23 July 2021

The Curse of Conchobar―A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series by David Fitz-Gerald Blog Tour! #HistoricalFiction #AdirondackSpiritSeries #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @AuthorDAVIDFITZGERALD @coffeepotbookclub @AuthorDAVIDFG @maryanneyarde

 




Book Title: The Curse of Conchobar―A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series

Series: The Adirondack Spirit Series

Author: David Fitz-Gerald

Publication Date: 20th January 2021

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Page Length: 171 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


The Curse of Conchobar―A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series

By David Fitz-Gerald


Banished by one tribe. Condemned by another. Will an outcast's supernatural strengths be enough to keep him alive?


549 AD. Raised by monks, Conchobar is committed to a life of obedience and peace. But when his fishing vessel is blown off-course, the young man's relief over surviving the sea's storms is swamped by the terrors of harsh new shores. And after capture by violent natives puts him at death's door, he's stunned when he develops strange telepathic abilities.


Learning his new family's language through the mind of his mentor, Conchobar soon falls for the war chief's ferocious daughter. But when she trains him to follow in her path as a fighter, he's horrified when his uncanny misfortune twists reality, causing more disastrous deaths and making him a pariah.


Can Conchobar defeat the darkness painting his steps with blood?


The Curse of Conchobar is the richly detailed prequel to the mystical Adirondack Spirit Series of historical fiction. If you like inspiring heroes, unsettling powers, and lasting legacies, then you'll love David Fitz-Gerald's captivating tale.


Buy The Curse of Conchobar to break free from the fates today!



Trigger Warnings:

Violence


Buy Links:


Universal Link: https://books2read.com/thecurseofconchobar


Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08TPDKN1Q

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TPDKN1Q/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08TPDKN1Q

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Curse-Conchobar_A-Prequel-Adirondack-Spirit-ebook/dp/B08TPDKN1Q

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-curse-of-conchobar-a-prequel-to-the-adirondack-spirit-series-david-fitz-gerald/1138636344

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1551092826

Book Chain: https://www.bookchain.ca/book/0x1d8427e3c5b51d32e13b028b8b7786fc8c985c33


Author Bio:

 

David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing.

 

Social Media Links:


Website: https://www.itsoag.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDAVIDFG

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDaveFITZGERALD

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authordavidfitzgerald/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AuthorDaveFITZGERALD

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/david-fitz-gerald

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Fitz-Gerald/e/B076CJK284/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17341792.David_Fitz_Gerald


The Curse of Conchobar is available for free in exchange for signing up for David’s email list via BookFunnel: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/iwczowhp8q


Tour Schedule Page: https://www.coffeepotbookclub.com/post/blog-tour-the-curse-of-conchobar%E2%80%95a-prequel-to-the-adirondack-spirit-series-by-david-fitz-gerald



Midnight Spells Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela Book Tour and Giveaway!

Midnight Spells Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela

About Midnight Spells Murder

Midnight Spells Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 13, 2021) 

Print Length: 271 pages 

Digital ASIN: B08L8RJTTD

Spirit Canyon’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it’s boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.

 

To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne’s benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch’s garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?

 

Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What’s worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne’s murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin’s report airs. Otherwise Zo’s business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation . . .

 

About Mary Angela

 
  Mary Angela is the author of the Happy Camper cozy mystery series, the Professor Prather academic mystery series, and several short stories. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com

  Author Links 

  Purchase Links




TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 13 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
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July 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 17 – Author Elena Taylor's Blog – REVIEW
July 17 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
July 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
July 19 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 23 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT   
July 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 26 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

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22 July 2021

The Marquess Method by Kathleen Ayers Release BLog Tour! #TheMarquessMethod #SteamyHistoricalRomance #HistoricalRomance

Lady Theodosia has long been infatuated with the Earl of Blythe so in an effort to secure his affections, she paints a scandalous miniature of herself. When her reckless behavior endangers her reputation, Theodosia knows she must retrieve the miniature. Unfortunately, the miniature is gone and the only thing she finds waiting for her in Blythe’s study is the disreputable Marquess of Haven. Fans of steamy historical romances will devour The Marquess Method by Kathleen Ayers, the next book in her Beautiful Barringtons Series.

Praise for Kathleen Ayers

"Kathleen Ayers has become a favorite for me. I loved the "Wicked Series" but the "The Theory Of Earls" (don't you just love this title) is my favorite so far." - MiaBurke54, Bookbub Reviewer

"I am absolutely enamored with this book! It has a breathtaking romance, characters with sizzling chemistry, and a dialogue that is so clever and witty..." - Catherine, Goodreads Reviewer

Blurb

Lady Theodosia Barrington is practically begging to be ruined.

