#PreOrder “Murder Take Two: A Ross Agency Mystery (The Ross Agency Mysteries Book 1)” by Delia C. Pitts

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Two bitter friends. Two hustling brothers. Two killers in love. One detective in pursuit

When cynical private eye SJ Rook is hired to guard the set of a hot new television show filming on the streets of Harlem, he expects his toughest challenge to be corralling star-struck fans. The task is simple: keep peace between fancy Hollywood invaders, loudmouth tourists, and rowdy neighborhood regulars. The sultry presence of an A-list star lights up the set and inflames Rook’s imagination.

But the detective’s brush with Hollywood glamour quickly turns dark. All week, a TV big shot bids for Rook’s attention with outlandish claims of murder threats. Rook dismisses these fears as dramatic excess spiced with Left Coast dazzle. But on the last night of filming, murder writes a grim finale to the production.

With his client dead, Rook’s pursuit of the truth begins. Hampered by remorse, he battles a secretive killer whose motives are hidden in plain sight. After a second murder, Rook’s hopes for solving the case are dashed. He must reset for take two of the investigation. But the tragic past of an alluring actress and Rook’s own unspoken desires complicate his hunt. Distracted by stardust, the detective’s struggle to sort fact from fantasy takes on deadly urgency when the killer makes Rook the last target.

Releases February 22nd!

PreOrder

Amazon

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#BookBlast “Festive Mayhem Limited Edition Collection”

If you’re looking for a good mystery with a little holiday twist, look no further. Today I’m participating in the FESTIVE MAYHEM Book Blast featuring 10 talented authors with stories of mystery, crime, and suspense with a holiday flair.

◊ Genre: Mystery Anthologies

◊ Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)

◊ eBooks

◊ File Size: 1232 KB

◊ Print Length: 159 Pages

◊ ASIN: BO8F3HLH67

Ten crime writers of color have teamed up to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Christmas crime capers to Thanksgiving thrillers, historical hard-boiled to contemporary cozies, mystery fans of all genres will find something to love in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.

What you’ll find inside:

• “The New Year’s Hex” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins. Carrie McFarland finds her New Year’s plans derailed when a psychic vision pulls the 1920s African American amateur sleuth into someone’s evil scheme.

• “Pipe Dreams” by S.G. Wong. In this hard-boiled Crescent City short story, infatuation and passion drive Minnie Chen straight into danger as she tries to best the City’s most glamorous private detective in a reimagined 1930s-era Chinese Los Angeles.

• “A Christmas Tip” by Elizabeth Wilkerson. A surprise Christmas bonus becomes too tempting for Philadelphia nursing assistant Brianna Byers to resist—even if accepting requires some skillful skirting of the law.

• “The Stranger in the House” by Stella Oni. This London House Mystery prequel stars Elizabeth Ojo, a Nigerian housekeeper at a posh guest house, who finds her Christmas intersecting with that of a mysterious resident in trouble.

• “What Lies Inside” by Kia Dennis. A tormented university professor falls deeper and deeper into a destructive obsession in this harrowing tale of love and longing.

• “A Pub, Bed & Breakfast & A Dead Body” by Forest Issac Jones. A dark past becomes the deadly present when North Carolina police detective Ike Coates and his intrepid young partner are tasked with determining the cause of a suspicious death.

• “A Deadly First” by Delia C. Pitts. Thanksgiving takes a fatal turn when New York private eye SJ Rook finds himself thrust into his first murder case in this darkly atmospheric tale of noir.

• “The Holiday Murder Mélange” by Myra Jolivet. This Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis short story follows the Creole P.I. around the San Francisco Bay Area on her quest to figure out who killed a man outside of her office.

• “Those Holiday Blues” by Jennifer J. Chow. Jasmine, aka “Jazz,” can’t escape the tragic past when an old boyfriend asks to meet on the anniversary of his mother’s death.

• “Holiday Holdup” by Paige Sleuth. In this Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short, Imogene Little gets tangled up in a Christmas Eve bank robbery orchestrated by none other than Santa Claus himself.

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EXCERPT

The New Year’s Hex

By Carolyn Marie Wilkins

PEOPLE IN ARONSVILLE, Indiana, say I’m a witch. White and colored alike tend to cross the street when they see me coming. Is it my fault I get visions and see colors around people? If I could turn it off and just be ordinary, I would. But it doesn’t work that way. Believe me, I have tried.

