Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gemma Halliday's Suspect in High Heels Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 

I am so excited to have Gemma Halliday here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Gemma and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Suspect in High Heels Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Gemma!






Suspect in High Heels (High Heels Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Gemma Halliday Publishing (October 1, 2019)
Number of Pages: 200
Digital ASIN: B07VDGYSR6




When Maddie Springer — shoe designer turned amateur sleuth — tags along with her mother to the Antiques Extravaganza road show, the last thing she expects to have to do is pull her mom off of a celebrity appraiser after he calls her prized antique hatpin a phony. But things go from harried to homicide when the same appraiser is found dead just moments later—killed by Mom’s hatpin!

Now not even Maddie’s husband, LAPD Detective Jack Ramirez, can save Mom as the force’s two most bumbling detectives are assigned to the case. As if Maddie doesn’t have enough on her plate, her best friends, Dana and Marco, enlist her help to plan the most over-the-top Hollywood surprise party ever for Dana’s fiancé (who has a little surprise of his own up his sleeve), Maddie’s adorable twin toddlers are always up to no good, and the only thing that can calm her fashion-challenged and suddenly-a-suspect mom down are aura cleansing from her favorite Venice Beach psychic, Mrs. Rosenblatt. Whether they help or hurt, Maddie’s friends assist her in wading through a slew of murder suspects — none of whom are telling the truth and all of whom have ample motive to want the appraiser dead. Was it the frigid business partner with questionable ethics? The clown-collecting fan-turned-stalker? The auction house owner with a grudge? Or was the appraiser’s real business something much more sinister than his TV personality let on…and much more deadly?

Maddie and her eccentric gang of unlikely sleuths are under the gun to find out before the real killer strikes again…and Mom takes the fall!






About Gemma Halliday


Gemma Halliday is the #1 Amazon, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author of several cozy mystery and suspense thriller novels. Gemma’s books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader’s Choice awards, a RONE award for best mystery, and three RITA nominations. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her large, loud, and loving family.

Gemma’s path toward becoming a bestselling author was not a straight line — more like a zigzagging path filled with obstacles! Prior to putting pen to paper, she worked as a film and television actress, a teddy bear importer, a department store administrator, an architect’s assistant, a preschool teacher, a temporary tattoo artist, and a 900 number psychic. Luckily none of these panned out.

Author Links

Website – https://www.gemmahalliday.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/gemmahallidayauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/gemmahallidayca
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Gemma-Halliday/e/B001IGOLXC/
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gemma-halliday

Purchase LinksAmazonB and NApple

The Rest of the Series

The High Heels Mysteries:

#1 Spying in High Heels
#2 Killer in High Heels
#3 Undercover in High Heels
#3.5 Christmas in High Heels (short story)
#4 Alibi in High Heels
#5 Mayhem in High Heels
#5.5 Honeymoon in High Heels (novella)
#5.75 Sweetheart in High Heels (short story)
#6 Fearless in High Heels
#7 Danger in High Heels
#8 Homicide in High Heels
#9 Deadly in High Heels
#10 Suspect in High Heels
#11 Peril in High Heels – coming soon!






Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792958

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:


https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/suspect-in-high-heels-high-heels-mysteries-by-gemma-halliday








Thursday, November 7, 2019

D.E. Haggerty's Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway


 

I am so excited to have D.E. Haggerty here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks D.E. and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper Blog Tour!

Please take it away, D.E.!






Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper (Death by Cupcake)
Cozy Mystery Novella
4th in Series
Independently Published (November 1, 2019)
Number of Pages: 80
ASIN: B07XMF4L35




It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire of Callie’s Cakes, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna baked.






About D.E. Haggerty


I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Author links

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dehaggerty

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dehaggerty/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/

Newsletter signup: https://mailchi.mp/027b2768aa1c/newsletter-sign-up-for-a-writers-life-by-de-haggerty

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/d-e-haggerty-4b49a29/

Purchase Links

Amazon Goodreads






Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792955

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/christmas-cupcakes-and-a-caper-death-by-cupcake-by-d-e-haggerty








 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads (Nov 4)




 Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads


Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books you read last week and books being read this week.


