crime · murder mystery · police procedural · R&R Book Tour stop · Spotlight

Blog Tour – A Spotlight on: Grounders

Grounder copy

Welcome to the tour for Grounders by Leonard Love Matlick.

Read on for more details!

lf

Grounders: Publication Date: April 30th, 2022

Genre: Police Procedural/ Crime Fiction

Grounders is cop slang for easy, open and solved cases. A husband kills his wife, a bar-fight with a knife or a gun, cases quickly solved in two or three days. Cops love this, and get credit for promotion for easily solving cases. In Grounders, the NYPD cops find that this murder of a cook is much more than a simple grounder. It involves the Chinese Tong gangs in NYC, Peruvian rebels who want to overthrow their government by using “magic rocks” that were left from an alien civilization like Stargate in Machu-Picchu, and a love story between a detective and a Tong leader’s granddaughter.

Grounders combines everything; murder, love, greed, drugs, and rebels amid the backdrop of detectives trying to solve a murder mystery.

Get your copy from Barnes & Noble or on Amazon!

About the Author

IG Graphic

Leonard Love Matlick is an engineer, writer, and life coach. He works designing and maintaining NYPD police precincts. He has previously published Cops lie! and The success and confidence manual.

Book Tour Schedule

July 25th R&R Book Tour (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com @itsabookthing2021 (Spotlight) http://www.instagram.com/itsabookthing2021

July 26th Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/ Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com @bookswithstacie (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookswithstacie/

July 27th @elinasbookstagram (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/elinasbookstagram/ Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/ Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

July 28th @readwithemstar (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/readwithemstar/ Freelance Writer, Janny C (Spotlight) https://freelancewriterjannyc.com/ @gryffindorbookishnerd (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

July 29th Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/ Haddie’s Haven (Spotlight) https://haddieshaven.blogspot.com Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com @mels_booksandhooks (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour · Partners in Crime Tours · series · Spotlight

A Spotlight on “Tooth for Tooth” (plus giveaway)

Tooth for Tooth

by JK Franko

on Tour June 1 – July 31, 2020

Synopsis:

Tooth for Tooth by JK Franko

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted.

IN THIS BLISTERINGLY RELENTLESS SEQUEL TO HIS DEBUT SHOCKER, EYE FOR EYE, J.K. FRANKO TAKES READERS ON A BREATHTAKING JOURNEY OF CAT AND MOUSE

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by:Talion Publishing
Publication Date: April 4th 2020
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781999318819
Series: Talion Series, #2
Purchase Links: Amazon || Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Before meeting Susie and Roy, I had never met a murderer. But then, I had also never lied to the police or destroyed evidence. I had never seen the inside of a jail cell. And I had most certainly never been complicit in a homicide.

I have to reluctantly admit that I am a better person for the experience. I now appreciate that murderers really are just regular people like you and me. Indeed, I have come to consider Susie and Roy more than mere patients… they are friends. And I think back on our time together with nostalgia—fondness, even.

This did not happen overnight. It was a process.

What would you do if you found out that your neighbor was a murderer? Would you double-check that you’d locked your doors every night? Keep an eye out for strange comings and goings? Would you ultimately put your house up for sale, not disclosing what you knew about the folks next door to potential buyers?

For most people, being in the proximity of a killer is neither pleasant nor desirable.

Imagine how I felt about having not one but two as-yet-undetected murderers as my patients. Sitting with each of them for hours every week. Trying to guide them toward more moderate conflict resolution techniques. And failing.

Well, I’m here to tell you that despite the complexities inherent in that situation, I found my path to inner peace and happiness.

I know. I may have said elsewhere that, as a psychologist, I’m not a big believer in “happily ever after.” But my thinking has evolved.

I’ve come to believe more in choices—in the power of decision. This is the key nugget of wisdom I have taken away from this whole mess: We are not what happens to us. We are what we choose.

And I am pleased to report, for the first time in years, that I can finally say I am happy.

You have to understand that my unhappiness was not due to lack of trying. Chalk it up to naiveté—but, at first, it was difficult to process everything Susie and Roy told me and still be happy.

It’s hard to put a positive spin on murder.

Selfishly, I was overwhelmed by the fear that they might turn on me. They had shared everything about their crimes with me in meticulous detail. It was manifestly apparent that I was the weak link. The one person who could bring them down.

I was not just a loose end.

I was the loose end.

And, though I tried, I could not initially find peace under these circumstances. But, as I said earlier, happiness is a choice. And it was a choice that I made which finally ended my torment and brought me to a place where I could be at peace—even though everything ended tragically: my relationship with Susie and Roy, their marriage, the whole mess.

For you to understand the rest of my journey with Susie and Roy, I must share with you something that happened years ago at an ostensibly happy event. I say ‘ostensibly’ because it was a wonderful night for almost everyone concerned.

