Thursday, 30 April 2020

Shadow Man by Catherine Wiltcher



Title: Shadow Man
Series: Grayson Duet: Book One
Author: Catherine Wiltcher
Genre: Mafia/Cartel Romance 
Cover Design: ME Kusel, Steamy Designs


SHADOW MAN is a brand new mafia romance from the author of the bestselling Santiago series...
This is the first part of a duet, but there are NO emotional cliffhangers.

Cause and consequence:
Two words that haunt me.
When I was stolen, I learned to hate.
When he saved me, I learned to fear.
I ran from him, following a trail of the dead, from Miami all the way to Colombia.
Now I’ve fallen into darkness again, and he’s the only one I see.

But he’s a shadow man.
A bad man.
A soldier.
A killer.

The red right hand to the devil himself.

We’re a dirty contradiction: I’m the girl who can’t be touched, whom he refuses to set free.
We’re a dangerous obsession: There’s damage running deep in both of our souls.
Caught up in a cartel war I want no part of.
Trapped between love and hate.
One night will change everything...

For years, Joseph Grayson killed in the name of Dante Santiago.
Now, he kills for me.


Available Now & Free In Ku
Amazon
Add to Goodreads




Meet the Author:

Catherine Wiltcher is a former TV producer and a self-confessed alpha addict. Her writing is best described as sinfully sexy, and her characters always fall hard and deep for one another.

She lives in the UK with her husband and two young daughters. If she were stranded on a desert island, she'd like a large pink gin to keep her company. Cillian Murphy wouldn't be a bad shout, either...




#shadowman #santiagoseries #catherinewiltcher #cartelromance

Monday, 27 April 2020

The Worst Lie by Shauna Bickley



Title: The Worst Lie
Series: A Lexie Wyatt murder mystery Book 2
Author: Shauna Bickley
Genre: Crime / Murder Mystery
Publication Date: December 2019


Madelaine had everything she wanted.
​Friends, a successful film career, and a loving boyfriend.
​Then she was dead.


​When Lexie Wyatt’s close friend Helen is frightened by an unexpected visit from an ex-university flatmate, Lexie is determined to help. She contrives an invitation to a weekend reunion of the group at one of England’s ancient stone circles. While there one of them admits they believe their long-dead friend was murdered.

Digging into the flatmates’ secrets, Lexie discovers they have lied. Have they also committed murder?

There is another death at the stone circles, and Lexie uncovers information that may connect the two crimes… and implicate her good friend.

​Is someone targeting the former students, or is the killer one of the group?




Author Bio:

Shauna writes mysteries featuring characters who aren't afraid to go looking for murderers and generally get themselves in all sorts of danger. In real life, Shauna doesn't do any of those things.

​When she can't come up with a murderous plot, she also likes to write about ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations. Underneath all that criminal intrigue is a true romantic who likes to see the magic and mystery in everyday life.

​When she isn't writing (or surfing the internet pretending she's researching), you can find her reading, running (or more likely walking), coming up with excuses not to attend Zumba, and trying to find new ways to use the excess fruit from the trees in the garden.

​Shauna's latest release is a crime thriller, The Worst Lie, featuring Lexie Wyatt from the novel Still Death.

Currently she's working on a sequel to Writing the Stars, but if discovered staring out of the window she's probably contemplating new ways to kill people for a third Lexie Wyatt novel.

Shauna is always happy to hear from people, but only if they're friendly and don't ask hard questions. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and via her website or through good old-fashioned email.



Guest Post by Shauna Bickley:

Where do I get my ideas?

This is a question I’m often asked. I was told that one writer has been known to say (with a straight face) that he’s set up a direct debit and has ideas emailed to him every Monday morning. I’m sure that others manage to think up amusing and kinder answers to the question, but the reality is that ideas come all the time and the real trick is in recognising and remembering them.

As an illustration here are a couple of incidents that have happened to me.

There is a café we visit on a semi-regular basis, perhaps every couple of weeks for a weekend brunch. About a month ago, we saw one of the guys from the cafe going into a house not too far from where we live and guessed he lived there or was visiting a friend. The next time we were at the café he served us and we mentioned we’d seen him. He replied that he didn't live in the area and hadn't visited it. Hmmm interesting! It wasn't important to us, so we simply said we must have been mistaken, but we knew we weren’t. Why was he there and why did he deny it? If I was including that in a murder or mystery, the answers would be different than if I was writing a romance, but there are heaps of options.

Another incident occurred during a walk along the beach. I strolled past a couple of picnic blankets spread out in the shade of a tree. On the blankets were various bags, food and belongings, at least I guess that’s what they were because the items were covered by another picnic rug. Ironically, or perhaps purposefully, the lumps and bumps made by the possessions under the blanket looked very like a body. If I was writing a murder mystery, it wouldn't be bags and food hidden by the rug!

Eugène Ionesco said, ‘For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.’