Read Last Week:

1.  Murder in a Corn Maze - G.A. McKevett

Weekly Read:

1. The Deception - Kat Martin
2. A Merry Murder - Kate Kingsbury

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Library Haul 2019 (Nov 3 - 9)


Here's the list of books I picked up from the library this week:

Hardcover:

1.  Christmas Cocoa Murder - Carlene O'Connor
2.  Peach Clobbered - Anna Gerard

Friday, November 1, 2019

Julie Anne Lindsey's Apple Cider Slaying Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway

 

I am so excited to have Julie Anne Lindsey here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Julie and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Apple Cider Slaying Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Julie!

Excerpt

Mr. Sherman slowed to a stop beside me. “You want a storefront.”

“I want more than a storefront.”

His gaze slid away from mine and latched onto something over my head.

“Something wrong?” I asked, pivoting in search of whatever had caught his attention and hating the fact my pitch had been disrupted before I’d really gotten going.

He cocked his head and stared at the leaves on one tree. “What’s wrong with this one?”

“Nothing.” I stepped closer to confirm the obvious truth, except once I did I wasn’t so sure. The leaves of the tree in question were slightly discolored and brittle-looking on the ends, but it wasn’t the result of a normal seasonal shift, so I changed my answer. “I’m not sure.” I moved around the trunk, examining the leaves on other branches and noticing a frightening pattern.

Mr. Sherman followed my lead, scrutinizing adjacent trees. “I see it here too,” he said. “Are they sick?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Will this impact the fruit’s quality? The annual yield?”

“Mr. Sherman,” I said, cutting him off and feeling heat rise to my cheeks. “I walk these trees every day, and this is the first I’m seeing this. I don’t know what it is, but I will find out.”

Mr. Sherman pulled a small pad of paper from his inside jacket pocket. He clicked a pen to life and made a note.

Suddenly every word I’d planned to say went right out of my head. Familiar feelings of dread and panic tightened my throat and constricted my lungs. I needed this loan, needed his approval. Things couldn’t go like this or Smythe Orchard would be no more.

Focus, Winnie, I demanded internally. Tighten up before you blow it and Granny loses everything. My ears rang as I forced the panic away. I hugged the clipboard and its burden to my chest, hoping to still my pounding heart. “A year-round cider shop,” I croaked through a suddenly dry mouth and parched throat, “would be a great addition, not just to the orchard, but to the community. It would be so much more than a storefront, though we could certainly have a display area where Smythe Orchard’s fruit, produce, or prepackaged treats could be served.”

Mr. Sherman gave me a small, sad smile. “You might not be aware, Miss Montgomery, but this orchard is in serious financial trouble, and there are clearly bigger problems here than you realize.”







Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723473
ISBN-13: 978-1496723475
Digital ASIN: B07NCQPSVW





Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder.

ONE ROTTEN APPLE

Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike — until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder.

Includes Recipes! 






About Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she’s not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Visit her online at www.JulieAnneLindsey.com

Facebook –
https://www.facebook.com/JulieAnneLindseyAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieALindsey

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/juliealindsey/

Purchase Links – AmazonB and NKoboGooglePlayIndie Bound

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792954
Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/apple-cider-slaying-a-cider-shop-mystery-by-julie-anne-lindsey














Sunday, October 27, 2019

Library Haul 2019 (Oct 27 - Nov 2)


Here's the list of books I picked up from the library this week:

Hardcover:

1.  The Deception - Kat Martin
2.  A Merry Murder - Kate Kingsbury

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail (Oct 26)


Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail is hosted every Saturday at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews.

I received these in the mail this week.        







If the Women's Murder Club can't be together this Christmas, a killer is to blame.

As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women's Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner's office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco.

Then a fearsome criminal known only as "Loman" seizes control of the headlines. He is planning a deadly surprise for Christmas morning. And he has commissioned dozens of criminal colleagues to take actions that will mask his plans. All that Lindsay and the SFPD can figure out is that Loman's greed -- for riches, for bloodshed, for attention -- is limitless.

Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women's Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.






Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into the murderous political world in another delightful mystery from popular cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

It’s the dead season in Leavenworth, Washington. The throngs of Oktoberfest crowds have headed home, and the charming Bavarian streets are quiet and calm ― momentarily. Villagers use the reprieve to drink in the crisp fall mountain air and prepare for the upcoming winter light festival. Soon the German-inspired shops and restaurants will be aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Visitors will return to the northern Cascades to drink warm mulled cider and peruse the holiday markets. Brewer, Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are using the slowdown to stock up on a new line of their signature craft beers at Nitro. They’re experimenting with a hoppy holiday pine and a chocolate hazelnut stout. The small brewery is alive with delicious scents and bubbling batches of brew.

Sloan is in her element. She loves the creativity and lowkey atmosphere at Nitro. Only that is soon threatened by the incumbent city councilmember Kristopher Cooper. Kristopher is running for re-election on a platform of making Leavenworth dry. Everyone in beertopia is fuming. Leavenworth’s economy relies on keeping the kegs flowing. Kristopher wants to banish beer, a policy that might just bankrupt the entire village. However, Kristopher turns up dead days before election night. Sloan quickly realizes that his murder isn’t the work of a stranger. Friends, family, and every other business owner had a motive to kill him, including none other than April Ablin, Leavenworth’s self-described ambassador of all things German. Sloan finds herself defending April and trying to sleuth out a killer amongst a group of familiar faces.
 





It’s Christmastime and everyone is heading to Torte, the most cheerful bakery in town. There’s no place like home for the homicide.

Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow ― mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects ― and check it twice ― to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

J.C. Eaton's Molded 4 Murder Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 

I am so excited to have J.C. Eaton here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks J.C. and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Molded 4 Murder Blog Tour!

Please take it away, J.C.!





Molded 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719905
ISBN-13: 978-1496719904
Digital ASIN: B07L2FJ1PN





A view to a kiln 

Sophie “Phee” Kimball enjoys working as a bookkeeper for a private investigator. If only her mother Harriet could enjoy her retirement at Sun City West in Arizona — instead of constantly getting involved with retirees being prematurely put out to pasture. This time Quentin Dussler, a prominent member of the clay sculpting club, was found dead, clutching a piece of paper scrawled with Phee’s mother’s name.

Terrified she’s been targeted by assassins, Harriet begs Phee to investigate. What Phee uncovers is a complicated scheme that only the most diabolical of murderers would ever devise. And as she chisels away at confusing clues and potential suspects, Phee unearths something far more precious and valuable than she could imagine. Eager for answers, she takes a bold step — placing herself in the crosshairs of a stonefaced killer.






About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) was released in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp


When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) was released in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/

Purchase Links AmazonB and NKoboGoogle Play

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792950

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/molded-4-murder-sophie-kimball-mystery-by-j-c-eaton








 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads (Oct 21)




 Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads


Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books you read last week and books being read this week.


Read Last Week:

1.  The Stalking - Heather Graham
2.  Mumbo Gumbo - Laura Childs

Weekly Read:

1.  The Warning - James Patterson

Monday, October 14, 2019

Angela Smith's Dark Justice Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Excerpt

 

I am so excited to have Angela Smith here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Excerpt.

Thanks Angela and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for allowing me to join your Dark Justice Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Angela! 





About the Author

Angela Smith is a Texas native who, years ago, was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school. She always had her nose stuck in a book, even hiding them behind her textbooks during school study time. Her dream began at a young age when her sister started reciting ‘Brer Rabbit’ after their mom read it to them so often. She told her mom she’d write a story one day and never gave up on that dream even though her mom was never able to see it come to fruition. By day, she works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband, their pets, and their many hobbies. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS

Website → http://www.loveisamystery.com
Blog → www.loveisamystery.com/my-blog
Twitter → www.twitter.com/angelaswriter
Facebook → www.facebook.com/authorangelasmith
Goodreads → https://tinyurl.com/y48996ej
BookBub → https://tinyurl.com/yxr9ezxy





About the Book

Title: DARK JUSTICE
Author: Angela Smith
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 249
Genre: Romantic Suspense


BOOK BLURB:

She’s in love with her sister’s killer


Lauren has loved Luke since first grade. They planned to marry — until he murdered her sister. The moment he was sentenced to prison, Lauren fled with her secret baby and made a new life. Now she’ll do anything to keep their daughter safe. But her hard won peace shatters when Luke is exonerated, and it sets her on a path of mixed emotions to discover the truth. Letting a killer into their tightly knit family is out of the question. Or is it?

