#Featured “Broken Places (A Chicago Mystery Book 1)” by Tracy Clark

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Cops can make mistakes, even when they’re not rookies. If anyone knows that it’s Cass Raines.

Cass took a bullet two years ago after an incompetent colleague screwed up a tense confrontation with an armed suspect. Deeply traumatized, Cass resigned from the Chicago PD, leaving one less female African-American on the force. Now she’s the head of a one-woman private investigation agency, taking on just enough work to pay the bills. But when the only father figure she’s ever known, Father Ray Heaton, asks her to look into a recent spate of vandalism at his church, she readily agrees to handle it.

Only hours later Cass is horrified to discover Father Ray’s murdered body in the church confessional, a dead gangbanger sprawled out nearby. She knew Pop, as she called him, had ticked off plenty of people, from slumlords to politicians, with his uncompromising defense of the downtrodden. But a late-night random theft doesn’t seem like much of a motive at a cash-strapped parish. The lead detective assigned to the case is all too eager to dismiss it as a burglary gone awry, just another statistic in a violent city. But Cass’s instincts tell her otherwise, and badge or no badge, she intends to see justice done . . . .

“An exciting new character-driven series.”
—Kirkus Reviews

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#Review “Rage and Retribution (A DI Sterling Thriller)” by Lorraine Mace

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5/5 Stars!

Book 4 in the DI Sterling Series is another tightly woven page-turner that leaves you ducking to avoid injury from all the rocket-fire plot twists! The blurb asked can two wrongs make a right, but there’s a lot more than two wrongs here, trust me!

Investigations into a plaque defacement with an accusatory message at the new youth center, and the unreported sexual assaults of men have no connection until a death occurs, and Sterling has to take a closer look at a secretive, upscale businessmen’s club.

Nothing is clear-cut in this read.  No easy answers or fixes. The body count rises, names are dropped from everyone’s lips as aspersions are cast… but leads go nowhere.

Paolo’s frustrations are exacerbated by the three women in his life: daughter, Katy, girlfriend, Jessica, and ex-wife, Lydia. These relationships will weigh on his heart as he’s forced to make decisions that will change his life. (And no, I still do not like Lydia.)

But Paolo is a good guy who doesn’t like bad guys. He and his stellar team rise to the occasion despite the seeds of dissension being sown by a jealous DS in his department.

My emotions were all over the place—glad a serial killer was dealt with, sad for the victims at the very heart of the story, and mad at who’s still standing in the end… and who isn’t.

Rage and Retribution deals with possible triggering issues in graphic detail but I believe great writing delivers the suspenseful impact to hold the reader’s interest without the sting. Book 4 can be read as a standalone, but the history and building of the bond Paolo has with his team would be missed. Don’t do it.

This read is a mystery, a crime thriller, a character study, hardboiled, and a must-read.

Enjoy!

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Can two wrongs ever make a right?

A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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#BlogTour “Rage and Retribution (A DI Sterling Thriller)” by Lorraine Mace

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Can two wrongs ever make a right?

A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Lorraine MaceAuthor Bio  

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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#AudioTour “Toxic Blonde (Johnny Delarosa Thrillers Book 2)” by David Stever

Audiobook Series Tour: The Delarosa Series by David Stever

Author: David Stever

Narrator: Bill Lord

Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

Series: The Delarosa Series, Book 2

Publisher: Cinder Path Press, LLC

Released: Dec. 23, 2019

Genre: Modern Detective

Infidelity pays the bills, so says a wise old private eye. But for PI Johnny Delarosa, his routine cheating spouse case turns into a tangled mess when his client, Mary Ann Bellamy, is run off the road and left for dead. Her husband, the owner of a cutting-edge aerospace technology firm, puts his career and marriage at risk by having an affair with his senior executive, the sexy, enigmatic Keira Kaine—the most brutal femme fatale to ever travel the pages of crime fiction. When a whistle blower appears, along with the FBI, Russian mobsters, and an eccentric computer hacker, the case weaves through a maze of surprises that lead to a violent and stunning climax. Delarosa, along with his assistant, Katie, and partner, Mike, must learn who he can trust before the case turns into a homicide—his own.

