Book Tour for Savage Summer & Guest Post from the Author

Like a lot of readers out there, I enjoy a good mystery with lots of action and suspense. Ruth Bainbridge has recently released the first book in her new Curt Savage mystery series. Based on the book’s description, the author has created an atypical private investigator as the protagonist, which is what really caught my interest. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the book and read an excerpt, which is followed by an informative guest post from Bainbridge explaining the importance of authentic dialogue in writing.


Savage Summer by Ruth Bainbridge

SAVAGE_Book Cover

Publication Date: February 28, 2014

Genre: Mystery/Thriller



“When life gives you lemons … be sure to spit the pits out of that lemonade you’re making. Otherwise you’ll choke.” – Curt Savage

The past year has not been a good one for Curt Savage. Depressed over the death of a loved one, he’s gone into hiding, becoming entirely too comfortable with saying that he’s in the Witness Protection Program. But the urge to find that elusive killer puts his MIA status on hold. With the help of his new buddy Mike, he delves into the murky world of tracking down a killer — and uncovering who poisoned a neighbor’s dog. 

SAVAGE SUMMER is the first in the Curt Savage mystery series. Going from former cop to private dick, he represents a new kind of detective—the reluctant kind. As his best bud Mike puts it, “Private investigation just got Savage.”

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Book Tour & Giveaway for A Foolish Plucking (Richmond Series)

Happy Memorial Day! Today’s spotlight features A Foolish Plucking by Dee Wilbur, the pen name for Texas authors, Charles Yates and Dee Pipes. Take a moment to check out this mystery, read the excerpt, and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of  Wilbur’s A Jealous God, the first book in their series.

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Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery




A Foolish Plucking Cover

Publication Date: August 2013

Book Description halfsize

In their book, A Foolish Plucking, Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates, writing as Dee Wilbur, are again telling the truth about Richmond, Texas (as well as a few lies). They’ve expanded Jon Miller’s area of operations to include Liberty, Texas, Dee’s home town. She demanded equal time with Richmond so much of the story is centered in Liberty. But not to limit themselves, they’ve also had some of the story take place in Victoria, Texas. You can’t confine a great man like Jon Miller.

–It’s all fun and games ‘til someone gets a conviction–

Gary is a lush and a womanizer. On that everyone agrees. But is he a murderer? The police sure think so. Gary denies it, and the police don’t have a corpse. But they do have the big fight at the country club, his wife’s blood behind the bed, in the shower drain, and in the back of her Escalade, and Gary’s lack of an alibi. The jury agrees with the police.

Gary’s mistress leaves Dayton with Gary’s child and moves to Richmond, to be nearby for her once a month visits with him in the Vance Unit (a Texas State Prison in Sugar Land). She hears of Jon through Lulu, her new boss, and enlists his aid in trying to get Gary a new trial.

In the meantime Jon and Sandy are dealing with a family problem. Why haven’t Jon’s brother and sister-in-law ever shown up at any of their events. It isn’t because Sandy’s cooking is bad.

All in all it stirs up a nice little brew of a mystery that’ll keep you busy for an afternoon or two.

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Sunday Series Spotlight: Southern Fraud Thrillers by Jennifer Becton

If you don’t think insurance fraud is interesting, then you haven’t read Jennifer Becton’s Southern Fraud Thrillers. Becton revs up the mystery and suspense when she takes us behind the scenes of this engrossing occupation with the heroes of the series,  State Fraud Investigators, Julia Jackson and her partner, Mark Vincent.  Set in fictional Mercer, Georgia, you can follow Julia and Mark as they identify and track down the culprits behind some perplexing insurance fraud cases that will easily keep you engaged and sometimes dumbfounded at the lengths some people will go to to in trying to deceive their insurance companies.

Here is how Becton defines the series:

“The Southern Fraud series is essentially a crime dramedy like Castle or The Mentalist. Add to that some action, a dash of Southern charm and a hint of romance, and you’ve got the Southern Fraud Series. If you like comedic mystery novels similar to those by Janet Evanovich (without as much slapstick humor) or crime dramedy TV shows, you’ll probably enjoy Southern Fraud.” (from:!about)

In each novel, Julia and Mark are given a potential fraud case to investigate and solve over the course of the book. Interwoven into each plot are the ongoing story threads that take us into the personal lives of the hero and heroine both revealing their motivations for working in this field and exposing their vulnerabilities. Both of these characters are well-rounded, flawed, just as people we may know in real life, and it didn’t take me long to connect with them and want to know more about their backstories.  Both Julia and Mark are focused on the job they are hired to do, but the subtle chemistry between them had me keeping my fingers crossed from the end of the first book, hoping something stronger than friendship might form between them, and at this point, well I’m beginning to smile.

I’ve read the first three installments, and Becton has recently released Moral Hazard, the fourth book in this great series with a dynamic hero/heroine, baffling cases, and storylines that include a cast of dangerous and quirky characters who add a touch of humor, all factors I appreciate in a good mystery.

Absolute Liability Book Cover

Absolute Liability (Southern Fraud Thriller # 1)

Publication Date June 2011

Genres: Mystery, Thriller


Meet Julia Jackson. Apparently, she’s been abducted…. 

A woman is taken at gunpoint from the downtown office of Southeastern Insurance, and the police believe the victim is Special Agent Julia Jackson. Only it isn’t true. 

Now, with the help of her new partner Mark Vincent, state fraud investigator Julia Jackson must find justice for the woman who was taken in her place. 

As Vincent and Julia begin to unravel the multimillion-dollar frauds that led to the abduction, they encounter a cast of quirky characters, one of whom will go to desperate lengths to hide a deadly secret. 

Things only become more dangerous as bodies begin accumulating around town, and Julia must discover the truth before the abductor comes to rectify his mistake.

Absolute Liability is the first in the six-book Southern Fraud Thriller series, which blends suspense, humor, and Southern charm with just a touch of romance. If you enjoy reading humorous mysteries or watching TV crime dramedies like Castle or The Mentalist, you should like Absolute Liability.

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Blog Tour- First Chapter Reveal for Southern Heat

I like books that have a southern setting, and David Burnsworth’s recent release of Southern Heat is set in South Carolina’s lowcountry. This looks like a great mystery novel, and you can read the entire first chapter now.

Southern Heat banner


Southern Heat by David Burnsworth

Southern Heat 7

Publication Date: February 2014 / Publisher: Five Star/Gale

Genre: Southern Noir/Mystery

Pages: 304 / Format: Paperback & ebook

Gunshots echo down an antebellum Charleston alley. Brack Pelton, an ex-racecar driver and Afghanistan War veteran, witnesses the murder of his uncle, Reggie Sails. Darcy Wells, the pretty Palmetto Pulse reporter, investigates Reggie’s murder and targets Brack.

The sole heir of his uncle’s estate, Brack receives a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove, a rotting beach house, and one hundred acres of preserved and valuable wetland along the Ashley River. A member of Charleston’s wealthiest and oldest families offers Brack four million dollars for the land. All Brack wants is his uncle’s killer.

From the sandy beaches of Isle of Palms, through the nineteenth-century mansions lining the historic Battery, to the marshlands surrounding the county, Southern Heat is drenched in the humidity of the lowcountry.


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Book Spotlight for Time to Retire


Time to Retire by Jon Foyt

Time to Retire, by Jon Foyt, is a new mystery/romance novel that offers a glimpse into the adventures of retirement living.

 Things are not quite what they seem at Sunset Gardens, an active adult retirement community in California. The directors of the Homeowner’s Association has been handling money in questionable ways, there’s secret meetings occurring at The Silent Front, a former speakeasy, and an influential resident recently committed suicide. Reporter Willy Herbst, approaching retirement, is curious about what’s going on in the neighboring community “over the hill.” He and his eager intern, Sally Saginaw, team up to investigate. Their discoveries are surprising…

Time to Retire is filled with mystery, romance, and adventure, as Willy and Sally explore the lifestyles of aging retirees.

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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway for A Tainted Mind

A Tainted Mind Tasmen Schutz

A Tainted Mind by Tamsen Schultz

Cover (11)OBSESSED with her job as a medical examiner and lead consultant with the FBI, Dr. Vivienne ‘Vivi’ DeMarco is a woman running from her own demons. And finding the remains of a body on the side of a road in rural upstate New York wasn’t part of her plan.

FRUSTRATED that the ghosts from his past won’t leave him alone, Ian MacAllister makes for a reluctant Deputy Chief of Police of Windsor, New York. But as more victims are discovered, all women that bear a shocking resemblance to Dr. DeMarco, he knows he’ll need to call on all the skills he learned as an Army Ranger if he wants to keep her safe.

DENIED over and over again of the one thing he desires most, a killer may have finally reached his breaking point. The only question that remains is, will he take Vivi and Ian with him? 

