Tag Archives: mystery

New Release Mondays: 50 Shades of Cabernet by Various Authors

Book Title: 50 Shades of Cabernet

Book Genre: A Mysterious Anthology

Release Date: March 20, 2017

Synopsis: Pour yourself a good mystery is the theme for this anthology of short stories, each blending a mystery and a glass or more of cabernet. When eighteen mystery writers combine their talents, the result is the perfect “flight” of stories that range from light-bodied puzzles to sparkling cozies and heavier tales of deceit and murder. While cabernet is the featured wine, this anthology will appeal to connoisseurs of all varietals–in both wine preference and mystery style.

Excerpt: From Love the Wine You’re With by Teresa Inge

“Get up, Em!” Jules Riley yelled at her sister passed out on the couch.

Em opened her eyes and rubbed her throbbing head. “What time is it?”

“Five o’ clock. You’ve been hungover all day.”

Em twisted her aching body into a vertical position. “How did you get in here anyway?”

“The door was unlocked… I’m serious, Em. You missed a big event today.” Jules was regretting hiring her sister to coordinate events for her event-planning business.

Em ran her hand through her long blonde hair.

Jules pushed a pair of stilettos, earrings, an empty bottle of cabernet and a Post-It note to the back of the couch and sat. She snatched the note, read it, then slapped it against Em’s arm.

Em grabbed the Post-It. “Jax broke up with me?”

“Yes, another boyfriend sick of your partying.”

Em slumped on the couch. “My life sucks! My boyfriend dumped me on a Post-It, and all I do is plan events that I don’t enjoy and book trips that I don’t take. Ugh!”

“That’s what we do. We plan events for our clients and not for us to party. Now listen up. You need to be at Virtually Yours by three o’clock tomorrow for the wine tasting.” Jules turned toward the door. “And clean this place up. It reeks of wine.”

About Teresa Inge: Teresa grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and a novel. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol but she loves hot rods. If she’s not signing books, she’s at a car show with her husband or serving as president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter in Chesapeake, Virginia. Visit Teresa at www.teresainge.com

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Interview with an Author: Ronnie Allen

Ronnie Allen is a New York City native transported to rural central Florida nine years ago. She taught in the NYC school system for 33 years, with licensure as a school psychologist, and is also a holistic health practitioner specializing in alternative therapies. Ronnie uses her skills and education in her novels. Being a New Yorker, one of the things she misses are New York City restaurants. To compensate, Ronnie created a character in her first book, Gemini, who loves to cook and is professional chef caliber in her home kitchen as well as being the love interest for the protagonist, and now his wife. Vicki Trenton shares some of her recipes, becomes an interval part in solving the murder case in Scorpio, the third novel, and has her own subplot in Libra. Ronnie is the author of The Sign Behind the Crime Series, with Gemini book 1, and Aries as book 1 (Black Opal books, 2015, 2016). Scorpio is coming in September 2017 and Ronnie is writing Libra now.

 

Judy: Tell us a bit about your main character, Dr. John Trenton.

Ronnie: Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who works with the criminally insane at a hospital in Manhattan. Psychic and clairvoyant since he was a toddler, John uses his skills in profiling cases for the NYPD. He actually has the skills that I teach to my clients. Suave and sophisticated, Trenton was once known as New York City’s most eligible and desirable bachelors. That is until he met the woman he grew the worship, Victoria Elizabeth Marin. A female psychopathic killer is dumped in his lap, wrecks havoc in Manhattan, and goes after his wife and unborn child. He fights almost to his death to rescue his love. Trenton goes through his own personal transformation in Gemini re-evaluating his beliefs on what makes him a worthy man.

Judy: Describe your writing process and/or a typical day in your life. 

Ronnie: I definitely am a plotter who lets their characters run free once I start to type. I can plot a few months before I even start chapter 1. I could write anytime of the day, but I start on my iPad. When my chapter is a solid first draft, I will upload it to my main docx on my laptop. Very often I’ll write poolside, and I can block out people talking around me, children playing in the pool, but music throws me out of my writing and my deep POV. I do like to have a tall glass of iced coffee near me.

Judy: What’s the best writing advice you have ever read or been given? 

Ronnie: The best writing advice I have been given and that I give is to listen to your critique partners and beta readers if what they are telling you resonates with you. Take a good hard look at your manuscript if several people tell you the same thing, and that will include agent or editor rejections. My philosophy is why keep submitting the same manuscript that’s getting a lot of rejections without looking at it? People’s stubbornness will keep that manuscript from being traditionally published.

Judy: What advice and/or resources would you recommend for aspiring writers?

