19 April, 2021

Hit Or Miss by Jeff Markowitz Book Tour and Giveaway!

Hit Or Miss by Jeff Markowitz Banner

Hit Or Miss

by Jeff Markowitz

April 1-30, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Hit Or Miss by Jeff Markowitz

When you’re twenty-one years old, it can be hard, under the best of circumstances, to balance the expectations of your father and the desires of your girlfriend. For Ben Miller and his girlfriend Emily Bayard, circumstances are far from perfect.

Emily’s mother has been murdered. Ben’s father, a detective in Dutch Neck, catches the case. It’s not long before evidence suggests that Emily’s father may be responsible for the death of his wife.

Set against the backdrop of the cultural and political unrest associated with the war in Viet Nam, Emily and Ben find themselves attracted by the politics and lifestyle of the counter-culture.

As Detective Miller conducts the homicide investigation and Dr. Bayard attempts to keep an affair with his secretary secret, everyone else in the town of Dutch Neck that summer of 1970 has the same question.

Who is responsible for the death of Rosalie Bayard?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: WiDo Publishing
Publication Date: December 29, 2020
Number of Pages: 278
ISBN: 9781947966482
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Thousands of young people were on the mall, and more were streaming in by the minute. Willow, and her hippie friends staked out a spot near the Lincoln Memorial. Emily wandered the length of the National Mall, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital Building and back again, determined to take it all in. There was a buzz in the morning air. The President appeared unannounced on the Ellipse at dawn and chatted with a small group of demonstrators. He wished them an enjoyable stay in the nation’s capital. Everyone Emily met on the Mall claimed to have seen him. The day was hot; the Mall was dry and dusty. There were crowds of people everywhere, an uneasy mixture of antiwar protestors, soldiers and police units, newsmen and onlookers. Protestors flashed peace signs and sang the fish cheer. Young Republicans responded with middle-finger salutes.

Emily didn’t know most of the speakers at the demonstration, but she like the message. End the Cambodian incursion. End the war in Vietnam. She located a pay phone and used her spare change to call Ben.

“It’s amazing. You should be here.” She had to yell to be heard. Demonstrators continued to pour into the Mall. “Is anything happening in Dutch Neck?”

“You need to come home.”

“Don’t be like that.”

“That’s not what I mean. It’s your mother.”

“What about my mother?”

Ben didn’t answer right away. The phone line crackled with static.

A scuffle broke out on the Mall. Police moved in quickly, weapons at the ready, cutting the small group of protestors off from the larger crowd. The confrontation pulled Emily’s attention away from the phone call.

“Your mother is dead.”

Later, the news would report that there were more than one hundred thousand demonstrators on the national mall, but at that moment, amidst the pushing and shoving, Emily felt like she was alone in the world. Without more change to feed the phone, the line went dead. She dropped the pay phone and turned, nearly bumping into a cop.

“Stay back,” he ordered, his hand on his weapon.

“She’s dead,” she replied and kept walking.

He pointed the gun at Emily’s head. “Who’s dead?”

She could feel anger in the policeman, but also restraint. Days removed from Kent State, it was as if no one wanted to provoke the next shooting. The policeman holstered his weapon. Shouts of “pig” were replaced by prayers for peace. Emily breathed a sigh of relief and answered the officer’s question.

“My mother.”

“Do you have a way to get home?”

Emily told the officer about Miss Cooper and the apartment on C Street. He offered to give her a ride. If anyone saw her in the patrol car, she would tell them that she had been arrested.

No one answered when she knocked on the apartment door. The apartment manager was polite, but firm. She would have to leave.

“Do you need money for a bus ticket?” The officer reached for his wallet. “I’ll drop you off at the bus station.”

When Emily left Dutch Neck, her mother had been alive. If she got on a bus, she would be admitting that her mother was dead. She wasn’t prepared to deal with that. Not yet. So she decided to spend another night in DC. As long as she remained in DC, she told herself, she could pretend that nothing was wrong at home. And maybe, just maybe, she could help end the war.

With no place else to go, she retraced her steps.

The crowd at the National Mall was smaller. There was a chill in the air, the midday heat a distant memory. It was a tough night, out on the mall, trying not to think about her mother. Instead she thought about the American boys who were spending the night in rice paddies on the other side of the world, probably trying not to think about their mothers too, and she knew that this was a small price to pay to end the war. At four in the morning, an older man approached. He was dressed like an off-duty policeman heading out to play a round of golf.

“Are you here to end the war, miss?”

“Yes, I guess I am,” She took a closer look at the middle-aged man and jumped to her feet, “Mr. President?”

President Nixon chuckled quietly.

“But, what…”

“I couldn’t sleep. I thought some fresh air would do me good.”

“But…”

“You know, sometimes I think you young people actually believe that I like being at war.”

Emily didn’t know how to answer the Commander in Chief. “Begging your pardon sir, but it does sometimes seem that way.”

“Let me tell you something miss… by the way, we haven’t been properly introduced. My name is Richard Nixon and yours is?”