Buy Links

Buy on Audible

Buy on iTunes

David Stever is a novelist, screenwriter, and film producer. He writes the Johnny Delarosa mystery-thriller series, debuting with, AUBURN RIDE, paying homage to the great detective fiction of the past. The series has been called “noir for the 21st Century.” Fans of hard-boiled, crime thriller books, complete with sexy femme fatales, will love the Delarosa series.

He is a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Maryland Writers Association. Originally from Tyrone, Pennsylvania, he lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife and family. Please visit http://www.davidstever.com and be sure to sign the mailing list for news and updates!

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Narrator Bio

Bill Lord has been an entertainer since 1983 when he began a nearly 20-year career as a professional wiseguy on rock and pop radio. After radio, his love of storytelling drew him into the world of acting and audiobook narration. It was a transition that began his exploration of connecting with an author’s truth on a deeply emotional level, while bringing each of their character’s reality to life with an authentic voice.

When Bill narrates a story, he transforms the written word into a multidimensional aural experience that makes you lose all sense of time and what is going on around you. He transports the listener to faraway realms or perhaps across the galaxy, until the world around you is supplanted by the flickering movie screen of your own imagination.

In addition to reading books for major publishers, and indie authors and publishers, Bill is a former coach of Edge Studio’s Investigate Voiceover classes in Washington, D.C., and an occasional cast member with The Lake of the Woods Players. When he’s not on stage or in the booth narrating, you can find cruising the lake on his pontoon boat (in Orange County, VA) while enjoying a Manhattan with his beautiful wife, Joya.

Bill Lord is an Audible Approved Producer. Visit Nothing Rhymes with Orange Studio’s website for more information.

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Johnny Delarosa: Served twenty years as a cop then as a detective on the Port City Police Department. Now on his own for six years as a private detective. Forty-eight years old, 6’1”, 185 lbs., thick close-cropped black hair with some grey sneaking in. Is co-owner of McNally’s Irish Pub and runs his private eye business from the back booth in the bar. He and Mike McNally were detective partners on the force. He worked vice and homicide as a detective and has seen it all. Johnny is tough but has a laid-back personality, is Italian-American and grew up in the Little Italy section of Port City. Was married to Kelly but she couldn’t handle the police lifestyle. Johnny never remarried after the divorce. He owns a condo on the fourth floor above McNally’s plus took ownership in a beach cottage on Crescent Beach as part of the divorce settlement with Kelly. He bought half of McNally’s when Mike needed money to pay for his own divorce.

Johnny has a great appreciation for Italian food, wine, jazz, classic rock, the great American songbook, and never met a bourbon he didn’t like. He stays on the politically incorrect side of life and admittedly drinks way too much. He has a lady friend, Leah Love, who he is committed to, but they have an arrangement that neither wants to be serious just yet. He claims he fell in love with her the day he arrested her.

Mike McNally: Fifty-two years old, former cop and detective on the Port City police force and former partner of Johnny Delarosa. Tough, tall, no-nonsense, red-haired, barrel-chested Irishman. Was a standout football player in high school, spent about ten minutes in college before joining the police force. He bought McNally’s after he retired and then sold half the business to Johnny to help pay for his divorce. Mainly runs the bar; but helps Johnny with PI cases. Loyal to the core, nothing will come between him and his partner, Johnny.

Katie Pitts: Tall, blonde, attractive, beach volleyball type. Twenty-four years old, met Johnny when he rescued her from a kidnapping. Enamored with Johnny and fascinated with being a private detective, she approached Johnny and asked for a job. He and Mike reluctantly hired her to help in the bar and also to help do research on PI cases. She comes from an affluent family in Port City, went to Florida State University. She is eager to learn, but young and naïve at the same time. She provides a lot of comic relief with her antics. She is always trying to improve the menu and drinks at the bar over Mike’s protests. While she was probably hired because of the way she looks, both Johnny and Mike are now protective of her and look at her as a daughter.

View the full 14-day schedule here!

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.