That’s the assumption of the Marquess of Haven after spying Theodosia at a house party given by the Duke of Granby. After his father left him little else but a title and a crumbling estate, Haven is in desperate need of an heiress. Not only is Theodosia rich as Croesus and beautiful, but she’s also a Barrington. Her brother is Leo Murphy, owner of Elysium and the man Haven holds responsible for ruining his father.

Theodosia is the solution to all of Haven’s problems.

Lady Theodosia has long been infatuated with the Earl of Blythe. In an effort to prove her affection and perhaps induce him to offer for her, Theodosia paints a scandalous self-portrait of herself for Blythe as a birthday gift. The small token of affection is incredibly improper. Her behavior reckless.

She regrets gifting the miniature to Blythe immediately. Desperate to save her reputation before it can be destroyed and escape humiliation, Theodosia makes another rash decision. Retrieve the miniature from Blythe’s study.

Except the miniature is gone. And the only thing waiting for her is the Marquess of Haven.

And her own ruination.

Add to Goodreads Here

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited! 

Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 @Kathleen Ayers

“I think about kissing you every moment of every day.” Haven spoke without hesitation, the husky quality of his voice hovering over her limbs before sinking into her chest. “I’ve kissed you a total of four times, and I’m being generous in counting that chaste peck we shared in front of the vicar. I would have kissed you much sounder except I didn’t want Pith to take my head off. If I’m not thinking of the way you taste, or the small sounds you make when I hold you, it is only because I’m asleep. But even then, I dream of you.”

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

About Kathleen Ayers

Kathleen Ayers is the bestselling author of Regency and Victorian romance with strong, witty damaged heroes who can’t help falling for intelligent, sassy heroines. An avid reader, Kathleen fell in love with historical romance as a teenager after picking up a copy of Sweet Savage Love. She reads everything, from romance to thrillers, Stephen King and fantasy. When her nose isn’t stuck in a book, Kathleen tries to garden (with mixed results), works on perfecting her charcuterie board skills and enjoys a good wine tasting.

A Texas transplant, Kathleen shares a backyard swimming pool with her husband, son and two very spoiled dogs. 

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The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr Banner

The Queen of Second Chances

by D.M. Barr

July 1-31, 2021 Tour
 

Synopsis:

The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr
Carra’s memoir-writing class teaches seniors to resolve the regrets of their past. But to win over elder attorney Jay, will she follow her own advice? Carraway (Carra) Quinn is a free-spirited English major confronting an unreceptive job market. Desperate for cash, she reluctantly agrees to her realtor stepmother’s marketing scheme: infiltrate a local senior center as a recreational aide, ingratiate herself with the members, and convince them to sell their homes. Jay Prentiss is a straitlaced, overprotective elder attorney whose beloved but mentally fragile Nana attends that center. More creative than mercenary, Carra convinces Jay to finance innovations to the Center’s antiquated programming. Her ingenuity injects new enthusiasm among the seniors, inspiring them to confront and reverse the regrets of their past. An unlikely romance develops. But when Carra’s memoir-writing class prompts Jay’s Nana to skip town in search of a lost love, the two take off on a cross-country, soul-searching chase that will either deepen their relationship or tear them apart forever.

Reviews:

Charming, funny, and heartwarming, The Queen of Second Chances is not just a love story where two people discover each other, it is a story of self-discovery. Like all good romances, this one starts with the two main characters loathing each other before slowly realizing that they are perfect together. But before either Jay or Carra can come to that realization, they have to work through their personal shortcomings. Carra feels like a failure and is unable to get past her mother's desertion of her as a child. Jay, while his helping people who desperately need rescuing demonstrates his fundamental goodness, puts a little too much emphasis on wealth and status. Helping a group of seniors find fulfillment is the catalyst that allows both the main characters to embrace changing their own lives and then ultimately embrace each other. A joy to read, The Queen of Second Chances is the perfect mood lifter in these stressful times.
- S. Lee Manning, author of the critically acclaimed thriller, Trojan Horse
FIVE STARS!
The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr is a beautifully written story of two lost souls brought together by fate. Carra was such a wonderful character, her warmth and kindness towards others were admirable. She also put others' needs before her own safety and this was highlighted during the car scene outside the Garrison house. She was perfectly matched to Jay. Although he seemed to enjoy a materialistic lifestyle, I feel he had a really good heart and when he met Carra, he found the missing piece in his life. My absolute favorite character was Helen; she was extremely insightful and wise even though she was suffering from the onset of dementia. Her words of wisdom throughout were poignant and powerful, especially her views on looking back in life: "It's more important to heed the present because that's what it is, a gift. Nothing lasts long in this life, which is why every moment matters. You can't take anything or anyone for granted." I found the relationship between Jay and Carra developed gradually and the dialogue exchanges between them were very realistic. I loved the twist towards the end concerning Jay's background and the nail-biting ending was brilliant. I feel there are so many underlying messages throughout too. For example, live for the moment, never be afraid to chase your dreams, and forgive yourself for mistakes you have made in your past. I highly recommend this novel.
- Lesley Jones, for Readers' Favorite
FIVE STARS!
The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr is a lovely, deftly written romantic comedy that fans of the genre will love.
- Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
 

