Munchausen by Proxy: A Disturbing Psychiatric Disorder

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Munchausen by Proxy: A Disturbing Psychiatric Disorder

Hollywood portrays Baron Munchausen as a comedic character but the medical syndromes that bear his name aren’t very funny. 

People fake illnesses all the time. To get out of work, to avoid going to some event, to miss a test they haven’t studied for, or just because they want to lay around and take a day doing nothing. Everyone has called in sick. But then there are others who fake illnesses in order to undergo medical testing and procedures and perhaps to garner the attention that being perceived as ill will bring their way. Munchausen syndrome is where someone fakes illnesses in order to visit with physicians and hospitals and undergo testing and sometimes very dangerous treatment, even surgery. After all, doctors listen to the patient and then evaluate them for the possible illness, or illnesses, that could be underlying their complaints…

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#BookReview “Strong from the Heart” by Jon Land

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on Tour August 17 – September 18, 2020

~~~

5/5 Stars!

I think I may have a problem.

Reading about gun battles, explosions, and illegal drug operations with a grin on my face can’t be normal, but that’s how I read most of Strong From the Heart.

Another stellar installment in the Caitlin Strong Series, this four-hundred-page read ended far too quickly for me.

Caitlin’s Captain calls her human flypaper because wherever she goes the worst of the worst sticks to her and he nails it in that one comment because only in her world can there be a connection between Cort Wesley’s teenage son’s drug overdose, the entire town of Camino Pass killed with no visible means of cause of death, and an illegal drug operation that could lead to some of the highest offices of corporate America and the government.

A side story involving Caitlin’s great-grandfather, William Ray Strong, and his connection with the same town… and involvement with Pancho Villa is so engrossing, I’d read it as a standalone book!

At one point in the story, Caitlin says she’s “getting the band back together,” and the familiar faces are all accounted for. Besides Cort Wesley and his son’s Luke and Dylan, Colonel Guillermo Paz is back peppering every sentence with philosophical quotes while issuing his brand of justice—and oh, my God, teaching a phys ed class for all of two days. I loved it!

D.W. Tepper is still trying to not smoke while smoking… and giving Caitlin “space” more times than not, while Leroy Epps, the ghost of Cort’s friend, shows up to guide him, and drink root beer.

Much to Caitlin’s chagrin, her half-sister—and legendary assassin—Nola Delgado is always closer than she likes, but Nola’s skills will come in handy. She may or may not be a psychopath… okay, she is, but I love Nola’s character.

Caitlin truly is up against the worst of the worst this time as someone with money and power is trying to stop her investigation and they will take as many lives as necessary with no remorse.

Timely themes enhanced the story not only with Luke’s overdose while partying with friends, but Caitlin’s use of prescription pain meds since a job-related injury several months ago. She’ll have a reckoning of her own while trying to deal with a drug operation in the midst of the opioid epidemic.

The Ranger’s reputation proceeds her as everyone expects bullets to fly and people to die when she shows up. In her defense, Caitlin never fires the first shot, but she always fires the last one.

And I love that!

You will too.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

Strong from the Heart by Jon Land

Caitlin Strong wages her own personal war on drugs against the true power behind the illicit opioid trade in Strong from the Heart, the blistering and relentless 11th installment in Jon Land’s award-winning series.

The drug crisis hits home for fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong when the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters nearly dies from an opioid overdose. On top of that, she’s dealing with the inexplicable tragedy of a small Texas town where all the residents died in a single night.

When Caitlin realizes that these two pursuits are intrinsically connected, she finds herself following a trail that will take her to the truth behind the crisis that claimed 75,000 lives last year. Just in time, since the same force that has taken over the opiate trade has even more deadly intentions in mind, specifically the murder of tens of millions in pursuit of their even more nefarious goals.

The power base she’s up against―comprised of politicians and Big Pharma, along with corrupt doctors and drug distributors―has successfully beaten back all threats in the past. But they’ve never had to deal with the likes of Caitlin Strong before and have no idea what’s in store when the guns of Texas come calling.

At the root of the conspiracy lies a cabal nestled within the highest corridors of power that’s determined to destroy all threats posed to them. Caitlin and Cort Wesley may have finally met their match, finding themselves isolated and ostracized with nowhere to turn, even as they strive to remain strong from the heart.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Forge Books

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Number of Pages: 368

ISBN: 0765384701 (ISBN13: 9780765384706)

Series: A Caitlin Strong Novel, #11

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

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

