#BookReview “Freeze Before Burning: A Sam Tate Mystery (Sam Tate Mystery Series Book 3)” by Nikki Stern

December 13-31, 2021 Virtual Book Tour

book cover

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5/5 Stars!

As a fan of true crime, Sam Tate’s latest case creeped me out a bit.

Why?

Because a brutal killer’s victims are all fans of a true-crime podcast.

*Shudders* Talk about hitting close to home.

Still haunted by her tragic past, Lt. Tate travels from her small town on the eastern shores of Maryland to the fast-paced Big Apple to take a break and visit family to gain more insight into her past.

Sam’s success on high-profile serial killer cases and a connection from her past leads to her being pulled in as a consultant on the Dry Ice Killer case to help find the sadistic mad man before another member of Deep Freeze, a true-crime podcast chat, is murdered.

Of course, things are never that cut and dried for Sam and as she pulled deeper into the investigation, she also tries to maintain a long-distance relationship with FBI Agent Terry Sloane while trying to make sense of the nightmares that haunt her every night.

But she’s got this, right? Definitely.

While Sam is still much the lone-eagle, in this read, she doesn’t have to be. The task force teams have her back and are ready to support her… if she’ll only allow them to.

What I admire most about Sam are her faults. She’s not perfect. She screws up, makes bad choices, and internalizes her emotions far too often. But she doesn’t allow setbacks to define her. She will rise to meet the challenges of life and her job without whining or blame-placing. What I also admire is that this series is as much about Sam’s personal growth as it is crime-solving. She remains true to herself, but by the story’s end, she has changed, and for the better.

With an ending I wasn’t ready for, this page-turner is the best installment yet of the Sam Tate series and I hope there’s a book four.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

 

True Crime Fans Iced by Cold-blooded Killer

What do a bartender, a priest, and a librarian have in common? They all work in New York City. They’re all true crime fans. And they’re all dead, courtesy of a predator with a chilling approach to murder. Talbot County, Maryland Lieutenant Sam Tate is in the Big Apple to find answers about her own tragic past when she is pulled onto the case of the Dry Ice Killer by an old friend with the NYPD. Drawn to a new colleague, she questions her long-time relationship with her FBI boyfriend. Meanwhile, she’s caught between the demands of an impatient bureaucracy and an especially sadistic sociopath. This may be Sam’s most dangerous case yet—if she survives.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: December 8, 2021

Number of Pages: 295

ISBN: 978-9995487-7-6

Series: The Sam Tate Mystery Series, Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews and giveaways!

~~~

Join In:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway runs December 13th through January 2, 2022. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#BookTour “Freeze Before Burning: A Sam Tate Mystery (Sam Tate Mystery Series Book 3)” by Nikki Stern

December 13-31, 2021 Virtual Book Tour

book cover

~~~

Synopsis:

 

True Crime Fans Iced by Cold-blooded Killer

What do a bartender, a priest, and a librarian have in common? They all work in New York City. They’re all true crime fans. And they’re all dead, courtesy of a predator with a chilling approach to murder. Talbot County, Maryland Lieutenant Sam Tate is in the Big Apple to find answers about her own tragic past when she is pulled onto the case of the Dry Ice Killer by an old friend with the NYPD. Drawn to a new colleague, she questions her long-time relationship with her FBI boyfriend. Meanwhile, she’s caught between the demands of an impatient bureaucracy and an especially sadistic sociopath. This may be Sam’s most dangerous case yet—if she survives.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: December 8, 2021

Number of Pages: 295

ISBN: 978-9995487-7-6

Series: The Sam Tate Mystery Series, Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

Ed Rizzo slid his ample body into the ornate confessional, crossed himself, and pushed a strand of thinning hair off his forehead. “Forgive me, Father,” he intoned, “for I have sinned, although I’m pretty sure God will cut me some slack even if my wife won’t, if you take my meaning.”

At ten in the morning, the sanctuary was deserted. Good. He didn’t need anyone listening to his confession, which he unloaded to the figure who sat beside him in the confessional over the next ten minutes.

Even as he talked, he considered who might be on the other side of the grate. Rizzo couldn’t make out the features of the man. He wondered if he’d landed the new priest. Maybe a younger person would make light of his transgressions, which mostly related to his perfectly legitimate reaction to his obnoxious neighbor, Frank Pagonis.

