Monday, 30 December 2019

Steel Heart by RJ Blain


Title: Steel Heart
Series: Jesse Alexander, #2
Author: RJ Blain
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publication Date: December 25, 2019
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing


With the Hope Diamond locked around her throat, Jesse Alexander finds herself in the unfortunate position of being a walking national treasure. With the Starfall stone poised to pulse and flood the world with more of its magic, she must figure out how to remove it before she becomes its pawn yet again.

Unfortunately, the stone has a mind—and plans—of its own. Add in a determined tiger, a wolf out for revenge, and an ultimatum to find her clan's missing Starfall stone, and it will take all of Jesse's wit and cunning to survive with her life—and her heart—intact.






About the Author:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.










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Friday, 27 December 2019

The Coven Queen by Lily Luchesi


Title: The Coven Queen
Series: The Coven Series Book 5
Author: Lily Luchesi
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 10th, 2020



Releasing January 10th!

The final installment in the #1 bestselling Coven Series.
Along with a relaunch of books 1-4!




Become the witch you were born to be.

Harley Sinclair has had more than her share of heartbreak, and now she's all alone once again, trying to hold her life together and move on from the tragedies and the losses of both the dead and the living.

However, she cannot indulge in grief over heartbreak nor death.

Bodies are being found all over London, and then one turns up in the Coven's confines. Someone is hunting witches and wizards, and with the Coven leaderless, they are more vulnerable than ever.

In order to escape the memories haunting her, she agrees to fly to Chicago to find the source of the murders before everyone she knows is killed.

Discover the magic, mystery, and mischief in the final installment of the #1 bestselling Coven Series!





The ENTIRE series has been redesigned, with covers by yours truly and interiors from DreadNot Interiors.

PLUS!!!









Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon's Hot New Releases list consecutively.

She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing's Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Arizona. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.


Saturday, 21 December 2019

Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell



Title: Spent Identity
Series: Annalisse Series, Book 2
Author: Marlene M. Bell
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publication Date: 12-11-2019
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing


Antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury drives to her family farm in upstate New York to consult with Aunt Kate about her troubled relationship with Greek tycoon, Alec Zavos. When Annalisse arrives, she learns the beloved farm she expects to inherit is for sale.

That same morning, they find a stranger’s body decaying in the barn. Then her aunt vanishes.

In Spent Identity, Annalisse and Alec join forces for the second time. They must find the mastermind behind her aunt’s abduction before Kate’s health issues worsen. Was the corpse in the barn a coincidence or a warning? The clock ticks for Annalisse to find her aunt and repair what she has left with the man she loves.


Excerpt from Chapter Four:

      Annalisse tightened her grip on Alec’s hand when they found the slider door closed at the barn entrance. She was sure the door was open when she drove the BMW across the street. Maybe Kate had closed it to keep the wind and rain out. Talking herself out of being worried, she shuddered as the door squeaked its way along the rails. The noise always grated on her nerves.
      “Kate?” Alec called out into the dead air.
      Annalisse hurried past him. “Auntie!” she yelled. “Alec, check the office and tack rooms. I’ll peek inside the arena.” The barn was eerily quiet. Too quiet. She pushed dread aside, along with the dull headache behind her eye sockets.
      “No.” He snatched her hand back and pulled her next to him. The look that passed over his face was one of deep concern. “We stay together. Walk with me.”
      She hated to admit her stubborn streak was similar to Kate’s. Alec could attest to that. She’d left their Turkish hotel on her own to save his mother from the Russian mafia after she was told to stay put. Almost twenty years living with and around her aunt had made Annalisse more independent and less afraid in dangerous situations. It was hard to know if that was a good trait to have.
      Not a single horse snickered or whinnied, and the barn’s air hung heavily in clean bedding. Annalisse’s blouse stuck to her arms underneath the jacket from fear or mugginess, or both. Alec must have moved the mares into the lower barns or pastures. She glanced into Kristol Magic’s and Harriet’s vacant stalls.
      “Harriet’s running with the mares? Are any of the thoroughbreds here?”
      Alec shook his head. “If Kate planned to spend time with the horses, she won’t find ’em here.”
      “Damn. I should’ve taken her to the house.” The flutter of regret couldn’t rewrite what Annalisse had done. “Is it hot in here?”
      She shucked her jacket and whispered under her breath, “Aunt Kate, why didn’t you come back to the house?” She ran to the end of the aisle where brick and concrete stopped and arena started, searching for her.
      “Slow down, art lady.” He stopped her from going deeper into the covered arena that was groomed and perfect, without a single shoe or hoof print marring the soil.
      “She must have walked down to the broodmare barns. Where else would she be? In that soaking rain, she wouldn’t stand at the fences.” Annalisse wrapped an arm around Alec’s waist. “It’s logical she’d go to the horses.”
      “Hard to believe she’d walk there in that muck. Let’s go back and get the ATV.”
      “Isn’t your breeder manager working today?” Annalisse planted her feet on the bricks. “Can’t you call him to check down there?”
      “I told him to take the weekend off.”
      “You go. I’ll stay here in case Aunt Kate shows up.”
      “We go together. We’ve checked this building already. She’s not here.”
      Annalisse stomped her boot, feeling like a spoiled little kid. “I’m not moving from here. I dropped her here. I’m staying here.” She folded her arms and glared at him.
      Alec softened. “Fine. Here.” He reached around and extracted his pistol, handing it to her. “Don’t give me that look. Take it. You don’t have your phone on you, and neither do I. One of us needs a cell phone with our contacts. Promise me you’ll stay in the office.” He showed her again how to use the Glock. “If Kate returns—keep her here.”
      The hair stood up on the nape of her neck. Alec was being dramatic. After all, they were alone in the barn. Why would they need a gun out here?
      “I’m not taking your gun, Alec. When you come back, bring my purse, then we’ll both have a weapon.”
      He had cleared the end of the barn before she’d finished her sentence.
      “Stay in my office,” he hollered over his shoulder in the strengthening wind.
      “Great. Just great.”
      Annalisse slid the Glock into the jacket she carried and wandered the length of the barn, taking more time inside each stall. Heaven forbid, Kate had collapsed in one of them. She found nothing but fresh shavings and a halter left behind by someone too hasty or lazy to put it back with the rest. She checked the office in case Alec returned and found she hadn’t listened to his instructions again.
      The heat inside his sanctuary was stifling. Laying the jacket over the chair back, she fluffed her blouse, sending air between skin and sticky polyester. She plopped down in the chair, skidding backward on the plastic desk mat. Her stomach roiled with acid, which hardly helped her headache.
      The refrigerator was fully stocked with water, and she helped herself to a bottle, spending a few extra moments in front of the open fridge door. The cold air recharged her. Annalisse helped herself to ibuprofen from Alec’s desk drawer and sat down again, spinning a three-sixty in her chair. She admired the tall crystal trophies with golden horses frozen in time. Multicolored rosettes scattered about attested to Brookehaven’s successes on the racetrack. Glass cases with Alec’s achievements in the world of horseracing lined two walls. He’d surrounded himself with the things that were important to him, but not a single tchotchke or photograph of his dad, his stock car days, or the sports cars that kept Alec on corporate planes so much.
      Memories of Alec’s statesmanlike father, a charismatic man she’d met briefly in Greece, were still too painful for everyone who’d lived through the attack on the Gen Amore. Time couldn’t wipe away those hateful men and the devastation they’d caused to the Zavos family on the Aegean Sea.
      Annalisse’s first time in the ocean on the most beautiful yacht—Gen, forced to witness her husband’s murder, and Alec mercifully knocked out where he’d missed the gruesome display. Annalisse had seen it all, and she wished she hadn’t. There were disturbing details of Pearce’s battle with the mafia that she still kept from Alec to this day. She hoped by keeping them tucked away, the images would eventually fade from her nightmares.
      At least being with Aunt Kate on the farm had spared Annalisse the firsthand knowledge of her own family’s final moments. Kate had saved Annalisse from her parents’ and sister’s fate, albeit by accident.