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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be five (5) winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 17, 2020 and runs through September 20, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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~~~

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#FREE “Taken to Voraxia: A SciFi Alien Romance (Xiveri Mates Book 1)” by Elizabeth Stephens


Miari
Blue skin. Seven feet. Strapped with corded muscle, the aliens have come again but this time, their king is here and he’s watching me with hunger.

A hybrid with red alien skin and brown human eyes, I’ve got no family and am not desired by colony men. I’m an inventor, a mechanic, a tinkerer. The alien king seeks to claim me, but he’ll have to find me first.

Our little colony is a scary, desperate place and I’m willing to meet it head on if it means escaping him and the alien sensations he stirs deep in my gut, where light and truth cannot touch them.

Raku
She is my Xiveri mate, yet she runs from me – straight into the horrors of her savage moon colony. Does she not know that I would slaughter in her defense? Nox, she does not.

My brilliant hybrid thinks herself a slave – my slave – and in place of acceptance, offers me only pacts and bargains. Shamed by her pacts, I still take them all gluttonously, because she is mine – my hybrid, my Xiveri mate, Voraxia’s queen and mine to worship.

Taken to Voraxia is a full-length (95k words) SciFi alien romance and book 1 in a 6+ book series. Xiveri Mates books come with a guaranteed HEA. Books 3 and 6 feature Xiveri Mates from outside of the Voraxian constellation, while the rest are best read in sequential order. YES for alpha alien overlords, warrior heroines, fated mates who are also enemies-to-lovers, action and sometimes violence, world-building and extra steamy bits. NO for abuse, dubcon, noncon, cheating, menage, harem or love triangles. Subjugation of human women is an early theme in book 1 and, while it ends spectacularly, may be a trigger for sensitive readers.

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#BookTour “Scandalous Secrets” by Synithia Williams

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SCANDALOUS SECRETS

BY SYNITHIA WILLIAMS

Can they do what’s right…without betraying their hearts?

Senatorial candidate Byron Robidoux always does the right thing. And, after years of focus and dedication, his life and campaign are going exactly to plan—until a blackmailer jeopardizes everything. No one is supposed to know that thirteen years ago, Byron told a lie to protect a college friend. And now that lie could destroy his career…and threaten the woman he never stopped loving.

Zoe Hammond hardly recognizes the refined and handsome politician Byron has become. The last time she saw him, he was the friend who saved her life by claiming to be the father of her unborn baby. For that, she’d do anything for him. Except Byron’s world of wealth, reputation and deceit isn’t a place where Zoe or her daughter belong. But when a menace from the past comes calling again, staying with Byron is best for them all. And, as the searing attraction between them builds, they soon realize some things are worth fighting for…especially love.

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ABOUT SYNITHIA WILLIAMS

Synithia Williams

Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural that she would one day write her own romance. When she isn’t writing, Synithia works on water quality issues in the Midlands of South Carolina while taking care of her supportive husband and two sons. You can learn more about Synithia by visiting her website, www.synithiawilliams.com

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#BookTour “Strong from the Heart” by Jon Land

Strong From The Heart by Jon Land Banner

on Tour August 17 – September 18, 2020

Synopsis:

Strong from the Heart by Jon Land

Caitlin Strong wages her own personal war on drugs against the true power behind the illicit opioid trade in Strong from the Heart, the blistering and relentless 11th installment in Jon Land’s award-winning series.

The drug crisis hits home for fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong when the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters nearly dies from an opioid overdose. On top of that, she’s dealing with the inexplicable tragedy of a small Texas town where all the residents died in a single night.

When Caitlin realizes that these two pursuits are intrinsically connected, she finds herself following a trail that will take her to the truth behind the crisis that claimed 75,000 lives last year. Just in time, since the same force that has taken over the opiate trade has even more deadly intentions in mind, specifically the murder of tens of millions in pursuit of their even more nefarious goals.

The power base she’s up against―comprised of politicians and Big Pharma, along with corrupt doctors and drug distributors―has successfully beaten back all threats in the past. But they’ve never had to deal with the likes of Caitlin Strong before and have no idea what’s in store when the guns of Texas come calling.

At the root of the conspiracy lies a cabal nestled within the highest corridors of power that’s determined to destroy all threats posed to them. Caitlin and Cort Wesley may have finally met their match, finding themselves isolated and ostracized with nowhere to turn, even as they strive to remain strong from the heart.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Forge Books

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Number of Pages: 368