Book Details

Genre: Contemporary Sweet Romance, Romcom, Chicklit 
Published by: Champagne Book Group 
Publication Date: June 7th 2021 
Number of Pages: 204 
ISBN: 2940165375545 (ASIN B094GFWG3K) 
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads
 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One I couldn’t take my eyes off the man. He came barreling into the recreational center at SALAD—Seniors Awaiting Lunch and Dinner, Rock Canyon’s answer to Meals on Wheels—as I sat in the outer office, awaiting my job interview. He was tall, but not too tall. His expensive suit barely concealed an athletic physique that fell just shy of a slavish devotion to muscle mass. Early thirties, I estimated, and monied. Honey-blond curly hair, blue eyes, high cheekbones, chiseled features, gold-rimmed glasses, and of course, dimples. Why did there always have to be dimples? They were my kryptonite, rendering me powerless to resist. I nicknamed him Adonis, Donny for short, lest anyone accuse me of being pretentious. He was the stuff of every girl’s dreams, especially if that girl was as masochistic as yours truly. Men like that didn’t fall for ordinary girls like me, gals more Cocoa Puff than Coco Chanel, more likely to run their pantyhose than strut the runway. I leaned back on the leather couch, laid down my half-completed application, and prepared to enjoy the view. Then he opened his mouth, and the attraction withered like a popped balloon. “I want to speak to Judith. Now. Is she here?” The sharpness of his voice put Ginsu knives to shame. It was jagged enough to slash open memories of my mother’s own barely contained temper when refereeing sibling disputes between Nikki and me. Well, at least until she prematurely retired her whistle and skipped town for good. The attendant working the main desk looked fresh out of nursing school and had obviously missed the lecture on dealing with difficult clients. She sputtered, held up both hands in surrender, and retreated into the administration office, reemerging with an older woman whose guff-be-gone demeanor softened as she got closer. Her name tag read, “Judith Ferester,” the woman scheduled to conduct my interview. She took one look at Donny, sighed as if to say, Here we go again, and plastered on her requisite customer service smile. “Mr. Prentiss, to what do we owe the honor of this visit?” she asked in a tone sweet enough to make my teeth hurt. “Judith, I thought we had this discussion before. I trust you to take care of my nana, but day after day, I discover goings-on that are utterly unacceptable. Maybe we shouldn’t have added the senior center, just limited SALAD to meal delivery. Last week you served chips and a roll at lunch? That’s too many carbs. This week, I find someone is duping her out of her pocket change. No one is going to take advantage of her good nature, not under my watch.” I half-expected him to spit on the ground. Was such venom contagious? I didn’t want my prospective employer in a foul mood when she reviewed my application. I really, really needed this job. “Mr. Prentiss,” Judith answered, her patronizing smile frozen in place, “I assure you that your championing of our senior center was well founded. The reason your nana isn’t complaining is that she receives the utmost care. She is one of our dearest visitors. Everyone loves her.” “Tell me then, what is this?” Donny—scratch that, Mr. Prentiss—drew a scrap of paper from his pocket and flung it onto the counter. I leaned forward to make out the object of his disdain. Then, thinking better of it, I relaxed and watched as this melodrama played itself out. Judith glanced down at the paper. “This? It’s a scoresheet. They play gin for ten cents a hand. We monitor everything that goes on here; your grandmother is not being conned out of her life savings. You have my word.” Prentiss shook his head so vigorously his gold-rimmed glasses worked their way down to the tip of his perfect nose. He pushed them back with obvious annoyance. Even when he was acting like a jerk, his dimples were captivating. Would they be even more alluring if he smiled? Did he smile…like, ever? “It’s not the amount that worries me. It’s the act itself. Many seniors here are memory impaired. How can you condone gambling between people who aren’t coherent? Could you please keep a closer eye on things? Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll have to take my nana—and my support—to the center I’ve heard about across the river.” Without waiting for Judith’s response, Prentiss departed as brusquely as he’d arrived. Ah, the entitlement of the rich. Walk over everyone, then storm off. He never even noticed my presence. Just as well, considering my purpose for being there. Even if I wasn’t sorry to see the back end of his temper, his rear end was pleasant enough to watch as he exited, I noted with a guilty shudder. Judith shook her head, rolled her eyes, and let out a huff. Then she noticed me. “I’m so sorry you had to overhear that. I’m the director here. How can I help you?” “I’m Carraway Quinn. Everyone calls me Carra. I have an appointment for the recreational aide position.” Judith typed a few keystrokes into the main desk’s computer. “Ah yes, Ms. Quinn. Carraway, like the seed?” “Something like that,” I said with a smile. They always guessed, but no one got it right. Some man would, one day. That’s what my mother said a million years ago, when she still lived within earshot. One man would figure it out, and that’s how I’d know he was the one for me. Not that it mattered right now. I had bigger problems than finding a new boyfriend. “Tell me, would I have to deal with people like that all day?” I tilted my head in the direction of Prentiss’s contrail. “What can I say? He loves his nana.” Judith shrugged, staring at the door. “Though I’ve never seen him lash out like that before. He’s usually so calm.” She quickly shifted into public relations mode. “Jay Prentiss is one of our biggest contributors. It’s only because of his generosity that we have this senior center and can afford to hire a recreational aide.” She beckoned me into the inner office. “Shall we proceed?” I followed, but I had my doubts. I belonged in the editorial office of a magazine or on a book tour for my perennially unfinished novel, not at a senior center. This job was my stepmother’s idea, not mine. Calling it an idea was being generous; it was more like a scheme, and the elderly deserved better than someone sent here to deceive them. I was the embodiment of what Jay Prentiss worried about most. The interview lasted less than ten minutes, as if Judith was going through the formalities but had already decided to hire me. I was to start my orientation the following day. I shook her hand and thanked her, all the while wishing I were anywhere else. Afterward, I wandered into the recreation area, where I’d be spending most of my time. The room was dingy, teeming with doleful seniors watching television, playing cards, or staring off into space. A few complained among themselves about a jigsaw puzzle they were unable to finish because the last pieces were missing. I wondered how many had lost their spouses and came to the center out of loneliness, their children too busy with their own lives to visit. It was a heartbreaking thought. Jay Prentiss was complaining about carbs and gambling when he should have been concentrating on ennui. The seniors’ dismal expressions told me they were visiting SALAD more out of desperation than opportunity. It was clear they needed an injection of enthusiasm, not some aide looking to unsettle their lives. It came down to my conscience. Could it triumph against my stepmother’s directives and my plummeting bank account? --- Excerpt from The Queen of Second Chances by D.M. Barr. Copyright © 2021 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