#AudioTour “Auburn Ride (Johnny Delarosa Thrillers Book 1)” by David Stever

Audiobook Series Tour: The Delarosa Series by David Stever

Author: David Stever

Narrator: Bill Lord

Length: 7 hours 20 minutes

Series: The Delarosa Series, Book 1

Publisher: Cinder Path Press, LLC

Released: Oct. 24, 2019

Genre: Modern Detective

Welcome to Port City!

Private investigator Johnny Delarosa has seen it all. First as a cop, and now as a private eye. Cheating spouses, embezzlements, and insurance scams are routine. But he meets his match when the alluring, auburn-haired Claire Dixon walks into his bar/office and drops a $20,000 retainer in his lap. She wants the hard-drinking Johnny to find $2 million that was stolen from her mobster family 30 years earlier. But $2 million can be motivating. Old mobsters come out of witness protection to claim their share, and when bodies begin to pile up, and his sexy, enigmatic client disappears, Johnny is taken on the ride of his life; an Auburn Ride. With a wink and a nod to the hard-boiled private eyes of the pulp noir past, the gritty streets of Port City set the stage for author David Stever’s first thriller in the Delarosa series.

Buy Links

Buy on Audible

Buy on iTunes

David Stever is a novelist, screenwriter, and film producer. He writes the Johnny Delarosa mystery-thriller series, debuting with, AUBURN RIDE, paying homage to the great detective fiction of the past. The series has been called “noir for the 21st Century.” Fans of hard-boiled, crime thriller books, complete with sexy femme fatales, will love the Delarosa series.

He is a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Maryland Writers Association. Originally from Tyrone, Pennsylvania, he lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife and family. Please visit http://www.davidstever.com and be sure to sign the mailing list for news and updates!

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Narrator Bio

Bill Lord has been an entertainer since 1983 when he began a nearly 20-year career as a professional wiseguy on rock and pop radio. After radio, his love of storytelling drew him into the world of acting and audiobook narration. It was a transition that began his exploration of connecting with an author’s truth on a deeply emotional level, while bringing each of their character’s reality to life with an authentic voice.

When Bill narrates a story, he transforms the written word into a multidimensional aural experience that makes you lose all sense of time and what is going on around you. He transports the listener to faraway realms or perhaps across the galaxy, until the world around you is supplanted by the flickering movie screen of your own imagination.

In addition to reading books for major publishers, and indie authors and publishers, Bill is a former coach of Edge Studio’s Investigate Voiceover classes in Washington, D.C., and an occasional cast member with The Lake of the Woods Players. When he’s not on stage or in the booth narrating, you can find cruising the lake on his pontoon boat (in Orange County, VA) while enjoying a Manhattan with his beautiful wife, Joya.

Bill Lord is an Audible Approved Producer. Visit Nothing Rhymes with Orange Studio’s website for more information.

WebsiteFacebook

 

 

View the full 14-day schedule here!

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.

#BookBlitz “Rich and Gone: Red Farlow Mysteries #1” by W.F. Ranew

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coverMystery
Date Published: May 29, 2019
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
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PI Red Farlow is on the hunt to find $300 million a Florida insurance executive has bilked out of family and friends.
Woody Cunningham stashed the money in safe havens around the world before disappearing. Has he been done in by one of his enemies? Or did he skip town with his girlfriend to live off the ill-gotten wealth? If that’s the case, where is he?
Farlow must quickly learn how and why people hide their money in offshore accounts if he’s to find out what happened to Cunningham.
When a tough guy from Farlow’s past resurfaces, wanting to settle an old score, Farlow discovers he also has links to the missing man. Clues lead him across Georgia and Florida, and Europe, to find the answers.
Is Woody Cunningham dead, or just rich and gone?
Excerpt
(Chapter 1)
Chadwick Woodrow Cunningham once gave me a fine cigar. Like the man, the smoke looked classy, robust, and expensive, but it left a foul aftertaste I couldn’t shake.
Born into a wealthy Atlanta family, Cunningham excelled in his education, achieved success beyond imagination, and exuded confidence in everything he did.
His friends regarded him as outgoing and smooth with the ladies. They hailed him as a moneymaking smart guy. Others saw him as impetuous and unfaithful to his wife. The people who invested in his bogus funds regarded him as a cheat in business.
What the hell. Chadwick Woodrow Cunningham had life by the ass, everyone agreed. But on a football Friday night near a small South Georgia town, his life changed forever.
He disappeared.
Someone hired me to inquire about some missing money—nearly three-hundred million dollars—entrusted to Mr. Cunningham. By happenstance, my investigation started a few weeks before he vanished. I soon learned what transpired that evening and how people who knew him assessed Cunningham’s mood in the days before then.
One thing became apparent. As influential and exceptional as Cunningham thought of himself, people valued the money he stole far more than the man.
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About the author:

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W.F. Ranew is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and communication executive. He started his journalism career covering sports, police, and city council meetings at his hometown newspaper, The Quitman Free Press. He also worked as a reporter and editor for several regional dailies: The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, The Florida Times-Union, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ranew has written two previous novels: Schoolhouse Man and Candyman’s Sorrow.
He lives with his wife in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Ga.
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#BookTour “The Best Lousy Choice” by Jim Nesbitt

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on Tour August 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

The Best Lousy Choice: An Ed Earl Burch Novel Dallas private eye Ed Earl Burch is an emotional wreck, living on the edge of madness, hosing down the nightmares of his last case with bourbon and Percodan, dreading the next onslaught of demons that haunt his days and nights, including a one-eyed dead man who still wants to carve out his heart and eat it. Burch is also a walking contradiction. Steady and relentless when working a case. Tormented and unbalanced when idle. He’s deeply in debt to a shyster lawyer who forces him to take the type of case he loathes — divorce work, peephole creeping to get dirt on a wayward husband. Work with no honor. Work that reminds him of how far he’s fallen since he lost the gold shield of a Dallas homicide detective. Work in the stark, harsh badlands of West Texas, the border country where he almost got killed and his nightmares began. What he longs for is the clarity and sense of purpose he had when he carried that gold shield and chased killers for a living. The adrenaline spike of the showdown. Smoke ‘em or cuff ‘em. Justice served — by his .45 or a judge and jury. When a rich rancher and war hero is killed in a suspicious barn fire, the rancher’s outlaw cousin hires Burch to investigate a death the county sheriff is reluctant to touch. Seems a lot of folks had reason for wanting the rancher dead — the local narco who has the sheriff on his payroll; some ruthless Houston developers who want the rancher’s land; maybe his own daughter. Maybe the outlaw cousin who hired Burch. Thrilled to be a manhunter again, Burch ignores these red flags, forgetting something he once knew by heart. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. And it might just get you killed. But it’s the best lousy choice Ed Earl Burch is ever going to get.