“Emily Bayard.” She started to raise her fist in protest, like Bug, during the demonstration, but couldn’t extend her arm, not while she was standing face-to-face with the President. She looked around, grateful that Willow and her friends weren’t there to see her pitiful attempt at protest.

“Well, Emily, let me tell you something. I think I hate this war more than you do. But sometimes war is the necessary thing to do.”

“But you could end the war, sir. You could end the war today.”

“General Westmoreland tells me we need two more years to achieve our goals. You wouldn’t want us to leave now, without achieving our goals. Give me two more years Emily, and I’ll end the war. You have my word on it.”

“I don’t think I can do that, sir.”

President Nixon shook his head in sadness. “You young people can be so impatient.”

“In a few weeks, I’ll be graduating from college.”

“Congratulations. And then?”

“I don’t know. But I have classmates… friends… They’ve been called up. In two years’ time, they could be dead.”

President Nixon didn’t have an answer at the ready. “I’d best be on my way.” The sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. “Before my Secret Service detail realizes I’ve slipped out.”

President Nixon turned to leave. He took a few steps and then turned back to face Emily. “I’ve just had an idea. Are you hungry? Would you like to have breakfast with me?”

“You mean, like, in the White House?”

The President grinned. “I have the best chef. What would you like? You can have anything, anything at all. After all, I am the President.”

“This isn’t some sort of photo op, is it? You know what I mean, antiwar activist sees the error of her ways after breaking bread with the President.

“I see what you mean. It would sure look good in the papers. Lord knows I could use a good story in the papers.” The President chuckled. “No. No photos. No press release. You have my word.”

And so it came to pass, on Sunday morning, before taking a bus back to Long Island to bury her mother, Emily had breakfast with the President. Mr. Nixon had poached eggs and corned beef hash with a cup of coffee, black. Emily had blueberry blintzes and a cup of chamomile tea. And all the while, they argued about the war.

“Would you like seconds?”

But she had put it off long enough. “I’m needed at home.”

***

Excerpt from Hit Or Miss by Jeff Markowitz. Copyright 2020 by Jeff Markowitz. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Markowitz. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Jeff Markowitz

Jeff Markowitz is the author of 5 mysteries, including the award-winning dark comedy, Death and White Diamonds. His new book, Hit Or Miss, was released in December 2020. Part detective story, part historical fiction, part coming of age story, Hit Or Miss is an Amazon Hot New Release in political fiction. Jeff spent more than 40 years creating community-based programs and services for children with autism, before retiring in 2018 to devote more time to writing. Jeff is Past President of the NY chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Catch Up With Jeff Markowitz:
www.JeffMarkowitz.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @JeffMarkowitz
Twitter - @JeffMarkowitz1
Facebook

Tour Participants:

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

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Markowitz. There will be two (2) winners each receiving one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 1, 2021 and runs through May 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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18 April, 2021

The Blind Switch (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery) by Lyn Farrell Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Blind Switch (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery) by Lyn Farrell

About The Blind Switch

 

The Blind Switch (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 

Publisher: Camel Press (January 12, 2021) 

Paperback: 230 pages 

ISBN-10: 1603816968 

ISBN-13: 978-1603816960 

Digital ASIN: B08QBH2BHH

The first book in the Rosedale Investigations series finds Wayne Nichols, our doggedly determined Detective, and his sassy and irreverent partner, Dory Clarkson, starting new jobs as private investigators. Their first client, Cara Summerfield, comes with what appears to be a missing person's case. Cara got pregnant in high school and baby Danny was adopted. Her husband, Grant, an up-and-coming politician has never been told about the pregnancy. Their only clue is an unreadable return address on a letter sent to Cara from Danny's girlfriend. Danny is now a racehorse trainer and has been assaulted for non-payment of gambling debts. Cara charges Rosedale Investigations to find Danny and keep his existence completely confidential. When Danny is found, he's in the ICU and not expected to live. When he passes away, it appears to the pathologist to be natural causes, but Detective Nichols doesn't buy it. It looks like murder to him.

About Lyn Farrell

Lynda J. Farquhar (penname Lyn Farrell) holds a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in Higher Education/Administration from Michigan State University. Prior to her retirement from MSU, she was a professor in the College of Human Medicine where she worked for 30+ years. When she retired, she returned to her first love, writing, and self-published a YA Trilogy, “Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom.” Subsequently, she and her daughter, Lisa Fitzsimmons, wrote a 7-book mystery series, “The Mae December Mysteries,” published by Camel Press under their joint penname, Lia Farrell. Marketing efforts for the Mae December mysteries, as well as much work by Camel on subsidiary rights, deal with Harlequin, have resulted in sales of 22,000+ (to date) for the series. She is now writing a new mystery series, “Rosedale Investigations.” The first is titled, “The Blind Switch” and was released in January 2021.

Author Links 
  WEBPAGE AND BLOG: https://www.lynfarrell.com/ 
  REQUEST TO RECEIVE NEWSLETTERS: https://www.lynfarrell.com/newsletter.html 
  Purchase Link - Amazon - B&N - Kobo
 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
April 12 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 12 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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April 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 15 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
April 15 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
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April 16 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Ms. Cat's Honest World – REVIEW
April 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 20 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW
April 20 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT   
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Harm’s Way by Karen Renee Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Harm’s Way
Karen Renee
(Riot MC Biloxi #1)
Publication date: April 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

If it weren’t for bad luck, Stephanie Combes would have no luck at all.

