blog tour · book review · cosy · Giveaways · mystery · Partners in Crime Tours · suspense

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Widow Catcher (plus Giveaway)

The Widow Catcher

by Jonette Blake

February 1-28, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Delia Frost loves her job at the bank. She loves her customers, most of whom are elderly. She doesn’t love the idea of quitting her job to travel around Australia in a motor home with her husband who is recovering from a heart attack. And she can’t bring herself to tell him that she doesn’t want to go. Days before she quits her job, she is invited to a book club meeting, run by a local celebrity. This seems like a beacon of hope, one last chance to do something for herself before she leaves it all behind. But this isn’t a random invitation. Delia has been carefully selected by a serial killer to play her part in the murders of elderly widows. ​Finding herself caught in a web of blackmail and murder, Delia is now keen to leave this town behind. But the killer doesn’t want to let her go.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Jonette Blake
Publication Date: August 27th 2020
Number of Pages: 260
ISBN: 9798675198726
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt from The Widow Catcher:

Chapter 1

Susan

ONE WEEK AGO

The setting sun cast a shadow on the headstone. A cool wind blew down the mountain. Susan Johnson tugged at her long woollen coat thinking she would soon be trading this blustery weather for tropical bliss and poolside cocktails.

She placed a hand on the headstone to steady herself and leaned over to drop a bouquet of lilies on the gravesite. She regretted not being able to bend low to lovingly place the flowers in the slot provided, but if her seventy-six-year-old body tilted even a few degrees she would topple over. It was embarrassing having paramedics lift her off the floor.

“This is goodbye for now, love,” she told the ten-years-dead occupant. “Just for a little while. I won’t be visiting because I’m off on a holiday.” She smiled and nodded. “Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I never go anywhere by myself. But I’m not going alone.”

The snap of twigs pierced the frigid air. Her grip remained on the headstone for support. But she managed to twist her head to catch a glimpse of the noisemaker.

Someone was here.

“I won’t be long,” she told the man. “I was just telling Eric about our trip.”

The man stood with his hands thrust deep into the pockets of his trouser pants. The sunlight framed his body, and she wanted to picture him as an angel, instead the image of angry plovers at the beach protecting their nests popped into mind. The sneaky way they flew towards you with the rising sun blinding you to their attack meant you heard the click of their beaks too late.

She pushed off this sense of trepidation and the chill that followed. It was just nerves. This trip was something new for her; it was bound to give her goose bumps.

She returned her attention to her late husband’s grave. “We’re in for a storm. You’d better batten down the hatches.” She laughed gently, then her features grew serious. “My new friend has promised to take me to North Queensland. Well, to the airport at least. That’s a big help. Once I’m on the plane I’ll be fine. Ah, Eric, I’m finally going to a place where the nights are warm and I wish you could be coming with me. I’ll be gone a few weeks.”

“Susan,” her visitor called out. “I’m ready when you are.”

“We’re off to the airport,” she told the gravestone.

The day had finally arrived when she was going on holiday. Without her friend’s support, she’d never have found the courage to say ‘book it’. He’d helped with booking the flights, hotels, and the tourist destination. He’d even created a week-long itinerary. She fumbled in her pocket for it but couldn’t find it.

Where have I put it?

Never mind. Her friend would have a copy.

She was finally going to see the Great Barrier Reef. It had been a cast-aside dream until her friend had searched on the website and found a tour operator with a glass-bottom boat who specialised in trips for people with mobility issues.

“Susan,” he called out again. “We don’t want to be late.”

“I’m almost done,” she replied, though the wind snatched away her words. Once, she’d had the strength in her lungs to be heard over an earthquake, but years of cigarette smoking had reduced her voice to an almost inaudible wheeze.

She spoke to the headstone again: “I know you think he’s only using me for my money, but he’s never asked for any. He’s not like that.” She patted the headstone. “I’ll bring you back a present.”

She hobbled over with the aid of her cane to join the man.

He lifted a bouquet of flowers from a shopping bag at his feet. “I brought something to show my respects,” he said, thrusting them at her.

Yellow roses were her favourite; they’d be wasted on Eric. Her late husband wouldn’t have known a rose from a weed.

The man smiled at her. “Will you place these on his grave for me?”

“I thought you said we were in a hurry.”

“I said we don’t want to be late. We have time to say our goodbyes.”

She glanced back at the gravesite. There was a lot of uneven lawn between here and there. Her cane had sunk into the dirt already and almost tripped her over a dozen times.

