#BookTour “The Hell Bound Kids (Wild In The Streets Book 1)”

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Book One: Wild In The Streets

A transgressive new book series that blurs the lines between crime, horror,
dark fantasy, and suspense

 

Date Published: 05-01-2022

Publisher: No Sell Out Productions

 

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Lawlessness. Rampant crime. Ruthless gangs running wild in the streets. Welcome to Punk City… city under a perpetual moonless and starless night.

The city of the Hell Bound Kids: one of the many gangs warring for control of Punk City’s hellish streets. A transgressive new book series that blurs the lines between crime, horror, dark fantasy, and suspense.

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About the Authors

Manson

Manson loves and hates everyone equitably. Though she’ll read just about anything, she enjoys weird shit like Hunter S. Thompson. She also likes crime fiction, the occult, horror, transgressive, science fiction, and dark fantasy.

 

 

Anthony Perconti

Anthony Perconti lives and works in the hinterlands of New Jersey with his wife and kids. He enjoys well-crafted and engaging stories from across a variety of genres and mediums. His articles have appeared in several online venues as well as some indie press magazines such as Three Crows Magazine, Grimdark Magazine, Dark Matter Magazine & Pulp Modern. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyPerconti

 

Sebastian Vice

Sebastian Vice is the founder of Outcast Press devoted to transgressive fiction and dirty realism. He writes a regular column for A Thin Slice of Anxiety called “Notes Of A Degenerate Dreamer,” and has poetry and short fiction published in Punk Noir Magazine, A Thin Slice Of Anxiety, Outcast Press, Terror House Magazine, and Bristol Noir. His flash piece “One Last Good Day” was nominated for Best Of The Net
2021.

 

Joe Haward

Joe Haward is an author, poet, and heretic. As a freelance journalist his work challenges religious and political corruption. Writing horror, noir, and transgressive fiction and poetry, his work can be found in various places. His debut poetry collection, Heresy (Uncle B. Publications) drops in 2022. Find him on Twitter @RevJoeHaward or at http://www.joehaward.co.uk.

 

Contact Links

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Mewe

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#BookTour “Leading The Lost Boys: The Untold Journey” by Paulino Mamiir Chol

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The Untold Journey

Memoir

Date Published: June 22, 2021

Publisher: Mamiir Chol Foundation

 

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As a member of the Lost Boys of South Sudan, author Paulino Mamiir Chol offers the gripping account of his transformation from a kidnapping survivor to a leader— Mr. Chol led over 700 boys across three African
countries.

Paulino Mamiir Chol was abducted from his family, in the Twic County of Warrap state. Over the course of seventeen harrowing years, he survived Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, and eventually made it to Denver, Colorado, in the United States of America, where he now pursues a PhD.

In detailing the journeys of the Lost Boys, as well as the murderous actions of the Murahalin Militia before and after the Second Sudanese Civil War, Mr. Chol paints a vivid picture of one of modern history’s most horrific human rights abuses. In so doing, he also offers hope in the power of the human spirit to overcome trauma and tragedy—especially when we focus on serving others.

Leading The Lost Boys: The Untold Journey is part of Paulino Mamiir Chol’s effort to fight the inhuman darkness we are all capable of, and to empower and inspire the hearts of those suffering.

 All proceeds will go to the Mamiir Chol Foundation (MACH), which will provide funds to villagers in Twic County for clean drinking wells, clinics, schools, and community centers. Proceeds will also support organizations working for human rights, homeless children, widowed mothers, disabled people, and to protect women and girls from sexual abuse, exploitation and gender-based violence.

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EXCERPT

Introduction

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, and it was the winter of despair.

—A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens could have easily written these words when Arab militias attacked our village, kidnapped women and children, and killed men; the left-behind children fled to refugee camps; the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/ Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) officers and teachers abused the Lost Boys; the South Sudanese and Kenyan officials practiced corruption; and the Lost Boys finally arrived in the Western nations. It was the worst of times when the Arab militias dismembered and killed the caught men in front of the children. It was the worst of times when old and disabled people were burned in the huts because they were unable to run. It was the worst of times when our women were forcibly circumcised. It was the worst of times when our women were raped in open places. It was the season of darkness when children walked for over three thousand miles on bare feet to safety. It was the worst of times when the Sudanese army killed children. It was the worst of times when curable ailments (malaria, typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea) killed ten boys every day in the Pinyido refugee camp in Ethiopia. It was the worst of times when lions and crocodiles killed many Lost Boys along the way. It was the worst of times when SPLM/SPLA officers and teachers ate our food while we were starving to death in Pochalla County, South Sudan. It the worst of times when the SPLM/SPLA officers and teachers physically and psychologically abused the children. It was the worst of times when three thousand Lost Boys remained in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya because our leaders had sold the names of Lost Boys so that other boys could relocate to America instead of the Lost Boys. But it was the best of times when some Lost Boys were able to come to the United States and start their new lives. In addition, it has been the best of times, and a glimmer of hope, when some of the Lost Boys have received their higher education in the Western world.

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#BookReview “The Orientation of Dylan Woodger: A Central New York Crime Story” by Chiuba E Obele

April 18 – May 13, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

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4/5 Stars!

Unflinching and unnerving, The Orientation of Dylan Woodger holds nothing back as the college student tries to recall three missing years of his life during torture sessions by dark characters who want the three million dollars they say he owes them.

Despite a slow, overly detailed beginning, this read becomes a page-turner as Dylan pieces together his past not knowing what to believe or who to trust. Determined to find out who betrayed him, Dylan convinces his captors to work with him to find their money.

Family dysfunction, politics, feminism, racism, and crime are just some of the themes covered in this read, but considering the current climate surrounding Roe vs Wade, it’s the subject of rape, male and female, that stands out.

Realistic and raw, the focus isn’t on so much what victims went through, but how they survive it and move on despite an assault that forever changed their lives. Strong writing and fully developed characters pulled me into their stories and had me invested in the good and the bad.

There are several turns and a few twists before an extraordinary ending. A satisfying read, Dylan’s story isn’t about orientation to college but to life… and it’s dark ugliness.

Twenty-five percent of proceeds from this book are being donated to Rainn, an organization that support survivors of sexual assault and works to prevent it.

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

Solving mysteries is never easy. Dealing with an infuriated mob boss and acute amnesia only makes it worse.

Dylan Woodger is a college student who is captured and tortured by the mafia. After amnesia obscures the last three years of his life, Dylan learns that he has stolen three million dollars from a ruthless mafia boss. When, how, and why – he doesn’t remember. But someone betrayed him and gave him a drug that erased his memory. He was then given over to be tortured.

Determined to recover his memory, Dylan begins delving into the events of the past. As he struggles to put the pieces of his past back together, Dylan finds himself wrapped up in a path of vengeance made even more perilous by the presence of assassins, gangsters, and detectives. But as each new piece of the puzzle falls into place, Dylan realizes that no one is who they seem, especially himself. He now has links to rapists, white supremacists, and murders. People who claim to be his friends are hiding secrets from him. And his girlfriend is beautiful, but that’s all he knows about her. Who are these people? And who is Dylan? Even he doesn’t know!

