#BlogTour “Up the Creek” by Alissa Grosso

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Congratulations to Alissa Grosso on the release of her suspenseful Supernatural Thriller, Up the Creek! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!!!

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Up the Creek (Culver Creek #1)

Expected Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.

Caitlin Walker hasn’t had a dream in nine years. But now nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son’s nightmares threaten to reveal.

In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town’s notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.

How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.

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Excerpt

Caitlin emerged from a black, dreamless sleep to screams. Adam’s tortured cries sounded almost otherworldly. They turned her blood to ice and made her heart race. She sat straight up, then bolted from bed, blinking sleep from her eyes as she raced toward the door, banging her shin on the dresser as she went. She yanked on the doorknob and almost toppled over when it didn’t yield as she expected. Goddammit. Lance had locked the door again.

She spared a glance toward the bed, but her husband wasn’t there. Instead he was standing, looking out the window. For a moment she thought she was mistaken. Were the screams coming from outside?

“Lance?” she asked.

He turned to her, but his eyes looked past her at some point on the wall.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled, barely awake.

“Adam’s having a nightmare,” she said.

“Again?” he asked. “Maybe we should just let him sleep it off.”

The screams had subsided now, but she could still hear her son’s whimpers from down the hall. Sleep it off? Could Lance really be that clueless? She unlocked the door and flung it open. It bounced almost silently off the rubber doorstopper, which didn’t really give her the dramatic exit she was hoping for.

She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around her husband just standing there looking out the window while Adam cried for them. Usually Lance was the one who woke up first. Maybe he had already gone to comfort Adam and came back to their bedroom by the time she awoke. He seemed so out of it, though. Well, that’s what a lack of sleep could do to a person.

Adam sat on his bed in a nest of tangled sheets. His face was damp with tears and sweat, his dark hair plastered to his forehead. The hippo nightlight cast large, ominous shadows when she stepped into his room. He looked up with a start, then relaxed when he saw it was her.

She sat down beside him and pulled his small body to her, wrapping her arms around him and rocking him gently back and forth. The tears subsided, but he still felt tense.

“Mommy, I’m scared of the bad boy,” he said. “The bad boy’s going to hurt me.”

“Nobody’s going to hurt you,” she assured him. “You’re safe. It was just a dream. Look, you’re safe in your bedroom.”

At this, Adam pulled away from her a little to study the dimly lit bedroom. Maybe they should get a different nightlight. She had never realized how spooky that hippo light made everything look.

“There were trees,” Adam said, “and a river. She was playing in the river.”

Caitlin stiffened. Adam noticed it and looked up at her. She smiled at him.

“It was just a dream,” she said, as much to reassure herself as him. “It wasn’t real.”

There were lots of rivers out there, and wasn’t Adam just watching a cartoon show with cute animals that had to get across a river? That was probably where that detail came from. Plus, she reminded herself, it hadn’t been a river. It had been a creek. She wasn’t sure Adam knew the difference between a river and a creek, though. But a little girl playing in a river? No, wait, was that what he had said? He said only “she.” For all Caitlin knew, this she could have been a girl river otter. Maybe he had been having a cute dream about river creatures.

And a “bad boy,” she reminded herself. She remembered his bloodcurdling screams. There was nothing cute about the dream he had. Still, she clung to the “bad boy” detail. Was he talking about a child? If so, then the river was just a coincidence. She wanted to ask him more about the bad boy, but this was the worst thing she could do. He was already starting to calm down, starting to forget the details of his nightmare. She couldn’t go dredging things back up again.

“Mommy, can I sleep in your room?” Adam asked.

* * *

Lance was fully awake and in bed when Caitlin returned with Adam in her arms.

“Hey there, champ,” Lance said. “Have a bad dream?”

“Daddy, he hurt her,” Adam said. “He hurt her head. She was bleeding.”

Her son’s tiny body stiffened again in Caitlin’s arms, and she gave Lance an exasperated look as she set Adam down in the middle of the bed.

“We’d already gotten past that,” she said in a whispered hiss.