Ronnie: As a writer, I truly believe that Google is our friend. If you’re writing in our thriller and crime genre, the FBI and DEA websites are wonderful sources with articles, procedures, and other topics that we need to read for credibility in our novels. I’m very big on research, and believe that if you’re writing crime scene investigation, police procedures, medical themes, these facets have to be portrayed credibly. Readers who are experts in the field will call the author out.

 

Find Ronnie on her website, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter

New Release Mondays: A Short Time to Die by Susan Alice Bickford

Author Name: Susan Alice Bickford

Book Title: A SHORT TIME TO DIE

Book Genre: Crime / Suspense

Release Date: January 31, 2017

Synopsis: Walking home on a foggy night, Marly Shaw stops in the glare of approaching headlights. Two men step out of a pickup truck. One of them is her stepfather. A sudden, desperate chase erupts in gunshots. Both men are left dead. And a terrified girl is on the run—for the rest of her life . . .

Excerpt: Marly Shaw peered into the night fog that crept in and settled around the Rock. She could see no sign of her stepfather’s truck in the parking lot.

Charon Springs might be a tiny town, but as the only drinking establishment within ten or more miles in any direction, the Rock easily qualified as its most thriving business. Pickled from the inside out by beer, booze, and nicotine, the sagging two-story structure oozed a sour stench that permeated the car, even with the windows closed.

“What do you want to do?” Claire asked.

Marly studied the mist outside, tinged alternating shades of red and blue by the blinking neon lights.

“I should drop you home,” Claire said with a sheepish glance at her passenger. “But we’re already late. I’m supposed to be home by ten thirty and it’s after eleven already. Straight to the dance, straight home.”

And no detours into Harris territory. In this town, nice people like Claire’s family avoided Marly’s family as much as possible.

“Not to worry,” Marly said. “Let me out down the road. It’s Friday night, so the bar is packed. He might have parked in the woods. If he’s not there, I can walk home. It’s not cold. Hard to believe it’s the end of October. Maybe global warming is a good thing for Central New York.”

“Yeah. A couple of times I had to trick-or-treat in a parka.”

“Kids these days have it easy,” Marly said. They both chuckled.

Marly rummaged in her large bag and pulled out a small flashlight and her tattered running shoes. She always came prepared to tramp across fields and down dirt roads, day or night.

“Great dance tonight,” Claire said. “I can’t believe we’ll never go to another Halloween Gala. Next year we’ll be in college.”

“Some of us will be.”

“You’re a really good student and everyone says you’ll do great. You might even get into one of the good New York state schools. That’s what my mom says.”

“Sure. Well, I hope so.”

About the author: Susan Alice Bickford was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Central New York. After she discovered computer graphics and animation her passion for technology pulled her to Silicon Valley, where she became an executive at a leading technology company. She now works as an independent consultant, and continues to be fascinated by all things high tech. She splits her time between Silicon Valley and Vermont. A Short Time to Die is her first novel. Find out more about Susan at www.susanalicebickford.com

Find A SHORT TIME TO DIE at all the usual suspects, including Amazon

 

 

New Release Mondays: Scheduled to Death by Mary Feliz

Author Name: Mary Feliz

Book Title: Scheduled to Death

Book Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Synopsis: Professional organizer Maggie McDonald has a knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. So when the fiancée of her latest client turns up dead, it’s up to her to sort through the untidy list of suspects and identify the real killer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list—Kill Maggie McDonald.

Excerpt: Linc shifted from one foot to another, took off his glasses, and cleaned them with his shirttail. He looked around the room, blinking as if surprised to find he was no longer in his Stanford University lab. I flicked the light switch but the room remained dim. Last week I’d brought over a supply of bulbs to replace several that I’d found burnt out. I must have missed this one.

“Did you lose power in the storm?” I asked Linc.

He answered with a shrug. “I’m not sure. Maybe? I was at my lab working on my project.”

“Let’s get started upstairs,” I said. “I want to show Tess how much progress you’ve made.”

Linc turned toward the staircase that divided the kitchen and living room. I started up the steps behind him then stopped and called over my shoulder. “Tess, I’m going to show you Linc’s workroom first. He’s been working in there while I’ve been tackling the other rooms.” Linc hadn’t, actually, made all that much progress, but he had agreed on broad-based guidelines for culling the equipment and organizing some of his papers.

Newton nudged past us to lead the way up the stairs. When I reached the hall landing, it was dark. Right, I thought. The storm. No electricity.

Newton growled, low in his throat, then whimpered. Linc moved down the hall toward his office and workroom. In the doorway, he gasped and froze. His mouth dropped open. His eyes grew wide. He stepped back but leaned forward with his arm outstretched.

“Whatever it is, we can fix it,” I said, rushing toward him, terrified I’d tossed out something of great value. “Everything we moved out of here is still in the garage.”