There were two people at that event who figure in this story—in my story.

The first is Sandra Bissette. For her, the night in question was the beginning of what would become a successful career in politics and law.

For the other, Billy Applegate, the night would end in tragedy.

PART ONE

Billy Applegate

1974

Everybody loves a party.

And there’s nothing quite like an election night party. What makes an election night celebration different?

The guest of honor. You see, all parties—birthdays, anniversaries, wakes—feature a guest of honor. But an election night party is a completely different animal because it isn’t about any one person or couple. It’s not even about the candidates.

At an election night party, the guests of honor are the attendees.

The people who gather to watch election results together are all of one mind. Of one spirit. They are like pack animals, all focused on the same outcome. They all share the same heroes and the same enemies.

If their candidates win, they all win. And a “win” means real-world changes for them—tax breaks, preferential government spending, judicial appointments—and money in their pockets.

Now, that’s a party.

This particular election night party took place in Maryland in 1974. To be precise—because I can be—this party was held on the night of the 1974 midterm elections, on Tuesday, November 5th.

It was a good year for Democrats.

This was the first national election after Watergate. Nixon’s resignation had severely damaged the Republicans’ chances in the election. Gerald Ford was just three months into his presidency, having taken over from Richard Nixon a few months earlier. And, of course, having pardoned Nixon in September, Ford had destroyed his own hopes for re-election and added to the national animus against Republicans.

This election night party took place in a spacious colonial-style home decorated in red, white, and blue, with American flags hanging from the windows and banisters. It featured a spacious living and dining area. The kitchen was large and well-equipped. There was a generous backyard with a comfortable deck and a terrace around the pool. All four bedrooms—aside from one guest bedroom—were upstairs.

There was even a “pin the tail on the donkey” game set up near the bar, for those with a sense of humor. No one actually played.

This house belonged to Dan and Annette Applegate, two proud and active members of the Democratic party in Maryland.

Dan’s family had always been active in politics. His grandfather had been a state representative. His father had served as a county judge for most of his career. Dan—born Daniel Parsons Applegate IV—was the fourth generation of Applegates admitted to the Maryland bar. While he would never actually serve in public office, he understood the value of political contacts and actively cultivated them.

This party was part of that effort.

Dan was dressed in a three-piece, tan wool suit, a white Brooks Brothers shirt, and a burgundy silk tie. The lapels and tie were wide, and the shirt collar oversized—all very fashionable at the time. Annette wore a slim, gold-belted, navy blue flare-leg pantsuit with a pale blue silk blouse and a pair of simple gold earrings. Apropos for the gathering, and it went quite nicely with all the flags, she’d decided.

Their twelve-year-old son, Billy Applegate, was in dark green overalls with a white shirt and blue Keds. A handsome boy, Billy had inherited his mother’s cornflower blue eyes and his father’s thick sandy blond hair, which he wore in a neatly trimmed surfer cut.

Billy was an only child. His parents doted on him, as did his grandparents since he was the only grandchild in both families. Even so, Billy was a good boy and knew to stay out of the way when his parents had guests, though he stayed close enough to be in the mix and see what was going on. He was at the age where he still enjoyed watching the grown-ups. Spying on them. In fact, he was familiar with many of the faces that night from other events of this kind. It was a small community.

Tonight, Tuesday night, the guests were arriving early, many coming over straight after work before polling places even closed.

It was going to be a long night.

The band played. Alcohol flowed. Anticipation and excitement were in the air at the prospect of big Democrat wins. And, after everything Nixon had put the nation through, how could voters not want a change?

In the living room, a handsome mahogany console TV with a big twenty-five-inch-diagonal color screen announced results as they came in. Dan was loitering by the avocado green Trimline rotary phone, mounted on the kitchen wall, that rang periodically with live information. The spring-coiled, twelve-foot receiver cord allowed him to pace anxiously as he fielded calls from the few Democrats charged with providing up-to-the-minute results from county polling.

Remember, this was back in the days before computerized voting machines. Back then, voters travelled to their precinct’s designated polling station and used a machine to punch holes in their ballot. These were then collected and transported to a central counting center where the ballots were put through a counting machine which tabulated the results that were then released to the public.

Dan relayed results to his guests, with each ring of the phone bringing more good news. More cheering and more drinking.

It was a good year to be a Democrat.

At the peak of festivities, there were over 250 guests in and around the property, to the point where the party overflowed onto the street, which was not a problem. No one was going to complain, as most of the neighbors were in attendance. And these were all good white folk. The police were kind enough to block off both ends of the street and make sure that those who’d had too much to drink made it home safely.

Inside, the house was a political orgy. Supporters rubbed elbows with candidates. Candidates rubbed elbows with incumbents. Incumbents rubbed elbows with donors. And lobbyists rubbed elbows with everyone except each other.

