#BookSale “Secrets & Lies (“Lies” Mystery Thriller Series Book 4)” by Andrew Cunningham

 

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**For a limited time, get ALL LIES, VEGAS LIES and SECRETS & LIES for 2.99 each**

Horrific plane crash, murderous deception, and a deadly chase in the alligator-infested Florida Everglades!

On the afternoon of May 11, 1996, ValuJet 592 plunged into the Florida Everglades. There were no survivors. But something came through the crash unscathed: a small box with huge implications for humankind. And the one man unlucky enough to discover its whereabouts disappeared without a trace.

Now, 20 years later, the mystery of Flight 592 hits close to home for Del Honeycutt and bestselling mystery author Sabrina Spencer. A shocking revelation launches them into the middle of a dark conspiracy, and locating the box becomes a matter of life or death. They are not alone in the hunt for the mysterious parcel and very quickly learn that others will stop at nothing to find it and will eliminate anyone who stands in their way.

With killers hot on their trail, Del and Sabrina must navigate dangers lurking both above and below the swamp waters of the Everglades in order to find the box … and to survive

 

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#BookSale “Vegas Lies (“Lies” Mystery Thriller Series Book 3)” by Andrew Cunningham

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**For a limited time, get ALL LIES, VEGAS LIES and SECRETS & LIES for 2.99 each**

Five teenage girls from a small town in Oregon disappear without a trace.

Were they kidnapped, or have the five friends perpetrated a massive hoax? Nine hundred miles away in Las Vegas, a woman with a dark secret vanishes on her way to meet friends for dinner.

Those friends are Del Honeycutt and bestselling mystery author Sabrina Spencer, in Las Vegas for a book convention. As Del and Sabrina investigate their friend’s disappearance, they are convinced that she has been abducted, and they begin to uncover the secrets that might have triggered her abduction, secrets that now put Del and Sabrina’s lives in jeopardy.

When clues indicate that the five missing girls might also be in Las Vegas, the situation takes a new turn, directly into the unthinkable.

Once again, Del and Sabrina find themselves in deep trouble and marked for death, and they only have a few hours to solve the case or their friend and the five young girls will be gone forever.

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

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

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W.F. Ranew is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and communication executive. He started his journalism career covering sports, police, and city council meetings at his hometown newspaper, The Quitman Free Press. He also worked as a reporter and editor for several regional dailies: The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, The Florida Times-Union, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ranew has written two previous novels: Schoolhouse Man and Candyman’s Sorrow.
He lives with his wife in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Ga.
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#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 “Swann’s Down (A Henry Swann Mystery Book 5)” by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg Banner

Tour May 1 – June 30, 2019

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Swann's Down cover

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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?

Praise for Swann’s Down:

“Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons–Charles Salzberg’s latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann’s Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman’s Moe Prager and Michael Harvey’s Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won’t want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann’s Down. Trust me.” ~ Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends
“From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended.” ~ Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle
Swann’s Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann’s partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series. ~ Rich Zahradnik, Lights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel
Henry Swann dives in where others fear to tread in Swann’s Down: Fast. Funny. And Smart. This time out, Swann crosses paths with a psycho hitman, a phony psychic and Swann’s mysterious partner, a disbarred lawyer. Who could ask for more? I hope we’ll see a lot more of Swann in the future and that this isn’t Swann’s swan song. ~ Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning Author of White Heat and Broken Windows.