That probably sounds rather sad if you’re not a writer, but it is pretty true. I don’t base my characters on anyone I know, but people’s habits, character traits, the way they sit, stand or walk, all these things are up for grabs if they strike me as interesting for one of my characters.

Writers come in assorted shapes and sizes and you can find them almost anywhere. There may be one or two lurking in your home town if you look hard enough. While the romantic idea of a writer hiding away in a garret somewhere in Paris may be true, you’re just as likely to find them writing or tapping away on a laptop in your local coffee shop.

To be honest, I find a quiet spot preferable for writing, but I know many writers like working in a local café. While I prefer solitude while I’m writing, I don’t think anyone who writes can completely hide away. Inspiration comes in many ways but it is often triggered by other people or situations. I realised years ago that many of my ideas for characters or scenes or plots come while I’m out walking. So now, if I’m having trouble with a scene or plot point, I find it’s much better to pull on my shoes and go out for a walk. Often, I don’t even need to go that far, sometimes just going to get a glass of water will trigger the idea I need.

I live in a small town now, but when I lived and worked in the city I used to catch a bus to work and a ferry home — both are great for people watching. Initially I caught the bus from the Park and Ride where there was a bus into the city every four or five minutes during peak hour. Because of the frequency I saw different people all the time. Then I moved house and caught a local express bus. Most days the same people were on the bus, and most days they sat in the same seat, as if it was reserved for them. If you’re wondering about me, I made a point of sitting in a different seat every day! I remember a young woman who always leant her head against the window in the same position and appeared to go to sleep — obviously not a morning person! Another woman always carried two enormous bags. One day I’ll come up with a plot about the possible contents.

If you’re not a writer be warned, there may be one watching you.

Many thanks and happy reading to you and your followers, Shauna xx




Sunday, 26 April 2020

A Thoughtful Woman by K.T. Findlay



Title: A Thoughtful Woman
Series: The Sally Mellors Adventures
Author: K.T. Findlay
Genre: Thriller / Dark Humour
Publication Date: November 1st 2019


They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but where’s the fun in that?


Artist Sally Mellors has planned the perfect revenge, but with two secret agents on her tail, and her best friends running the police investigation, getting away with murder is going to be tricky...

Everybody loves Sally. She's a funny, generous, warm hearted friend, without a nasty bone in her body.

Isn't she?

Unknown to her friends, Sally's discovered another side to herself, cool headed and relentless, as she hunts down the three men who killed her husband.

But Sally's not the only one with an interest in the trio. Unknown to her, two agents have arrived in town, urgently hunting a missing man and his diary, which could blow their organisation apart. Their best leads are the very men that Sally's hunting, and she's getting in the way...



Excerpt:

"I chose this particular extract for Just Books because it’s a nice stand alone vignette that doesn’t give away any spoilers, but is actually a crucial moment in the story." -K.T. Findlay

In this extract, Sally and Emma have just confirmed how Sally’s going to go about attacking one their targets, and Sally thinks it’s time to find out if Emma’s really going to be able to help her or not. Are they playing a game, or are they really going to start down this road in earnest?



***

'Right, that's my alter ego research area defined, but there’s one more thing you and I need to firm up today. Who are our confirmed targets, and who’s going to kill who?’

'I thought we'd already agreed who the targets are?' asked Emma. 'Holmes, Thomlinson, Richard and Bob Harland.'

Sally nodded. ‘Yes, but it could be a problem if we do all of them. Partly it’s going to depend on who kills who.’

Emma hung her head. ‘I’ve been losing sleep over this. I’m fine just imagining chucking someone down a hole like I told you the day we met, but I know I won’t be able to actually do it. I just don’t have it in me.’

She looked up sorrowfully. ‘I’ve made it all a complete waste of time. I’m so sorry!’

Sally patted her hand. ‘No you haven’t. Lots of conscripted soldiers never fire their weapons at the enemy because they can’t bear the thought of killing anyone. So you’re in good company, and I’m fine with that. But would you be okay playing a supporting role? If all you needed to do was scout things out, run errands and act as a decoy sometimes, would you be okay doing that?’

Emma thought deeply.

‘Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear Emma. You need to tell me the truth. Are you okay riding shotgun for me if I do the killing?’ asked Sally gently. ‘If I start this Miss Helen thing, I don’t want to abandon it six months down the track because you get cold feet. So be honest with me now. I promise I won’t be cross. We agreed that it might turn out to be just a game. This is the moment we decide.’

Emma took another minute to think things through. 'I suppose that's fair. You'd be taking a hell of a lot of risk, and doing most of the work. I guess I can take a little heat, but only if we have the alibis all solid for me and the boys.'

Sally held her hand. ‘Are you really certain? I want you to be sure.’

Emma’s grief was still raw at times, and she’d had another bad night thinking of George. She narrowed her eyes. ‘I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.’



Author Bio:


K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.