About the Author:

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few. Spent Identity is the second book in the Annalisse Series.

Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Ewephoric gifts online can be found at https://www.TexasSheep.com. Her books at https://www.marlenembell.com

Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.








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Thursday, 19 December 2019

Murder In Montague Falls

by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas



Title: Murder In Montague Falls
Authors: Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas
Genre: Crime
Publication Date: October 1st 2019
Publisher: Crazy 8 Press
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 0998364185 (ISBN13: 9780998364186)


White hot thrills! Pitch black deeds!

3 tales of teens tackling their darkest rites of passage

Acclaimed storytellers Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas each present an original novella brimming with enough danger, intrigue, and murder to get readers’ blood pounding and hearts racing.

In Colchamiro’s RED INK, a paperboy with an overactive imagination witnesses a brutal killing on his route—or has he taken his fantasy spy games a step too far?

In Hatton’s THE DEVIL’S DELINQUENTS, a trio of teenage misfits in pursuit of success, power, and revenge practice amateurish occult rituals… with deadly consequences.

In Thomas’s A MANY SPLENDID THING, a sultry high school teacher enrolls one of her students to get rid of her husband. But will the young man really graduate to murder?


Excerpts:

RED INK:

An infrared scope cut through the suburban tree line.

Perched on a high-angle branch in the neighbor’s spruce tree, Isaac could see her through the living room window, six houses away.

The M21 semi-automatic sniper rifle with fiberglass stock and 20-round box magazine was snug against his shoulder.

One bullet. One body.

Though camouflaged within a thicket of evergreen leaves, he had a clean shot.

“Come on,” he whispered, his eye against the scope. “Give me the signal.”

In perfect synchronicity, Isaac’s earpiece crackled. “Target confirmed. Kill shot approved.”



THE DEVIL'S DELINQUENTS

Natalie exits her room with the ritual kit, locking the door behind her.

Her father, swathed in a cornucopia-pattern quilt, sits in his wheelchair in the den, positioned near enough the window so that he can be in the daylight. Maybe he enjoys it, but one cannot tell for certain since his face registers no enjoyment, nor any other emotion.

Natalie kneels down before him, flips up the quilt, and undoes the bottom three buttons of his shirt, exposing his stomach. Between her fingertips, she wields the double-edged blade for a safety razor. She carefully nicks the skin above his father’s belly button. She looks up at him, detects no reaction.

She makes intersecting six-inch-long slices into his stomach, then carves a large circle around the lines, working around the seeping blood. Upon finishing, she evaluates her work and nods.
“I’m going to bring you back, daddy,” Natalie says to him, kissing his knuckles. “I promise.”



A MANY SPLENDID THING:

Rosa went from smiling to bawling in less time than it took to blink. I pulled her in and held her against my bare chest. She pounded my ribs with her closed fists.

“Why won’t you understand! There is no other way! If we don’t kill him soon, you’ll come to school one day and find that he killed me. How are you going to feel then? Especially if he figures out that you’re my lover! You would follow me to the Pearly Gates.”

“Rosa, this talk of killing is crazy.”

She pushed herself back and slapped me hard across the face. “You think I’m crazy?”


Excerpts from Excerpt from Murder in Montague Falls. Copyright 2019 by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, Patrick Thomas. Reproduced with permission from Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, Patrick Thomas. All rights reserved.