ISBN: 0765384701 (ISBN13: 9780765384706)

Series: A Caitlin Strong Novel, #11

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

San Antonio, Texas

Caitlin Strong pushed her way through the gaggle of reporters and bystanders clustered before the barricade set up just inside the lobby of the Canyon Ridge Elementary School building.

“Look,” she heard somebody say, “the Texas Rangers are here!”

She’d focused her attention on the six men wearing black camo pants and windbreakers labeled I-C-E in big letters on the back, glaring at her from the entrance to the school to which they’d clearly been prevented from entering. She pictured several more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stationed at additional exits in case their quarries tried to make a run for it.

“We didn’t call the Rangers,” snarled a bald man, the nametag he was required to wear reading ORLEANS.

“No, sir,” Caitlin told him, “that would’ve been the school principal. She told Dispatch you’d come here to collect some of her students.”

She let her gaze drift to a windowless black truck that looked like a reconfigured SWAT transport vehicle.

“Just following orders, Ranger. Doing our job just like you.”

“My job is to keep the peace, sir.”

“Ours too, so I’m going to assume you’re going to assist our efforts, given that we’re on the same side here.”

“What side would that be?”

Orleans snarled again, seeming to pump air into a head Caitlin figure might’ve been confused for a basketball. “United States government, ma’am.”

“I work for Texas, sir, and the principal told me all the kids you came for were born on Lone Star soil.”

“That’s for a court to decide.”

“Maybe. And, you’re right, the both of us are here because we’ve got a job to do and I respect that, sir, I truly do. My problem is it’s never right in my mind for adults to involve children in somebody else’s mess.”

Canyon Ridge Elementary was located on Stone Oak Parkway, part of San Antonio’s North East Independent School district and featured a comfortable mix of Caucasian and Hispanic students in keeping with the city’s general demographics. The building featured a rounded arch entry where Caitlin could see any number of faces, both child and adult, pressed against the glass. She also glimpsed a heavy chain looped through the double doors to prevent entry, although numerous chairs, boxes, and what looked like an overturned cafeteria table had been piled into place as well. Caitlin pictured similar chains and barricades barring entry at any of the other doors as well, the eyes of both children and adults alike gaping with hope at her arrival through the glass.

“As a Texas Ranger,” Orleans responded finally, “you enjoy a degree of discretion I don’t have. I wish I did, but I don’t. And as long as I don’t, I’ve got orders to follow and that’s where my discretion begins and ends.”

“Where are you from, sir?”

“Not around here, that’s for sure. Does it matter?”

“That ICE is about to take six US citizens, all under the age of ten, into custody matters a lot,” Caitlin told him. “Some might even call it kidnapping.”

“Did you really just say that?”

“Like I said, I’m only trying to keep the peace. Exercise that discretion you mentioned.”

“It’s not your jurisdiction.”

“San Antonio was still part of Texas last time I checked.”

Orleans’ spine stiffened, making him look taller. “Not today, as far as you’re concerned. You don’t want to push this any farther than you already have, Ranger, believe me.”

“It’s about the law, sir—you just said that too. See, the Texas Rangers maintain no Intergovernmental Service Agreement with ICE; neither does the city of San Antonio. And, according to the city’s detainer agreement, a local police officer has to be present whenever you’re staging a raid. And I don’t currently see an officer on site.”

“That’s because this isn’t a raid.”

“What would you call it then?”

Orleans’ face was getting red, taking on the look of sunbaked skin. “There’s a local inside the building now.”

“Right, the school resource officer. What was his name again?”

Orleans worked his mouth around, as if he were chewing the inside of his cheeks.

Caitlin cast her gaze toward the pair of black, unmarked Humvees that must’ve brought the ICE officials here. “You got assault rifles stored in those trucks, sir?”

“Never know when you might need them.”

“Sure, against fourth graders wielding spitballs. Report I got said those and the fifth graders helped barricade the doors.”

“So arrest them and let us do our jobs,” Orleans sneered, his shoulders seeming to widen within the bonds of his flak jacket.

“Be glad to, once you produce the official paperwork that brought you this far.”

“We can give you the names of the students we’re here to detain, Ranger.”

“What about warrants, court orders, something that passes for official?”

Orleans shook his head. “Not necessary.”

“It is for me.” Caitlin took a step closer to him, watching his gaze dip to the SIG Sauer 9-millimeter pistol holstered to her belt.

“Don’t make me the bad guy here, Ranger. I’m doing my job, just like you. You may not like it, all these protesters might not like it, but I don’t suppose they’d disobey the orders of their superiors any more than I can.”

“I know you don’t make the rules, sir, and I respect that, to the point where I have a suggestion: Why don’t you stand down and give me a chance to fetch the kids you’re after from inside before somebody gets hurt?”

A skeptical Orleans nodded stiffly. “Sounds like you’ve come to your senses, Ranger.”