Book Details

Genre: Hard-boiled Crime Thriller

Published by: Spotted Mule Press

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Number of Pages: 347

ISBN: 978-0-9983294-2-0

Series: An Ed Earl Burch Novel; 2

Purchase Links: Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

Burch slipped through a thick snarl of gawkers, glad-handers, gossips and genuine mourners going nowhere fast in the vestibule of Sartell’s Funeral Home, nodding and smiling like the prodigal returned to the paternal table. To ease his passage toward the chapel where Bart Hulett’s charred corpse was surely hidden in a closed casket, he patted the passing shoulder, shook the hand thrust his way and mouthed the “good to see you” to the stranger’s face that smiled in mistaken recognition. Baptist reflexes from a long-ago boyhood, handy for the preacher, pol or low-rent peeper — remnants of an endless string of God Box Sundays he’d rather forget. The chapel was packed and the well-mannered buzz of polite stage whispers filled the room, triggering another Baptist flashback — the hushed sanctuary conversations of the flock anticipating the opening chords of a Sunday service first hymn. Ten rows of hard-backed dark wooden pews flanked each side of a center aisle leading to a low lacquered plywood platform topped by a glossy Texas pecan wood casket with burnished brass lugs and fixtures. Two blown-up photographs in fluted gilt frames faced the mourners, standing guard at each end of the casket — a colorized, wartime portrait of a young Bart Hulett in Marine dress blues and visored white cover at the foot; a candid of Hulett and his blonde wife on horseback at the head, their smiling faces goldened by the setting sun. Behind the pews, five rows of equally unforgiving aluminum folding chairs, all sporting the durable silver-gray institutional enamel common to the breed, stood as ready reserve for the overflow of mourners. The pews were filled and a butt claimed every chair — a testament to Bart Hulett’s standing as a fallen civic leader and member of one of the founding families of Cuervo County. No cushions in pew or chair. Comfort wasn’t on the dance card in this part of West Texas. The land was too stark, harsh and demanding, intolerant of those seeking a soft life of leisure. And Baptists damned dancing as a sin and kept those pews rock hard so you’d stay wide awake for the preacher’s fiery reminder about the brimstone wages of sin. Dark blue carpet covered what Burch’s knees told him was a concrete floor. Flocked, deep-red fabric lined the walls, brightened by a line of wall sconces trimmed in shiny brass that reflected the dimmed light from electric candles. Two brass candelabras hung from the ceiling, bathing the chapel in a warm, yellow glow. Heavy, burgundy velour drapes lined the front wall and flanked the rear entrance and the opening to a sitting room to the left of the casket. The total effect was meant to be plush, somber and churchly, yet welcoming. Don’t fear death. It comes to us all. Just a part of the great circle of life and God’s eternal plan. Let us gather together and celebrate the days on earth of this great man who has left us for his final reward. But Burch wasn’t buying the undertaker’s refried Baptist bill of fare. To his eye, the drapes, the wall covering and the brass light fixtures looked more like the lush trappings of a high-dollar whorehouse than a church, an old-timey sin palace that packaged purchased pleasure in a luxury wrapper. All that was missing was a line of near-naked whores for the choosing and a piano man in a bowler hat and gartered shirt sleeves, tickling the ivories while chomping a cigar. Nothing more honest than a fifty-dollar blow job from a working girl who knows her trade. Nothing more bitter than the cynical heresy of a backslidden Baptist sinner. Nothing more useless than a de-frocked cop still ready to call out the hypocrisy of a church he thought was just a dot in his rearview mirror. Burch cold-cocked his bitter musings and wiped the smirk off his face. He grabbed a corner at the rear of the room and continued his chapel observations. He tried to settle into the old routine. Relax. Watch and wait. Keep the eyes moving and let it come to you. Don’t force it. But the watcher’s mantra wasn’t working. Couldn’t shake the feeling that eyes had been on him while he juked and doubled back through town earlier in the day and that eyes were on him now. Couldn’t blame the demons for this. He was still cool and calm from that special cocktail he served himself before leaving the ranch. That meant the sixth sense was real, not a figment of his nightmares. And he was far too old a dog to ignore it. Burch took a deep breath and let it out slow, just like he did at the rifle range before squeezing off the next round. His heartbeat slowed. He felt himself relax. The uneasy feeling was still there, but it was a small sliver of edginess. Do the job. Watch and wait. Keep