The Turnback – You Kill Me:

“You Kill Me” is the official soundtrack to the book MURDER IN MONTAGUE FALLS (Noir-Inspired Novellas by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas). Russ Colchamiro (a long time friend and fellow creator) asked the band to write what would be considered a closing credit tune for the book. We were happy to do so!



My review:

A great collection of three novellas, each bringing something unique to the table.

The common denominator in these stories is the setting, the involvement of teens in the mystery, and, of course, murder, but that's where the similarity ends. I'm not going to review them individually, I'll just say, that all three were well thought out and executed, with interesting characters.

Each tale of murder was chilling and entertaining, long enough to capture your interest, but short enough to read with a cuppa, or something a bit stronger.

I would definitely be interested in reading a longer story from all of the authors.

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)



Author Bios:

Russ Colchamiro

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany sci-fi backpacking series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the sci-fi mystery anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, and contributing author for his newest project, Murder in Montague Falls, a noir novella collection, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ has contributed to several other anthologies including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, They Keep Killing Glenn, Altered States of the Union, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Brave New Girls vols. 3&4, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, and Footprints in the Stars.

He is now finalizing the first in an ongoing SFF mystery series featuring his hard-boiled private eye Angela Hardwicke and has several other SFF, crime fiction, and children’s book projects in the works.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, their twin ninjas, and their crazy dog, Simon.




Sawney Hatton

Sawney Hatton is an author, editor, and screenwriter who has long loved playing in the dark. His published works include the Dark Comedy novel Dead Size, the YA Noir novella Uglyville, and the Dark Fiction short story collection Everyone Is a Moon. He also edited the Sci-Fi Horror anthology What Has Two Heads, Ten Eyes, and Terrifying Table Manners?

Other incarnations of Sawney have produced marketing videos, attended chili cook-offs, and played the banjo and sousaphone (not at the same time). As of this writing, he is still very much alive.




Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas is the award-winning author of the beloved Murphy’s Lore series and the darkly hilarious Dear Cthulhu advice empire.

His 40+ books include Fairy with a Gun, By Darkness Cursed, Lore & Dysorder, Dead to Rites, Startenders, As the Gears Turn, Cthulhu Explains It All, and Exile and Entrance. His is the co-author of the Mystic Investigators series, The Santa Heist, and the Jack Gardner mysteries.

Patrick is the co-editor of Camelot 13 (with John French), New Blood (with Diane Raetz), and Hear Them Roar (with CJ Henderson), co-created The Wildsidhe Chronicles YA series and is the creator of the Agents of the Abyss series.

He has had more than 150 short stories published in magazines and anthologies, with his work for YA and children including the Ughabooz books, the Undead Kid Diaries, the Joy Reaper books, and the Babe B. Bear Mysteries as Patrick T. Fibbs.





This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for giveaway Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 1, 2019 and runs through January 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.





On Tour December 1 - December 31, 2019

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
These are the stops on the tour as of November 17 and are subject to change.


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Tuesday, 17 December 2019

How Deep Is The Darkness by Mary Anne Edwards



Title: How Deep Is The Darkness
Series: The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 6
Author: Mary Anne Edwards
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Publication Date: December 2, 2019
Publisher: Sellem Books
Number of Pages: 247
ISBN: B081MYBYG8


Charlie McClung has always known about darkness, it’s part of being a police chief.

But now it’s spreading throughout the town and creeping into his life.

With each body found, the killer deepens the darkness and McClung must put an end to it.

Now.


Excerpt:

This story begins on Monday, June 20, 1983, in Lyman County, Georgia.

Chapter 1

Chief Charlie McClung stared at the pale, bloated body of Myron Wagstaff lying next to his own swimming pool. He’d seen enough bodies to know when dead is dead. And Myron was dead.

McClung glanced at his wife standing near the diving board at the far end of the pool. Marian’s white tee shirt clung to her body and her wet hair was plastered to her head and neck. Hugging herself, she managed a pitiful grin.

Not only was Myron Wagstaff a neighbor and the president of their Homeowners Association, but he was also Marian’s archnemesis.

McClung knelt beside Myron, grabbed his thick wrist, and checked for a pulse. His fingers sank into doughy flesh. Myron’s waterlogged polo shirt looked as if it had been spray painted on his belly, now bloated more than normal.

While McClung held his fingers in place waiting for a beat, he scanned the area. The patio furniture was jumbled together with the garden hose, snaking between the chairs, and stopping at the spot where Myron lay.

That, combined with the fact there weren’t any signs of bruising on Myron, perhaps meant this was an accidental drowning.

“Boss?” Sergeant Thayer asked as he stood behind McClung.

He shook his head as he moved aside for the paramedics to perform their magic. But McClung realized not even Doctor Frankenstein could reanimate poor Myron.

As the emergency team worked on Myron, Charlie hurried toward Marian.

“Are you okay?” He kissed her forehead and pulled her into his arms.

Marian’s body trembled against his chest.

“Thayer! Get Marian a blanket.”

The young sergeant ran full blast and quickly returned.

“I’m okay just, um, just, um.” Marian fought hard to keep her tears in check.

“Here.” Thayer’s breath pounded the back of Marian’s neck as he laid the blanket across her shoulders.

Charlie released Marian, secured the blanket then blotted a tissue under her eyes and nose. “Here’s a clean one.”

“Love the magical tissues.” A weak chuckle tumbled from Marian as she pulled the blanket tighter. “You’d think I’d be sweating in this June heat.”

“Well, it’s not even ten o’clock. It’s cloudy, and you’re soaking wet.” Charlie glanced at her feet. “Where are your shoes?”

