought I’d come up here.” Her gaze took in the mani-pedi station along one wall, with a full stylist area in the corner. Like a magnet, she was drawn toward the hair salon. Several windows let in plenty of light. “You have a massage scheduled?”

Selena finished filling the bottle, shaking her head. “Not till tomorrow. I’m just gettin’ ready.”

Sara ran a hand over the back of the stylist chair where she had cut Hope’s hair and given her a deep-conditioning treatment the day prior to the wedding. They had chatted throughout, almost like old times. Immediately afterward, they had met the rest of the wedding party on the resort dive boat, Surface Interval.

Heat crept up Sara’s neck as she tried to push away the memory of what had happened next. The resort’s newest employee, the divemaster Jack, had tripped and dumped an enormous bucket of water over her head, drenching her from head to foot. In front of everyone. She’d been mortified and embarrassed but determined not to show it.

As Sara passed by a window next to the stylist station, movement at the end of the pier caught her eye. A gleaming white boat was tied up and the group of divers was already headed away. “There’s good sound insulation in here. I didn’t even hear the boat come in.”

“They did a great job on the construction. It always stays nice and cool in here, too.”

Sara turned toward the front door. “I’d better get going. Hope said she’d be finished about lunch time.” The two women said their goodbyes, then Sara opened the door, turning left to descend the stairs.

And collided right into a warm body, smashing her nose into a shoulder. “Oof!” Wincing, she rubbed it as she staggered back. She was preparing to apologize as she looked up into a pair of huge, gorgeous brown eyes that widened in recognition.

Unfortunately, the eyes belonged to Jack. The horrible divemaster.

Her chagrin instantly erupted into fury, and she dropped her hand from her face. “Goddammit, watch where you’re going. Pouring water over me wasn’t enough? You have to break my nose too?”

Jack’s face flushed crimson as he took a big step back, holding up both hands. “I’m sorry! I need to use the restroom and wasn’t watching where I was going.”

He was of average height, but at five feet three, she still had to look up at him. He spoke with a very slight twang. Texas? “Yeah. No kidding. You really need to stay the hell away from me, understand?”

His obvious embarrassment was replaced by a flash of anger that he quickly covered, raking a hand through his short, dark-brown hair. He had a strong jaw and sharp cheekbones, and really was rather good looking.

Too bad it’s all wasted on him.

“Look, I’m not doing it on purpose. Lighten up, princess.”

Clenching her jaw tightly, Sara drew herself as tall as she could. “No. I won’t. But fortunately for both of us, I’m leaving later today.” She breezed around him toward the staircase. “Have a nice life, Jack.”

​Dive into a romantic escape!

Erin Brockus writes sensual contemporary romances set in exotic, tropical locales. Her books provide the perfect beachy escape from everyday life, and she features mature, relatable characters you actually enjoy getting to know. Count on plenty of adventure with a focus on the ocean, especially scuba diving.

Two of her greatest passions are scuba diving and travel, which combined to form the inspiration for her characters and stories. Sipping a cocktail on the beach after a morning of diving is her idea of the perfect day. Erin has even been known to pull on a drysuit and explore the cold, murky waters of the Pacific Northwest. She is also an avid runner and cyclist.

Erin lives with her husband (a scuba instructor) in the middle of Washington wine country. She is currently at work on the next Half Moon Bay installment.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub


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