Peering over Linc’s shaking shoulders, I bit my lip, swallowed hard, and grasped his arm as he tried to move forward into the room. We couldn’t fix it. Not this.

About the author: Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust. Visit Mary on Facebook at Mary Feliz Books or on her website at: maryfeliz.com

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New Release Mondays: Adrift by Micki Browning

Author Name: Micki Browning

Book Title: Adrift

Book Genre: Mystery & Suspense

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Synopsis: Marine scientist Meredith Cavallo thought adjusting to a laid-back life in the Florida Keys would be a breeze after life in the Arctic, but when a ghost-hunting documentary leader vanishes during a midnight dive, she’s caught in a storm of supernatural intrigue.

Determined to debunk paranormal explanations and salvage her reputation, Mer launches her own investigation. When someone tries to kill her, she knows the truth is about to surface. Maybe dead men do tell tales.

Excerpt: Mer fought to keep the unconscious diver on the surface, and they bobbed in the water just beyond the back of the LunaSea. She’d get only one chance to get him on the boat without injury.

She imagined carrying him like a sleepy child, his arms draped over her shoulders. Only she had to grab the ladder, find her footing and wedge her leg between his, or the force of the rocking boat would slam them back into the ocean.

“Here it comes, Cavallo,” Leroy, the captain, said. “Get ready.”

Mer inhaled and felt the power of the water swell beneath her. As the wave ebbed, she swam toward the boat, planted her foot, and drew her arms in to pin the diver against the ladder. Another wave hit, raising the LunaSea’s stern into the air. Gravity pulled at Mer, doing its best to drag her back into the sea. She gripped the ladder. Her biceps strained until Leroy seized the diver under the armpits and hauled him onto the deck like a gaffed fish.

Before Mer could readjust, the swim step plummeted and hit the water with a teeth-jarring thud. She held tight as the boat righted itself, and then clambered up the ladder.

Emergency equipment littered the deck like flotsam. Mer dropped her gear on the bench.

Leroy leaned over the now conscious diver. His tense face made Mer’s pulse race.

The diver clawed at the oxygen mask on his face. “Tell her!”

Mer brushed the man’s hand aside and resettled the mask. “Tell me what?” she asked her captain.

“He says he was diving the Spiegel Grove shipwreck.”

“Impossible,” she said. “We’re five miles away, and the current’s going in the wrong direction.”

“That he was diving the Spiegel and there was a—” Leroy struggled to find the right word. “Presence.”

“A presence? You mean like a ghost? Please.” She pursed her lips.

He shook his head. “I know. Except just after you went in the Sea Dragon radioed they’re missing a diver off the Spiegel.” He nodded toward the diver. “This one.”

About the author: Award-winning author Micki Browning worked in municipal law enforcement for over two decades and is an FBI National Academy graduate. She retired as a division commander – wonderful fodder for her current career as a full-time writer.

Her mystery, Adrift, set in the Florida Keys, won the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award for best unpublished mystery and unpublished book of the year.

Micki resides in Southern Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment. She’s currently working on Beached, the second Mer Cavallo Mystery. Learn more at www.MickiBrowning.com.

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Book Sale! Skeletons in the Attic

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If you’ve been wanting to download Skeletons in the Attic, there’s no time like the present. My publisher, Imajin Books, has the Kindle version on sale for .99US from December 1 to December 15. The regular price is $4.99US.

Just click on the book cover to be directed  to the Amazon page for your country.

If you’ve already read Skeletons in the Attic, there are plenty of great titles at Imajin Books on sale from $ .99 to $1.99.

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New Release Mondays: Marry in Haste by Susan Van Kirk

marryinhastefrontAuthor Name: Susan Van Kirk

Book Title: Marry in Haste: An Endurance Mystery

Book Genre: Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Release Date: November 16, 2016

Synopsis: In 2012, wealthy Endurance banker, Conrad Folger, is murdered and his wife arrested. Grace Kimball, retired teacher, joins Detective TJ Sweeney to investigate the murder and uncovers a dark secret.

In 1893, Olivia Havelock, age seventeen, moves to Endurance to seek a husband. She finds one in Charles Lockwood, powerful and wealthy judge, but her diary reveals a terrifying story.

Two wives—two murders a century apart—and a shocking secret connects them.

Excerpt: Detective Jake Williams looked at his notebook and shuffled back a few pages. “The housekeeper, Ms. Simmons, worked here last night helping get food ready with a caterer, and then she left. The Folgers had dinner guests and, afterwards, a poker game. Anyway, the housekeeper left and came back to clean up this morning. Came in the kitchen door. It was locked, by the way, and the alarm was on.” He glanced up at TJ Sweeney, proffering a significant look. “So she shut off the alarm, unlocked the door, came in, and started some coffee for Emily and Conrad. Just as she began picking up dirty dishes, she heard screams from upstairs. She rushed up the back stairs, saw the blood on the carpet, and followed it into Emily’s room, thinking she was there. But she wasn’t. The housekeeper then saw blood on the floor of Emily’s room and on the bed.

