Tag Archives: New Release Mondays

New Release Mondays: Border Run and Other Stories by Jennifer Leeper

Author Name: Jennifer Leeper

Book Title: Border Run and Other Stories

Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: February 7th, 2017

Synopsis: This collection of 14 stories dives headfirst into self-exploration through varying degrees of loss, from two sisters, one widowed, once divorced, who must find their way off a mountain South Korea at night as well as out of the darkness of their relationship with one another, to a boy who has lost his abuela and takes her final request to carefully distribute her house-sized hoard of shoes more seriously than the rest of his family.

Excerpt:  Wolf had grown up along Fremont, shepherded by the pimps, prostitutes and casino bosses who were the unorthodox clan of his mother, who in those days was the highest paid, bauble-eared and breasted, sequin-gowned call girl in all of Vegas, her doll-blank face above a sequined gown that barely contained her breasts. Her long hair was nearly black and her eyes flowering violets. She was tall, like her only child. At nearly six feet she was a pronounced exclamation of beauty and seduction. But this kind of beauty makes beasts of some men. Wolf’s father, Harper Grint, occasional Vegas interloper from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, was found next to Camille in her apartment, with their brains scattered by two bullets propelled by Harper’s jealousy.

A seventeen-year-old Wolf discovered his parents on a particularly bitter January afternoon. After that he was on-and-off the streets, in-and-out of prison, guilty of petty crimes unworthy of mention.

Wolf came to know every crease and contour of the city spat up by Beelzebub; where more than sixty years ago, Wolf Grint cut his baby teeth on the compressed clay of casino chips.

He was more knowledgeable than the pawn merchants, concierges, taxi drivers, and the savant-like hustlers who had cracked the code of every card table. Wolf walked down Fremont Street and saw the rarest of all Nevada desert creatures, the retired mobster who had survived to see an earthly afterlife of hardened arteries and bland food.

About the author: Jennifer Leeper is an award-winning fiction author who’s publications credits include Independent Ink Magazine, Notes Magazine, The Stone Hobo, Poiesis, Every Day Fiction, Aphelion Webzine, Heater magazine, Cowboy Jamboree, The New Engagement, and The Liguorian. She has had works published by J. Burrage Publications, Hen House Press, Alternating Current Press, Barking Rain Press, Whispering Prairie Press, and Spider Road Press. Find out more about Jennifer on her website.

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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

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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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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: Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman

temporarilyinsane_w10205_300-coverAuthor Name: Vicki Batman

Book Title: Temporarily Insane

Book Genre: Romantic Comedy Mystery

Release Date: September 9, 2016

Synopsis: Bad job. Wrong love. And Murder. Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available…in the Big Apple, far from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn, the man who still makes her heart race. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditor friends turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dropped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who, coincidentally, is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a suspect.

Can Hattie discover why Allan dumped her and who is murdering auditors before death strikes again?

Excerpt: Trixie had some nerve.

“Stop it, Hattie!”

Her reprimand, the one which had shot a stabbing pain to my right eye, sounded terribly out of character, like she had little patience for me. Ordinarily, she was the nicest person I knew, didn’t have a mean bone in her body. The kind who rescued animals, picked up trash at Sommerville Park, and prepared food for the elderly.

Not today. I narrowed my eyes and crossed my arms across my chest in a school girl flaunt.

Trixie tilted forward in her desk chair, her bosom almost resting on her desk. “This nonsense has to end. Your moan sounded like an obscure breed of a bizarre…untamed…wounded animal.” She returned to an upright and seated position and in tiny increments, rotated her chair from side-to-side, waiting for me to say something not stupid.

In truth, Trixie had pounded the nail on the head. I had nothing to add. My whole life had turned into an obscure, bizarre, bad reflection of itself, thus wounding me to my core. I sighed and pouted an if only.

Don’t go there.

My funsister friend owned the employment agency Jobs Inc., and on occasion, she’d happily assisted me in finding temporary work since my dream job had been flushed down the proverbial toilet a few months back, thus soiling my picture perfect life. For this newest assignment she’d located, I’d be employed as an administrative assistant for the managing partner at Northside, Lancaster, and Brookside, Certified Public Accountants, headquartered in my hometown of Sommerville.

At first, she’d sounded oh-so pleasant when we began our yak about the opportunity. “Think accounting,” she’d teased, followed by a small chuckle.

Her laugh had spoken volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica proportions.

 

03-26-15-vlmb-head-on-hand-in-pink-sweaterAbout the author: Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, a romantic comedy mystery to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??” Find out more about Vicki on her website.

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New Release Mondays: The Lazy Dragon and the Bumblespells Wizard by Kath Boyd Marsh

51qds-wbc5l-_sx348_bo1204203200_Author Name: Kath Boyd Marsh

Book Title: The Lazy Dragon and the Bumblespells Wizard

Book Genre: Fantasy (Middle Grade)

Release Date: October 1, 2016

Synopsis: Cl’rnce, laziest dragon at Dr’gon and Wizard Tech, can’t escape his Quest. Times is running out for getting the Whisper Stone to the Dr’gon Council Chamber when a Killer knight trees Cl’rnce. Moire Ain, a runaway with a magicks book and a hunger to become a wizard, saves him. Armed with her bumbled spells and Cl’rnce’s goal to get back to full time napping, they set off to complete the Quest and save a king.