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Promotional Tour & Giveaway for EFFECTUATION


EFFECTUATION by Carlyn Greenwald


Release date: October 16th 2013

Purchase from Amazon:  Effectuation (The Trace Trilogy)

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway for Wilde for Her (Wilde Security #2)


Wilde for Her (Wilde Security #2) by Tonya Burrows


Release Date: October 28, 2013

Publisher: Entangled Brazen


Book Description halfsize

Friends with benefits just got hotter.

Former homicide detective Camden Wilde has been in love with his ex-partner, Eva Cardoso, for longer than he cares to admit. Not that it matters. She’s shoved him into the friend zone, and after living through the hell of his parents’ violent deaths, Cam’s unable to give her the idyllic life she secretly desires.

Eva’s never met a person who hasn’t let her down. Cam may be sex personified, but he’s the only man she can trust, and there’s no way she’ll risk their friendship on the off-chance they could be more. Especially not after the one scintillating night she’s trying—and failing—to forget.

When a murder-for-hire contract on his head lands Eva on his doorstep, Cam knows it’s time to put up or shut up. He’s done biding his time, and he’ll be damned if he lets the delectable detective ignore what’s between them, no matter the cost.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Travis Club

In the mood for a good mystery? Check out The Travis Club which is set in Texas, where I currently reside. I enjoy reading novels with familiar settings and a good plot, so I’ve added this book to my reading list.

The Travis Club

by Mark Rybczyk

Trailer Reveal for Dead Girls Don’t Lie

After the watching the book trailer for Dead Girls Don’t Lie, I can’t wait for the book’s release on September 17th!


Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw


Rachel died at two a.m . . . Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text. 
Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue—starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.
In the follow-up to her powerful debut, Jennifer Shaw Wolf keeps readers on their toes in another dark, romantic story of murder and secrets.
4750309Jennifer Shaw Wolf grew up on a farm in the tiny town of St. Anthony, Idaho. She spent cold Idaho mornings milking cows in the dark and attended a school where Hunter’s Education was part of the sixth grade curriculum. She’s always been a writer, whether it was sewing together books to read to her little brothers or starting an underground newspaper in sixth grade. She met the love of her life at Ricks College, (now BYU Idaho), after he dropped her on her head. She graduated from Ricks and then Brigham Young University, Provo with a degree in Broadcast Communications. Now she lives in beautiful, green, (rainy) Lacey, Washington with her husband and four kids. She loves to produce videos, ski, ride horses, and read, but really all she has time for is chasing kids and writing.


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Spotlight & Author Guest Blog for Glitter of Diamonds


Murder Will Out Mysteries

Ebook format

April 2013

Glitter of Diamonds by J.A. Menzies

Book Description

After Stasey Simon, an outspoken and defiant sports talk-show host, asks on-air for a volunteer to knock some sense into the home team’s temperamental new pitcher, police detectives Paul Manziuk and Jacqueline Ryan have to scramble to stop a murderer swinging a lethal bat.

Suspects include Ted Benedetto, Stasey’s young, longsuffering producer; Iain Foley, a former athlete who couldn’t quite make the NHL, but is the prime time talk show host; Ginny Loveday, girl-next-door turned sports reporter; Kyle Schmidt, Ginny’s rival from the other big newspaper, and a would-be novelist who hates his job but loves the regular pay check.

And then you have the Toronto Matrix baseball team, from the mysterious owner to several key players, including the temperamental new pitcher, Ricardo (Rico) Velasquez and his wife Alita; the newly-demoted pitcher, Armando Santana, fleet shortstop Ferdinand Ortes, and the team’s rock-solid catcher, Jonas Newland.

Add Pat Davies, Rico’s agent, and sparkplug Eva McPherson, a Marilyn Monroe wannabe who enjoys having a ballplayer on her arm, and you have all the ingredients for an unusual murder.

As the crime threatens to escalate into an international incident, Manziuk draws on his own knowledge of baseball while Ryan tries to understand a game she’s never watched.

Read an Excerpt

Manziuk picked up the phone. “Yeah? …. Oh, that’s just great! I don’t have the report done for the last one. You know, I think I’m overdue for a few days R & R. … I’m going on a cruise with Woody when the doctor says he’s fit enough to travel, and you won’t be able to call me in the middle of the ocean. … Who’s available for secondary?”

Ryan took a couple of steps so she could stare at the picture on Manziuk’s wall. It showed a serene valley with a tiny mouse just visible in the grass, and in the sky an eagle searching for prey. Ryan bit her bottom lip.

“Yeah, I guess.” There was a long pause. “Okay, I’ll take care of it.” Manziuk hung up. “They’ve got a body.”

Ryan continued to stare at the picture as if fascinated. “Oh?” she asked, her voice implying it was no concern of hers.

“I guess nobody told whoever did it that I was tired and needed a rest.”

“I guess.” She moved toward the door. “Well, good luck.”

“I’ll need a secondary.”

She turned to look at him.

“You doing anything?” He was looking directly at her, his eyes measuring.

She put one hand on the doorknob. “You want to take along a female who can’t keep quiet?”

He shrugged. “At least it doesn’t get boring with you around.”

She put her free hand on her hip. “I’m not sure my blood pressure can stand working with you.”

He kept his eyes on her. “If you do your own job instead of trying to do mine as well, I won’t have to yell at you more than once a day.”

“Thanks a lot.” She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet. “You just need to pay more attention to what I say. You aren’t the only one who can think, you know.”

He stood up. “Are you planning to talk all day, or are you going to back me up here?”

Her jaw set, she faced him. “Just tell me one thing. Do you want a partner or a secretary?”

“Why would I need a secretary?”

She released the door and took a step toward him. “You don’t need a secretary.”

“I didn’t think so.” He stepped from behind his desk, grabbed his hat, and pushed past her to lead the way out of the office. “You a baseball fan?” he asked over his shoulder.

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Some baseball player’s been found dead at the stadium. In the bullpen.”

She had to run to keep up. “Murdered?”

“Looks like it.”

As they hurried through the silent outer office, she made a quick detour to grab her purse. Lunging into the elevator as the door was closing, she asked, “Did you say they found the body in a bullpen? Why on earth would they have cattle at a baseball game?”

The elevator started its downward journey.

“Exactly how much do you know about baseball?” Manziuk asked.

She looked at the pocket on his suit jacket. “Well, nothing.”

He sighed. “The bullpen is where relief pitchers warm up.”

“Relief pitchers?”

“The game starts with a pitcher who can work a number of innings—ideally throw the ball a hundred or more times. If he gets tired, or if he’s getting hit a lot, they bring in another pitcher. That one’s called a relief pitcher. When there’s any chance that the starting pitcher might need to be replaced, the relief pitcher gets up to throw in the bullpen. If they don’t warm up properly before they pitch, they get arm problems.”

“Why on earth do they call it a bullpen?”

“I have no idea.”

About the Author

J. A. Menzies large photoJ. A. Menzies is the alter ego of award-winning Canadian author and speaker N. J. Lindquist.

An avid mystery reader since her pre-teens, while visiting a Japanese garden with her husband and young children she was struck by the discovery of a perfect place for a body. The result was Shaded Light, a contemporary mystery in the Golden Age style. Reviewers, including Publishers Weekly, compared the book to the best of Agatha Christie.

A life-long baseball fan, she set her second mystery, Glitter of Diamonds, in the world of professional baseball and the media that surrounds it. In one of the many positive reviews, Library Journal called her a “master of plotting.”

She is a member of a number of organizations for writers, including Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and The Writers Union of Canada.

Author Links






If you wanted something more like a blog from me…

From J. A. Menzies

Even though I grew up in a small town in the prairies of Canada, I enjoyed watching baseball from the first time my dad took me to see our town’s local team play a game against a team from another small town half an hour away.

When I saw the New York Yankees and other professional teams on TV, I immediately fell in love.

So when I made a list of things I knew, and therefore could write about (they do say write what you know), baseball was most definitely on that list.

Now, over the years, I’ve read numerous of books about baseball, from Jimmy Breslin and Bill Veeck’s Can’t Anybody Here Play this Game? to the more recent biography of Lefty Gomez, (Lefty: An American Odyssey, by Vernona Gomez  and Lawrence Goldstone), and Dirk Hayhurst’s provocative Out of My League, but there was no way I could write a non-fiction book. Outside of some mandatory games in phys ed in which I got stuck in the outfield (where in one memorable game I was stung by a bee), and some pick-up games in my neighbourhood, where I got chosen last, I’ve never played the game. Truth is, I didn’t have the reflexes for it, in spite of the hours and hours I spent throwing a ball against the side of our house and catching it.

But over the years, I’d also found some novels about baseball, from the classic The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop to the baseball mysteries of Alison Gordon and Troy Soos.

And there I stopped. Because I’ve loved mysteries even longer than I’ve loved baseball. So it was clear to me that I had to write a baseball mystery.