D.M. Barr By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire. My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they're off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won't friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy. The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I've never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven't run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me. But that's not to say that I haven't wanted to…

Find Our Author Online:

DMBarr.com Goodreads
 

Tour Host Participants:

 Giveaway:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 1, 2021 through August 1, 2021. Void where prohibited.
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21 July 2021

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery by B.J. Bowen Book Tour and Giveaway!

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery by B.J. Bowen

About Music Is Murder

 

Music is Murder: A Musical Murder Mystery 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: Camel Press (June 8, 2021) 

Paperback: 242 pages 

ISBN-10: 1942078161

ISBN-13: 978-1942078166 

Digital ASIN : B08WTLNXJP

When a symphony musician is murdered—bashed with her own bassoon—flute player Emily Wilson becomes the prime suspect. To save herself and secure justice for her murdered friend, she must find the killer.

 

In the close-knit, unforgiving environment of the symphony orchestra Emily makes her way through the tender egos and warped relationships of her fellow musicians to find tantalizing clues. Blackmail, the victim’s abusive ex-boyfriend, an angry neighbor, and a shifty Symphony Board member all lead her to feel she is on the right track.

 

With the dogged Lieutenant Gordon on her trail, she must flee from the police so she can continue her search. She unexpectedly finds a loyal female friend and the possibility of a new man in her life. But she must learn to trust again after her failed and abusive marriage. With time running out, will she be able to evade the lieutenant, face her personal demons, and clear her name?

 

About B.J. Bowen

 
 Barbara Bowen is a freelance writer. She was a finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2018 Focus: Eddy Awards for her article, “Letting Go with Grace,” published in Unity Magazine. Ms. Bowen is also an accomplished professional oboist who played with the Colorado Springs Symphony for nineteen years. Drawing on her quirky fellow musicians and orchestral experiences, she created the mystery series, "Musical Murders.” The first is "Music is Murder" (Release date, 6-9-21). The second is "Ballistics at the Ballet" (Release date TBA) The third is "Fireworks on the Fourth" (Release date TBA). She is a member of Sisters in Crime, lives in Colorado with two canine friends, and has a stock of musical puns and a song for any occasion. 