“Obviously,” Lance said with a roll of his eyes, “which is why he’s sleeping in our bed. Again.”

She slid into the bed beside Adam and adjusted the covers, ignoring her husband. She petted Adam’s head and made soft, soothing noises.

“Remember, that wasn’t real, just make believe, like a movie.” She didn’t want him to get himself worked up again talking about the dream, but it wasn’t just that. She didn’t want to hear any more details from the nightmare because the bit about the bad boy hurting the girl’s head and the blood felt a touch too familiar.

She stroked his face, and his eyelids slowly drooped closed. He looked so calm and peaceful when he slept.

“I thought we said we weren’t going to do this anymore,” Lance said. Even whispering, his voice was too loud. She held her finger to her lips. He continued more quietly, “I’m just saying, I think it would be better for him if he sleeps in his own bed.”

“It’s already after three,” she said. “It’s only for a few hours.”

“That’s not the point,” Lance said. “He’s nearly five years old. We can’t keep babying him.”

It was like the school argument all over again, and Caitlin didn’t want to get into it. Not now. She was still tired and groggy and needed more sleep.

“I want to get him a new nightlight,” she said to change the subject. “The one he has makes these creepy shadows.”

“A new nightlight,” Lance repeated in a skeptical voice. “Sure, that will solve everything.”

“The important thing,” she said, “is that we have to remind him that his dreams are not real. That they’re make believe. We have to be united on this.”

Lance made a dismissive noise and lay back down on his pillow, turning his body away from her and Adam. He muttered something, but his voice was muffled by the pillow.

“Lance, this is important,” she said. “We have to make it clear that his dreams are not real. He has to know they aren’t true.”

He sighed. “What kind of moron do you think I am? Do you really think I’m going to start telling him his dreams about boogeymen are real?” He squirmed around and pulled the covers up in an attempt to get comfortable. She thought he was done, but he stopped shifting around long enough to add, “It’s not exactly like you’re the foremost expert in dreams.”

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About the Author

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Alissa Grosso is the author of several books for adults and teens. Originally from New Jersey, she now resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You can find out more about her and her books at AlissaGrosso.com.

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#BookReview “Murder, Forgotten” by Deb Richardson-Moore

on Tour October 1-16, 2020

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5/5 Stars!

When a man is murdered in his home late one evening, there is no shortage of suspects, including his loving wife.

Celebrated novelist Julianna Burke is devastated over the death of her husband, Connor. When she can remember it. Struggling for several months with memory loss and blackouts, it’s believed she was sinking into dementia. Her late husband and her assistant, Margot, were her social buffers, reminding her of dates, places… and names.

When Margot takes Julianna to Scotland to “rest,” her daughter, Logan, dog sits her beloved Annabelle. When her mother returns early, unannounced, and more alert than she’s been in months, Logan decides to stay with her mom to learn more about her condition. Mother and daughter are not estranged, but Logan and her older brother, Harrison, have always felt like outsiders since their mom married Connor twenty-two years ago, even though Connor Burke never excluded them and treated them better than their own father had.

Proximity not only gives Logan time with Julianna, but also allows her to follow the police investigation more closely. She learns the day before Connor’s murder, he and Julianna hosted a happy hour for their close-knit group of neighbors and the police are questioning all of them. Logan has known the group—and most of the residents of the tiny South Carolina island—for most of her life. However, whispered words and shared confidences lead her to wonder if she ever knew any of the neighbors she considered family.

Reading the manuscript of her mother’s latest book, Murder, Forgotten, also makes Logan suspicious… and guilty. How well did she know her mother? Could she be a killer?

Tragedy rocks Logan’s family again but brings with it an explanation for Julianna’s constant confusion and potential links to the past, Julianna’s manuscript, and Connor’s murder.

This slow-burner deftly uses misdirection and distraction to keep you guessing. Before story’s end, Logan will suspect everyone including her brother, her best friend’s father, and her mother’s assistant. As both she and the police investigation get closer to the truth, a killer shows killing again to keep a secret is not a problem.