The result, Glitter of Diamonds is my entry into the world of baseball fiction. It’s a mystery first, a baseball story second. It’s a bit on the light-hearted side, and kind of complex, the way I like my mysteries. And my baseball games, come to think of it.

Since millions of people buy tickets to baseball games every year in North America, and even more people watch the games on TV, I’m hoping a bunch of those fans also like mysteries.

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Spotlight & Giveaway for Crimson Key by Wes Dodd

The Crimson Key

by Wes Dodd

Wes Dodd was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1958, currently residing in Southside Virginia. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Within the last couple years he has discovered a passion for creating and breathing life into great stories. He has published three novels: The Crimson Key, a mystery, The Secret Guardian, fantasy and Saving Faith, a romantic thriller.

Website | Blog

The Crimson Key


Publisher: Outskirt Press

Release Date: July 2012


Book Description:

David Paige, a young detective from Charleston, S.C., is about to embark on an investigation of a lifetime—his own. After an unexpected tragedy shatters his perfect world, he discovers that his mother had been keeping a life-long secret from him, revealing that he is not who he believed he was. With no family member to turn to, David has to rely on his detective skills and a mysterious item left to him from his mother—a crimson-colored key.

The search for the truth takes David to New York City, where he runs head on into lies, deception and murder, all in an attempt to cover up a string of dreadful crimes. Then if this is not enough to deal with, he falls for the daughter of a prominent man, both sharing an undeniable attraction—which complicates his life even further.

It isn’t until a near-death experience, and help from his mother through several frightening nightmares, that the pieces of the puzzle finally begin to come together. The Crimson Key ultimately unveils many secrets, surprising many people including David—opening his eyes and heart as well.

The two were very close as young children but grew farther and farther apart with each passing year. Amber had blossomed rapidly, leaving Alice behind in a life filled with neglect, which led to resentment on her part. Alice felt and heard her sister sobbing for the first time she could remember.

Why are you crying?” Alice asked tenderly.

Alice,” Amber replied in a shaky voice, then hesitated a long moment. “You do know that I have always loved you dearly, don’t you?”

Why of course,” Alice promptly replied, while she thought to herself, “You sure have a funny way of showing it. I only see you about once a year, and it is always at night so no one will recognize you coming here. We never go out together in public. You make me feel as if you are ashamed to be seen with me.” Then Alice asked in a caring way, “What is wrong?”

Amber made a good effort to gather her emotions as she released her hold on Alice. Taking a step back, she wiped the tears from her face. “I am in love with an evil man.”

Alice didn’t feel sorry for her at first, or the least bit shocked by her statement. She thought to herself again, “I’m not surprised. You have always chosen the wrong type men. You always pursued the Bad Boys, or what you would call the Fun Guys.”

Then Alice noticed a bruise on Amber’s left cheek, and her feelings changed instantly. She asked in a serious tone, “What is his name?”

Alice and Amber stood facing, eyes locked in a stare, Alice waiting for an answer that Amber did not want to reveal. A tiny whimper then broke their stare. Alice’s eyes dropped instantly to the basket below that remained mysteriously covered with the blue blanket. The basket moved ever so slightly as another tiny whimper came from within. Alice’s eyes rose quickly, meeting Amber’s, which were again overflowing with tears.

What have you got?” Alice asked very slowly as she knelt down next to the basket. She gently rolled back the blanket revealing a tiny, tiny baby boy.

I couldn’t do it,” Amber said in a trembling voice, as tears rolled rapidly down her cheeks.

Alice could hear her sister’s voice but failed to comprehend a single word; the tiny baby boy had stolen her full attention.

I kept it a secret for as long as I could,” Amber continued. “I knew he didn’t want a child, him being married with a child on the way and due at any time now. At least it was when I left three days ago. It would have made him very angry…and he has a furious temper.”

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Review, Author Guest Post & Giveaway for The Hunted Series by Jennifer Ryan

hunted (1)

The Hunted Series

Saved by the Rancher, Lucky Like Us, The Right Bride

By: Jennifer Ryan

Saved by the Rancher (Book 1 of The Hunted Series)

Saved by rancher Book CoverBook Description

A million dollar mistake…

Marrying millionaire David Merrick was the biggest mistake of Jenna Caldwell’s life. Two years after their divorce, Jenna is still on the run, relocating to a new place every few months after each terrifying run-in with her ex. No matter where she hides, he always finds her, and each time his temper worsens. Bruised, battered, and bloodied, Jenna takes her lawyer’s advice and relocated to a quiet ranch in Colorado in the hopes that she can finally stop running…

Another chance at finding a safe-haven…

Jack Turner was also running; in the hopes of forgetting about his nightmarish experiences in the army, he’s retreated to his family’s ranch. But Jenna shows up and forces him out of his isolation—and right into her arms. All he wants to do is pull her close and protect her from the world—and especially from her stalker of an ex. But David Merrick is on the hunt for Jenna and he won’t stop until she’s dead.

…And a romance worth the risk

Despite the looming danger posed by Jenna’s ex, Jack and Jenna find themselves inexorably drawn to each other, and just being with one another is healing them—both externally and emotionally. But can Jenna get past the fear factor of giving herself over to another man?

 Purchase on Amazon:Saved by the Rancher: Book One: The Hunted Series (ebook)

Saved by the Rancher: Book One: The Hunted Series (book)


Lucky Like Us (Book 2 The Hunted Series)

Lucky Like Us book coverBook Description

Too sweet for her own good…

Elizabeth Hamilton is almost where she wants to be in life: she’s got the best bakery in town, she’s the daughter of the most feared and respected judge in the country, and business is booming—but she’s got no one to share it with. No one, that is, except a grumpy cat named The Muffin Man, and a social climbing psychotic stalker of an ex-boyfriend.

But all of the sweetness in Elizabeth’s life goes sour when she sees Sam Turner lying unconscious in the street—with car speeding toward him—she saves him without a moment’s hesitation—and unwittingly puts herself in the path of a serial murderer. As the only one who can identify the FBI’s Silver Fox Killer, she’s ended up in the hospital with a target on her back.

A man who could use some sugar…

Special Agent Sam Turner owes Elizabeth Hamilton his life—and now, he’s the only one who can save hers. After the Silver Fox almost killed the both of them, Elizabeth and Sam can’t help but spend time together, and against his better judgment, Sam gets emotionally involved with the charming, brave woman who rescued him from certain death. Hell-bent on protecting her from an ex desperate to get her back—despite a restraining order—and a psychopath bent on silencing her before she can identify him, Sam is prepared to give up all he has to keep Elizabeth safe…even his heart. 

They set a trap to catch the killer – putting Elizabeth in his hands, with Sam desperate to save her. If he’s lucky, he’ll get his man…and the girl.

Purchase on Amazon:Lucky Like Us: Book Two: The Hunted Series (ebook)

Lucky Like Us: Book Two: The Hunted Series (book)


Review of Lucky Like Us

I started this series with Lucky Like Us because I enjoy reading books with a protagonist working in a Police/Security Role like FBI Special Agent Sam Turner who stars in this story. Sam and his partner Tyler Reed are working undercover to catch a serial killer known as the “Silver Fox” when the book opens.  Early in the story, the killer catches Sam off guard, poisons and beats him in the middle of a warehouse district where Elizabeth Hamilton resides.

When Elizabeth hears noises outside of her house, she rushes out to find Sam, barely conscious, lying in the street. When she realizes someone is trying to kill him, she risks her own life to protect his.  During this intense encounter, “Silver Fox” brutally attacks Elizabeth for intervening, and, in her desperation to fight back, she removes his facial mask revealing his face.  The attack ends with both Sam and Elizabeth sustaining life-threatening injuries and left for dead.  Fortunately, they are rescued in time and both survive.

The hospital serves as the setting for much of the story as both Sam and Elizabeth recuperate from their injuries. The pace slows down and more attention is given to character development and the relationship that develops between Sam and Elizabeth as they recover and bond over their shared traumatic ordeal. Once Sam learns he accidentally shot the woman who saved his life, he feels responsible for her well-being and spends a lot of time by Elizabeth’s bedside. Even though she is heavily sedated and constantly in and out of consciousness, they still manage to connect on a deeper level; his calming voice and warm touch soothe  her anxiety and distract her from the pain, while her concern, understanding, and acceptance of him draws him even closer to her.

Elizabeth is one of my favorite heroines. She comes from an affluent family, owns a successful bakery, and spends much of her time involved in philanthropic activities. Initially, I expected her to be fragile, passive, and dependent upon others to take care of her, especially in her vulnerable condition. However, this woman is intelligent and strong, both emotionally and physically. She takes action when needed and never once pities her situation.  Overall, she is calm, rational, and determined to have a normal life once again, even though she knows the “Silver Fox” is determined to see her dead since she is the only one who can identify him.