Author Links Website - www.barbarabowenauthor.com 

  Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Bookshop - Target -


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 14 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Brooke Blogs – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
July 19 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
July 20 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 20 – Baroness' Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 21 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST
July 22 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
July 23 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 23 – BookishKelly2020 - SPOTLIGHT

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With Neighbors Like These by Linda Lovely Book Tour and Giveaway!

With Neighbors Like These

by Linda Lovely

July 12 - August 6, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

With Neighbors Like These by Linda Lovely

MANAGING AN HOA IS MURDER…

He championed shooting deer inside the HOA’s nature sanctuary. Now his corpse is posed curbside, cradling a trophy deer head. The theatrical murder panics residents, and Ted Welch asks Kylee Kane, retired Coast Guard investigator, to help his HOA management firm calm fears. Kylee agrees. Her own mother is getting death threats over her crusade to protect the deer.

HOA=DOA TERROR REIGNS…

When a belligerent owner in another HOA is murdered, terror reigns. The Sheriff’s Department blames Ted for letting HOA feuds spiral into homicide. Kylee discovers links between the victims and suspects a recently-pardoned general is next. Authorities and the arrogant general dismiss her warning. Can she foil the third act in the crafty killer’s death-as-theater game or will she be the next corpse on display?

Praise for With Neighbors Like These:

"Linda Lovely delivers another twisty mystery with the perfect mix of wry humor and quirky characters. Anyone looking for a fun, fast page-turner, here it is!"
--Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“HOA communities seem deceptively safe, but the mix of gossip and politics in rule-bound groups can be a fertile breeding ground for murder. For the gutsy Kylee Kane, a fact-finding gig in South Carolina’s Lowcountry turns increasingly complex and dangerous. With Neighbors Like These offers a distinctive setting, a tenacious female sleuth and captivating suspense.”
--Katherine Ramsland, bestselling author of How to Catch a Killer

"Low Country murder, intrigue, and even a little romance abound in With Neighbors Like These. Kylee Kane is a welcome addition to the genre, and author Linda Lovely knows how to stir the pot with crackling dialogue and a tidy little mystery. Highly recommended!"
--Richard Helms, Derringer and Thriller Awards winning author of Brittle Karma

Book Details:

Genre:Traditional Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 13th 2021
Number of Pages: 326
ISBN: 9781953789457
Series: HOA Mystery Series, Book 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

ONE

Kylee Kane
Friday, September 25, 6:30 p.m.

“Mom, are we eating at the kitchen table?”

Silence.

Not again.

I look outside. Mom’s standing by the mailbox, tugging on the blue stocking cap that keeps her nearly-bald head warm.

Crap. I said I’d get the mail. She’s a stubborn old cuss. While her skin now looks like wrinkle-mapped parchment, those cagey blue eyes still flash.

Mom stops midway to the house to read something. A postcard? She looks up. Her expression is one I rarely see. Fear? Distress? Definitely bad news.

Ted’s Mustang pulls into the drive, and Mom stuffs whatever worried her into a pocket. Ted jumps out, and Mom’s thin arms embrace him.

Thirty years ago, Ted was my kid brother’s pimpled, bratty best friend, a snot-nosed pest. Last year, when we met up again in the Lowcountry, I couldn’t believe it. These days he could model for GQ. A lot happens when decades pass between sightings.

I open the front door. Mom’s slightly out of breath as Ted helps her up the stairs. While her cancer’s in retreat, chemo has taken a toll.

Ted glances my way and grins.

“Hi, Kylee. See you’re still having trouble getting your mother to behave. Bet you long for those Coast Guard days when you could give orders and know they’d be obeyed.”

“Yep, some days I’m sorry I retired,” I answer.

Mom waves her hand like she’s shooing flies. “Let’s talk about something interesting. Ted, what do you hear from your son?”

“Grant’s great, sends lots of love. Says your care package made life worth living last week. Freshman year’s tough at the Citadel.”

At six-feet, Ted towers over my five-foot-two mother. Though he’s forty-seven, three years my junior, only a hint of silver threads his thick black hair. His hazel eyes seem to change color with his mood or maybe it’s just the light. Tonight, they’re green.

Ted looks worried as he studies Mom. He was eight when his own mother died. After that Mom included him in all our family activities. He loves Mom as much as I do.

During our kitchen table dinner, he regales us with tales of HOA intrigue to lift Mom’s spirits. Since his management company has more than a dozen homeowner associations as clients, his supply of stories seems endless.

