#FREE “Florida Son (Rip Lane Book 2)” by W.J. Costello

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For Julie Collins the loss was shattering. First her son was kidnapped. Then he was found dead. On the fifth anniversary of his death Julie receives a Facebook message from him: “Happy anniversary, Mommy.” Is it a hoax? Or is he still alive? Former U.S. marshal Rip Lane’s pursuit of the truth plunges him into a dark world of family secrets.

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~~~

#GuestPost Crime and Corruption, Boston Style by Gabriel Valjan, author of “Symphony Road”

Symphony Road by Gabriel Valjan BannerFebruary 1-28, 2021 Tour

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~ Crime and Corruption, Boston Style ~

Stories of political and police corruption and conspiracy theories permeated Seventies cinema and crime fiction. Richard Nixon and his cast of misfits were in the White House. Viewers cheered “Attica! Attica!” alongside Sonny Wortzik in Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, or agreed with Charles Bronson’s architect Dr. Paul Kersey’s idea of justice in Death Wish because cops were nowhere to be found. If there was one cop everybody loved, it was Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry because criminals gamed the system and got away with it, and Harry wasn’t having any of it. It’s a tossup as to which film showcased corruption in the Seventies better: Serpico or Prince of the City.

Beantown was right up there, in competition with the Windy City and the Big Apple. In The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ATF agent Dan Foley is ambitious and working both ends against the middle, like his other informant, Dillon. Knowing what we know now about “Whitey” Bulger, he ran amok for decades through South Boston, thanks to corrupt FBI agent and handler, John Connolly. My Shane Cleary is no stranger or innocent to whatever his town has to dish out for crime, corruption, and other forms of treachery.

Boston has a long dark history. The greatest swindle in American sports history, the fixing the World Series in 1919, was cooked up in a room at Boston’s Buckminster Hotel, overlooking Kenmore Square. In that same year, the Great Molasses Flood, the cause of which was revealed to be shady and shoddy construction, killed 21 people. A year later, the Boston Police unionized, the idea formed over beers at Foley’s Café, blocks away from where Shane lives in Union Park in the South End. Governor Calvin Coolidge convinced the public that a strike of police officers was Bolshevism and un-American. He crushed the Police Strike and rode the victory into the White House. His reprisal was so effective and brutal that there was not another police strike in the nation until 1974.

History repeated itself with the Coconut Grove Fire in 1942, which killed 500 people. In the late Seventies, Symphony Road—a street in Boston and the title of my second Shane Cleary mystery—was home to an arson for-hire ring, which involved landlords, lawyers, insurance adjusters, and the Massachusetts State Police. City politicians looked the other way until state and federal officials investigated.

As for the virtues of those public servants…John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald and grandfather to future JFK was removed from office in the US House of Representatives when evidence of voter fraud surfaced. Mayor James Curley ran Boston’s political machinery, like Al Capone controlled Chicago. The IRS put Al away in Alcatraz for tax evasion, and James spent time in Danbury for mail fraud, though federal lawyers wanted him for bribery and war profiteering. Mayor Kevin White, in office when Shane enlisted for Vietnam, was indicted and prosecuted for a variety of charges, including fraud, extortion, and perjury. He sat in the chair while Boston roiled in violence around desegregation and the busing crisis of 1974.