If it weren’t for Sister Marie, there’s no telling what would have happened to me. Her magic potions have the power to heal whatever ails you—whether it’s health, love or finances. She took me under her wing two years ago and taught me how to use my gift. If you need to know your future or speak to someone in the Spirit World, I can help.

But I draw the line at hexes. I learned a long time ago that what goes around, comes around. Any bad juju you send out will come back to haunt you sooner or later.

I only use my gift to help people. Still, the fact that I’m a Seer tends to rattle some folks.

Which is why I said “No” when Reverend Robinson invited me to the dinner the Negro Voters League was having at his church on New Year’s Day. The reverend is young, handsome and new in town. Although he’s a man of the cloth, he’s one of the few people in Aronsville who accepts me without judgment. As we sat at Sister Marie’s battered kitchen table drinking tea, his brown face shone with excitement.

“Dr. Morgan Hicks is going to be our guest speaker,” he said. “He’s the most famous Negro educator in the country after Booker T. Washington. You don’t want to miss it.”

While it did sound interesting, I still said “No.”

After the reverend left, Sister Marie wagged a bony, arthritic finger in my face and said, “You’re too young to be a stick-in-the-mud, Carrie McFarland. You’re barely eighteen years old. You should go. Live a little.”

“Look who’s talking,” I replied. “You never leave the neighborhood unless you’re delivering a batch of Female Health Tonic to some rich white woman on the other side of town. You know as well as I do there are a lot of people who’d love to see us run out of Aronsville, or even burned at the stake.”

Sister Marie’s weathered brown face crinkled into a toothless smile. “I may be an old woman, but I know that mankind is moving forward. It’s 1922, Carrie. We’ve got moving pictures now, and the telephone. The days for that kind of superstition are over.”

“Tell that to Herman Scott,” I said sourly. “The man has said publicly that I’m in league with the Devil.”

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This anthology is only available for a short time, so grab it now before it’s gone. It would be criminal to miss it!

FESTIVE MAYHEM is available at the following sites:

AMAZON US   *   AMAZON UK   *   AMAZON CA   *

AMAZON AU * BARNES & NOBLE  *  GOODREADS   *   KOBO *

APPLE BOOKS * GOOGLE PLAY * SMASHWORDS

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About the Authors

FESTIVE MAYHEM features a collection of never-before-published short stories authored by 10 mystery, crime, and suspense writers of color:

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Be sure to enter the giveaway below. If the widget doesn’t work, just click HERE to enter. You can read more about this fascinating book by visiting the other stops on the Book Blast.

Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t you just love a good mystery with a holiday theme?

Monday, Oct. 26 

Just Jemi – Review

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Feature

Nesie’s Place – Excerpt

Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature

Tuesday, Oct. 27 

First of All – Review & Excerpt

CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature

Bookish Rantings – Excerpt

Wednesday, Oct. 28  

I Found This Great Book – Review & Excerpt

Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review

Thoughts in Progress – Excerpt

Author Deborah A. Bailey – Excerpt

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#BookReview “Pauper and Prince in Harlem” by Delia C. Pitts

 

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4/5 Stars!

When his young friend is gunned down yards away from him in what appears to be a drive-by shooting, a jaded PI is determined to find those responsible. He’s not prepared for his investigation to lead him into a large-scale high finance conspiracy that even has government agencies perplexed.

As he tracks his only lead in the shooting, a transgendered boy, the PI encounters street people who live by a code, henchmen who don’t, and the realization of just how far he’ll go for street justice.

SJ Rook is not the slick, polished, alpha-male private detective of pop culture. He’s divorced, broke, war-wounded, and trying to eke out an existence as the muscle of a neighborhood detective agency. He has good gut instinct, but his life is plagued by bad luck and bad decisions. Rook owns his part in the path his life took, even if he’s almost out of optimism. But fourteen-year-old Zaire had potential and a chance at a good life and someone took his chance away from him… and they need to pay for that.

Characters are well-developed and relatable. As he struggles with his identity and place in the world, young Whip has a breezy, youthful outlook on life, even as his life is in jeopardy. Sabrina, daughter of the detective agency owner, is a strong female character who proves women can be feminine and tough. She has Rook’s back even though her life… and his could make a drastic change. Street people Odette and Eddie tugged at my heartstrings because, despite their meager existence, they didn’t wallow in self-pity and looked out for their tribe in a way even some blood relations don’t.