“Never lost them, sir. You’re right about orders and mine were to diffuse the situation through whatever means necessary. That’s what I’m trying to do here. The lawyers can sort things out from that point.”

Orleans hedged a bit. “I didn’t figure something like this fell under Ranger domain.”

“This is Texas, sir. Everything falls under our domain. In this case, we can make that work to your advantage.”

Orleans nodded, his expression dour. “The doors were already chained and barricaded when we got here, Ranger. That means somebody tipped the school off we were coming, even fed them the names of the kids we were coming to pick up.”

“It wasn’t the Rangers,” Caitlin assured him.

“No, but somebody in the Department of Public Safety must’ve been behind the leak after we informed them of our intentions as a courtesy.”

“That’s a separate issue you need to take up with DPS, sir. For now, how about we dial things back a few notches so the two of us can just do our jobs?”

“That sounds good to me, Ranger. The United States government thanks you for your support.”

Caitlin stopped halfway to the school entrance beneath the curved archway and looked back. “Don’t confuse what I’m doing with support, Agent Orleans. When things go from bad to worse, blood often gets spilled. What do you say we do our best to keep the street dry today?”

 

CHAPTER 2

San Antonio, Texas

Caitlin watched the school’s principal, Mariana Alonzo, unfasten the chains after enough of the makeshift barricade had been removed to allow one of the entry doors to open.

“Thanks for coming, Ranger,” Alonzo greeted, locking the chain back into place.

“I’m sure your sister would have preferred intervening herself, ma’am.”

Alonzo swallowed hard. “Did you mean what you said out there, that you’re going to deliver the kids to ICE?”

“I also said I was here to diffuse the situation through any means necessary.”

Mariana’s Alonzo’s sister Conseulo was a former San Antonio police captain and deputy chief currently climbing the law enforcement ladder at the Department of Public Safety in Austin. She’d called Caitlin immediately after first getting word of ICE’s pending arrival at Canyon Ridge Elementary, though not before alerting her sister to what was coming.

“All six of these kids are honor students, Ranger,” the school principal noted.

“This kind of thing would be just as wrong even if they weren’t, ma’am. I imagine your sister believed that more than anyone. I’m surprised she didn’t come here herself, instead of calling me.”

Now, an hour after that call, the sister of DPS’s Deputy Police Commissioner was looking at Caitlin with the same hope she’d glimpsed on the faces of the kids pressed against the glass.

“She wanted to,” Principal Alonzo said, “but I wasn’t about to let her throw her career away. Then she told me she had another idea. Nobody messes with the Texas Rangers, right?”

“Your sister and I go back a ways, ma’am,” Caitlin told her, not bothering to add that not all their interactions had been positive.

Alonzo steered Caitlin away from the throng of children unable to take their eyes off her badge and gun to a corner of the hall. They stopped beneath an air conditioning baffle blowing bursts of frigid air.

“What now, Ranger?”

“Where are the children, ma’am?”

“In my office,” Alonzo said, tilting her gaze toward an open door through which Caitlin spotted a pair of school secretaries busy fielding a nonstop flurry of phone calls behind their desks. “Be nice to keep as much of a lid on this as possible.”

Caitlin weighed her options. “That lid got blown off when your sister called me in on this. I don’t figure on ICE breaking down the doors, but they’ll wait us out for as long as it takes. Means we need to find a way to take these kids out of their reach.”

“Is that even possible?”

“I’ve got a couple of ideas.”

***

“You want to do what?” D. W. Tepper, captain of Ranger Company G, blared over the phone.

Caitlin pictured him reaching for a cigarette. “You heard me, Captain.”

“Well, that’s a new one, anyway.”

“First time for everything.”

“Our necks better be made of Silly Putty, if we’re going to stick them out this far.”

“Not the first time for that at all. And put down the Marlboro, D.W.”

“Jeeze, Ranger, what are you, psychic now, like that seven-foot Venezuelan giant of yours?”

“Speaking of Colonel Paz . . .”

 

CHAPTER 3

San Antonio, Texas

Twenty minutes and another phone call later, Caitlin inspected the three-page document Principal Mariana Alonzo had printed off an email attachment she’d just received.

“You Rangers sure work fast,” she complimented.

“Always been our way,” Caitlin told her, folding the document in thirds so the proper section was face out, “long before there was any such thing as email or even electricity.”

“You ever wonder what it was like ranging in those days?”

“Strongs have been Rangers almost as long as there’s been a Texas. I never really had to wonder, since I’ve heard all the stories about their exploits.”

“I’ve heard of your grandfather, your father too.”

“Well, ma’am, my great-grandad William Ray and my great-great-grandad Steeldust Jack had their share of adventures too.”

“I’d love to have you back some time to talk about that history to our students.”

“Let’s take care of the ones I came here about today first,” Caitlin said, pocketing the now tri-folded set of pages.

***

“You sure about this, Ranger?” Mariana Alonzo said to Caitlin, after bringing the six students from Canyon Ridge Elementary that ICE officers had come to collect from her office to the main lobby, just out of sight from the barricaded entrance.

Caitlin ran her hand through the hair of a trembling girl who looked all of ten years old, then used a tissue to wipe the tear stains from the cheeks of a boy who was all of nine.

