Tag Archives: mystery

Author Showcase – G.E. Stills & Shaunna Rodriguez (Pen & Ink series)

~~ BOOK ONE ~~

What’s worse than being rival authors for competing Publishers? Neighbors that’s what. Leave it to Samantha, Olivia Dixon’s publisher, to find a writer to collaborate with on a new book. Olivia’s thrilled with the idea until she learns the brilliant writer is Gabe Anderson, her detestable neighbor. After a rocky first meeting, the two writers spend several months developing their new book. Working side by side, seven days a week, their relationship evolves into something that transcends normal professionalism. To determine whether this partnership is sweet and clean or down and dirty, they take a break and go camping together. When they return from camping, Olivia still feels uncertain of their relationship. Gabe receives a call from his publisher, Irene. He and Olivia have been invited to a conference in Cancun, Mexico. After check-in they discover, to their consternation, that both their publishers are attending the conference as well. A well-known author’s estranged husband is murdered leaving her as prime suspect, until she ends up in the morgue by his side. Olivia specializes in writing murder mysteries and the temptation to solve one in real life is irresistible. Because of her relationship with Gabe, he becomes involved as well. Can Gabe and Olivia find answers quickly and solve the crime while clearing their friends of suspicion, or will more body bags be needed?

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And the killings begin.

  The doors opened onto an eerily silent floor. It was my floor, but it felt different for some reason. It could be my imagination, I thought, as I stepped out of the elevator and ran to Madeline’s door which was slightly ajar. I frowned and pushed it open with the toe of my black heel and leaned back, listening to the creak of the hinges. My stomach flip-flopped and my heart rate quickened as I stepped into the suite illuminated by a single dim light. The sheers and the cream colored, solid curtain behind them were pulled closed, shutting out the moonlight.

I couldn’t help wondering if that’d make it less or more creepier than it already was. I reached down and slipped my shoes off and dropped them quietly by the door. Next, I glanced left and right, hoping to see Gabe but thus far, there were no signs of him. I walked down three marble steps that opened into the living area and stood in the center of the floor. Looking down at the rug, I did a double-take at the shattered glass that once made up the top of a beautiful coffee table. I studied the blood that colored most of the pieces then screamed bloody murder when arms wrapped around me. I threw my elbow back and caught air just as Gabe spun me around and pinned my arms to my side. He twisted slightly and drew his knee up to block the blow he knew was coming, then yanked me forward before I was the next victim in the glass.

“Baby! Its-it’s me!” Gabe practically yelled over my screaming. He shook my shoulders gently then wrapped his arms around me.

“I said wait downstairs so why are you here?” he asked then leaned me back, shook his head and pulled me to him again.

I had several things I could say, yet, none of them came out. I’m not sure if my screams summoned the police, but the suite door banged the wall and heavy, booted feet could be heard running in. I was positive I heard guns being drawn. Gabe cupped my face in his hands then leaned his forehead against mine and closed his eyes leaving me with the impression he was going to kiss me then disappointing me when he didn’t. Knowing Gabe, this wasn’t a situation that constituted kissing.

“You make me so damn insane, Olivia. What if it hadn’t been me? What if there was a killer still in here? What if they came back for Madeline, because she got away? What if something happened to you?” he scolded. While Gabe held me against him, my mind procced his multitude of what ifs.

An officer was standing beside us now, listening to Gabe fussing at me. He had already holstered his weapon, deducing we were clearly not a threat nor killers. “Do you have any idea what happened here?” the man asked Gabe.

Gabe looked at me then back at the officer. “No,” Gabe said. The officer left to check the rest of the room.

“But I can speculate,” he mumbled for my ears alone.

I sighed knowing what that meant. “We’re writers, Gabe. We’ve written scenes far more in depth than this,” I informed him hotly.

“That’s fiction, Olivia. This is a sick and twisted reality, more so than the far regions of my mind. I don’t want you involved. I don’t want us involved and that’s why I told the officer I had no idea,” Gabe told me pointedly.

“Tough, I’m involved,” I informed him, not backing down.

“Not open for discussion,” Gabe scowled at me.

Another officer had joined us and chuckled as he listened to us going back and forth.

“Married?” he asked amused.

“You’d think that,” we both told him.

“You mean you’re not?” he asked in disbelief.

“All but. We’re dating…exclusively,” Gabe informed him then held my elbow and led me away from the coffee table, AKA, crime scene.