“They were muddy, so I took them off before I went into Myron’s house to call 9-1-1 after I failed with CPR.” Marian sighed. “I was afraid that if Myron survived, he’d send me a bill to have the muddy floors cleaned.”

Pointing at the patio doors, she winced. “My shoes are over there.”

“What’s wrong?”

Marian massaged her lower back. “I guess I hurt my back getting Myron out of the water. I’ll be okay.”

Charlie squeezed her hand. Ever since Marian had the terrifying encounter with the Paper Heart Stalker and fell from a second-floor balcony last year, he worried about her health.

When McClung came face to face with the Paper Heart Stalker, Marian almost lost her life to save his but unknowingly sacrificed their unborn child.

He crossed over to the diving board and beckoned for her to follow. “Sit down. Here. Back toward me.”

She eased down on the hard plank.

Charlie’s strong hands ran across her shoulders and down her back.

“Does it hurt?”

“No, not really.”

“I guess nothing’s broken, dislocated, or cracked.”

He crossed over the board and sat down. “When I get home tonight, I’ll give you an intense massage once you’ve soaked in a tub of hot Epsom salt water.”

“Sounds good.” Marian watched the paramedics work on Myron.

The team’s jaws were tight as they knelt over Myron’s body. One paramedic rubbed the back of his neck as he stood in defeat while the other one closed Myron’s eyes and pulled a blanket over his face.

“I didn’t think they’d have much luck reviving him. I’d hoped, but…” Marian's voice trailed, her head heavy as she leaned on Charlie’s shoulder.

“You did everything by the book. I still don’t see how you got Myron out of the pool.”

Marian sighed. “I did what I had to.” She studied Charlie’s face, then swallowed hard and grimaced. “I tried to revive him. CPR but maybe if—.”

“Don’t even go down that path.” Charlie scratched his eyebrow. “Dispatch said you saw a man run from the scene.”

She sat up. “Yeah. Do you think he had something to do with this?”

“Possibly, but we won’t know for sure until we’ve gathered the facts.” Charlie shrugged. “To me, every death is suspicious. Been fooled before but never again.”

A year ago, two weeks after Charlie McClung had moved to Lyman County, he was called to the scene of a fatal shooting, Dianne Pannell. Without an investigation, the then chief of police ruled Dianne’s death a suicide, but Charlie proved it was murder after Dianne’s irritating neighbor, his now-wife, Marian, pressed him to look further into the case.

“Yeah.” Marian murmured.

Charlie stood. “Could be the guy got spooked when he saw Myron in the pool and ran away.” He held out his hand. “Come with me. The paramedics need to give you a quick check.”

“Why? My back isn’t hurting that bad.”

His hand cupped her cheek. “Sweetie, please just humor me.”

Marian avoided looking at Myron and let her husband guide her to the ambulance.

They met officers Willard and Marsh at the gate. Photographer Sam Goldstein wasn’t far behind.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” Marsh’s voice quivered, and his eyebrows drew together.

Marian looked at him for a moment. “I’m fine. Just a bit damp.” She bit her bottom lip and blinked several times. “Maybe a little shaken.”

Both officers were like sons to Marian.

A tentative smile eased the furrow between Marsh’s eyes. “Thank goodness.”

Willard scratched his head. “Where are your shoes, ma’am?”

McClung answered. “They’re outside the patio door. One of you get them for Marian.”

“Consider it done, Boss.” Willard took off.

“Marsh, I want you and Willard to help Thayer process the scene.”

“Yes, Boss.”

Willard returned a few minutes later, holding the less-muddy sneakers. His hands were filthy. “Here you go. I cleaned them up the best I could.”

“Thank you, Willard.” Marian took the shoes.

“No trouble.”

“You two. Go assist Thayer.” McClung barked.

“Wait.” Marian held up her hand. “I scratched the running guy’s tag number on the sidewalk.”

“Marsh go find it. Willard, you report to Thayer.” McClung directed his trusted men.

The two young men hurried off on opposite paths.

“Sam, how did you know I needed you?”

The silver-haired man tapped his temple. “Didn’t take me long to figure you out. You’re a cop that sees murder everywhere.”

“But Sam, how did you know to come here?” Marian blurted.

Charlie and Sam answered. “Police scanner.”

Marian frowned. “Just anybody can have one?”

“Yep!” Charlie sighed. “In this case, it’s a good thing but mostly it’s not.”

Sam coughed. “I’ll just take a picture or two of that tag number.”

“Yeah, do that. Plus, there’s a lot going on behind the house.” Charlie watched the older man trudge down the sidewalk. Camera bags banged against Sam’s body with each step he took.

One of the paramedics joined McClung and Marian at the ambulance.

“Ma’am don’t fret. There wasn’t a thing you could’ve done for that guy.” The bear of a man shook his head. “I ain’t no coroner, but I’ve been at this job for a long time. He’s been dead too long to be revived.”

The reassurance that she wasn’t a factor in Myron’s death didn’t make Marian feel any better.

“Mel, do you mind giving my wife a quick once-over to make sure she’s safe to go home?” Charlie stroked Marian’s back as he spoke.

“Sure.”

Mel removed his latex gloves and put on a fresh pair. He tilted his head toward the rear of the ambulance. “Just sit there.”

“Boss.” Thayer called to McClung from the open gate.

Charlie looked at Marian.

“Go on. Do your job.” Marian kissed her husband's cheek.

He didn’t move from her side.

“I’m fine, just a tweaked back. Besides you’re making me nervous watching me like a hawk.”

“Boss.” Thayer repeated more urgently.

Charlie smiled and gave her a casual salute. “As you wish.”