She almost destroys her life by threatening his

Prison stole his future with Lauren and twelve years of Luke’s life, so the last thing he needs from her is a knife in the back or a gun in his face. Lauren believes he killed her sister, and he has no plans to pick up where they left off. Luke can’t afford to trust her, but he wants nothing more than to convince her he’s worth fighting for.

Their daughter is in danger

Luke is heartbroken when he learns they had a child together. Now his daughter is in danger. Lauren trusted the wrong person for far too long, but he hopes she’ll now trust him. Luke will risk everything to keep them safe. And Lauren will risk everything if she lets him into her heart.

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★
Amazon → www.amzn.com/B07TZWHCC3
Barnes and Noble → https://tinyurl.com/y4j5n4yd

Excerpt

Luke — Twelve Years Ago

“All rise for the jury.”

I stand, my legs unsteady. The jurors filter in, one by one, their eyes downcast. Those who look, only glance at the prosecutor. Not me or my defense attorney.

Wayne’s breath hitches. It’s a whispery whoosh, a sound he likely doesn’t realize he’s made, but it tells me everything I need to know. I almost collapse in defeat.

He thinks they found me guilty. And by their expressions, I agree.

I size up the crowd gathering in the courtroom. Most of them sit on the prosecutor’s side. Clint is there. Once my best friend, but now I’m convinced he’s a killer. He’s next to Lauren. The love of my life and the one I presumed would stand by my side forever. But since she believes I killed her sister, I guess I can’t blame her for turning her back on me.

But Clint? Fear curls my spine. He’s charming, I’ll give him that, but he’s an absolute psycho. Nobody in Lauren’s family will listen, especially Lauren. And before all this, I wouldn’t have believed Clint is the killer. He killed her sister. How do I know she won’t be next? How can I protect her if I’m locked in prison for the rest of my life?

The judge drones on about the charge, then asks the jury if they’ve reached a decision. Wayne shifts and gives me a blink that tells me he wants to make sure I’m aware of what’s going on. I’m eighteen, for God’s sake. How could anyone my age understand criminal justice?

He’s warned me of how you can never predict a jury, but this group of fourteen holds their heads high as if they’ve never been surer in their lives. Two of them are alternate jurors, so it’s up to five men and seven women to decide my fate.

An older gentleman hands the bailiff the verdict. I hold my breath, and the judge reads. “We the jury find the defendant, Lucas Donovan Fuller, guilty of murder.”

Gasps fill the room. Chaos erupts, at least in my bones. More like a commotion, nothing too disastrous to alert the judge, and something he’s probably accustomed to. He only regards the crowd. A lot of loud talking, crying, and my mother’s wails. He’s way more patient than me and waits for everyone’s reaction to subside.

My muscles grow weak. I badly want to sit and wonder when I’m allowed. I want to reach out to Lauren. Tell her I’m sorry this happened, I didn’t do it, she has to trust me, and please, please don’t trust Clint. I open my mouth to say these things, but my attorney stations his hand on my shoulder, as if his one palm is going to keep me silent.

He warned me over and over not to react. I’m not allowed to speak. I am barely allowed to move, and I can’t look her way, although I shift to do so. The bailiff puffs out his chest and walks closer, as if I’m going to bolt.

“Calm down,” Wayne says. “We still have punishment. Don’t make a scene.”

Why shouldn’t I react? This is life changing. My life is over. I’m going to prison. The judge hasn’t declared a final sentence but after everyone’s testimony, I’ve started to believe my own guilt. I’m likely going to prison for the rest of my life.

Luke — Present Day

Luke Fuller’s pen scribbled across the page. His heart hammered while he wrote the words, ears filling with the deep drum of his heartbeat as if he was re-experiencing the event. Tired of writing, he shut the notebook and tossed it on the wrought-iron table beside him, along with his cap and shades. He stood and opened the grill to check the ribeye.