On top of stealing her identity and ruining her credit, Stephie’s ex-boyfriend has shamed her in the most unexpected way. As a card dealer, she’s determined to make a fresh start in Biloxi where the tips are better and she can climb out from under her shame and debt. Running into her long-lost stepbrother and his sexy-as-sin best friend wasn’t in the cards, but that was her bum-luck rearing its ugly head. The last thing she wants is another man in her life.

When it rains it pours, but lucky for Stephie, Har is there to save the day during the deluge. Staying with Har temporarily should be no problem, but they can’t deny their lust. The more Stephie distances herself, the more Har fights to keep her around. And he fights dirty.

Michael “Har” Walcott’s motorcycle club is in turmoil. As president of the Riot MC Biloxi chapter, he’s determined to get his club out of the drug trade, but his brothers are resistant. The last thing he needs is a woman dividing his focus from his brothers and his club… which is precisely when he meets a spunky and seemingly familiar brunette.
She’s familiar because Stephanie was once a stepsister to Har’s best friend Brute. Allowing her to distract him isn’t an option. But after her roof collapses, Har steps in to save the day. The more he learns about Stephie, the more he wants her to stay.

He fights his attraction, but he can’t control his impulses.

He hasn’t felt anything like this for a woman in years. It’ll be a cold day in hell before he lets it slip through his fingers again.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Har’s hand rested on the light switch when a thought hit him. “You have contact info for Stephie?”

“Come again?”

“You heard me.”

“Got a phone number, but not sure if it’s still the one she uses. Why the fuck do you want it?”

Har met Brute’s irritated gaze. “Saw her bike before I went in the house, and obviously before I knew who she was. It’s a sweet ride with a sweeter paint job. I want to know who did it.”

“I’d rather know what it’ll take to get her off the damn thing. Not safe—”

“Don’t even, man. How many times did that argument work against you from your parents?”

Brute’s jaw clenched.

“She ain’t gonna be any different. Hell, she’s a woman, it’ll be even worse, you go tellin’ her she ain’t safe and shit.”

Brute shook his head. “You’re right. And you mentioned she’s living here now. I need to find out where. It’s been a long time since she’s been out here, as far as I know. Things are different.”

“Yeah. Be good you let her know about that, too.”

He and Brute had been friends since they were nine years old and he hadn’t forgotten how much Brute hated having two stepsisters when his dad remarried. Though, he never rubbed it in when Brute complained after they were gone. The love he had for Stephie and Susan snuck up on Brute. In Har’s experience, love did that more often than not. It snuck in at weird times.

The look on Brute’s face said he didn’t like Stephie being in town.

“And she lost her entire stack to you last night. What was that all about?”

Har arched a brow, but didn’t answer. And he wasn’t going to let Brute know that Stephie had signed over an entire paycheck to get in the game. That was what concerned Har. It wasn’t that she had no business at a poker table, it was that gambling with a paycheck indicated serious desperation.

What would drive a woman like Stephanie Combes to desperation?


Author Bio:

Karen Renee is the award-winning author of the Riot MC series, the Beta series, and upcoming O-Town series. She has been writing since she was a teen, but has only recently brought her dream to life. Karen spent years working in the wonderful world of advertising, banking, and local television media research. She is a Jacksonville native, as well as a proud wife and mother. When she’s not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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16 April, 2021

Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble Book Tour and Giveaway!

Three Missing Days

by Colleen Coble

April 5 - 30, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble

Book Three in the gripping romantic suspense series from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

A chilling murder.

Chief of Police Jane Hardy plunges into the investigation of a house fire that claimed the life of a local woman as well as one of the firefighters. It’s clear the woman was murdered. But why? The unraveling of Jane’s personal life only makes the answers in the case more difficult to find.

Her son’s arrest.

Then Jane’s fifteen-year-old son is accused of a horrific crime, and she has to decide whether or not she can trust her ex, Reid, in the attempt to prove Will’s innocence—and whether she can trust Reid with her heart.

Her stolen memories.

Three days of Jane’s past are missing from her memory, and that’s not all that has been stolen from her. As she works to find the woman’s murderer and clear her son’s name, finding out what happened in those three days could change everything. It all started with one little lie. But the gripping truth is finally coming out.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 6th 2021
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228543 (ISBN13: 9780785228547)
Series: Pelican Harbor #3 || These books are Stand Alone Mysteries but are better if read as a series!
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook.com | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

“I know what you did.”

The muffled voice on her phone raised the hair on the back of Gail Briscoe’s head, and she swiped the perspiration from her forehead with the back of her hand. “Look, I’ve reported these calls. Don’t call me again.”

She ended the call with a hard finger punch on the screen and stepped onto her front porch. The late-May Alabama air wrapped her in a blanket of heat and humidity, and she couldn’t wait to wash it off. She should have left the light on before she went for her predawn run. The darkness pressing against her isolated home sent a shudder down her back, and she fumbled her way inside. Welcome light flooded the entry, and she locked the door and the dead bolt with a decisive click that lifted her confidence.

