03 December 2023

Christmas in the Crosshairs (Love Inspired Suspense) by Deena Alexander Book Tour and Excerpt!



About Christmas in the Crosshairs


Christmas in the Crosshairs (Love Inspired Suspense)

Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Setting – Seaport, Long Island, New York 

Love Inspired Suspense (November 28, 2023) 

Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1335597794 

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1335597793 Digital 


A baby in need of protection— and a hitman in pursuit.

After evading an attack, defense attorney Adam Spencer is on the run from a dangerous hitman. The killer’s wife is Adam’s only hope at apprehending the criminal—until she lands in the hospital. Now he must depend on her twin sister, Jaelyn Reed, to find the answers they need…all while protecting the baby niece Jaelyn didn’t know she had. But with threats at every turn, trust may be the deadliest trap…

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

About Deena Alexander

Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, a son-in-law, and four dogs. Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena's love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn't sleep through the night, and she now works full-time as a writer and a freelance editor.

Author Links

Purchase Links 


“We’re losing her!” Chaos erupted as two paramedics shoved a gurney through the emergency department doors at a dead run. One of them called out, “It’s Jaelyn Reed. She was attacked.”

Jaelyn’s heart stuttered. She recognized the voice of her friend and fellow firefighter Pat Ryan. But what was he talking about? She was fine, just finishing up her Christmas Eve shift at the hospital, where she worked as a nurse when she wasn’t volunteering as a firefighter for Seaport Fire and Rescue. Since she had no family to go home to, she often worked the holidays. 

Footsteps pounded as doctors, nurses, and technicians rushed toward a commotion in one of the nearby cubicles.

She followed the sound of Pat’s voice rattling off vitals down the corridor. Why had he said it was Jaelyn? That she’d been attacked? She’d known Pat Ryan since she was a kid, was friends with both him and his fiancĂ©e, Rachel, and she’d never heard the slightest edge of panic in his voice. Until now. 

She stepped into the cubicle. “What’s going on?”

Pat glanced at her then snapped his head back in a double take. “Jaelyn?”

“Pat, what happened?”

His gaze shot to the gurney, where a young woman lay unconscious as the nurses assessed and began treatment.

When Jaelyn followed his stare, her breath caught in her throat. Looking down at the woman’s face was like looking into a mirror. The stranger shared the same long, nearly black hair as Jaelyn, though hers was tangled and matted with blood; the same delicate features, at least it appeared so beneath the contusions and swelling; and even the same slim, athletic build.

“I don’t understand.” Pat frowned and grabbed the woman’s purse from the bottom of the gurney. “She looks enough like you to be your—”

“Sister.” The one word escaped on a shallow huff of breath. Could this woman be her sister? The sister she hadn’t even known existed until a month ago? It’d been almost a year since she’d taken the DNA test—just for fun, something she’d let her fellow firefighters convince her to do to pass the time amid a blizzard that had gripped the area last winter.

Jaelyn had grown up in Seaport, New York, a small town on the east end of Long Island’s south shore, daughter of a prominent couple in the community, Dr. and Mrs. Elijah Reed. And she was an only child. The last thing she’d ever expected was to shake loose any deep, dark secrets from the Reed family tree. And then her results had come in…and last month the friends and family app had connected her to her twin. “Maya Barlowe.”

“Yeah.” Pat held out a slim photo holder with the woman’s driver’s license. The picture of the woman staring back at her could have been, well, her twin. “That’s the name on her ID. Is she your sister?” 

Apparently. Since Jaelyn’s parents had been killed in a car accident five years ago, she hadn’t been able to ask them about her. She had no other family—no one to lean on after her fiancĂ© had left her for another woman while she was grieving—and she hadn’t wanted to go to any of her parents’ friends. At least, not yet. She’d needed time to process the information first. Jaelyn had yet to decide whether or not to reach out to the woman, try to ascertain how they shared not only the same DNA but the same birthdate as well. Even as she’d debated her options, she hadn’t fully accepted the fact it could actually be true, that she could have a long-lost twin sister she’d never known about.

“Out of the way, guys.” One of the other nurses shoved past her.

Coming to her senses, Jaelyn stepped aside, careful not to upset the delicate choreography as the doctors and nurses worked together in a desperate effort to save the woman’s life.

Pat gripped her elbow and led her out into the hallway. “Hey, you okay?”

