#BookBlitz “Pickoff: A Novel (America’s Pastime, Book 3)” by GP Hutchinson

pickoff

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America’s Pastime, Book 3

Sports Thriller, Crime Thriller, Romantic Thriller

Published: April 2021

Publisher: The Hutchinson Group

A ballplayer. A diva. The mob. Trouble, 1920s style.

Ace major league catcher Joe Rath suddenly finds himself riding the pine when team management decides they’ve got to have slugger Frank Walsh on the roster. Only, Walsh brings along more baggage than anybody bargains for.

Meanwhile, Rath’s troubles multiply. With his wife already discontent back home, he keeps bumping into a certain breathtaking showgirl whose dangerous situation he can’t ignore. A Chicago crime boss enters the picture, and things snowball.

Before he knows it, Rath finds himself not only running the base paths but also running for his life.

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Excerpt from Chapter 3 of GP Hutchinson’s Pickoff

Just then, a lone spotlight came on, casting its smoky beam to the baby grand piano on stage. As the piano player commenced the introduction to a slower number, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in a glittering silver dress drifted into the curve of the piano.

Pinky’s jaw fell open. “Hubba hubba,” he murmured.

Hubba hubba, indeed, Joe mused.

She began to sing, and her voice was as captivating as her appearance. “There’s a saying old, says that love is blind . . . ”

This is that new Gershwin song.” Pinky wiped his lips with the back of his hand.

Shhh.”

Pinky stared at him. “You’re a married man, Joe. You need to leave this one to me.”

He was right, of course. But that voice.

Only man I ever think of with regret . . . ”

Joe stood spellbound. The girl was stunning—fashionable waves crimped into her chin-length hair, smoky eyes, perfect lips. She made the melody ebb and flow, seemingly without effort. Yet just beneath the surface, there was something he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

In a fuller voice, the lovely diva carried the tune along to its elegant chorus. And all of a sudden, there it was. “I’m a little lamb who’s lost in a wood . . . ”

That was it—an air of vulnerability, Joe thought. Despite the aura of sophisticated sensuality, something in the way she held her hands, something in the way she rendered each phrase said she wasn’t so secure.

Come on, he said to himself. How do you know that? It’s a song about a woman in need—

Someone to Watch Over Me.’ That’s the way she’s gotta sing it.Nevertheless, he couldn’t shake the notion. He knew insecurity. He’d felt it himself in some ball games. He’d picked up on it in other ballplayers, even called for a certain pitch to take advantage of it when he sensed it in a batter.

The song ended, and the room resounded with applause.

The girl gave a demure smile, a bashful bow. And then she sashayed off the stage to a dark fellow in a dark suit who gave her his arm and led her through a curtained doorway.

Wow!” Pinky’s gaze was still on the curtains. “I’ll watch over you, sweetheart. Come to Papa.”

Joe glanced Pinky’s way. “Wipe your chin, buddy. You’re drooling.”

Pinky ran his fingers over his chin, then looked Joe in the eyes. “Whatcha talking about, funny guy? Dry as a bone. Anyway”—he pointed—“I saw the way you were looking at her, too. Don’t make me have to tell the little missus back in Baltimore your eyes are wandering when you’re off away from home.”

He knew Pinky was only kidding. Nonetheless, he was right. Mena was already bothered by all their time apart. Joe wondered whether she secretly feared he might fall for some pretty young doll he met along the way and return to Baltimore with divided affections.

One more beer,” he said, “then I’m gonna ankle it back to the hotel, call it a night.”

Hey, I was only joking about you and Miss Little Lost Lamb. Don’t you wanna stick around and see if she’s gonna sing another number?” Pinky clasped Joe’s shoulder.

I don’t know . . . ”

Really. Why hurry off? It’s not like you and me are gonna work a lot of innings tomorrow.”

A flurry of thoughts whirled through Joe’s mind—Mena, the singer, asking Cap Irwin to trade him to a team where he’d have a shot at becoming a star catcher once again. “Probably not,” he admitted.

There you go, then. Let’s get us another coupla drinks.”