The Orientation of Dylan Woodger is the story of a young man who is torn between his capacity to do evil and his desire to do what’s right. This book explores racism and feminism, and addresses controversial topics such as male rape, hate crimes, and misogyny toward women. The characters are disturbing, but the book aspires to be hopeful, as these characters ultimately succeed in finding some measure of humanity.

There are so many unanswered questions . . . But first, Dylan must survive the torture.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Fischer House Publications

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

Number of Pages: 377

ISBN: 9798985146400

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

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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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ENTER TO WIN

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for CHIUBA EUGENE OBELE. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

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#BookTour “The Orientation of Dylan Woodger: A Central New York Crime Story” by Chiuba E Obele

The Orientation of Dylan Woodger by Chiuba E Obele BannerApril 18 – May 13, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

The Orientation of Dylan Woodger by Chiuba E Obele

Solving mysteries is never easy. Dealing with an infuriated mob boss and acute amnesia only makes it worse.

Dylan Woodger is a college student who is captured and tortured by the mafia. After amnesia obscures the last three years of his life, Dylan learns that he has stolen three million dollars from a ruthless mafia boss. When, how, and why – he doesn’t remember. But someone betrayed him and gave him a drug that erased his memory. He was then given over to be tortured.

Determined to recover his memory, Dylan begins delving into the events of the past. As he struggles to put the pieces of his past back together, Dylan finds himself wrapped up in a path of vengeance made even more perilous by the presence of assassins, gangsters, and detectives. But as each new piece of the puzzle falls into place, Dylan realizes that no one is who they seem, especially himself. He now has links to rapists, white supremacists, and murders. People who claim to be his friends are hiding secrets from him. And his girlfriend is beautiful, but that’s all he knows about her. Who are these people? And who is Dylan? Even he doesn’t know!

The Orientation of Dylan Woodger is the story of a young man who is torn between his capacity to do evil and his desire to do what’s right. This book explores racism and feminism, and addresses controversial topics such as male rape, hate crimes, and misogyny toward women. The characters are disturbing, but the book aspires to be hopeful, as these characters ultimately succeed in finding some measure of humanity.

There are so many unanswered questions . . . But first, Dylan must survive the torture.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Fischer House Publications

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

Number of Pages: 377

ISBN: 9798985146400

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 3

WHO WAS I? Dylan J. Woodger

Where was I? I wasn’t sure.
What time was it? I had no clue.
Why was I here? I didn’t know

What I did know, was that it was fucking cold. I could feel undergrowth beneath me. My eyes darted around. There were trees as far as the eye could see. I had a raging headache. I couldn’t move my hands or feet. I looked down at my prone body and saw rope wrapped tightly around my ankles. I couldn’t move my hands — they were tied behind my back. My wrists hurt, and whatever bound them also cut into my arms. I had a pain in my shoulder. It hurt bad. But it was nothing compared to the pain that I would suffer once I fell into the hands of the Utica Mafia.

But we’re not there yet.

In my mind, it was yesterday that my mother dropped me off at Hamilton College. I went to sleep, then woke up in the woods. It was warm and sunny when Mom left me. But now, I woke up in the freezing cold. I thought it was August and I couldn’t figure out how it could get so cold. And why was I tied up? And could the pain in my shoulder be…a bullet wound? But how could it be a bullet wound? I’d never been shot at!

I knew I had to get outta there, or else I’d freeze to death. Most people aren’t experts in rope tying. Usually, the average person without formal training doesn’t know how to do a good job. And this rope tying definitely wasn’t the work of a professional. So I felt confident I could escape. I managed to free my arms with some wriggling though it took more skin off my wrists. Then I focused on freeing my legs. I kicked off my shoes and pulled my feet out of the rope. Once my feet were free, I used my hands to pull the leg bonds down. I was now free, but still clueless. Who had done this to me? One thing I knew for sure: this was the work of an amateur who didn’t know how to properly tie someone up.

Oh, and I noticed something strange about myself. I grew facial hair and had put on some muscle. But when did that happen? I hadn’t looked in a mirror, but I doubted I was the same baby-faced boy my mom had dropped off that morning.

Just then, I heard a group of men shouting out of sync. “Hello, is anybody here? Hello?”

I felt relieved. Did the police send out a search party for me?

I was eager to get out of the cold, and my first instinct was to shout, “Over here!”

That was my first mistake.

As the men approached, their boots crunching on twigs and fallen branches, I rushed over to them. I kept my left arm still — the pain of

moving it alone caused my vision to flash white and my ears to ring. I stumbled a bit, but soon I could see them clear enough. The men wore plain clothes, just any random winter jacket and jeans someone might get at the nearest Walmart. They weren’t uniformed as you would normally expect police to be.

“Thank goodness you’re here. I thought I would freeze to death.”

The men looked at each other in confusion, until one of them finally said, “Are you here with anyone?”

“No,” I replied. “I found myself tied up and managed to escape, just before you got here.”

“This guy is lying to us,” one of them said. “This must be an ambush.”

“An ambush? What are you talking about?” I struggled to keep my voice even. “I just woke up, and I haven’t seen another person until you guys showed up. I’m glad you got here, though. Can you please take me home?”

Just at that moment, one of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it at me. My hands flew out in front of me, and my blood ran cold when I saw the barrel. “Wait, hold on! What are you doing?”

“You better tell us right now. Is this an ambush? ’Cause if bullets start flying, you’ll be the first one to die.”

“No, sir. I promise, this isn’t an ambush.”

“So where’s our money?” he demanded.

I was confused. Then I thought I had pieced it together. “Yeah, okay. You guys obviously want money for going through the trouble of finding me. That’s fair. My mother’s pretty well off, and she probably offered a reward to find me. I’ll make sure you get it. That’s how these things work, right? So can you please take me home now?”

The man kept the gun pointed at me. I heard a click and knew he had cocked it. I realized then, that this was no ordinary search party.

“What’s going on here?” I asked, with fear creeping in.

The man with the gun shouted at me. “Stop playing games and tell us where our money is!”

I furrowed my eyebrows at him. He was an olive-skinned man. I pegged his age at around forty. He was bigger than average with shaggy black hair and unkempt facial hair.

“You’ve got me confused with someone else,” I said. “I don’t have anybody’s money.”

“Nice try, kid, but I’m not a babbeo. Whatever tricks you’re trying to pull, they won’t work. Stop acting like we’re suckers and tell us where our money is! I’m not gonna ask you again.”

Babbeo? I wondered. What language is that? Could it be Italian?

“Look, I already told you that if you take me home, my mom will be glad to help you with some money. Now can we please—”

Before I could finish speaking, the man with the gun slapped me with it. I grabbed my jaw and fell backward. My head exploded with pain.

One of the men said, “Shit, Tony. This guy is useless. Let’s finish him off and get outta here.”

Another man replied, “Wait, Tony. The boss sent us to collect the money. We can’t kill him. We have to make this kid talk.”