“Stop, Gabe. Stop. I can help,” I protested as he guided me up the three marble steps and to the front door.

“No, you can’t help. I don’t want you involved in this,” he informed me then kissed me and handed me the room key.

“What are you doing?” I demanded.

“I’m going to do a walk through with them since I was the first one here. You go to the room. Take some deep breaths, run a hot bath and I’ll be there in just a minute, baby. I promise. I’ll order room service, we’ll spend the rest of the evening in bed.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Bribery will get you everywhere with me,” I told him.

He wrapped his arms around me and stepped closer. “Would it get me even closer if I told you how in love with you I am?” He kissed my neck and my jaw up to my lips. “I just want my baby to be safe? It’s not that I doubt your mad sleuthing skills. I’ve seen your writing, as we write together but, again, reality, love.” He kissed me then released me and stepped back closing the suite door and shutting me out.

I grumbled and stomped down the hallway and was almost to my suite when I heard what sounded like a crash coming from the elevator. I jumped and spun around then made a mad dash to the doors that opened on their own. I wasn’t sure what freaked me out more. The doors that opened on their own or the large, maroon suitcase in front of me that was leaking a massive amount of blood on the creamy white floor. Curiosity got the best of me. I stepped into the elevator, pushed the ceiling tile that had come down with the bag off, knelt and unzipped it. My hands flew to my mouth as I toppled backward out of the elevator and screamed Gabe’s name at the top of my lungs. I was crying and nearly inconsolable by the time he reached me along with seven armed officers. He turned my face into his shoulder and rubbed my back cursing under his breath the entire time.

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~~ BOOK TWO ~~

Gabe accepts an invitation from his old college roommate Mike after he calls and offers them a week at his Denver cabin. They were in need of a vacation from their heart-pounding getaway to Cancun Mexico where they barely survived after a fellow author and her estranged husband were found murdered at a writers convention. Who could resist a rustic cabin secluded from the world by the thick, ominously quiet woods of Colorado, where even the sound of footfalls would be silent? Like the swirling snowflakes, romantic bliss and their limbs entwined on a bearskin rug sprawled in front of a roaring fire awaits them, so does murder and mayhem which seems to follow Gabe and Olivia everywhere they go. A snowstorm rages while a killer stalks the cabins and the people in them. Can the two writers who just wanted an escape from reality put the pieces together before anyone else dies or goes missing?

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Author Showcase – Sorchia Dubois (Just Like Gravity)

  • Take Anna, a reluctant fortuneteller driven half-mad by nightmares.
  • Add one large, arrogant Scotsman on the run from Glasgow gangsters, a crazy ex-wife, and a brother-in-law who wants him dead.
  • Stir in murder, lost treasure, tarot cards, ghosts, past lives, and karma.
  • Sprinkle repeatedly with generous portions of Laphroaig Scotch whisky.
  • Let simmer in the Highlands for 300 years.

What you get is Just Like Gravity, a contemporary paranormal romance set in the Scottish Highlands. Just Like Gravitycombines reincarnation and mystery in an action-packed tale of star-crossed lovers.  Can Anna navigate the churning waters of Destiny? Will her dreams and tarot cards show her the way or is she doomed to relive the same tragedy over and over and over?

 
 
 
 
~~ Excerpt ~~
 
The sense of smell is the most evocative of the senses. An odor coaxes hidden memories into the open more efficiently than sight, sound, or feel. The scent of cinnamon and cloves takes me back to Yule celebrations when Mother was alive. Sage, fennel, and oregano put me in her herb garden at the summer solstice. Now the peaty, iodine-laced whisky spun me backward in time to the stairwell at the pub in Laggan the night before. I smelled Davy MacKintosh’s warm Laphroaig-laced breath on my neck and felt his solid weight against me.
 
What was it about the smell of peat, the taste of whisky, even the damp chill in the air that pulled unbidden images to the edge of remembrance? I closed my eyes, inviting visions in from the dark. They danced tantalizingly on the border of awareness, feral cats just out of reach. A voice called for me, familiar, compelling, promising pain. My eyes sprang open. My hand rose to touch my throat. Eternal, enduring, infinite agony seared me. I stepped back from water deeper than my craft.
 
The answer was here. Somewhere amongst the hills and lochs of the Highlands. But it would not be coaxed into the open just yet.
 