Just one more.

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About the Author

“GP Hutchinson has the gift to tell a compelling tale, enlighten you without preaching and keep you on the edge of your seat. He takes you on unexpected trails populated by flesh and blood characters of depth and substance,” says Western TV & movie star Alex Cord. Nick Wale of Novel Ideas says, “With great mastery GP Hutchinson paints a West I can see, feel and smell. [He] knows how to write, and he knows instinctively.”

Hutchinson’s first Western novel, “Strong Convictions,” won the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award for Best First Western of 2015, as well as a gold medal from the National Indie Excellence Awards. “Strong Suspicions,” the second volume in the Emmett Strong Western series, garnered a gold medal in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. And “Strong Ambitions” took silver in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

In addition to his interest in the Old West, GP Hutchinson has been a longtime enthusiast of baseball, America’s first true national pastime, a game played from coast to coast by the late 1800s. While he enjoys the game as it is played today, his most recent novels are tales of players caught up in life-and-death struggles during the early years of professional baseball. Steeped in the actual history of the game, as well as societal realities of the times, these stories feature both fictional and actual characters, teams, and leagues.

A graduate of Louisiana State University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Hutchinson has lived in Costa Rica and Spain. He currently resides in upstate South Carolina with his wife, Carolyn. Besides writing, he enjoys spending time in the mountains and horseback riding whenever the opportunity arises

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#GuestBlogger Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Everett Kinkade from “A Secret Match” by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Meet the Character Day” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each “Behind the Scenes” blog, I talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. The “Meet the Character Day” blogs are fun chats with the heroes and heroines from my romances. Warning: blogs may contain spoilers.

A Secret Match cover

Hello romance lovers! Today we’re chatting with Everett Kinkade, the hero from A Secret Match by Kelli A. Wilkins. Let’s see what’s on Everett’s mind…

Greetings, Everett. A Secret Match is a contemporary gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

Absolutely, and please, call me Ev. Kelli got the idea for this story while she was writing A Deceptive Match, her straight romance that also takes place in the wrestling world. I was a secondary character in that book. I helped the hero (Vin) and the heroine (Danni) get together. Vin is my best friend, so I acted as a soundboard/matchmaker for him and Danni.

While Kelli was writing A Deceptive Match, she knew I needed my own book, but she wasn’t exactly sure what the storyline would be. Then one day on the way to work, the majority of the plot popped into her head, and she was off and writing. She says I’m one of those characters who tries to take over a book. (Laughs) And why not? I’m charming, and witty, and handsome. Who wouldn’t want to read about my life?

A big part of the novel centers around me dealing (or rather, not dealing) with my sexuality and my (un)willingness to be open about who I really am. My longtime partner, Josh, is tired of being kept in my “walk-in closet” and wants me to come out (at least to friends and family) but I’m concerned about losing my job. (Will fans accept a gay wrestler?) Part of me wanted to keep everything just as it was because that’s safe. But another part of me longed to stop pretending and hiding the truth. 

Do you sometimes want to strangle Kelli? What sort of upsetting things did Kelli do to you in the book?

At times, yes! The book starts off great, but within the first two scenes, all hell breaks loose. Josh tells me he’s tired of being my little secret, and wants me to come out. That caught me off guard and it was something I was not at all comfortable with. (Kelli loves jumping right into conflict!) So, Josh gave me an ultimatum. (Sighs) Things didn’t go well for us, and I was devastated. Only one person knew about Josh, so I turned to my best friend, Vin, for help and advice.

Over the course of the book I had to come to terms with accepting myself for who I am, what I am, and how I’m perceived by the wrestling fans, my coworkers, and everyone else. Being an openly gay wrestler was something I didn’t sign up for, and Kelli threw me into a lion’s den! I did eventually come out—not once, but twice!—on live TV. That changed everything and took the story in a whole new direction.

Looking back, I realize it was for the best and Kelli knew exactly what she was doing, but at the time, I was physically hurt, emotionally wrecked, confused, and pretty pissed. Vin and Danni helped me through all the turmoil, and Josh stood by me when I needed him most.