“All right,” Tony said. “Let’s take him back to the warehouse. And then we can really start having fun.”

I knew what he meant by “fun.” They were going to torture me. “Help!” I screamed. “Somebody help me!”

A loud bang rang out. Before my ears could even begin ringing, the bullet ripped into my thigh, stopping like red hot steel somewhere inside of me. My vision flashed white, and I fell to the ground. Pain pulsed out from the wound. I wasn’t aware of myself at that moment. Maybe I cried out, or maybe it was more of a scream. What I knew, though, was that Tony had shot me in the leg.

“Shut the fuck up!” he said, waving the gun around. “I better not hear one more word outta you, or the next bullet is going straight through your head. Don’t test me!”

The men grabbed the ropes I had untied and started binding me. All the while, I felt my pants getting soaked with warm blood. My temples pounded with my racing heart as I begged for my life. “Please, you have

to believe me. I haven’t taken anyone’s money!”

One of the men said, “Well, if you didn’t rob us, then explain how you got that bullet wound in your shoulder. Huh?”

The men paused and waited for me to answer. For a moment, I forgot about the pain in my leg. I looked over my shoulder, and I could see someone had bandaged me up.

“I don’t know where I got this from,” I said.

“Don’t lie! I specifically remember shooting someone in the shoulder when the guys who robbed us were running away. You mean to tell me that’s a coincidence?”

“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please let me go.”

Tony went into a rage and began kicking me relentlessly in the gut. I tried to curl into a ball to protect my stomach which was near impossible thanks to the rope bonds. “Stop pretending to be dumb!” he said. “You’re getting on my fucking nerves!”

“Tony, relax!” one of the men said. “Remember, we gotta keep this guy alive until we know where our money is.”

The men gagged my mouth with a dry kitchen cloth and carried me into their van. Then the van drove off. The windows were tinted black. I tried kicking. I tried screaming. But none of it worked. After they placed me into the van, one of the men pulled a bag over my head. I couldn’t see a thing, but I could still hear them speak. One of them sounded like Tony—a baritone smoker. He was apparently speaking on the phone.

“Yeah, Vinny,” he said. “Tell the boss we found someone…I don’t know who it is…I already told you, I don’t know who he is! It’s just some kid who’s putting on an act.”

I heard Vinny shouting on the other end of the call. “You didn’t even ask him his for fucking name, Tony?”

Tony jerked the bag off my head and yanked the gag from my mouth. “What’s your name, kid?” he asked.

I scrambled for a plan. Should I give him a fake name? What if they catch me in a lie? That wouldn’t be so smart. I thought about whether I should cooperate. Then I simply said, “I’m not saying a damn word.”

At that point, Tony pulled a knife from his pocket and repeatedly stabbed my leg wound. White-hot pain seared through my mind. I nearly passed out from the pain and the sight of blood pouring out of me.

“Stop! Please, stop!” I cried out.

One of the men said, “You could make this a lot easier, kid, if you just tell us your name.”

“Dylan!” I screamed. “My name is Dylan!” “Dylan who?” Tony asked.

“Dylan J. Woodger!”

The pain in my leg was so bad I could barely breathe. I trembled uncontrollably. Soon, I felt lightheaded. “Can you please wrap my leg?” I

begged. “I’m bleeding badly. And I—”

Before I could finish speaking, Tony gagged me again and pulled the bag over my head. He continued talking on the phone.

“Okay, Vinny. He said his name is Dylan…Dylan Woodger…Yeah, we’re on our way to the warehouse, and—”

At that moment, I heard the shriek of a police siren. “Shit!” the driver muttered.

“What is it?” Tony asked

“It’s a cop! We’re being pulled over.”

A wave of obscenities reverberated throughout the van. “Everyone, calm the fuck down!” Tony yelled.

I felt something hard being shoved against my crotch. It was the familiar feel of a gun.

“You better not say a word, kid,” Tony said, “or I’ll shoot you in the balls.”

The van halted abruptly. A minute passed. I heard footsteps outside on the road, the glide of shoes on gravel.

“Hello, Officer,” the driver said calmly, “What seems to be the problem?”

“License and registration,” said the cop.

“Sure. Not a problem.” The driver gave the cop his license and registration.

“Do you know why you’re being stopped?” “Was I speeding?”

“No. Your van has tinted windows. Tinted windows are illegal in the state of New York.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know that,” the driver said. “I just bought this vehicle last week, and the car dealer failed to mention that. I’ll be sure to get the windows changed.” The driver laughed nervously. “So, I guess I’ll take that ticket and be on my way.”

“Not so fast,” the cop said. “I still have a couple of questions to ask you…Where are you coming from?”

“Oh umm…We’re just a few fellas going out hunting in the woods.

We just got finished not too long ago, and now we’re heading home.” “And where’s home?” the officer asked.

“Utica, sir.”

“Well, you’re only allowed to hunt animals between November first and December twentieth. Hunting season ended last week.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.”

“I’d like to check your vehicle.”

“Sure Officer. Go right ahead. I’ll unlock it for you.”

When I heard the rear door unlock, I nearly let out a cheer. It was as if the officer could hear my heart pounding its way through my chest. But as soon as I heard the rear door of the van creak open, a barrage of bullets tore open the air. I heard a body drop to the ground.

One of the men inside the van hissed, “Shit, he’s still moving. He’s probably got a vest on.”

Another man said, “I’ll go finish him off.”

“No! Hold on.” Tony stopped him. He pulled the bag off my head and said to me, “I want you to see what happens to those who get in our way.”

Tony stepped out of the van. Through the open door, I could see the officer on the ground, writhing in pain and begging for his life. “Please,” he said, “Don’t do this…I have three kids and a wife.”

At that point, Tony fired two gunshots straight into the officer’s head. Blood splattered onto the pavement. Tony got back into the van and said to me, “I wanted you to see that, so you know we’re capable of killing anyone. If you fuck with us, you’ll end up joining this guy here.”

***

Excerpt from The Orientation of Dylan Woodger by Chiuba E Obele. Copyright 2022 by Chiuba E Obele. Reproduced with permission from Chiuba E Obele. All rights reserved.

 

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Author Bio:

Chiuba E Obele

CHIUBA EUGENE OBELE is a poet, writer, and author of The Orientation of Dylan Woodger: A Central New York Crime Story. He can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely than not be a crime fiction novel. Chiuba lives and works out of his home in Boston, Massachusetts. When not absorbed in the latest page-turner, Chiuba enjoys spending his summers vacationing with his parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews.

Catch Up With Chiuba E Obele:
ChiubaObele.com
Goodreads
Twitter – @ChiubaE
Facebook – @chiubaobele7

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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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ENTER TO WIN

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for CHIUBA EUGENE OBELE. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

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#BookTour ‘n’ #Interview “A Message in Poison” by BJ Magnani

A Message in Poison by BJ Magnani BannerMay 9 – June 3, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

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I’m excited to have an interview with author BJ Magnani during my stop on the book blog tour. Read on and meet a true queen of all poisons!