 
 
 
Amazon reviewer, Laura Hartland 5⭐: This is not your average romance, or your average paranormal romance, for that matter. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much—I tend to favor the offbeat and the unusual. From the first words of the first scene, when Anna and Davy meet in a downpour on a Scottish hillside, I was hooked. No ordinary hero, Davy MacKintosh begins by insulting the woman who will not only become his love in this lifetime, but has been his love through many lifetimes. The story, written in three distinct parts that move through various periods in Scottish history, shows us that Anna and Davy, in other guises, have failed over and over again to find togetherness. Now he’s an apparent hard-drinking, fist-fighting Highland ne’er-do-well and she’s fed up with men, but there’s magic at work here…magic that spans the centuries. There’s also a villain who travels with them through time and treasure and a spooky Pictish broch and …
I won’t spoil it by telling too much here. I’ll just say I enjoyed every word, lapped up the love scenes and sighed over Anna and Davy’s need for each other. True romance and some of the best writing I’ve read in the while. It deserves six stars.
 
Amazon reviewerSumner Wilson 5⭐: A wonderful paranormal tale seen through the eyes of Anna Farquharson, a North American woman on vacation in Scotland.

Mariel’s story begins in Scotland in 1604.

Barney’s begins in Scotland in 1939.

All three are linked, and in case of Mariel and Anna, are more than linked. Keep your eyes on these two. This tale has great adventure. There are murders and murderers in the book. We have love and much lust. Anna and her boyfriend. Davy McIntosh drink enough scotch whiskey to float a you-know-what, But no more than what’s needed. They go through some really tough times. Whiskey is needed, and they find it by the barrel. Plus they never miss a chance to shed their clothes, inside, outside, and by the side of the pond.

Scorchia Dubois can really write. Just Like Gravity moves fast, has great humor, and even greater suspense.

I loved the book. I’m fixin’ to give it 5-stars.

 
Amazon reviewerJClark  5⭐: Spellbinding from beginning to end and a lovely jaunt through Scotland to boot. Makes you look at your enemies in present time in a whole new light.
 
 
 
 
 

Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband.

A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

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Author Showcase – Tracy A. Ball (Left on Marriottsville: Our Secret Nook Anthology)

Authors join together to support anti-bullying efforts with their words. Each has chosen one of three prompts and created a short story for your enjoyment.

1. You’re alone in your home and you keep hearing someone call out your name. What do you do?

2. Walking through an art gallery you come across a painting of yourself as a child, but it was painted more than 100 years ago.
How is this possible?

3. Driving on a dark, deserted road, your car breaks down, there is no cell service. A guy stops and offers you a ride. Do you take it? 

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Annalise is as brave as they come. That is until she gets stranded on a back road in an area that is ripe with culture-clash. Dennis is there to offer assistance if she can get a grip on her assumptions. Robbie’s arrival makes the challenge harder. Opposite of Dennis in every way, he calls to mind, a different set of judgments.

Accepting help from either man is a risk that will undoubtably offend the other— the only possible witness if things go wrong.

 

~~ Excerpt ~~

 

Headlights. A car came towards her. Help…or…uhh…not help… The vehicle rounded the curve, slowed as it passed her and kept going. 

“Wow.” She added ‘rude’ to her previous list of snobbish things to think about people who lived on Marriottsville Road.

Now, she really had to pee. “Oh god. This is terrible.” She rocked back and forth. Remembering her bladder put it into overdrive. Her options: none.

She opened the door an inch and listened. Nothing scurried, nothing charged. She opened it all the way and waited, just to be sure. Then, still clutching her phone she sprinted to the passenger side. When nothing jumped out at her, she held the phone in her teeth, yanked down her jeans and panties and tried to make the pee happen as fast as possible.

Relieving herself helped. She was outside the car and nothing happened. Now, she could put her overactive imagination to bed and think. She checked her cell. Still dead. 

The rustle of leaves and the snap of a twig made her hop on the hood, then the roof, petrified. A fox, a possum, a rabbit…something she wanted no part of crossed the road. 

That’s where she was when the second set of headlights landed on her. The car came from behind, slowing to a crawl when her hazards came into view. She hovered on her hood like a wide-eyed animal as the driver stopped alongside her, studied her a moment and drifted ahead. It was a man. Of course, it was. Smart people a.k.a. women, don’t drive on Marriottsville Road after dark. He pulled his car off the road and parked.