“You should take them yourself,” she told the man.

“Susan, I feel downright scandalous taking his wife to the airport for the first real holiday of her life. I can’t go over there and rub this in his face. Even in death, a person has dignity. My mother used to tell me that all the time. She was a nurse at a hospital in Sydney. Saw people dying every day. A lot of elderly people, too. The stories she told me of comfort she gave them in their final years has made me the compassionate man I am today.”

Susan knew a snow job when she heard one. She was old, arthritic, deaf in one ear, probably riddled with emphysema, but she was not stupid. Still, a sense of gratitude swept over her. She would have been locked inside the aged-care facility forever if her young friend had not convinced her to do something adventurous with the remaining years of her life.

“All right,” she said. “And then we’re off to the airport.”

She gripped her cane in one hand and the yellow roses in the other and set off across the uneven lawn.

“Be sure to inhale the perfume before you place them on the grave,” the man called out. “I asked the florist to select the most delectable bunch.”

Susan stopped and pulled the bouquet closer to her face to take in the scent. This bunch was strong. Probably perfumed. Everything was perfumed these days: soap, washing powder, toilet paper, tissues. As if the big companies could convince the population that life smelled like roses, therefore it must be roses.

She took a deep breath. This was a strange scent. Stronger than most. Not rosy at all. More like yellow jonquils. They had a stink that could cause nostril hairs to fall out.

She coughed on the odour. Her cough turned into a fit, one that fifty years of smoking ensured would bring a crushing pain to her chest.

Then her head began to swim. Her vision blurred. Her chest should have gulped for air. Instead it felt like it was sealing itself shut, jam-jar tight.

She twisted and tried to run toward the man who was still dappled in hues of orange and pink as the sun set behind him. She called out for help but her voice was lost. She couldn’t move.

The cool wind raced along her body like a knife, except this wasn’t the wind. This was an invisible chill attacking her veins.

Her limbs grew weak. She lost her grip on her cane.

A stroke? A heart attack? Years of being warned about the impact of smoking did not lessen the shock that it was actually happening.

Unable to support herself, she fell to the ground.

“Help,” she called out, though her voice was barely above a whisper.

The sun was setting faster now. Her visitor was now a dark, ominous shadow.

A shadow that wasn’t rushing to help her.

He should have grabbed his phone and called for medical help.

He should have raced over to her and administered first aid.

He should have done something.

Instead, he stood at the edge of the cemetery with his hands thrust in his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels.

“Help,” she spluttered in between chest-breaking coughs.

She couldn’t get enough air into her lungs.

The man still did not make any movement to help her.

At last, he walked towards her and knelt down to stare into her face. His stare was vacant, expressionless, and when he tilted his head and frowned, she realised it wasn’t a vacant stare, but one of curiosity.

As if he’d never seen someone die before.

She reached for his hand.

He reached out for her.

His hand moved to the left toward the flowers. She noticed he wore gloves.

Had he been wearing them earlier?

The bouquet of flowers were pushed closer to her face. The pungent stench had lessened, as if her senses had adapted to the stink. More likely they were numbed by something else. Chemicals.

Now she recognised the scent. It was…

Sharp pain shot throughout her body. Her muscles contorted. Her vision blurred.

She saw his shadow fade away.

And then everything went dark.

***

Excerpt from The Widow Catcher by Jonette Blake. Copyright 2020 by Jonette Blake. Reproduced with permission from Jonette Blake. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Jonette Blake writes supernatural thrillers and suspense thrillers. She is the author of over ten books and dozens of short stories, writing as D L Richardson.

She was born in Ireland and grew up in Australia. She lived through the 80s and music is still a big part of her life. When she is not writing, she plays her piano and guitar, listens to music, reads, and enjoys the beach.

​She has held jobs in administration, sales and marketing, has worked in HR, payroll, and as a bank teller. Her latest novel The Widow Catcher is based on the coastal town she lives in and her own bank teller experience.

Her books are standalone titles.

Catch Up With Jonette On:
www.JonetteBlake.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

My Review

4/5 stars

Delia has been so worried about her husband’s health that she daren’t tell him that she doesn’t want to give up her job and go travelling in a campervan around Australia. Not only does she fear she might trigger another heart attack in him, but she also worries her two children won’t have anywhere to return to, should they need her. All this despite them both willingly having moved abroad to live their own lives.