Once she recovers, she takes an active role to help apprehend the “Silver Fox,” even risking her life again by setting herself up as bait to lure the killer into the open.  However, while waiting to catch the serial killer, Elizabeth is also being stalked by a “wannabe” boyfriend whose disturbing behavior continues to escalate.  Although she understands the gravity of her situation regarding the serial killer, I was surprised at how easily she dismissed this stalker who begins to pose a serious threat to her well-being.

The romance and suspense of the plot accelerate once Elizabeth is released from the hospital. Arrangements are made for Sam to resume his role in the investigation by protecting Elizabeth until her life is no longer in danger.  As their relationship develops, the attraction between them intensifies into a full-blown passionate love affair. The lines of professional duty and personal interest become blurred once Sam and Elizabeth begin acting like a couple.

Although none of the characters seem to see this as an issue, I do think it has a negative impact on how the FBI proceeds with the investigation.  For example, when Elizabeth realizes that she knows the killer, she and Tyler work together to set a trap for him. They intentionally keep Sam out of the loop, not letting him know the real identity of the killer and about their about their plan to trap him at a charity event until the last minute.  Did they do this because they thought Sam’s personal involvement with Elizabeth would hinder their operation to apprehend the killer?  Since Sam is officially part of the investigation, I thought he should have been fully aware of all aspects of the case in order to do his job.

Nevertheless, an unpredictable and exciting climax occurs when Elizabeth does come face-to-face with “Silver Fox,” who is determined to eliminate her once and for all. The story continues after the climatic outcome, bringing up more questions to pique my interest until the end.  Lovers of romantic suspense will find this to be a great read.

I received a copy of Lucky Like Us from the author via Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.




The Right Bride (Book 3 The Hunted Series)

The Right Bride coverBook Description

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn’t believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She’s perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren’t blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he’s promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he’s determined to see it through. Will he find out in time that Shelly’s lying and Marti’s the one who’s actually carrying his child? It’ll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she’s his world and the only woman he wants?

Purchase on Amazon: The Right Bride: Book Three: The Hunted Series (ebook)
The Right Bride: Book Three: The Hunted Series (book)


Author Information

Jennifer Ryan writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find. Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, dog (Bella), and cat (Shadow). When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one.

Author Links

Twitter: @JenRyan_author /




Guest Post by Jennifer Ryan for Sun Mountain Reviews

The Hunted Series

Villains: Love to Hate Them

I love a good villain. Writing them is so much fun. Reading about them and hating them is fun too. The first three books in The Hunted Series all open with an ominous introduction to the villain. Enjoy!

Saved by the Rancher


David sat behind his massive desk, his hand wrapped around a tumbler of whiskey instead of his high-priced, highly educated, but still incompetent lawyer’s neck.

“She outmaneuvered us, Mr. Merrick. If we’d known about . . .”

“You should have known,” he bellowed, barely able to contain his temper. “I lost half of everything to that bitch!”

“At least it didn’t go public.”

“Get out.” Voice low, it resonated with his inner rage.

Alone, David stared out the windows of his thirty-sixth floor office at Merrick International. His company, and now she’d taken part of it. The fire of fury from that single thought shot through his veins, enraging him more. He tipped the drink to his mouth and downed a deep gulp, welcoming the familiar sting down his throat. Three men entered. He tracked their progress toward his desk with their reflection in the window. He’d used his elite security team to investigate many corporate deals, but now he needed them for something much more personal.

His back to them, he ordered, “Whatever it takes. Find her.”

They marched out eager to do his bidding.

David turned his focus from the city lights inside to the anger eating away at him. How could she do this? He’d make her regret winning today in court. She’d pay for besting him. No one got away with taking anything from him. No woman left him, especially not his wife.

He held his drink aloft and toasted the San Francisco skyline. “The game is on.”

Lucky Like Us


A wisp of smoke rose from the barrel of his gun. The smell of gunpowder filled the air. Face raised to the night sky, eyes closed, he sucked in a deep breath and let it out slow, enjoying the moment. Adrenaline coursed through his veins with a thrill that left a tingle in his skin. His heart pounded and he felt more alive than he ever remembered feeling in his normal life.

Slowly, he lowered his head to the bloody body lying sprawled on the dirty pavement at his feet. The Silver Fox strikes again. The smile spread across his face. He loved the nickname the press had dubbed him after the police spoke of the elusive killer who had staged eight deaths. Who knew how many more? He did. He remembered every one of them in minute detail.

He kicked the dead guy in the ribs. Son of a bitch almost ruined everything, but you didn’t get to be in his position by leaving the details of a partnership to chance. They had a deal, but the idiot had gotten greedy, making him sloppy. He’d set up a meeting for tonight for a new hit, but hadn’t done the proper background investigation. His death was a direct result of his stupidity.

“You set me up with a cop!” he yelled at the corpse.

He dragged the body by the foot into the steel container, heedless of the man’s face scraping across the rough road. He dropped the guy’s leg. The loud thud echoed through the cavernous interior. He locked the door and walked through the deserted shipyard, indifferent.

Maybe he’d let his fury get the best of him, but anything, or anyone, who threatened to expose him or end his most enjoyable hobby needed to be eliminated. He had too much to lose, and he never lost.

Only one more loose end to tie up.

The Right Bride


Shelly swiped the lip gloss wand across her lips, rolled them in and out to smooth out the color, and grinned at herself in the mirror, satisfied with the results. She pushed up her boobs, exposing just enough flesh to draw a man’s attention—and keep it—but still not look too obvious.

“Perfect. He’ll love it.”

Ah, Cameron Shaw. Rich and powerful, sexy as hell, and kind in a way that made it easy to get what she wanted. Exactly the kind of husband she always dreamed about marrying.

Shelly grew up in a nice, middle-class family. Ordinary. She desperately wanted to be anything but ordinary.

She’d grown up a plump youngster and a fat teenager. At fifteen, she resorted to bingeing and purging and starved herself thin. Skinny and beautiful, boys took notice. You can get a guy to do just about anything when you offer them hot sex. By the time she graduated high school, she’d transformed herself into the most popular girl in the class.

Destined to live a glamorous life in a big house with servants and fancy cars and clothes, meeting Cameron in the restaurant had been a coup. Executives and wealthy businessmen frequented the upscale restaurant. She’d gone fishing and landed her perfect catch. Now she needed to hold on and reel in a marriage proposal.


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Blog Tour & Giveaway for Mirror of Shadows


Tour Schedule: May 6-11, 2013

Release Date: September 1, 2012

Genre: paranormal mystery romance

Age Group: New Adult

Mirror of Shadows by T. Lynne Tolles

Book Description

Ella McKaye returns home for her grandmother’s funeral to find she’s inherited a ton of money and a run down mansion she never knew existed, called Grey Manor. Her greedy mother is appalled when the will stipulates specifically that Ella can’t give her any of the inheritance. She quickly throws Ella out of her home forcing her to take up immediate residence in the spooky old mansion.

Within minutes of entering her new home she has a strange interaction with a creepy old mirror in the main hallway and the ghostly inhabitants of the past get more and more agitated the longer Ella’s there. Nearly fatal back to back accidents make Ella start to wonder if she’s angered some ghost or if there is something more sinister at work.

Will Ella unravel the deadly mystery before she becomes a ghost herself? Or will fate take another one of the Grey ancestors to the grave.


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6 Words:

Spooky – This story has some scary elements, but definitely no horror.

Sad – I chose sadness, because the whole stories comes into being from the act of Ella’s grandmother dying. It sets a tone for the story and you find that up until this time, Ella’s life has been one sad moment after another.

Love – What is a story without love? Ella could use a bit of this and she finds it in many area: Parental Love with Mimi and Marlin, Love Interest in Jeremy and Matt, and Unconditional Love in Boo.

Betrayal – The biggest example of betrayal is what is revealed in the mirror between Willow and Byron Morton.

Predictable – Although I’ve been told the story is a bit predictable, it doesn’t seem to hinder the reader from wanting to know how it plays out.

Depravity – I chose depravity as a word to describe the Morton villains in this story because I view them as such.


About the Author

T. Lynne tolles

T. Lynne Tolles is a lifelong avid reader of all things paranormal and now is a writer of new adult paranormal romances for readers 15 to 115. She grew up in the sunny California San Francisco bay area. She’s the mother of two, wife to one and pet mom to three cats and Newfoundland dog.

Blood of a Werewolf is the first of five books in a series called, the Blood Series. Other titles include Somber Island and Mirror of Shadows – both unrelated to the series

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My Website:—availab.html


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Blog Tour & Giveaway of The Deadly Trilogy by Alexa Grace


Book 1: Deadly Offerings 

 Title: Deadly Offerings

 Author: Alexa Grace

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

 Length: 314 pgs

 Sub-Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Book Description

December 2012 Anne Mason thinks she’ll be safe living in the Midwest building a wind farm. She may be dead wrong. Someone is dumping bodies in her corn field and telling Anne they are gifts—for her! As the body count rises, Anne realizes a cold-blooded serial killer is patiently waiting and watching her every move. And he won’t stop until he ends her life. It is clear there are no limits to this killer’s thirst for revenge or how far he will go to get it. Michael Brandt, the ruggedly handsome new County Prosecutor is the last person Anne can trust, but may offer her only chance at survival from a psychopathic killer. But will she survive the passion that rages between them?