Was she? She honestly didn’t know. While she hated the thought of seeing anyone suffer, what was she supposed to feel for this woman who might be her twin but whom she’d never met? Confusion was the overwhelming emotion. She shoved a few stray strands of hair out of her face. “Yeah, I guess, but I don’t understand what’s going on. Where did you find her? And what happened to her?”

“A call came in.” With a glance over his shoulder, Pat ushered her farther across the hall so they’d be out of the way. “A couple of kids riding dirt bikes came across her just before dusk in the woods behind the Seaport Bed and Breakfast. She’d been attacked, badly beaten. I’m sorry, Jaelyn, I didn’t even know you’d reached out to her. I guess with the holidays and all…”

“No. That’s the thing…” Only a handful of people knew about the secret Jaelyn’s DNA test had revealed, Pat being one of them. Could someone she’d trusted have contacted Maya? No, not possible. The few close friends she’d told knew that Jaelyn wasn’t sure how she wanted to handle the situation yet. None of them would have betrayed her confidence… Besides, she hadn’t shared Maya’s name with anyone. “I didn’t reach out, nor did she contact me. I have no idea what she was doing here. I didn’t even realize she knew about me.”

“Assuming she’s here because of you,” Pat pointed out.

“I guess, but according to the information I have, she lives in New York City. What are the chances she just happened to show up a few miles from where I live and work?” Even though plenty of people from New York City visited the south shore of Eastern Long Island, especially around the holidays, most of them flocked to the Hamptons or Montauk. Seaport wasn’t exactly a thriving tourist destination.

Pat frowned. “Slim to none, I’d say.”

So her sister must have been trying to find her, which begged the question, why hadn’t she tried to contact her? Or had she? Jaelyn had been on duty for the past twelve hours and hadn’t bothered to check her messages. “My phone is in the locker room. I’ll have to see if she tried to reach out.”

“The police officers were questioning the kids who found her, but they’ll be here any minute.” He gestured in the direction of the locker room. “You should probably see if she tried to make contact before they get here. I’m sure they’ll want to know if that’s why she was in Seaport.”

Dazed, Jaelyn paused and glanced into the cubicle where her coworkers and friends worked to save Maya. Should she go in? Try to help? Technically, she was off duty now, but still…

“There’s nothing you can do for her in there, Jaelyn. She’s being taken care of. It would probably help her more right now to find out if she tried to call you, if she left any kind of message, maybe indicated she was in trouble, anything that would help the police find who did this to her.”

She nodded. He was right. “Yeah, okay.”

“And Jaelyn…” He turned to face her, rubbed his hands up and down her arms. “I’m really sorry about your sister, but I’m glad you’re okay. I’m not gonna lie, when we first arrived on scene and thought it was you, it gave both Jack and me a jolt.”

She covered one of his hands with hers. “Thank you, Pat.”

“Sure thing.” Releasing her, he stuffed his hands into his pockets and started down the hall with her.

“You didn’t check her ID there?” Jaelyn asked.

He only hesitated a fraction of a second, but it was a telling pause. “She’s in bad shape, Jaelyn. We stabilized her and transported. Plus, like I said, we thought it was you, both recognized you immediately.”

She nodded, understanding the urgency of the situation in that moment. Nothing but saving the patient would have mattered to the paramedics.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll wait here and keep an eye on her while you go ahead and get your phone. You may as well get changed while you’re in the locker room, so you can sit with your sister afterward.”

She smiled at him, grateful he understood her need to know how Maya was doing. “Thank you.”

“Of course.” He squeezed her arm once more, as if needing to reassure himself she was fine. “I’ll let the guys know you’re okay.”

She nodded and started toward the locker room at a brisk pace. Since she was not only a nurse in the emergency room, but also a volunteer firefighter and a member of a well-known family in the community, news of her being attacked would have spread quickly. Especially in the small town of Seaport. It would be good to squash the rumors before they could gain any real traction.

Thankfully, with Pat taking care of that, it was one less thing she had to worry about, and she could turn her attention to her sister. Sister. She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around the idea. Being an only child was all she’d ever known. She shook off the confusion and increased her pace. None of that mattered now. The sooner she gathered her things, the sooner she could return to Maya and hopefully get some answers.

As she passed the nurses’ station, a man’s voice brought her up short. “I’m looking for Maya Barlowe?” 

Jaelyn turned at the mention of her sister’s name.