Thank you for spending a little time with us here on Nesie’s Place today, BJ! Do you prefer BJ,  Barbarajean, or Dr. Magnani?

I choose the name depending on the setting: BJ ( informal and fun), Barbarajean (serious and elegant), and Dr. Magnani (full-on work mode)! Or sometimes, “The Queen of All Poisons.”

Tell us about yourself… where you’re from, your profession, family, hobbies, guilty pleasures.

I am the mother of two grown children, an equestrian, guitar player, rock climber, and lover of all things nature and science.

I’m originally from New York but came to Boston for my medical training. I’m a board-certified clinical pathologist with a specialty in toxicology. I was the former Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine (Tufts Medical Center) and Chair of the College of American Pathologists Toxicology Committee.

I’ve had a blessed life and believe in giving back. Therefore, part of the proceeds from my novels helps support the College of American Pathologists Foundation See Test & Treat program, which provides education and free cervical and breast cancer screening for women in need. Everyone should have equal health care opportunities.

Your books deal with death by poisoning. Why poison? What inspired you?

You write what you know, and I know poisons! I worked with some formidable toxins as a scientist, and my clinical work focused on poisons and drug overdoses. How better to educate the public than through a rich story. I always thought that Michael Crichton provided some education through his novels. Each of my novels contains information at the back of the book for science lovers: book 1 in the Dr. Lily Robinson series, The Queen of All Poisons, has a poison ‘appendix’ at the back of the book,  book 2,  The Power of Poison, contains some information on molecular weights, and my new book, A Message in Poison, has information about the periodic table. I’m a science nerd.

I also write a monthly poison blog which you can find on my website

The Poison Blog | BJ Magnani

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I am traditionally published through a small independent press (Encircle Publications) located in Farmington, Maine.

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing short stories as a high school student, then stopped to pursue a career in science (MS, PhD, MD.) So for most of my life,  I have been writing scientific articles related to my work. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that I started writing fiction again at the urging of the editor-in-chief of a scientific journal who was interested in educating scientists through a fictional character, and that was the birth of Dr. Lily Robinson. Dr. Robinson is the brilliant toxicologist exploited by the government for her knowledge of poisons as she is recruited as an assassin to eliminate terrorists from the world.

Pantser or Plotter?

I am more of a pantser than a plotter, although I have a general idea of where I want to go. I’m always surprised when I end up in a place I hadn’t anticipated.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I read a variety of genres and non-fiction too.

What are you reading now?

Currently, I’m reading a memoir and a romance novel, but I mostly like medical or science thrillers.

Where do you get the most writing done?

Here is a picture from my back deck. The beauty of nature inspires me.

bj magnani cloud pic

What’s your next project or release?

A Message in Poison (book 3 in the Dr. Lily Robinson series) was just released on April 20th, 2022—book 1, The Queen of All Poisons, is the start of Lily’s story, which continues into book 2, The Power of Poison) and I’ve just started the 4th book in the series. I also recently finished writing a romance novel—I believe in stretching as a writer.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

It’s never too late to start writing (this is my 4th career—teacher, scientist, pathologist, fiction author) and write what you love. And keep writing.

Many thanks to BJ Magnani for spending time with us today!

Read on for an excerpt, and learn more about her latest release, A Message in Poison. Grab a copy and enter the giveaway!

Be sure to stop by on June 3rd for my review of this medical thriller mystery!

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Synopsis:

 
Sparks fly as Dr. Lily Robinson-the brilliant academic pathologist and covert assassin for the U.S. Government-investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths alongside her lover, Agent Jean Paul Marchand, and D.C. Medical Examiner Dr. Logan Pelletier.

A U.S. Senator and the president of a developing nation are found dead in their beds. As governments thousands of miles apart react to the fallout and begin their investigations, no one claims responsibility, and no motives are clear. Yet, the cause of death implies a link between the two—one that only a mind versed in poisons and politics can decipher. With her personal relationships teetering on the brink and her loved ones facing foreign threats, Lily must unravel the mystery and uncover a plot more calculating than anyone could imagine—but it may be too late.

A Message in Poison, the third part of the Art of Secret Poisoning trilogy (The Queen of All Poisons and The Power of Poison), continues with twists and turns as Dr. Lily Robinson travels the globe, stares down death, and finds herself at “another crossroad, another choice between life real or imagined…”

The fast-paced action juxtaposes nicely with the personal dilemmas Lily faces as she uncovers a new plot that forces her to reconsider her talents and place in the world.
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Mystery / Thriller

Published by: Encircle Publications

Publication Date: April 20th 2022

Number of Pages: 278

ISBN: 1645993256 (ISBN13: 9781645993254)

Series: A Dr. Lily Robinson Novel, The Art of Secret Poisoning Part 3

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

I’ve done some terrible things in my life. Big lies splash in my wake and follow me until the water creeps into my lungs. I’ve murdered many people who deserved to die. I take the phrase ‘pick your poison’ literally. My arsenal of natural toxins and poisons hidden deep within a freezer provide enough variety to mimic natural death. The cool salt air at my seaside cottage coaxes plants in my poisonous garden to yield the natural killers that I need. And I have collaborators around the world who can provide for me what my garden cannot.

Yes, it’s true that I’ve spent much of my life taking care of patients as a physician and taught a generation of medical students. But it was this very expertise in toxicology that captured the attention of our government. They seduced me and then orchestrated a transformation from consultant to assassin. Some say it’s my jewel-green eyes, raven-colored hair, and even my stiletto heels that tend to disarm my victims. They are blinded to the truth. With eyes closed to the Hippocratic Oath, I travel the world, eliminating terrorists and traitors with poison, stealth in a bottle, in the name of preventing mass destruction on a global scale. Our small covert counter-terrorism team weeds out threats at home and abroad—sanctioned killing, the price of doing business. I’m told that ‘the good of the many outweighs the good of the one.’ It’s become my guiding mantra, allowing me to rationalize this dual existence.

I hide my secret life beneath the cloak of justice, and I’ve discovered that others do too. So I ask you if you’re sure you know the truth about those around you. This last year of my life has been fraught with revelations that I didn’t see coming. For more than twenty years, I thought my baby, my little girl, had died in the Colombian jungle. Not only did I learn that she’s alive, but I discovered that she’s attending the same medical school where I have my academic appointment—a life-changing disclosure. I tremble when I think that we may have brushed by each other not only at the university, but in my fleeting past. I look back and see momentary images of familiarity etched in my mind. Was my beautiful Rose right in front of me while I wore blinders of guilt and despair?

JP, my lover, and partner in our covert government band, grasps my turmoil. Desperate to soothe my soul, he promises that life’s twists and turns can only make us more resilient and resolute. Facing the wind, my body stands tall and hard like a tree firmly rooted in the ground. Having no support on its own, a vine uses its tendrils to clutch to the broad trunk. My stories are like this vine, ever climbing, ever strangling—a complicated life that requires both brilliance and strength.