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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

~~~

Read an excerpt:

1 The Age of Aquarius

“We’re partners, right?” Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt. “I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?” he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal. “I think you’re confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I’m afraid that’s not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you’ve started.” We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as “business.” I have another name for it: waste of time. Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today’s eatery of choice (Goldblatt’s choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we’d just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception. At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank–okay, let’s be honest, no dough in the bank–and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don’t like to admit it, lately it’s been my “partner,” as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who’s brought in the bulk of our clients. We’d already finished eating–though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don’t apply the brakes–and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man’s land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we’d be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he’s still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing. “I’ll get right to the point,” he said. Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don’t want to have anything to do with. “That would be nice,” I said, reaching for my wallet. “What is your point?” “I need to hire you.” I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket. “Really? To do what?” “I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it’s not really for me. It’s for my ex-wife.” Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I’d never even considered. “You…you’ve been married?” I stammered. Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning. “Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact.” “Holy Cow,” I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. “You’re kidding me?” At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me. “This is not something a man usually kids about.” “How many times?” He held up three fingers. “Three times! You’ve been married three times?” “Yeah.” I gulped. “Are you married now?” He shook his head. “Nah. I’m kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean. But chances are I’ll be back in the saddle again soon enough.” “Okay, so let me get this straight. You’ve been married three times and now you’re single but you would consider getting married again?” “Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate.” You’re fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I’d already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn’t have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing. “Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I’m one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too.” He smiled and puffed out his chest. “What can I say, Swann? I’m a friggin’ babe magnet.” I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he’d been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt’s mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future. Still in shock, I avoided our weekly “who’s paying for this meal” tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet…again. “So, wanna know the story?” he asked. “Which story would that be?” “The story of why I want to hire you?” “Desperately.” *** Excerpt from Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Charles Salzberg Charles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann’s Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann’s Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense Magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On: Charlessalzberg.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

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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 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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#Review “Dangerous Flaws: Leah Nash Mysteries, Book 5” by Susan Hunter

Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter Banner~

4/5 Stars!

Bait and switch, sleight of hand, and mind-boggling plot twists accompanied my initiation into the Leah Nash mysteries and Himmel, Wisconsin—a small town with a high murder rate!

When a local academic is murdered and the police are closing in on her ex-husband/ex-boyfriend, Nick, as the killer, Leah knows they are looking in the wrong direction. But how does she convince them of this?

Not without proof, and “consulting” on Nick’s legal defense gives her the avenues, if not the access, to ask the hard questions. But Leah has to ask herself the hard questions first. Nick is an ex for reason—he’s a consummate liar—and his endless lies about his whereabouts the night someone killed Laurel Sheridan only aid the police in their case against him.

Though her confidence takes a few knocks and bangs, Leah perseveres even when her judgment is clouded.

Leah is surrounded by some great folks in Himmel, with managing editor, Miguel, being my favorite, and they’re all a great support network for Leah. The exceptions to this are Courtnee and Andrea and I wonder why/how either of them are in Himmel. Sherry Young also isn’t a friend, but her brash exterior hides a heartbreaking story.

But it’s going to indirectly take most of Leah’s tribe to solve the murder of Laurel Sheridan. There is no direct path to the killer, but bits of old files and remembrances of prior conversations… and plain old curiosity gives Leah a lead to an angle she, nor anyone else could have imagined.

Coming into the series at book 5 puts me at a loss on much of Leah’s backstory, but I found her intrusive and controlling. To be fair, she was told this more a few times by those around her and she’s trying to reform… with missteps.

But a good investigative journalist has to be intrusive… and nosy, to turn and flip the pieces of the puzzle until they fit together. I may not be in love with her personality, but Leah Nash is a puzzle master and her dogged determination not only solves one murder but two others.