“So Ms. Simmons—that’s her name—followed the blood to Conrad’s room, and saw Emily, in full hysteria, rocking back and forth on the floor behind the bed. She rushed in and grabbed Emily by the shoulders and hugged her, lifting her up off the floor. When she saw what was left of Conrad, she was shocked, but had the fortitude to hang on to Emily, keep their backs to Conrad, and grab the bedside phone to call 9-1-1. Amazing woman. She heard sirens very quickly.

“By the way, Emily is not even close to coherent. Officer Collier was the first one in. He moved the two of them out of the murder room and over to Emily’s bedroom. Made the necessary calls. I was on my way in to work, so I just turned around.”

“Who’s with Emily now? We’ll need to get a warrant for her clothes.”

“I sent Collier with her, and a policewoman, Eileen Randall, is meeting them at the ER. Ms. Folger’s in really bad shape. Shock. I couldn’t get much coherent out of her except for one thing.”

“What was that?”

“She repeated over and over, ‘I killed him.’ ”

img_0032About the Author: Susan Van Kirk grew up in Galesburg, Illinois, and received degrees from Knox College and the University of Illinois. She taught high school English for thirty-four years, with an additional ten years at Monmouth College. Her short story, “War and Remembrance” (Teacher Magazine), became one of the chapters in her creative nonfiction memoir, The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks).

Susan’s first Endurance mystery novel, Three May Keep a Secret, was published in 2014 by Five Star Publishing/Cengage. In April, 2016, she published an Endurance e-book novella titled The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney.

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New Release Mondays: The Whole She-Bang 3

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I am very proud to have 2 stories included in this collection: Saturday with Bronwyn and Goulaigans. All submissions were blind-judged, making inclusion all the more special.

Author Names: Edited by Janet Costello Cathy Ace
Jayne Barnard
Anne Barton
Miriam Clavir
Susan Daly
Lisa de Nikolits
Alice Fitzpatrick
Valerie Hauch
Elizabeth Hosang
Heather MacDonald-Archer
J. A. Menzies
Lynne Murphy
Helen Nelson
Ed Piwowarczyk
Andre Ramshaw
Darlene Ryan
Judy Penz Sheluk
Coleen Steele

Book Title: The Whole She-Bang 3

Book Genre: Crime Fiction Anthology

Release Date: November 17, 2016

Synopsis: This is the third installment in the Toronto Sisters in Crime Whole She-Bang crime short story anthologies. We include 22 stories by 18 members of Sisters in Crime in Canada.  The authors include frequent She-Bang Contributors, previously published authors, and a few who are being published here for the first time. Stories include a wide range of sub-genres — from light to dark.

Excerpt: Since there are 22 stories, I’m sharing one-liners, one from each story, to whet your appetite!

“Zoom in on Rod’s hands and see if you can catch him with his fingers crossed.”

Annie’s ears picked up the ugly words and she strained to hear more.

Bronwyn had a motto, “Never tell a lie when a half-truth will do.”

Fluellen felt the silence build like prison walls.

No one wanted to talk about my mother’s disappearance.

“Well, Mother. I hope you’re enjoying Hell,” Maureen said at last.

“My girls will be haunted by … the dubious distinction of being labelled the daughters of a murderess.”

Steve found the kind words and sympathetic glances bestowed upon him while he sat shiva for his father a lot tougher to stomach than bashing in the old man’s skull with a crowbar.

Then all was darkness.

Too late for any blossoms. Maybe ragged remnants.

She allowed herself the luxury of indulging in her favourite fantasy…how she could rid herself of Leo.

Change the way women who report abuse are treated.

Chuckling out loud he noticed the lady across the aisle giving him a look that could curdle milk.

Perchkin returned the gesture with a smile as thin as the Mona Lisa on downers.

So, what, you left your bullwhip at home?

Remembering Bud’s performances with me, I figured that I had about three minutes to get out of the house.

The Empress and The Dork together at 9 a.m. in a back hallway would be only hearsay, not evidence

Without really thinking about it, he flexed and clenched his left hand

It would have been so easy to fall forward against the handle and push the knife into his soft stomach.

And Toronto, I figured, was close enough to New York.

And then I spotted the canoe.

“Do you think a publisher will take it if you leave the readers up in the air like that?”

If you’re in the Toronto area:

Sunday, November 27th: Starting at 2:00PM, the Sleuth of Baker Street will be hosting the second launch for The Whole She-Bang 3! Wine, nibblies, and readings by the story authors will be on hand.

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