Rizzo had his justifications lined up. He hadn’t survived more than a year of enforced quarantine with three kids and a demanding wife, never mind the missing paycheck for a while, only to put up with the stolen newspapers, a lawn mower returned with a bent blade, and a television loud enough to wake the dead.

“But when his dog, which, by the way, he refuses to leash and that’s against the law, went and dug up my tomato plants, yeah, I sprayed some stuff on whatever the mutt left. Not enough to kill the animal, you understand. He can’t help it if he has a jerk for an owner. I would have sprayed his owner’s food if I could have. The point I’m making is, the dog got sick, but it didn’t die, okay?”

Rizzo cocked his head, thinking he might have heard a faint sigh.

“Now he’s coming around with a pile of vet bills and talking about suing me. I told him to take his threats and shove them. I tell you, Padre, I am this close to beating that smug face or maybe twisting that scrawny neck of his. My wife claims that kind of thinking is sinful. I don’t think it’s as bad as doing the deed. I haven’t told her about poisoning the dog, but sparing her the details isn’t the same as lying, is it?”

Nothing. The guy had probably fallen asleep. The confessional was stuffy, and Rizzo experienced a touch of claustrophobia. Time to move things along.

“If you can just suggest a penance to perform, I’ll get it covered. Then I can be on my way.”

He stopped talking, suddenly aware of the silence, how absolute and enveloping it was. The noises of the city street outside had receded. He could hear himself breathing.

“Hey, Father? You all right in there?” Rizzo scratched the grill dividing the two sides of the confessional. His head was pounding now, and he felt vaguely dizzy.

“I know I’ve been yakking a lot. How about we wrap this up, okay?” Again, no response. It occurred to Rizzo that the other man hadn’t said a word the entire time. What if the good father had suffered a heart attack?

He hoisted his bulk off the narrow bench and pushed himself out of the tiny space. The other side of the confessional had its own entrance. He rapped on the door, then tried the handle, more out of instinct than anything else. It turned in his hand, and he pulled.

The black-garbed figure sat with head bowed, hands folded in his lap as if in prayer or contemplation. Or asleep. Rizzo put a tentative hand on the man’s shoulder. With a sigh like a punctured balloon, the black-robed figure tipped sideways off the bench, fell to the floor, and rolled like a blow-up toy.

Startled, Rizzo jumped back. Stay cool, he told himself.

He bent over with an umph and put two fingers to the priest’s throat to search for a pulse. He expected to feel cold, not the scalding heat that burned his skin.

“Jesus Christ!” he yelled, forgetting for a moment where he was. He waved his blistered hand in the air and hopped around until a wave of nausea stopped.

With his foot, he nudged the body so that it rolled onto its back. He stared, speechless for once, at the face of the priest. Then he stepped farther back, pulled out his cell phone, punched in 9-1-1, and gave his report to the dispatcher in a calm, measured tone.

He agreed to wait for the police and medical authorities just outside the church. He even accepted the suggestion that he might dissuade others from entering until help arrived.

Without looking again at the body of the priest, Ed Rizzo crossed himself. He walked slowly to the front door, stepped into the fresh air, and threw up.

***

Excerpt from Freeze Before Burning: A Sam Tate Mystery by Nikki Stern. Copyright 2021 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern is the author of six books, two non-fiction and four fiction. The Wedding Crasher, a 2019 Kindle Book Award Winner, and Bird in Hand, a 2020 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie, are the first two books in the Sam Tate Mystery Series. Freeze Before Burning is the latest. Nikki shares author credit on a series of interactive murder mysteries published by Samuel French. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Catch Up With Nikki:
NikkiStern.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @NikkiStern
Instagram – @realnikkistern
Twitter – @realnikkistern
Facebook – @NikkiSternAuthor

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews and giveaways!

~~~

Join In:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway runs December 13th through January 2, 2022. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#BookSale “The Wedding Crasher: A Sam Tate Mystery” by Nikki Stern

~ Blogger Favorite ~

cover ~~~

Synopsis:

A brunette in a bridal gown turns up in Pickett County, Tennessee, throat slit and ring finger missing. She’s the latest victim of the Wedding Crasher, a serial killer who murders women just weeks before their weddings.

Samantha Tate is Picket County’s yoga-loving, poker-playing new sheriff, a former Nashville homicide detective who struggles with her inner demons. To catch the meticulous murderer, Sam will have to follow her instincts and ignore her worst impulses. Can she stop the Wedding Crasher before another bride-to-be dies?

99c for a limited time!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

~~~

~ Felicia’s Review –

5/5 Stars!