This is the world in which my PI Shane Cleary worked his cases. The cops didn’t like him and the politicians were often worse than the criminals he encountered on the street. The city’s elites were given carte blanche on prime real estate and other lucrative business deals, while everyone was at each other’s throat. Shane navigates social circles, murkier than the Charles River. He is up against cops dirtier than the Boston Harbor. The more things don’t change, the more they remain the same.

~~~

Synopsis:

Symphony Road by Gabriel Valjan
Trouble comes in threes for Shane Cleary, a former police officer and now, a PI. Arson. A Missing Person. A cold case. Two of his clients whom he shouldn’t trust, he does, and the third, whom he should, he can’t. Shane is up against crooked cops, a notorious slumlord and a mafia boss who want what they want, and then there’s the good guys who may or may not be what they seem.

Praise for Symphony Road:

“The second installment in this noir series takes us on a gritty journey through mid-seventies Boston, warts and all, and presents Shane Cleary with a complex arson case that proves to be much more than our PI expected. Peppered with the right mix of period detail and sharp, spare prose, Valjan proves he’s the real deal.” – Edwin Hill, Edgar finalist and author of Watch Her   “Ostracized former cop turned PI Shane Cleary navigates the mean streets of Boston’s seedy underbelly in Symphony Road. A brilliant follow up to Dirty Old Town, Valjan’s literary flair and dark humor are on full display.” – Bruce Robert Coffin, award-winning author of the Detective Byron Mysteries   “A private eye mystery steeped in atmosphere and attitude.” – Richie Narvaez, author of Noiryorican  

Book Details:

Genre: Crime fiction, Procedural, Noir, Historical Fiction

Published by: Level Best Books

Publication Date: January 15, 2021

Number of Pages: 232

ISBN: 978-1-953789-07-5

Series: Shane Cleary Mystery, #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

I went to cross the street when the wheels of a black Cadillac sped up and bristled over tempered glass from a recent smash-and-grab. The brake lights pulsed red, and a thick door opened. A big hulk stepped out, and the car wobbled. The man reached into his pocket. I thought this was it. My obituary was in tomorrow’s paper, written in past tense and in the smallest and dullest typeface, Helvetica, because nothing else said boring better.

Click. Click. “I can never get this fucking thing to light.”

It was Tony Two-Times, Mr. B’s no-neck side man. His nickname came from his habit of clicking his lighter twice. “Mr. B wants a word.”

“Allow me.” I grabbed the Bic. The orange flame jumped on my first try and roasted the end of his Marlboro Red. “You really oughta quit.”

“Thanks for the health advice. Get in.”

Tony nudged me into the backseat. I became the meat in the sandwich between him and Mr. B. There was no need for introductions. The chauffeur was nothing more than a back of a head and a pair of hands on the wheel. The car moved and Mr. B contemplated the night life outside the window.

“I heard you’re on your way to the police station to help your friend.”

“News travels fast on Thursday night. Did Bill tell you before or after he called me?”

“I’m here on another matter.”

The cloud of smoke made me cough. Tony Two-Times was halfway to the filter. The chauffeur cracked the window a smidge for ventilation. As I expected, the radio played Sinatra and there were plans for a detour. A string of red and green lights stared back at us through a clean windshield.

“A kid I know is missing,” Mr. B said.

“Kids go missing all the time.”

“This kid is special.”

“Has a Missing Persons Report been filed?”

The look from Mr. B prompted regret. “We do things my way. Understood?”

We stopped at a light. A long-legged working girl with a chinchilla wrap crossed the street. She approached the car to recite the menu and her prices, but one look at us and she kept walking.

“Is this kid one of your own?”

The old man’s hand strummed leather. The missing pinky unnerved me. I’ve seen my share of trauma in Vietnam: shattered bones, intestines hanging out of a man, but missing parts made me queasy. The car moved and Mr. B continued the narrative.

“Kid’s a real pain in my ass, which is what you’d expect from a teenager, but he’s not in the rackets, if that’s what you’re wondering. This should be easy money for you.”

