#BookBlast “Santa Barbara Suspense Series” by Catharine Riggs

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March 10, 2020 Book Blast

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What She Gave Away

Santa Barbara Suspense #1

What She Gave Away Revenge is anything but sweet in this twisty thriller about two women with very different lives locked in the same deadly game. Imagining the best way to destroy a person’s happiness is Crystal Love’s favorite game. Devious and unpolished, the plus-sized loan analyst couldn’t be more out of place in her new town of Santa Barbara, where the beautifully manicured women never age and the ocean views stretch farther than the million-dollar lawns. And yet her eye for the power dynamics at play in this tony community is dead accurate. Kathi Wright, on the other hand, has made it her life’s work to fit in with the plastic people who surround her. But when her husband—a wealthy bank president—dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing. Then the FBI shows up, asking questions she can’t answer and freezing assets she once took for granted. While Kathi struggles to outrun the mess caused by her husband’s mysterious death, Crystal seems focused on her game. But why? And who are her targets? Spanning two years and told in Crystal’s and Kathi’s alternating voices, this tautly plotted novel reveals the power of choice and the price of revenge.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: September 4th 2018

Number of Pages: 348

ISBN: 1503901890 (ISBN13: 9781503901896)

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

I’ve targeted the sperm donor. I blame him for the fat. Not the six-hundred-pound kind that shows up on TV. Or the curvy kind that’s trending in magazines. I’m talking about the basic kind that makes me invisible. Just fat enough that girls don’t hang with me and boys won’t take a second look. Just fat enough to get the glare when I climb onto an airplane or a crowded bus. I try to avoid mirrors, but they’ve seated me in an office with a mirror directly behind the desk. It has a weird curve to it, warped on the sides and in the middle. It makes me look fatter than I am. I mean, why is the office designed this way? Do they want their clients to feel insecure? Will it make them deposit more money? Help them to choose a bigger loan? I paste on a smile. That usually lifts my fat pads so my cheekbones show through. But smiling in this mirror only makes me look crazy. The door squeals open, and I stand. “Ms. Love?” “Yes?” “I’m George Taylor. The bank’s chief lending officer.” I hold out my hand to an aging hipster dressed in a tight black suit and pink satin tie. Dirty-blond hair, nicely textured. Blow-dryer and curling iron at work. That and a little gel. Stinky gel, the kind that wrinkles my nose. Should I tell him about the bit of salad stuck between his teeth? “Please take a seat.” He picks up my résumé and gets right to business. “You’ve had five years’ experience as a loan analyst?” “Six if you count a year of training.” He’s disappointed, I know. I have the qualifications but not the look. “Why move to Santa Barbara?” “I’m tired of the Bakersfield heat.” “You have family here?” “A few friends.” He glances at my belly with a question in his eyes. I know what he’s thinking. I carry a lot of weight in my gut. But he’s taken his HR classes. He knows the rules. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. I do my best to sound earnest. “I’m one of those rare people who grew up wanting to be a banker. I love working with numbers. They mean everything to me.” “So you’ve taken accounting?” “I was an accounting major at Bakersfield College. Got my AA degree six years ago and went right to work at the local bank. I’ve never looked back.” He nods, staring hard at my résumé. Time to nudge him in the right direction. “I’m not looking for a job. I’m looking for a career. I’m a hard worker. I’m focused. I’m single. No children. I’m the most efficient person I know. I believe Pacific Ocean Bank is the right fit for me. Only five branches and ten years in business, but you’re the top-performing bank in the region. Impressive.” He forces a smile. “Our president’s an industrious man.” “So I’ve heard.” George taps his pencil on the table. “We prefer four-year degrees.” “My accounting major and years of experience should more than make up for that.” “And we have a strict dress code . . .” “Which I will follow.” “No casual Fridays.” “I’ve never been a fan.” “The other analysts are men. Any problem with that?” “None at all.” Fish on the hook. Now reel him in slow. “Do you work well in high-pressure situations?” “I prefer them.” “Weekends?” “No problem.” “Team player?” “Absolutely.” “What about references?” He points to my résumé. “May we contact your most recent supervisor?” “I wish.” I make a sad face. “My ex-boss passed away a few months ago from a horrific accident. A terrible situation. He was a mentor to me. The head of Human Resources said to call her with any questions. She understands my need to move on.” He scribbles something before looking up. “When can you start?” “Next week.” There’s something wrong with his left eye. I’m guessing it’s made of glass. I bet it’s a flaw that bugs him. I file away the thought. *** Excerpt from What She Gave Away & What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright 2020 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

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What She Never Said

Santa Barbara Suspense #2

What She Never Said People are dying at a luxury retirement community . . . and not from natural causes. Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay. Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder. Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date:September 10th 2019

Number of Pages: 362

ISBN: 1542042135 (ISBN13: 9781542042130)