To say she is stuck in a rut – the dependable wife, mother & colleague – is an understatement. When Andrew, a colleague at the bank where she works, invites her to his monthly book club hosted by a local celebrity – a former famous actress – she jumps at the chance. Will this add some sparkle to her life, and give her the confidence to tell husband Richard that she’s not as keen on his travel plans as he is? Or is this her one last hurrah before succumbing to a life she doesn’t want? Either way, you have to feel sorry for her – attending a book club doesn’t scream risk or adventure or excitement or even fun.

The book club, while held at the actress’s beautiful home, is anything but exciting, aside from the gossip about the increased number of deaths within the community. When she leaves, the hostess forces an envelope into Delia’s hands, which puts her in a very awkward position. Not really wanting to attend another meeting of the book club, Delia tries to hand the envelope and its contents back – but Karen, the actress is having none of it. In fact, she wants Delia’s help to solve the mystery of the recent deaths … and to stop either of them from becoming the next victim.

Delia being Delia can’t walk away, she either too nice or too intrigued by the story Karen tells her. So, predictably, she finds herself embroiled in the mystery, going so far as to look into the bank records of the victims and placing herself very firmly in the path of the killer.

There are some great suspenseful moments as Delia, the mother of dependability, sees her life thrown into a spiral of disasters. From complaints about her work at the bank, to plants on the porch, not to mention the drama over her car keys and her encounter with the police, Delia certainly gets a glimpse of a very different and much scarier life than she is used to.

I loved her relationship with her sister, and how they came together stronger. Sometimes, I probably overestimated Delia, and expected her to break the mould but her innate “niceness” held her back, so her sister’s input really made the story for me. Though the killer is revealed early on, the motive behind the killings kept me engaged and the pace certainly picked up in the second half. From a cosy-esque mystery to hints of psychological suspense, this was an intriguing read with some great characters.

Tour Participants:

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

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Giveaways · historical · WWII

Blog Tour – Clipped Wings

ClippedWingsBT

I am thrilled to share this extraordinary book with all of you today! Please read on for an excerpt from Clipped Wings by Molly Merryman and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!ClippedWings (2)Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) of World War II

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

Genre: History/ WWII/ Aviation/ Female Pilots In her exhilarating book Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, author Molly Merryman shines light on the critical and dangerous work of the daring female aviators who changed history. New York University Press classics series has just updated the book with Merryman’s reflections on the changes in women’s aviation in the past twenty years. A documentary based on Merryman’s work, Coming Home: Fight For A Legacy, is currently in production. The WASP directly challenged the assumptions of male supremacy in wartime culture. They flew the fastest fighter planes and heaviest bombers; they test-piloted experimental models and worked in the development of weapons systems. Yet the WASP were the only women’s auxiliary within the armed services of World War II that was not militarized. In Clipped Wings, Merryman draws upon finally-declassified military documents, congressional records, and interviews with the women who served as WASP during World War II to trace the history of the over one thousand pilots who served their country as the first women to fly military planes. She examines the social pressures that culminated in their disbandment in 1944—even though a wartime need for their services still existed—and documents their struggles and eventual success, in 1977, to gain military status and receive veterans’ benefits.

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Excerpt

WASP Missions

Airplane ferrying was the initial mission for which WASPs were created, and it would occupy nearly half of all active WASP graduates when the program ended in December 1944. Planes produced in the United States needed to be flown from the factories to air bases at home, in Canada, and overseas. To handle this transportation demand, the ATC hired thousands of male civilian pilots to ferry planes. These male pilots were later commissioned directly into the AAF if they met the requirement and desired commissioning. The WASPs were brought on as ferrying pilots, and by the time they were disbanded in December 1944, they had delivered 12,652 planes on domestic missions. By that time, 141 WASPs were assigned to the ATC. Although they comprised a small percentage of the total Ferrying Division pilots, WASPs had a significant impact. By 1944, WASPs were ferrying the majority of all pursuit planes and were so integrated into the Ferrying Division that their disbandment caused delays in pursuit deliveries.

The days of ferrying pilots were long and unpredictable. At bases that handled a range of planes, pilots did not know from one day to the next what planes they would be flying or how long of a flight to expect. In Minton’s words, “We usually reported to the flight line at seven o’clock in the morning and looked at the board to see what had been assigned us in the way of an airplane, where it went and what we would need in the way of equipment to take along, and then we would go out to find our airplane and sign it out at operations and check it over to be sure everything was okay with the airplane. And then we would take off to wherever the plane was supposed to go.”