“As sure as I am that if we don’t do something fast, ICE might breach the building.”

“What happens then?”

“This is still Texas and I’m still a Texas Ranger, ma’am. Just ask your sister.”

“I did, after she told me you were coming.”

“What’d she say?”

“To stay out of your way. That everything I’d heard was true.”

Caitlin bristled. “I wouldn’t put much stock in those stories. The press is prone to exaggeration.”

Alonzo nodded. “She told me you’d say that too.”

Caitlin felt the boy whose cheeks she’d swiped clean tug at her sleeve.

“Are you going to save us from the bad men?”

She knelt so they were eye-to-eye and laid her hands on his shoulders. “What’s your name, son?”

“Diego. I’m scared.”

“Well, Diego, let me show you what happens to men who scare little kids.”

***

The bald ICE agent named Orleans smirked when Caitlin emerged from the school entrance with the six children ICE had come to collect in tow, school principal Mariana Alonzo bringing up the rear. Cameras clacked and whirred, as she brushed aside microphones thrust in her face.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?” Orleans said, once Caitlin reached him, her charges gathered protectively behind her. “Good thing you came to your senses. If it makes you feel any better, I hate this part of the job as much as anybody.”

“I hope that’s the case, Agent, I truly do.” Caitlin eased the document Captain Tepper had just emailed from her pocket. “Because this is a duly executed warrant naming these six children as material witnesses to a crime, subject to protection by the Texas Rangers until such time they are called to testify.”

Orleans started to turn red. Caitlin could feel the heat radiating through his uniform, dragging an odor that reminded her of a gym bag with yesterday’s dank workout clothes still stuffed inside.

“You lied to me, Ranger.”

“No, I didn’t, sir. I told you I was here to diffuse the situation and that’s what I’m doing. I said I’d fetch the kids from inside before somebody got hurt, and that’s exactly what I did.”

“You mean, nobody’s been hurt yet, Ranger.” With that, Orleans snatched the warrant from her grasp. “This is bullshit and you know it,” he said, having barely regarded it.

“That’s not for either of us to say, sir. It’s for a court to decide now.”

“You want to tell me what crime exactly these six suspects are material witness to?”

“Did you just call them suspects?”

“Answer my question, Ranger.”

“I’m not at liberty to say, sir. It’s a confidential investigation.”

Orleans turned his gaze on the imposing group of five armed men dressed in black tactical garb behind him, then looked back at Caitlin and smirked again. “So you think we’re just going to let you parade these subjects past us all by yourself? You really think we’re going to just back down and stand aside?”

The blistering roar of an engine almost drowned out his last words, as an extended cab pickup truck riding massive tires tore onto the scene and spun to a halt between the ICE agents and their Humvees. The springs recoiled, as a huge figure with a pair of M4 assault rifles shouldered behind him emerged from the cab, towering over those he passed, including the men with I-C-E embroidered on their jackets.

“This is Colonel Guillermo Paz,” Caitlin told Orleans, “an agent of Homeland Security, just like you, sir. He’s going to help me parade these ‘suspects’ past you.”

***

“Colonel Gee!” a first-grade boy beamed, coming up only to Paz’s waist as he hugged him tight before Paz could lift him into the backseat of his truck. “You remember me from pre-school?”

“Of course I do, Marcus.”

“Do you still work there?”

“No, I moved on. I do that a lot. Learn what I can from a place and then try another.”

“I miss you, Colonel Gee. You never finished the story of what you did to those bad men who tried to hurt you when you went home for your mommy’s funeral.”

“They’re not alive anymore, Marcus.”

“Really?”

Paz fixed his gaze on the ICE agents who’d edged closer, weighing their options. “It’s what happens to bad men.”

***

“Thank you, Colonel,” Caitlin said through the window, eyes even with Paz’s in the driver’s seat.

“’The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.’”

“Robert Kennedy?”

Paz’s eyes widened. “I’m impressed, Ranger.”

“Just a lucky guess.”

“Edward Bulwer-Lytton didn’t believe in luck. He called it a fancy name for being always at the ready when needed.”

“Describes the two of us pretty well, I suppose.” Caitlin looked at the four kids squeezed into the big pickup’s backseat, Diego and Marcus in the front staring wide-eyed at the giant behind the wheel. “You know where to take them.”

Paz cast his gaze back toward the ICE agents, frozen in place fifteen feet away with scowls plastered across their expressions. “And if they follow?”

“They won’t get very far,” Caitlin told him. “Principal Alonzo yanked out the valve stems on their tires while we were loading the kids.”

***

Caitlin’s phone rang with a call from Captain Tepper, just as Guillermo Paz was driving off and the ICE agents were discovering their flat tires.

“Now who’s psychic, Captain?” she greeted. “Kids are safe and I didn’t even have to shoot anybody.”

“Good thing you saved your bullets, Ranger, ‘cause there’s somewhere else you need to be right now. A town in the desert called Camino Pass, formerly with a population of two hundred and eighty-eight according to the last census.”

“Formerly?”

“Looks like they’re all dead, Ranger. Each and every one of them.”

***

Excerpt from Strong from the Heart by Jon Land. Copyright 2020 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.