There were a number of judges in attendance. Several city council members hovered by the buffet, and a few state representatives were sprinkled through the crowd.

It was into this whirlwind of excitement that Sandra Bissette arrived.

At a time when men still ran everything in politics, Sandra hoped to make a name for herself. The fact that she was a Yale-graduated lawyer didn’t hurt, nor did the fact that she had both the figure and the looks of Jackie Kennedy.

Sandra was the daughter of lifelong Democrats, and her father happened to be the county sheriff. Although Sandra was not part of the elite set in Maryland, she was making her way. She was two years into working as an associate at a top law firm after having done a couple of high-level summer internships in D.C.

That night, Sandra was primarily interested in meeting two people: one was Annette Applegate. Although Sandra knew that both Dan and Annette were active in the Maryland Democratic party, Dan was known to be a snob—his career consisted of riding on his family’s coattails. Annette was universally recognized as the nicer of the two. Annette knew everyone, and everyone loved Annette. It was with her that Sandra was hoping to build a connection.

The second person who Sandra had added to her charm offensive for the evening was Harrison Kraft—another young Yale lawyer who, unlike her, was connected in all the right ways. Having graduated a few years ahead of her from law school, Harrison was running for state representative. He checked all the right boxes— family pedigree, education, professional credentials. There was no doubt the man was going places. Sandra had heard good things about him as a person and was interested in seeing for herself.

It was a little after 9:00 p.m.—Dan had just announced the results from Precinct Four in Montgomery County when Sandra saw an opening. Annette was by the buffet chatting with Howard Patrick, an older lobbyist—handsy, and a bit of a bore. Sandra straightened her back, raised her chin, and approached.

“Hello Howard,” she said with a big smile.

“Sandra! Hello, my dear. Don’t you look beautiful tonight?” “Why, thank you, Howard. Ever the charmer,” she said, allowing him to kiss her hand.

“Have you met our hostess, Annette Applegate?”

As Sandra turned to greet Annette, she noticed that the woman was looking past her, over her shoulder.

“Um, excuse me, young man!” Annette said, eyebrows raised and pearly white teeth dazzling.

Sandra turned and followed Annette’s gaze to a young boy in green overalls filching shrimp from the buffet. She guessed he was just shy of being a teenager.

“Aw, crap,” said Billy as he chewed.

“Come here, you,” Annette said, narrowing her eyes in mock disapproval.

The boy hesitated as he took in the young woman, the fat old man, and his mother, who stood waiting for him expectantly with her hands on her hips. He’d never seen the young woman before. She was new.

Unconsciously, he slowly moved to return the three shrimp in his sticky hand to the platter.

“With the shrimp, silly,” his mother said, shaking her head. Billy moved toward her, chewing rapidly so he could stuff
the other shrimp into his mouth.

Howard put his hand against the small of Sandra’s back, a little too low, and harrumphed to her under his breath, “Better seen, not heard. That’s how it used to be.”

Sandra tried to smile and fought the instinct to pull away.

Howard’s breath smelled of scotch and cigarettes.

Annette overheard, but ignored the old lobbyist’s comment.

“I suppose I don’t need to ask if you’ve had dinner? I left meatloaf for you in the kitchen.”

“I know. But, Mom, these shrimp are amazing.”

“And the meatballs?” asked Annette, looking over Billy toward the platter on the buffet.

Billy blushed. “Those, too.”

“Well, it’s getting a bit late for you,” Annette said, ruffling her son’s fair hair and then kissing him on the forehead, making him squirm. “Finish up the shrimp and get to bed.”

“What about Dad?” Billy asked, looking around. Annette’s face darkened, and she sighed. “I’ll send him up for a goodnight kiss. But you come along now, young man.” She put her hands on her son’s shoulders and steered him towards the stairs. “Excuse me for a moment,” she said over her shoulder.

Shit, thought Sandra as she twisted politely away, getting the old lobbyist’s hand off her lower back as he struck up a conversation. While she tried to focus on what he was saying, it was all she could do not to stare at the green thing wedged in between the man’s tar-stained teeth.

It took her ten minutes to extricate herself from Howard, thanks to Alan Watts—a wiry man who was only modestly more interesting. His family ran a small chain of grocery stores. Alan had asked her out a while back, and though she’d declined, he still had hopes—she could tell.

After a few more minutes of polite conversation, Sandra fell back on “old reliable” with a forced smile. “Excuse me, gentlemen… ladies’ room.”

Once she was sure she had escaped, she continued to work the room. About half an hour later, as she accepted another glass of white wine from a passing waiter, she felt a hand pressing low on the small of her back.

Oh fuck, not again.