Ferrying military aircraft during World War II was not an easy task. The majority of these planes were not equipped with radios, so pilots navigated by comparing air maps with physical cues (highways, mountains, rivers, etc.) or by flying the beam. (The “beam” was a radio transmission of Morse code signals. A grid of such beams was established across the United States. To follow the beam, a pilot would listen on her headphone for aural “blips” or tones to direct her. This required a great deal of concentration and was not always accurate.) Both navigational techniques were difficult, and this was compounded by the facts that many air bases and factories were camouflaged, blackouts were maintained in coastal areas, and the navigational beams were prone to breaking down. Problems sometimes arose with the planes themselves, which ha d been tested at the factories but never flown. Cross-continental flights often took several days, depending on the planes being flown and weather conditions.

In addition, planes equipped with top secret munitions or accessories had to be guarded while on the ground, and WASPs received orders to protect these planes at all cost. WASPs flying these planes were issued .45 caliber pistols and were trained to fire machine guns.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Merryman, Molly

Molly Merryman, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and an Associate Professor at Kent State University. She is the Historical Research Producer on the upcoming Red Door Films documentary about the WASP, Coming Home: Fight For A Legacy. She has directed and produced nine documentaries that have been broadcast and screened in the United States and United Kingdom. She is the research director for the Queer Britain national LGBT+ museum and is a visiting professor and advisory board member for the Queer History Centre at Goldsmiths, University of London. Merryman is the vice president of the International Visual Sociology Association. Deborah Brosseau Communications

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Blog hop · Giveaways · Partners in Crime Tours · psychological suspense · thriller

Book Recommendation – Saving Grace

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr Banner

 

 

Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

by D.M. Barr

on Tour October 12 – November 13, 2020

Synopsis:

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at it’s core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

“A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long.”

–Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Suspense
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: October 15th 2020
Number of Pages: 255
ISBN: 978-1684335565
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BlackRose Writing | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”

***

“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”

***

Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…

Catch Up With Our Author On:
www.DMBarr.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 12, 2020 and runs through November 15, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Book Blitz – In Our Bones (plus giveaway)

InOurBones

Congratulations to Pernell Plath Meier on the release of In Our Bones! Read on for a little sneak peek and book details! There’s also a fabulous giveaway!

Bones - Digital Cover

In Our BonesPublication Date: October 6th, 2020 Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Trump Era – Dystopian Thriller

Lauren’s happy childhood on a farm in Minnesota is shattered after an assault during her teen years, and she retreats into her own world as America falls apart. Hers was the last generation to grow up before the economic collapse that followed the Corona pandemic. Amidst roiling climate chaos, the government has been taken over by extremists, incompetents, and con-men who tear the country apart while clinging to power. Lauren is swept up in the madness when she falls for the wrong man. She’s looking for love and safety, but Bryan becomes distant and abusive as he obsesses over White Sharia and deepens his ties to the racist patriot militia group. Lauren worries about the safety of her sister and nephew, who is mixed-race. Will Lauren escape from Bryan and keep her nephew safe from danger? In a world where values are tested and morality is unsettlingly murky, Lauren must break free from the constraints in her mind to protect her family.

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Excerpt

She heard a whimper that brought her back to the moment, and peered at Craig as grief wracked his body. He started whispering, “It’s not coming back. None of it. The old world will never come back.” His chest quivered with small spasms and quiet tears flowed down his face and into his curly hair. Lauren instinctually wanted to turn away from him, to give him privacy. She scarcely knew him, and the depths of his grief sent fear rippling through her chest. She pushed herself to remain present. She may have been cool at times, but she refused to be an ice queen like her mom. She reached out a clumsy hand and rubbed his head, trying to soothe him.

Available on AmazonAbout the Author

IMG_0778

Pernell Plath Meier grew up on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. She left behind a life of traumatic chaos to move out on her own at fifteen. She earned undergraduate science degrees with honors in biology, anthropology, and environmental studies, followed by graduate degrees in sustainable agriculture and anthropology at Iowa State University. She’s worked and traveled in ten countries, including a long-ago trip to see the Grateful Dead in Canada. After college, she worked in Kentucky helping farmers transition from tobacco production to local foods. She found her way to Southeast Minnesota and spent nearly twenty years raising gardens, chickens, dogs and cats, while homeschooling her five adopted children. Today Pernell juggles day to day life as a single mom with three kids still at home, a smaller flock of chickens and a new puppy, Buddy. Prior writings have centered on adoption and gardening. In Our Bones is her first quest as a novelist.