~~~

 

Author Bio:

Jon Land

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of fifty-two books, including eleven featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. The critically acclaimed series has won more than a dozen awards, including the 2019 International Book Award for Best Thriller for Strong as Steel. He also writes the CAPITAL CRIMES series and received the 2019 Rhode Island Authors Legacy Award for his lifetime of literary achievements. A graduate of Brown University, Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Catch Up With Jon Land On:
JonLandBooks.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!


~~~

 

Tour Participants:

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

~~~

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be five (5) winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 17, 2020 and runs through September 20, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#AudioTour “Toro” by Andrew Avner

Toro is the story of a cow who wants to run like a bull in Pamplona.

Author: Andrew Avner

Narrators: Brad Raider, George Spielvogel, Malili Dib, Yolanda Corrales, Leila Cohen, Andrew Avner

Length: 2 hours and 57 minutes

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Released: Jun. 26, 2020

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

ToroA story that evokes beloved films such as Babe and Ratatouille.Alicía Catalina Cortés is a fast and fiery Spanish cow who desperately wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona – but since she’s a cow, tradition forbids her to partake in the fiesta of San Fermín. Through her journey, Alicía learns that to be noble and brave, she must follow her dream and her heart, even if it means defying tradition.Toro is set in the colorful backdrop of Pamplona, Spain during the fiesta of San Fermín and the running of the bulls, famed as one of the most exhilarating, dangerous, and spectacular events around the world.