What is it about Josh that makes you crazy in a good way?

He likes to drive me nuts on purpose. He enjoys teasing me and pushing my buttons and my boundaries. But it’s always in a positive way, for my own good. He’ll deliberately force me to come out of my shell and open up to new people and new experiences. And I love him dearly for it.

Was there an instant attraction between you?

Yes and no. I met Josh at the gym—but it wasn’t a gym hookup. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye and thought he was cute, but I was so deep in the closet I didn’t dare approach him. Josh asked me for training advice and we got to know each other in a casual way. Then one night he asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat, and the rest is… in the book! (Laughs)

Kelli did an excellent job of working my first meeting (and first kiss) with Josh into the book. They are some of the most sensual, tender scenes she’s ever written. I was incredibly nervous and unsure of myself, and Josh was there to put me at ease.

Tell us a little bit about your world. What are your greatest challenges?

I’m on the road wrestling about 300 days a year, so one of my greatest challenges is maintaining my relationship with Josh. We don’t see each other all the time, but we’re constantly talking on the phone and sharing photos. When Josh has time off from work he comes on the road with me and we hang out before my matches. It’s not easy (okay, it’s almost impossible) to have a “normal” home life, but we do the best we can—and we make the most of the time we have together.

Describe yourself in four words.

Sensitive, strong, sexy, wiseass.

Do readers need to be wresting fans to enjoy A Secret Match?
Nope! Wrestling is the setting or backdrop to the main romance. Kelli wrote the story in a way to help non-wrestling fans understand the moves, terminology, and action. So they won’t be confused or lost.

Kelli says the only difference between A Secret Match and other contemporary gay romances is that the story is about wrestlers instead of more “traditional” characters, like police officers, Navy SEALs, FBI agents etc. She could have written a similar gay romance about another sport (like hockey or basketball) but she chose wrestling because she’s been a life-long wrestling fan, and it’s what she knows and loves.

Okay, tell us the truth. Are the characters in the book based on real wrestlers?

Nope. Kelli gets asked this all the time, and I’m here to say emphatically none of the characters in the book are based 100% on any one wrestler. Kelli drew upon her years of wrestling knowledge and took bits and pieces of different wrestlers to create the people in the story. I’m drawn from at least five different guys. Even Nick August isn’t completely based on a famous “billionaire” wrestling promoter and owner. He’s close, but even he’s not 100%.

What do you and Kelli think of wrestling’s popularity these days?

We’re loving it! The wrestling world is getting lots of exposure and is certainly part of popular culture. There has been a recent wave of wrestler biographies, crossover shows featuring wrestlers, and wrestlers guest-starring on reality shows. Maybe we started a trend, because now people want to see behind-the-scenes shows of what goes on in the ring, out of the ring, and what happens backstage that fans never know. It’s an interesting business, for sure.

Anything else you want to add?

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with everyone. I’m grateful to Kelli for sharing my story with the world. And I’m pleased to help her promote it during Pride month. A Secret Match isn’t just a “wrestling story” or a typical romance loaded with sex scenes, it’s a sensitive, coming out story that resonates with all types of romance readers; straight, gay, or whatever.

A Secret Match is a fantastic story, and it’s Kelli’s favorite gay romance. Anyone who likes a good love story/romance should read the book. And you don’t have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy the book. But you might become one after you read it! (Laughs)

If gay romances aren’t your thing, I urge you to check out the book that introduced me to readers, A Deceptive Match. It’s a hot romance and a fun behind-the-scenes look into the world of professional wrestling.

Kelli has written romances in all genres—historical, paranormal, contemporary, gay, and straight—but they all have two things in common—they’re all unique stories, and they’re anything but boring! I hope you’ll check them out. I plan on reading her other two gay romances, Four Days with Jack and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing.