“Yes, Howard?” She turned, fake smile firmly in place, to find Annette Applegate standing behind her.

“Gotcha!” laughed Annette.

Sandra laughed, both from relief and from delight at the inside joke made by the woman to whom she’d hoped to ingratiate herself.

This is going to be a great night.

While Sandra and Annette chatted amiably, many other members of the party were well beyond civility.

The drinking had begun five hours earlier, but there was more than just alcohol flowing. Other substances were being abused. It was all very discreet, of course. Most were partaking solely for recreational purposes, but a few were ingesting more heavily. Beyond alcohol and drugs—and most hazardous of all, given that it was infecting everyone to some degree and was in ample supply—was the potent and dangerous combination of two psychological stimulants, victory and power.

You see, politics doesn’t attract only “normal” people. As in every part of society, there is a spectrum. And politics, too, has its outliers. The smug and the superior. The arrogant and the snide. And the sociopaths.

Victory and power are dangerous to all, but more so to the sociopath.

Do not consume alcohol or operate heavy machinery while taking…

For these select few, the alcohol, drugs, and victory combined with power was toxic. It created a euphoria that knew no rules.

No limits.

No fear.

* * *

Upstairs, Billy had fallen asleep with the soothing press of his mother’s goodnight kiss still fresh on his cheek.

A small nightlight plugged into a wall socket illuminated his bedroom, casting a warm glow on a baseball snuggled in a catcher’s mitt that lay in a corner next to a wooden Adirondack baseball bat.

On one end of his small dresser sat a model airplane—a Douglas A-20 Havoc that he’d built with his grandfather. It was a replica of the plane Gramps had flown during World War II. The model was flanked by a teddy bear that Billy claimed he’d outgrown but refused to give away. The other end of the dresser was reserved for the little boy’s current prized possession—Rock’em Sock’em Robots. A gift from his parents for his birthday.

The room was quiet, the party sounds muffled.

Suddenly, the door opened, spilling light into the little boy’s room along with the blare of music and the chaotic chatter of voices. Then, just as quickly, the door shut, returning the room to calm semi-darkness.

Billy was groggy and didn’t try to open his eyes. Instead, he just spoke out loud. “Dad?”

He felt the bed sag as his father sat next to him in a cloud smelling of alcohol and cigars.

Then he felt dry lips on his forehead. The kiss made him smile sleepily.

A hand stroked his head and his hair as Billy snuggled into his pillow and drifted back to sleep.

Suddenly, the same hand that had been stroking his hair gently clamped over his mouth. It was a man’s hand, but it was soft. Clammy. It was not his father’s….

Billy tried to sit up, but the hand squeezed harder, the man leaning into him, pushing him down and pinning him to the bed as a second hand groped at him, pulling away his sheets.

Billy didn’t know what to do. He was terrified. He opened his eyes, but with just the little nightlight on, he couldn’t see anything other than the vague shape of the form pressing down on him. He could smell booze and food on the man’s warm breath.

Tears came as the vise over Billy’s mouth forced him to suck air noisily through his nose as the groping continued—searching, finding, fondling, stroking, then reaching, penetrating, sending a hot shard of searing pain through his body. Inside.

He tried to fight, but couldn’t. The hands were too strong. The body too heavy. He felt sick. The stench of cigars, food, and alcohol on fetid breath was nauseating. And he was scared. Terrified. In pain.

Bile rose in Billy’s throat. But the hand over his mouth prevented him from vomiting. He gagged, then swallowed everything back down.

His body began to convulse.

To thrash.

As it did, the second hand stopped.

The man’s weight eased on top of his body, no longer pinning him down. The hand over his mouth loosened slightly, and Billy felt the other stroking his hair. He wanted to move, but he was paralyzed with fear.

The whole ordeal lasted minutes, but it felt like hours.

Then the presence leaned over and whispered, “Sleep. Sleep.

You were dreaming. Go back to sleep.”

The weight lifted from the bed, and as it did, the hand fell away from Billy’s mouth, leaving him shivering in the aftermath.

The door opened, first slightly. Through the crack, the man looked out into the hall as the babble of music and voices invaded the bedroom. Then the door swung fully open, and as it did, Billy saw the man clearly in the light from the hallway. The image burned itself into his memory. The image of a stranger whose identity he would eventually learn.

The door closed and the crowd cheered as the band started playing—“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”

And Billy Applegate cried himself into a fitful sleep.

***

Excerpt from Tooth for Tooth by JK Franko. Copyright 2020 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

JK Franko

J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=296763

 

 

Enter To Win!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be six (6) winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by JK Franko (print) and two (2) winners will each win TOOTH FOR TOOTH by Jk Franko (eBook). The giveaway begins on June 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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blog tour · Spotlight · thriller

Blog Tour – A Spotlight on “Patch Lane”

PatchLN

Ooh this cover just gives me chills! Welcome to the blog tour for Patch Lane, a brand new thriller by S.F. Barkley! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, and a chance to win a Kindle copy of the book!