McClung hurried toward Thayer. “Found something?”

“I think I figured out what happened.”

McClung disappeared behind the fence.

“What is it, Thayer?” McClung followed him into Myron’s house as he pulled a pair of latex gloves from his pocket. “I was hoping I could go a whole year without having to use these.”

“Makes for a mundane job.” Sergeant Thayer said flatly. “Here sir, in the kitchen. There’s a half-empty bottle of whiskey and one glass.”

McClung arched an eyebrow as he leaned over to study the bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey. About three fingers of liquid was left inside the bottle, a few drops coated the bottom of the tumbler.

He walked to the sink and smelled the drain. No lingering odor of alcohol. Then he carefully picked up the tumbler. “Thayer, flip on the overhead light.”

The fluorescent tubes buzzed to life.

McClung held up the tumbler to the harsh light. On the rim, was a faint lip print. “Hmm, make sure you dust this for prints and bag it.” He set it back in its original position.

Marsh squinted as he entered the kitchen. “Boss, put me to work.”

“Where’s Sam?”

“Taking pictures of the deceased before they cart him away.”

McClung rubbed his earlobe. “Tell Mel to instruct the hospital not to release the body until I say so. I want Jack Jackson to do the autopsy, if he’s available.” He snapped his fingers. “And tell Sam I’ll need him in here when he’s finished.”

“Will do.” Marsh headed outside.

McClung studied every inch of the kitchen: the floor, inside the cabinets, oven, and refrigerator. He examined everything as he searched for possible clues. There was no hint to what may have led to Myron’s death.

“Boss, I don’t think it’s murder.”

McClung raised an eyebrow and replied sarcastically, “Yeah? Well then, enlighten me with your hypothesis of poor Wagstaff’s watery demise.” He strolled toward the open patio door and headed for the pool.

As Thayer spoke, McClung studied the jumbled furniture.

“Myron was drunk, got tangled up in the patio furniture, stumbled around, and then fell into the pool. He was too drunk to get himself out of the water.”

McClung pushed out his bottom lip and nodded. “Hm. He was in the shallow end. All he had to do was stand up.”

Thayer rubbed the top of his head. “Maybe he hit his head on the bottom. Knocked himself out.”

McClung wandered around the pool. He stopped where the garden hose lay beside the pool.

The concrete was soaked, and the grass drenched to the point that a small stream had flowed down the incline, out the gate and onto the street.

“What do you think Myron was doing with the hose?”

Thayer hunched his shoulders. “Topping off the pool?”

“Yeah, sounds right.” McClung pointed to the water-logged grass. “The hose had to be on for a long time to have created that miniature creek rolling down the hill and into the street.”

“That goes to show I’m right. He was drunk standing here. The hose got tangled in the furniture. He yanked it. Lost his balance. Dropped the hose. Hit his head on the concrete and fell into the pool. Accidental drowning.”

Thayer crossed his arms and grinned.

McClung pulled on his bottom lip. “Plausible.” Something on the concrete caught his eye.

“What does this look like to you?” McClung knelt close to the spot.

“It looks like blood. Must be where he hit his head.”

“Yeah, and what about this?”

McClung touched a hard, yellowish, rectangular-shaped chip, like a half of a Chiclet. He looked around for Sam Goldstein.

The EMTs were talking to Sam as he photographed Myron’s body.

McClung yelled over his shoulder. “Sam, get over here.”

The paramedics began moving Myron’s body.

“What do we have there?” Sam held the camera to his eye, snapping pictures as McClung pointed toward the areas.

“That appears to be blood.” McClung pointed to the yellowish object. “And that, my friend, doesn’t belong here. Possibly a clue.”

Thayer knelt beside McClung. “Yep, could be. It looks like old ivory?”

McClung thought the odd chip looked familiar, but the vague memory faded away.

Sam zoomed to get a few tight shots of the chip and the blood spatters.

McClung glanced at the EMTs. “Thayer, bag it and look for more spatters and anything else in this area. I want a chat with Mel.”

“Mel, where’s Marian? Is she all right?” McClung moved out of the way of the paramedics while they loaded Myron onto the stretcher.

“She’s fine. Just hurt her back. Understandable.” Mel groaned as they lifted Myron’s body. “Even for me this guy is hefty. I’m surprised your wife got him out of the water. She’s a tiny lady. What 5’3’ and 125 pounds?”

McClung snorted as he nodded. “Yep, but she’s stubborn. If she’s got it in her mind to do something, consider it done.”

“Is Marian still sitting in the back of the ambulance?” McClung followed the gurney.

“No, sir. She’s sittin on the front stoop waitin on you.”

Officer Billy Crawford met them inside the gate.

McClung couldn’t help but smile at his oldest officer. Crawford was always in a jolly mood.

But not this morning.

“Boss, sorry it took me so long to get here.” Crawford wore a rare frown.

“What’s the matter?” McClung waved the paramedics to go on.

Crawford shifted the criminal investigation kit from one hand to the other. “Ah, the missus got news her favorite uncle isn’t doing so good and her dad’s not taking it none too well. If her uncle dies, my father-in-law will be the last one left in his family.”

McClung gripped Crawford’s firm shoulder. “I’m sorry to hear that. Are you sure you should be here? Your wife needs you.”

“Thanks, but I’m not much help. Best thing for me is to stay out of her way.”

“Okay, but don’t be shy about asking for time off. Understand?”

“I appreciate that, Boss.”

“If there’s anything we can do, don’t hesitate to ask.” He shook his index finger at his officer. “I mean it. Ask. Marian will make sure you’re fed, you got that?”

“Yes, Boss. But I saw her sitting out front, and she doesn’t look so good.”