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Grand Prize: Signed Copy of In Our Bones & Swag

Second Place: Digital Copy of In Our Bones

Giveaway will run from today until October 17th! Click on the link below to enter!

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Book Blitz – Blood Money (plus giveaway)



True Crime/Thriller

Date to be Published: 10/13/20

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


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BLOOD MONEY is the true legal thriller of a terrifying David vs. Goliath fight against massive healthcare fraud by a brave Whistleblower.  It includes attempted murder, extortion, money-laundering, fraudsters hiding money in the Cayman Islands, gold buried in a storage container in a CEO’s backyard, an Assistant Attorney General sabotaging her state’s case, and a corrupt Governor torpedoing litigation by his own Attorney General.  From Silicon Valley to the Sunshine State, in a showdown that reads like a Hollywood movie, Chris Riedel survives to share it all. His actions have resulted in more than $550 million in settlements and a court verdict… and counting.



 

About the Author

CHRIS RIEDEL is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has founded five healthcare companies and served as the Chairman and CEO of all.  Chris achieved the Silicon Valley dream when he took his third company public in 1991.  A few months later, it was ranked by Business Week as the 40th best small company in America.  Soon after founding a fourth company, his battle against healthcare fraud began.  In 2011, he received the Taxpayers Against Fraud Whistleblower of the Year award.

 

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Book Blitz – Mystery Bones Murders (plus giveaway)


Notorious Minds Crime Mystery Thriller Boxset

Mystery/Thriller

Date Published: October 13, 2020

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishers


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Frankie Shep is still mourning the deaths of her husband and young son when she finds a bone in the far corner of her Wyoming cattle ranch.

Excited to think she may have discovered an ancient Native American village, she takes the bone to a lifelong friend who is now a forensic anthropologist on contract with her county.

After a cursory inspection, he turns a blood-chilling stare at Frankie. The bone isn’t ancient. Worse, the victim could be the remains of Frankie’s mother. She disappeared from her own bed more than a decade ago.

And now her retired father is missing.

As Frankie digs deeper, she discovers the terrifying truth that a serial killer is using her land to bury his victims, all members of her family and inner circle.

And now he’s watching her.

Mystery Bones Murders is a story of love, heart-wrenching deception, and finding redemption.

 

Available exclusively in the Notorious Minds box set!

 

 

 

What does it take to commit the perfect crime?

Delve into these dark and twisted tales by twenty USA Today and International Bestselling Authors.

No matter what kind of crime story typically catches your imagination, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Conspiracies, political plots, and yes, even murder, are just a few of the crimes waiting inside this box set.

Discover a narcissistic grandmother running an underground syndicate, or a support group bent on murder…and even a serial killer who turns his victims into fairytale creatures.

Uncover the passion, jealousy, and fear lingering in every tale.

 

This box set is packed with thousands of pages that will hold you on the edge of your seat, crying for answers.

 

Excerpt

Frankie set the rifle next to her knee and avoided thorns as she reached in to untangle Diesel. The calf was too panicked. He struggled against her, causing a bruise and a muscle cramp in her forearm. As she pulled back, barbs tore the skin on her wrist. She sucked on the deepest wound while returning to Concho to retrieve a rope and a utility knife from the saddlebag.

Back at Diesel, she wrestled with the calf to loop the rope around his neck. She cut the branches that pinned him to the bush and pulled on the rope. Diesel kicked and fell, then bawled and tried to run. When he realized he was freed from the bush, he stood still, panting and shivering.

Frankie wiped water from her eyes while inspecting a cut in the calf’s left hind leg. It wasn’t so serious to keep him from walking home before she doctored it. With a grunt, she pulled on the rope and led Diesel toward Concho.

As they approached, the horse pranced and snorted like crazy. Frankie caught Concho’s reins and rubbed his nose. “What’s wrong with you?” He stood still long enough for her to secure Diesel’s rope to the saddle horn, then returned to his dance.

His hoof clicked against the thing she had seen sticking up from the ground earlier.

“What did you find?” She knelt and dug dirt and mud away from a bone.

“Concho, did we find an ancient guy’s campsite? Is that what has you so spooked?”

As kids, Frankie and her friends had often daydreamed about finding a nomadic Native American tribe’s village on the ranch. But where they sledded every winter?

“Cool.” She moved more dirt until she could pull the bone from the ground and examine it.

The bone seemed small for a man. Her former friend, Harbin Williams, now a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Wyoming, could confirm her exciting suspicions. But…

She couldn’t force herself to attend his son’s funeral five years ago. Their kids died together in the accident her husband caused. She had isolated herself in her struggle to heal her grief, and she couldn’t face helping her best friends with their recovery.