Friday, 24 April 2020

Diver's Paradise by Davin Goodwin



Title: Diver's Paradise
Author: Davin Goodwin
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1608093832 (ISBN13: 9781608093830)


After 25 years on the job, Detective Roscoe Conklin trades his badge for a pair of shorts and sandals and moves to Bonaire, a small island nestled in the southern Caribbean. But the warm water, palm trees, and sunsets are derailed when his long-time police-buddy friend back home, is murdered.

Conklin dusts off a few markers and calls his old department, trolling for information. It’s slow going. No surprise, there. After all, it’s an active investigation, and his compadres back home aren’t saying a damn thing.

He’s 2,000 miles away, living in paradise. Does he really think he can help? They suggest he go to the beach and catch some rays.

For Conklin, it’s not that simple. Outside looking in? Not him. Never has been. Never will be.

When a suspicious mishap lands his significant other, Arabella, in the hospital, the island police conduct, at best, a sluggish investigation, stonewalling progress. Conklin questions the evidence and challenges the department’s methods. Something isn’t right.

Arabella wasn’t the intended target.


Excerpt:

With the windows down and the top off, the warm Bonaire-island breeze flowed through the cabin of my four-door Jeep Wrangler. I glanced right, across the sea, savoring the salt-filled air. A brilliant shade of blue—one found only in the Caribbean—filled the cloudless sky.

Living on Bonaire, I never worried about traffic lights or big city hustle and bustle. With fewer crowds and more locals, I considered this tiny island my undiscovered paradise, not yet spoiled by restaurant chains, high-rises, or all-inclusive resorts. Scooters and bicycles were primary transportation for many, while others walked, greeting each other with smiles and waves. The culture, best described as laid-back with an unhurried pace, continued to have that slow, relaxed feel of the old Caribbean.

Unhurried, unspoiled, unforgettable.

My phone rang as I turned left, heading north on the road called Kaya International, toward Kralendijk. Even island life has its flaws.

Damn cell phones.

“Hello, Erika,” I said.

“Hello, R. You are on your way back?”

My full name is Roscoe Conklin. However, most folks refer to me as R. “Yes. Do you need anything?”

“It is Friday,” she said. A Bonaire native, and having lived on the island her entire life, Erika spoke English as a third, maybe fourth, language. As with most of the local population, her speech contained a hint of Dutch accent and reminded me of someone who wanted to sound formal and correct, but sometimes placed words in the wrong order.

“Yes, it is Friday… all day,” I said.

“I must leave early today.”

She had reminded me three times since noon. I smiled, downshifting around a curve.

“I know, I know. You must have a wonderful boss.”

“I did have a wonderful boss. Now I work for you.”

“Yes, you do.” I sighed. “Need anything?”

“I need a raise.”

I shook my head. “Anything else?”

“I do not think so.”

“See you soon.”

A few turns later, I stopped for a road-crossing iguana, or tree chicken as they’re called on Bonaire. It stood in the middle of the lane and swiveled an eye my direction which I considered a gesture of gratitude for saving its life. Even so, this guy had better quicken the pace. Many locals considered iguanas a food source, and one this size—maybe three feet long from head to tail—would be a prized catch.

We studied each other a moment or two, then I beeped the horn, ending our one-sided standoff. The iguana scurried away and found refuge in the roadside underbrush.

I pulled into the parking lot of the YellowRock Resort, which I owned, courtesy of my life savings and a large chunk of my pension. The Resort part, however, was a bit of a misnomer. It was a 10-unit ma-and-pa type hotel with a front reception area and a small apartment upstairs where I lived.

Guilt shot through me knowing the roof leaked in several units, and, scattered along the path, yellow flakes of paint reminded me of some much-needed upkeep. Bonaire is an island for water lovers and, most days, I wished for more time in the sea. Retired, and in no hurry to overwork myself, I struggled to stay ahead of the repairs. Erika seemed her happiest when keeping me busy.

I’d be lost, though, without her.

Before going into the office, I walked around the side of the building. Mounds of dirt, a cement mixing tool, and several wooden forms laid haphazardly around a partially repaired section of the foundation. The mess had cluttered the small side yard between the YellowRock and the building next door for several weeks. Neither the contractor responsible for the work nor any of his crew had bothered to show for work in several days. He wanted more money to finish; I wanted the job completed before paying him another cent. A stalemate like this on Bonaire—on island time—could last for months. Shaking my head, I walked into the guest reception area, which also doubled as the office, on the first floor.

Erika sat behind an old gray desk that reminded me of something from a 1960’s secretarial office. I did my work on an identical one against the back wall, and a third, stacked high with papers and other junk, gathered dust in the corner. The place needed an upgrade, but the retro decor of our cozy office served our function and suited us well.