 Book Excerpt

Anne peered into her refrigerator.  Not a piece of junk food in sight. She opened the freezer.  How could she be out of ice cream at a time like this?

She had to get out of the house.  Tonight bad memories hung over her like a thundercloud.   She relived the humiliating divorce hearing over and over, becoming angrier each time.

She tried to sleep.  No success.  She got out of bed and pulled on a pair of jean shorts, a black glittery Lady Gaga tank top and her Reeboks.  She’d go for a drive to clear her head.  It was close to midnight but with any luck, she’d find someplace open to stock up on junk food.

She backed her SUV out of the garage, shoved the gear to drive and moved down the street, windows down, the breeze whipping her ponytail about her face.  She drove down Route 40 until she reached a section of fast food restaurants, bars and a mini-mart.  The mini-mart didn’t look busy so she parked in front.

She grabbed a shopping basket and strode down an aisle of the store picking up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger candy bars, tortilla chips, a jar of salsa, and a quart of soda as she went.  She moved to the refrigerator case and eyed the selection of ice cream.  She pulled out a couple of cartons of Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake then headed to the teenaged cashier whose eyes were plastered on her long legs.

She paid for the items, whirled around and slammed into the hard chest of a tall man entering the store.  Her items tumbled from the bag.  The salsa jar rolled across the store as did the bottle of soda.  The man uttered “sorry” as he bent to help her pick up the items.  He picked up the salsa and put it in her bag.  He moved down the aisle to get the soda that had rolled under a freezer then turned toward her. In a black leather jacket and snug faded jeans, he was one of those men that radiated testosterone.  And wasn’t it just her luck, or lack of, that Michael Brandt, her jerk ex-husband’s attorney was heading toward her holding her soda, sending her a dazzling smile that sent her stupid heart racing.  She yanked the soda bottle out of his hand, thanked him and resisted the childish urge to kick him in the shin. Instead, she rushed out of the store.

She opened the back of the car to place the groceries inside.  She pulled a Butterfinger bar out of one of the bags and got into the front seat.  As she opened the candy bar, she glanced at Michael Brandt, still inside the store, who was now staring at her with an odd expression on his face, hands on his hips.

She heard movement in the back seat then felt something hard slam against her face.  The candy bar flew out of her hand and landed on the floorboard.


She looked in the rearview mirror and gasped; a sliver of panic cut through her.  A man in a black ski mask was slammed against her seat thrusting a gun in her face.

Buy Links

Amazon U.S. Deadly Offerings (Deadly Trilogy) (ebook) / Deadly Offerings (Volume 1)  (book)

Amazon U.K.

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Deadly Deception Book 2

 Title: Deadly Deception

 Author: Alexa Grace

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

 Length 410 pgs

 Sub-Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Book Description 

In Deadly Deception, the second book of the Deadly Trilogy, enter the disturbing world of illegal adoptions, baby trafficking and murder with new detective Lane Hansen and private investigator Frankie Douglas.

Lane Hansen has a problem. He needs a woman to portray his wife in an undercover operation and the only females on his team are either very pregnant or built like linebackers. Then he remembers gorgeous P.I. Frankie Douglas — a woman who could take his breath away by her beauty and take him down in 2.5 seconds. Unfortunately, she’s the same woman he treated like a one night stand six months before.

Frankie Douglas has a problem. She wants to rid the world of one baby trafficking killer. The only way to do that is to partner with Lane Hanson, the man who hurt her by disappearing from her life after a night of mind-blowing sex.

They’ve been warned! Getting personally involved with a partner can put cases and lives at risk. Going undercover as husband and wife, Lane and Frankie struggle to keep their relationship strictly professional as their sizzling passion threatens to burn out of control.

Book Excerpt

“Lane, I know you’re ready to do undercover work, but with this case I need two cops who can pose as a married couple.  Unfortunately, we’ve got three women on the team. One is built like a linebacker and the other two are pregnant.”

“Sir, for this case, why don’t we go outside the department?  I know a Private Investigator who can handle herself on a job like this.”

Newly appointed Sheriff Tim Brennan’s brows drew together in a suspicious expression.  “What’s the PI’s name?”

“Frankie Douglas.  I worked with her last year on the Charles Beatty serial killer case.  She’s a former sharpshooter for the Army.”

“Is this the same Frankie Douglas you shot?”

Lane’s face flushed with the guilt he still felt about the shooting.   “Yes, sir.  It was an accident.  We were heading down the stairs of Beatty’s cellar to apprehend him when one of the steps gave way and when I fell my gun went off and hit Frankie.”

“Has Frankie Douglas done police work before?”

“I heard she’s a former detective.”

“I think I’ve heard about her.  Isn’t she a pretty tall blonde woman?”

“Oh, she’s smokin’ hot.  Think Victoria Secret hot.”

“Is that right?  Do you have a personal thing going with Ms. Douglas?”

“No sir.  Strictly professional.”  Of course, if he’d had a chance, he’d have made in personal in 2.5 seconds.

Brennan glared at Lane then picked up his phone and dialed a number.  “Hello, Frankie, this is Uncle Tim.  I may have a job for you. Would you please drop by my office?”


Book Review

Deadly Deception is the second book in the trilogy and secondary characters Frankie Douglas and Lane Hansen from Deadly Offerings are the protagonists in this story. The author provides enough exposition from book one for readers to learn about the history between Frankie and Lane without necessarily having to read the first book in the trilogy. Of course the read is much more satisfying if you do read all of the books in order.

Frankie and Lane  have spent one passionate night together, but his actions toward Frankie afterwards lead her to believe she was just a one-night stand. However, six months later, Lane still can’t stop thinking about Frankie and wants to have a second chance with her. Unfortunately, Frankie is unwilling to forgive Lane and does her best to avoid him.

Frankie is a private investigator, and, with her military and police training, she proves she is more than capable of taking care of herself working in this field.  Lane has recently made detective, and when a young woman is found murdered, Lane becomes the lead detective in his first major case. His investigation leads him to suspect a corrupt adoption agency is involved in the murder.  As a way to spend more time with Frankie, he talks her into going undercover with him as husband and wife to find the murderer.

While some aspects of the story are predictable, I found this easy to overlook because of the ongoing mystery and suspense that grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let up until the end.  I also liked that, unlike with some murder mysteries, the author spends time humanizing the victims, so readers can’t help but care about the outcome of their circumstances.

The sexual tension between Frankie and Lane really spices up the story, and even if Frankie can forgive Lane,  their working together poses an obstacle, since workplace romances are heavily discouraged.

This mystery behind the murders does reach a resolution without a cliffhanger that carries over to the third book, but the author entices readers to continue with Deadly Relations, which features the story behind two characters that play a role in this second book.

I received a copy of this book from the author via BTS



Buy Links

Amazon U.S. Deadly Deception (Deadly Trilogy) (ebook) / Deadly Deception: Book Two of the Deadly Trilogy (Volume 2)

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 Title: Deadly Relations

 Author: Alexa Grace

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

 Length 342 pgs

 Sub-Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Book Description

In Deadly Relations, a serial killer of young women hides in plain sight in a quiet county in the Midwest. He hides behind a friendly face that inspires trust, a personality that is charming and persuasive — and has a rage to kill he can’t control. Detective Jennifer Brennan, still haunted by her abduction five years before, devotes her life to serve and protect others. So when three young women go missing and are found murdered on her watch, she vows to find the killer — or die trying. A personal relationship with her partner, Detective Blake Stone, would be violating the strictest of the department’s unspoken rules and career suicide, especially since she is the sheriff’s daughter. But the connection Jennifer has with her partner, Blake Stone, is nothing short of electric. Working with him daily and denying her attraction is hard. But when he moves in to protect her, it becomes unbearable. As they fight temptation, two detectives race against time to find the killer before he strikes again. It is the most important case of their careers. It could be their last.

 Book Excerpt

Catherine Thomas awoke from a drugged sleep with every bone in her body aflame.  Breathing in and out triggered a torturous throbbing in her head.

She wanted her mom.  Though in her early twenties, Catherine had always needed her mother most when she felt ill.  Though she rarely got sick, she knew something was very wrong.

She shivered as the cold seeped into her consciousness.  Why was she freezing?  Where were her blankets?  Catherine tried to move her legs but they seemed frozen in place.  She attempted to stretch her arms, but couldn’t.  Her eyelids felt heavy and swollen and she feared the pain that would accompany opening her eyes to the light.  But she had to find her mom.  Catherine slowly opened her eyes to inky blackness.  Was it night time?  Her facial muscles flexed involuntarily and she realized something was tied around her eyes.  It was then she remembered.