PLane digital cover.jpg

Patch Lane

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Genre: Thriller

Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.

The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

The house was in total disrepair. The exterior had white wooden siding with loosely attached, rotting black shutters. The moonlight highlighted the chipping paint, making the shutters appear two-toned. The old brick chimney was pulling away from the side of the house, and small trees were growing on the lower roof. There were no signs of life inside—no lights, no sound, not even a car parked on the property. It was the only house on the lane, so I deduced this was once a running farm. This must have been the original farmhouse. I slowly made my way around the house, trudging through the overgrown grass, to check the perimeter. With no evidence of life or habitation, I was beginning to question if Dispatch had gotten the address wrong. I got on the radio. “1034 to Dispatch.”

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“I’m at 52 Patch Lane. Can you confirm this is the address?”

“Stand by.” After about a minute, Dispatch got back on the air. “1034, yes, that’s the correct address. Do you need backup?”

“Negative. It appears no one is home, but I’ll update.”

At this point, I knocked on the front door and announced myself. “Officer Hastings, Amber Forest Police Department!” No answer. All of the windows were closed, so I tried the front door. Locked. I didn’t have any extenuating circumstances that would allow a warrantless entry, so all I could do was leave. There wasn’t even enough for me to write a police report.

“1034 to Dispatch,” I radioed again.

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“It looks like this house is abandoned. I think the 911 hang up might have been some crossed telephone wires. Clear me from the call with no report.”

“10-4.”

I began driving back down the gravel lane when another wave of chills shot through me. I hit my brakes and glanced in my rearview mirror. My brake lights flooded the house in red, and for a split moment I thought I saw someone standing in the window watching me leave. I blinked, and the figure vanished. My intuition had kept me alive this far, but I knew Chief Fox would rip me a new one if I tried to enter that house based on my intuition and faintly seeing shadows. I took a deep breath and convinced my foot to ease off of the brake and back on the gas.

Available on Amazon

Click the link below to win a Kindle download of Patch Lane!
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PatchLN

Blog Tour Schedule

December 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

Kim Knight (Review) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

December 3rd

B is for Book Review (Guest Post) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

December 4th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

December 5th

Cup of Books Blog (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

Read and Rated (Review) https://readandrated.com/

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

December 6th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

About the Author

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S.F. Barkley is a former police officer who uses her law enforcement knowledge and experience along with her love for all things creepy to create short stories and novels. She had several eerie experiences as a cop, including having discovered secret underground tunnels and responding to 911 hang up calls to an abandoned industrial building. She has published short horror stories in various anthologies and is publishing her debut mystery novel, Patch Lane, in October 2019. She was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her husband and their rescue pup.

S.F. Barkley | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon

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adventure · blog tour · R&R Book Tour stop · Spotlight · thriller

Blog Tour – Dawn of the Assassin

DawnoftheAssassin

Welcome to the blog tour for exciting Adventure Thriller, Dawn of the Assassin, by Bill Brewer! To celebrate its launch, we have loads of exclusive content including a guest post from the author, and an AMAZING giveaway to enter — A signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (U.S. Only)! International readers will have a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

DotA Cover 8-2019Dawn of the Assassin

Expected Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Thriller

Dawn of the Assassin is an action/adventure thriller in which David Diegert, a young man of mixed race from a dysfunctional family, is coerced into becoming a hitman for an immensely wealthy, powerful man.

Thrust into violent situations, he surprises everyone, including himself, with how deadly he can be. After successfully completing trial missions, Diegert is selected for an advanced training program. The fate of the one person he loves, the reputation of his trainer and his own life depend on his ability to prevail in the final challenge of the program, the tournament of assassins.

With fast-paced writing, immersive action scenes, and surprises for Diegert around every corner, Dawn of the Assassin, is sure to keep thriller fans turning the pages.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Brewer Quote Twitter 3.png

“Just remain calm. They may not take anything or find us very interesting.”

“These guys are pussies. Let’s kick ass.”

“Oh no, you don’t. You start a fight with them, and they will simply scuttle the whole boat, leaving us without even a life raft.”

“Bullshit.”

The Somalis shouted for them to stop talking. There were three pirates on board and three more in the skiff. The small size of their open-hulled, rundown old boat surprised Diegert. It wasn’t more than ten feet long, and Diegert wouldn’t have wanted to cross a Minnesota lake in that thing, let alone the Indian Ocean.