Erika punched away at a computer keyboard, acting as if she hadn’t seen me enter. Her yellow polo, embroidered with YellowRock Resort on the upper left shoulder, deepened the tint of her dark skin. She refused to tell me her age, but insisted she was older than me “by several years.” I loved her like a big sister, and most of the time, she treated me like a little brother.

With black-rimmed glasses perched halfway down her nose, she rolled her eyes as I walked by her desk. “There are still some papers on your desk that still need your signature,” she said, turning back to her work.

“Hello to you, too.”

I laid a plastic bag on my desk and retrieved a bottle of water—or awa as it’s called in the native language of Papiamento—from the small fridge in the corner. I sat and put my feet on Erika’s desk, playing a game with myself by blocking out most of her face with my size eleven sandals. Her modest afro formed a dark halo around the tops of my toes.

“You still have not fixed the problem with that bathroom light.” She continued to gaze at the computer, not giving me the satisfaction of showing the least bit of aggravation.

I didn’t say anything and hoped she’d look over and see the soles of my sandals.

“The light?” she said.

I decided I’d better answer. “Which unit?” I glanced at the bags I’d placed on my desk. They contained several packages of light bulbs.

“You know which unit.”

“It’s just a light bulb.”

“Then it will be easy to fix, yes?”

“I’ll get it tomorrow.”

She moved her head to look around my sandals. “That is what you said last month about the paint.” She grabbed a small stack of papers, slapped my feet with them and turned back to her work, muttering “hende fresku.”

My Papiamento wasn’t good, but I got the gist of what she said. “What would I do without you?” I lowered my feet to the floor.

Knowing how far to push was most of the fun.

“Don’t forget you have some friends arriving on tomorrow afternoon’s flight,” Erika said. “You’ll need to meet them at the airport.”

“Yup, I remember. Tiffany and her boyfriend.”

She removed her glasses, laid them on the desk, and leaned forward resting on her elbows. “And how does that make you feel?”

I knew what she trolled for but didn’t bite. Tiffany and I had met during a case many years ago and were friends long before I moved to the island. She had visited me on Bonaire in the past and decided to bring her new boyfriend along on this trip.

“I feel fine about it.”

“You know what I mean.” She leaned back in her chair. “When do you plan to introduce her to Arabella?”

“Tiffany is a friend. That’s all she’s ever been. Nothing more, nothing less.” I took a swig of water and wiped my mouth with the back of my arm. Letting out an exaggerated “Ahh,” I concentrated on screwing the cap on the bottle before continuing. “Erika, you think you know more than you actually do.”

“Uh-huh.” She put her glasses back on, grabbed the stack of papers, and walked to the filing cabinet.

Wanting the conversation to end, I stood and headed up the stairs leading from the office to my apartment. “I’m going to take a shower. Have a nice weekend and don’t forget to lock up when you leave.”

Entering my apartment, I went straight to the fridge for a cold beer, my favorite being an Amstel Bright. The advertisements described it as a “Euro Pale Lager,” whatever that meant. Most of the bars and restaurants served it with a slice of lime wedged atop the bottle’s neck. At home, I didn’t waste time slicing limes.


Unlike Jeff “The Big” Lebowski, I liked the Eagles and Creedence, so I popped the Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 1 into the CD player and sat in front of my computer to check email. Twelve new messages. Eleven went straight to my junk folder, but one had a recognizable address—Marko Martijn, the contractor responsible for the unfinished foundation work. Before I clicked it open, my cell phone rang.

“What’s up, Bella?” I said.

“Hey, Conklin, happy birthday.”

I laughed. “Thanks, but you’re a little early.”

“I know, but since it will be the big five-oh, I thought your memory might slip and needed a reminder.”

“Yeah, that’s funny.” Arabella was from the Netherlands, and I’d found sarcasm doesn’t always work on the Dutch.

“I thought so. I called to see how you are doing.”

“Well… I’m about to take a shower. Want to join me?”

“I wish I could, but I am on my way to work. They called me in to work the desk tonight.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Yes, for both of us. It is that new inspector, Schleper. He thinks we are at his beck and call.”

I walked out on the balcony and sat on a lounger facing the sea. “Yup, sounds familiar.”

“Ach. You think he would give me more respect.” She exhaled a short, hard breath. “I’ve been a cop for ten years on this island. Longer than him!”

Changing the conversation, I asked, “We still running tomorrow morning?”

“You bet. Eight kilometers?”

“If you mean four point nine miles, then yes.”

She laughed. “No, I mean eight kilometers.”

“Ah, forgive me. My measurements are still strictly American.”

“I will forgive you. You are drinking a beer right now?”

“Yup. Need to drink away my sorrows before I shower. Alone.”

“Do not drink too much. I do not want to hear excuses for tomorrow’s run.”

“Maybe one more, then I have some paperwork to do. Or maybe change a lightbulb.”

“Yeah, right. You are drinking, so you will not do more work tonight.

“Hey…”

“I will see you tomorrow. Usual time?”

“Yup. Good night.”