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Andrew Avner graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. After working in Manhattan with Academy Award-winning producer David Brown, Avner relocated to Los Angeles to develop his own original material. He’s currently writing and producing short films for The Walt Disney Company while penning his next novel.

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Narrator Bio

Brad Raider (Narrator) Brad Raider is an actor, filmmaker, and meditation teacher living in Los Angeles. In addition to Toro, he’s voiced video games, cartoons, and industrials. His award-winning feature film, Kensho at the Bedfellow, is streaming free on Amazon Prime: https://amzn.to/345rhXD.

George Spielvogel (Don Murciélago Cortés, Jesús de los Jabalíes, Montie, Junior, Slim, Santiago, The Veedor, The Ganadero, Gallito, Zurito, The President of the Bullring) George Spielvogel, also known as MC Whack, has been performing for audiences since childhood. While still in his early teens, he starred in a touring children’s theatre group and went on to earn degrees from both the Meisner Studio and the Strasberg Institute at New York University. Spielvogel was the creative producer on the hit staged parody Point Break Live. He continues to produce independent content and work as a voice-over actor in Los Angeles.

Malili Dib (Alicía Catalina Cortés) Born in Puebla, Mexico, Malili Dib was discovered by producer Pedro Torres, who cast her in the popular television series Mujeres Asesinas. She soon went on to land a major recurring role in the Mexican version of Gossip Girl. After graduating with honors from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, Dib relocated to Los Angeles where she currently resides. Her film credits include Melancolía, co-starring Alessandra Rosaldo and Plutarco Haza, Your Iron Lady, co-starring Victoria del Rosal and Yul Bürkle, Valentina by up-and-coming director Jorge Xolalpa Jr., and The Restoration by award-winning Peruvian director Alonso Llosa.

Leila Cohen (Condesa Maria Del Toro, Doña Madonna de Doñana) Leila Cohen left Brazil when she was eighteen and bounced around the globe before settling down in Los Angeles. She received a degree in Performance and Visual Arts from Brighton University and went on to train at Central School of Speech in Drama in London and Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. Cohen recently completed a Film and Television Screenwriting Comprehensive at UCLA and co-founded a production company with her sister, aptly named Cohen Sisters Productions.

Yolanda Corrales (Young Alicía, Waitress from the Basque country, Rosalita) Yolanda Corrales is a Spanish actress based in Los Angeles. Her career began as a professional dancer in the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. Eventually, she traveled to Mexico to work on acclaimed television series such as Juana Inés, José José: El Príncipe de la Canción, and Luis Miguel: The Series. Corrales has also performed in theatre and film and has appeared in more than one hundred commercials around the world.

Andrew Avner (Diego Del Toro, Don Julián Hernández, Billy Ray, Municipal Veterinarian, El Miguel)   

Character Interview banner

INTERVIEW WITH ALICÍA CATALINA CORTÉS
  1.     Where and when were you born?

I was born in the province of Seville just before sunrise.

  1.     Are you right- or left-handed?

As a bovine, I’m left-horned. Almost every cow or bull uses one horn more than the other, and that horn’s called the master horn.

  1.     What is your hair—I mean, what is your coat color and eye color?

My coat is gray like my father’s hide, and my eyes are brown.

  1.     Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

Optimistic.

  1.     How do you measure success?

Contentment.

  1.     How do you measure failure?

Discontentment.

  1.     Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?

(Antagonistically) What are you insinuating? Are you calling me irascible? (Smiling) I’m only joking. (Laughing) Let’s just say I’m not prone to shy away from conflict.

  1.     What is your most treasured possession?

My cowbell’s my most treasured possession. It once belonged to my mother, who I never met. But I was named after her, and I’m told she was much like me.

  1.     Who’s the funniest animal you know?

Jesús, the hog. Hoofs down, he’s the funniest animal I know.

  1. How do you deal with stress?

I run. Running helps clear my mind and dispels my stress.

STORY NOTES

Theme: To be noble and brave is to have the courage to follow your dream and your heart.

Alicía’s Outer Conflict/What She Wants: She’s a cow who wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona—but it’s the running of the bulls—not the running of the cows. Due to Spanish tradition and her overprotective father, Alicía’s forbidden to partake in the encierro, which is the running of the bulls. Instead, she’s expected to go along with a prearranged marriage to Don Julián.