***

Excerpt from A Message in Poison by BJ Magnani. Copyright 2022 by BJ Magnani. Reproduced with permission from BJ Magnani. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

BJ Magnani

BJ Magnani (Barbarajean Magnani, PhD, MD, FCAP) is the author of the Dr. Lily Robinson novels: The Queen of All Poisons (Encircle Publications, 2019), The Power of Poison (Encircle Publications, 2021), and A Message In Poison (Encircle Publications, 2022.) Lily Robinson and the Art of Secret Poisoning (nVision Publishing, 2011) is the original collection of short stories featuring the brilliant, yet deadly, doctor. Dr. Magnani is internationally recognized for her expertise in clinical chemistry and toxicology, has been named a “Top Doctor” in Boston magazine, and was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Laboratory Medicine Professionals in the World by The Pathologist. She is Professor of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (and Professor of Medicine) at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, and the former Chair of both the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Toxicology Committee and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tufts Medical Center.

Follow BJ Magnani on:
www.BJMagnani.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @bjmagnani
Twitter – @bjmagnani
Facebook – @bjmagnaniauthor

Join us for an InstaParty at #bjmagnani!!

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#BookBlitz “Lulu (Desert Rebels MC Book 7)” Tory Richards

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Desert Rebels MC, Book 7

Romantic Suspense

Date Published: 3/1/22

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For years Lulu hid out with the Desert Rebels as one of their club whores.
A sweetheart to everyone, and a favorite with the brothers. But now the time has come for her to choose her own path and pay her own way. With their help she leaves her whoring days behind to start a new life.

Brody Savage is an assassin who works both sides of the law. He doesn’t
have time for messy relationships and prefers one-night-stands. He’s had his
eye on Lulu for years. But as long as she belonged to the club he wouldn’t
touch her. Now she’s fair game and he plans to do more than just touch her.
He wants her for himself.

~~~

Excerpt

Brody moved so fast I didn’t hear him coming. The next thing I knew he’d pushed me up against the wall and covered me with his body. I caught my breath as I found the front of my body crushed against the wall, and turned my head sideways in order to breathe.

“The only whore here is you,” he grated roughly against my ear. “I don’t want to hear what you’re used to. You don’t know anything about me, and all that changes right now.”

I felt his lips murmur the words against my ear, the warmth of his breath causing a shiver of need through my body. I hadn’t been with anyone for the better part of a year, and loving sex the way I did, Brody’s overwhelming closeness was turning me on. It didn’t surprise me, even knowing that we didn’t like each other. Since when did liking someone
have anything to do with fulfilling a sexual hunger? I bumped my hips back as if trying to dislodge him, but all it did was reveal how fucking hard his dick was against my ass.

I caught his hiss as he thrust right back against me.

“What do you want?” My words came out in a husky rasp. I wasn’t afraid of him, only of what he made me feel. I liked rough, take-charge men that took what they wanted. It was a good thing, because I’d surrounded my life with them. But Brody was different. Not in the
way he was dominating me, but in the way that I felt for him. I wanted to hate him.

He ran his mouth up and down the side of my neck, grinding his cock into my ass.

“I want you, Hellcat. And someday soon I’m going to fuck you. So you might as well get ready, because when that day comes, you’ll never be the same.”

~~~

About the Author

Tory Richards is an author who writes smut with a plot.

She’s an Amazon bestselling author in erotic romance and romantic suspense categories.

Born in Maine, she’s lived most of her life in Florida where she went to school, married, and raised her daughter.

She’s retired from Disney and spends her time with family and friends, traveling, and writing.

 

 

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter: @ToryRichards

Blog

Goodreads

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Instagram

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Googleplay

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “Snowball the Sherlock Bunny and the Carrot Garden Mystery” by Constance Meccarello-Gerson

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Snowball the Sherlock Rabbit Book 2

Children’s Book

Date Published: 05-10-2022

 