Food would be ready in a few minutes, and all he needed was right here. A little salt and pepper, paper plates and plastic forks to eat with, and a cooler full of drinks. Even a hundred feet from the river, the bullfrogs’ croaking put him at ease.

A sound he never expected to hear again.

He closed the grill, grabbed a beer from the ice chest, and lounged on the patio chair. It took a while for his heartbeat to settle. Writing these memories was difficult, harder than he expected, and his body ached from the flashbacks.

The sun descended, a showcase of gold fueled by rain clouds and humidity. He loved the open porch and didn’t want a screen to filter him and the outdoors. With bug spray, sleeping out here at night was a dream come true, despite the oppressive mugginess. Lightning flashed in the south, implying the much-needed shower was near. Nothing better than the clatter of rain on the roof.

Even the mosquitoes avoided the Texas July heat, but he’d take heat over the prison cell where he’d spent the past twelve years of his life. He’d take it over that any damn day.

LED lights strung across the porch offered a soft glow to ease him come sundown. He hated the darkness. Too many reminders of prison and the things he wanted to forget. But this darkness out in the country was peaceful, welcoming, different. Almost bearable.

A car drove up, the headlights zipping through the trees. His muscles tensed. He studied the nearby monitor attached to the front security camera. The car parked, the lights shut off. His lungs tightened, burned, then disintegrated when the woman stepped out and sauntered to the back.

She remembered. Friends always came to the back door. But she was no friend.

He blinked, his gut churning. Was he dreaming? Hallucinating after writing those memories? Lauren shone bright in his mind, even the seductive scent of honey and berries he once loved to sample behind her ear.

Her footsteps echoed up the stairs, and she came into view. She was no illusion. He remained sitting, nonchalant and drinking his beer as if he had no care in the world.

His mouth dried. The beer a sour tang. Her presence meant nothing good.

She thought he’d killed her sister. The entire community deemed him guilty before a jury of his peers sentenced him to life in prison. His sisters never stopped fighting to prove his innocence. He was released two months ago thanks to Adrienne and Charlotte and the team of defense attorneys who fought for him.

But he favored prison over the look of revulsion on Lauren’s face. A flowing skirt skimmed her knees, the imprinted flowers rivaling the charm of the countryside. Her slender body was as gorgeous as ever, heating him in ways better left ignored. She wore open-toed sandals. He never understood why she chose those shoes while hiking. They had to stop many times during their treks to pluck out grass burrs.

At one time, they didn’t mind the interruption.

Her dirty blonde hair was darker, accented by rich caramel, and the image of her ocean blue eyes burned in his memory. Despite the similarities, she wasn’t the same woman who once loved him.

He didn’t flinch when she pointed the pistol his direction. He continued to sip his beer, his ears tingling with the chatter of June bugs and crickets. If she wanted to shoot him, so be it.

Although he hadn’t killed her sister, he was just as much to blame. He had been selfish in spending his time with Lauren and didn’t mind leaving her sister alone. He trusted his best friend, had known him since grade school, but ignored his recent questionable tendencies. The town of Terrence was quick to point fingers while the real killer roamed free.

Lauren — Present Day

Lauren Cooper pointed the pistol at Luke, knees knocking and thighs quaking. She was proud of herself for keeping a steady grip despite her sweaty palms.

She’d practiced plenty, eyeing her target, strengthening her resolve. Today, Luke Fuller was her target. Maybe her first moving target—although he didn’t move, didn’t even flinch—and definitely her first human target. Still, she’d often imagined him on the other end of her gun.

What was she thinking? She risked losing her job over this, even facing jail time, for threatening with a firearm. Was it worth it to lose everything she’d worked so hard for? Even worse, to risk her daughter’s wellbeing?

Luke had murdered Elizabeth, was released, and now another man accused. But not just any man. Clint Merkel. A close friend. Almost family.

Thousands of times she’d confronted Luke in her dreams. Robbed him of life as brutally as he had robbed her twelve-year-old sister’s. More like nightmares. The man she once loved with all her heart. The jury had convicted him, but now he was exonerated. Doubts still clouded her mind. The newest facts couldn’t obliterate twelve years of certainty, no matter how credible.