Dangerous Flaws is a page-turner. Is it the Father? Son? The scorned co-worker? Or is Nick Gallagher lying yet again and is the real killer? Download this read today.

Enjoy!

~

Synopsis:

Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter

A chilling murder shocks a small Wisconsin town.

True crime writer Leah Nash is stunned when police investigating the murder of a beautiful young college professor focus on her ex-husband Nick. Leah has no illusions about her ex, but despite his flaws, she just can’t see him as a killer. Reluctantly, she agrees to help Nick’s attorney prove that he isn’t.

But Nick’s lies make it hard to find the truth, and when a damning piece of evidence surfaces, Leah plunges into doubt. Is she defending an innocent man or helping a murderer escape? She pushes on to find out, uncovering hidden motives and getting hit by twists she never saw coming. Leah’s own flaws impede her search for the truth. When she finds it, will it be too late to prevent a devastating confrontation?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Himmel River Press
Publication Date: December 11th 2018
Number of Pages: 392
ASIN: B07KK2HM6M
Series: Leah Nash Mysteries, Book 5
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads
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ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Hunter. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2019 and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BlogTour “Dangerous Flaws: Leah Nash Mysteries, Book 5” by Susan Hunter

Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter Banner

Synopsis:

Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter

A chilling murder shocks a small Wisconsin town.

True crime writer Leah Nash is stunned when police investigating the murder of a beautiful young college professor focus on her ex-husband Nick. Leah has no illusions about her ex, but despite his flaws, she just can’t see him as a killer. Reluctantly, she agrees to help Nick’s attorney prove that he isn’t.

But Nick’s lies make it hard to find the truth, and when a damning piece of evidence surfaces, Leah plunges into doubt. Is she defending an innocent man or helping a murderer escape? She pushes on to find out, uncovering hidden motives and getting hit by twists she never saw coming. Leah’s own flaws impede her search for the truth. When she finds it, will it be too late to prevent a devastating confrontation?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Himmel River Press
Publication Date: December 11th 2018
Number of Pages: 392
ASIN: B07KK2HM6M
Series: Leah Nash Mysteries, Book 5
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads
KINDLE UNLIMITED

Read an excerpt:

How did everything go so wrong? But then again, why did she ever think that this could come to anything but disaster? She knows now there are only a few ways this can end and none of them are good.

She sighs, then bends down to put the leash on Tenny, her crazy little mixed-breed dog, looking up at her with big brown eyes. He’s so happy and so oblivious. Despite her sense of coming catastrophe, she can’t help smiling at him. He begins wagging his tail, then dancing around eagerly in anticipation of his nightly run. She can barely get the leash hooked.

“Come on, then, you heartless beast. I’m in the worst situation of my life, and all you can think about is getting out and having fun. Tell me again why I bother with you?”

They leave and walk down the road—no sidewalks here—toward the county fairgrounds, an expanse of 80 acres just a short distance away. She loves the odd mix of town on one side of her home and country on the other.

She shivers a little. Her exhaled breath leaves a small trace of vapor in the air. Under the silvery light of the full moon, everything stands out in crystalline splendor: the piles of snow left by the plow, untouched yet by the dirt and grime of passing cars; bare branches of trees shimmering with frost; the stars themselves, flashing and glittering like sparkling beads sewn on the black night sky. It is incredibly beautiful. But she barely notices. She is too lost in thought.

Should she do as she threatened, confess and bring everything to a head? If she does, there’s no going back. And she isn’t the only one who will suffer—or be saved. Because isn’t it possible that freedom, not tragedy, will be the outcome? Things do, sometimes, turn out better than we expect. She feels a momentary spark of optimism, but it fades. This is too important for wishful thinking. She must be realistic. Once the truth is out, the consequences will be devastating. But this—the way she’s living now, lying, denying, pretending that everything is fine—is crushing her. So intent is she on her thoughts that she doesn’t hear the crunch of footsteps behind her.

Doesn’t notice the increasing agitation of her little dog. Doesn’t recognize the impending danger.

“I finally caught up with you.”

Startled, but not alarmed—she recognizes the voice—she turns.

“What are you doing here?”

“We didn’t finish. I need to know you understand.”

She doesn’t want to have this conversation. Not tonight. Not when her mind is so filled with jumbled and conflicting thoughts. Her reluctance shows on her face.

“You said you want to do the right thing. I do too, but you’re wrong about what it is. Please, let’s talk.”

“Tomorrow would be better. I—”

“No! It wouldn’t be!”

The words are said with such force that she takes an involuntary step backward. Tenny growls softly at her side.

“I’m sorry. But we’re talking about my life! Don’t I deserve a few minutes at least? I’ll walk with you. Please?”

She sighs. But now Tenny is pulling at his leash, eager to run free on the frozen surface of the pond.

“All right.” She slips off her gloves and bends down to release the dog. Her cold fingers fumble and his eager jumping makes it hard work. He spies something on the ice and springs forward with excitement. Both the collar and the leash come loose in her hands, and he dashes away.

She tucks them into her pocket as she stands. It’s then that she notices the barricades around a large hole in the frozen pond.