the eyes moving. Let it come to you. From the chapel entrance, a thick line of mourners broke toward the right rear corner of the room and angled along the wall opposite Burch before bending again to crowd the closed casket, leading to a small knot of Hulett family members standing next to the photo of Bart and his dead wife. Stella Rae was playing the head of household role, reaching across her body to shake hands with her left because her right was burned, bandaged and hanging loose at her side, the white tape and pinkish gauze riding below the rolled-back cuff of a navy cowgirl shirt with white piping and a bright red cactus blossom on each yoke. She was wearing Wranglers too new to be faded and pointy-toed lizard-skin boots the color of peanut brittle, her dark blonde hair swept back from her oval face and touching her shoulders. The warm light from the candelabras picked up the slight rose tint of her olive skin and the flash of white from her smile. A beautiful woman putting on a brave front. A woman custom-made to be looked at with lustful intent. Burch didn’t need imagination to mentally undress Stella Rae Hulett. He had seen her at her carnal best while staring through the telephoto lens of a camera as she fucked her lover in a dimly lit motel room. He had his own highlight reel of her taut body stored in his brainpan. But his mind was on the charred chain in the bed of Gyp Hulett’s pickup, his eyes locked on the bandaged hand dangling at her side. How’d you really burn your hand, missy? Where were you when your daddy died? Jason Powell stood behind her, looming over her right shoulder, the protective hand of a lover on her upper arm as he nodded to each mourner paying respect as Stella Rae shook their hand. Gotta give the guitar picker some credit. Looks like he’s in it for the long haul. To Stella’s right stood a young man in jeans, boots and a red brocade vest over a crisp, white shirt and a bolo with a silver and onyx slide. His round face was pale and pockmarked, his hair black and wiry. Burch guessed he was looking at Jimmy Carl Hulett, Bart Hulett’s only son. Jimmy Carl looked like a sawed-off version of his ancient cousin, Gyp, minus the gunsight stare, the wolf smile and the Browning Hi-Power on the hip. Which was another way of saying the boy had more than a few dollops of bad outlaw blood running through his veins, but none of the lethal menace. The younger Hulett looked uncomfortable shaking the hands of mourners, his eyes shifting but always downcast, his head nodding with a nervous jerk, the overhead glow highlighting a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. Between handshakes, he wiped his hawk’s beak nose with a dark blue bandana. He looked like a man who needed a drink. Or a spike of Mexican Brown. Burch knew the look. Saw it a thousand times as a Dallas street cop. Telltales of a junkie. A loser. A Hulett in name only. A weak link who would sell his soul for his next fix. Or sell out his daddy. How bad are you hooked, boy? Who has his claws in you besides your dealer? Malo Garza? Needle Burnet? Or another player to be named later? Burch tucked these questions into his mental deck and resumed scanning the crowd, ignoring that edgy sliver, keeping a slight smile on his face — just a prodigal looking for old friends and neighbors. Damned tedious work, standing in the corner of a whorehouse chapel, watching and waiting, working a cop’s most hackneyed routine — hitting the victim’s funeral. His feet and knees started to ache. Never cut it walking a beat again. He ignored the pain and kept his eyes moving. He wasn’t expecting a lightning flash of sudden insight or the appearance of a beady-eyed suspect wearing their guilt like a gaudy neon sign. That only happened on Murder, She Wrote and Angela Lansbury didn’t fit in with this West Texas crowd. Burch was looking for smaller stuff. Dribs and drabs. A pattern. A sense of how people caught up in a case fit together — or didn’t. A loose thread. An odd moment. A step out of line or time. A facial tic or look. Like a Hulett with the junkie’s sniffles. A mismatch. Like a beautiful woman with a burned and bandaged right hand. A shard. Anything that caused his cop instincts to tingle, triggering questions he needed to ask. He found two. Small kernels, granted, but grist for the mill. He kept his eyes moving, looking for more of something he wouldn’t know until he saw it. Minutes dragged by, grinding like a gearbox with sand in it. The line of mourners grew shorter. The pain moved up to the small of his back. The sliver grew into a sharp stab of warning. Eyes were on him. Felt rather than seen. He shifted his gaze to his right, keeping his head still. Across the center aisle, at the near end of the last row of chairs, a gaunt brown face with thin black hair turned to face the front of the chapel. Before the turn, Burch saw intense, dark eyes studying him — the watcher being watched. Both knew the other