She stared at the number on the now-silent phone. The drugstore again. Though there weren’t many pay phones around anymore, the old soda shop and drugstore still boasted a heavy black phone installed back in the sixties. The caller always used it, and so far, no one had seen who was making the calls. The pay phone was located off an alley behind the store by a Dumpster so it was out of sight.

The guy’s accusation was getting old. Counting today, this made seven calls with the same message. Could he possibly know about the investigation? She rejected the thought before it had a chance to grow. It wasn’t public knowledge, and it would be over soon. She clenched her hands and chewed on her bottom lip. She had to be vindicated.

But who could it be, and what did he want?

Leaving a trail of sweaty yoga shorts and a tee behind her, she marched to the bathroom and turned the spray to lukewarm before she stepped into the shower. The temperature shocked her overheated skin in a pleasant way, and within moments she was cooled down. She increased the temperature a bit and let the water sluice over her hair.

As she washed, she watched several long strands of brown hair swirl down the drain as she considered the caller’s accusation. The police had promised to put a wiretap on her phone, but so far the guy hadn’t stayed on the phone long enough for a trace to work. And it was Gail’s own fault. She should have talked with him more to string out the time.

She dried off and wrapped her hair in a turban, then pulled on capris and a top. Her phone vibrated again. She snatched it up and glanced at the screen. Augusta Richards.

“I got another call, Detective. Same phone at the drugstore. Could you set up a camera there?”

“I hope I’m not calling too early, and I don’t think that’s necessary. The owner just told me that old pay phone is being removed later today. Maybe that will deter the guy. It’s the only pay phone in town. He’ll have to use something else if he calls again.”

“He could get a burner phone.”

“He might,” the detective admitted. “What did he say?”

“The same thing—‘I know what you did.’”

“Do you have any idea what it means?”

Gail flicked her gaze away to look out the window, where the first colors of the sunrise limned the trees. “Not a clue.”

“Make sure you lock your doors and windows. You’re all alone out there.”

“Already locked. Thanks, Detective.” Gail ended the call.

Ever since Nicole Pearson’s body had been found a couple of months ago, no one needed to remind Gail she lived down a dirt road with no next-door neighbors. No one wanted to buy the neighboring place after such a lurid death, so the area remained secluded other than a couple of houses about a mile away and out closer to the main road.

She stood back from the window. It was still too dark to see. Was someone out there?

Pull back the reins on your imagination. But once the shudders started, they wouldn’t stop. Her hands shaking, she left her bedroom and went to pour herself a cup of coffee with a generous splash of half-and-half from the fridge. She had a stack of lab orders to process, and she couldn’t let her nerves derail her work.

The cups rattled as she snatched one from the cupboard. The coffee sloshed over the rim when she poured it, then she took a big gulp of coffee. It burned all the way down her throat, and tears stung her eyes as she sputtered. The heat settled her though, and she checked the locks again before she headed to her home office with her coffee.

No one could see in this tiny cubicle with no window, but she rubbed the back of her neck and shivered. She’d work for an hour, then go into the lab. The familiar ranges and numbers comforted her. She sipped her coffee and began to plow through the stack of papers. Her eyes kept getting heavy. Weird. Normally she woke raring to go every morning.

Maybe she needed more coffee. She stretched out her neck and back and picked up the empty coffee cup.

Gail touched the doorknob and cried out. She stuck her first two fingers in her mouth. What on earth?

The door radiated heat. She took a step back as she tried to puzzle out what was happening, but her brain couldn’t process it at first. Then tendrils of smoke oozed from under the door in a deadly fog.

Fire. The house was on fire.

She spun back toward the desk, but there was nothing she could use to protect herself. There was no way of egress except through that door.

If she wanted to escape, she’d have to face the inferno on the other side.

She snatched a throw blanket from the chair and threw it over her head, then ran for the door before she lost her courage. When she yanked it open, a wall of flames greeted her, but she spied a pathway down the hall to her bedroom. Ducking her head, she screamed out a war cry and plowed through the flames.

In moments she was in the hall where the smoke wasn’t so thick. She pulled in a deep breath as she ran for her bedroom. She felt the cool air as soon as she stepped inside and shut the door behind her. Too late she realized the window was open, and a figure stepped from the closet.

Something hard came down on her head, and darkness descended.

***

Excerpt from Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble. Copyright 2021 by Thomas Nelson. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Connect with Colleen online at:
colleencoble.com
Goodreads
BookBub: @ColleenCoble
Instagram: @colleencoble
Twitter: @colleencoble
Facebook: @colleencoblebooks

Tour Participants:

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

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Colleen Coble and Thomas Nelson. ONE (1) winner will receive ONE (1) physical set of the first three books in the Pelican Harbor series. (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on April 5, 2021 and runs through May 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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The Glass Slipper by K. Webster Book Blitz and Giveaway!

The Glass Slipper
K. Webster
Published by: Dangerous Press
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Betraying the most powerful man in New York wasn’t something I ever envisioned when I first started playing games with Winston Constantine. But he’s engaged in far more dangerous games than ours, and his enemies are out for blood.