She and Nicholas had had another fight.  This one was a doozy, and she’d slapped him, leaving an ugly red mark across his jaw.  Though he hadn’t admitted it, she knew he was seeing someone else.  He’d been distant and his usual insatiable desire for sex had diminished so much it was practically nonexistent.  There was someone else, and he didn’t have the balls to tell her.

Consumed with anger, Catherine had rushed out of his house and drove home to change clothes to go for a run.  Running had become her salvation.  She ran when she needed to think or to drive away her demons.

She’d changed into her running clothes and was pocketing her keys and cell phone when her dad appeared in the hallway.  Catherine remembered smiling at him.  For a second, she’d been tempted to throw herself into his arms for one of his special bear hugs.  But, instead she’d hurried to her car so she could make the most of the remaining light of day.

Catherine’s original plan was to run at the high school track like she usually did, but once she got there and saw the number of people running, she’d changed her mind.  She’d needed some alone time, so she’d backed her Honda Civic out of the lot and headed toward Deer Run State Park ten miles away.  If she hurried, she could get her exercise done before the park closed at nightfall.  She’d feel better about her fight with Nicholas.  Running made her feel better about everything.

Once inside the park, Catherine had studied a sign that listed each trail and the degree of ruggedness.  She’d chosen trail number ten, which was advertised as moderately rugged and would give her a good workout.  Maneuvering between several groups of people leaving the park, she’d reached her trail and started out in a jog on the narrow, dirt path.  Catherine noticed few people on the trail, and that was fine with her.  She valued her alone time and concentrated on the exercise.

Catherine hadn’t gone far when she reached a wooden platform built over a deep ravine.  Peering over the railing, she saw the river surging below and a deer drinking on its bank.  She continued down the trail, alternating between jogging and walking, depending on the terrain.  It was unseasonably warm for March, and the scent of the tall pine trees and ferns filled her senses.  Catherine was calming.  With or without Nicholas, she was going to be okay.  She was stronger than she gave herself credit for.  Who needed Nicholas?  She’d go to the Police Academy in eleven months and start the career of which she’d always dreamed.

Catherine slipped as she made the descent to what the park labeled as the “Ice Cave.”  She slid a few feet on her bottom, but was able to stop herself by grabbing a sapling.  Pulling herself up, she assessed her injuries to be just some scratches and scrapes on the back of her legs.

Her senses went on alert.  Catherine felt as if someone were watching her, but when her eyes scanned the wooded area, she saw nothing.  She continued on the path down the hill.

Once she’d reached the sandy bottom, she stood before the Ice Cave.  A twig snapped.  Spinning around, trying to spot any danger, she heard the crackling of dry undergrowth with each step as someone approached nearby. Was someone following her?  Catherine launched herself into the next section of the trail, cursing herself for being so angry with Nicholas that she lost all thoughts of personal safety.  When she hiked, she always had her small stun gun and a pocket knife with her. Sticking her hands in the pockets of her sweatpants, she felt only her cell phone and keys.  She turned her cell phone on only to find there was no signal. Damn.  She turned if off again and shoved it back in her pocket.

Catherine pushed on as the path wound around a steep hill.  On one side of her was a thick forest of trees and vegetation, on the other was a slope that led to the rushing creek below.  She stopped frequently to look back, but saw nothing.  Figuring she was at the half-way point of the trail, she pushed forward and prayed she’d make good time getting to the end.

The sun was waning in the horizon in hues of orange, pink and red.  Daylight was running out, and she quickened her pace as she brushed a spider’s web from her face.  The crunch of brittle leaves and twigs behind her continued, but each time she searched the thicket of woods, she saw dark shadows sheathing the trees as the light diminished — but no humans in sight.

Turning a bend, Catherine lost her footing again and tumbled down the descent of the dirt path.  She crashed face-down to the bottom of the slope, knocking the wind out of her.  She lay on her stomach for a short while as she sucked in air to fill her lungs.

Catherine felt him nearby, rather than saw him.  She rolled over and looked up at him.  She recognized him.  Thank God.  She’d seen him at the cafe.  Catherine smiled at him as he offered his hand to help her up.  Grasping his hand, she pulled herself up and was about to thank him for his help when he swung her around, slamming her body against his, gripping her in place with his left arm locked around her neck.  Catherine’s eyes widened in terror as she noticed the hypodermic needle in his right hand.  An explosion of pain rocked throughout her body.  Her world went to black as he plunged it in her neck.

Her heart slammed against her ribs with the memory.  Where was she?  She tried to move her arms and legs again, but it was impossible. The effort to move caused the structure she was lying on to creak and rock.  Catherine moved her fingers to scratch at the surface and realized she was secured on a long, wooden table.  He had her strapped to a wooden table, with a dark blindfold stretched across her eyes!  She couldn’t move.  She couldn’t see. What was he going to do to her? A primal scream started in the depths of her chest and rushed through her throat until she discovered her mouth had been sealed shut with tape, muffling the scream into a moan.


Book Review

Each book in this trilogy just gets better. Deadly Relations is my overall favorite. While I enjoyed the first two novels, this book ‘s storyline kept me hooked.  This story has some jaw dropping, surprising twists that I certainly didn’t expect.

This  isn’t a “whodunit” mystery. Readers discover early in the story the identity of the serial killer, so the majority of the read is to find out who will become the next victim and how this overconfident killer can be caught.

There are three point-of-views used to tell the story: the police detectives Jennifer and Blake who have a strong attraction to one another, as well as the antagonistic murderer.  Having the killer’s perspective explaining what drives his motivation to kill only increases the complexity of the story and heightens the suspense.

Jennifer is a strong, gutsy character and very likeable. Blake is a wonderful partner for Jennifer in more ways than one. I did find the violence in the book gruesome and sometimes hard to get through because the detailed description of the torture the victims endured.

This is a great trilogy for readers who enjoy mysteries full of romance and suspense.

I received a copy of this book from the author via BTS




Buy Links

Amazon: Deadly Relations (Deadly Trilogy) (ebook) / Deadly Relations: Book Three of the Deadly Trilogy (Volume 3) (book)

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Deadly Holiday

 Title: Deadly Holiday

 Author: Alexa Grace

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

 Length: 190 pgs

 Sub-Genres: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Book Description

It is four days before Christmas and all is not quiet as the characters you grew to love in The Deadly Trilogy books fight their inner demons, deception, and pray for miracles in this action-packed novella.

Shawn Isaac is a bright five-year-old who has experienced more than his share of domestic violence and abuse. His disappearance, the day he testifies against his father, terrifies a county who has already lost three young women to a vicious serial killer. What secret drives him into hiding as a deadly winter snowstorm bears down upon the area, putting those who love him most at risk?

Anne Mason-Brandt escaped the wrath of a vicious serial killer five years before. But the fear she had then is nothing compared to the terror 

instilled by a life-threatening disease and a secret that could blow her and Michael’s happy marriage apart. Is love enough?

Nine months pregnant, Jennifer Brennan-Stone has a secret that will change Blake’s and her life forever. She’s already lost one baby and this pregnancy has her on bed-rest. Can they find a small boy who doesn’t want to be found before it’s too late?

Frankie and Lane Hansen are having an up-close-and-personal impact to their finances thanks to a lousy economy. One of them has a secret that could make a bad situation even worse.

Tim Brennan and his wife, Megan fell in love with their pink Victorian house the first year of their marriage more than thirty years before. As Megan plans to turn their lovely home into a bed and breakfast, Tim is unsure he can share his wife, home and memories with strangers.

Book Excerpt

Prosecutor Michael Brandt looked at the frightened boy in his office and wished he could avoid the discussion that would ensue.  The kid, sitting stock-still, was thin with auburn hair and a sprinkle of freckles across his nose.  His legs weren’t long enough to reach the floor, and he nervously kicked one back and forth.

That any little boy should have to testify against his father was wrong on many levels.  That he should have to do it this close to Christmas was dreadful.

Michael cleared his throat as he moved around the desk to sit next to Shawn Isaac.  “I want to start out by telling you how brave I think you are.  I know testifying today isn’t going to be easy for you.  Do you have any questions?”

Shawn looked up at Michael, eyes wide with fear.  “Will my daddy be in the room?”

“Yes, Shawn.  He will be sitting at a long table with his attorney.”

“Will he be able to hurt me?”

“No, Shawn.  I won’t let him hurt you.  Neither will the judge nor the policemen in the room.”

Shawn sighed as he considered this.  “What about my mommy?  Will Daddy be able to hurt her?”

“No, Shawn,” he said. The muscle at the side of his jaw tightened, but Michael fought to control the anger that filled him. His son, Michael Jr., was the same age. Shawn should have been able to count on his father to protect him, just as Michael Jr. depended on him.  In a perfect world, Shawn would not have experienced beatings at the hands of his father. And he would not have witnessed the abuse his mother suffered.  “Let’s talk about when you testify.”