Murdered young women, a serial killer with a penchant for wedding dresses and who kills annually, a frustrated female sheriff carrying way too much baggage and drinking too much, an FBI agent haunted by his own past, and a stunning plot twist mesh together to make The Wedding Crasher a suspense-filled ride… and an excellent read!

Sheriff Samantha Tate’s worst fears are realized when a murdered young woman is found in the woods, laid out under trees… in a wedding dress and missing her ring finger.

She’s victim number five, and the second in Sam’s county since she became sheriff.

The new investigation brings the Wedding Crasher task force together… again, and FBI Agent Terry Sloan back into Sam’s life, and thoughts.

Sam Tate is a great, edgy character, flawed to the hilt. But despite the death of her fiancé and her own traumatic connections to weddings, she’s a top of the line sheriff and investigator. Sam’s a woman walking in the footsteps of the last sheriff in a southern town full of powerful good old boys who consider her little more than a mere annoyance.

That’s a mistake.

The Crasher investigation stalls to a standstill again, but Sam’s got her hands full with – someone taking shots at her outside her home and her nightmares growing more intense. What can’t she remember from twenty-five years ago? Her therapist is being blackmailed, then she disappears. Two more local women are murdered—one a Pickett County deputy—and Sam has far too many suspects for these unrelated Crasher murders. Or are they?

Detective Abdi Issen is a great supporting character, and though she only appears briefly, Sam’s landlady, Cora Granville, is a hoot!

The Wedding Crasher more than delivers an unpredictable plot for suspense and thriller readers, and the twists and turns will keep conspiracy lovers on the edge of their seats. Even women’s fiction readers will find Sam’s story unputdownable.

And that ending? Yeah… I’m ready for the next book!

Enjoy!

~~~

#BookReview “Bird in Hand” by Nikki Stern

on Tour November 1-14, 2020

cover

~~~

5/5 Stars!

When a body is found near a protected sea-life sanctuary, garroted and with burned hands, a notorious drug cartel is suspected of carrying out its ultimate punishment.

But even law enforcement can jump to the wrong conclusions.

After the death of her aunt—and solving the Wedding Crasher case—Samantha Tate gave up her position as sheriff in Tennessee and now resides in a small Maryland community on the eastern shore. A lieutenant in the local sheriff’s department, she tries not to consider the position a step down but knows it was necessary to be near her mother, who’s still a resident in a long-term care facility.

Still new to the area, Sam doesn’t know the murder victim, Arley Fitchett, but everyone else seems well-acquainted with the local treasure hunter. While drugs and cash are found in Fitchett’s home, Sam finds things not connected to drug-dealing, including sketches of a bird in a human hand. Working with a boss caught in political crosshairs and a high-handed state police detective, she has her work cut out for her to convince them their case might be connected to the infamous pirate, Blackbeard himself if she is to solve the case and catch a serial killer.

A great follow-up to The Wedding Crasher, Sam Tate is still on her game as a top-notch investigator. However, she’s still plagued with nightmares from the childhood tragedy that took her father and brother and left her mom disabled. She also mourns the lives lost of people she knew in the Wedding Crasher case. With the support of former-partner-now-boyfriend, FBI Special Agent Terry Sloan, Sam returns to counseling to work through her trauma. It doesn’t help that even though the gunman is now dead, someone is looking into the twenty-six-year-old case. Is Sam in danger?

With a slam-bang ending, Bird in Hand delivers a well-layered plot that successfully masks a killer right up to the reveal. Nikki Stern has me on the hook though, anxious for the next book!

Though a continuation, Bird in Hand does stand on its own as a complete story, but I recommend reading The Wedding Crasher first. Why settle for one five-star read when you can have two?

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

“The stuff of dreams for mystery lovers.” ~Kirkus Reviews

In the sequel to the award-winning THE WEDDING CRASHER, Sam Tate faces off against a vengeful killer, a mistrustful boss, a shadowy nemesis, and a 300-year-old pirate.

When Arley Fitchett’s body washes up onto Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Lieutenant Sam Tate, just two months into her new job, is charged with finding out who murdered the popular guide and treasure hunter. Fitchett, she discovers, was hunting a rare carving he believed had been stolen by Chesapeake Bay pirates in 1718 and hidden nearby. No one knows if the story is true, but several locals seem to share Fitchett’s interest in the wooden bird with the sapphire eye. Any one of them could be the next victim. One of them is definitely the killer.