Winston has my heart, the Morellis have incriminating photos, and I’m left with nothing except three stepbrothers who want to hurt me and a future in doubt. I knew Winston wouldn’t be my prince charming, but that didn’t stop me from falling for him.
After all, the slippers fit, and I let myself believe I’d be dancing with Winston forever.
Until too much truth comes to light.

Until I realize instead of ruling the board, I was just a pawn.

In the end, I have only one question. When his game with me is over, will I be able to pretend as if the glass slipper wasn’t a perfect fit?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Chirp.

I love my bird. Shrimp is the best little birdie on the planet. But, the one single sound he makes isn’t a pleased one. It’s angry. Hurt. Scared. This, above anything else that’s happened tonight, is the most upsetting. I’ve let Winston down. And, I’ve let my damn bird down.

Stupidly, I got swept up in the little fairy tale I’d imagined where I was a maid turned princess who perfectly fit into her filthy prince’s story. Winston, billionaire CEO and world’s hottest bachelor, gave me a fantasy not a reality. He offered me a world made of glass. I stepped into those new shoes, blinded by the shininess, eager to be his little plaything.

But the cracking has begun.

At the first sign of trouble, everything feels as though it’s going to shatter at my feet.

No charming prince will be sweeping me in his arms this time.

I bite down on my lip to keep from crying. I’m tired of crying. Emotionally exhausted. Sick of it. Swallowing down the tight ache in my throat, I lock the apartment door and then swivel around to greet my bird.

“Shrimp,” I say in a raspy, wobbly voice as I toss my purse onto the love seat and kick off my heels. “Welcome home.” To the whore apartment.

He flaps his wings angrily from inside his cage. I’m unnerved wondering how he even got here. Winston obviously handled this during all the chaos that was dinner when he’d been texting someone.

It’s not just my bird.

Sitting on my bed is my bag of toiletries, my backpack, and a garment bag that most definitely doesn’t belong to me. I don’t have to unzip it to know it’ll be filled with outfits that were once hanging in my room at Winston’s place.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry,” I chant, even as fresh, hot tears roll out.

I unlatch Shrimp’s cage door so he can get some space. Rather than hopping into my waiting hand, he flutters past me, swooping around the small area. He chirps in sharp, high-pitched noises that indicate he’s not pleased about his surroundings. The poor bird misses his chandelier playground, high ceilings, and huge windows.

“I fucked it up,” I explain to him with a wave of my hand. “I can’t even begin to imagine what the fallout for all of this will be.”

And I can’t.


Author Bio:

K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her titles have claimed many bestseller tags in numerous categories, are translated in multiple languages, and have been adapted into audiobooks. She lives in "Tornado Alley" with her husband, two children, and her baby dog named Blue. When she's not writing, she's reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and researching aliens.

You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!

Can't find a certain book? Maybe it's too hot for Amazon! Don't worry because titles like Bad Bad Bad, This is War, Baby, The Wild, and Hale can all be found for sale on K's website in both ebook and paperback format.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter


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15 April, 2021

Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) by Maggie Toussaint Book Tour and Giveaway!

Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) by Maggie Toussaint

About Shrimply Dead

 

Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 

Publisher: Muddle House Publishing (April 12, 2021) 

• Number of Pages 237 

PAGES Digital 

ASIN: B08V52RD4W 

When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.

 

Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

 

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

About Maggie Toussaint

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with more than twenty fiction novels published. A multi-year finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

  Author Links 
  Website – https://maggietoussaint.com/ 


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14 April, 2021

The Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery) by Susan McCormick Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery) by Susan McCormick

About The Fog Ladies: Family Matters

The Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery) Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 

Publisher: Wild Rose Press (October 7, 2020) 

Paperback: 338 pages 

ISBN-10: 1509233075 

ISBN-13: 978-1509233076 

Digital ASIN: B08FGMFBW3 

Till death do us part, with kitchen shears. What drives a family man to kill his wife? This question haunts Sarah James, a medical resident who meets the unhappy family at a resort near Big Sur. She witnesses how ugly a marriage can be. But murder?

 

Sarah and the spunky Fog Ladies—elderly neighbors from her San Francisco apartment building—set out to discover the truth. Their probing finds the threat is perilously close to home, endangering another troubled family struggling to survive.

Excerpt! 

     “So where does he say he was really?” Mrs. Carmichael asked.

     “In the park,” Mrs. Honeycut said. “He says he was sitting in the park and no one saw him.”

     “Oh, come on. In the park? Is he kidding?” Mrs. Carmichael looked around for confirmation.

     “He wasn’t just sitting in the park,” said Mrs. Noonan. “He was writing.”

     “Writing?” said Sarah. “He was writing in the park?”

     “Yes. He told his mother that he didn’t like to write at home because it made his wife mad. So instead of going to yoga, which he’d been doing every Tuesday night for years, he would go to the park and write. Especially now that it’s summer.”

     “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard,” said Mrs. Carmichael. “What a lame-brain alibi. He said he was sitting in a park in San Francisco on a sweltering evening? Writing? Couldn’t he come up with anything better?”