I invite readers to catch up on all of Kelli’s romances and visit her on social media. If you missed a blog, you can catch up here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

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A SECRET MATCH

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

Order A Secret Match here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FERW65A

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/md6rZb

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-secret-match

 

Don’t miss the book that introduced Ev to fans… A Deceptive Match:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F18X3XQ

All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3RB96j

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-deceptive-match

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 3 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

She released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing in early 2021. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

In 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

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#Featured “Shadow Purgers (2 book series)” by N. Phillips

Shadows of Our Sins: (Shadow Purgers Series, Book 1)

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What is your deepest desire?

An unknown phenomenon has given people the power to manifest their deepest desires at will. However, the blessing of instant gratification comes with a curse: demons that manipulate aspirations into sin.

After losing her brother to a school shooter under demonic influence, seventeen-year-old Aliyah Dawn yearns for a better tomorrow in a city of violence and corruption. In hopes of protecting her family, friends, and her boyfriend, she is given the power to purge demons and undo the curse before humanity succumbs to its own sins.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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Shadows of Our Society: (Shadow Purgers Series, Book 1.5)

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The curse continues.

The negative desires of humanity have manifested into reality, causing savagery, destruction, and sin.

For sixteen-year-old Zayn Campbell, this reality is nothing new.

Haunted by the traumatic death of his father, Zayn lives in a nightmare where dreams cannot exist. With only his love for music and aspirations for change, he will attempt to battle the demons in his head and purge the Shadows of our society.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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#ReleaseBlitz “Margaritas at the Beach House Hotel” by Judith Keim

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The Beach House Hotel Series, Book Five

Contemporary Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release Date: June 24, 2021

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

An upscale hotel like The Beach House Hotel sometimes attracts surprise guests….

Ann and Rhonda continue overseeing their Beach House Hotel along the Gulf Coast of Florida and providing guests with a lovely experience of good eating, relaxation, and the privacy many of them require. When Vice President of the United States, Amelia Swanson, asks them for a favor, Ann and Rhonda agree without realizing it means protecting Amelia’s sister from an abusive husband and a nosy public, including their nemesis, Brock Goodwin, who hopes to gain something from the knowledge. But once they’ve said yes, there’s no going back.

Life continues at a busy pace with their families growing baby by baby. Nell, Vaughn’s daughter, has a baby girl; Rhonda’s daughter, Angela, has her second baby, a girl; and Liz, Ann’s daughter, is desperately trying to get pregnant. With all the tension and activity taking place at home and at the hotel, Ann and Rhonda meet in the afternoon when they can for margaritas and private talk. Rhonda, especially, needs Ann’s guidance in how to handle Katherine Smythe, Angela’s mother-in-law, and one of the most irritating people they know.

After they have what Rhonda calls a “near-death experience,” they come to realize how lucky they are. And when another wedding takes place at the hotel due to what Rhonda believes is her matchmaking skills, they celebrate life and margaritas at The Beach House Hotel in a whole different way.

This is a light-hearted, fun beach read with characters readers love. Be sure and read all the other books in this series: Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel, Lunch at The Beach House Hotel, Dinner at The Beach House Hotel, Christmas at The Beach House Hotel, and the upcoming Dessert at The Beach House Hotel.

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~ Other Books in the The Beach House Hotel Series ~

Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996435017

ASIN: B00YD5X6NG

Lunch at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996863766

ASIN: B01F6LRPAA

Dinner at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996863780

ASIN: B01MFCEC1Q

Christmas at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0998282459

ASIN: B075CBZ21S

Amazon

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Excerpt

Ready?” asked my business partner, Rhonda DelMonte Grayson, on this early April morning on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

I stopped typing on the computer and turned to her with a grin. “As ready as I ever will be.”

Wearing a yellow caftan that went with her hair, Rhonda waved me up and out of my chair with a grin that lit her face and had her dark eyes sparkling. “Then let’s get this show on the road! It’s not every day a vice president visits The Beach House Hotel.”

I rose and looped my arm through Rhonda’s, and we headed out to the front lobby to greet the latest VIP to come to our upscale hotel.

As we stepped outside to wait for our guest, the spring day greeted us with a kiss of sunny warmth. A soft breeze bobbed the colorful blossoms on the hibiscus bushes that lined the front of the hotel, softening the edges of the pink-stucco, two-story building that stood like royalty at the water’s sandy edge.