A growl jolted her attention from the bone to the bared teeth of a gray wolf—ten feet from her.

The rifle lay six feet away, behind the fallen log.

She hopped over the log and took a fighting stance between her animals and the wolf, and then rushed to pull the repellent from under her rain poncho.

The predator stepped closer. Saliva dripped from its huge teeth.

 


About the Author

 Karen Randau authors fast-paced stories with intricate plots and lots of actione. Her debut novel, Deadly Deceit, was the first in her four-book Rim Country Mysteries and has twice reached the #1 slot in Amazon’s amateur sleuth category. The fourth book in the series, Deadly Payload, was a finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards and the 2018 Beverly Hills Book Awards®. She was one of seven authors in the Tawnee Mountain Mystery Series with Deadly Reception and now is joining 19 other others in the Notorious Minds Crime Mystery/Thriller boxset.

A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen has traveled internationally and witnessed famines, violence, and hopeful people working to overcome abject poverty. She draws on both her creativity and personal experience to weave together an interesting cast of characters with rollercoaster-like twists and turns. 

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

Instagram

  

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

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RABT Book Tours & PR
books · ebooks · Giveaways · humour · mystery

Mysteries with Humour – A Giveaway!

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…

I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Mysteries with Humo(u)r series starters to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

You can win my novel Just a Simple Little Holiday,

plus books from authors like Eliza Watson and Zara Keane.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/HumorousMysteries-Oct2020

Good luck and enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

book blitz · excerpt · Giveaways · historical fiction

Book Blitz – Five Wives (plus US giveaway)

5Wives

I’m thrilled to share award-winning novel, Five Wives by Joan Thomas with all of you today. Read on for more details and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

FiveWivesCoverArt_GG

Five Wives

Publication Date: September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins CA

In the 1950s, in the aftermath of World War II, five American families moved to Ecuador, determined to take the Christian gospel to a pre-Neolithic Amazonian tribe they called “the Auca.” The Waorani (proper name) were just as determined to maintain their isolation, and killed the missionary men at their second meeting. Four of the wives remained in Ecuador and one, Elisabeth Elliot, went further into the rainforest with her three-year old daughter to live with the Waorani.

Joan Thomas’s fictional treatment of this incident explores themes that are both eternal and immediate: faith and ideology, autonomy and self-protection, cultural understanding and misunderstanding, grief and doubt, and isolation. Five Wives rises out of immaculate research, including a visit to the ruins of the Elliot house in Ecuador, and out of the author’s own experience with the thinking and imperatives of evangelical missions. The novel sinks into the points of view of characters who are bound by past choices, yet make their own personal bargains in the midst of a crisis.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon and Indigo

Here’s an excerpt:

You know, Marj, I haven’t told you everything. I didn’t tell you exactly how it happened.” “Okay. So tell me.” 

“Well, remember there was a really low ceiling on Tuesday? The clouds were rock-solid all  day, they never broke. But when I was flying home, just as I was crossing the Napo, a hole opened  to the southwest. It was shaped exactly like a keyhole, and it was low, close to the horizon, so the  sun was streaming through at an angle—it was like one of those pictures you see of the Rapture.  Everything was in 3-D. The big old kapok trees were throwing shade on the canopy, and I could see  the shadow of the Piper skimming over the jungle ahead of me, almost as if it was leading me on.  That was how I spied that dimple in the forest. The chagra. I would never normally have seen it. It  was like I literally saw God’s hand. I saw God reach down and open the clouds with a finger. He  was saying, Look, Nate. Look. There you go.” His eyes are fixed on her through this whole story.  “If God’s calling me, Marjie, he’s calling you. You made a vow.” 

He drops back on his pillow, and after a minute she lies down too.  

He has never, ever pulled this before. Not once since the day she stood with a bunch of  woody-stemmed lilacs in her hand and promised to obey him. The minister explained what the vow  meant: Nate obeyed the Lord, and Marj obeyed Nate with the same respect. It struck Marj then as  an efficient arrangement—and she knew she had more hope of dealing with Nate than she ever did  with God. 

She lies on her back and listens to the song of the crickets and frogs and cicadas, and to  Nate’s breathing, which, now that he’s said his piece, quickly turns to a gentle snore. Possibly she  sleeps, because the next time she opens her eyes, the room is bright and her thoughts are clear and  Nate is lying on his side looking at her.  