She chuckled. “I will send you a text reminder.”

I seldom read text messages and never answered them, but the phone pinged as soon as I set it down. She’d included the words “old man” as part of the reminder about our run.

The sun had moved closer to the distant horizon, creating an orange aura behind the few low clouds. Palm trees and sunsets. Tough to find a more relaxing setting. I nursed my beer and watched the sparse traffic crawl along the one-lane road that ran between the YellowRock Resort and the sea.

I imagined Erika’s delight in arriving at work in the morning and finding the light fixed. It’d be easy—just a bulb. As I headed towards the stairs to retrieve the bags sitting on my office desk, the landline phone rang; the one used most often for off-island communications. It might’ve been a future guest wanting to make a reservation at the YellowRock or maybe an old friend from the States calling to chat me up about retirement in paradise.

Darkness was settling over the vast, smooth sea and I took a swig of beer, not interested in answering the phone, content with letting voicemail do its job. Besides, the Eagles were telling me to take it easy, and, regardless of the lightbulb, that sounded like a good idea. Arabella was right. I was drinking; my work finished for the night.

Second ring.

Nearby, my banjo sat on its stand. Erika had kept me busy enough lately that practice had eluded me. Picking some tunes sounded good.

Third ring.

Turning around, I noticed my old 7-iron propped in the corner. I hadn’t played golf since moving to Bonaire five years ago but still fed the urge to practice my swing. Make sure my elbow stayed tucked, and the clubface didn’t open.

Fourth ring.

Or I could swap the Eagles CD for Creedence, sit on the balcony, and drink another beer or two or three, watching the sun settle below the horizon. Maybe skip the shower, doze off early, and catch a few Zs to the rhythm of the waves.

Fifth ring.

I could’ve done any of those things but didn’t.

Instead, I went to my desk and answered the phone.

Excerpt from Diver's Paradise by Davin Goodwin. Copyright 2020 by Davin Goodwin. Reproduced with permission from Davin Goodwin. All rights reserved.



My Review:

I enjoyed this easy to read mystery from Davin Goodwin.

Detective Roscoe Conklin, known to friends as R, has retired from the job and relocated to an island paradise in the Caribbean. When his ex-partner and friend from back home are murdered, R wants to help, but being so far away means there isn't much he can do.

Meanwhile, back on the island, his friends are being targeted and the island police don't seem to be taking it seriously. So R starts his own investigation, much to the annoyance of the local police.

This book had suspense and a well thought out mystery with a red herring or two for good measure! I thought I'd worked it out, but I was wrong. The descriptive writing made visualising the island easy, and I hope to meet the well-formed characters, especially R and his girlfriend, Arabella, in future books.

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



Author Bio:

My family members have always been epic storytellers. I regularly wrote short stories in high school and college and, later in life, freelanced several articles for trade and industry publications. For years, the idea of writing a novel bounced around in the back of my mind, but never found its way out of the darkness.

My wife, Leslie (Double L), and I have visited the island of Bonaire nearly 30 times over the past 20 years, many of those trips for extended periods. The island is a perfect setting for the style of novel I wanted to write. Yes, the book would be a murder mystery, but I needed a laid-back, slightly exotic setting. And I wanted the book to partially center around scuba diving, an activity Les and I enjoy together as often as possible.

During the Spring of 2010, with mild coaxing from friends and family, the concept of Diver's Paradise came to fruition. However, after close to a year of writing, I gave up, not touching the story for almost six years. In the Spring of 2017, I pulled out the tattered manuscript, rewrote and edited till blue in the face, then endured daily heart palpitations, waiting for submission responses from agents and publishers.

Nine months after my first submission, and after agonizing through a boatload of rejections, Oceanview Publishing—to my good luck—offered a contract. I would be a published author.

Diver’s Paradise launches on April 7, 2020 in Hard Cover and eBook, followed later in paperback.

I enjoy being outdoors when the weather is nice. I don’t particularly like snow and cold weather, which can be problematic dwelling in the frigid, midwestern state of Wisconsin.

Exercise is a passion of mine, although I don’t do it as intensely as in past years. Running, biking, and swimming are my favorites. As of several years ago, golf and I decided that we can no longer be friends.

Through high school and college, I played violin in the orchestras and community ensembles. Much to the chagrin of those close to me, around the age of sixteen I was struck with an uncontrollable desire to play the 5-string banjo. And play I did.

Hours and hours a day.

Everyday.

In 1992, the band I played with at the time, travelled to the Ukraine and performed in the International Kiev Music Festival. I’ve also performed on radio, TV, and recorded on several albums.

I’m 58 years old and live in Madison, WI. Originally from Rockford, IL, I went to college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR., graduating with a degree in Computer Science. I’m married and have one daughter and one stepson, both grown.

Professionally, I have roughly 30 years’ experience in the technology industry and currently manage a group of software developers for a local, mid-sized company. In the past, I’ve owned several small businesses, worked as an aerial photographer, a semi-professional banjo player, a flight instructor, and a real estate investor.