Seems like old times, huh?” said Rhonda, grinning at me as we approached the entrance.

I’ll say.” Five years ago, when we’d first opened the hotel, Rhonda and I had greeted our guests like this at the front steps of the hotel, welcoming them personally as much as possible. Hospitality, discretion, and service were the three things we still relied upon to maintain the hotel’s fine reputation. A warm welcome to the property was a must.

I studied her. When I’d first met Rhonda, I’d thought the large, colorful, bossy woman, who said exactly what was on her mind and had no sense of private space, was completely overwhelming. I’d thought I’d never make it through my first visit to her seaside estate—a visit made to please my daughter, Liz, who roomed at college with Rhonda’s daughter, Angela.

Now, even though my strict upbringing with my grandmother in Boston sometimes made me shudder at what came out of Rhonda’s mouth, I loved her like the sister I never had. And I’d learned her heart was as big as her irrepressible spirit.

Rhonda nudged me. “Here she comes!”

I ran a hand through my shoulder-length dark hair, flicked a speck of dust off my bright-blue suit jacket that matched my eyes, and drew a deep breath.

We headed down the front stairs of the hotel as a black limousine followed a large, black SUV through the gates of the hotel and drew up to the front circle.

As soon as the limousine came to a stop, three different people, two men and a woman, Secret Service agents, I presumed, jumped out of the SUV and assessed their surroundings before the woman went over to the limousine and stood outside the back door. One of the men faced out to the road while the other climbed the stairs to the hotel and stood guard there. Then a somber-looking man stepped out of the front of the limo and stood a moment, scanning the area. Satisfied, he stood by as the female agent outside the limo opened the back door, and Vice President Amelia Swanson prepared to climb out of the car.

A tall, striking woman in her late 40s with chestnut brown hair and blue eyes noted for missing nothing, Amelia Swanson stepped out of the limousine and smiled as she walked forward to meet us.

Welcome to The Beach House Hotel, Madame Vice President,” I said, holding out my hand. “I’m Ann Sanders, one of the hotel’s owners.”

Strong fingers gripped my hand. “Very glad to meet you and to be here.” She turned to Rhonda. “And you must be Ms. Grayson.”

Yes. We’re honored to have you stay with us,” said Rhonda, looking as if she didn’t know whether to curtsey or not.

Let’s go inside where we can talk privately,” Amelia said.

Please, come in.” I took her elbow and led her up the steps. The security agent who’d stood by the door headed indoors while another followed at our heels.

Behind me, I noticed the female guard pacing outside the limousine and wondered who or what she was protecting.

We entered the hotel.

Come this way,” said Rhonda.

She led us to the small, private dining room we used for confidential gatherings. Sound-proofed, it had housed many private discussions that never left the room.

The vice president waited for one of the agents to finish his visual sweep of the interior, and then she motioned both men to stay back before closing the door, leaving the three of us alone in the room.

Would you like a seat?” I asked, a little confused by all that was happening.

No, thank you,” she said, smiling. “I’ve been sitting for a while and need to stretch my legs.” She studied Rhonda and turned to me. “What I’m about to tell you can go no further. Understand?”

Rhonda and I glanced at each other and spoke together. “Yes. We do.”

I won’t be staying here but will instead be secretly traveling to Central America to try and rescue a woman from a revolutionary group that’s been holding her prisoner. I made the reservation here at the hotel because you’re known for being discreet. Tina Marks, that fabulous actress, credits the two of you with saving her life. So, if newspaper reporters ask about my staying here, it won’t seem out of the ordinary for you to decline to give out any information. A woman running from domestic abuse will be using my reservation in my place.”

I see …” I began, but she held up her hand to stop me.

This woman is my sister and the wife of the president’s brother.”

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About the Author

Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.

While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.

A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.

To sign up for her newsletter, go here: http://eepurl.com/bZ0ICX

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#BookBlitz “Unscheduled Murder Trip (Family History Mystery Series, Book 2)” by Elaine L. Orr

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Family History Mystery Series, Book 2

Mystery

Published: January 2021

Publisher: Lifelong Dreams Publishing

On Sale for $.99 – For a Limited Time!