“Once upon a time, there were three neighbors,” he begins. “RulesALot is convinced his neighbor, DoggyDo, is harboring three mutts, one more than the two-pet-per-household limit. Since he can’t see over his hedge to prove it, RulesALot launches a spy drone. A pilot he’s not. His drone crashes in ToplessTina’s backyard, who’s suing him as a Peeping Tom. Of course, there’s only one question on every male owner’s mind: Did the drone snap photos of Tina’s tatas before it nosedived?”

Ted’s eyebrows wiggle up and down, and Mom laughs. “Your HOA stories are certainly entertaining.”

“Believe me, the stories are a lot funnier if you’re not expected to wade into the middle of the skirmishes. Never dreamed HOAs would be tougher to manage than U.S. embassies on hostile soil.”

Mom fiddles with her napkin. “Speaking of neighborhood feuds, I have a confession. I figured you’d be scolding me by now, Ted, since you manage our HOA …”

Ted and I look at each other. Uh oh.

“What did you do?” Ted asks.

“I told the moron Hullis Island directors I’ll sue if they don’t let us vote on what happens to our deer. Emailed copies to all 1,123 owners.”

I reach across the table and squeeze Mom’s hand. Though I agree with her, she needs to focus on regaining strength, not leading a crusade. “Oh, Mom, kicking over a hornets’ nest isn’t part of your cancer recovery regimen.”

Mom’s eyes narrow. “Hey, everyone else bitched and nothing happened. Figured a lawsuit threat might make their little sphincters tighten, and they’d pay attention.”

Mom switches to a fake, shaky geezer voice. “I’m a little old lady, their nightmare plaintiff. Who’s going to go off on some sick, elderly lady?”

Ted’s eyebrows lift. “Exactly what did your email say?”

“Told ’em their plan to shoot our almost-tame deer with no vote on who, what, when, or how was plain wrong. Hullis Island is a nature sanctuary. They can’t unilaterally declare an open hunting season without an island vote to change our covenants.”

Ted shakes his head. “Myrt, I told the board the same thing, though a bit more diplomatically. The directors sided with Cliff, the board president, and his expert, some lawyer drinking buddy, who found a no-vote loophole after they’d tipped a few.”

He shrugs. “Welch HOA Management offers advice, but we’re hired help. Clients call the shots.”

“What loophole?” I butt in. “Don’t the covenants require a vote on any change to the island’s status as a nature sanctuary?”

Ted nods. “Cliff’s citing a provision that allows killing protected animals if they pose a threat to human life.”

I roll my eyes. “What? They say zombie deer are preparing to ambush humans? That exception allows trapping rabid raccoons or aggressive alligators, not shooting starving deer.”

“I cornered Barb Darrin, a director I thought had sense,” Mom says. “Her justification? Deer carry ticks, a health hazard, and they can crash into golf carts.”

Mom sighs. “Everyone agrees the herd’s out of control. Doesn’t give these arrogant SOBs the right to sanction a Wild West killing spree. Sure as shoot, some bozo will mistake a human or a big dog for a deer and fire away. You won’t be able to throw a rock without hitting some guy in camo with a high-powered rifle.”

Ted taps his spoon against his coffee mug. “Myrt, what aren’t you telling us?”

“Well…” She shrugs. “Seems one wannabe deer killer has no qualms about threatening old ladies.” She pulls the crumpled card from the pocket of her baggy sweater. “Found this love note in my mailbox.”

Good grief. That’s what she stuffed in her pocket.

Ted snatches what looks like some movie-maker’s idea of a ransom note. Black-and-white newsprint cut and pasted on a postcard.

“What a nice closing line.” Ted reads, “‘It’s time us hunters declare open season on diseased deer and busybody bitches like Myrtle Kane.’” He turns the card over to look at the front. “Did this come in an envelope?”

“No, just lying in the box.”

“Mom! This is dangerous. Either I’m moving back in with you or you’re coming to live with me.”

“Nonsense,” she scoffs. “It’s pure bluster. Took a year to convince you I’m healthy enough to live alone. Anyway, I get seasick just thinking about sleeping on your boat. No-sir-ee, you can’t dynamite me out of this house.”

Ted raises his palm in a hold-it gesture. “Myrt, do you think Dan Finley pasted this up?”

She shakes her head. “While I’m convinced he’s our Grass Slayer, it’s not his MO to cut up newsprint and issue threats. More his style to use that big commercial sprayer of his to ruin the Quaids’ lawn tonight.”

I frown. “The Quaids who live cattycorner? What does Finley have against them?”

“They’re one of the couples leading the ‘Save Bambi’ drive.”

“But why would Finley do something tonight?”

“The Quaids are in Savannah for their son’s wedding,” Mom answers.