“I forgot about the Polar Plunge tomorrow. Let’s go that way, in case Tenny gets too close. The barriers should keep him out, but he’s a wily little devil.”

They walk around the edge of the pond. She is silent; she doesn’t interrupt. But she isn’t persuaded. Her focus turns inward, as she searches for the right words to explain. All the while she knows they will be unwelcome. As she struggles for a way to be both truthful and kind, she misses the rising tension in her companion’s voice. She doesn’t register the transition from desperation to danger.

A loud series of barks causes her to look up. Tenny is chasing a muskrat across the ice. Both of them are heading toward the barrier-shielded hole in the frozen pond. For the muskrat, it will mean escape. For Tenny, it will mean calamity.

“Tenny, no! Come here!” She runs out on the ice, calling him, moving as fast as she can on the slippery surface, trying to distract the dog. But intent on his prey, he ignores her. He dashes under the barricade just as the muskrat slips into the water to safety. Tenny slides to a stop, gives a few frustrated yips, then turns toward her. His expression clearly says, “Thanks a lot. I almost had him.”

She reaches the edge of the barricade and pushes it aside, holding out the leash and collar.

“Tennyson, come here right now.”

He makes as if to obey, but when she leans to get him, he scampers away. She calls him again.

He comes tantalizingly close, then eludes her grasp and retreats with a cocky grin on his face.

He likes this game.

She sets the collar and leash down on the ice. She gets on one knee and reaches in her pocket.

When her hand emerges, it’s holding a dog treat. In a honeyed, coaxing voice, she says, “Hey, Tenny. Look, sweetie! Your favorite, cheesy bacon.”

She stays very still as he approaches. When he gets within range, she intends to scoop him up, scold him, and never let him off the leash again. He moves slowly, maintaining eye contact with the treat, not her. She stretches her hand out ever so slightly. He streaks forward, snatches it from her open palm, and runs away across the pond. Then his attention is caught by a deer just reaching the middle of the ice. He gives chase.

She sighs with relief. At least he’s away from the open water. She starts to rise. Without warning, a strong shove from behind sends her sprawling. Her head hits the ice. She’s dazed for a second. Then terrified as another shove pushes her forward and into the hole cut in the pond.

The shock of hitting the water takes her breath away. The weight of her clothes pulls her down.

She struggles back to the surface, disoriented and confused. Her breathing is shallow and quick—too quick.

She swallows a mouthful of water and starts to choke. Panic rises. Her arms flail.

One hits something hard. The edge of the ice. Her fright lessens as she can see a way out.

She works her body around so she can grab the icy lip of the opening in the pond. She begins to move her legs, stretching out as though she were floating on her stomach. As she transitions from vertical to horizontal, she’s able to get one forearm on the ice. She tries to lift her knee. If she can get it on the ice—she’s too weak. The weight of her water-logged clothes pulls her back into the water. She feels the panic rising again. She pushes back against it with her desperate determination to survive.

She tries again, kicks her legs again, stretches out again, gets her forearms on the ice again.

But this time, she doesn’t try to lift herself. Instead, she begins to inch forward with a writhing motion, like a very slow snake crawling on the ground. She fights for every awkward, painful inch of progress. How long has it been? Five minutes? Ten? Twenty? It feels like forever.

Her arms are numb. Tiny icicles in her hair slap gently against her face as she twists and turns her body out of the water. Tenny is nearby. He’s barking, and then he’s by her left arm, tugging at her sleeve.

“No, no, Tenny, get back.” She thinks she is shouting, but the words are a whisper. She has to rest, just for a minute. She stops. She closes her eyes. But as her cheek touches the ice, Tenny’s bark calls her back to life. She will not give up. She will not die this way, this night.

Again, she begins her hesitating progress forward. She can do this. She will do this. Almost her entire upper body is on the ice now. Just a little longer, just a few more inches, just another—hands grab her shoulders. Someone has come. Someone is pulling her to safety. As she turns her head to look up, she realizes the hands aren’t pulling, they’re pushing, pushing, pushing her back.

No, no, no, no! She tries to fight, but she has nothing left. She’s in the water.

The hands lock onto her shoulders like talons. They push her down, down, down. Water enters her mouth; her throat closes over. She can’t breathe. The last sound she hears from far, far away is Tenny’s mournful bark. Then darkness closes in.

***

Excerpt from Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter. Copyright © 2018 by Susan Hunter. Reproduced with permission from Susan Hunter. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Susan Hunter

Susan Hunter is a charter member of Introverts International (which meets the 12th of Never at an undisclosed location). She has worked as a reporter and managing editor, during which time she received a first place UPI award for investigative reporting and a Michigan Press Association first place award for enterprise/feature reporting.

Susan has also taught composition at the college level, written advertising copy, newsletters, press releases, speeches, web copy, academic papers, and memos. Lots and lots of memos. She lives in rural Michigan with her husband Gary, who is a man of action, not words.

During certain times of the day, she can be found wandering the mean streets of small-town Himmel, Wisconsin, looking for clues, stopping for a meal at the Elite Cafe, dropping off a story lead at the Himmel Times Weekly, or meeting friends for a drink at McClain’s Bar and Grill.

Catch Up With Ms. Hunter On:
leahnashmysteries.com, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

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#Review “Out of Darkness” by Darcia Helle

Out of Darkness cover

on Tour March 1-31, 2019