Bodies turn up in the strangest places.

Digger found her late, now reinvigorated, Uncle Benjamin sitting on her kitchen table. His spirit is free to roam his former home, the Ancestral Sanctuary, and go where Digger goes. It’s complicated. Still, with the new graphic design firm she and her friend Holly started, things are looking up. But life throws her a curve when she trips over a body while she and her friend Marty are taking photos at an abandoned train depot. As she tries to piece things together, Digger begins to think the body she found is linked to a long-ago disappearance. Uncle Benjamin has a lot to say about all of it, but will Digger listen to his advice? Interesting times in the Western Maryland mountains.

Other Books in the Family History Mystery Series

Least Trodden Ground

Family History Mystery Series, Book 1

Published: October 2020

Least Trodden Ground. Digger Browning looked forward to spending time with Uncle Benjamin after damaged pipes put her kitchen ceiling on the floor. She didn’t expect to find his body at his Western Maryland home, the Ancestral Sanctuary. Who would kill the parsimonious octogenarian? Sure, some people were mad about him pushing the historical society to find a new abode, but they got over it, right? And then she finds out he had a new ‘foxy lady,’ and she’s not his usual type. Antsy before the funeral, Digger delves into family history, but makes an unexpected find. Between trying to figure out who keeps breaking into the Ancestral Sanctuary, avoiding an ex-boyfriend, putting up with cranky relatives, figuring out who busted her pipes, and losing her job, it’s a rough week. If she doesn’t watch out, Digger could end up next to Uncle Benjamin in the family plot. Spooky times in the Western Maryland mountains.

Amazon

Mountain Rails of Old

Family History Mystery Series, Book 3

Release Date: June 30, 2021

Digger’s mountain hides some aspects of its past. Rumor says it hosted a stop on the Underground Railroad, and it boasts remains of the first schoolhouse west of Cumberland. She never paid much attention to the abandoned cottage and its long-gone occupants until she accompanied her friend Marty, who wanted to photograph it for a potential news story. Everything changed when Uncle Benjamin made a huge discovery nearby. What really happened to Samantha and her ten-year old daughter fifteen years ago? If it hadn’t been for a growling raccoon, Digger might not have tried to find out.

Her friend Holly doesn’t like the ancestors Digger found for her, and Marty thinks she’s distanced herself rather than level with him about how she feels. She doesn’t realize that her search for the waystation for escaping slaves will cross paths with efforts to bring Samantha home. And that path doesn’t lead to a safe haven.

Join Digger, Marty, and Uncle Benjamin as they sometimes operate at cross-purposes to solve old mysteries and unlock the mountain’s secrets. Western Maryland at its elusive best.

Amazon

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About the Author

Elaine writes four mystery series, plays, novellas, and whatever strikes her fancy. Her books take readers to the Jersey shore, Iowa river towns, an Illinois college town, and the Western Maryland mountains. She has also written family and local history books, including “Monett,” a pictorial history of a town in Southwest Missouri.

‘Behind the Walls” was shortlisted for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards and “Demise of a Devious Neighbor” was shortlisted for the same award in 2017. Her favorite book (of hers) is Falling into Place, a story of a family handling difficult times with humor and grace.

Elaine conducts presentations and classes on writing and publishing and other writing-related topics. Nonfiction includes “Writing When Time is Scarce – and Getting the Work Published.” Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in the mid-1990s. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Indiana Writer’s Center.