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Snowball the Sherlock Rabbit in search of the villain crunching his way
through Grimly the Bear’s Carrot Garden.

~~~

 About the Author

Constance Meccarello-Gerson was born in Poughkeepsie N.Y.  She is a graduate of Florida Southern College with a BA in Acting. She also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. HB Studio, Actors Studio, in NYC.  She is a member of SAG, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Si Omega. Her
MFA in Acting is from Brooklyn College.  She has appeared on TV, film, and on stage in NYC.

For 20 years she taught as a mentor and teacher of English and Theatre arts for the New York City Department of Education and for the University at Santa Cruz. She also taught for ten years as a Speech Coordinator at Touro College. She was an executive at Bloomingdales. Her writing as appeared in Reflections, also in the Best American Poets series.  Her Hassle High cozy mystery series is on Kindle and Amazon.

Currently she lives in NYC with her husband Alain, a parrot named Benji, and
lots of fish.

 

Contact Links

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#BookTour “Dead Man’s Leap” by Tina deBellegarde

Dead Man's Leap by Tina deBellegarde Banner

May 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Dead Man's Leap by Tina deBellegarde

DEAD MAN’S LEAP revisits Bianca St. Denis in Batavia-on-Hudson, New York

Rushing waters…dead bodies…secrets…

As Bianca St. Denis and her neighbors scour their attics for donations to the charity rummage sale, they unearth secrets as well as prized possessions. Leonard Marshall’s historic inn hosts the sale each year, but it is his basement that houses the key to his past. When an enigmatic antiques dealer arrives in town, he upends Leonard’s carefully reconstructed life with an impossible choice that harkens back to the past.

Meanwhile, when a storm forces the villagers of Batavia-on-Hudson to seek shelter, the river rises and so do tempers. Close quarters fuel simmering disputes, and Sheriff Mike Riley has his work cut out for him. When the floods wash up a corpse, Bianca once again finds herself teaming up with Sheriff Riley to solve a mystery. Are they investigating an accidental drowning or something more nefarious?

Dead Man’s Leap explores the burden of secrets, the relief of renunciation, and the danger of believing we can outpace our past.

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Number of Pages: 254
ISBN: 1685120849 (ISBN-13: 978-1685120849)
Series: A Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery, #2
Purchase Links: Amazon

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

He inched toward the precipice, his toes gripping the stone ledge as if they had a will of their own. He lifted his head and squinted into the sunlight still streaming through the blackening clouds. He took in the expanse of rushing water below. In all his eighteen years, Trevor had never seen the creek roil so ferociously.

A clap of thunder startled him. His toes relaxed, and he felt as if the slightest wind could take him over the edge. Lightheaded for a second, he regained his footing and his purpose.

He had no choice if he wanted all this to stop.

He needed to do it.

And do it now.

The downpour would break again soon. But for now, all he could hear was the rushing of Horseshoe Falls beneath him, the roar drowning out the noise of his past.

Of his father.

Of his mother.

Yes, his mother. He had expected his father to be weak, and wasn’t surprised at all after he left. But his mother? A mother’s love is supposed to be unconditional. At least that’s what she had always said before she had turned their world upside down. It was bad enough when she had played at being the sexiest woman in town. At least when his friends teased him then, it was meant to be fun. But this was worse, far worse. Now they wanted nothing to do with him. Now they used him as a punching bag.

His gang no longer looked to him as their leader. They ridiculed him for what his mother had done. From the beginning, he knew those kids were bad news. What choice did he have? In grade school he’d been bullied. Well, he had put a stop to that in high school. Can’t be bullied if you’re the biggest bully.

His mother was gone. His father was gone. And now his posse. First, it was the cold shoulder, and a few snide remarks. Then he was cornered in the locker room after the game one day. That was the hardest. He hadn’t taken a beating like that since the fifth grade. But the tables had been turned on him so fast that he never saw it coming. Trevor realized now that they were never friends. They were just a group of trouble makers who hung out together. Good riddance to them. He didn’t need them anymore.

Another thunderclap reminded him where he was. On the edge. Right on the edge. He either had to do this properly or he would be going over anyway.

Trevor looked over his shoulder one last time and heard a faint commotion in the background. Once they rounded the path, he closed his eyes and jumped.

* * *

Bianca St. Denis stretched to grab the cord just out of reach above her head and yanked on it with all her force to bring down the attic staircase. She tilted her head to avoid being struck as it made its way down. She unfolded the retractable stairs and put one foot on the first rung. But there she stopped, not sure she could take the next few steps. At forty-two the issue wasn’t her physical ability to climb the steps, she was active, even fairly athletic. The old saying went “the mind was willing but the body was not.” Well, in her case “the body was willing but the mind was not.”

She had stayed out of the attic all these months since Richard’s death. She had made do without her ski parka this past winter, and used Richard’s barn jacket she’d found in the mudroom instead. She had made do without the spring curtains she would normally switch out in the living room each March. The winter ones still hung heavy and foreboding. And she made do without the patio cushions she had sewn two seasons ago. She simply sat on the raw wood when she wanted to read or eat in the backyard. She hadn’t realized the number of things she had been doing without by avoiding the attic, not until the town started buzzing about the rummage sale. She pretended it was because she hadn’t had time to search for the items, but she knew better.

She took her foot off the rung, bent and picked up the stairs again, refolded them, and let them float to the ceiling. The hatch closed with a neat click.

* * *

Once Trevor hit the water, his tension disappeared. He welcomed the release and let himself drop. Slowly he was pulled down into the chaos of the rushing water, but his mind had floated above it all. He didn’t feel a thing, he observed it instead. He watched as his body sank, as it swirled in the vortex of the overfull creek. He watched as his body escaped the current and floated peacefully in the murky water. And he watched as he gave in to full renunciation and allowed the water to decide what was to become of him.

His thoughts slowed, as muddy as the water surrounding him.

They slowed, but he could not make them disappear.

He had managed to avoid jumping off Dead Man’s Leap every summer, but this year he knew he couldn’t get away with it. They had already threatened to make sure he jumped this year. That was only part of what the summer had in store for him. Who could he turn to? His grandparents had no idea what he was going through. They always hid their heads in the sand anyway. There was nothing they could do for him. So, he had taken matters into his own hands.

He was shocked when his head broke the surface, and despite himself he gasped for air in enormous mouthfuls until he gagged. He bobbed there, undecided, until he finally attempted the few strides to reach the cove. It took him longer than he expected, like swimming in molasses. A cross between his fatigue, his indifference, and the strong current kept him from reaching the bank in the three strokes it would normally require. On his knees, he crawled out of the pull of rushing water and dropped on the shore.

* * *

Leonard Marshall picked up the package, the paper crinkling in his hand. He carefully unwrapped one layer, then another. Layer after layer until he held the smooth tiny statuette in his hand. He trembled, and smiled, attracted and repulsed at the same time. How could such a tiny thing hold so many emotions for him? So much power over him? It was so small he could cradle it in the palm of his hand. He closed his fingers around it. It disappeared. He opened them again, and there it was. With it came a flood of memories. Exhilarating. His heart raced with a quick pat, pat, pat.

The basement door creaked. He took in a breath.

Time slowed and his heart with it.

Thump……thump……thump.

The light clicked on.

Another creak. Above him a step, a pause, another step. The door ached on its hinges as it opened wider. The light flicked off. The door closed. The steps faded. He let out his breath.

* * *

Trevor had never experienced fatigue like this. He crawled onto shore in the shadow of the cliff and collapsed. He never expected to make it out of the water, and now that he had, he lay there drawing in large mouthfuls of air, as if his lungs would never get enough. He stayed there, staring up at the sky, watching the dark clouds shapeshift. The rain would be there any moment, and to his surprise, he welcomed it.