     “Apparently not. And that’s the problem,” said Mrs. Noonan.

     Mrs. Honeycut added, “Either he did it and he can’t think fast enough or he didn’t do it and no one’s going to believe him.”

     “Wait a minute,” said Sarah. “How does he know no one saw him? Someone might have seen him.”

     “Nope. He told his mother that he can’t think when it’s noisy, so he finds the most deserted area of the park and sits there. He said he’s never seen anyone,” said Mrs. Gordon.

     “What a crock of a story,” said Mrs. Carmichael. “He did it. You’d think he could have thought up something better for a million dollars.”

     “That’s another thing,” Mrs. Honeycut said. “He claims he didn’t even know his wife had the insurance policy. Said it was through her work and she never told him. Nonetheless, he’s the beneficiary.”

     “Who else would have done it? Is there anyone else on the policy?” asked Sarah.

     “Just the boy. Ben,” said Mrs. Gordon.

     “No one else could have done it,” said Mrs. Honeycut. “The door wasn’t forced. There was no sign of a struggle. It’s not like she opened the door to a stranger at night.”

     “You heard what Julia said. Paul doesn’t lock the door when he goes to yoga. He said the lock makes a loud noise when it turns, so they keep the door unlocked so he won’t wake his wife in case she goes to sleep before he comes back,” said Mrs. Noonan. “It sounds preposterous, I know. But that’s what he told his mother.”

     “Oh, this gets better all the time,” said Mrs. Carmichael. “He left his wife and child in their unlocked home and went to sit in a park at night, and when he came back, he found his wife in a bloody pool in the kitchen. Is that correct?”

     “I know it doesn’t look good,” said Frances Noonan. “But remember, I know his family. You’ve all met Julia. Sarah, you met the man. He couldn’t have done this, could he?”

     Enid Carmichael watched Sarah intently. She was hesitating, that was for sure.

     “You must have formed some type of opinion,” Olivia Honeycut persisted, “some judgment of the situation.”

     Still the girl didn’t answer. How could she not have an opinion?

     “I only met them briefly,” she finally said. “I honestly believe that man loved his wife and was trying desperately to change her mind about leaving.”

     “Desperate.” Mrs. Carmichael latched on to the word. “What would a desperate man do?”

     The Fog Ladies all turned to Sarah.

     “I don’t know,” Sarah said. “I just don’t know.”

About Susan McCormick

Susan McCormick is a writer and doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University School of Medicine, with additional medical training in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, where she lived in an elegant apartment building much like the one in the book. Susan served as a doctor in the U.S. Army for nine years before moving to the Pacific Northwest and civilian practice as a gastroenterologist. In addition to the Fog Ladies series, she also wrote Granny Can’t Remember Me, a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and The Antidote, a timely middle grade medical fantasy released May 2021. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two sons. She loves giant dogs and has loved an English Mastiff, Earl, and two Newfoundlands, Edward and Albert.

Social media links - Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - GoodReads - BookBub

  Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N

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April 9 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 9 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

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April 15 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

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April 16 – ebook addicts – REVIEW 

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The Deadening by Kerry Peresta Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Deadening by Kelly Peresta Banner

The Deadening

by Kerry Peresta

April 1-30, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

The Deadening by Kerry Peresta

OLIVIA CALLAHAN’S quiet, orderly life is shattered when she regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers she is paralyzed and cannot remember a thing. The fragmented voices she hears around her help her piece together that an apparent assault landed her in the hospital, but nobody knows who attacked her, or why.

Now, in spite of a brain injury that has rewired her personality, Olivia is on a mission to reclaim her life. As clarity surfaces, and she starts to understand who she was, she is shocked.

Could she really have been that person?

And if so, does she want her old life back?

Praise:

“A gripping read populated by likable characters. Peresta draws us into a colorful detailed world and makes us care what happens to the people living in it. We root for Olivia as she struggles to regain her memory, her bearings, and the identity she lost long before her injury. Excellent!”
- Susan Crawford, Internationally bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow.

The Deadening is a captivating psychological suspense novel that will have you holding your breath with each turn of the page. Peresta has created a world chock-full of characters who are dynamic and unforgettable, for better or worse. Hold onto your seat.”
- Clay Stafford, bestselling author and founder of Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2021
Number of Pages: 353
ISBN: 1953789358 (ISBN13:9781953789358) (ASIN:B08SVKLMZ8)
Series: Olivia Callahan Suspense, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt from The Deadening:

Prologue

The stiff bristles of the brush grew coppery as he scrubbed back and forth, back and forth. Wrinkling his nose at the smell, he groped for the mask he’d bought, looped it over his head, and snugged it into place.

He dipped the brush in the red-tinged solution in a blue, plastic bowl beside him on the floor, and continued scrubbing. Fifteen minutes later, he emptied the bowl down the toilet and shoved everything he’d used into a trash bag. He fought to staunch the bile creeping up his windpipe, but his throat constricted and he gagged. After retching into the sink, he turned on the faucet and splashed water on his face. Paused to take deep breaths. He could do this. He had to do this. He gripped the edge of the counter and stared out the bathroom window.