“Can you tell me if she was brought in—” A bulky man who had to be better than six feet tall shifted his attention from the nurses’ station even as he asked the question. As he glanced in her direction, his gaze clashed with Jaelyn’s. His expression showed confusion at first, but then it hardened and he straightened.

Jaelyn hesitated, caught off guard by the hostility marring his features.

His focus narrowed on her as he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a handgun.

Her breath caught in her lungs. A dull ache spread through her chest. Fear paralyzed her.

Eyes hard, hand dead steady, the man lifted the weapon toward her.

The chaos of the emergency department receded, and blackness tunneled her vision. It seemed nothing existed but the two of them caught in some deadly stare down. She desperately wanted to believe she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but her mind wouldn’t allow her to accept that. The gunman’s glare was too intense, his attention too pinpointed on her, and he’d just asked about her sister.

“Get down!” another man yelled.

Jaelyn couldn’t react. All of her training as a nurse, as a firefighter, had her remaining calm in the face of the weapon. It was the look in his eyes that had her blood running cold. She’d never seen such emptiness, such coldness, such…darkness.

And then someone tackled her from the side, even as the first bullets flew. Sheer terror swamped her.

More gunshots erupted. Screams, crashes, sobs tore through the emergency department as patients and staff ran or dove for cover, trying to protect those who were unable to flee.

Jaelyn landed hard on her elbow. Pain shot to her shoulder and her wrist, and her fingers went numb.

“Go, go, go!” The stranger half-dragged, half-shoved her toward an examination room door, knocking over the Christmas tree in an out-of-the-way corner.

Jaelyn scrambled in the direction she was led, hit the door at a crouch, and tumbled through.

Another round of gunshots pierced the air, too many for just the handgun she’d seen. Had the attacker had another weapon beneath his jacket, or was there a second gunman? Two shots shattered the window in the door.

Jaelyn covered her head and ducked against a row of cabinets.


November 28 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

November 28 – Just Another Teen Reading Books – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 29 – Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

November 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

November 30 – Diane’s Book Journal – SPOTLIGHT


December 2 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 5 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW  

December 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

December 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 7 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

December 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST

December 8 – Angel’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT  

December 9 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT   

December 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

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02 December 2023

Criminals Need Love Too by @isabel.jordan_author Book Blitz! ⁣⁣#CriminalsNeedLoveToo #isabeljordan #XpressoTours @XpressoTours


Criminals Need Love Too
Isabel Jordan

(Adorable Psychos, #1)
Publication date: December 1st 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

You know those love stories that start with adorable meet cutes? Yeah, that didn’t happen here…

Tenley Taylor needed a way out of town that didn’t leave a paper trail. After all, getting caught by the cops with her bag of stolen diamonds would totally suck.

Enter Knox Wilder.

He was the ideal mark. Fresh-out-of-prison. Easy to manipulate.

So, she was fairly surprised when he kidnapped her.

Or did she kidnap him? The way it all went down was kinda blurry.

Anyhoo, Knox needed a bride to claim his inheritance. And helping him—for a fee—seemed like a great idea.

Which is how she ended up in a fake relationship with a grumpy, rudely sexy ex-con who crossed all the boundaries partners in crime should have. Now, everything is messy, because somehow, she managed to break her golden rule.

She started to like her mark.

Unfortunately, he likes her, too. He says he wants to get to know the real Tenley. But that’d be bad, right?

Especially since she’s not even sure she knows who that is anymore…

Criminals Need Love Too is a fun, light, snarky romantic comedy full of witty banter, wacky hijinks, and spicy times. Download today and get ready to fall for a criminal.

Trope map
Morally grey heroine
Ex-con hero
Grumpy sunshine romance
Only one bed
Fake relationship
Forced proximity

Goodreads / Amazon

 ⁣⁣#bookstagram #romance #romanticcomedy #romcom #fortheloveofreading #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #bookaholic #mustread #authorsofinstagram #bookblogger #amreading

The normal: 

Isabel Jordan writes because it's the only profession that allows her to express her natural sarcasm and not be fired. She is a paranormal and contemporary romance author. Isabel lives in the U.S. with her husband, her son, a neurotic Shepherd mix, and a ginormous Great Dane mix named Jerkface. (Don't feel bad for Jerkface. He really is a jerk.)