“Stern excels at creating a satisfyingly complex, emotional undercurrent that runs through the greater murder mystery.” D. Donovan, Sn Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Details

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: September 3, 2020

Number of Pages: 289

ISBN: 0999548743 (ISBN-13: 978-0999548745)

Series: Sam Tate Mystery, #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Tour Participants:

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

~~~

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through November 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

~~~

#BookTour “Bird in Hand” by Nikki Stern

Bird In Hand by Nikki Stern Banner

on Tour November 1-14, 2020

Synopsis:

Bird in Hand by Nikki Stern

When the body of popular local guide Arley Fitchett washes up onto Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Lieutenant Sam Tate, just two months at her new job, is charged with investigating his death. She learns the dead man was searching for a carving he believed had been hidden in the area by pirates in 1718. He’s not the only one. Several others shared Fitchett’s obsession with the bird with the sapphire eye. But which one of them is the murderer—or the next victim? And how long does Sam have to catch a killer before her own past catches up with her?

The book… allows Tate to more fully come into herown as a formidable character on whose shoulders future procedurals could confidentially be placed.~ Kirkus Reviews

Bird in Hand will have prior Sam fans and newcomers thoroughly engrossed, all the way to the unexpected end.~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Even better than the first…leaving this reader eager for a third.~Teri Case, author of the award-winning TIGER DRIVE

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Ruthenia Press
Publication Date: September 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 289
ISBN: 0999548743 (ISBN-13: 978-0999548745)
Series: Sam Tate Mystery, #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

“Lieutenant,” he called out. “Sorry to bring you out on such a soggy night.” He suppressed an involuntary shiver.

“Duty calls, Deputy. You did the right thing.” She looked around. “Where’s the person who called it in?”

McCready cleared his throat. “I’m guessing he took off.”

She understood the young deputy’s discomfort. Poaching was a serious offense. On the other hand, the watermen who flouted the law were friends and neighbors to people with whom she worked.

“Never mind. Let’s see what he found. Grab your flashlight.”

Sam pulled a handheld marine searchlight out of the trunk of her cruiser.

“You got anything specific we can use as a starting point?” she asked.

“Dispatch said the caller mentioned sand. The shoreline is mostly rocky around here, but maybe there’s a sliver of open space right up at the point.”

Sam pulled out her phone and pulled up Google Maps. “I see it,” she said. “We’ve got to pass between these trees and the water to get to it.”

“Careful, then,” McCready said. “We’ll probably run into some pretty slippery going what with the mist and all.”

They headed towards a copse of trees adjacent to the manicured lawn. Dawn hadn’t shown itself. Absent any other illumination, they relied on their beams as they picked their way over the uneven surface.

“This is probably about the only piece of land left undeveloped around here,” McCready observed. “You wouldn’t believe how much building has gone on just in the last fifteen years.” He stumbled. “Shit! Sorry, Lieutenant.”

“Nothing I haven’t heard before, Deputy.”

They came upon a slip of sand about a hundred feet long and perhaps fifteen feet wide.

There it was, a body, face up, the left arm extended over the head as if to ward off a blow. The right arm rested on the chest as if in benediction. Both hands were blackened.

She set her searchlight down and crouched by the corpse. The beam coming from McCready’s flashlight wavered.

“You okay, Pat?” she asked.

She heard him swallow. The light steadied. “Yeah, it’s just that, damn, that’s Arley Fitchett.”

“You know him?” Sam asked.

“Everybody knows Arley Fitchett.”

***

Excerpt from Bird in Hand by Nikki Stern. Copyright 2020 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki is the author of five books, all of which have earned critical praise. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, and Humanist Magazine as well as in three anthologies. She collaborated on a series of interactive murder mystery musicals that make up the Café Noir series, published by Samuel French.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern:
NikkiStern.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

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

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through November 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

#Review “The Wedding Crasher: A Sam Tate Mystery” by Nikki Stern

cover ~~~

5/5 Stars!

Murdered young women, a serial killer with a penchant for wedding dresses and who kills annually, a frustrated female sheriff carrying way too much baggage and drinking too much, an FBI agent haunted by his own past, and a stunning plot twist mesh together to make The Wedding Crasher a suspense-filled ride… and an excellent read!