She’d not told anyone. Thank God for that. No one could know. No one would ever know. He’d make sure.

He walked to his garage, opened his car trunk, tossed in the latest trash bag. His hands felt icy. He rubbed them together, wiggled his fingers, and slammed the trunk shut.

Admittedly, her terror had excited him. Confusion. Dawning realization in her expression. His lips curved upward into a smile, then disintegrated. Reliving it didn’t change anything. He needed to move forward.

He returned and studied the carpet. In spite of his efforts, the stain still needed work. He cursed, dropped to his knees, and pounded the dampness with a fist.

Through a veil of fatigue, he watched in horror as the kidney-shaped stain stood and pointed an accusatory finger at him. He blinked, hard. Was he hallucinating? How long had he been without sleep? He crabbed backwards, leaned against the wall, pulled his knees to his chest and squeezed his eyes shut. When he opened them some moments later, the blood-apparition had disappeared.

He groaned.

He stared at the ceiling until his brain spit out a solution.

The problem lay in the other room. That’s how he looked at her now.

A problem to solve.

He rose from the floor and walked out.

His eyes slid from her pale face, down her form, to her feet. He no longer thought of her as warm, soft, desirable. She had been so scared…eyes wide and unblinking as she fell. He shook his head and pushed the image away.

Nesting her in towels so her blood wouldn’t pool on the couch, her bronze-sandaled feet with their shiny, pink toenails hung over the edge. He looked away. “Get a grip, man. Just do it.”

The towels fell away when he picked her up. He wound them back around her, careful to tuck in the edges. His heartbeat slammed his ribs.

She was fragile, a little bit of a thing, like a bird. He drew his index finger across her lips. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “If you had just…if you had only…” His voice trailed away. Jaw clenched, he carried her to his car.

Chapter One

Nathan ambled along sidewalks that wound through the manicured hospital grounds, fishing in his pocket for a lighter. He lit the cigarette dangling from his lips and inhaled deeply, his smile saturated with nicotine’s unholy bliss.

“Thank God,” he mumbled around the cigarette, and withdrew it from his lips, stretching. He glanced over his shoulder at the brightly lit ER entrance to Mercy Hospital, rubbing his neck. He rolled his shoulders, inhaled several deep drags from the cigarette, dropped it, and ground it beneath his shoe. “These night shifts are killing me.” He groaned and gazed at the sky. Clouds hid a full moon. He’d been grateful to get the med tech job, but after two months of bodily fluid testing and storage, he was bored. He needed a challenge.

Nathan followed his typical route through the hedged lawn, almost on auto-pilot, so when he stumbled and sprawled onto the grass face-first, he was stunned. What had tripped him? Cursing softly, he explored his cheeks, nose, forehead. No damage done that he could tell. “Klutz,” he berated himself, pushing up to hands and knees.

Something soft and warm lay beneath his palms. His breathing sped up. He looked down, but it was too dark to see. Trembling, his fingers inched their way to lips, nose, eyes, stiff knots of hair. His mouth dropped in horror. The clouds obligingly slid off the moon and revealed a woman’s body, her hair blood-matted, her face ghostly white. The grass around her head was rusty with blood. He edged his head toward her lips to check her breathing. Shallow, but at least she was alive.

He scrambled to his feet, fighting nausea and staring at his palms, sticky with the woman’s blood. Shrieking for help, he raced into the hospital and skidded to a stop in front of the desk. The ER nurses behind the reception desk squinted at him like he was deranged.

“Possible head injury!” He flailed an arm at the entrance. “Someone, anyone, come quick!”

A male nurse and two aides followed him outside, shoes pounding the sidewalk at full gallop. The tech stopped, turned, and signaled them to tread carefully as they parted ways with the sidewalk and navigated the shrubbery in the dark. Single file, panting, they tiptoed through the shadows until the tech raised a palm for them to stop.

“Here,” he hissed at the nurse, and held a point like a bird dog.

The nurse dropped to the ground and clicked a flashlight on. “Ohmigosh,” he whispered. He lifted the woman’s thin, pale wrist and glanced at his watch. Satisfied that she had a pulse, he slapped the flashlight into Nathan’s bloodied palm. “Stay with her!” He rushed inside.

Within minutes, looky-loos poured from the ER and clustered around the limp form.

“Move back!” Nathan stretched out his arms like a cop directing traffic. “She’s barely breathing!” His glanced nervously at the ER entrance.

The crowd didn’t yield an inch. The ER doors whooshed open. A stretcher clattered down the sidewalk and onto the dew-damp grass. Chills shivered up the tech’s spine as the ashen pallor of death climbed from the woman’s neck to her face. He dropped to the ground and picked up her hand. The paramedic team drew closer, their flashlights piercing the darkness with slivers of light. The crowd eased apart to let them through.

Nathan bent closer to the woman, and whispered, “Hang in there. Help is on the way.”

The stretcher slid to a stop beside him. The paramedics dropped to their knees, stabilized the woman’s head with a brace, staunched the bleeding, and wrapped the wound. They eased her onto the stretcher and rumbled away. The aides shared nervous smiles of relief. They looked at Nathan, then followed the paramedic team back inside.