Who can find a virtuous woman, her children rise up and call her blessed.

“Listen,” she says, rolling over to face him full on. “I’ll stop fighting you on this. But  Debbie is not going to boarding school in Quito. I’m not sending my little girl to an orphanage on  the other side of the Andes.” 

In the morning light, she sees a blink of assent so quick only a wife would catch it.

 

About the Author

Joan-Thomas-hi-res-600x543

 

 

 

 

Joan Thomas’s fourth novel Five Wives won Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Described by the Globe and Mail as “brilliant, eloquent, curious, far-seeing,” it is an immersive dive into a real event, the disastrous attempt by five American families to move into the territory of the reclusive Waorani people in Ecuador in 1956.

Joan’s three previous novels have been praised for their intimate and insightful depictions of characters in times of rapid social change. Reading by Lightning, set in World War 2, won the 2008 Amazon Prize and a Commonwealth Prize. Curiosity, based on the life of the preDarwinist fossilist Mary Anning, was nominated for the 2010 Giller Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. The Opening Sky, a novel about a family navigating contemporary crises, won the 2014 McNally Robinson Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award.

Joan lives in Winnipeg, a prairie city at the geographical center of North America. Before beginning to write fiction, she was a longtime book reviewer. In 2014, Joan was awarded the Writers Trust of Canada’s prize for mid-career achievement.

Joan Thomas | Facebook | Twitter  

 

Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a copy of the book. This giveaway will run from today until September 21st.

*US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour · Giveaways · historical fiction · love · women's fiction · WWII

Blog Tour – A Guest Post for “Blooms of War”

Blooms of War

In war, she fell in love.

Vera Betts shouldn’t be falling in love with the enigmatic doctor she suspects of espionage. Reeling from her family’s betrayal, she’s faked her nursing credentials, invented a new name, and run away to the frontlines of the French battlefield. Four years into the Great War and she knows who she is and what she’s meant for—to save the living and sit vigil by the dying. When the cagey-yet-earnest Dr. Nicholas Wallace arrives, so do mysterious explosions destroying hospitals. Even as Nick raises her suspicions, he lowers her defenses. He wants the war to end. Are his acts of sabotage politically motivated or a desperate attempt at peace?

In peace, she fell apart.

A year later, Vera is back with her oppressive family, living under her real name, and Nick is on trial for murder. Trapped in grief and guilt, she cannot speak about the past and does not believe in the future. With Nick refusing to defend himself, she ventures to London to understand why he is so willing to embrace the hangman’s noose. Who is he trying to protect? What secrets does he plan to carry to his grave? And why does Nick insist upon hiding her true identity? To save the man she loves, Vera must tear open the past and confront the tragic price for peace.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

From the author:

LOVERS ALONG A POCKMARKED SEA

Blooms of War is set during WWI and in the year after. While there is mystery, espionage, gruesome medical scenes, courtroom drama, family secrets, and betrayal, most importantly, there is love. Because love is what transforms the heroine, a war-exhausted, too-young-to-be on the frontlines nurse into a woman who grows, transforms, learns to trust, discovers how to hope, and thrives.

But given the backdrop, I struggled with the first kiss between the heroine, Vera, and the hero, Nick. The war is at world. People are dying. Nick and Vera treat the severely injured. Is there really room for light moments? How do you give these two dedicated professionals the quiet space to let their love bloom? And how do you do it without belittling the toll war takes?

If you’re a writer, you have to capture the mood and turn off the inner critic and the only way I know how to do that is to find a song that encapsulates the moment and put it on repeat until the scene is done. I am not exaggerating when I confess that I cannot write if I don’t have the perfect song playing. Without the song, I’m better off mopping the floor.

For the first kiss, I needed something playful, innocent, refreshing, and a touch melancholy. It had to reflect the joy of the moment, and also acknowledge that these are just moments on a larger stage. And yet, it’s the small moments that define us.

So the song I finally found was, “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap. With its upbeat tempo and nostalgic feel, it carries just the right amount of earnestness and sweetness for the scene. And the lyrics:

A moment, a love
A dream aloud
A kiss, a cry
Our rights, our wrongs

Leading up to their first Kiss, Nick and Vera meet by coincidence (FATE says the author) on the beach. They flirt, chase the windswept pages of a letter that has fallen from her pocket, joke, argue about the politics of war, and at last…

Do my lips reach his first? Or his mine? Does it matter? We mold ourselves to each other so our tongues can meet, drifting and sliding, touching and tangling in the chop and wave of desire. I flick my tongue to the silver-white scar above his mouth. It’s in the wounds that one divines a man’s secrets. It’s in my sigh that I confess mine.