The weird:

Now that the normal stuff is out of the way, here's some weird-but-true facts that would never come up in polite conversation. Isabel Jordan:

1. Is terrified of butterflies (don't judge...it's a real phobia called lepidopterophobia)

2. Is a lover of all things ironic (hence the butterfly on the original cover of Semi-Charmed)

3. Is obsessed with Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Dog Whisperer.

4. Hates coffee. Drinks a Diet Mountain Dew every morning.

5. Will argue to the death that Pretty in Pink ended all wrong. (Seriously, she ends up with the guy who was embarrassed to be seen with her and not the nice guy who loved her all along? That would never fly in the world of romance novels.)

6. Would eat Mexican food every day, if given the choice.

7. Reads two books a week in varied genres.

8. Refers to her Kindle as "the precious".

9. Thinks puppy breath is one of the best smells in the world.

10. Is a social media idgit. (Her husband had to explain to her what the point of Twitter was. She's still a little fuzzy on what Instagram and Pinterest do.)

11. Kicks ass at Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

12. Stole her tagline idea from her son. Her tagline idea was, "Never wrong, not quite right." She liked her son's idea better.

13. Breaks one vacuum cleaner a year because she ignores standard maintenance procedures (Really, you're supposed to empty the canister every time you vacuum? Does that seem excessive to anyone else?)

14. Is still mad at the WB network for cancelling Angel in 2004.

15. Can't find her way from her bed to her bathroom without her glasses, but refused eye surgery, even when someone else offered to pay. (They lost her at "eye flap". Seriously, look it up. Scary stuff.)

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / TikTok


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Knitmare on Beech Street (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart Book Tour with Excerpt!



About Knitmare on Beech Street


Knitmare on Beech Street (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 10th in Series 

Setting - Charming fictional town of Arborville, in northern New Jersey Kensington Cozies (November 28, 2023) 

Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages 

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496738861 

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496738868 

Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BZBM8P55

Knit and Nibble member Pamela Paterson, and her best friend, Bettina, stumble on a body in a once grand Victorian house when they join a group welcoming new residents to Arborville—and must figure out if old secrets killed the new neighbor . . .

When Pamela, Bettina, and their friends show up at the Voorhees House to greet its new owner, they’re met with a most unwelcome sight: a dead body on the kitchen floor. Tassie Hunt just inherited the old Victorian, which had been occupied by a reclusive widow for many years and had a reputation for being haunted. But Tassie would have been unlikely to be spooked since her career involved debunking such paranormal phenomena.

Her demise sets off a new flurry of gossip and ghostly speculation in the New Jersey town, of course—and it’s tempting to think spirits were indeed involved considering there’s zero evidence so far of foul play. 

A nosy neighbor reports strange lights and sounds, and a man obsessed with the Victorian era starts photographing the place from the street. But it won’t take long before Pamela and Bettina are moving in on a killer . .

Pamela led the way down the steps, down the narrow concrete path, and along the sidewalk, until they reached another concrete path. From this path, steps led up to another porch, smaller and with a plainer railing, onto which the back door opened. 
Saying “I’ll try again,” Marlene hefted the gift basket and headed up the steps. As she pressed the doorbell, the rest of the group joined her on the porch one by one. Marlene turned away after a few minutes and much enthusiastic pressing of the doorbell. 
“No answer,” she murmured. “And I was sure ANGWY was clear about the date and time.” She shrugged, edged past the others, and started down the steps. Bettina, however, stepped closer to the door and tipped her head to peer at the doorframe. 
“I’m not sure it’s closed all the way,” she said and gave the door a tentative push. The door swung open easily. After a shrug and a glance at the other women, Bettina raised a stylishly shod foot and stepped over the threshold. “Tassie?” Her voice rang out with a cheerful lilt. 
“Hello? It’s the ANGWY committee.” She disappeared inside, but a moment later she was back in the doorway. Her cheer had vanished, leaving her face a wan canvas that made her careful makeup appear garish. Ignoring her heart’s sudden lurch, Pamela took a few quick steps and joined her friend in the doorway. 
Bettina backed up against the door, anchoring it in a fully open position, and Pamela slipped past her into the kitchen. A woman lay sprawled on the ancient linoleum, a slender blonde woman wearing a light cotton robe printed with small flowers in shades of blue and lilac . . .

About Peggy Ehrhart

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor with a doctorate in Medieval Literature. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone(2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), were published by Five Star/Gale/Cengage and feature a blues-singer sleuth.