Money never came easy. As soon as it was in my hand, it went to the landlady, or the vet, or the utilities, or inside the refrigerator. I’d allow Mr. B his slow revelation of facts. Mr. B mentioned the kid’s gender when he said “he’s not in the rackets.” This detail had already made the case easier for me. A boy was stupider, easier to find and catch. Finding a teenage girl, that took something special, like pulling the wings off of an angel.

“He’s a good kid. No troubles with the law, good in school, excellent grades and all, but his mother seems to think he needed to work off some of that rebellious energy kids get. You know how it is.”

I didn’t. The last of my teen years were spent in rice paddies, in a hundred-seventeen-degree weather—and that was before summer—trying to distinguish friendlies from enemies in a jungle on the other side of the planet. And then there were the firefights, screams, and all the dead bodies.

“Does this kid have a girlfriend?” I asked.

Mr. B said nothing.

“A boyfriend then?” That question made Mr. B twist his head and Tony Two-Times elbowed me hard. “I’ve got to ask. Kids these days. You know, drugs, sex, and rock’ n roll.”

“The kid isn’t like your friend Bill, Mr. Cleary.”

The mister before Cleary was a first. The ribs ached. I caught a flash of the driver’s eyes in the rearview mirror. Mr. B conveyed specifics such as height and weight, build, the last known place the kid was seen, the usual hangouts and habits. This kid was All-American, too vanilla, and Mr. B had to know it. Still, this kid was vestal purity compared to Mr. B, who had run gin during Prohibition, killed his first man during the Depression, and became a made-man before Leave It to Beaver aired its first episode on television.

The car came to a stop. The driver put an emphasis on the brakes. We sat in silence. The locks shot up. Not quite the sound of a bolt-action rifle, but close. Mr. B extended his hand for a handshake. I took it. No choice there. This was B’s way of saying his word was his bond and whatever I discovered during the course of my investigation stayed between us, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

“I’ve got to ask,” I said.

“I’ll pay you whatever you want.”

“It’s not that,” I said, feeling Tony Two-Times’ breath on the back of my neck. “Did you hire Jimmy C to do a job lately?”

“I did not.”

“And Bill called me, just like that?” I knew better than to snap my fingers. Tony would grab my hand and crush my knuckles like a bag of peanuts. A massive paw on the shoulder told me it was time to vacate the premises, but then Mr. B did the tailor’s touch, a light hand to my elbow. “Jimmy is queer like your friend, right?”

“What has that got to do with anything?”

“When it comes to friends, you forgive certain habits, like I allow this idiot over here to smoke those stupid cigarettes. Capisci?”

“Yeah, I understand.”

“Good. Now, screw off.”

I climbed over Tony Two-Times to leave the car. Door handle in my grip, I leaned forward to ask one last thing, “You know about Jimmy’s predicament?”

“Ironic, isn’t it?” Mr. B said.

“What is?”

“I know everything in this town, except where my grandnephew is. Now, shut the door.”

The door clapped shut. I heard bolts hammer down and lock. There was a brief sight of silhouettes behind glass before the car left the curb. I had two cases before breakfast, one in front of me, and the other one, behind me in the precinct house. There was no need for me to turn around. No need either, to read the sign overhead.

The limestone building loomed large in my memory. Two lanterns glowed and the entrance, double doors of polished brass, were as tall and heavy as I remembered them. It was late March and I wasn’t Caesar but it sure as hell felt like the Ides of March as I walked up those marble steps.

***

Excerpt from Symphony Road by Gabriel Valjan. Copyright 2021 by Gabriel Valjan. Reproduced with permission from Gabriel Valjan. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Gabriel Valjan
Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston’s South End. He is the author of the Roma Series and Company Files (Winter Goose Publishing) and the Shane Cleary series (Level Best Books). His second Company File novel, The Naming Game, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original in 2020. Gabriel is a member of the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writer (ITW), and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Gabriel Valjan:

www.GabrielValjan.com GabrielsWharf.wordpress.com Goodreads BookBub – @gvaljan Instagram – @gabrielvaljan Twitter – @GValjan Facebook