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

THE ANGEL

Some might call me a cold-blooded killer. I beg to disagree. I’m more like a kindly saint. A patron saint of crossings. One part Saint Christopher, two parts angel of mercy. Add a dash of Mother Teresa, and the recipe is getting close. I have a calling, and I’m good at it. I’ll keep it up until I’m stopped. “Will it hurt?” The bedside candle casts a shivering shadow across Loretta’s sunken face. Tracing my fingers along the glass syringe, I gaze into her liquid eyes. “Not for long.” I’ve administered a few insulin overdoses. It doesn’t seem like a bad way to go. But I never lie to my disciples. That would be morally wrong. “It won’t be worse than the bone cancer?” “It won’t be worse than that.” “Then I’m ready.” I tug her pink slip from my pocket and set it on the nightstand. “First, I need your secret.” Tears slip along the folds of Loretta’s crumpled cheeks. “I don’t have one.” I fight off a quiver of irritation. “You’re forgetting our agreement?” “Of course not. But I can’t think of a single thing.” “Oh, Loretta. I’m disappointed. I can see the secret in your eyes.” She plucks at her satin bedcovers until a lavender scent blooms. “What kind of secret do you want?” I shrug. “Your choice. It can be happy or sad. Scandalous or glorious. I’m not picky. It’s totally up to you. But it must be something you’ve never revealed. A defining moment in your life.” Loretta is quiet for so long I wonder if she might back out of the crossing. But then she speaks with a trembling voice. “All right then. It’s something that happened on my fourteenth birthday. I’ve never told anyone—not even my husband. I’m still so terribly ashamed.” “Go ahead,” I say, nearly drooling. This side of me isn’t quite so noble. Less like a saint and more like a tick. “It was a hot summer day in Michigan.” Her voice cracks as she speaks. “My friends were busy with chores, so I walked to the lake on my own. When I entered the forest, I heard a rustling behind me, and . . .” Her words drone on from there. Closing my eyes, I sip on her secret. Her words are like a melody—the mournful notes of a dove. When she finishes, I have tears in my eyes. “Thank you,” I say. “That was beautiful.” “Beautiful? But it was such a terrible moment. So unspeakably dark.” “There are times when dark can be beautiful.” Loretta takes a choking breath. “Yes, I suppose you’re right. And I do feel better somehow. You promise you’ll never tell?” “I promise.” “Good.” She lifts an arthritic hand and swats vaguely at the air. “You’ll stay with me?” “Until you cross.” “Then let’s get moving. I’m ready to see my Charles.” Loretta folds her hands across her chest and takes a quivering breath. “Peace be with you,” I whisper, and then I inject the fatal dose. A half hour later, I head to my office, where I retrieve my crossing journal and write the seventh entry in my book. *** Excerpt from What She Gave Away & What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright 2020 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Catharine Riggs Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. She is the author of the twin thrillers What She Gave Away and What She Never Said, both set in Santa Barbara, California . Riggs has worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive.

Get caught up on the progress of her Santa Barbara Suspense series by visiting the author online at: www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, & Twitter

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Tour Participants:

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

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GIVEAWAY:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be three (3) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card, One (1) US ONLY winner will receive the series (print) and one (1) Worldwide winner will receive the series (audio). The giveaway begins on March 10, 2020 and runs through March 18, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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@RABTBookTours presents The Holiday Book Blast and Giveaway!

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WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAY BOOK BLAST! 
 
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Halloween Book Blast and Giveaway!

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WELCOME TO THE HALLOWEEN BOOK BLAST! 
 
Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!
 
Before you leave, don’t forget to enter the Giveaway!
 

#BookBlast “The Quest for Home (Crossroads Trilogy Book 2)” by Jacqui Murray

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Title: The Quest for Home

Author: Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

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Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.

Blurb:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea

Pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping.

How can anything hurt that much?

She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head.

And how did I sleep so long?

Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it.

A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his.

“Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out.

Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood.

“You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps.

“Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear.

She cocked her head and motioned, “You?”

Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands.

“I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries.

When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her.

The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here.

“Nightshade, what happened?”

Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood.

Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.”

A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach.

He was alive!

It was Hawk who offered her People a home when they had none, after more than a Moon of fleeing for their lives through lands so desolate, she didn’t know how anyone survived. Finding Hawk and his People, she thought she’d found a new homeland.

Her last hunt with Hawk flashed through her mind—the stone tip they created like the Big Head’s weapon, how she had hung by her ankles from a tree trunk to cross a deep ravine. How he grinned when she reached the other side, chest heaving but radiant with satisfaction. He told her many of his warriors shook with fear as they crossed. His pride in her that day glowed like flames at night.

For the first time in her life, she felt Sun’s warmth inside of her.

She looked around, saw quiet groups huddled together, males talking and females grooming children. Pan-do bent over a child, whispering something in her ear but no Hawk.

Where is he? But she didn’t ask Nightshade. The last time she’d seen the two together, they had fought.

She couldn’t imagine a world without Hawk. They had planned to pairmate, combine their groups into one so strong no one could ever again drive her away. She hadn’t known there were enemies worse than Big Heads until Hawk told her about the Ice Mountain invaders. They attacked Hawk’s People long before Xhosa arrived. Hawk had killed most and chased the rest back to their home, icy white cliffs that extended from Sun’s waking place to its sleeping nest, bereft of plants and animals. When he saw where they lived, he understood why they wanted his land.

The children of those dead invaders grew up and wanted revenge.

Someone moaned. She jerked to find who needed help and realized it was her. She hoped Nightshade didn’t hear.

He glanced at her and then away. “All the rafts were destroyed.”

She shook, trying to dislodge the spider webs in her brain. Hawk’s homebase was squashed between a vast stretch of open land and an uncrossable pond. They should have been safe but the Ice Mountain invaders attacked in a massive horde. Her People—and Hawk’s—were driven into the water. The rafts became their only escape. Floating on a log platform to the middle of a pond too deep to walk across was something no one had ever done but they must or die. The plan was the rafts would carry the People to safety, away from the Invaders.

That hadn’t worked.

“There were too many enemy warriors, Xhosa,” and Nightshade opened and closed his hands over and over to show her. “More than I have ever seen in one place.”

Images of warclubs slashed through her thoughts, flying spears, the howls of warriors in battle. Many died, beaten until they stopped moving, children dragged screaming from mothers. The giant female—Zvi—sprinting faster than Xhosa thought someone her size could, the children El-ga and Gadi in her arms, a spear bouncing off her back. Her size stunned the enemy, immobilized them for a breath which gave Zvi the time she needed to reach safety.

Almost to himself, Nightshade motioned, “I’ve never seen him this brave.”