Sheriff Samantha Tate’s worst fears are realized when a murdered young woman is found in the woods, laid out under trees… in a wedding dress and missing her ring finger.

She’s victim number five, and the second in Sam’s county since she became sheriff.

The new investigation brings the Wedding Crasher task force together… again, and FBI Agent Terry Sloan back into Sam’s life, and thoughts.

Sam Tate is a great, edgy character, flawed to the hilt. But despite the death of her fiancé and her own traumatic connections to weddings, she’s a top of the line sheriff and investigator. Sam’s a woman walking in the footsteps of the last sheriff in a southern town full of powerful good old boys who consider her little more than a mere annoyance.

That’s a mistake.

The Crasher investigation stalls to a standstill again, but Sam’s got her hands full with – someone taking shots at her outside her home and her nightmares growing more intense. What can’t she remember from twenty-five years ago? Her therapist is being blackmailed, then she disappears. Two more local women are murdered—one a Pickett County deputy—and Sam has far too many suspects for these unrelated Crasher murders. Or are they?

Detective Abdi Issen is a great supporting character, and though she only appears briefly, Sam’s landlady, Cora Granville, is a hoot!

The Wedding Crasher more than delivers an unpredictable plot for suspense and thriller readers, and the twists and turns will keep conspiracy lovers on the edge of their seats. Even women’s fiction readers will find Sam’s story unputdownable.

And that ending? Yeah… I’m ready for the next book!

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

A brunette in a bridal gown turns up in Pickett County, Tennessee, throat slit and ring finger missing. She’s the latest victim of the Wedding Crasher, a serial killer who murders women just weeks before their weddings.

Samantha Tate is Picket County’s yoga-loving, poker-playing new sheriff, a former Nashville homicide detective who struggles with her inner demons. To catch the meticulous murderer, Sam will have to follow her instincts and ignore her worst impulses. Can she stop the Wedding Crasher before another bride-to-be dies?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: May 8, 2019

Number of Pages: 340

ISBN: 978-0-9995487-3-8

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

#BookTour “The Wedding Crasher: A Sam Tate Mystery” by Nikki Stern

on Tour June 1-30, 2019

cover ~~~

 

Synopsis:

A brunette in a bridal gown turns up in Pickett County, Tennessee, throat slit and ring finger missing. She’s the latest victim of the Wedding Crasher, a serial killer who murders women just weeks before their weddings.

Samantha Tate is Picket County’s yoga-loving, poker-playing new sheriff, a former Nashville homicide detective who struggles with her inner demons. To catch the meticulous murderer, Sam will have to follow her instincts and ignore her worst impulses. Can she stop the Wedding Crasher before another bride-to-be dies?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: May 8, 2019

Number of Pages: 340

ISBN: 978-0-9995487-3-8

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

The dead woman lay in the clearing like a macabre version of Sleeping Beauty. She was dressed in a long-sleeved, high-necked ivory gown, set off by luminescent pearl drop earrings and a matching necklace that almost hid the dried blood around her throat. Her head rested on a satin pillow, her silky walnut hair spread behind her like a fan. The right hand held a bouquet of wilted flowers and rested on her chest underneath the left, absent the fourth finger. The ring finger. Sheriff Sam Tate stood to one side of the grim tableau, arms folded, and took it all in: the victim; the tall white-haired man who knelt by the body; the deputy who walked the scene in throwaway boots, snapping pictures; the pale young man in running gear sitting on a rock, head almost to his knees; the uniformed officer who squatted beside him. Sam had dressed in her standard uniform of pressed black slacks and a spotless white shirt. A shaft of early-morning sun bounced off the polished badge at her left breast pocket. On her right wrist, she wore a utilitarian watch. Three small studs twinkled along one earlobe, her single visible concession to a rebellious streak. She’d pulled her unruly dark locks into a tight braid. Ray-Bans shielded her green eyes, though not the line that formed between her brows. One of the victim’s low-heeled white pumps had dropped off to reveal a slim ankle in hosiery. Stockings, not pantyhose, held up by an old-fashioned garter. Sam didn’t need to look. He’s back, she thought, adding a curse for good measure. *** Excerpt from The Wedding Crasher by Nikki Stern. Copyright 2019 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern is the author of the inspirational HOPE IN SMALL DOSES, a 2015 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist, and the thriller THE FORMER ASSASSIN, a 2018 Kindle Book Review category finalist. Her essays are included in three anthologies and she co-authored the interactive Café Noir murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Eight of her short stories have been published in various online journals and she was a Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch finalist for her short story Long Away and Far Ago. Nikki is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern On: nikkistern.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & 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 Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

PICT Button

#BookTour “The Wedding Crasher: A Sam Tate Mystery” by Nikki Stern

on Tour June 1-30, 2019

cover ~~~

 

Synopsis:

A brunette in a bridal gown turns up in Pickett County, Tennessee, throat slit and ring finger missing. She’s the latest victim of the Wedding Crasher, a serial killer who murders women just weeks before their weddings.