was there so Burch took his time studying the man’s profile. Thin, bony nose, hair brushed back dry from a receding widow’s peak, black suit with an open-collar white dress shirt. The man quit pretending he hadn’t been made, turning to look at Burch with a slight smile and close-set eyes that flashed a predatory interest. Burch returned the stare with the dead-eyed look of a cop and burned an image for his memory bank. Who are you, friend? Another Garza hitter? Jesus, Burch, that isn’t what the narcos call their gunsels. Get your head out of the 1940s. Sicario — that’s it. What about it, friend? You another of Malo’s sicarios? Or are you outside talent? Maybe that specialist Bustamante talked about. Maybe a freelancer working for Malo’s competition. Or the Bryte Brothers. You the eyes I feel watchin’ me? Why the sudden interest? Those two shooters I smoked friends of yours? Movement up front caught Burch’s attention. Gyp Hulett, hat in hand and wearing a black frock coat straight out of the 1890s that wasn’t in the truck cab during the ride to town, parting the sitting room drapes. The old outlaw walked up to his younger cousins in a bow-legged stride, whispering to each, then beckoning them to follow him as he retraced his steps. Burch glanced back toward the gaunt Mexican. Gone. A sucker’s play if he followed. Burch slid out of his corner perch and along the back row of chairs to get a better look at the sitting room entrance. Gyp parted the drapes to let Stella Rae and Jimmy Carl enter. Through the opening, Burch could see Boelcke standing next to a tall man with a thick, dark moustache, an inverted V above a stern, downturned mouth, echoed by thick eyebrows. He had ramrod straight posture and was wearing a tailored, dark gray suit, a pearl gray shirt and a black tie. Black hair in a conservative businessman’s cut, light brown skin and an aquiline nose gave him the look of a criollo, the New World Spaniards who ripped the land of their birth away from the mother country. Malo Garza, paying his respects in private. Gyp Hulett swept the drapes closed as he ducked into the room. Burch braced himself for the bark of a Browning Hi-Power he hoped he wouldn’t hear and marveled at the high hypocrisy of Garza showing up at the funeral of a man he wanted dead. Took balls and brass to do that. Matched by a restraint Burch didn’t know Gyp Hulett had. “Bet you’d like to be a fly on the wall in that room.” For a split second, Burch thought he was hearing the voice of Wynn Moore’s ghost. Then he looked to his right and met the sad, brown eyes of Cuervo County Chief Deputy Elroy Jesus “Sudden” Doggett. “Wouldn’t mind that one bit. Imagine it’s quite the show. Lots of polite words of sorrow and respect. Lots of posturing. Lots of restraint. Have to be considerin’ one man in there would like to kill the other.” “That would be your client, right? The ever-popular Gyp Hulett, gringo gangster of the Trans-Pecos.” “Can’t tell you who I’m working for, Deputy. You know that’s confidential.” Doggett’s eyes went from sad to flat annoyed and his voice took on a metallic edge. “That ain’t no secret, hoss. Not to me or anybody else who matters around here, including the other big mule in that room. And that man probably wants to kill you.” “Malo Garza? The man don’t even know me.” “That’s a point in your favor. If he did know you, he’d put you out of your misery right now.” “A big dog like him? He’s got more important things to worry about than lil’ ol’ me.” “You don’t know Malo Garza. Anybody pokin’ his nose anywhere near his business draws his personal interest. And believe you me, that ain’t healthy.” “Ol’ Malo might find me a tad hard to kill. I tend to shoot back. If he wants a piece of me, he’ll have to get in line.” Doggett paused. His eyes turned sad again. When he spoke, the edge was gone from his voice. “Listen to us — two guys talkin’ about killin’ at a great man’s funeral. Let’s step outside for a smoke and a talk.” “Unless this is the type of talk that follows an arrest, I’d rather stay here and watch the floor show.” Doggett chuckled. “Don’t have that kind of talk in mind right now, although the man I work for just might. This’ll be a private chat between you and me.” “Thought we had a meeting tomorrow. You are the hombre that had that trustee give Lawyer Boelcke that invitation to Guerrero’s, right?” “Right. Things change. Come ahead on. I’ll have you back for the next act. It’s one you won’t want to miss. Star of the show. Blue Willingham, shedding crocodile tears for Bart Hulett. He won’t show up until Garza’s done paying his respects.” Nothing like dancing the West Texas waltz with bent lawmen, lupine outlaws, patrician drug lords, gaunt killers and Baptist undertakers with bordello tastes. In three-quarter time. *** Excerpt from The Best Lousy Choice: An Ed Earl Burch Novel by Jim Nesbitt. Copyright © 2019 by Jim Nesbitt. Reproduced with permission from Jim Nesbitt. All rights reserved.
 