Xhosa didn’t understand. “Him?” Did he mean Zvi?

“Pan-do. His warriors attacked. They saved us.” Nightshade locked onto the figure of Pan-do as he wandered among the bedraggled groups, settling by an elder with a gash across his chest and began to minister to the wound.

“I remember,” Xhosa murmured. When the People were trapped between the trees and the water, prey waiting to be picked off, Pan-do’s warriors pounced. That gave Xhosa precious time to push the rafts out onto the water. It seemed none of the enemy knew how to swim. Pan-do sliced through the Ice Mountain invaders without fear, never giving ground.

Nightshade motioned, “He isn’t the same Leader who arrived at our homebase, desperate for protection, his People defeated.”

Xhosa’s hands suddenly felt clammy. “Is Lyta alive?”

Since the death of his pairmate, before Xhosa met him, Pan-do’s world revolved around his daughter, Lyta. He became Leader of his People to protect her. When he arrived at the People’s homebase, Lyta stood out, unusual in an otherwise homogenous group. First, it was her haunting beauty, as though she shined from within, her hair as radiant as Sun. Awe turned to shock when she walked, her gait awkward on malformed feet. She should have been destroyed as a child but Pan-do said he had never considered it. He explained that in Moons of migration, before joining Xhosa’s People, Lyta had never slowed them down. He didn’t expect that to change if the two groups traveled together.

And then she spoke. Her voice was like bird’s song and a gift to People exhausted from the day’s work. It cheered up worried adults and put smiles on the faces of children, its melodic beauty convincing them that everything would work out.

It was more than a Moon after his arrival before Pan-do told Xhosa what he valued most about his daughter. Lyta could see truth simply by watching. No one could hide a lie from her, and she never hid it from her father. Pan-do kept it secret because the people it threatened might try to silence her. He only told Xhosa because Lyta had witnessed a conversation about a plan to kill Xhosa.

One of the people Lyta didn’t recognize but the other, he was someone Xhosa trusted.

When Nightshade nodded, Yes, Lyta lives, Xhosa relaxed but only for a moment.

“Sa-mo-ke?”

Nightshade nodded toward a group of warriors. In the middle, eyes alert and hands energetic, stood Sa-mo-ke.

She sighed with relief. Pan-do’s Lead Warrior was also Nightshade’s greatest supporter outside of the People. When he first arrived, Sa-mo-ke spent Moons mimicking her Lead Warrior’s fighting techniques until his skill became almost as formidable as Nightshade’s with one critical difference. While Nightshade liked killing, Sa-mo-ke did so only when necessary.

Nightshade motioned, “Escape came at a tremendous cost, Xhosa. Many died, the rafts were destroyed, and we are now stranded in an unfamiliar land filled with nameless threats.”

 It doesn’t matter, she whispered to herself. We are good at migrating.

She jerked her head around, and then motioned, “Where’s Spirit?”

The loyal wolf had lived with people his entire life. He proved himself often while hunting, defending his packmates, and being a good friend. An image flitted across her mind, Spirit streaking toward the rafts, thrusting his formidable body like a spear through the shocked hordes. The enemy had never seen an animal treat People as pack. Then, the wolf swimming, paws churning the water into whitecaps, gaze locked onto Seeker. Endless Pond was too deep for him to touch the bottom so his head bobbed up and down, feet paddling like a duck’s as he fought to stay above the surface.

Nightshade gestured, “The attackers almost killed Spirit.”

She bit her lip, concentrating. “I remember Mammoth’s trumpets.”

The rare hint of a smile creased his mouth. “Another of Pan-do’s tricks. It saved Spirit and probably all of us. He brayed like a herd of Mammoth thundering toward the shoreline. The invaders fled for their lives.”

Pan-do is clever.

Nightshade grimaced. “But the storm worsened and the rafts foundered. Many of the People managed to cling to logs long enough to crash onto this shore. Then, they saved others. But many died.”

He opened and closed his hands to show how many.

A stillness descended as Nightshade’s gaze filled with a raw emotion he never showed. It shook Xhosa. Nothing frightened her Lead Warrior.

She gulped which hurt her insides. Shallow breaths worked better. Rolling to her hands and knees, she stood which made her head swim and she threw up.

Finally, the dizziness subsided and Xhosa asked, “Hawk?”

Nightshade peered around, hands fidgeting. He examined something on the ground, toed it with his foot. “When the tempest destroyed the rafts, he dragged many to shore, to safety. The last time, he did not return. I tried to find him.”

Soundless tears dampened her face. Nightshade touched her but Xhosa focused on a trail of ants and a worm burrowing into the soft earth. Her vision dimmed and she stumbled, fell, and then crawled, happy for the pain that took her mind off Hawk. When she forced herself up, everything blurred but she inhaled, slowly, and again, until she could finally see clearly.

How dare Hawk die! We had plans. Xhosa shoved those thoughts away. Later was soon enough to deal with them.

“His People—do they know?”

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teaser

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About the Author

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of herJacqui Murray daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

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Inside The Quest for Home

  • How do you know these People are as smart as they seem?

Just to be clear, because these predecessors to man lived long before recorded history, scientists have no definitive evidence of their intelligence. We do get hints of its excellence, though, from their toolmaking. The complex thought required to create their stone tools (called Acheulean), the variety of tool types (cutters, choppers, handaxes, cleavers, flakes, scrapers, and more), and their aesthetically pleasing and functional forms make many paleoanthropologists believe Homo erectus was cerebrally smart. A 2017 study mapped the brains of students as they recreated these same tools and it showed that the work required higher-level motor skills and the ability to ‘hold in mind’ information—much as you do to plan and complete complex tasks (the study compared it to playing Chopin on the piano but I have no idea about that).

  • Their speech is too sophisticated.