Samantha Tate is Picket County’s yoga-loving, poker-playing new sheriff, a former Nashville homicide detective who struggles with her inner demons. To catch the meticulous murderer, Sam will have to follow her instincts and ignore her worst impulses. Can she stop the Wedding Crasher before another bride-to-be dies?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: May 8, 2019

Number of Pages: 340

ISBN: 978-0-9995487-3-8

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

The dead woman lay in the clearing like a macabre version of Sleeping Beauty. She was dressed in a long-sleeved, high-necked ivory gown, set off by luminescent pearl drop earrings and a matching necklace that almost hid the dried blood around her throat. Her head rested on a satin pillow, her silky walnut hair spread behind her like a fan. The right hand held a bouquet of wilted flowers and rested on her chest underneath the left, absent the fourth finger. The ring finger. Sheriff Sam Tate stood to one side of the grim tableau, arms folded, and took it all in: the victim; the tall white-haired man who knelt by the body; the deputy who walked the scene in throwaway boots, snapping pictures; the pale young man in running gear sitting on a rock, head almost to his knees; the uniformed officer who squatted beside him. Sam had dressed in her standard uniform of pressed black slacks and a spotless white shirt. A shaft of early-morning sun bounced off the polished badge at her left breast pocket. On her right wrist, she wore a utilitarian watch. Three small studs twinkled along one earlobe, her single visible concession to a rebellious streak. She’d pulled her unruly dark locks into a tight braid. Ray-Bans shielded her green eyes, though not the line that formed between her brows. One of the victim’s low-heeled white pumps had dropped off to reveal a slim ankle in hosiery. Stockings, not pantyhose, held up by an old-fashioned garter. Sam didn’t need to look. He’s back, she thought, adding a curse for good measure. *** Excerpt from The Wedding Crasher by Nikki Stern. Copyright 2019 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern is the author of the inspirational HOPE IN SMALL DOSES, a 2015 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist, and the thriller THE FORMER ASSASSIN, a 2018 Kindle Book Review category finalist. Her essays are included in three anthologies and she co-authored the interactive Café Noir murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Eight of her short stories have been published in various online journals and she was a Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch finalist for her short story Long Away and Far Ago. Nikki is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern On: nikkistern.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & 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 Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

PICT Button

#Review “The Former Assassin” by Nikki Stern

The Former Assassin cover

The Former Assassin

by Nikki Stern

5/5 Stars!

The Former Assassin is definitely the suspense read of the summer!

Strong writing plus a complex plot add up to an intense story where you can never guess the next move.

Susan Foster never intended to be an assassin. She’s not some femme fatale badass out to take on the world. The former member of the military is skilled and highly trained and blackmailed into a life she never wanted by uber-villain, Victor Kemp.

Kemp appears to be a man of limitless wealth and power and he demands total control. But, make no mistake, he is a thug. Susan has nothing but contempt for the man and sees him as a monster in a suit. But she has no other option than to do his bidding. He can take away her freedom… or worse.

Susan has highs and lows and is able to steal moments of joy during her time with Kemp, and he takes a sadistic delight in marring—or attempting to erase—those times. Usually, there is something in a villain’s life which allows you to see them as human. For me, Victor didn’t have that something.

She tries to distance herself from him and her assignments, believing it’s professional and not personal but when she walks away twenty-five years later, Kemp wants revenge, and everything becomes personal.

A strong woman needs an equally strong man and Susan has that in husband, Brian Foster. He never thought less of Susan for what she did and married her despite it. His respect for her is as deep as his love, and he believes he is stronger for having her in his life. They weather losses and bad times and make heartbreaking sacrifices during their unconventional marriage, but they allow nothing to weaken them as a couple.