~~~

5/5 Stars!

Private Investigator Joe Cavelli has gotten used to hearing voices.

That the voices belong to spirits no longer among the living isn’t a biggie either. He knows a gift he’d buried in childhood has a purpose and is part of who he is and his own personal destiny. Joe assists ghosts (if you will) with solving the mystery behind their demise or tying up loose ends from their lives before they move on to the next realm. Sometimes tears are shed, and emotions run high, but Joe is left with a sense of satisfaction and peace.

His wife, brother and best friend are privy to Joe’s sideline… and life goes on. No pun intended.

Until Angus “Gus” Smith arrives.

Gus is rude, foul-mouthed, obnoxious, pushy, sarcastic… and just plain mean. He was guided to Joe by Max (spirit number one) but he has nothing else to tell Joe. How he died, why he died or where his body is.

Just that he keeps ending up the dark place.

With absolutely no trail to follow, Joe walks a fine line piecing together the life of Angus Smith. With each new bit of information Joe finds, bits of Gus’ memory return, making him even angrier.

But with the help of Everett and his endless game of Clue, the stern Leah and far-out and funky Martin, Mystical Matrix Magician Sebastian, harmonizers Avis and Siva, and even one of the men who attacked him, Gus comes to understand his anger is hindering Joe’s investigation, and his own ability to escape the dark place.

Gus’ new sense of acceptance and direction bring plot twists with them that are jaw-dropping. I’d finally gotten over (mostly) learning about Uncle Leo’s slaughtered meat… and the secret ingredient, to learn the root cause behind  Gus’ condition was even more evil and disgusting… and Gus wasn’t even aware of it.

Stellar writing and complex characters make this page-turner also a study in enlightenment—not new age or anything like that—but into ourselves.

We live with the premise things we say can and do hurt others, but Out of Darkness shows how we can do just as much—if not more—damage to ourselves with our own words and emotions.

Joe’s wife, Alexis, gets gold stars for being the supportive wife of the millennium. His assistant, Tia, is priceless and all too happy to join in the paranormal investigation, and I may even kinda, sorta like Det. Nolan… a little.

This read is definitely a wild ride with a fantastic ending I recommend to everyone.

All parties are guilty of something… just not what you think.

Enjoy!

~~~

Synopsis:

Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle

Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help.

Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac.

Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ASIN: B07KJGZY9F
Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads

~~~

 

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#BookTour “Out of Darkness” by Darcia Helle

on Tour March 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle

Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help.

Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac.

Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ASIN: B07KJGZY9F
Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Joe put the few dishes in the dishwasher, made himself another cup of strong coffee, and said, “Okay, Gus. Let’s see if we can figure this out.”

He walked out of the kitchen, Gus’s voice trailing after him. “Where are we going?”

“My office.”

Joe stepped into the room that was the smaller of the two spare bedrooms. He crossed over to his desk, opened his laptop, and switched it on.

“This is your office?”

Joe sat in his padded leather chair. “My home office. I have another, professional place, with an assistant. No need to go there, though, particularly since she doesn’t know about—” He waved his hand in Gus’s general direction. “—you. This.”

“She doesn’t know you talk to ghosts, is what you’re saying?”

“Right.”

“Afraid she’d think you’re crazy?”

“No. It’s just not something I feel like sharing.”

“You banging her?”

“Jesus. No.”

“Huh. I thought all guys banged their secretaries.”

Joe heard the dry humor in Gus’s tone, though the statement still irritated him. “No, all guys don’t. And I said assistant, not secretary.”

“Same thing, isn’t it?”

“No. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m a one-woman man.”