Excerpt: Cl’rnce Merlin Clan Principus River Dr’gons—or as his twin sister called him, “waste of dr’gon scales”— crumpled the poster in his paw and stared into his school’s main hall. The Dr’gon and Wizard Technological School and Knights Academy students filed past him. None of them looked at him and most gave him a wide berth.

Cl’rnce didn’t care. He had plans. “ This is war. My sister is going to pay,” Cl’rnce whispered, too low for any of the other students to hear.

Hazel was one snarky sister, and it was over-the- top mean of her to make and hang that poster. He un-crumpled it and read it again:

Fair Warning. Cl’rnce Merlin Clan Principus River Drgons has stolen the baby Barforamous from the zoology department. Be on the lookout. Clrnce most assuredly plans a messy and smelly practical joke for the annual StudentsAssembly.

Cl’rnce sighed. Hazel was a spoiler. Most of what she wrote was true, except for the part about him having the Barforamous. Bubbles had escaped yesterday during Cl’rnce’s mid-afternoon nap. The smelly little fart-machine creature was probably eating all the stink- weed on the river’s edge and would work his way back to Wiz-Tech all on his own by tomorrow. But that was too late for Cl’rnce’s long-planned prank.

“Being brilliant, and the best practical joker at Wiz- Tech, of course I have a backup plan.” Cl’rnce sniggered.Three hours before, he’d snuck in and set a robe-shrinking spell. It would go off in less than an hour.

He was pretty good at magick, although he kept that a secret. Magick 101 was one of the few classes he didn’t sleep through, but he preferred to preserve his title as school slacker and practical joker. No point in ruining his reputation by letting anyone know how good he was at magick. Besides, as much as he liked magick, it was a lot of work.

9389485About the author: Kath Boyd Marsh, born a fourth generation Californian, roamed the USA and came to stay in the magical BlueGrass of Kentucky. Here she writes in an office filled with dragons. Her debut novel took a mere two decades and a multitude of drafts to find a publisher. But Kath, Cl’rnce Merlin Clan Principus Dr’gons, and Moire Ain would not give up. Find out more about Kath on her website.

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New Release Mondays: Stone Cold Blooded by Catherine Dilts

stonecoldbloodedfront-5Author Name: Catherine Dilts

Book Title: Stone Cold Blooded – A Rock Shop Mystery

Book Genre: Mystery – amateur sleuth

Release Date: October 10, 2016

Synopsis: When Colorado rock shop owner Morgan Iverson’s reclusive neighbor is blown to bits, the police believe he stumbled into his own trap. His granddaughter claims he was murdered, and asks Morgan and newspaperman Kurt Willard to find his killer. Park hippies, alien hunters, and local politics complicate the case. In book three of the Rock Shop Mystery series, amateur sleuth Morgan must follow a trail of dinosaur bones to solve a Stone Cold Blooded murder.

Excerpt: Del blasted a short note on a shrill whistle.

“Heads up, everyone,” he yelled to the two spectators. “Morgan’s going on the range.”

The homemade shooting range occupied an unused area of the Rock of Ages property, fenced off from the donkeys’ various paddocks and pastures, and with a berm of dirt built up against the natural slope of a low hill. Stray bullets were sure to be absorbed by dirt.

After Del gave Morgan the go-ahead, she walked to a target tacked to a straw bale in front of the berm. Morgan studied the square of paper printed with concentric circles as she approached, disappointed that the center of the target appeared intact. Then she noticed a small hole in an outer ring. She jumped in the air and whooped.

“I hit it!”

Del opened his mouth, possibly to congratulate her, but Morgan couldn’t hear his words.

An explosion rocked the air. Rapid gunfire followed. Del crashed to the ground. For an instant, Morgan feared he’d been shot.

“Hit the dirt!” Del yelled. “Somebody’s shooting!”

Morgan dropped to her knees, feeling every sharp rock through her jeans. Gravel dug into her elbows. Distant shouting ended with more gunfire. Kurt belly-crawled to Morgan.

“It sounds like a battle!” He shouted above the noise of another explosion.

“Terrorists,” Lorina yelled. “I’d bet my best horse on it.”

Morgan pulled her cell phone from her jeans pocket. Thankfully, she had signal on this part of the property. Deputy J. B. Parker answered. Before Morgan got very far in her explanation, another explosion shook the ground.

“What in the heck’s going on?” the young deputy asked.

“Gunfire,” Morgan said. “Explosions. World War Three.”

“On your ranch?”

“No, the noise is coming from north of the rock shop,” Morgan said.

“Probably old man Day’s place,” Deputy Parker said. “The Chief and I are headed that way, Ms. Iverson. Hold tight, and don’t go anywhere near Day’s property.”

Morgan relayed the gist of her phone call to Kurt, Del, and Lorina.

“Makes sense,” Del said. “If anybody around here was capable of starting a war, it’d be Eustace Day.”

catherine-dilts-author-photoAbout the author: Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. With a day job as an environmental regulatory technician, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains, fishing, and running. Catherine caught mountain fever after a childhood vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Determined to give up her flat–lander ways, she moved from Oklahoma to Colorado where she lives with her husband. Learn more about Catherine on her website.

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