McClung’s eyes widened. “What?”

“You didn’t know she’s here?” Crawford pulled back his head.

“Yeah, but she said she was fine.” McClung patted the officer’s back. “Let me go speak with her. I’ll catch up with you later.”

Charlie hurried to find his wife, but stopped a few yards away to observe her.

So many questions he needed to ask, but he was worried about her. Marian didn’t need this stress. Not now.

Marian looked like a triangular-shaped lump of coal. The dark gray blanket was wound tightly around her body and she was resting her forehead on her knees, which she’d pulled up to her chest.

Charlie wondered how she was able to breathe. He sat beside her and rubbed her back. “Sweetie?”

Marian’s head popped up. “Hey! I didn’t hear you come up. I must’ve dozed off as I was praying.”

“Yeah? Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look so hot.” Charlie wrapped his arms around her.

Marian winced. “You’re such a sweet talker.”

Charlie released his embrace. “Sorry.” His fingers massaged her lower back.

“That’s okay.” Marian pulled off the blanket and neatly folded it. “I’m tired. I want to lie down. Is it okay for me to walk home, now?”

“Nope, it’s at least a mile and a half. I’m driving you home.”

She straightened her legs. “Might as well. These sneakers are ruined. Not good for anything but stomping around in the yard.”

Marian tucked the thin blanket under her arm. “What about the investigation? Aren’t you going to question me?”

“Your well-being is more important to me. Besides, Thayer’s opinion is this is an accidental drowning. My best team is on this. They don’t need me telling them how to do their job. And you can tell me what happened when you feel like it.”

“Now?”

“Do you honestly want to talk about it now?”

Marian whispered. “I need to, but—”

“But means later. Tonight?”

“Yeah, tonight.”

Charlie held her hand as they walked toward the gate. “Let me tell the guys I’m taking you home.”

McClung passed the EMTs as he disappeared behind the fence.

Marian shuddered as she watched the paramedics load Myron’s body inside the ambulance. “I’ve witnessed this scene too many times in the past year.”

Excerpt from How Deep is the Darkness: A Charlie McClung Mystery by Mary Anne Edwards. Copyright 2019 by Mary Anne Edwards. Reproduced with permission from Mary Anne Edwards. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia for most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne listened to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, was released on June 30, 2017. The sixth book, How Deep is the Darkness, will be released on December 2, 2019. She is working on the seventh book, Complex Kid, with at least three more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is a member of Sisters in Crime and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.





This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mary Anne Edwards. There will be two (2) winners. Each winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 17, 2019 and runs through December 27, 2019. Void where prohibited.



Book Blast December 17, 2019

Visit these other great hosts on this book blast for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
These are the stops on the tour as of December 7 and are subject to change.


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Monday, 16 December 2019

Return of Anarchy: The Fall of New Australia

by King Everett Medlin



Title: Return of Anarchy: The Fall of New Australia
Series: New Australia Book 2
Author: King Everett Medlin
Genre: Science Fiction/Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian
Publication Date: 11/21/2019
Publisher: Chandra Press


The thrilling sequel to Rijel 12: The Rise of New Australia.

A planet on the verge of destroying itself. A young woman determined to stop it before all is lost.

Ten years have passed since Earth invaded. The volcanic blast that turned the tide of the war has changed the face of the planet forever. What was once a scorched wasteland has been quenched by frequent rains. Farms now cover the surface. The citizens of New Australia have thrived.

Anarchy, the flagship of the resistance thought lost during the war, suddenly returns. To Admiral Slout and his crew, it’s only been 6 months since the raid on Star fantasy. But on New Australia, seventeen years have passed, and much has changed. The pirates struggle to reintegrate into a society with rules and laws. Unfortunately that’s not all.

The Anarchy brought something back with it. Something more dangerous than anyone could have expected. With the planet on the verge of civil war and leadership in disarray, can anyone stop New Australia from tearing itself apart?


Excerpt from Chapter One, The Portal::

"Mr. Brilly ... do we have confirmation yet?"

Admiral Slout Epydidimus had just returned to the command bridge and was seated in his captain’s chair onboard the Naustie flagship Anarchy.  This had been specially made for him after the former freighter had been captured following the riot at New Australia Planetary Prison.  Originally designed for humans - and with Admiral Snout being a pig-like Suidonji - it had to be altered to accommodate his form.  He was addressing Ensign Frilbriliram who had been awaiting word as to whether the ship's science officer had given the green light.

His science team had been working nonstop for the past twenty hours.  They'd studied the area and discovered conditions were right for the existence of a wormhole, a space anomaly that most considered theoretical at best.  The idea of actually travelling through one had been routinely dismissed over the centuries.  The concept of a ‘space portal’ was an old one; and to ship captains more legend than reality.  A thousand years ago wormholes had been proposed by a revered scientist back on Earth.  That being said, few outside the literary community ever imagined one being traversed.

Not knowing how far behind their pursuers were; not to mention whether the enemy were gaining on them, the only option seemed to be in taking a detour, even though they'd taken one already and it had cost them.  Landing on Kapteyn B had been necessary of course.  They’d had to offload female prisoners from the Chengshi.  Jettisoning them into space was not something Admiral Slout was willing to do.  Changing direction wouldn't cut it - they were being tracked and had been for quite some time.  Once within firing range they'd be obliterated.  It was preferable to find some way to conceal their location for a time.  Disappearing inside of a wormhole - at least to Admiral Slout and his command staff - sounded immensely appealing.  Not that Minggatu didn't have a point.