~~~

Tour Participants:

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

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~~~

#Excerpt “A Mistake Incomplete” by Lorenzo Petruzziello

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Fiction, Noir

Date Published: December 8, 2020

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An incompetent thief makes another attempt at burglary. A hopeless bartender struggles to manage her last patron. The pair reluctantly work together to figure out why a man they presumed dead may have returned, while a lonely tourist inadvertently gets in the way.


EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1

Berlin

His steps were careful, and his comfort with darkness allowed him the typical confidence to succeed without a trace. He made his way across the room to the large ornate mirror hanging above an oak cabinet. Lifting the constraining ski mask, he examined his new moustache still coming in. He had decided a while ago that he wanted a distinguished look, and concluded that a moustache should do the trick.

The soft moonlight was not bright enough at this end of the room. To allow him a better examination of his facial hair, he turned on his mini flashlight and shined it onto his face. The moustache was coming in nicely, not too thick, and shaped just perfectly. He looked at the rest of his face, which he tended to do when in front of a mirror – he just couldn’t help himself. He noticed that the lighting, positioned as it was at that moment, accentuated his handsome features. Realizing he had distracted himself again, he quickly turned off the flashlight to get back to the matter at hand.

Did he have to put the ski mask back on? What was the point of it? He knew no one was going to see him. And besides, if he was to get spotted on the street or by some neighbor, he thought a black ski mask would definitely call attention to him. He decided it wasn’t necessary and kept the ski mask up away from his face. This way, it was easier to make his way around the room.

He was dressed in all black: a tight black shirt with long sleeves and tight, yet flexible, black pants, allowing him agility for climbing over the balcony. His shoes were made of flexible black canvas with black rubber sole. He had perfected this outfit over the years. Wait, he thought to himself. What is that? He shined the mini flashlight on his shirt. “Is that a fuckin’ stain?” he mumbled as he rubbed the white drop. “Where the hell–?” He remembered. “Fuckin’ bird.”

His gloves were also tight, but their leather made it more difficult to handle objects. He hadn’t been able to find his favorite neoprene pair with the metallic tips, which allowed him to use touch screens. Where the fuck had he misplaced those damn gloves? Damn! He just remembered. They were in the side pocket of his travel bag in the extra closet in his new apartment. The travel bag! That’s where the other lighter is too! Flashlight off. He finally turned away from the mirror, aggressively shoving the light back into his small black shoulder sling.

He made his way around the room and took note of the furniture. It was laid out almost exactly as it had been described to him. Bam! He stubbed his left toe on the metal leg of a marble top coffee table. “What the fuck?” he whispered as he lifted his leg and grabbed his toe. It was instinct. That’s what one does when one’s toe throbs with pain, right? He felt himself fall forward. He tried regaining his balance, but it was too late. Crash! A lamp fell to the floor. It had to have been made of metal because it fell with a multitude of crashes. He fell along with it, but managed to land onto the plush floral sofa. He let go of his leg, realizing he had to get the hell out of there. The floorboards in the ceiling creaked. They were up. The light upstairs had been turned on, illuminating the stairway to the foyer. “Shit.” He sprang from the sofa, stepped through the curtains and climbed out of the window from which he had entered.


About the Author

Lorenzo Petruzziello is the author of The Love Fool and a contributing writer to publications focusing on food, travel and cocktails. A Mistake Incomplete is his second novel.

 

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#BookTour “BloodLaw” by Blaise Ramsay

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Urban Fantasy, Noir, Detective

Date Published: November 25, 2020

Publisher: Indies United Publishing, LLC

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Former ADA Alastair Maddox pursues Prohibition Chicago’s most dangerous monsters after witnessing the deaths of his parents and grandparents as a boy. When a former colleague in Chicago PD comes to ask Alastair for help, he comes face to face with the mysterious Alexandra DeLane. But something’s off. DeLane is way too calm and her eyes are the color of blood. After she escapes, Alastair goes on the hunt only to find himself the prey of an ambitious and mysterious mob boss who plots to have him murdered. The problem? Alastair doesn’t stay dead and comes back as something else. Something more dangerous and straight out of a horror novel.


About the Author

Blaise started her journey in writing at the age of the fifteen with her first unfinished urban fantasy novel based on a popular video game series known as .Hack. From there she moved her journey into designing characters and doing concept art for various paying clients. In her older career, Blaise moved into working for the Indie Gaming industry where she did concept art for the company HollowRobot and their debut game, Johnny Reboot and various other clients. Sadly, the game didn’t go anywhere and Blaise found herself losing interest in what she had done for fifteen years.

In 2017, Blaise embarked on her first ever NaNoWriMo challenge where she finished the Paranormal Shifter Romance, Blessing of Luna which she indie published. It has then produced a second installation into the Wolfgods series titled Bane of Tenebris. Both have recently been picked up by BlackRose Writing.

Both of these books gave birth to the first of Blaise’s three businesses. The first, FyreSyde Publishing, a small press, has recently opened its doors to authors and works alongside them in the ever difficult challenge of book marketing. A running joke is Blaise considers herself an “odd duck” in the sense that she loves the marketing phase more than the writing phase of production. Her other two businesses include full-time freelance ghostwriting and the independent bookstore, GreenWood Grove Booksellers.