As a species, Homo erectus lasted far longer than any other Homo species—and there is a reason for that: They were not only highly intelligent for the day but possessed rich communication skills. Their sophisticated tools, especially the symmetry of the hand-axe, suggests to many scientists that they possessed the ability to use language. Since most paleoanthropologists (scientists who study prehistoric man) believe the ‘speech’ part of their brain—the part that allowed them to speak—wasn’t evolved enough for verbal words, I present communication often through body language.

A more convincing argument of why early man didn’t want to talk is that voices are noisy and unnatural. That attracts unwanted attention. For these primordial humans, far from the alpha in the food chain, being noticed wasn’t good.

  • Convince me they can communicate as well as it sounds like they do with just gestures, hands, and facial movements.

 I get this a lot. Let me give you two examples. First, have you ever been around someone who doesn’t speak your language and still, the two of you communicate by pointing, hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions? Second, think of sign language. Very sophisticated ideas are communicated with just hands and facial expressions. That’s how Xhosa and her kind did it.

Teaser

 

 

#BookBlast “Moon Games” by Shelly Frome

November 6, 2018 Book Blast

Synopsis:

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing girl hiker on the Q.T, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible as she puts up one smokescreen after another, including a slip of the tongue regarding an incident in Havana. The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep and arcane prompts on her e-mail only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to run its course.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Amateur Detective
Published by: Milford House
Publication Date: August 2018
Number of Pages: 264
ISBN: 1620061848
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Kindle Unlimited

Read an excerpt:

The wind picked up yet again, joined by spatters of cold rain and the rustle of leaves from the encircling shrub.

All at once, the lantern flicked off, a scream cut through the wind and spatters. The cries became muffled, replaced by the grunts of a hulking figure clambering up the knoll, coming directly toward him with something writhing and flailing over its back.

For one interminable moment, he caught sight of her eyes, frozen, terrified, beseeching him.

Reflexively, despite every decent intention deep in his bones, Harry dropped the Maglite, turned and ran down the slope, tripping and stumbling, falling to his knees, righting himself, smacking into a brush that scraped his cheek. Rushing headlong now, smacking into more brush and banging his elbow, he kept it up, twisted his ankle but hobbled forward fast as he could until he reached his station wagon. Squirming behind the wheel, he fumbled for his keys, dropped them on the mat, groped around, snatched them up, grinded the ignition, set both front and back wipers going and shot forward hitting the trunk of a tree. He backed up into the hedgerow, turned sharply, not daring to flip on the headlights, scraped another tree and slid onto the narrow lane.

He switched on the low beams so he could see where he was going in the drizzle and fog and began making his way down. Dull headlight beams flashed behind his rear window and faded.

With his mind racing and the wipers thwacking away as the rain lashed across the windshield, he careened down the zig-zagging lane and thought of the car that was wedged under the branches parked on a downward angle and the hulking figure carrying his prey over his shoulder shambling toward it. And her eyes, those beseeching eyes.

He might have a few seconds lead before the girl was tossed in the trunk . . . or deposited in the cottage while the driver lying in wait exchanged signals and went after him. So many what-ifs? while some cowardly part of him only wanted a place to hide.

Then the dull, low beams flicked on again, glinting on his rearview mirror.

Straining to see through the wipers and beads of rain, he turned off down Sunset, then onto a flat, darkened stretch, then gunned it through an amber light over the tracks across brightly lit Route 70.

He drove away from the tracks where the girl doubtless had been tailed, came upon a T and swerved left onto a sign that said Old Route 70. In no time, he spotted a Grove Stone Quarry, but the gates were closed and he could swear the low beams tailing him flicked on again. If only he could stop veering all over the place, if he could get behind those humongous mounds of sand and stone.

Ignoring the traffic light, he cut to his right and swerved up a road bordered by a high wire fence demarcating a prison facility, sped past until he was hemmed in by walls of white pine. The walls of pine were intersected by for-sale arrows and a bright red banner. He killed his headlights altogether, swerved again into a cluster of model homes that formed a cul-de-sac, and coasted to a stop as the car stalled.

He got out and followed an exposed drain pipe that angled down until it cut off at a rain-slick paved drive onto a neighborhood of two-story houses, porch lights and street lamps.

His ankle gave way again as he became fixated on circling back to that massive, enclosed hiding place where he could try to get his bearings.

The cold rain beat down harder. Though the Blue Ridge range hovered in the near distance, it was shrouded in mist and offered no comfort.

***

Excerpt from Moon Games by Shelly Frome. Copyright © 2018 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.

 

Shelly Frome

Author Bio:

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
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Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelly Frome. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 6, 2018 and runs through November 14, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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#BookBlast “Broken Windows” by Paul D. Marks