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#BookBlitz “The Buzz Boys” Edward Izzi

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Coming of Age Thriller

Published: May 2021

Publisher: Cassino Publishing

Chicago Attorney Robert Mazzara has just been informed of the suicide death of his childhood friend, Marco Pezza. The two of them grew up together in a small suburb in Chicago during the turbulent sixties and seventies, when the issues of household violence were seldom ever addressed. Along with their best friends, Petey Rodriguez, Billy Kozar and Johnny Orozco, they all experienced the coming-of-age events that all young boys go through during grade school and high school, with one exception: They were all survivors of severe physical and sexual child abuse. As they all grow up into young adults, the demons of their past, along with their abusive fathers, play a significant part on each and every one of their young lives. They all grow up coping with their horrific childhoods, their violent fathers, and the long-term impact it has taken throughout their adulthood. Mazzara reflects on all of the tragic encounters and events that occurred during the last fifty years, culminating with his best friend’s suicide. He realizes that he is now…the only one left. Once upon a time, a long time ago, Robby and Marco, along with Petey, Billy and Johnny…were once called ‘The Buzz Boys’.

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About the Author

Mild mannered accountant turns thriller fiction author!

A native of Detroit, Edward Izzi was once a talented writer in high school, until he was derailed into a successful career as a CPA. Later experiencing his own personal demons, it was suggested that he take up writing again or end up on the ‘six o’clock news’. He has now written and published short stories, poetry, and several thriller fiction novels. Living a quiet life in Chicago, he writes his crime thrillers every night while fighting off his nocturnal demons…

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#BookTour “Vamoosed (The Penningtons Investigate, Book 4)” by C.T. Collier

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Book 4 in The Penningtons Investigate

Mystery (Traditional/Cozy)

 Date Published: June 2020

Publisher: Asdee Press

 

Professor Rand Cunningham is shot and left for dead on the Penningtons’ front lawn, and Lyssa Pennington could be next. Who’s behind the drive-by hit?

• The husband of one of Rand’s conquests?

• The lawyer-brother of the student whose sexy video went viral on the
Internet?

• The father of the actress passed over for a part in the movie of
Rand’s bestseller?

Detective Shaughnessy hunts for the badass truck seen speeding away from the scene.

Lyssa and Kyle follow a lead to Norway, where villains, trolls, and other bombshells will change their lives forever.

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About the Author

C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits.

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Contact Links

Website

Facebook: kate.collier.315

Twitter: @TompkinsFalls

Goodreads: C.T. COLLIER

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: Paperback

Kindle: Kindle ebook

Barnes and Noble: B&N Paperback

Nook: Nook ebook

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#GuestBlogger Behind the Scenes: “A Secret Match (A Gay Wrestling Romance)” By Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

A Secret Match is my contemporary gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling. It’s a follow-up book (of sorts) to my M/F wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. Technically, the book isn’t a sequel because it’s a gay romance and falls into a different romance genre… But it’s closely connected because it focuses on Everett Kinkade, a secondary character I introduced in A Deceptive Match.

A Secret Match cover

In that book Ev is the best friend of wrestling champ Vinnie Valentine. They’ve been together for years as tag-team champs, confidantes, and are as close as brothers. I fell in love with Ev so much while writing A Deceptive Match I knew he needed his own book. And I knew it wouldn’t be an easy one.

Ev is a gay professional wrestler who has lots of insecurities and personal issues to overcome. Although he’s been in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend, Josh, he’s kept their involvement a secret. Aside from Josh nobody except Vinnie (and Danni, the heroine from A Deceptive Match) know he’s gay. He has a hard enough time dealing with his sexuality on a personal level, and on a professional level—forget it.

So naturally I put the screws to Ev—right in the first scene. When the book opens, Josh and Ev are having “going away” sex, and all seems well—until they have a major argument. Josh is tired of being hidden away like a “dirty secret” and wants Ev to come out or at least acknowledge their relationship to someone in their life.

Ev refuses for several reasons. His wrestling persona is a heartthrob that women fantasize about, and he needs to maintain his image if he wants to keep his job. Obviously, coming out would threaten his livelihood. He’s also afraid of what people will think about him if they know he’s gay. After a heated exchange, Josh gives him an ultimatum and walks out.

Ev is distraught and turns to his best friend and fellow wrestler, Vinnie for advice. Danni and Vinnie play a crucial role in Ev’s story—both in his personal journey—and in the ring.

The head of the wrestling organization, Nick August, tells Ev he has to go along with a “steal my woman” angle involving Vinnie and Danni. As part of the storyline, Ev has to kiss Danni in front of a live audience. This is the turning point in the book. Ev is torn between living a lie and being true to himself—and in the spur of the moment, he comes out on live TV.