Why Does She Want to Run? Not only is Alicía a natural sprinter, born nimble with talent and passion, but the running of the bulls is a way for her to prove herself noble and brave to her father and finally gain his respect and approval. Furthermore, it’s a way out of her prearranged marriage to Don Julián.

Alicía’s Inner Conflict: Through her journey, Alicía struggles to balance her personal goal (running with the bulls) and her relationship with Diego. At what price is she willing to run with the bulls? In order to achieve her personal goal, she deceives Diego. As she grows close to him and their romance blossoms, she’s forced to rethink her priorities. Ultimately, her internal struggle is one of personal ambition versus love—to balance a sense of self and a sense of togetherness.

Lesson Learned: Alicía learns that to be noble and brave is to have the courage to follow her dream and her heart. She realizes that her relationship with Diego is more important than her personal goal of running with the bulls. Ultimately, love is triumphant, and Alicía is willing to sacrifice her life to save Diego.

How Alicía’s Story Relates to the Theme: The theme is what Alicía learns through the course of her journey. By following her dream she’s led to follow her heart. By following her heart, Alicía goes on an odyssey of self-discovery, whereby she learns what is truly important—love.

Audience Relatability: Everyone has a dream. Everyone wants to love and be loved. We all try to balance a sense of self with a sense of togetherness, personal goals with relationships, business with family, selfishness with selflessness.

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#BookSale “Zoey Matthews, the Unwanted Ghost, and the Cursed Manuscript (A Bridgeport Mystery Book 2)” by Heather Elizabeth King

Could you face your greatest fear?

The holiday season is in full swing and the only thing Zoey wants to do is get to know her new boyfriend better. But when a ghost shows up at her loft with the name of her killer on her lips, Zoey knows she’s being pulled into another mystery. This one is more puzzling than the last. According to police, the woman died of natural causes, but people who were nearby claim to have heard the victim screaming for help before she died. When a second body turns up, killed in the same manner, Zoey knows Bridgeport has another killer on its hands.

Helping Zoey get to the bottom of things are a meddling ghost, a paranormal investigator, and Zoey’s two best girlfriends. When Zoey finds herself in the crosshairs of the killer, she knows time is running out.

Zoey Matthews, the Unwanted Ghost, and the Cursed Manuscript is the second book in an urban fantasy series that features an engaging mystery, a cast of supernatural characters, a few alluring men, and a heroine who may be afraid of ghosts, but still manages to get the job done.

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Warning: Contains adult language, a bit of sex, and a few really creepy characters

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Book 1 is also 99c!


#BookSale “The Final Game” by Caimh McDonnell

Dorothy Graham is dead, which is inconvenient, not least for her. Luckily, she has planned for this eventuality. Now, if any of the truly dreadful people she is related to want to get their hands on her money, they’re going to have to do so via a fiendish difficult and frankly bizarre competition of Dorothy’s devising. After all, just because you’re dead, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a last laugh at the expense of people who made your life miserable.

Paul Mulchrone, to his unending credit, is neither related to Dorothy or happy that she is dead; What he is however is a contestant in this competition whether he likes it or not, which he definitely doesn’t. He and his off-again on-again girlfriend, the formidable Brigit, are supposed to be running MCM Investigations, a detective agency. Instead, they have to go into battle against Dorothy’s bloodsucking relatives. As if that wasn’t enough, they get hired by the aforementioned dead woman to find out who killed her.

DI Jimmy Stewart is enjoying his retirement – in the sense that he definitely isn’t. He is bored out of his mind. When the offer comes to get back into the crime solving business, it is too good to turn down. But when he finds himself teamed up with the nephew of a man he threw in prison, and a flatulent dog, he starts to think that taking up lawn bowls wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. 

The Final Game is a standalone crime novel perfect for readers new to Caimh McDonnell’s blackly comic take on his hometown, as featured in the international bestselling Dublin Trilogy books. His previous works have been optioned for TV and nominated for awards, which they somehow keep managing not to win.

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#BookSale “Killing The Girl: A story of murder and redemption” by Elizabeth Hill

A perfect life, a perfect love – and a perfect murder.

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.

She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to face justice, then they will too.

Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who had abandoned her.

NetGalley reviews for Killing The Girl


‘I was so entertained by this book. There was an unexpected soulfulness as many of us may be able to relate to an intense but doomed first love.’
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