One of the pirates went belowdecks and searched for valuables. The other two stayed above and kept their AK-47s in their hands. The pirate belowdecks let out a loud ululation and rejoiced for whatever he had found. The pirate guarding Barney shouted down to him, and when the other pirate shouted back, he couldn’t stop himself and went down below. The single pirate on deck was also distracted by what was going on below. Diegert seized the moment. He elbowed the pirate in the chest, bashed him in the mouth, grabbed the back of his head, and drove his face into a cleat on the mast, splitting his cranium on the rigid piece of metal.

Barney motioned for Diegert to stop, but the younger man stripped the AK off the dying pirate and descended into the cabin. The two pirates belowdecks were so amazed with the case of guns they’d found that, when they turned to see who was coming, Diegert struck the first one with a buttstock to the face. The second received a hand blade strike to the larynx. Both were dazed, and Diegert wrapped the strap of the AK-47 around the first guy’s neck and backhauled him over his shoulder. The force of the maneuver broke the pirate’s neck, and Diegert knew it when he heard the vertebrae snap. The second guy was coughing and struggling to breathe. Diegert noticed a knife on the man’s belt. He grabbed the man’s knife, slashed his throat, and plunged the blade into his chest. The pirate crumpled to the floor as blood bubbled out of his neck.

Three down, three to go. Diegert took the AK-47s and ascended the stairs. He tossed one to Barney and proceeded to the stern where the pirate’s skiff was tethered to the Sue Ellen. The men in the skiff were confused by the commotion on board. Diegert took full advantage of their lack of communication and their expectation that sailors wouldn’t fight back to open fire with the AK. The volley of bullets cut down two while striking the legs of the third.

With the dull illumination of the stern safety light, Diegert could see the third man was wounded, having fallen onto his back in the boat. Diegert’s weapon had a flashlight taped to it. Turning it on, he could see the remaining pirate better. The guy was young, maybe fifteen or sixteen, yet he had a rifle and was pointing it in Diegert’s direction. The defender of the Sue Ellen hesitated to see if the boy made any gesture of surrender. When the wounded pirate leveled his barrel at Diegert, he sealed his fate. With a rapid burst, the young sea robber’s life ended with bullets to the chest and head.

From the moment the second pirate went down into the cabin until the last shot was fired, barely two minutes had passed, and six lives had ended. Diegert’s adrenaline was on full blast, and he was still on point, making sure there were no other threats.

“Relax,” said Barney. “They’re all dead and we’re OK.”

Available on Amazon!

Giveaway Time!!!

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About the Author

image-asset

Bill Brewer is a member of the Faculty of the College of Health Sciences and Technology at RIT where he serves as the Director of Exercise Science within the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition. His areas of instruction include Anatomy & Physiology as well as numerous courses in Exercise Science.

Bill is a family man, happily married and the proud father of a son and two daughters. He lives in the South Wedge of Rochester NY. and loves to find outdoor adventure in the Adirondacks and in the Frontenac region of Ontario, Canada.

Bill Brewer Books

DawnoftheAssassin

Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

October 15th

B is for Book Review (Guest Post) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

October 16th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

LIBRORUM IN SEMPITERNUM (Spotlight) http://libroruminsempiternumhome.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

October 17th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

J Bronder Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

October 18th

Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Read and Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

blog tour · crime · historical · mystery · promo · Spotlight · truth

Blog Tour – Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond

If you’re not intrigued by the title of this book, then you should be 😉

But even more so, because of the connection to a real crime. In 1906, the murder of Grace Brown rocked America. It was considered the trial of the century, capturing the imaginations of people coast to coast after a skirt factory worker, Grace Brown, was found dead in Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks of New York. Her lover, Chester Gillette, nephew of the owner of the Gillette Skirt Factory, was found to be the main suspect.

Now you’re interested, aren’t you?

Then, read on …

Ward's Pond frontWalking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: July 2nd 2019

A hundred-year-old unsolved mystery resurfaces when journalist Charlie Baxter becomes consumed with finding out the truth. After discovering his bloodline includes a potential murderer, Charlie sets out to clear his family’s name—only to find that everyone has an opinion, but does anyone have answers?

In 1906, Chester Gillette took Grace Brown on a secret trip in the Adirondacks, but only he returned. Grace and her unborn child drowned in the lake, and Chester was convicted of murder. Now, his distant relative Charlie Baxter is retracing the steps of that fateful trip in hopes of laying it to rest once and for all.

However, a mysterious guest at the bed and breakfast on Ward’s Pond is drawn into the cold case—not by Charlie, but by the ghost of Grace Brown. When Charlie learns that the guest’s name is Katherine Grace Brown, he can’t deny the connection. Despite running from her own past, Katherine agrees to help Charlie in his quest for the truth.

The true tale of the Gillette-Brown murder has been the subject of many a story, and it continues to intrigue. What really happened at that lake? Was Chester Gillette truly guilty of murder, or was he sent to the electric chair innocent?