True, the ship's spectrometer had picked up on the anomaly; but that shouldn't have seemed unusual.  They'd been running for their lives for some time now; had activated their warheads in order to provide extra speed - thus setting up a harmonic field which caused a subspace field to be generated.  This had illuminated a corridor and the spectrometer had identified a passage parallel to the ship.  Minggatu, a soft-spoken Mongolian, tried explaining this when it had first occurred.  Admiral Slout only heard what he wanted to hear; especially when his first officer alerted him to the opportunity.  Did they have the technology to "open the door" and thus "disappear" entirely?  That’s all he’d wanted to know. If successful - if they truly could burrow through the fabric of space and survive to the other side - the Interplanetary Fleet would have no idea where they'd gone.  Minggatu thought it to be foolhardy.

"Admiral, you need to realize - or do you already know just how risky this would be?  We won't have any idea what's on the other side. Even if we can force it open ... even if we do manage to keep it open long enough to pass through.  You know this, right?” That's how he'd explained himself - trying not to be insubordinate, yet being as honest as he possibly could.

"A wormhole, just so we're understanding each other, they're only theoretical - a passage through space-time that supposedly creates a shortcut between two points in the universe.  Yes, they're predicted by the theory of general relativity but nothing more.  Predicted; not verified.  And according to Einstein-Rosen theory there is serious danger of collapse, not to mention high radiation."

Slout did not interrupt.  He'd learned when it came to subordinates expressing expert opinions that it was wiser to let them speak their minds.  If they rattled on long enough they'd often end up talking themselves into whatever was proposed.  That was always best.  Minggatu had plenty to say.

"The first problem is size, sir.  You see, primordial wormholes are predicted to exist on microscopic levels - centimeters wide at the most.  Sure, as the universe has evolved, it is possible - remotely possible mind you - that some may have grown.  The universe is constantly expanding.  But the main issue is stability.  Even Einstein himself never considered them as a means of traveling from one galaxy to another because they collapse quickly.  That is, we believe they do."

But that's where Slout had him.  It was merely a matter of making the argument that the Anarchy's warp drive was predicated on the creation of non-baryonic matter.  He too knew a thing or two about interstellar travel.  Had to. He’d been a ship's captain for many years; was a smuggler before he was sent to prison.  Offered a "deal" if he'd identify the mobsters he was working for, he’d wisely chosen ten years at New Australia Planetary Prison rather than cooperating with investigators. If only he would have, he might have gotten off with a suspended sentence but Slout was too smart.  The mob would have killed him for doing something like that.

"Yes," the admiral replied, pretending to be ill-informed.  "I've heard of this.  We would need some form of exotic matter, I believe it’s called, in order to hold it open long enough for us to pass through."

"That's right, Admiral. You were told correctly," Minggatu observed.  "And it's not clear whether such a thing exists in great enough quantity within the natural realm.  True, it could work in keeping the portal open while traversing one end to the other, but ...."

"But what?" said the ship captain.  He could sense that his science officer knew the answer.  The trick was in getting him to admit it.

"Well, sir, it's just that such matter ... exotic matter ... has only been discovered while in certain vacuum states as part of quantum theory.  Those experiments are - I mean they've only been conducted in a controlled laboratory environment."

Slout decided it was time to turn the screws.  What had always been believed - though never attempted in space - was that exotic matter contained negative energy density and large negative pressure.  If it could be "created" in a lab, why couldn't it be done now using the same technology they already had onboard?

“I see. And do we not have a laboratory onboard this ship?” asked Slout. “Do we not already have the necessary facilities to accomplish this?”

“Accomplish what, Admiral?” asked Minggatu; being extra careful not to sound flippant. The ship’s commander wasn’t just his superior officer; he was also a massive Suidonji, fully capable of snapping the man’s neck if he wanted to. Still, he could sense what his commander was driving at and it made him terribly uneasy. Slout, for his part, was done playing cat and mouse with the disgraced former college professor. What the little fellow really needed was to see the bigger picture; and Slout was happy to enlighten him. After a pause he stood up from the small table they were seated at and snorted menacingly, placing his front hooves on the surface and glaring at him.

“Perhaps it is me who should be doing the explaining. We’re being chased, Minggatu … and by a force fully capable of not only destroying us but everyone – every living soul on New Australia. It is what it is, but you need to understand just what’s at stake here. We’ve been running from the IPF for quite some time – and to be honest, we may never see our home planet again. But if we can elude them long enough, who knows what could happen? All we know is that we’re alive today … and you, my friend, can see to it we’re still that way tomorrow.”

He then grinned his typical grin – it looked more like a smirk. Not well-known for his humor he raised a thick eyebrow and waited for the science officer’s response. Like any good leader he knew when he’d made his point; what’s more he knew when to stop talking and let his subordinate process what had been said. Say too much and it allowed time for devising a comeback. Say just enough – make it clear what was required of the man – that’s all he wished to do. Either way it was a direct order he was giving; whether implied or stated.

“Figure it out,” he added, in order to remove all doubt what he was demanding. This he did while raising up and placing his hooves on his hips. Minggatu realized this meant it was the end of the meeting. Slout was done with him for now. He’d either produce the results they needed in order to escape through the wormhole or die right along with the rest of his fellow crewmen. Might be days – weeks – hours later once the Interplanetary Fleet caught up with them; but they would.

“Yes Admiral,” was all he said in reply.



About the Author:

King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013, when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full length novel. King lives in Denver, Colorado with his lovely wife Caroline and has two grown children. He's a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby; and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.









RABT Book Tours & PR

Sunday, 15 December 2019

In the Heart of Windy Pines by Holly Tierney-Bedord



Title: In the Heart of Windy Pines
Author: Holly Tierney-Bedord
Genre: Cozy Mystery + Light Romance
Publication Date: November, 24, 2019

From the author of Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women comes a new novella featuring characters from Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Carnage at the Christmas Party, and The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club!

Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of Mistletoe Manor in beautiful, remote, Windy Pines, Idaho, where she brings her unique brand of hospitality to the tiny mountain town.

When she finds her inn unexpectedly fully booked on a snowy Tuesday night in November, it brings back memories of a tragedy years before. Before she knows what hit her, she and her trusty team of employees (Myrtle, Pierre, and her new night manager, Josephine), have found themselves back at the task of solving another mystery at Mistletoe Manor!

While this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novella, if you plan to read the books in the Windy Pines Mystery series or The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, it's highly recommended you read those first, as this book contains spoilers that could affect your ability to enjoy them.




Author Bio:

Holly Tierney-Bedord lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She’s the author of over twenty books including The Woman America Loves a Latte, The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, and Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women.

For more information or to subscribe to Holly’s newsletter, visit www.hollytierneybedord.com.





Giveaway to Win a $5 Starbucks card (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions - Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




Giveaway to Win a complete collection of Holly Tierney-Bedord audiobooks (Open UK / US Only)
Only open to those who have a UK or US Amazon Audible Account.
Prize includes these audiobooks
*Terms and Conditions - UK and US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Saturday, 14 December 2019

High Heels & Beetle Crushers by Jackie Skingley



Title: High Heels & Beetle Crushers
Author: Jackie Skingley
Genre: NA / Adult Memoir
Publication Date: 14th December 2019


A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.



Excerpt from chapter 2:


      Frances applied candy pink lipstick, contrasting with the satin green dress and the pearls her mother, my ‘Aunt’ Bubbles, had lent her. Curlers couldn’t tame Frances’s blonde curls, and they struggled free to form a halo around her head.
      ‘Want to try some?’ she asked, handing the lipstick case over. I nodded, pulled off the silver top to expose the little stick of magic and glided the colour over my pouting lips, feeling so grown up.
      There was a knock at the door, and statuesque Aunt Bubbles came in wearing an elegant maroon dress and long matching gloves. A lady always wore gloves when dressed for town, church, luncheon or dinner engagements – strict etiquette in the 1950s.
      ‘Girls, are you ready? The driver is waiting for us,’ she said. ‘You both look very pretty. Come on or we’ll be late.’
      We simpered at her compliment and, gathering up our beaded evening bags, eagerly followed her downstairs.
      The Aldershot Officers’ Club on Farnborough Road looked impressive from the outside. A large single storey brick building set in spacious grounds, a flight of wide steps led up to double glass doors. We climbed them, full of excitement and anticipation, looking forward to our first dance. Aunt Bubbles led the way with confidence and dignity. A Mess steward smartly opened the door and we found ourselves in a large foyer. A group of teenagers milled about, dressed in party clothes, accompanied by glamorous ladies, their chaperones. Aunt Bubbles shepherded us towards them and introduced us. The ‘how do you dos’ and firm handshakes were formal and stiff. Frances and I fidgeted, the boys hung back.
      ‘Anthony, don’t forget your manners,’ I heard one large lady say to a spotty boy.
      I can remember the sinking feeling. I hoped all the boys weren’t like him, gauche and covered in acne. I’d expected a handsome partner, like Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind. I didn’t want to dance with any of them. What was I going to say when they asked me? Snatches of music reached the foyer as we followed Aunt Bubbles into the ballroom. The live band was playing ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’, a Frank Sinatra number. Under watchful eyes, the boys pulled out chairs for girls to sit down at reserved tables on the edge of the dance floor. A steward arrived with a jug of non-alcoholic punch, the chaperones retired to a table at the back of the room, and the evening was set for us ‘young things’ to improve our dance repertoire and social skills. I caught Frances’s eye and she raised her eyebrows.
      The bandleader stepped forward to the microphone.
      ‘Everyone on the floor for the Paul Jones! Girls make a circle in the middle and boys one on the outside.’
      This was it; we all stood up to obey his command. I dreaded making a fool of myself but I’d no time to be self-conscious. Someone grabbed my hand and I was on the dance floor. The music played an upbeat tune as I was pulled around in the ring of girls one way and the boys dragged each other in the opposite direction. I began to feel giddy when suddenly the music stopped. There in front of me stood my partner, the shortest and ugliest boy in the room. He grinned and clutched my waist with one hand and clenched my right one in the other, his face pressed on my budding bosom. Help! I didn’t like the way he touched me and he was counting to himself, one-two-three. I suppose it gave me a clue what to do with my feet. Frances staggered past with a tall thin boy intent on crushing her toes. She made a face at me like she had swallowed a fly. When the ordeal was over, we both rushed off to the ladies, ostensibly to powder our shiny noses but naturally, we were dying to gossip about the experience of our first dance.’
      Did you see that drip?’ she asked, dabbing her face with a powder puff. ‘He couldn’t dance for toffee.’
      ‘And what about that boy I ended up with? I could see right over his head, he only came up to my armpit,’ I moaned as I combed my hair.
      ‘Have you seen the young men on the table by the bandstand?’ she continued. ‘They look a lot more interesting, especially the one with the blonde hair.’
      ‘I’ll have a peek,’ I winked at her, sharing the secret.
      Thank goodness the boring youths were dancing with the other girls on our table when we returned. We were alone and I checked out Frances’s dreamboat. He did seem quite handsome, but I preferred the dark-haired chap talking to him. Frances and I were mesmerised.
      ‘Frances, they’re coming over,’ I whispered. ‘I think they’re going to ask us to dance.’



Author Bio:

For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother.




Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of High Heels & Beetle Crushers (Open UK / US Only)
*Terms and Conditions - UK & USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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