Ted sets down his mug. “You may be right about Finley seizing the opportunity.”

Mom chimes in. “The deer have cost him big bucks. The poor starving creatures devour plants like I eat chocolates. Plants he’s guaranteed. His nursery and landscaping business is hurting. He blames folks like the Quaids, who put out buckets of corn to keep the deer alive.”

“Last week, herbicide messages were left on the lawns of two other deer lovers who were out of town,” Ted adds. “Dead yellow grass shows up quite nicely against a field of green Bermuda blades.”

“What kind of messages?” I ask.

Mom shrugs. “One lawn read, ‘Up yours!’ He was more artistic on the other lawn, drew a fist with an extended middle finger.”

I laugh in spite of my worries that Finley might be Mom’s new enemy.

Mom purses her lips. “Sure, it sounds like juvenile hijinks, but the anger’s palpable. Folks who golfed or played bridge together no longer speak. That’s why I’m adamant we need a vote. Then, win or lose, everyone has a say, and we can move on. It’s called democracy.”

“Speaking of democracy, I propose a kitchen vote,” Ted says. “All in favor of Kylee and me staking out the Quaids’ yard tonight raise your hands. That overgrown lot across the street offers a view of their place. Maybe we can catch Dan Finley at work.”

While I’m skeptical a one-night stakeout will succeed, that vacant lot also offers a perfect view of Mom’s mailbox. And I’m all for hanging around to catch anyone delivering hate mail.

Ted and I raise our hands. Mom harrumphs.

“Just what will you do if Dan Finley does drop by?” she asks.

“Video him doing the evil deed.” Ted smiles. “My new phone takes excellent photos in low light.”

Mom grumbles, but won’t argue with our kitchen table vote, a Kane family tradition.

“Just when do you intend to sneak off in the woods?”

Ted glances at his watch. “Say an hour? I doubt Finley would chance a drive-by while folks are still drifting home from dinner at the club.”

“Good. I’ll change into some old clothes and sneakers I left here before I was evicted.”

Ted looks ready for a Southern Living picture shoot in his tan chinos, button-down shirt, and polished loafers. “You sacrificing your HOA meeting duds for this outing?”

His hazel eyes twinkle. “Nope,” Ted answers. “I was a Boy Scout. Your dad, our scoutmaster, taught us well. I have running clothes in the trunk.”

***

Excerpt from With Neighbors Like These by Linda Lovely. Copyright 2021 by Linda Lovely. Reproduced with permission from Linda Lovely. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Linda Lovely

A journalism major in college, Linda Lovely has spent most of her career working in PR and advertising—an early introduction to penning fiction. With Neighbors Like These is Lovely’s ninth mystery/suspense novel. Whether she’s writing cozy mysteries, historical suspense or contemporary thrillers, her novels share one common element—smart, independent heroines. Humor and romance also sneak into every manuscript. Her work has earned nominations for a number of prestigious awards, ranging from RWA’s Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense to Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime and former chapter president, Lovely also belongs to International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For many years, she helped organize the Writers’ Police Academy. She lives on a lake in Upstate South Carolina with her husband, and enjoys swimming, tennis, gardening, long walks, and, of course, reading.

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Giveaway:

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Kiss of Life by Louise Lennox Release Tour!


Tara’s string of bad luck has her convinced nothing good will ever happen to her again. When a hurricane hits the island, she gets stranded with the town’s sexy, new judge. Maybe her luck isn’t so bad after all... Readers who love Kennedy Ryan and Nicole Snow will love KISS OF LIFE by Louise Lennox, a forced proximity, small town romance.

Blurb

The Carolina Lowcountry is sexier, because the beautiful Kiawah Kisses rule the Sea Islands with strength, spice, and sass. This summer, each friend will reconnect with a Gullah hometown hero and learn to love again. This is Tara’s story…

When hurricane Maria hits Kiawah Island, newly divorced single mom Tara Kent braces to add another pearl, on her string of bad luck. Between an ex-husband who won’t go away, a mother acting like a child, and a stagnant career; she’s convinced nothing good will ever happen again.

But when she steps inside the courtroom of the Sea Islands’ new sexy dreadlocked motorcycle riding judge; she’s tempted to think things can change. But will they?

Judge Cameron Sinclair is new in town. When the beautiful but battered Tara sheds tears in his courtroom, he makes it his business to get her what she deserves. And when he’s stranded with her in the eye of a deadly storm, he realizes what she really deserves is love. But he isn’t the man to give it to her. Or is he?

Kiss of Life, book 2 in the Kiawah Kisses Series, is a steamy, small town, contemporary

romance featuring a strong, smart heroine and the compassionate, sexy judge who

redeems her heart. Download it today and get ready to fall in love with your next favorite

book boyfriend.