Future Plans: Continue the Roscoe Conklin series, hopefully, for a long time.





This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Davin Goodwin. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card; two (2) winners will each win one PRINT copy of DIVER’S PARADISE by Davin Goodwin (US addresses only); and two (2) winners will each receive one EBOOK copy of DIVER’S PARADISE by Davin Goodwin. The giveaway begins on April 6, 2020 and runs through May 9, 2020. Void where prohibited.



On Tour April 6 - May 7, 2020

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 March 21 and are subject to change.


Get More Great Reads at

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Ultra Squad by Julia DeVillers




Author: Julia DeVillers
Art by: Rafael Rosado
Genre: Graphic Novel/ Superheroes/ Science Fiction
Age Category: Middle Grade
Publisher: Justice Studios

Ultra Squad
Ultra Squad #1

ULTRA-FIERCE
ULTRA-SMART
ULTRA-BRAVE
ULTRA-UNIQUE
ULTRA-UNSTOPPABLE
THEY ARE. . .THE ULTRASQUAD!

When an evil force from the far reaches of the galaxy threatens Earth, the UltraSquad, a secret superhero team, with a mission to save the universe through teamwork, positivity, and justice, is enlisted to battle the overly smug villain. Along with their bizarro-cute extra-terrestrial sidekicks the Pallies, the kick-butt girls employ their magical ultra-superpowers to save the universe! This first book in a new graphic novel series inspires girls to reach for their dreams, work together, and make a difference.




Meet the Ultra Squad!


- Posey (Pink): She loves acting and has a passion for fashion, especially anything with sequins and glitter! Her motto is “Born to shine!”

- Anna (Turquoise): She is a gymnast who loves to stay active both through sports like lacrosse and rock wall climbing. Her motto is “Girls run the world...and the galaxy!”

- Lyric (Purple): She lives for music and her guitar and also loves writing poetry and volunteering at the dog shelter. Her motto is “Girls rock!”

- Sky (Green): She is super plugged into technology and loves science experiments (like slime!). Her motto is “Problem? Problem solved.”




Ultra Squad Under the Strangebow
Ultra Squad #2



An evil, strange rainbow! A former nemesis! And four girls who look exactly like the UltraSquad! It’s an epic battle on an alternate universe for the UltraSquad, a secret superhero team, with a mission to save the universe through teamwork, positivity, and justice. Can the girls and their sidekicks, the Pallies, once again save the world and make it a better place through teamwork, positivity, and unstoppable fierce girl power?





Praise for the Ultra Squad series:
“Funny, fun, and lots of heart. I’m an Official Member of the UltraSquad!”—Max Brallier, NYT bestselling author of The Last Kids on Earth
“A super-fun, super-adorable, super-bighearted read! I want to be part of the squad, my daughters want to be part of the squad. And so will readers!”—Sarah Mlynowski, NYT bestselling author of the Whatever Ever and Upside Down Magic series
“UltraSquad is ultra-fun. We’re lucky we have these girls to save the universe!”—Cindy Callaghan, author of Just Add Magic and Saltwater Secrets
“Quirky, funny, exciting, sweet!”—Michael Buckley, NYT bestselling author of The Sisters Grimm series, and Finn and the Intergalactic Lunch Box
“Four best friends who save the world? Yes, please. I'll follow the UltraSquad anywhere!"—Lauren Myracle, co-author of the NYT bestselling Upside-Down Magic series
“The UltraSquad show us what we knew all along: girls will save the universe! These four talented besties are armed with super smarts and generous hearts. Intergalactic villains, beware!”—Christina Soontornvat, author of The Diary of an Ice Princess series and A Wish in The Dark
“Ultra Squad for the win! A graphic novel with heart, brains and lots of camaraderie. Oh, and four brave girls who rock the world with their super powers and smarts. A high-energy, thrilling ride!”—Ronald L. Smith author of Black Panther: The Young Prince and The Owls Have Come To Take Us Away
“I read this book straight through! There were great plot twists! I loved all of the characters. Bob was my favorite sidekick character. I'm so excited to read the next novel!”—Ava Lilian, Los Angeles, age 8
“Sophia was so excited to finish reading the book that she took it to school so she could read it there, too! It always makes me happy when the girls discover a book that they just don’t want to put down!” –A mom from Charlotte, NC
“I found myself in the book as "Lyric," whose passions are music and writing poetry. These girls rock!”—Elisakh Hagia: Los Angeles, age 13
“My students love being a part of the Ultra Squad—boys and girls! Highly recommend."–Mrs. Deskowicz, Troy, NY




About the Author:

Julia DeVillers is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than two dozen middle-grade and teen novels including How My Private Personal Journal Became a Bestseller, Liberty Porter First Daughter, and Girlwise. She also created the first retail branded book series for girls, Tween Brands (Justice/Limited TOO), and USA Today called it "a novel approach for retailers." She has appeared on the major television networks and in the New York Times as an expert on tween girls. She lives in Ohio with her husband and their two children.