Perhaps with the help of their ghosts, Charlie and Katherine can find out.

Available at B & N and on Amazon!

Excerpt

A WOMAN’S SCREAM RIPPED CHARLIE from sleep as dramatically as if he’d been doused in ice water. Heart hammering in his chest, he sprang from his bed and raced to the door as another scream pierced straight through him, coming from the room across the hall. He didn’t know the occupant—the only other guest currently in the bed and breakfast at Ward’s Pond—but the compulsion to help…to do something was too great to be ignored.

Miss? Miss, are you all right? Can I help you?” He pressed his ear to the wall, hearing nothing more than a muffled sobbing. “I only want to help you and make sure that you’re all right. I’m coming in.”

When no response came, Charlie gathered up his courage and grabbed hold of the knob, taking a quick glance at his clothes. Thankfully, he wore modest pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, nothing that would scandalize anyone. After one hard swallow, he gave the door a try, surprised to find it unlocked. He glanced across the room to see a woman sitting up in bed. The moon cast her in white, making her look ghostly. Her long, dark hair was a wild tangle, the tracks of her tears glistening in the light streaming through the window. She was trembling.

Unwilling to seem too familiar or forward, Charlie pulled up a chair—rather than sitting on the end of the bed. He leaned toward her and propped his elbows on his knees, striving to offer her a calm, reassuring presence when all the while his insides were churning from that terrible screaming.

Is everything all right? What happened?”

The stranger took a shaky breath and drew the covers up to her chest, her knuckles bulging with the strength of her grip. “I…it was just a nightmare. Foolish, really. I can’t even remember it now…I can only recall waking up feeling absolutely terrified.”

He nodded and then gave her a smile. “I know what that’s like. My name is Charlie Baxter and I’m right across the hall. If you need anything—anything at all—don’t hesitate to give a knock. I sleep light.”

He stood as she extended her hand—which he accepted, giving it a squeeze. His skin practically sizzled at her touch, but he held on. “Thank you, Mr. Baxter. I’m sorry I woke you.”

Nonsense. Like I said, I sleep light! I would’ve been up sooner or later anyway, and please, call me Charlie. My father is Mr. Baxter. I’ll see you at breakfast in the morning. Our hostess, Eva, is an amazing cook.” Charlie crossed the room, taking pause at the door to look over his shoulder. “By the way, what’s your name?”

She smiled, and it was like the sun coming out after a storm. “Katherine. Katherine Grace Brown.”

The name, particularly the middle and last, gave him a start, but he covered it well. “Well, Miss Katherine Grace Brown, may the rest of your night hold nothing but sweet dreams.”

As he crossed the hall, the turning of the lock broke the silence. Charlie didn’t think she was locking him out. Katherine was locking herself—and her mysterious nightmares—in.

Unable to sleep, since his mind was already unsettled from his research, Charlie opened the window and took a deep gulp of the refreshing night air. Late May in upstate New York heralded warmer days and the approach of summer, but the nights were still chilly. He left the window open, flicked on his desk lamp, and riffled through his stacks of papers, his hand landing on the picture of Grace Brown. He stared at the image that was already imprinted on his brain. She looks nothing like that girl across the hall. Her name is just a coincidence.

He started taking notes, but still a voice nagged at him at the back of his mind. Is there really any such thing as a coincidence?

About the Author

Heidi Sprouse, author of Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi has a long list of titles credited to her name. We hope that this month you’ll check out her latest endeavor, Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond available for preorder or for direct purchase on July 2nd.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | TwitterPinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

WalkingwithGhosts

Blog Tour Schedule

July 1st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

The Legal Alien (Review) https://thelegalalien.com/

Devouring Books (Review) https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.com/

July 2nd

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

July 3rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

July 4th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

July 5th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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As always,

Author · Spanish · Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Cinta García de la Rosa (ft. Little Nani)

If you’re looking for a great children’s book, then look no further!

The funny adventures of Little Nani

Cover with seal

Cinta García de la Rosa

Blurb:

Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time.

Follow Little Nani in her funny adventures and meet her extraordinary friends. Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends! You can also draw your own characters!

Little Nani is willing to become a good witch. Will she manage to do it? Who knows? Read the stories and discover what happens next!

Available here:

Amazon US      Amazon UK     Createspace    Smashwords

About the Author:

CintaAuthor

Cinta García de la Rosa is a Spanish writer who has loved the written word since he discovered she was able to read books at age 5.

Since then, she has become a bookworm and reads around 100 books every year.

She also writes, every day, compulsively, even in the middle of the night. You cannot control when inspiration hits you, can you?

She writes in English because she is convinced that in a previous life she was British, so writing in English feels more natural to her than writing in her native language.