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October 30, 2018 Book Blast

~~~

Synopsis:

Broken Windows by Paul D. Marks

While the storm rages over California’s notorious 1994 anti-illegal alien Proposition 187, a young woman climbs to the top of the famous Hollywood sign—and jumps to her death. An undocumented day laborer is murdered. And a disbarred and desperate lawyer in Venice Beach places an ad in a local paper that says: “Will Do Anything For Money.” Private Detective Duke Rogers, and his very unPC partner, Jack Riggs, must figure out what ties together these seemingly unrelated incidents. Their mission catapults them through a labyrinth of murder, intrigue and corruption of church, state and business that hovers around the immigration debate. Along the way we explore the fiery immigration issue from all sides and no one escapes unscathed.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: September 10th 2018
Number of Pages: 360
ISBN: 1948235072 (ISBN13: 9781948235075)
Series: Duke Rogers PI, #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

The Hollywood Sign beckoned her like a magnet—or like a moth to a flame. The sign glowed golden in the magic hour sun—that time of day around sunrise and sunset when the light falls soft and warm and cinematographers love to shoot. Like so many others, Susan Karubian had come here seeking fame and fortune, hoping to make her mark on the world. Oh hell, she had come to be a star like all the others. And she would do it, just not quite in the heady way she’d anticipated.

She had spent hours deciding what to wear. After all, this wasn’t exactly in the etiquette books. Probably not the kind of thing you’d find in Ask Amy column. She finally decided on a tasteful dress with high-heeled sandals.

The young woman drove her Passat down Hollywood Boulevard, turning up Franklin, passing the Magic Castle. She turned slowly up Beachwood Canyon, past the low-rent area north of Franklin, up through the towering stone gates with their “Welcome to Beachwood Canyon” signs. Past the movie star homes in the hills—past where she thought she’d be living by now. She drove in circles, past piles of rubble from the earthquake several months ago, figuring that sooner or later she’d hit the right combination of roads and end up where she wanted to be.

The Passat crested the top of the mountain—mountain or hill? What was the difference anyway? A small concrete building with an antenna sat just below the road. No cars. No one around. As quiet as the Sherman Oaks Galleria on a Monday morning. She parked on Mt. Lee Drive.

She rolled up the windows, locked the car, set her purse on the floor by the gas pedal. The note she’d written in a steady hand tucked into her pocket. She hoped someone would find it quickly. Standing beside the car, she realized she’d have to hike down to get to the sign. She had thought it would be at the top of the mountain. She was buggin’, as she treaded toward the edge of the road.

The nonstop rain of the last couple weeks had broken. The view from up here was incredible. You could almost see Mexico to the south and the Pacific glittering in the west. The city below, shiny and bright. Pretty and clean from up here. A million doll houses that reminded her of childhood, playing with dolls and making everything come out the way she wanted it to. Little toy cars down below, scooting back and forth. Swarms of ants scurrying this way and that on important business. Oh yeah, everyone here had important business all day and all night. Everyone but her. She gazed down at Los Angeles on the cusp of the millennium. The place to be. Center of the universe. Totally.

She hesitated at the edge of the road, her toe kicking some gravel down the hill. It clattered down, somehow reminding her of the industrial music in the clubs where she liked to hang.

Should she try to talk to him? What would be the point now? She was talked out. And he wouldn’t forgive her. Why should he? She had hurt him. No, it was beyond hurt. There was no way to rationalize it.

***

Excerpt from Broken Windows by Paul D. Marks. Copyright © 2018 by Paul D. Marks. Reproduced with permission from Paul D. Marks. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Paul D. Marks

Broken Windows, the sequel to Paul D. Marks’ Shamus Award-winning mystery-thriller White Heat hit the shelves 9/10/18. Publishers Weekly called White Heat a “taut crime yarn” and said of Broken Windows: “Fans of downbeat PI fiction will be satisfied…with Shamus Award winner Marks’s solid sequel to… White Heat.” Though thrillers and set in the 1990s, both novels deal with issues that are hot and relevant today: racism and immigration, respectively. Marks says “Broken Windows holds up a prism from which we can view the events burning up today’s headlines, like the passionate immigration debate, through the lens of the recent past. It all comes down to the saying we know so well, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.” His short stories appear in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines, among others, and have won or been nominated for many awards, including the Anthony, Derringer and Macavity. His story Windward, has been selected for the Best American Mystery Stories of 2018, edited by Louise Penny & Otto Penzler, and won the 2018 Macavity Award for Best Short Story and was also short-listed for a 2018 Shamus Award. Ghosts of Bunker Hill was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll. He is co-editor of the multi-award nominated anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Paul D. Marks. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 30, 2018 and runs through November 7, 2018. Void where prohibited

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#BookBlast “The Found Child (The Secrets of Suburbia Book 2)” by Jo Crow

September 18, 2018 Book Blast

Synopsis:

The Found Child by Jo Crow

One mother’s life can change in the blink of an eye—and there’s no going back.

Elaine’s worst fears become a reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer. She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. While awaiting test results from herself and her husband Nathan, she approaches his business partner, Roger—her ex-lover—to see if he could be a possible match. Instead, an even greater shock awaits: Jakob is not her biological son. For years, she has been raising someone else’s child.

The news threatens to send Elaine back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once before, pushing her already fragile mental state to the breaking point. As the family faces one crisis, a ghost from her past emerges to jeopardize everything she’s built. But is the threat real, or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues to unravel, she can’t trust anyone—not even herself.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Relay Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 372
ISBN-10: 1726446328
ISBN-13: 978-1726446327
Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Telling parents that the search for their missing infant had gone cold was a job that no one wanted. And honestly, Detective Aaronson had tried to pass it off to someone else—to his partner, Miller, and then to a uniform. Ultimately, though, the chief had put his boot down and pushed it back on Aaronson. He was the point man. He and Miller had worked the case together for a month before the leads dried up, but it had been Aaronson who had sat with the parents, talked to them on the phone, and kept them updated.