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Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.

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Author Showcase – Cynthia Eden (Lazarus Rising series)

~~ OUT TODAY, BOOK 6 ~~

He isn’t just a man.

Lazarus super soldier Jett is the perfect predator. He’s faster, stronger, and far deadlier than a normal man—because he isn’t normal. Brought back from the dead, Jett is supposed to be little more than a machine. His heart should be ice cold, but it’s not. His heart beats fast and hard for the one woman he should never be able to possess, Savannah Jacobs.

He’s the hero she didn’t expect.

When Savannah is kidnapped, she doesn’t think she’ll escape her captors. Then mysterious Jett breaks in and takes out all of the men in the room—the masked men who’d yanked her right off a busy public street—and Jett barely breaks a sweat in the fight. Jett is tall, dark, and as sexy as every sin that Savannah can imagine. When he takes her to safety, desire explodes between them. Savannah falls fast and hard for Jett…then he walks away.

But he broke her heart.

Jett knows he can’t have Savannah. A woman as perfect and sweet as Savannah can’t possibly stay in the nightmare that is his world. He gives her up—the hardest thing he’s ever had to do—and disappears from her life. But then Jett learns that he’s been set-up. Savannah was kidnapped as part of a dark plan to throw her and Jett together, and, now, Savannah is in more danger than ever before. She’s pregnant with his child—the first woman to conceive the child of a Lazarus test subject—and Jett’s enemies will stop at nothing to get her and the baby she carries.

And she can’t ever forgive him. 

Jett has to protect Savannah—and the baby. His problem? Savannah hates him, and she knows nothing about the secrets he carries. He has to earn back her trust, he has to fight for the woman who owns his heart…and he also has to reveal the painful truth about himself to her. Jett is a dead man walking. A soldier without a soul. 

HOLD ON TIGHT…the Lazarus soldiers are back, and they are ready to raise some hell.

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Other Books in Lazarus Rising

Book One
Never Let Go by Cynthia Eden
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Book Two
Keep Me Close by Cynthia Eden
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Book Three
Stay With Me by Cynthia Eden

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Book Four 
Run To Me by Cynthia Eden

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Book Five
Lie Close To Me by Cynthia Eden

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~~ BUY ALL SIX TODAY ~~

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Never miss a release from Cynthia Eden! Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.cynthiaeden.com/. You can also visit her Facebook page for her latest updates: http://www.facebook.com/cynthiaedenfanpage.

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Author Showcase – Chrys Fey (30 Seconds series)

Prequel to 30 Seconds: 60 pages

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child, he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive, or will he be their next victim?

 

 

Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and flashing lights obscured his vision.

Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.

Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.

“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”

The officer’s lips moved.

Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”

The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”

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Print length: 105 pages

When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he’s made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He’s determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob’s death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart’s life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she’s dodging bullets, she’s falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat?

 

 

She panted with fear. What if they see the chest? What if we get caught? What if my breath stinks and I’m breathing right into Officer Hottie’s face? She shut her mouth and let oxygen flow through her nose.

Her eyesight slowly adjusted to the darkness and she could see Officer Herro’s silhouette. His head was turned and he was listening to the thuds of heavy boots getting louder; the intruders were coming their way.

Then the thunder of footsteps sounded right next to them. “There’s no one here, Red,” someone announced.

“Look for documents,” a man ordered, who Dani could only assume was Red. “I want the name of the person I’m going to kill.”

A moment later, there was a reply. “All the mail is addressed to a Dr. Hart.”

Hearing her name said aloud by one of the men who had ransacked her place made her want to gasp. Her mouth fell open and her breath was reversing into her lungs, but before she could make a sound, Officer Herro lowered his lips to hers, silencing her. Stunned, she could only lie beneath him with her eyes wide and her body tense. She couldn’t believe he was kissing her. She wanted to push him back, but knew if she did he might hit the inside of the chest, giving away their hiding place. That was when she realized he was kissing her so she wouldn’t gasp.

She let her body relax. After her initial shock faded, she was able to feel his lips. They were comforting and caused a reaction deep inside her. She couldn’t stop her lips from reacting to his. It was an innocent connection, a soft touch of lips. Until his hand slid from her shoulder to her neck and the kiss deepened into something else.

 

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Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, running their newsletter and book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four cats and three nephews, both keep her entertained with their antics.

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