This was an excellent read! The characters are well-sketched personalities that will invoke a myriad of emotions. Harrison is an entitled jerk. There, I said it. Logan is steadfast and searches not only for justice but also for confirmation Julianna and Connor were the loving, devoted couple she knew them to be.

Murder, Forgotten is a definite page-turner for readers of suspense and crime fiction.

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

Book Details:

Genre: Murder Mystery, Southern Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: September 18th 2020
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1782643117 (ISBN13: 9781782643111)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | 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 rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Deb Richardson-More. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win one (1) ebook copy ofMurder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through October 18, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

#BookTour “Murder, Forgotten” by Deb Richardson-Moore

on Tour October 1-16, 2020

Synopsis:

Murder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore

With the publication of ‘Murder, Forgotten‘, Deb Richardson-Moore departs from her popular Branigan Powers series and introduces us to an unforgettable protagonist and a heart-pounding mystery that explores the vagaries of the mind and the way our memory often betrays us. The themes are both universal and personal at once. How does grief alter one’s memory? Is there more truth in fiction than in reality? This is a novel will have readers questioning their own motivations and that of the protagonist, Julianna Burke.

Julianna is a mystery writer who is famous for her ‘wanderings’ – eventually returning to her writing desk with exciting plot twists. But lately, she has nothing to show for her creative work. She fears her memory is slipping, and with it her heralded career.

Then her beloved husband and business partner is murdered. The police look at workmen, extended family and neighbors, but Julianna fears something far worse. Could she, deep in the writing of her latest mystery, ‘Murder, Forgotten,’ have acted out the fictional murder? In this plot within a plot, she seeks to find the killer. Can she find the truth when she questions her own reality?

Murder, Forgotten‘ takes us from coastal South Carolina to the eastern shores of Scotland in a sweeping mystery that explores Julianna, grief-stricken and wounded, as she searches for truth in the midst of her own fiction.

Book Details:

Genre: Murder Mystery, Southern Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: September 18th 2020
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1782643117 (ISBN13: 9781782643111)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

FROM CHAPTER 2 –

In the days following Connor’s death, Logan had spent more time with her mother than in the past several years. Julianna had gone to stay with her neighbor, Liza Holland, and had moved through Liza’s house like a ghost – or a mental patient. She had appeared vacant at the funeral, with Margot hovering at her elbow to cover her lapses with both local mourners and New York publishing executives. Just last week, after deputies allowed Julianna back into this house, Logan had brought dinner. Through all that, her mother had never mentioned a new book.

But then she wouldn’t have. She was spacey at the best of times. After Connor’s death, her sleep became more disrupted, her empty stares more pronounced, her answers more nonsensical. Frankly, Logan had been relieved when Margot whisked her out of the country. But if you didn’t have to deal with the real Julianna Burke, the thought of a new Julianna Burke mystery was delicious. Logan would snuggle into bed sooner than she had planned and see what Martin Engler’s problem was. But first, she had to lock up downstairs. She stood, nearly tripping over Annabelle, who’d followed her into Julianna’s room unnoticed.

The dog whimpered.

“I know, baby girl,” Logan said. “Your mama will come back. I promise. But you get to sleep in my room tonight. How’s that?”

Annabelle trotted out of the room and dashed to Logan’s childhood bedroom. She sat at the door, looking up expectantly. “Back in a flash,” Logan assured her. She walked down the stairs and through the living quarters, turning off a living room lamp, rechecking the security alarm, and locking the door that led from the kitchen on to rickety side stairs. Circling back, she saw the glow from her mother’s office. She knew she’d left a light on, but the hairs on the back of her neck bristled nonetheless.

She’d never been afraid in this house, not once, not even as a teen left alone overnight when her mother and Connor remained in Columbia or Greenville or Asheville after a book signing. “The neighbors are so close,” she’d whined in her successful campaign of persuasion not to be dragged along. But those close neighbors hadn’t prevented Connor’s murder. For that matter, neither had the other two people in the house.

Logan took a steadying breath and returned to the office, the black binder still in her hand.