With all the murders, lies, secrets and spies, The Former Assassin may sound like a raw, gritty read, but it packs as much emotion as it does treachery and betrayal. There is no honor among thieves but sometimes, even family doesn’t get a pass.

A confident, intelligent heroine who’s the first in line to admit her mistakes, surrounded by strong characters who empower each other, and a super-smart villain you’ll be itching to smack make this a read you don’t want to miss.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:The Former Assassin cover

 

Susan Foster wants to retire. Her boss wants her dead.

After decades as Victor Kemp’s off-the books killer, Suzanne finally quits. Not until five years later does Kemp discover how thoroughly she’s deceived him. Determined to punish her, he tracks her to Wales to watch her die. Instead, he walks into a trap.

Believing themselves safe at last, Suzanne and her family relocate to London, where she hopes to find the peace that has eluded her for so long. Her son is engaged to a nobleman’s daughter; her husband has a good job with British Intelligence. Yet she still struggles with restless dreams and the premonition that her nemesis has survived.

He has: Kemp, though severely injured, is rebuilding his empire and plotting revenge. He’s prepared to risk everything to end the former assassin. He may not be the only one.

Suzanne has no choice: to protect those she loves, she will be forced to kill again. Assassins, it seems, can never retire.

“An explosive page-turner which owes its momentum to it two well-drawn opponents and a conflict that goes beyond good-vs.-evil.” ~IndieReader, Four Star review

“Later turns in the smashing final act come at a searing pace.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Keeps readers guessing the outcome right up to its conclusion.” ~D. Donovan Midwest Book Review

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Ruthenia Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780999548721
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Goodreads

~~~

“The Former Assassin” by Nikki Stern

on Tour August 1-31, 2018

Synopsis:

The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern

Susan Foster wants to retire. Her boss wants her dead.

After decades as Victor Kemp’s off-the books killer, Suzanne finally quits. Not until five years later does Kemp discover how thoroughly she’s deceived him. Determined to punish her, he tracks her to Wales to watch her die. Instead, he walks into a trap.

Believing themselves safe at last, Suzanne and her family relocate to London, where she hopes to find the peace that has eluded her for so long. Her son is engaged to a nobleman’s daughter; her husband has a good job with British Intelligence. Yet she still struggles with restless dreams and the premonition that her nemesis has survived.

He has: Kemp, though severely injured, is rebuilding his empire and plotting revenge. He’s prepared to risk everything to end the former assassin. He may not be the only one.

Suzanne has no choice: to protect those she loves, she will be forced to kill again. Assassins, it seems, can never retire.

“An explosive page-turner which owes its momentum to it two well-drawn opponents and a conflict that goes beyond good-vs.-evil.” ~IndieReader, Four Star review

“Later turns in the smashing final act come at a searing pace.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Keeps readers guessing the outcome right up to its conclusion.” ~D. Donovan Midwest Book Review

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Ruthenia Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780999548721
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Today is not a good day to die.

No day is, not really. We humans are hard-wired to survive. By most standards, though, this morning is exceptional. The weather is balmy, even for May. The fierce winds that often pound the Welsh coastline have remained offshore. Purple heather blankets the emerald cliffs that encircle Bristol Bay. Small breakers gently lap the shoreline and wash the sand clean of debris. The water sparkles in the sunlight. Shades of azure and aquamarine yield to cyan and lapis further out. In the distance, the sea meets a cerulean sky just where the earth curves. No slate clouds gather at the horizon. All is calm.

Nothing suggested that today I would find myself on a bench in one of the most breathtaking spots in the world with a gun to my head, held by a predator who speaks just two words: “Don’t move.”

***

Excerpt from The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern. Copyright © 2018 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki is the author of two works of non-fiction: HOPE IN SMALL DOSES, a 2015 Eric Hoffer finalist for books that provoke, inspire and redirect thought, and BECAUSE I SAY SO: MORAL AUTHORITY’S DANGEROUS APPEAL, as well as dozens of short stories. She is co-author on the Cafe Noir interactive murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Nikki’s suspense novel, THE FORMER ASSASSIN has garnered strong reviews, including a four-star rating from Indie Reader. She’s working on a mystery/sci-fi series starring an unorthodox crime fighter named Samantha Tate. When she’s not writing about strong complex women, Nikki is working with several non-profits, taking Pilates classes, and attending to the needs of her dog, Molly.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

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ENTER GIVEAWAY:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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