Peggy is currently writing the Knit & Nibble mysteries for Kensington Books. Her amateur sleuth, Pamela Paterson, is the founder and mainstay of the Arborville, New Jersey, knitting club, nicknamed Knit and Nibble. Knitmare on Beech Street is book #10 in the series. Peggy herself is an avid crafter, dating from her childhood as a member of the 4-H Club in rural Southern California.

Peggy is a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She regularly attends mystery-writing conferences and participates in conference panels. She also gives talks on mystery fiction at libraries and other venues in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Yarn Mania Blog on my website: 
Purchase Links  


November 28 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

November 28 – Angel’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT

November 28 – Cozy, Suspenseful, and Sweet – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 29 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense – AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 30 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – Diane’s Book Journal – SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

December 3 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


December 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

3 Individual winners of print copies of Knitmare on Beech Street. U.S. Only

01 December 2023

The Immortal Detective by D. B. Woodling November 27 - December 8, 2023 Virtual Book Tour! $.99 Starting November 28th!

The Immortal Detective by D. B. Woodling Banner

The Immortal Detective by D. B. Woodling

Sometimes being immortal makes you wish you were dead.

Celeste Crenshaw has survived her parents’ grisly murders, grueling and gender-biased police training, a battle with rogue vampires, and even her own death. While immortality might seem a dream come true, can she accept the strings attached?

Celeste spends the start of her immortal life being mentored by the Elders of the Hollow Earth. They release her once they feel certain Celeste has honed her supernatural powers. But little do they know, Celeste isn’t wholly committed to granting eternal life to those deserving. Upon a return home to her immortal lover, and the Kansas City Detective Squad, she battles mortal foes, not so unlike the demonic undead. And when a fellow detective falls victim to a murderous gang member, Celeste faces a gut-wrenching decision and the possible wrath of the Elders.

Praise for The Immortal Detective:

"…impressive vampiric worldbuilding {with} a fascinating cast."
~Publishers Weekly

"A new, original, fresh, fascinating and fun take on the Vampire genre. THE IMMORTAL DETECTIVE by D. B. Woodling is a “must read” pick for the legions of vampire fiction fans and an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections. Exceptionally well written…"
~Midwest Book Review

The Immortal Detective Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal, Detective Mystery, Fantasy Hybrid
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: March 2023
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780744308013 (ISBN10: 0744308011)
Series: The Immortal Detective, 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | CamCat Books

I found Liza McCuskey strung out in an alley between a strip joint and a pawnshop. The report listed her as twenty-two, but she looked every bit of forty-five. The color of her hair reminded me of chili peppers and hung limp against bruised and bony shoulders. Her face wasn’t a ray of sunshine; it forecasted Noah’s flood. I flashed my shield, which convinced the john pressing her against a building to take off. She was hesitant to talk until I showed her a crisp twenty-dollar bill. She reached for it, feigning goodwill the way addicts always do.

“Not so fast, Liza. You tell me what you know about Gunner’s murder and there’s more where that came from.”

She shook her head, so hard her entire body shook with it, then she wrenched her head sideways and puked. A man wearing a T-shirt advertising the club swaggered from the strip club’s rear entrance, whistling as he unzipped his pants and peed a steady stream. I assumed he was the bartender.

“When you’re done there,” I called out, “bring her a club soda–room temperature, no ice.”

He wagged his penis, then zipped up. “I don’t know if you noticed, princess, but we don’t do curb service.”

“You do tonight. Make it fast and the KCPD might even throw you a tip.”

He scurried back inside, and I hoped he planned to return. Liza hitched her short skirt back down over skeletal hips, losing her balance twice. Her fishnet stockings were ripped here, torn there, and could have snagged a small shark. If she had worn panties when she came into the alley, she didn’t have them on now. I pointed to her hand. “What happened there?” It looked like a defensive wound to me. “Did that happen recently?” She hid her hand behind her back. “Maybe around the time somebody stabbed Gunner to death?”

“Like I told those other cops, I got nothing to say.”

“I think you were there, Liza. Witnesses saw you with Gunner an hour before a passerby discovered his body. And that knife wound on your hand isn’t just a coincidence.”

She turned her back and faced the building. The bartender crashed through the rear door. Wearing a scowl and a snippet of actual barbed wire for a nose ring, he pressed a plastic cup in my direction, then exchanged the club soda for a ten-dollar bill and took off.