This fast-paced read is gritty and unapologetic. While it is the fourth book of the series and I have read none of the others, strong, detailed writing delivered a story I didn’t feel was missing anything. Rook’s journey to justice will appeal to lovers of crime fiction and suspense, and I do recommend Pauper and Prince in Harlem.

Enjoy!

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A vulnerable kid. A brutal enemy. An addled ally. Blood runs cold on Harlem’s hottest summer night when drive-by assassins shoot up a crowded playground, killing the teen-aged friend of private eye SJ Rook. Only fourteen, the kid was smart, affectionate, and alive with potential. His sudden death strikes the cynical Rook through the heart. Was this boy the victim of a cruel accident? Or was he targeted by gang hit men in a ruthless display of power?

To find the killers, Rook must enlist the help of another teen, Whip, a mysterious runaway witness. Whip is a transgender boy whose life on the streets has drawn him into the realm of a violent mob kingpin. Damaged by his mother’s rejection, Whip doesn’t want to be found. Not by the cops or by community do-gooders. And certainly not by Rook, a resolute stranger with vengeance on his mind. Rook’s search for the elusive kid becomes a dangerous trek through the meanest corners of his neighborhood.

Racing from desolate homeless camps to urban swamps, from settlement houses to high-rise palaces ruled by greed and corruption, the determined Rook pursues his quarry. An unexpected twist in the detective’s relationship with his crime-fighting partner, Sabrina Ross, threatens to derail his mission. Noble tramps, vicious thugs, and a pint-sized trigger woman also complicate Rook’s efforts to protect Whip. When a mob prince and a hobo hold the boy’s life in the balance will Rook’s grit and imagination be enough to save Whip and bring the killers to justice?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   

Amazon US

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G I V E A W A Y

Win 1 of 5 print copies of Pauper and Prince in Harlem (5 Winners)

(Open to USA Only)

 E N T E R

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

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#BlogTour “Pauper and Prince in Harlem” by Delia C. Pitts

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A vulnerable kid. A brutal enemy. An addled ally. Blood runs cold on Harlem’s hottest summer night when drive-by assassins shoot up a crowded playground, killing the teen-aged friend of private eye SJ Rook. Only fourteen, the kid was smart, affectionate, and alive with potential. His sudden death strikes the cynical Rook through the heart. Was this boy the victim of a cruel accident? Or was he targeted by gang hit men in a ruthless display of power?

To find the killers, Rook must enlist the help of another teen, Whip, a mysterious runaway witness. Whip is a transgender boy whose life on the streets has drawn him into the realm of a violent mob kingpin. Damaged by his mother’s rejection, Whip doesn’t want to be found. Not by the cops or by community do-gooders. And certainly not by Rook, a resolute stranger with vengeance on his mind. Rook’s search for the elusive kid becomes a dangerous trek through the meanest corners of his neighborhood.

Racing from desolate homeless camps to urban swamps, from settlement houses to high-rise palaces ruled by greed and corruption, the determined Rook pursues his quarry. An unexpected twist in the detective’s relationship with his crime-fighting partner, Sabrina Ross, threatens to derail his mission. Noble tramps, vicious thugs, and a pint-sized trigger woman also complicate Rook’s efforts to protect Whip. When a mob prince and a hobo hold the boy’s life in the balance will Rook’s grit and imagination be enough to save Whip and bring the killers to justice?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   

Amazon US

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Author BioDelia Pitts

Delia C. Pitts is the author of the Ross Agency Mysteries, a contemporary private eye series including Lost and Found in Harlem, Practice the Jealous Arts, and Black and Blue in Harlem. She is a former university administrator and U.S. diplomat, who served in West Africa and Mexico. After working as a journalist, she earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. She has published more than sixty fan fiction titles under the pen name Blacktop. Pauper and Prince in Harlem is the fourth novel in the Ross Agency Mystery series. The fifth, Murder My Past, will be released in 2021. Learn more at her website, www.deliapitts.com

Social Media Links

Website          Instagram        Twitter 

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G I V E A W A Y

Win 1 of 5 print copies of Pauper and Prince in Harlem (5 Winners)

(Open to USA Only)

 E N T E R

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

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