After falling in love with the Dresden files by Jim Butcher and later Saints & Shadows by Christopher Golden, Blaise found a new love for Urban Fantasy. Reading the beloved Vampire Files by PN Elrod prompted Blaise to initiate her next phase and begin producing paranormal detective and noir novels. Now she combines the two and loves every minute of it.

She currently lives in the hometown of Bonnie & Clyde with her husband, two adorable kids, two cats and a dog.

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “BloodLaw” by Blaise Ramsay


Urban Fantasy, Noir, Detective

Date Published: November 25, 2020

Publisher: Indies United Publishing, LLC

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Former ADA Alastair Maddox pursues Prohibition Chicago’s most dangerous monsters after witnessing the deaths of his parents and grandparents as a boy. When a former colleague in Chicago PD comes to ask Alastair for help, he comes face to face with the mysterious Alexandra DeLane. But something’s off. DeLane is way too calm and her eyes are the color of blood. After she escapes, Alastair goes on the hunt only to find himself the prey of an ambitious and mysterious mob boss who plots to have him murdered. The problem? Alastair doesn’t stay dead and comes back as something else. Something more dangerous and straight out of a horror novel.


About the Author

Blaise started her journey in writing at the age of the fifteen with her first unfinished urban fantasy novel based on a popular video game series known as .Hack. From there she moved her journey into designing characters and doing concept art for various paying clients. In her older career, Blaise moved into working for the Indie Gaming industry where she did concept art for the company HollowRobot and their debut game, Johnny Reboot and various other clients. Sadly, the game didn’t go anywhere and Blaise found herself losing interest in what she had done for fifteen years.

In 2017, Blaise embarked on her first ever NaNoWriMo challenge where she finished the Paranormal Shifter Romance, Blessing of Luna which she indie published. It has then produced a second installation into the Wolfgods series titled Bane of Tenebris. Both have recently been picked up by BlackRose Writing.

Both of these books gave birth to the first of Blaise’s three businesses. The first, FyreSyde Publishing, a small press, has recently opened its doors to authors and works alongside them in the ever difficult challenge of book marketing. A running joke is Blaise considers herself an “odd duck” in the sense that she loves the marketing phase more than the writing phase of production. Her other two businesses include full-time freelance ghostwriting and the independent bookstore, GreenWood Grove Booksellers.

After falling in love with the Dresden files by Jim Butcher and later Saints & Shadows by Christopher Golden, Blaise found a new love for Urban Fantasy. Reading the beloved Vampire Files by PN Elrod prompted Blaise to initiate her next phase and begin producing paranormal detective and noir novels. Now she combines the two and loves every minute of it.

She currently lives in the hometown of Bonnie & Clyde with her husband, two adorable kids, two cats and a dog.

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “The White Field” by Douglas Cole


Crime Fiction, Urban Fiction, Noir, Drama

Release Date: September 18, 2020

Publisher: TouchPoint Press


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The White Field is a fast-paced journey of a man, Tom, fresh out of prison and trying desperately to rebuild his life. But he is caught by mysterious, unseen forces beyond his knowledge or control. After his release from prison, he is dropped back into the world in the wastelands of the city. In the menial work afforded the underclass, he begins his new life among characters at the edges of society, dwellers of the netherworld such as Raphael, a former cop from Mexicali singing Spanish arias in the mists of the industrial night among drug addicts and crooked cops; Tony, a stoner scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of history based solely on the intricate study of rock and roll; and Larry, the bloated, abusive manager trapped as much as his workers in a world of tedium and repetition and machines. Think, The Three Stooges on acid. Unable to reconnect with what’s left of his family, Tom embarks on a criminal path more harrowing than the one that led him to prison in the first place. Lured in by the nefarious, Thane, he slips into a plan that will leave him with no way back. And with no place left in this world to go but prison, he makes one last run for freedom. Will he escape?

 

Praise for The White Field:

 

“The White Field is a rabid yet tender odyssey into the oscillating abyss of an ex- convict degenerating into redemption. Cole writes with haunting splendor, illuminating the dreams of the doomed.” —Matthew Dexter, author of The Ritalin Orgy

 

“Author Douglas Cole’s breakneck prose places us squarely in the hectic mind of a man influenced from all sides, seeking a life free from fear. The result is a stunning narrative that is simultaneously frightening and familiar.” —Kerri Farrell Foley, Managing Editor Crack The Spine.