She reached to turn off the desk lamp but then thought about this treasure she’d unearthed in Connor’s bedside table. What else might there be? Resolutely turning her back on the blood-stained chair, she pulled open the slender top drawer of her mother’s desk. She felt guilty for a moment. Though she’d talked to her distracted mother from the office doorway or slouched on the couch as a teen seeking permission for one thing or another, she’d never been alone in this space.

***

Excerpt from Murder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson–Moore. Copyright 2020 by Deb Richardson–Moore. Reproduced with permission from Deb Richardson–Moore. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Deb Richardson–Moore

Deb Richardson-Moore is the author of 4 fiction titles and a memoir, The Weight of Mercy, about her early years as a pastor at the Triune Mercy Center in Greenville, S.C. A former national award-winning reporter for The Greenville News, Deb is a popular speaker at book clubs, universities and college events. She has won numerous awards for her philanthropy and community involvement, including the 2014 Women Making History Award from the Greenville, South Carolina Cultural Exchange Center and the 2016 Public & Community Service Award from the Atlantic Institute. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Deb lives with her husband in South Carolina.

Catch Up With Deb Richardson-Moore:
http://www.DebRichardsonMoore.com, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

 

 

Tour Participants:

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

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Deb Richardson-More. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win one (1) ebook copy ofMurder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020 and runs through October 18, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

 

#BookBlitz “Murder Knows No Boundaries” by George Encizo

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JD Pickens Mysteries, Book 3

 

Mystery, Murder Mystery
Published: December 2019
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
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Sometimes routine wasn’t always routine as Sheriff JD Pickens, and his deputies learned. What was supposed to be a routine 911 call ended up costing Pickens a deputy and turned out to be a double homicide. One that was outside the realm of humanity. Pickens was forced to divide his team and call for help from two retired homicide detectives. Not since a psychopath went on the warpath with a shotgun had there been such bloodshed in the county leaving scars that would last a long time.

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Other Books in the JD Pickens Mystery Series:
Descent Into Hell
JD Pickens Mysteries, Book 1
Published: July 2017
With a population of just twelve thousand, Creek City is a sleepy rural town in Central Florida. Folks live there because life is simple and peaceful; but once dead bodies start turning up, Creek City is anything but.
Underprepared and undermanned, the county sheriff’s office scrambles to stop the bloodshed, but the killer is always one step ahead. Sheriff J. D. Pickens, usually a steady hand, loses patience as clue after clue results in a dead end and another corpse turns up. When Pickens gets close to the truth, the killer threatens Pickens’s own family, making this murder investigation personal. Anger, terror, and tenacious police work clash in a surprise ending that will leave readers breathless.
Descent into Hell is a thriller that will make you lock your doors and bar your windows. Big cities may be filled with crime, but it’s easier to get away with murder in rural areas. The silence of the countryside is not always comforting; it can also be a reminder of how alone you are—and how unlikely it is that anyone will hear you scream.
Murder on Grange Road
JD Pickens Mysteries, Book 2
Published: May 2019
Quail hunting in Central Florida was supposed to be an exciting experience. But lately, for Bo Tatum, the owner of Tatum’s Hunting Resort off Grange Road near Lake Azur, it had been a disaster. Instead of his dogs flushing out birds, they’d been digging up human bodies.
Sheriff JD Pickens and County Medical Examiner, Dr. Marge Davids, were planning a festive holiday season. But their plans were put on hold thanks to Tatum’s discoveries. Undermanned and ill-equipped in a city and county where such things rarely happened, Pickens and Davids will need to muster all the ingenuity they can to solve the mysteries of the bodies, including getting help from an expert in forensic science.
With clues scarce and few leads, Pickens and Davids had to rely on unconventional methods as a last resort. When tempers started to flare during the investigations, Pickens had to use every ounce of patience he could muster to stay calm and in control.

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About the Author
George Encizo is an award-winning author and has written seven novels. Murder Knows No Boundaries is his latest. Encizo is a retired banker and lives in Tallahassee, Florida. When not writing, he enjoys a cup of coffee on the back porch with his wife surveying their gardens.
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