He’d been the one to give them hope, so it followed that he should be the one to take it away… right?

They had agreed to meet him at the station. That seemed to be the best choice. No one wanted to get this kind of news in their own home—it would put a stain on the place that would never wash out. No, it was more professional to have the talk here in one of the small conference rooms. No decorations, no distractions, nothing to make the moment seem too casual. Only gray brick, white linoleum and a wooden table and chairs that were plain and utilitarian. Unemotional.

Now he sat across from them, steeling himself and trying to work up some moisture in his mouth. There was water, but they hadn’t poured a glass so he wasn’t about to. Both of them had dark circles under their bloodshot eyes, and a waxy pallor to their skin. They hadn’t slept in a month, he figured. He’d have put money on it. Hell, he could barely sleep when his teenager stayed out late with her friends on a weekend. And their child had been gone for more than a month. As a parent, he understood part of their pain. Just part of it. That’s what made this so damn difficult.

“We’re not closing the case,” he said, his tone as flat as he could manage. “But as of now, the leads—”

“You’re not looking anymore?” the mother asked. Fury filled her eyes, and loss. One of those was for him.

“It’s only been a month,” the father said. “You can’t stop now. Please, our son is out there somewhere—we know it.”

“I can feel him,” she said. “You have to believe me, I can feel him here.” She clutched at her chest, at the threadbare, peach-colored sweater she wore.

You have to keep it short, the chief had said. Keep it direct and then refer them to the counselor. That’s your job.

Aaronson wondered if the chief had ever done this before. He imagined he’d had, but to make it seem so simple… Of course, there were regulations. He couldn’t be the counselor and the detective, and there were good reasons for that. “We will keep the case open,” he told them. “If any new leads come in, we’ll follow up on them.”

He meant it, too. But the truth that he knew, and that these two knew even if they didn’t want to believe it, was that after seventy-two hours, most of these cases were never solved. Every day after that windows closed, the likelihood of finding a child like theirs dropped exponentially until it plummeted to a fraction of a percent which itself really only represented the handful of miracle cases that had been resolved sometimes decades after a disappearance.

“Please don’t do this,” the father begged. He took his wife’s hand, and they leaned into one another. “One more month. There was that woman—”

“At the moment, Andrea Williams has been cleared as a suspect,” Aaronson said. That poor woman’s life had been all but destroyed already. “We’ve been over her life with a fine-toothed comb. If new evidence emerges, we’ll look into it again, but I’m telling you that she’s not who we want.”

“So, what do we do now?” the mother asked. “What do we do now that you’ve abandoned our boy? Abandoned us?”

Aaronson was so close to breaking. He stood from the table. “I swear to you both,” he said, the words bitter on his tongue, “that we will pursue any and every lead that comes across my desk. We’re not abandoning anyone. Alright?” And while it may have been technically true, it sure felt like a lie.

Nothing but contempt came from them, and he didn’t blame them at all. And he hated himself for what he had to say next. “There’s a counselor here. Doctor Amari. She’s a grief counselor, and it’s free to see her. I can send her in, but I have to leave you now. I’m sorry. Really, I am.”

They turned their faces from him.

As he left, he closed the door gently even though he wanted to slam it hard enough to shatter the glass. He wasn’t even sure who to be angry with. Himself, mostly, he guessed, or the whole damn department. And Andrea-fucking-Williams, who had wasted their time from the beginning by lying to protect herself instead of telling them the truth about her record so that they could have moved on.

He took only two steps before the mother wailed loudly behind him. The entire department went quiet. That sound was one they all knew. It was the sound of a woman who had lost the last shred of hope she’d had. The shred that he’d taken away from her.

That was the sound of a mother whose child had died. And, at this point, Aaronson had nothing to suggest it wasn’t true.

He’d failed them.

***

Excerpt from The Found Child by Jo Crow. Copyright © 2018 by Jo Crow. Reproduced with permission from Jo Crow. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Jo Crow

Jo Crow gave ten years of her life to the corporate world of finance, rising to be one of the youngest VPs around. She carved writing time into her commute to the city, but never shared her stories, assuming they were too dark for any publishing house. But when a nosy publishing exec read the initial pages of her latest story over her shoulder, his albeit unsolicited advice made her think twice.

A month later, she took the leap, quit her job, and sat down for weeks with pen to paper. The words for her first manuscript just flew from her. Now she spends her days reading and writing, dreaming up new ideas for domestic noir fans, and drawing from her own experiences in the cut-throat commercial sector.

Not one to look back, Jo is all in, and can’t wait for her next book to begin.

Catch Up With Jo Crow On:
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jo Crow. There will be 5 winners of for this tour. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon GC; there will be 3 winners of one (1) A MOTHER’S LIE eBook; and there will be 1 winner of one (1) A MOTHER’S LIE by Jo Crow audiobook. The giveaway begins on September 18, 2018 and runs through September 25, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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“Found Innocent” by Carolyn Arnold #BookBlast

Found Innocent

Found Innocent

by Carolyn Arnold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Mystery, Police Procedural

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Sometimes the pursuit of justice becomes personal…

There’s one rule when it comes to the blue wall of silence: never report a fellow officer for mishandling a case. But when a woman’s remains are found in a garden and the investigation seems to be connected to a closed suicide case, Detective Madison Knight may not have a choice. She’s pretty sure that suicide was actually a murder.

To make matters worse, the lead detective on the old case is Madison’s ex-fiancé, and he wants to get back together. The last thing Madison wants to do is lead him on, but for justice to be served, she must risk not only jeopardizing departmental relationships but churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time. Because if she doesn’t, the guilty just may be found innocent.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt from chapter 2 of Found Innocent (Detective Madison Knight series)

SIXTEEN HOURS LATER, Madison still wondered why she had agreed to look into it. By all accounts, Vilma with an ‘i’ seemed to be either disillusioned or off her medications.

Madison had searched the database for Kevin Thorne. He had been twenty-seven. His cause of death was suicide. His body was released within the last week and his funeral was scheduled for today.