About the Artist:

Born in Puerto Rico and based in Ohio, Rafael Rosado is a veteran of the animation industry. He is currently a storyboard artist for Warner Brothers, Disney, and Cartoon Network.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Ultra Squad. 3 winners each win a prize package (US Only). The prize packages include: the 3 Ultra Squad books + a $25 Justice gift card & an Ultra Squad hat.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter above.


This is my stop during the book blitz for Ultra Squad written by Julia DeVillers with art by Rafael Rosado.
I hope you enjoyed reading.


The book blitz/blog tour runs from 20 till 26 April.


This book blitz/blog tour is organized by:

Saturday, 11 April 2020

The Tower by Anne-Marie Ormsby



Title: The Tower
Author: Anne-Marie Ormsby
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: 10th January 2020
Publisher: Darkstroke


Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts.





My Review:

I absolutely loved this dark and disturbing, paranormal thriller by Anne-Marie Ormsby. The author grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go until I'd finished the book.

After a terrifying ordeal Ada turned her back on her psychic abilities, but a decade later an apparent suicide in a block of flats that she manages, sparks those abilities back into action, and once again she's being stalked by an evil spirit who will do anything to attract her attention, including murder.

The plot was well thought out and well written, and the characters were flawed and realistic. Cracking along at a good pace, with twists and turns aplenty, this short story has a lot packed in!

This was the first book I've read from this author, but I've already got my next book, Purgatory Hotel, lined up.

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




Author Bio:

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

After 11 happy years in London she recently moved to Margate where she currently lives with her family.








Friday, 10 April 2020

Spider Games by K. J. McGillick



Title: Spider Games
Series: A Conspiracy of Betrayal Book 1
Author: K. J. McGillick
Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: 26th January 2020


How do you kill a spider?

Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?

A fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful crime fiction with twists and turns throughout this masterfully plotted novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the series, A Conspiracy of Betrayal.



Excerpt:

         I pulled behind this car that likely cost north of one hundred fifty K, placed my car into “Park” and dumped the contents of my bag on the seat. As organized as my office desk is, my handbag is the total opposite. After pushing through grocery receipts, my oversized wallet, and Glock 19, I grabbed for the phone. Dead. Screw it, I am just going to leave my car right here and the asshole can come looking for me if he wants to get out.
         I could just imagine the man that owned the car––arrogant, pompous, and an attention seeker. A parking spot hog. As I slammed the door shut, the driver side window popped off the track and slid a third of the way down. Perfect. Now Norma and I would once again struggle to ease it back up to the top, praying it would stay in place. A routine which we had mastered lately.
         Norma must have seen me; I suppose the slamming of the door and my swearing alerted her that I had returned. As I angrily marched across the lot, she stepped outside, and leaned against the door, effectively blocking my entrance. There was no way I could make it past a sixty-year-old, five-foot-three, two-hundred-fifty-pound woman determined to bar my entrance.
         I stood at the bottom of the three stairs with my right foot on the concrete and left one on the paint-chipped stair while she guarded the door to our firm. Ah, the spot thief must be inside.
         “Look, I know you’re pissed. That’s Dr. Mayhew’s car,” she said, waving her hands in front of me. “You know, Mrs. Mayhew’s husband—the man that will give us an obscene amount of money to defend his wife. So, suck it up and don’t stomp into the office like Bigfoot has arrived.” 
         Some called me a little firecracker because of my red hair, others for my temper. For a professed introvert, I could get verbal when things ticked me off. There were just certain lines you do not cross—don’t steal my lunch from the fridge and don’t commandeer my parking space.
         “Well, you can just tell him to get his butt out here and move it. As you can see, the window has now once again plopped down. I can’t afford to park it on the street like that, you know within the hour someone will steal it,” I said, now taking another step up.
         She rolled her eyes to let me know that no one in their right mind would steal my well-used 2005 Honda Accord, not even for parts. It had no pizzazz—heck, it wasn’t even a pretty shade of blue—but it started every morning and got me where I needed to go.
         “Stop! You are being far too dramatic. We’re in the suburbs, thirty miles from downtown Atlanta and the National Council for Home Safety and Security has named this city among the safest in Georgia. Here’s what we’ll do,” she said, putting out her hand. “Give me your keys. I’ll put your car in my spot, and I’ll find a place on the street. Bill is inside waiting for you, he’s in one of his hyper states and due back in court to finish jury selection. Now hand over the keys and put your fake smile on so you can charm the smarmy little bastard.”
         Wonderful. Could my day get any worse?
         “Look, Norma, it’s the principal—”
         Before I could get my whole story out about why I wanted to flatten the tires of a parking space thief, which she likely had memorized for as many times as she heard it, she clunked down the well-worn steps and grabbed the keys from my hand. As she pushed passed me, she turned her head and yelled, “Get in there, time is money.”