“I’m scared.” Shawn said, as he crossed his arms across his chest.

“I know, Shawn.  But you’re braver than you think.  I know you can do this.”  Michael squeezed the little boy’s hand and continued.  “When you are in the witness chair, I will be asking you some questions.”

“I know.  Detective Blake said I must tell the truth.”

“He’s right.  Tell the truth,” said Michael.  “When I’m asking you questions, it will help if you only look at me.  Don’t look around the room, and don’t look at your dad.”

Biting his lip, Shawn nodded.  “Yes, sir.”

“Speak loudly enough so that you can be heard,” Michael advised. “Don’t worry.  I’ll be standing close to you.  I’ll be right there if you need me.”

“Will the judge make my daddy stop hitting us so that we can be a family like Billy Collins has?  His mommy and daddy are nice to each other.  They kiss.  Sometimes they pull Billy into a big hug.”

Michael’s heart squeezed as he struggled for the right words to comfort the boy.  “Shawn, the judge will do all he can to change your dad’s behavior.  But when it comes right down to it, your dad must decide to change.”

A loud rap on the door let Michael know that Blake Stone had arrived to take Shawn to the courthouse, and wait with him until the boy testified.  Michael affectionately patted Shawn’s back, and then headed for the door.


Buy Links

Amazon U.S.Deadly Holiday (A Deadly Trilogy Christmas Novella) (ebook) /Deadly Holiday (book)

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Buy Links for Boxed Set

Amazon: Alexa Grace’s Deadly Trilogy Boxed Set

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About the Author



Alexa’s journey started in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position she’d held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. She finally had the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing books. Her focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels.

She was recently named one of the top 100 indie authors by Kindle Review.  A chapter is devoted to her in the book Interviews with Indie Authors by C. Ridgway and T. Ridgway.

Her book Deadly Offerings is Book One of her Deadly Trilogy. The second book of the trilogy, Deadly Deception is available as is Deadly Relations, the final book of the Deadly Trilogy.

Deadly Holiday is her holiday-themed romantic suspense book.  If you liked the books of The Deadly Trilogy: Deadly Offerings, Deadly Deception and Deadly Relations, you’ll LOVE this nail-biting, holiday-themed novella where the characters return to search for a lost boy, fight breast cancer, deal with the personal financial impact of a bad economy, and seek a Christmas miracle.

Profile of Evil, the first book of her Profile Trilogy will be available in spring 2013.

Alexa earned two degrees from Indiana State University and currently lives in Florida. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America (national) as well as the Florida Chapter. Her writing support team includes five Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues. As a writer, she is fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and emails from readers.

Official Website



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Genre: Romantic Suspense, General Romantic Suspense

Sensuality:  HOT

What Others Are Saying: 

“With its stand-out characters and a plot that transitions smoothly from one scene to another, readers will not regret spending time with this second novel in Grace’s Deadly trilogy.”

 Keitha Hart      RT Book Reviews

DEADLY HOLIDAY by Alexa Grace is an exciting romantic suspense. A delightful Christmas novella, such is part of the “Deadly” trilogy, but can be read as a stand-alone. The characters return from the “Deadly” Trilogy to help with this nail biting suspense to hopes of finding a Christmas miracle. Ms. Grace has done it again with this fast paced, quick read that is not only suspenseful, but heart lifting at a time when we all need a little Christmas cheer. Amazing story. More please….

 – AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews

Tour-wide Giveaway

You have a chance to win  a $25 Amazon gift card plus autographed print versions of the entire series. Click on the link below to enter

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Book Promotion for Demon Inhibitions (Caitlin Diggs) by Gary Starta

New Cover for Demon Inhibitions

Genre: Paranormal

ISBN: 9781301635887


Number of pages: 225

Word Count: 83,000 

Cover Artist: Exquisite Ebook Creations

Purchase on Amazon: Demon Inhibitions (Caitlin Diggs)| Smashwords | Kobo

Demon Inhibitions (Caitlin Diggs) by Gary Starta

Book Description:

Most people don’t travel to another universe to get a new job, house and boyfriend but psychic investigator Caitlin Diggs did.

Now she’s living the life of her alternate self, working for the FBI’s Preternatural Division where her first case just happens to include chasing a genetically engineered man hell bent on stealing souls. Well, there had to be consequences.      


Watch the Book Trailer



Excerpts from Demon Inhibitions

 Grant’s ruggedness gave me strength. The notion that I would be flying in a single engine plane brought back the wave of nausea I had experienced when I first experienced my cold symptoms. Only the cold symptoms were gone, along with any dizziness one might feel when imbibing a cup of murky green cold medicine. I couldn’t explain this. I couldn’t explain a lot of things. Yet an eyeful of Grant gave me courage, even inspiration. Robust and bright eyed, Grant possessed a pair of broad shoulders and a six-foot-three-inch frame, nicely packaged in a gray pinstriped designer suit. Sea green eyes peered at me, hungry, curious for answers. Carter must have laid it on thick concerning my psychic skills. Did this man have every confidence in my clairvoyant abilities, or did he just want to jump my bones? Hard to tell, I thought, staring out a window at the murky brownish colored sea below us that was nothing as effervescent or alluring as Charles Grant’s eyes. Yes. It had been a long time since I dated. And my horizontal dance with incubus boy didn’t count. Youth is nice but this man could be a walking definition of the “whole” package. Charming as well, he comforted me straight away as we lifted off.

“Don’t worry Ms. Diggs, the Cessna 400 is the most reliable single engine piston powered-plane on the market.”

I smiled with the alacrity of a mental patient when he accentuated the words “piston powered.” Yes, much too long without the company of a man. I unconsciously began to fan myself although the cabin temperature had been cool enough, in fact quite a welcome relief to the ninety degree plus weather outside.  So he could immediately pick up on my worries and Needs. Maybe just a coincidence, I told myself, still foolishly fanning myself with a Chinese takeout flyer I had dug out of my purse. And merely coincidental I found him irresistibly attractive. No, this isn’t about falling in love at first sight. Nooo…

Then he put his hand on my knee, and I felt my heart thump. “You know,” he began, “if you need privacy to conjure up your vision or dream state, I can go sit with the pilot.”

“Oh, no.” I nearly screamed it. His eyes told me either realized my phobia of flying in small aircraft had been a ploy to garner his attention or perhaps a real deep seated fear, one which might invite a panic attack.

“Okay, then,” he said. His voice became gentle and lilting in reaction to my squawk. “I’m not going anywhere. It’s just that it’s imperative we get a lead, any kind of lead to stop Mollini.”

“Yes,” I said staring into his sea green eyes. “I know what it means to be desperate…I…uh, mean, desperate for a break on a case.”

“Now do you?”

I wondered how Grant could not recognize me. Surely, he must have at least heard my name. I had had the best arrest/conviction rate i the Bureau. But I realized it would be best if he continued to think of me as a civilian-which I now was. The Bureau hadn’t been kind to me lately. And I had left in larg part because I believed they would never accept my gift; or how I had come to acquire it. “Oh, I just watch a lot detective shows,” I said.

He laughed, hopefully swallowing my lame-assed explanation. So he possessed an open mind, at least when it came to crunch time. That point in a case where you would rub a bald man’s head for luck if it brought you any closer to apprehending the perp.

“Then we probably realize we’ve got to make a stand.”

I could tell by the way he said it that even he didn’t give it much chance of success. And his gaze fell away, distant, probably counting the number of colleagues who would be fitted for body bags.

“Have you thought about an alternative?” I blurted out.

“I’m open to suggestion.” His eyes rejoined mine. Again, I could literally hear my heart beat.

“I suppose following protocol would be best,” I said half heartedly, my eyes fighting to disengage from his.

“I don’t want to pressure you. But do you have any inkling? Any hint where Mollini might be ultimately headed?”

Shit, I thought. I sure as hell did. And now I couldn’t share with this man, something my physical self desperately desired. And as I wallowed in guilt, I began to question my sudden attraction to this man, the irresistible urge to bare all with this man-damn it—the near uncontrollable urge to unfasten the waist ties on my halter and bare more than just the truth. What was happening to me? I thought about it for a few seconds.

Perhaps Grant believed I had fallen into a psychic trance. If so, that would buy some time. I stared, pensive, eyes trained on the floor, playing the stereotyped crystal gazing psychic to the hilt. And I realized that along with my vision, came my ability to read people. My empathic gift had come back as well. Possibly this power seemed so overwhelming to me because I had spent the last few weeks living as a shut-in. As if black clouds suddenly rolled away exposing a radiant, blinding golden blast of  sunshine, I could read the goodness of this man, not only see his aura but also feel it.

Intoxicated, I realized the reconnection to my feelings and emotions had caused sensory overload.