Vilma was having a hard time coming to grips with what her fiancé had done, and the fact their wedding was set for two days after his death wouldn’t have helped the situation. Even with that aside, in suicide there was rarely an acceptable reason to justify the action.

She flicked a pen across her desk and thought about how the interaction had changed the direction of her day. She didn’t get much accomplished with her cold case and it had kept her up most of the night. She knew who was behind the murder, but she had to prove who pulled the trigger.

The victim was a defense attorney who had been gunned down in his driveway after failing to come through for his client, Dimitre Petrov, a Russian mafia boss. He was sent away on a life sentence for a single murder, a joke when the man’s hands were stained with blood. With him behind bars, she knew he wasn’t physically involved, but she believed he’d ordered the hit. It was a matter of proving which of his right-hand men were responsible, and then this beyond a doubt to the DA and subsequent jury.

The bit of evidence she focused on these days came down to an envelope match—the infinity symbol was woven into the fiber of the paper.

A torn piece had been found next to the dead attorney and it was a comparative match to an envelope addressed to her from Petrov himself. The contents of the letter, however, she kept to herself. She never even told her partner, Terry, what it said.

Terry would mock her, asking what she expected to solve with an envelope.

Her thoughts on the matter were that small things pile up, and when there is enough, it builds a solid case. Just as a mountain is formed, one dirt particle at a time, she would gather indisputable evidence against all involved with the murder.

“So, what did I miss yesterday?” Terry came in holding two Starbucks. He smiled as he extended one to her.

She looked up at him, disappointed there weren’t more hours in the day. She closed the Internet browser and, with it, a list of printing companies, but before she did, she sent the link to her home e-mail. “I take it you heard.”

“Oh yeah.” He started laughing. “I’d say eccentric, but everyone said she didn’t appear to have any money.” He spun his index finger around his right ear. “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

Madison laughed. “You have such a way with words.”

“You’re jealous of me.” He pulled back his coffee for a quick sip and then put it on his desk. “Seriously, though. Clashing colors, screaming, ‘He wouldn’t do it.’” He steepled his hands. “What didn’t he do? Spill it.”

“Kill himself.”

“Here I thought it was going to be so much better than that.” He exhaled. “Disappointing.”

“Disappointing?”

“Well, I thought maybe she was going to say the butler didn’t do it. I don’t know. I just expected something better.”

“She says that her fiancé never would have killed himself.”

“If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard that—”

She overlooked the cliché. “You’ve heard that before?”

“Nope, not really, just thought I’d bug you with a cliché. Too bad it didn’t work.” He pouted.

“Terry, I’m going to kill you.” She rose and headed toward him.

He took his Starbucks and started into a slow jog away from her. “First you’ll have to catch me.”

She would catch him and she’d make him beg for a reprieve. At least that was her goal until Sergeant Winston came around a corner.

“Don’t you two have work to do?”

Terry stopped moving. Madison caught up to where the Sergeant and Terry were.

“We’re a little slow this morning,” she said.

“As I can see. Well, now you’re not. Remains have been found at nine twenty-three Weber Street.”

“That’s a residential neighborhood.” Terry took a sip of coffee.

“Very good work, Sherlock. They were found in the backyard. Of a house.” The sarge seemed to add the latter part for the purpose of mocking Terry. “Some poor sap thought it would be a good time to turn the dirt in his garden and came up with a finger on the point of his shovel.”

It seemed a little early to start on a garden—it was March—but Madison focused on the victim. “Do we know if it’s a male or female?”

“They were still working at uncovering it all, from what I know, but the finger indicates it is a female. Seriously, don’t tell me you’re both still standing here. You were moving quicker a moment ago.”

“Leaving now.”

“Damn right you better be.”

“I call the driver’s seat,” Terry said.

Madison brushed past him. “You can call whatever you want. Still doesn’t mean it’s happening.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ Buy Links ~

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Found Innocent

Meet today’s guest, Carolyn Arnold.

 She is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

 Today, she answers a few questions for us and gives us insight into her life and journey as a mystery author.

 As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I don’t remember back as far as a young child, but as a young adult, I either wanted to be a defense attorney, a police officer, or a journalist. As a crime author, I’ve really become a blend of all three. LOL

If you had one wish, what would that be?

That people would use their energy for building other people up and that the world could unite, accepting each other’s differences, even when there’s not the threat of an alien invasion or global destruction. 😉

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I write organically or go with the flow. Writing in this manner is also known as panster-style. If I set out to write an outline—even a brief one—my creativity stops.

When I start writing a book, I normally only have the concept of the plot. Most times I don’t even know who the killer is and I never know in advance how I’m getting my investigators to their door.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

It will take a lot of hard work, likely more than you can imagine until you’re immersed in the process, but there is no need to get overwhelmed. Take one day at a time and keep your focus on how much you enjoy writing and how you are writing for the readers who will love to read you.

Bio:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

~ Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online ~

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And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

 

Carolyn will be awarding a paperback copy of In the Line of Duty valid in US, Canada and UK to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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“Little Queen (The Ulfrinn Series, Book 2)” by A.C. Melody #BookBlast

 

Little Queen cover

“Little Queen (The Ulfrinn Series, Book 2)”

Author: A.C. Melody

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance/Norse Mythology

Release date: July 1, 2017

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BLURB:

The bliss Reyna and Corbyn found in their unique Úlfr engagement is quickly forgotten as their ongoing conflict grows just as passionately as their hearts and desires. Reyna needs her independence and reassurance that their feelings are real. Corbyn needs to keep her safe, and for Reyna to accept him as her mate once and for all. If only their enemies would give them a moment to sort out their relationship woes, but it seems their only interest is to tear the new Wolf King and his would-be Queen apart. With the clock ticking toward inevitable war, Corbyn’s worst fears are realized when someone ups the ante, striking at his mate from the one place he never saw coming.