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Author Bio:

Jim Nesbitt Jim Nesbitt is the author of three hard-boiled Texas crime thrillers that feature battered but dogged Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch — THE LAST SECOND CHANCE, a Silver Falchion finalist; THE RIGHT WRONG NUMBER, an Underground Book Reviews “Top Pick”; and his latest, THE BEST LOUSY CHOICE. Nesbitt was a journalist for more than 30 years, serving as a reporter, editor and roving national correspondent for newspapers and wire services in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. He chased hurricanes, earthquakes, plane wrecks, presidential candidates, wildfires, rodeo cowboys, migrant field hands, neo-Nazis and nuns with an eye for the telling detail and an ear for the voice of the people who give life to a story. His stories have appeared in newspapers across the country and in magazines such as Cigar Aficionado and American Cowboy. He is a lapsed horseman, pilot, hunter and saloon sport with a keen appreciation for old guns, vintage cars and trucks, good cigars, aged whiskey and a well-told story. He now lives in Athens, Alabama.

Catch Up With Jim Nesbitt On: jimnesbittbooks.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook

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Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jim Nesbitt. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2019 and runs through September 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BlogTour “Injections of Insanity (DI Sterling Book 3)” by Lorraine Mace

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The third gripping installment in the DI Paolo Sterling crime series.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

 

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Lorraine MaceAuthor Bio  

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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full tour

#Review “Children in Chains (DI Sterling Book 2)” by Lorraine Mace

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5/5 Stars!

In Retriever of Souls, book 1 of the DI Sterling Series, Paolo Sterling and his team were hunting for a serial killer targeting prostitutes. This led them to question the women working the street trade for information as they tried to identify the monster taking lives. It wasn’t lost on Paolo many of the females he encountered were barely into their teens.

Connections made during that investigation are front and center in Children in Chains as Paolo searches for the person responsible for trafficking females for sex. But, it’s even worse than any of them believed. Teenage girls are forced to work the streets only after they are abused, violated, and addicted to drugs at an even younger age.

The DI is overwhelmed at times by everything around him—the dead ends his case keeps hitting because people are too terrified of the consequences of talking to the police; the cracks his team is showing; his fortieth birthday and the state of his personal life, and the physical recovery of his sixteen-year-old daughter, Katy, from the near-fatal attack she suffered in book 1. But don’t count the gutsy teen out yet. While she may still have a lot to come to terms with mentally and emotionally, she’s not one sit around and veg out. Love her spirit and wouldn’t be at all surprised if she followed in her dad’s footsteps.

Of course, with Katy, comes Paolo’s ex-wife, Lydia, who’s still an insufferable cow, placing blame for all wrong in her life on his shoulders.

Despite all that, Sterling is no less focused on the case, his frustration and anger always rumbling just below the surface.

He perks up after interviewing an aging rocker he suspects is connected with the trafficking, but is thrown for a loop and blindsided by betrayal from a member of his team. But Paolo also soon discovers the ringleader he’s searching for could have been in front of him all along.

Children in Chains in not an easy read. Stephen King said, “Fiction is the truth inside the lie,” and this author has done an extraordinary job of weaving just enough of the truth through the story to not only create an engrossing, suspenseful read but also incite heartache and sympathy for the victimized children as well as rage for their tormentors.

And just when I thought dealings with Lydia—remember her?—were relegated to the back burner, she’s had an epiphany, God, help us, and I was right there, cringing with Paolo.

Can Children in Chains be read as a standalone? Yes, but I don’t recommend it. While all the elements needed for the story are in this story, this series centers on Paolo Sterling, and while his character is evolving, he’s not dramatically changing overnight. The changes are subtle and readers should know where he’s been to understand where he’s headed. Grab books 1 and 2!

Enjoy!

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The second chapter in a new dark and gritty crime series.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.

When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.

Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?

Purchase Links

Price Drop Alert! 

Children In Chains is on offer at 99p/99c across all Amazon stores until June 15!

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#5DayMiniBlogBlitz “Children in Chains (DI Sterling Book 2)” by Lorraine Mace

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cover

The second chapter in a new dark and gritty crime series.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.

When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.

Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?

Purchase Links

Price Drop Alert! 

 Children In Chains is on offer at 99p/99c across all Amazon stores until June 15!

Amazon UK  

Amazon US  

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Lorraine MaceAuthor Bio  

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

Social Media Links  

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

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