Joe opened a browser page, then the Tampa Bay Times website. He typed ‘Angus Smith’ into the search bar and clicked the Enter key.

“What are you doing?”

Gus had a gruff way of asking a question that made it sound more like an accusation. One minute Joe felt bad for Gus, and the next he wanted to punch Gus in the face. If he could see Gus’s face.

If Gus even had a face. Did ghosts have faces, or were they just invisible blobs of energy? Joe was too tired to deal with this.

“I’m trying to find out how you died,” Joe said.

“Why?”

“I don’t know, Gus. Because it’s a place to start? Figure out how you died and maybe I’ll figure out why you’re stuck in the dark? Unless you have a better idea?”

A huff, then, “No. I got nothing.”

Gus kept silent while Joe scrolled down and clicked a link. Gus’s photo stared back at him from the screen. Seeing the person for the first time was always an odd experience. He couldn’t help but form a picture of each ghost in his mind, based solely on the voice and the little he knew about who he or she had been. Sometimes he was way off. Other times, like now, he was pretty close.

“That’s a crapass picture of me,” Gus said.

Joe studied the grainy image accompanying the article. Buzzcut. Deep brown eyes. Tattoo snaking down the side of his neck, disappearing into his shirt. He seemed to be snarling at the camera. The article put him at 6’3”, 230 pounds, and Joe could see it was all muscle.

He didn’t address the quality of the photo, ignoring Gus while he read through the article. He double-checked the date on the article, then said, “You’re missing.”

“What d’you mean, I’m missing? I’m right here.”

“I mean, you were reported missing. Last Friday, so three days ago.”

“Missing? That makes no sense, since I’m dead.”

“No one appears to know you’re dead.”

“Huh.”

“Do you remember where you were when you died?”

“No.”

“Were you sick? In an accident? Traveling somewhere?”

“I don’t know!”

Joe leaned back and closed his eyes. He forced himself not to react to Gus’s abrupt tone. The guy had every reason to be upset, though this mess sure as hell wasn’t Joe’s fault.

“Who reported me missing?”

Joe opened his eyes and scanned the article. “Cat Loring.”

Silence. Joe waited a moment before adding, “Says she’s your live-in girlfriend.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you remember the last time you saw her?” Joe felt a cool wall of air pressing around him.

“Are you leaning on me?”

“I’m trying to read the article.”

Joe suppressed a shudder—barely. “It doesn’t say much. You left the house at your usual time on Thursday morning. You’re not answering your cell phone, and no one has seen you since.”

“I don’t remember.”

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

Silence.

“Gus?”

“The very last thing? Hell, I don’t know. I might’ve been at a bar with some buddies. I might’ve been driving my truck. Or having sex. It’s all a jumble.”

“Did you and Cat fight the last time you saw her?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe.”

“Could she have killed you?”

Gus snorted a laugh. “Cat? Kill me? That’s funny, Mr. Detective.”

“Yeah? Why is it so funny?”

“She just wouldn’t.”

Joe rubbed at his burning eyes. “Tell me about your relationship.”

“Why?”

“Maybe it’ll trigger a memory. Help me figure out where your body might be.”

“Well, shit.”

***

Excerpt from Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle. Copyright © 2019 by Darcia Helle. Reproduced with permission from Darcia Helle. All rights reserved.

 

Darcia Helle

Author Bio:

 

Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

Catch Up With Ms. Helle On:
darciahelle.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

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

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=289437

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Darcia Helle. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2019 and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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“He was Walking Alone (Zachary Goldman Mysteries Book 4)” by P.D. Workman

He Was Waking Alone cover

He was Walking Alone (Zachary Goldman Mysteries Book 4)

by P.D. Workman

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Crime Fiction/Murder/Private Investigator/Vigilante Justice

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

He met with tragedy.

Richard Harding was walking alone when he was struck by a vehicle and died.

A tragic accident that was no one’s fault.

But if that was so, then why was his girlfriend so sure that it was intentional homicide?

Zachary Goldman is on the case. With Christmas approaching, he is as determined to distract himself from his own troubles as he is to ferret out the truth of Harding’s death.

The pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place and Zachary finds that there are more parallels between Harding’s life and his own than he would have guessed.

If he doesn’t identify the sinister force behind Harding’s death in time, he could suffer the same fate.

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