 Excerpt

  I walked into the sun. It seared the road and the rooftops, intense, blinding. I went up Eighty-Eighth Street through the homes and the old elms with their heavy summer growth and darkness along their limbs, light strobing through the shadows. I knew someone might recognize me. They might even call the police. But I couldn’t resist. I was free, now. Nobody could touch me.

Only those who cared, and by now there were none, would have known my release date. My wife may have known. At one time, I imagined her writing it on a wall calendar, marking off each day leading up to it with a big, black X. But I knew I’d fallen far from her thoughts.

I couldn’t be sure of my children, though. They were so young when I went in they could have forgotten all about me. My wife had remarried. Very likely they called her new husband daddy. Very likely, they thought he was. Events had erased me. After all, I’d made no contact. And while I had no idea what my wife might have told them, unless she’d changed in ways I couldn’t foresee, I knew she’d tell them the truth if they asked and say nothing if they didn’t. At worst, they believed I was dead.

And that life seemed like something unreal. There were no traces of it around here. But my sense of time was way off. From counting, literally, minutes as they passed, I went into a vast timeless trancezone where whole years vanished. In the midst of this, I reemerged from time to time to peer into my little cell of life with seconds hanging like drops of water on a window ledge and refusing to fall. But now, walking this street, I was the last person anyone around here was expecting to see.

So, as I went up Eighty-Eighth to the old house, I had this strange feeling that I was invisible. In the dusk light, I saw the windows of the houses blazing. Commuters on their way home shot by and curved around the meridians in the intersections, their faces steel traps that snapped and flashed mirror eyes and grim lips and frenzy, frenzy for home, motion so fast they blurred into tracer ribbons. And the sun only cloaked me that much more. Even my shadow was a rail.

And I heard it, that high tension ping, like my own past ringing from the driveway and those days when I was a kid, too, playing into evening as our faces disappeared in the darkness with only the square of the backboard above and the black sphere of the ball and the heat and breath of the other players around me. Then I saw them, three boys playing basketball in the driveway. One was a tall gangly kid with long black hair and ripped jeans and a T-shirt with the word ENEMY printed on it. Another kid stood beside him, but the light made it hard to see his features. Then, the ball landed on the rim, bounced up, arced over to the other side of the rim, hung there suspended in the net for a moment and then dropped through. The third boy stood back from his shot with his hands on his hips, breathing hard, turning his head slowly as I saw, I swear, my own face there in front of me.

With a brow of concentration like a hawk’s predatory gaze, he looked at me as our eyes locked for an eternal moment that I thought carried some recognition, but the moment changed before I could read it.

Then, I was passing on, and my son returned to his game.


About the Author

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella and has a novel, The White Field, coming out in September with Touchpoint Press. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle. His website is https://douglastcole.com/.

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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#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.

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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!

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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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#Review “Swann’s Down (A Henry Swann Mystery Book 5)” by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Down cover

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4/5 Stars!

It’s odd what people will pay good money for.

However, it’s a win for Henry Swann because he’s paid to find people and most of the time, it’s people who don’t want to be found. Do not call him a private investigator. That’s not what he does. He finds people then his job is done. Swann has no desire to see a case through to its conclusion. There’s no money in that.

His “partner”, Goldblatt, “hires” him to find the grifter who swindled his ex-wife for almost one hundred thousand dollars posing as a psychic.

An attorney hires him to find the young woman who’s skipped town, but can supposedly clear his client of murder charges. His client… the hitman.

Swann doesn’t have high hopes for either case, but dives in because his bank account is looking anemic… and he’ll do anything for money. Anything. Almost.

I found Swann’s Down to be more about the man himself than the mysteries.

He paints himself as a pragmatist, has a memory bank of literary quotes concerning life, and his belief system appears to be nonexistent. But, those things make him good at his job… and allow him to survive.

Coming into the series at book five, there are missed connections for me. The death of Swann’s wife, losing his son, how he became a skip tracer, and of course, Goldblatt. Whom I found annoying at best, but there has to be more backstory for Swann to even entertain Goldblatt’s foolishness.

From cons and scams to mafia gangsters and hitmen. Henry Swann’s cases smolder and he likes it that way. But they could explode at any moment.