As his breathing relaxed, he realized that the pain he felt was a sharp object stabbing his back. He rolled over, removed it, and threw it off to the side. As he turned to lay back down, his blurry eyes focused on the object. It was a bone. A human bone? He scrambled onto his knees and slowly made his way over to it. He was repulsed and fascinated, but mostly he was frightened by the sight of a bone and what that could mean. What had happened here, right here in this cove?

In the distance, he heard their drunken voices again. He knelt and grabbed handfuls of dirt to cover the bone. He heard them approach the edge of the cliff.

“He came this way. I saw him jump.”

“He’s too chicken, he didn’t jump. But when I find him, he’ll jump alright. He’ll jump or I’ll send him flying.”

“He jumped, I tell ya. Leave him alone. You wanted him to jump, and he did. I saw him. Let it go, already.”

“Yeah, well if he jumped, where is he?”

“You think he’s still under? You think he hit his head like that kid a while back?”

“I’m telling you, he didn’t jump.”

“There’s nowhere else to go but down. Of course, he jumped.”

“I’m going in. If he did jump, we’ll find him down there. He’s probably hiding under the cliff.”

Trevor carefully picked his way out of the cove. Scraping up against the cliff as close as his body would allow, he followed the contours until he came out on the other side of the falls. With his last bit of strength, he climbed up the rocky trail alongside Horseshoe Falls.

***

Excerpt from Dead Man’s Leap by Tina deBellegarde. Copyright 2022 by Tina deBellegarde. Reproduced with permission from Tina deBellegarde. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Tina deBellegarde

Tina deBellegarde has been called “the Louise Penny of the Catskills.” Winter Witness, the first book in her Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery series, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, a Silver Falchion Award and a Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Award. Her story “Tokyo Stranger” which appears in the Mystery Writers of America anthology When a Stranger Comes to Town edited by Michael Koryta has been nominated for a Derringer Award. Tina’s short fiction also appears in The Best New England Crime Stories anthologies. She is the vice-president of the Upper Hudson Chapter of Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America and Writers in Kyoto. She lives in Catskill, New York, with her husband Denis and their cat Shelby where they tend to their beehives, harvest shiitake mushrooms, and cultivate their vegetable garden. She winters in Florida and travels to Japan regularly to visit her son Alessandro.

Catch Up With Tina deBellegarde:
tinadebellegarde.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @tinadebellegarde
Instagram – @tdb_writes
Twitter – @tdbwrites
Facebook – @tinadebellegardeauthor

 

 

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#BookTour “The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse” by Terrence Potter

TheBlackDiamon copy

Welcome to the book tour for The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse by Terrence Potter!

The Black Diamond and the Witch's Curse

The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse

Publication Date: October 27, 2021

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Fantasy/ BIPOC

To most people, it appears as if Derek James is a typical college freshman. Yes, he is on a football scholarship at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, but other than that, he appears quite ordinary. But there is an extraordinary secret that Derek is harboring: he is a warlock! When he runs into fellow freshmen Matthias, Omar, and Tre’Vell, he is surprised to learn that they are also warlocks! Shortly after they all meet, however, the freshmen start getting attacked by terrifying monsters. Now, the four fast friends must overcome doubts and disagreements in order to discover the source of the attacks. But it may go deeper than any of them realize.

Arrival

It was hot. This had to be the hottest day of the summer. Even though Move-In Day for the rest of the students was still two weeks away, Derek James was moving into his dorm early, as was the case with the rest of the football team.

He was excited to be starting his first year of college at Word University, especially because he was finally getting out from under his mother’s overprotective eye.

“Mom, I really didn’t need you to help me move in. I got it,” Derek said. “Boy, if I let you move in by yourself, who knows what your room’s gonna look like? Besides, I want to meet your roommate,” his mother, Valerie James, responded.

“Dad trusted me. I asked him not to come, and he didn’t.”

“Well, I’m not your dad,” Valerie said. “And I gotta make sure that my baby is all right.”

“Mom, I’m eighteen. Can you not call me ‘baby’?” Derek sighed.

“I’m your mother. You will always be my baby, no matter how old you get.” “That don’t mean you gotta call me that,” Derek grumbled.

“Whatever. Don’t back talk. Now, are we gonna put these things in your room or are we gonna stand here at the car talking all day?”

Derek’s room was on the fifth f loor, the highest f loor in the dorm. Derek looked up at the stately building, with the sun glistening off the windows, and thought that maybe he could use the help. “Okay, I’ll carry the minifridge up. You can take that trunk of clothes. I’ll meet you up there. Remember, it’s room 510B,” Derek decided. As he watched his mom carry the trunk into the building, he wiped the sweat from his brow. Man, he just couldn’t believe how hot it was!

Just as he was about to pick up the fridge, he noticed a couple of girls watching him, probably cheerleaders, also moving in that day. He took his shirt off, which by now was drenched, and revealed his impressive athlete’s physique. He heard the girls start to giggle. Satisfied, he smirked, tossed the shirt into the car, picked up the minifridge, and made his way up the steps to meet his mom at his room.

As he made his way up to the top of the stairs, Derek could see his mom standing at the door of what he could only presume was his room. As he walked down the hallway, he saw his mom give him a look that made him feel this big. When he got to his room, Derek dropped the fridge with a thud! and glanced up at his mom.

“Derek, what are you doing with your shirt off?” Valerie admonished. “Man, it’s burning up outside! My shirt felt like I just took it out the washing machine!” Derek said.

“It ain’t that hot outside. You know I ain’t raise you like that. You ain’t the only person out here!”

“Mom, it’s like one hundred degrees outside and I ain’t want my shirt to be sticking to me. It’s not that big a deal,” Derek pleaded.

She sighed. “Just open the door,” Valerie said as she shook her head in disapproval.

Derek took the key from his pocket and opened the door to his dorm. Inside the room were two wooden desks, two dressers, and two closets. The walls were stark white. It was plain, but Derek had to admit that it was bigger than he had expected. It was bigger than his room at home. He had to keep in mind, though, that unlike at home, he had to share this with another person.

“How much more stuff do you have to bring up?” Valerie asked.

“Well, I got my TV, book bag, the rest of my clothes, and the book,” answered Derek.

“Oh my god! I don’t feel like going back up and down those steps,” exclaimed Valerie.

“Look, you the one that wanted to help me move in. Besides, I could be up and back by myself real quick,” suggested Derek.

“No.”

“But since I been up here, I can do it. It’s not that far and—” Derek started. “No, Derek! What if somebody saw you? Don’t risk it. It’s just one more trip.

I’m just getting old, is all. Don’t mind my complaining,” Valerie said. “Come on.” After bringing up the rest of Derek’s stuff, it was time for Valerie to go. “Okay, are you sure you got everything?” “Yes, Mom.”

“Laptop? Toothpaste? Deodorant?” “Yes, Mom.”

“Razor?”

“Yes.” “Condoms?”

“What? Come on, Mom!”

“Well, like you said, you’re eighteen. I went to college. I know what’s up,” Valerie said.

“I’m gonna act like we ain’t really talking about this,” said Derek, desperately wishing his mom would change the subject.

“Okay, I can take a hint. And you’re sure you have the book? And anything else you would need?” Valerie inquired.

“Yeah. Positive.”

“I still can’t believe your dad let you take it with you,” Valerie said.

“I guess he figured that I’m old enough for the responsibility,” said Derek. “Guess so,” Valerie said as her eyes began to well up with tears.

“Aw come on, Mom, don’t start crying.”

“I can’t help it. My baby is all grown up and leaving me.”

“Mom, it’s not that far away. And you know I can always pop in whenever I want. It’s close enough for me to make the trip.”

“I know. Okay, give me a hug before I go.” Derek gave his mom a big warm hug. She got into her car and Derek waved as her car slowly faded into the distance.

Derek turned to go back up to his room. As he began to make his way up the steps leading to the front entrance, a black Nissan Altima rolled past a couple of cars filled with other students in the process of moving in and pulled up in the fire lane in front of the building. What was intriguing to Derek about this car was that the driver had Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” blasting from the speakers. Derek could appreciate this guy’s taste in music! He walked up to the car as the driver, a stocky-looking guy, got out.

“Ay yo, you ride with Kendrick Lamar?” Derek asked, impressed. “Of course, my brotha. You a fan?” the driver asked.