From there, all hell breaks loose.

Ev instantly regrets what he’s done and is afraid he’s just tanked his career, some of the other wrestlers aren’t thrilled with the news, and Nick August is beyond furious. But in true wrestling fashion, the fans think it’s all a work—until Ev comes out again. This time, he’s out and proud.

When I wrote the book I knew Ev and Josh would be apart for about a third of the story, but I wanted to give readers a peek into their lives before the break-up. I decided the best way to do that was through flashbacks. Over the course of the book readers learn how Ev and Josh met, see their first kiss, and more. When Josh and Ev reconnect, readers know all about them and realize they’re meant to be together.

A Secret Match is my favorite gay romance. I loved revisiting the wrestling universe I created in A Deceptive Match, and I love Ev as a character. On one hand, he’s funny, sharp-witted, sexy, and a wiseass. And on the other hand, he’s an emotionally fragile, wounded warrior who is torn between living two lives.

A Secret Match has everything a good wrestling storyline needs: action, heroes, heels, drama, humor, sexy wrestlers—and in this case, some pretty hot love scenes. It takes readers (and the characters) on an emotional roller coaster ride. And it’s not just for wrestling fans. The wrestling world is merely a backdrop for a tender romance and a look inside Ev’s mind.

A Secret Match isn’t a sequel to A Deceptive Match per se, but it takes place in the same world of pro wrestling and many of the characters from A Deceptive Match appear in A Secret Match. You don’t have to read the books together or in any particular order, and each book stands alone as an individual read.

I realize not all M/F romance lovers will want to read a gay romance and not all gay romance lovers will want to read a M/F romance, but each book has excellent characters to root for, interesting plots, and lots of wrestling action that appeals to readers of all genres.

I hope you’ll check it out. If you love wrestling, if you love romance, and if you loved A Deceptive Match, you’ll love this book too.

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A SECRET MATCH

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

 

Order A Secret Match here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FERW65A

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/md6rZb

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-secret-match

 

Don’t miss the book that introduced Ev to fans… A Deceptive Match:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F18X3XQ

All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3RB96j

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-deceptive-match

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Behind the Scenes” look at the making of this hot gay romance. I welcome questions and comments from readers and other authors. Contact me via the form on my site or on social media.

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 3 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

She released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing in early 2021. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

In 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

 

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

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#BookBlitz “Summer Camp March” by Peter G. Vu

March blitz

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 Children’s Book

Published: May 2021

Publisher: Haynes Media Group

This book attempts to address some of the important issues for our children: from Covid-19 pandemic to global warming and climate change, from discrimination and bullying to welcoming and friendship, or from schooling to summer camp. All those issues can be resolved in an open-minded, creative, supportive, trusting, challenging, and fun environment like a summer camp. As someone who had a positive experience in camping with the young, I want to use a camp setting to bring the young together to resolve the important issues of their time. The camp helps foster a healthy bond of friendship that can give an individual strength to do incredible things and encouragement to overcome any life challenge. I hope this story will give the young confidence and encouragement to do the right things for themselves, people around them, and the world. We need them to make our world a better place. Happy camping, everyone!

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About the Author

Rev. Peter G. Vu has served as a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan for 20 years and also a chaplain at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. He was born in Saigon City (currently Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam. He was a young boy when the Viet Nam War ended. He witnessed the war and the end of it with great horror and deep appreciation for peace. He grew up with the Communist government system and endured significant hardships for more than a decade. After high school, he escaped by boat and came to the United States of America to begin his seminary training. He attended one year of high school here in the USA (Union High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan) to learn the language and new culture. He attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan for two years while staying at Christopher House Seminary. Then, the Seminary sent him to attend his last two years of college at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated with a double major: Mathematics and Philosophy. He then attended graduate school at the University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, Illinois for five years. He graduated and was ordained with the Master’s Degree of Divinity (MDiv) and the Sacred Theology Baccalaureate (STB)

 

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