Frightened and angry, Corbyn rushes Reyna to the Elders, only to end up on their healing table next. After the back-to-back horrors, Reyna realizes she needs to make a crucial decision that will change their lives forever… and possibly save them. Fate decides to put that to the test immediately, drawing them right into enemy territory where Reyna will finally discover what’s become of Jesse and gets an unexpected audience with real Úlfrinn royalty.

Just when it seems they’ve found solid footing at last, their world is shaken in a horrific homecoming of bloodshed and betrayal. Their greatest fears can no longer be ignored, as they find themselves facing the evidence of their arrival… along with a living Nightmare. Can Corbyn trust his Little Queen to make the right decision for herself and their entire pack, or will he lose everything he’s ever loved in one fateful night?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

“Reyna.” Benny nodded at her. “It was very nice meeting you. Let me know if you ever change your mind about sticking this man in a cage.”

She chuckled and accepted the partial embrace from the older man.

“Guess I better be on my best behavior,” Corbyn said.

“Oh, why ruin a good thing now?” Reyna sighed sweetly, causing Benny to laugh wholeheartedly.

“Damn good time to start, Bruschard!” he called after them.

Waving above his head as they walked away, Corbyn grinned at Reyna and pulled her closer to his side. Returning to the club was a pleasant relief, but heaven was found when they stepped out into the fresh afternoon air and the more tolerable noise of the city. Reyna inhaled deeply, closing her eyes to feel the warmth of the sun on her face. More heat enveloped her with the hand Corbyn used to cup her cheek. Backing her into the wall, he feasted on her mouth, his grip tightening possessively.

“A thousand times over, I will make that up to you, falleg,” he vowed. “I thought I lost you today. That wasn’t how I wanted to show you how grateful I am that I didn’t.”

“Corbyn, I’m the one who insisted on coming here,” she reminded him, blinking to clear her blurry vision.

“If I would’ve just told you the truth.” He shook his head.

“I still would’ve insisted, just to sate my curiosity,” she admitted.

Studying her face, Corbyn pressed a soft kiss to her lips again. “I have no idea how I got so damn lucky,” he confessed aloud.

“Oh, I’m only in it for the thousand-times-over repayment plan.” She smiled coyly.

Laughing, he kissed her loudly, almost playfully on the mouth, before his expression turned carnal. “Can I repay you in orgasms?”

“Absofreakinglutely!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ Author Bio ~

A.C. Melody is a hybrid author of Erotic Romance and its many sub-genres, enjoying the evergreen life of the Pacific Northwest. Confessed javaholic, introverted geeky girl with a twisted sense of humor and a wretched muse. She has a weakness for hard ass Alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts, without damaging their rough edges.

A lifetime lover of Fairytales, Myths, Legends and ancient pantheons, she spends more time researching than writing. A.C.’s biggest goal is to provide new, captivating angles on old, favorite tales with very naughty twists and characters that redefine preset expectations.

A.C. Loves interacting with readers and fellow authors, so make sure to stop by one of her favorite haunts below to say Hi!

 

Favorite Quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

~ Links ~

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Twitter

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Amazon Author Page

 

A.C. Melody will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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“Creepz” by Ruth Bainbridge #BookBlast


Creepz cover

Creepz

by Ruth Bainbridge

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Suspense Thriller

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

June 2017. New York is suffering under the worst heatwave in centuries, but it’s the barrage of grisly murders that has city dwellers on edge. Since the homicides don’t fit a pattern, the NYPD is treating them as unrelated, but Detective Grace Jarrod isn’t so sure. Graffiti left at the crime scenes points to the crimes being linked and part of a rampage.

The delivery of a cryptogram to her precinct proves her theory correct. A group calling themselves CREEPZ takes credit for the deaths and for the war they wage. They promise not to stop until a societal revolution is achieved. Jarrod leads the investigation and goes after the madmen that strike at will and profess to kill for love. Little does she know that the group of homeless drifters is led by a genius who believes himself God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

He wasn’t much bigger than she was. With her shoes off, he was only eye level. She could get through him … she could. Like Stacy said, he was just a little punk—a creep—one of hundreds she’d encountered before. He was only trying to scare her, but it wouldn’t work. She could handle this—if only she could move her damn feet.The click of the gun being cocked echoed in her head. A shiver shimmying up her spine, the filthy stranger’s grin widened as he neared and pressed the cold steel into the center of her forehead.

“No!” she screamed.

“Ya-yo-yes, little girl with no way to go but da-da-down.”

“But why? Why?”

“Because Daniel says so-so-so. It’s adios sad buh-bye time, so maybe you oughta cry.”

“Please,” she begged as tears streamed down her face. “Please don’t kill me. I’ll give you all I have. I will!”

“Haff to blonde hair and not much more. Me and Daniel, we’re goin’ to war, but yah-yu-you? You gonna start it!”

Sharp laughter knocked all thoughts from her head as a paralysis overtook her.

The man was crazy. Deranged. With no more time to think, she lunged forward, prepared to bash into him. A loud blast stopped her in her tracks and made her ears ring.

The impact of the bullet slammed her backwards. Staggering one unwieldy step, a blinding light lit up the alley as the bullet smashed through her skull. Her brain emptied and splattered onto the back wall. Limp, a numbness overtook her.

Was this it?

Her eyes crossed as she fell. Looking upward at the blackened sky, her question went answered.

She was dead before she hit the ground.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ Author Bio and Links ~

Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol’s achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime–on paper at least. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love–murder.

Her works include: THE CURT SAVAGE MYSTERIES (a four-part series that should be read in order); DEADSPEAK, a detective Twin Peaks; and ONLY ONE WILL FALL, the first in THE NICK CROSS MYSTERIES. CREEPZ is her eighth published work. The most intense read of the season, it’s a complex adrenaline rush that’s filled with suspense.

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~ RAFFLECOPTER ~

 Ruth will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour and, (US/CANADA ONLY) Ruth is hosting an EXTRA CONTEST. The prizes are a Kindle Fire HD8 and (5) $10 gift certificates. It’s a CRYPTOGRAM CONTEST and all winners will be randomly drawn via rafflecopter.

TOUR

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cryptogram Contest (US/CANADA ONLY)

Enter to win a Fire HD8 Tablet with Alexa – a Rafflecopter giveaway