Author Bio:

Kathleen McGillick is an author of fast paced mystery, suspense and thriller novels. Her fascination with the genre reaches back to her childhood when she read every Nancy Drew book she could find. This, one could say, laid the foundation for her future love of all things mystery and who dun it's.

Although she has lived in Georgia for over thirty-five years and is practicing attorney in the Metro Atlanta, she will always call New York her home.

When writing her novels she draws from her extensive experience in the medical and legal field to weave her twisted plot lines. Kathleen counts herself an ardent student of art history which allows her to add a dash of art to her novels adding to the mystery of the story.

As a young person her dream was to become an English literature teacher. Although life took her on a different path, one might say she found her way back to her early love of books by spending her time now writing them.









Thursday, 9 April 2020

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss by Jay Raven ​




Title: Daylight’s Deadly Kiss
Series: Blood Riders Book 2
Author: Jay Raven ​
Genre: Gothic horror/dark fantasy
Publication Date: 3rd April 2020


In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs - and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it...

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis - Daylight’s Kiss - the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.
 
But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems - for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.





My Review:

I enjoyed Daylight’s Deadly Kiss as much as I did Crimson Siege, the first book in the Blood Riders series.

This book finds Anton and his friends captured by Crown Prince Leopold, who would like nothing more than to kill Anton. However, the Vatican has other plans for the vampire slayer and he is sent to meet the man who claims to have the formula for 'sunlight in a bottle', a compound invented by Da Vinci, which can supposedly bring death to all vampires.

With the Modjeski vampires out for revenge, and the dubious motives of others involved, getting his hands on the formula is not going to be an easy job for Anton.

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss is a fast-paced, atmospheric read, with plenty of action and intrigue.

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




Author Bio:

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay's monthly newsletter on his website










Monday, 6 April 2020

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen



Title: A Venomous Love
Series: Bloodstone Series, #3
Author: Chris Karlsen
Genre: Historical Suspense
Publication Date: February 28, 2020
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Number of Pages: TBD
ISBN: 979-8600864139


The killer whispered-“A pretty damsel...worth a pretty risk."

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.


Excerpt:

Heading?

Puzzled, Ruddy asked, “You say the body is still in the chapel? Couldn’t the nurse bring an exam table to put him on and start treatment?”
“She did. Young and I attempted to help but he suffered violent convulsions. Because the hospital is for children, they don’t have restraints. The head nurse instructed us to leave him back on the floor. She was afraid he’d fall off the table.”
“Makes sense.” The timeframe of Underhill’s death didn’t make sense. At minimum it usually took an hour and more often, hours for the venom to kill. A horrible thought occurred to Ruddy. What if it was a different suspect with a different lethal snake? “But he died while you were still here?”
“Yes. He convulsed brutally hard a few more times and an excessive amount of drool came out his mouth. Then he lost consciousness. A nurse put a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. He died as she was making him comfortable.”
“Strange. This is abnormally fast even for cobra venom.” Flanders stepped up on Ruddy’s right. “What is it, constable?”
“Shall I leave you to start my search?” Flanders asked.
“Yes. Collect anything, and I mean anything, you find that looks out of the ordinary,” Archie told him. “This case is so unusual we can’t be sure what is important and what isn’t.”
The nurse led them to the curtained-off bed. Honoria Underhill lay on her side softly sobbing. Her legs were curled up so she fit on the short bed meant for a child. The nurses had covered her with a blanket. When she saw Ruddy and Archie, she sat up and swung her legs down to the side of the bed.
“Yes. We know this is traumatic for you but we need to ask you to repeat what happened with as much detail as you can recall,” Ruddy told her.
“I understand.” Her shoulders trembled. She buried her fists in her skirt and kept her head down as she fought to control her emotions.
Ruddy brought the conversation back to the crime. “Did the suspect say anything when he attacked?”
“’A pretty little damsel, worth a pretty risk,’ he said as he rushed toward us. Then he leapt at me with the snake in hand inches from my face. Father pushed me out of the man’s reach and stepped between us. My father tried to knock the man’s hand away and swatted at the animal.”
She dabbed at her nose again and then offered the handkerchief back to Archie who waved off the return. “It happened so fast,” Honoria continued. “In the time it took me to blink, the snake’s throat blew outward, like a fan opening.” She demonstrated the action with her hands. “A second later it lunged and struck."

Excerpt from A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen. Copyright 2020 by Chris Karlsen. Reproduced with permission from Chris Karlsen. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series, which is historical suspense with romantic elements. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs.



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Karlsen.
There will be Three (3) winners.
One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen (eBook).
The giveaway begins on April 1, 2020 and runs through May 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.







On Tour April 1 - April 30, 2020

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 March 17 and are subject to change.


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