Maybe that’s why I had nearly succumbed to infatuation when I should have been plotting how to stop Mollini. But first things first, I had to misdirect Grant. It would be for his good. And mine as well, from a selfish standpoint. Whether my lust had been organically or paranormally stimulated, I genuinely perceived Grant to be an honest and caring man. I could not lead him to his slaughter. And with that realization, came baggage. I also could honestly say that one part of me really didn’t care if a butt load of FBI agents went down fighting. That part of me, the self-righteous, self-absorbed portion, would say they had it coming, foolishly attempting to combat a supernatural power with conventional weapons, and in the process only making the perpetrator stronger. I only cared about Grant’s safety—his sea green eyes, melt-me-inhis- mouth kind of safety… Shut up, I told myself, trying to disconnect the imagery. I had to quell that voice. That would be the voice of pride speaking—and possibly the voice of lust as well. And while I was in full self diagnosis mode, it was a voice that needed to feel justified for leaving my FBI career. A voice that said they would regret allowing me to resign. Shut up, I said again, more forcefully. Who am I kidding? I am replaceable. Even this wonderful agent doesn’t recognize me. Time to get a grip, Caitlin, it’s time to do your job. You didn’t join the Bureau for glory, I told myself. You did it because you had no other choice; the job was already part of you—it never needed to become part of you. You and the job were already symbiotic. Okay, so now it’s time to do the job. Despite the fact I was no longer FBI, I would think like I was.

Unconventional, that’s how I solved the lion’s share of my cases. I would use my paranormal abilities to combat Mollini’s. It all sounded so simple, in theory. I would stick to the plan. I let my eyelids flutter as if the vision were ending. And I spoke. “I think I have a lead. I see where Mollini will make his stand.” As Grant’s eyes bore into me for detail, I glanced away for a second, to catch the time.

“Where are we now?” I asked.

“Somewhere at the end of New England, and the beginning of the tristate area.”

“That’s good. You’ll continue on—without me—to this address.” I rummaged through my cluttered purse, amazingly pulling both a pad of paper and pen in my first attempt. I wrote the address down, tore off the sheet from the pad and handed it to Grant.

“That’s where you can get Mollini. He’ll need to replenish himself there.” Grant stared at me. “Yes, with souls from living bodies,” I said in reply to his polemic gesturing. “He’ll need a mass killing. But he’ll be vulnerable for a window of time. You and an attack team might be able to take him down, even without firing a weapon, possibly in hand-to-hand combat. Although,” I quickly added, “I wouldn’t recommend that.” And even though I knew this encounter would most likely never happen, I couldn’t bear to see  Agent Grant get caught in Mollini’s demonic grip.


About the Author:


Gary Starta is a former journalist who writes paranormal fiction with a blend of SCI FI, Fantasy, Mystery and Romance.

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Review of A Kiss for Emily: (Book One of the Emily Stokes Series)

Book Cover

Purchase on Amazon:  A Kiss for Emily

A Kiss for Emily (Book One of the Emily Stokes Series) by J.P Galuska

Book Description

Emily Stokes never thought that falling in love would put her smack-dab in the middle of chaos. Or have her questioning her own sanity. When strange occurrences turn into the unbelievable, this romance may be more than she bargained for.

Book Review

Emily Stokes wants to be kissed, but she’s finding out that it just isn’t easy to find that special someone.

puckering up for a kiss

Emily is a typical teenager in Topeka, Kansas, finishing her junior year of high school. The story begins with her devastation over learning that her parents have decided to move the family to a rural area outside of Topeka.  Emily thinks her life has been “ruined”! Not only will she have to change schools to complete her senior year, she will leave behind her close girlfriends and her major crush, Alex Hibbs:

 “…when I look at Alex…I secretly desire a romantic kiss. Not just any old kiss, but one that makes you weak in the knees and defines true love. The all-important, all-encompassing kiss: that’s what I dreamed of. That’s what I wanted.” 

Emily thinks the upcoming prom is the perfect place to get that dazzling kiss. The only problem is Alex hasn’t asked yet, and time is running out.  She refuses to be the one to ask; otherwise, the kiss won’t be meaningful. However, the school year ends with Emily and a broken heart, but she is  ready to make the move and have a fresh start. heartbreak

The story is primarily told from Emily’s point of view, and the author does an excellent job of depicting the thoughts and actions of a teenage girl. At the beginning of the book, she is portrayed as an overly dramatic, self-centered, and insensitive to others. One of the primary examples of this is her treatment of Alex, even though she doesn’t know the extent of his pain and suffering from the traumatic events created by his family. At times, readers are given brief glimpses of Alex’s desperate thoughts, and I found it so heartbreaking that Emily refuses to have any type of relationship with him.


I have to remember though, Alex has hurt her too, and she believes, in order to protect her heart, she can no longer have contact with him now that she has moved away: “Alex had been my Prince Charming, a knight in shining armor. Now he was simply the moldy cherry on a melted hot fudge sundae.” As the story progresses, readers watch as Alex’s life slowly disintegrates and are left wondering if the relationship between Emily and him is really over.

Now that her family has settled into their new house, Emily does her best to be optimistic about the change and to look for adventure. And, boy does she find it. While hiking in the woods, she takes a tumble that leaves a knot on the back of her head. She gets up, shakes it off, and continues on, until she spots a quaint, farmhouse out in the middle of a huge, open field.

country farmhouse

While taking in the beauty of the scene, she meets Sam Easley, property owner, and  “the most handsome boy I’d ever seen in my life.”

girl in shockShe is drawn to his old-fashioned and charming “country-boy” demeanor, and finds herself spending more time with him.  Has Emily finally found an opportunity for romance?

Sam appears to be the ideal guy for Emily, and she is enamored with him. He is the perfect gentleman around her, refusing to make any inappropriate moves toward Emily, even though she longs to kiss him.  However, Emily is quite perceptive and quickly realizes that not all is as it seems when she is around Sam. He isn’t anything like other young men that she knows.  Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that readers discover that Sam is in an unusual predicament, and, therefore, reluctant to tell Emily the truth about himself. His secrets create further conflict by making Emily wonder if, indeed, that bump on the head was more serious than she thought. Could she be delusional? Even her parents become concerned when they learn her knowledge of Sam and her visits to his house are  incongruent with what they’ve discovered about the history of the  Easley family.

old shack

Before Sam can reveal the truth to Emily, she is whisked away by her parents to be seen by a doctor, since everyone, including herself, thinks she’s hallucinating.

girl thinks she crazy

When a psychiatrist, more concerned about his career than his patients, declares that Emily is schizophrenic,thisgirlscrazy  her parents do everything they can to intervene, refusing to accept that their daughter is mentally ill. While Emily is being treated, readers get the parents’ point-of-views, which provide greater insight into their family dynamics and show the depth of their unwavering love and support of their daughter.  The plot unfolds as Emily tries to avoid confinement to a mental institution, and accept Sam for who he is.

Mystery, suspense, romance, and paranormal elements all combine to make this an enticing story. I also like the creative angle and detailed descriptions used to explain the paranormal entities.

ghost swirling

The ultimate question is whether Emily can love Sam with all of the restrictions and rules that constrain his behavior and actions. Will Emily finally get that kiss from Sam? The book’s ending leaves the reader wanting to know what will happen next.



About  J.P Galuska

Mom's stuff 008

J P lives in Minnesota with her family, a crazy dog, and the world’s best cat.

The Emily Stokes Series Facebook | Author Facebook | Website | Twitter: @JGaluska


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Cover Release for Jennifer’s Becton’s New Southern Fraud Thriller


At Fault
Southern Fraud Thriller 3
Coming April 1

Operating on an insider’s tip, Julia and Vincent must go undercover to infiltrate an organized fraud ring led by a cruel, manipulative boss. But the closer they come to identifying the size and scope of the organization, the more they realize that their source has withheld vital information, causing them to make errors in their investigation—errors that may have grave consequences for an innocent victim.

Meanwhile, Vincent and Julia must both confront mistakes from the past that could rise up to destroy their hopes for the future. Vincent’s tenuous relationship with his son is tested once again. And now that Julia’s search for her sister’s rapist has finally paid off, how will Tricia and the rest of the family react to the news that she has been hiding her investigation from them all?

Will Julia and Vincent unravel the fraud ring before someone innocent gets hurt? Will they be able to keep their families together? Will they cling to the belief that they have done right, or will they begin to see themselves as people At Fault?

Click here to view Jennifer Becton’s web site

Purchase from Amazon here: At Fault (Southern Fraud Thriller 3)

Southern Fraud Thriller Series:

Book Cover Absolute Liability

Book 1

Buy now from Amazon: Absolute Liability: A Southern Fraud Thriller

Book Cover Death Benefits

Book 2

Buy now from Amazon:  Death Benefits: A Southern Fraud Thriller (Volume 2)

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