Yes, she is crazy like that. Cinta García is the author of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”, a collection of short stories for children, and “A Foreigner in London”, a short story published on Smashwords.

Catch up with Cinta here:

Twitter      Facebook     Goodreads      Amazon       Smashwords      Website     Blog      Pinterest      Tumblr

And the last word goes to ……Cinta!

Hello, everyone!

Since I published my book “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani” almost one year ago, I couldn’t imagine that my book was going to suffer so many changes. First, one day I decided that I didn’t like the cover any more; it was boring and I wanted it to be eye-catching so it could make children feel attracted to it. So my boyfriend, who is an amazing illustrator and writer, Mark Stone, designed a new cover for my book. So I had a lovely new cover for my book. Yay!ibdbadge

However, once I had the new cover, I also thought that maybe the inside of the book should also suffer some renovations. So I made it go through a new round of edits and I changed a bit the design of the pages. I will just say that the first edition of my book had empty boxes so children could draw their own illustrations. In the second edition I deleted those boxes, but I added new things. I won’t tell them here… You should buy a copy and discover them by yourself *winks*

Once I was completely happy with my book, I started presenting it to the world, and I also started getting new reviews. And that’s how I got the seal that my book sports now on its cover: the amazing site Readers’ Favorite reviewed my book and rated it as a 5-Stars Read, and they gave me the seal. Almost on the same week, my book was chosen Indie Book of the Day by the site of the same name.

All those are happy news that I wanted to share with all of you. Please, consider reading my book and leaving a review. Even if it is a 1-star review, it will be useful, because it will let me know how to improve in future books. Thanks!

books · fantasy · review · Spotlight

Book release.

cloudstone key book cover

The Cloudstone Key

Darren T. Patrick

Available on Amazon:   http:// www.amazon.com/dp/B00EWZJI16

For me, this book began life as a beta-read for a fellow author. Initially it was in two much shorter parts, but has since been combined to form a single, more powerful tale.

The Cloudstone Key is the first book in The Rithhek Cage Trilogy, promising much more from this talented author.

It has recently been published and, as a result, I am now reviewing the final version.

So, here goes:

Rating 4

 

Summary: 

In the remote mining village of Aystin, Karsen Morgate secretly longs to explore the world outside the town walls; but instead dutifully spends his nights protecting the precious Cloudstone tiles–mined by his father, and engraved with mystical symbols and lore by the reclusive Adept Noxyn. When his half-brother, Petr, commits a gruesome crime, Karsen is forced to flee his home, carrying with him a tile depicting a unique artifact–the Ennae–entrusted to his care by the Adept himself. Alone, ailing, and on the run, Karsen must find help, find his way, and decipher the true meaning of the Ennae. For he soon realizes that he is being pursued by the dark brotherhood of the Shroud, and that he has somehow become an unwilling pawn in an ancient conflict.
The Shroud is stirring.
The world of Tholann is in danger.
And young Karsen Morgate is in the middle of it.

Setting:

In the fantasy world of Tholann, the author creates a mystical place, filled with fascinating civilisations. These range from the giant female Jikhquae to the enchanting Sky-Touched population, together with the humorous Rethe ( talkative squirrel-like creatures) and the mysterious Lost community. Amongst all of these groups,  the human society, of which Karsen is one, continue to live in virtual ignorance of the goings-on beyond their own frontiers. Their fear of the unknown and the danger that lies out there keeps them from exploring further afield. When Karsen flees his home, he cannot ever imagine the predicament in which he soon finds himself. As his interest and curiosity are at an all-time high, he learns some unsavoury truths about his half-brother and discovers that his mission – on behalf of Adept Noxyn – is nowhere near as  straightforward as he had anticipated.

Writing:

The settings are well-defined, you can picture these places in your mind quite easily. I particularly loved the dialogue scenes, as the author manages to capture the essence of the characters, without the need for overly descriptive details. The exchange of conversation between Karsen and Bestah (Sky-Touched) is priceless: funny and frustrating at the same time. The characters are three-dimensional and ooze personality – you either love them or hate them! The momentum of the story is well paced, from fast-moving scenes to ones where key pieces of information spill out. The tension is well-built at the end as you are left hanging, waiting to see if and how Karsen will complete the task of delivering the Ennae.

My thoughts:

The combination of the two parts into one book give the story much more impact and the end result is more polished and complete. I loved the character of Bestah and Cal-ba, their scenes together are both sweet and comical. There are plenty of twists and the dream sequences give a fascinating insight as to what is still to come. I found it a gripping story, I read it straight through in one sitting. I’m glad it’s a trilogy, and hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next instalment.  Comparing the final version to its early form, it’s obvious that Darren is very serious about perfecting his craft, it clearly shows that he has put in lots of time and effort in getting this story to its current place.

If you like fantasy tales, then this one is for you.