With the water lapping at our ankles, time is suspended. Sopwith Camels and white crosses and war be damned. There is a we. Only us two, searching and finding room to breathe, a place beyond the floating death cans and drowned sailors, beyond the pockmarks of the scarred sea.

So, if you happen to be browsing for a song that makes you dance even though you know you’ll be sad when the dance is over, may I suggest “Sweet Disposition”?

If you’re interested, I’ve compiled the songs behind Blooms of War into a Youtube Playlist for your listening pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZAQzR8c7tFQOGTMCkrrNWrAt7yC5qoFh

 

Author Bio 

Writer of lush, historical happily-ever-after tales, Suzanne Tierney believes in true love. But she takes delicious pleasure in making her characters fight, flutter, and find their way to each other. Her books have won numerous awards and she has twice been a Golden Heart Finalist® with the Romance Writers of America.

Suzanne grew up in Oregon, adulted in the San Francisco Bay Area, and somehow ended up in Florida, where she is very much a cold-water fish learning to navigate humid, salty seas. She loves chatting with readers.

Social Media Links:

Instagram: @notajaxgirl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notajaxgirl/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter: @notajaxgirl

Website: suzannetierney.com

Giveaway – 3 Winners each win a Donation of $15 to designated winner’s choice of a frontline healthcare worker organization in the name of the designated winner – for example it could be the American Red Cross; etc. (Open INT)

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

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

For more news and reviews:

As always,

blog tour · book review · Giveaways · love · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Last Charm

The Last Charm

A moving and heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December…

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charm-Bracelet-Ella-Allbright-ebook/dp/B0843NJXJQ

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ella_Allbright_The_Charm_Bracelet?id=N3zLDwAAQBAJ

Author Bio

A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, The Charm Bracelet will be published in August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins, and she’s currently hard at work on her next book. Ella is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership, who represent J.K. Rowling.

Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.

When not writing or reading, she can be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!

You can connect with Ella / Nikki on:

Twitter: @NikkiMoore_Auth

Facebook: facebook.com/NikkiMooreWrites

Amazon: amazon.co.uk/Nikki-Moore

Website: nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.com

She also vlogs about how to get published as ‘Author By The Sea’ on her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQNV3lWENgnIRG4NWejSjmQ


Giveaway to Win Dorset and Reading themed goodies to celebrate The Last Charm by Ella Allbright (UK Only)

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

First Prize 

Books Make Me Happy/TLC Branded Mug

Keepsake Bracelet for Readers

Lulworth Chocolate Bar 

Mermaid metal bookmark

TLC Postcards 

PLUS mystery prize

 

Second Prize

Lulworth Chocolate Bar 

I love Durdle Door chocolate lollipop

Sunshine metal bookmark

TLC Postcards 

PLUS mystery prize

 

 

Third Prize

Lulworth Chocolate Bar 

I love Lulworth chocolate lollipop

Starry Sky metal bookmark

TLC Postcards 

PLUS mystery prize

 

 

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

My Review:

Beautiful and engrossing! From their first meeting, any future between Jake and Leila seemed impossible. Yet, for each of them, that short encounter went on to mean so much. Jake’s unassuming, gentle behaviour contrasted with Leila’s more volatile outbursts. He was dealing with an abusive father, and worried over his mother, while Leila mourned the “loss” of her mother and the need to move from the family home, a home Jake and his parents were about to inhabit.

For me, Jake was the stand-out character off this story. He asked for nothing, yet quietly went on with making his life better. Leila was more of a pain in the a**e and succumbed to introspection rather too much for my liking. She had a tendency to lash out at the wrong person – usually her father, but mainly Jake.

The charm bracelet was Leila’s way of coping with her mother not being around, she felt it was the link that would see them reunited one day as it proved her mother still cared for her by sending her an appropriate charm on every momentous occasion.

Finding out the truth hit her hard, as did realising how deeply her feelings ran for Jake. Leila was not an easy person to love, but Jake made it seem so. With each new charm, the story edged towards the truth. But time was not on their side.

The setting, primarily Durdle Door, became such a vital part of the story, almost a character itself, and definitely a place that held many emotive and heart-wrenching scenes.

A charming and heartfelt read that, despite the slow-burn love story, creeps up on you and won’t let you go until the end. Highly recommended.

For more news and reviews:

 

As always,