“Man, I got Good Kid, M.A.A.D City in heavy rotation on my iPod,” Derek responded.

“Oh a’ight. I been a fan of Kendrick since Section.80,” the guy said. “I assume you’re on the football team.”

“Yeah, wide receiver. You?” “Running back.”

“Cool, cool. I’m Derek, by the way,” Derek said as he introduced himself. “I think my roommate’s name is Derek. My name is Bruce. Bruce Graves.” “Yup, I’m definitely your roommate. Well, I just got done putting my stuff up in the room. If you want, I can help you carry some stuff up,” Derek offered. “Okay, good looking out,” Bruce said, relieved he had some help.

After Derek and Bruce were finished unloading Bruce’s car, they decided to arrange the room to their liking. Bruce said, “Let’s put my bed on that wall and yours on the opposite one. That way, we could put the desks right near the windows and the TV can go on the refrigerator in the corner.”

“Okay, I’m good with that. I’ll put my dresser by my bed. I kind of figured that these walls were gonna be bare so I brought us some posters to liven up the place,” Derek said. He threw up some posters of scantily clad chocolate-skinned models and celebrity females.

“Definitely better,” Bruce said approvingly. Derek laughed. “I thought you’d approve.”

As the two started to unpack their belongings, Bruce noticed a strange- looking book that fell out of Derek’s backpack. “What type of classes are you taking?” Bruce asked. “You already got some of your books?”

“Why?” Derek turned and asked.

Bruce pointed to Derek’s backpack. “Did you get to register early? What class takes that book? That jawn looks cool,” Bruce said. The book was large and looked about four inches thick. It was a hardback, yet bound in black leather. On the cover was a picture of a majestic roaring golden lion, with a clawed paw raised toward the sky. Bruce thought the book looked old.

Derek quickly moved to pick up the book and put it back in the backpack. “Nah, this book is mine. My dad gave it to me. It’s kind of a family heirloom,” Derek nervously said.

“Heirloom?” Bruce asked perplexingly.

“Yeah,” Derek responded. “It’s been passed down in my family since we was brought over from Africa. It means a lot.”

“Yo, that’s cool. Can I see?” Bruce asked.

“Um,” Derek hesitated. “It’s just my dad has this thing about nobody else handling it. Like I said, it’s real old and real important.”

Bruce looked slightly disappointed. “Oh. No problem. I understand.” An uncomfortable and awkward silence settled between the two.

“So where you from?” Derek asked, trying to lighten the mood.

“I was born in Pittsburg,” Bruce answered. “I’ve lived in Philly for the past twelve years though. You?”

“Oh, I’m from right here, Pottington. I actually live, like, a couple miles from here.”

“Oh, so you know your way around this city. Know all the places to go where all the honeys at, am I right?” Bruce joked.

“Of course. This is my city. I got you covered,” Derek said. “But I got a feeling that you won’t have to go far to find a lot of bad chicks, if you know what I’m saying,” Derek suggestively offered.

“You think the girls at this school got it like that?” Bruce asked.

“Look, dawg. Not only do they look good, but you gotta remember that Word U is the best HBCU in the nation. These chicks got their heads on straight and the looks to match,” said Derek.

“Shit, well, if that’s the case, I think I’m gonna have a very fun year,” Bruce said.

Bruce’s stomach began to growl. “I’m about to go get something to eat,” he said.

“Okay, I already ate. I’ll holla at you later,” Derek said.

As soon as Bruce left the room, Derek booted up his laptop. Once he was logged on, he opened a Skype chat; and soon enough, a man appeared on the screen on the other end of the call. In the background were a few portraits and a TV. It appeared to be a living room. The chocolate-skinned man, the same complexion as Derek himself, was wearing a white undershirt and looked to be in his mid-forties. He had sprinkles of gray in his hair and a neatly trimmed goatee. A thin pair of reading glasses covered a pair of eyes that would lead someone to believe that this man had seen a lot in life.

The man smiled. “I was wondering when you would finally get around to calling me,” he said.

Derek laughed. “What’s up, Dad?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

T-Pot

Terrence, born to Shawn and Clarence Potter in 1990, lived in Wilmington, Delaware, until the age of seven, when he moved to New Castle. He graduated from Howard High School before moving on the University of Delaware, graduating in 2012. He decided to begin his writing career a year after that. He chose to create fantasy stories featuring characters from under-represented and minority populations. His first book in the Black Diamond series, The Black Diamond and the Witch’s Curse, was published in 2016. The second, The Black Diamond and the Magic box, was published in 2019.

The Black Diamond Series

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#BookReview “Canary In the Coal Mine” by Charles Salzberg

April 18 – May 13, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

book cover

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5/5 Stars!

Private Investigator Pete Fortunato never met a fight he didn’t take part in. The professed protector of the underdog will always fight for justice and what’s right.

Most of the time.

When wealthy socialite, Lila Alston, hires Fortunato to find her husband—dead or alive—he knows he should walk away… because of the “dead” part, but bills need to be paid so he takes the job, and of course, finds the husband dead… in the apartment of the woman’s boyfriend.

While Fortunato succeeds in recouping his money when Lila’s check bounces, and doing a quick soft shoe to keep the cops off his back for now, he’s caught off-guard when Travis Chapman, Lila’s former boyfriend, wants to hire him for protection. Travis won’t divulge who he needs protection from, but Pete soon finds out when he’s taken for a ride to meet with the Albanian mob. They want Travis, and their money and it’s up to Pete to find him… soon.

Now he has to find the mob’s money just to survive.

And that’s what Pete Fortunato is… a survivor. With ADHD, anger management, and daddy issues, the hapless anti-hero always has the deck stacked against him, but manages to draw a winning card. However, that may not be the case this time around.

The realistic tone of Canary in the Coal Mine raises it to more than a crime fiction mystery. The writing style, and Pete’s quirky, sarcastic first-person narrative, along with its break-neck pace make this read a five star page-turner!

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Synopsis:

 

PI Pete Fortunato, half-Italian, half-Jewish, who suffers from anger management issues and insomnia, wakes up one morning with a bad taste in his mouth. This is never a good sign. Working out of a friend’s downtown real estate office, Fortunato, who spent a mysteriously short, forgettable stint as a cop in a small upstate New York town, lives from paycheck to paycheck. So, when a beautiful woman wants to hire him to find her husband, he doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Within a day, Fortunato finds the husband in the apartment of his client’s young, stud lover. He’s been shot once in the head. Case closed. But when his client’s check bounces, and a couple of Albanian gangsters show up outside his building and kidnap him, hoping he’ll lead them to a large sum of money supposedly stolen by the dead man, he begins to realize there’s a good chance he’s been set up to take the fall for the murder and the theft of the money.

In an attempt to get himself out of a jam, Fortunato winds up on a wild ride that takes him down to Texas where he searches for his client’s lover who he suspects has the money and holds the key to solving the murder.

Praise for Canary In the Coal Mine:

“Salzberg has hit it out of the park. Love the writing style, and the story really draws you in. As with Salzberg’s prior works, he has a knack for making his heroes real, which makes their jeopardy real, too. So, say hello to Pete Fortunato, a modern PI who thinks on his feet and has moves that read like the noir version of Midnight Run.”
—Tom Straw, author of the Richard Castle series (from the ABC show) and Buzz Killer

“Salzberg writes hardboiled prose from a gritty stream of conscious. Peter Fortunato is an old school PI to be reckoned with.”
—Sam Wiebe, award-winning author of Invisible Dead and Never Going Back

“Charles Salzberg’s Canary in the Coal Mine is everything a reader wants in a great crime novel, and then some. The rat-a-tat cadence of the noir masters, seamlessly blended with the contemporary sensibilities of an author thoroughly in control of his craft. I liked this book so much I read it twice. No kidding. It’s that good.”
—Baron R. Birtcher, multi-award winning and Los Angeles Times bestselling author

“Charles Salzberg has created a fantastic literary PI: Pete Fortunato. Rash, blunt and prone to violence, you can’t help but turn the page to see what Fortunato will do next. Canary in the Coal Mine is great!” —James O. Born, New York Times bestselling author

Book Details:

Genre: Crime/Noir

Published by: Down & Out Books

Publication Date: April 18, 2022

Number of Pages: 276

ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1-64396-251-1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Down & Out Books

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