Nathan, his heartbeat finally slowing, called, “Thanks for the assist, guys!” as they walked away.

The crowd dispersed with curious glances at Nathan, who watched until the group disappeared behind the ER’s double glass doors. He heaved a sigh of relief and swiped perspiration off his forehead. He patted his scrubs pocket for a cigarette, reconsidered, and trotted toward the ER entrance.

After the automatic doors parted, he jogged past two closed-door exam rooms and paused at a third, wide open. He looked inside.

The paramedics shared their observations with the ER doctor on call as he deftly explored the woman’s wounds. When he finished, he nodded, barked instructions, and pointed at the bed. In seconds, the woman’s transfer from stretcher to bed was complete. One of the nurses whisked a blood pressure cuff around her arm. Another hooked an IV bag to a chrome stand, pierced the skin on the back of the woman’s hand, slid in a needle, and taped it down.

The tech stepped back from the door to allow the paramedics to exit. Holding his breath, he stole into the room and crept past a floor-to-ceiling supply cabinet. He planted both palms onto the smooth, white walls behind him and inched sideways, melting into the corner next to a shelf holding tongue depressors, a box of plastic gloves, and a sanitizer dispenser.

“Pulse one-fifteen.” The nurse studied the blood pressure cuff. “Blood pressure eight-five over fifty.”

“Need a trach,” the doctor barked. “She’s bleeding out. Get some O neg in here.”

A blur of motion, two nurses and the ER doctor huddled around the woman’s body. When they stepped back, a laryngoscope, an endotracheal tube, and four sticky electric nodes leading to a cardiac monitor had been secured.

The medical team stilled, their eyes riveted to the monitors. The nurses wore sage green scrubs. Both had pink stethoscopes around their necks. The ER doctor had on a crisp, white jacket with his name scripted in black on the pocket. Nathan fidgeted and stuck his head out from the corner a little to focus on the screens.

The readings sputtered, stalled, plummeted.

“Code Blue!” The doctor spun around. A nurse jumped to the wall and slapped a flat, white square on the wall.

“Code Blue!” echoed through the ER’s intercom system. Frantic footsteps in the hall. Shouted instructions. Clanging metal. Squealing wheels. Nathan squeezed farther into the corner as the cart bearing life-saving electronic shock equipment exploded through the door.

“Brain must be swelling,” the doctor mumbled. He grabbed two paddles and swiped them together. “Clear!”

The woman’s body jolted. The doctor’s head jerked to the cardiac monitor. Flat.

“Clear!” He placed the paddles on the woman’s chest.

Her frail torso arced. The machine blipped an erratic cadence, then droned a steady hum.

The doctor cursed. “Clear!”

Another jolt. The monitor surged, sagged, then settled into a reassuring metronome blip. Tense faces relaxed. Applause spattered around the room.

The doctor blew out a long breath. “Okay, people, good job.” He smiled.

Within minutes, more lines snaked from the woman’s form. An orogastric tube drooped from the corner of her mouth, behind the intubation tube. A lead to measure brain waves clung to her forehead. The doctor studied each monitor in turn. Nathan let out the breath he’d been holding, slid down the wall into a crouch, and balanced on the balls of his feet.

“Any additional instructions, Doctor Bradford?” Brows raised, the nurse waited.

He rubbed his head thoughtfully. “Think she’s stable for now. CAT scan already ordered?”

She nodded. “Of course.”

“Tell them to expedite.” He cocked his head at the woman. “May be a long night. Watch her closely.” The doctor strode to the door, paused, and turned. He glanced at the tech huddled in the corner. “Good job, son.”

Nathan grinned and rose from his crouch, his chest puffed out a little. He’d never saved a life before. After a sympathetic glance at Mercy Hospital’s latest Jane Doe, he returned to the lab.

***

Excerpt from The Deadening by Kerry Peresta. Copyright 2021 by Kerry Peresta. Reproduced with permission from Kerry Peresta. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Kerry L Peresta

Kerry’s publishing credits include a popular newspaper column, “The Lighter Side,” 2009-2011; and magazine articles in Local Life Magazine, The Bluffton Breeze, Lady Lowcountry, and Island Events Magazine. She is the author of two novels, The Hunting, women’s fiction, released by Pen-L Publishing in 2013, and The Deadening, released in February, 2021 by Level Best Books, the first in the Olivia Callahan Suspense series, She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter. She is past chapter president of the Maryland Writers’ Association and a current member and presenter of Hilton Head Island Writers’ Network, and the Sisters in Crime organization. Recently, she worked as editor and contributor for Island Communications, a local publishing house. Kerry and her husband moved to Hilton Head six years ago. She is the mother of four adult children, and has a bunch of wonderful grandkids who keep life interesting and remind her what life is all about.

Catch Up With Kerry L Peresta:
KerryPeresta.net
Goodreads
Instagram - @kerryperesta
Twitter - @kerryperesta
Facebook - @klperesta

Tour Participants:

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

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kerry Peresta. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card.
The giveaway begins on April 1, 2021 and runs through May 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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