And he’s okay with that too.

Though the language may be too graphic for cozy-readers, mystery fans will love putting the pieces of this puzzle together, and crime fiction fans will enjoy the seedier side of justice and elements of danger.  Good read!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who’s swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can’t say no. Although he doesn’t actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner’s mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortune tellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner’s case, he’s approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who’s scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn’t commit in a week. Swann’s search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant’s girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

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Book Details:

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery

Published by: Down & Out Books

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Number of Pages: 300

ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1

Series:Henry Swann

Purchase Links: Amazon | BN.com | Goodreads

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Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be five (5) 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann’s Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BookTour “Rotten Peaches” by Lisa de Nikolits

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Synopsis:

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits Rotten Peaches is a gripping epic filled with disturbing and unforgettable insights into the human condition. Love, lust, race and greed. How far will you go? Two women. Two men. One happy ending. It takes place in Canada, the U.S. and South Africa. Nature or nurture. South Africa, racism and old prejudices — these are hardly old topics but what happens when biological half-siblings meet with insidious intentions? Can their moral corruption be blamed on genetics — were they born rotten to begin with? And what happens when they meet up with more of their ilk? What further havoc can be wreaked, with devastating familial consequences? “Wow. Just wow. Lisa de Nikolits’ Rotten Peaches blew me away. A dark, compulsive, and addictive story in which the characters’ secrets and needs conflict with each other and fold back in on themselves in an ever-tightening noose, Rotten Peaches will keep readers gripped until the very last page. Highly recommended!” —Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

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Book Details:

Genre: Noir Suspense Thriller

Published by: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series

Publication Date: September 20th 2018

Number of Pages: 300

ISBN: 1771335297 (ISBN13: 9781771335294)

Purchase Links: Amazon | Inanna | Goodreads

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Rotten Peaches Trailer:

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Read an excerpt:

I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man. I went too far this time, and there’s no going back. There’s no going anywhere, period. I nearly stayed afloat, but my luck ran out. Luck, that mystical mythical glue that holds the shards of despair together and makes life navigable. But fragmented despair, that’s what sinks you. It’s the middle of the day and the ghost of a cat walks across my bed. I am hidden in the downy softness of bleach-laundered sheets, sheets ironed with starch and cleansed of their filthy sins by scalding Catholic water. The bed is high and wide and the pillows are like clouds ripped from a summer’s sky. I bury my head in cotton balls, puffy meringues and whipped cream, and try to ignore the ghost of the cat that is walking the length of my back. The cat settles at my feet but it gets up again and pads along my legs. When it first started its prowl, I sat up and reached for it but, like all ghosts, it immediately vanished and waited for me to turn away before settling in a warm, heavy lump against my side. Its weight is comforting in a way, like being massaged by the hand of God, but it isn’t God. It can’t be,because God, like luck, has left the building of my life. *** Excerpt from Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits. Copyright © 2018 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.

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Bonus Content!

Bake Your Way To Happiness by Lisa de Nikolits
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In addition to Lisa’s amazing new thriller, she’s also released a new cookbook. To celebrate she’s sharing the recipe for one of the South African desserts mentioned in Rotten Peaches! Download your copy today & start baking your way to a nourished body and spirit!

Click Here to Download Your Copy of Melk Tert Recipe

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Author Bio:

Lisa de Nikolits Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain. Her seventh novel, No Fury Like That will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo, in 2019. Previous works include The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, Witchdoctor’s Bones; Between The Cracks She Fell and The Nearly Girl. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto and her very new book, Rotten Peaches is hot off the press to reader and literary acclaim. Lisa a member of the Sisters in Crime, Toronto Chapter, Sisters in Crime, Mesdames of Mayhem, The International Thriller Writers.

Catch Up With Lisa On:

lisadenikolitswriter.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Lisa de Nikolits picture credit Richard Picton

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Tour Participants:

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa de Nikolits. There will be 5 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be 1 2nd Prize winner of one (1) Print Edition of Rotten Peaches (US & Canadian Mailing Addresses only). There will be 3 additional winners of one (1) eBook Edition of Rotten Peaches. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2019 and runs through March 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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