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Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 @Louise Lennox

When I pull up to Tara’s home, I’m both displeased and impressed. On one hand, It’s a big beautiful white farmhouse with a wraparound porch. It looks timeless and unique. Much like Tara herself. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she picked this home for herself. But it’s very far off the road and isolated on about twenty acres of farmland. A single mother and her kids shouldn’t be out here all by themselves. And tonight, she’s solo. If she caught me checking on her, there’s no way I could play it cool like I was in the neighborhood.

There is no neighborhood.

By the time I gradually drive up her private gravel road, I’m soaked to the core. As I get closer, I can barely make out anything in front of me, but I see her slight frame sitting on the steps with her head in her hands. She’s sitting on a porch in the eye of an oncoming storm. My bike has a loud purr, but she doesn’t even look up.

Her environmental awareness is shit. We’ll have to work on that.

I turn off the engine and hit the kickstand. Taking my helmet off, I approach. She’s shuddering…crying.

Only when I call her name does she look up.

“Tara, what’s wrong?” I force myself to calm down; I can’t spook her.

When she looks at me and I’m not prepared for what I see. I expected shock and even some anger. I thought she might wonder how the hell I got to her home. I thought she’d accuse me of stalking her and order me away. Instead, she looks wrecked. Her eyes are weak from crying. Her beautiful skin is red, raw from her tears. And her lips are trembling. The entire scene is a knife straight to my heart.

“What happened,” I growl, losing tolerance for this entire scene.

She sniffles. “Jason… he… he…” That’s as far as she gets before her body crumbles into itself, tormented with fresh tears. I get out of the rain and join her on the porch. Sitting next to her, I pull her into my arms. She crawls into my lap and sobs on my chest for a good five minutes. I stroke her hair and soothe her with firm circles to her back, placing soft kisses in her wet hair.

“Shh Angel. It’s going to be alright. No one is going to hurt you. But you’ve got to tell me what happened. Did Jason hurt you? Can we go inside and talk about it?”

She lifts and looks at me with a defeated gaze. “

No. That’s just it. I can’t get inside. Jason had the locks changed while I was at work tonight. I can’t even get into my house!”

The tree branches are swaying, and the wind grows fierce. We have to get out of here soon.

“Angel, listen to me. You can tell me all the details later, and I promise I will help you get back into your house. But this storm is picking up and no locksmith will come by in this weather tonight. Is there anywhere I can take you? You need shelter. What about your mother’s? or Symone’s?”

She grabs on to my leather cut with a frantic look. “No! Please. It’s too embarrassing. My mother has enough to deal with, she doesn’t need to know I’m homeless too. At least not tonight. And I don’t want the kids to find out. Symone and Rhue have done so much for me already. I just can’t ask them for another thing.”

Her pride is admirable, but silly given the circumstances.

“Then come home with me.” I say it on impulse, but I’m certain it’s what I want.

“What?! No, I can’t impose. That wouldn’t be proper.”

I chuckle. “Angel, if we don’t get inside soon, this storm will scatter our proper bodies across the marsh. It is going to be a level two within the hour. I have a four-bedroom home on Kiawah. You will have your own room and bed, and you can take tonight to think through your options and rest. I promise you my intentions are honorable.”

She looks at me for a long moment with a partially opened mouth and I’m sure she’ll say no. But then she closes it to bite her bottom lip and my dick rouses to attention.

Down, boy.

I can’t touch her. She doesn’t need that right now. Finally, she purses her lips in a little determined grimace and nods yes. “Ok, Cameron. Thank you.”

I smile. “Great. But we can’t ride my bike in this weather. I was taking a chance driving it over here, but that’s a chance I was taking on myself alone. Can we take your truck?”

She stands and sticks out her hand to help me up. I laugh at the gesture. She’s sweet, but I have at least 100 pounds on her. Still, I take her hand.

“You can park your bike here. No one should bother with it.” She looks down at the floor of her porch and crosses her arms in front of her. “I’m so sorry Cameron, this is crazy. Are you sure it’s OK for me to impose on you like this? I can get a hotel room or something. I was so shocked, I kind of just fell and landed here.”

I pinch her chin and raise her eyes to mine.

“Tara, you are never an imposition. You are a privilege. How often does one get to host an angel?”

She finally smiles, and I pull her in close to whisper alongside the shell of her ear.

“I’m going to take excellent care of you, for as long as you allow it. Let’s Go.”

We turn toward the car and dash out into the storm, hand in hand.

Hopefully, by tomorrow all will be clear.


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About Louise Lennox 

Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.

A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.

Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.

When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!

To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website www.lovelouiselennox.com.

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