I bumped Liza with my elbow. “Here, drink this.”

She gulped the entire glass, and I fought the urge to get her something to eat. She belched then swiped a grimy hand across her mouth and headed toward the street.

“Have it your way,” I called after her. “Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when the next cop you meet arrests you for murder.”

She stopped dead and whipped around to face me. “I didn’t kill him.”

“But if you know who did and you don’t come forward, you’re considered an accessory after the fact. Which means prison time, Liza. That’s one hell of a way to get clean.”

She began to tremble, so violently her knees buckled, and I could hear her teeth chatter. “I talk, I’m dead. That motherfucker is crazy.”

“Then tell me off the record: No written statement. No subpoena to testify.”

Her dull eyes brightened. “I still get the money?”

“That depends on the information. I want a name.”

“I don’t know his name. You gotta believe me,” she whined like a kid advised of bedtime.

“I don’t believe you, Liza. But let’s start with a description.” I’d made two attempts to make sense of the jumbled thoughts inside her head. Reading her mind was a lot like wading through the waste in Chernobyl.

“I didn’t see him real good, okay?”

“But you were in the car?”

She nodded and looked away.

“Then help me understand; if you were in the car, why didn’t you see him?”

“Because I had my face buried in Gunner’s balls.”

“You were performing oral sex?”

She sniggered. “Yeah, if that’s what you want to call it. I give him a blowjob, he gives me crank.”

“And what happened when the killer began stabbing him?” She hid her face in her hands. “Come on, Liza. I’m trying to understand why you didn’t see the person who opened the door, or leaned in the window, and stabbed Gunner to death?”

Tears began to stream down her face. “Blood was squirting everywhere, Gunner making this horrible gurgling sound, and I-I tried to get down, get on the floor. But then. . .the guy with the knife grabbed my hair and yanked me up, and all I could see was that knife. I pushed my hand toward him, you know, like when you tell somebody to stop.”

“And that’s when he stabbed you?”

“Yeah, that’s when he stabbed me,” she murmured.

“How did you get away?”

“A car pulled up across the street. A bunch of guys got out and he grabbed the drugs and the money Gunner had on him and ran. They weren’t after him or anything, he just ran.”

“Where did you run, Liza?”

“Into the bushes until the guys went inside a house and I knew for sure the guy with the knife was gone. Then I went home.”

“Before you answer, remember everything you say is off the record. Most of all, you have to know that the killer didn’t intend to leave any witnesses. He wants you dead, Liza. For all we know, he could be out there right now looking to finish the job. I’d like to find him before he has the opportunity to do that. So tell me his name.”

“I told you. I don’t know it.”

Because she’d returned to working the streets, it was possible Liza didn’t know the killer’s name or he hers. But drug addiction was a powerful motivator. Maybe she was willing to risk her life for her next fix. I dug around in my pocket and withdrew all the cash I had. “Then give me a description,” I said, walking toward her and fanning various denominations. “You must have seen something.”

“Okay, okay,” she said, staring at the cash. “Gunner pushed me off him when the guy started stabbing him, you know, to try to fight him off. Before I made it down to the floor, I saw the back of the guy’s head. He didn’t have any hair, and he was white.”

“What else?”

“He had a tattoo, but I couldn’t see all of it because his jacket covered some of it and his neck was all scrunched up, you know, from leaning in the window.”

“To the best of your knowledge, what did it look like?”

“It was fucking weird. It looked like an up and down line on the top part, a sideways line below that.”

I handed over the money and gave her my card. “In case you remember anything else or decide to clean up your life.”


Excerpt from The Immortal Detective by D. B. Woodling. Copyright 2023 by D. B. Woodling. Reproduced with permission from D. B. Woodling. All rights reserved.

D. B. Woodling

Acquiring an early appreciation of prose written by Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and the audacious Stephen King, D.B.Woodling chose to follow in their intimidating footsteps, evidenced by The Immortal Twin (CamCat Books 2020) and The Immortal Detective, released by CamCat Books, March 2023. She recently completed a supernatural small-town murder mystery and has a Hollywood whodunit in the works, with Book Two of The Immortal Detective series vying for her attention. Woodling is a multi-genre author, and The Immortal Detective is her eighth novel.

Catch Up With D. B. Woodling:
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