Her spine clenched. She had tossed and turned and cried herself to sleep for years. Her emotions skyrocketed all over the place. Suppressed memories jumbled out of her. Memories of his kiss, his embrace, their shared lives, their plans. In high school, they’d been dubbed Luke and Lauren. She didn’t want to plan college without questioning where he’d go. They were a team, a couple and everybody—including her—presumed they’d stay together after high school.

Stupid to give her life away to a man, to halt her ambitions and plans. And then one fateful night the truth had been discovered, and the cops had placed the cuffs on his wrists.

He was still the most handsome man she had ever seen. Still captivated her. The sting of attraction needled through her muscles, her bones, her heartbeat. Her pulsed thrummed into her toes. She fought to stand her ground and reveal nothing about his effect on her.

Thunder boomed. She jumped. The rain began a harsh and fast hammering on the roof.

He sipped his beer, body relaxing as if knowing she wasn’t about to pull the trigger. He remained unaffected by the thunder, by the deluge, and by her presence.

“You going to shoot me or not?” He shrugged one shoulder, his drawl tightening the shivers in her stomach. Heat flared under her skin, the familiar anger — the reason she came here — blazed to her core. Him all casual, enjoying a beer while smoke billowed from his fire pit. The spices of the steak tore knots in her throat.

But she wasn’t only angry at him. She was angry at herself for letting him charm her.

The storm doused the dusk, but miniature lights lined the porch. She saw every inch of him and the way his gaze slid over her. They had studied each other for hours when they were younger, in love and carefree. The green of his eyes soaked up the earth and emitted the colors of eternity. They were harder, his face bearing a few scars only she might notice.

He dropped his beer to the table beside him. “What are you doing, Lauren? Just shoot me already. I’ve practically been dead these past years, anyway.”

Her throat closed. She refused to imagine what he experienced these last few years.

Luke shifted forward and frowned, let out a rickety cough, then perched his elbows on his knees. He swiped a hand over his face, then continued. “Look. I’m sorry about everything. Sorry you had to go through the loss of your sister and you believed I did it. Sorry I couldn’t comfort you. I’m… just sorry.”

His wobbly voice shattered her reserves. His movements broadcasted an unexpected nervousness. She let out a whoosh of breath, every fiber of her being sinking into a black hole of misery. Tears rolled out of her, hot and choking. Her grip on the gun wavered but remained clasped in her fingers.

He stood and swaggered toward her. His heavy-booted steps on the wooden planks thudded in her ears. She wanted to back away, but her butt rested against the porch railing and an invisible anchor rooted her to the ground.

She swayed.

Her hands shook, and her best interest was to put down the gun before somebody got hurt. Most likely her.

She lowered the pistol. He stopped in front of her and took it. She was too weak, too helpless to fight. His presence suctioned every bit of her power.

He set the gun on the ground. She jumped as another round of thunder boomed. Rain pounded the roof. Droplets hit her skin, but not enough to matter. She craved the cool refreshment. He stood facing her, his eyes boring into hers. She licked her lips as if drawing sustenance from that one small move, a move that drew his gaze to her mouth.

She swayed again, about to fall. He grabbed her and pulled her into his arms.

“Careful.” His words wisped across her ear and trailed down her spine to spool into a reservoir of lust in her loins.

She planted the top of her head against his chest and sobbed as he held her. Her shoulders shook, the tears escaping in violent torrents. She couldn’t stop no matter how hard she wanted to.

He smelled like mesquite smoke and musk, along with crisp grass cuttings under Texas sunshine. Stupid, stupid to imagine such things.

The tears were a release. A goodbye she never had a chance to say.

Had she believed he was capable of murder? She refused to listen to his sister when she begged. All the evidence pointed to him. The police, the prosecutor, even the city mayor had convinced her.

How could they all be wrong? Her mind churned with questions. Questions she should have asked before she’d threatened him with a gun.

His fingers skated up her hair, and he tucked a piece behind her ear. She straightened her spine and lifted her head, willing her body to fight the attraction as her tears dried.

“I don’t know if I believe it,” she finally said.

“What? That I didn’t do it?”

She nodded, her limbs weak and trembling.

“Well, if Clint didn’t do it, why did he run?”

She wondered the same thing, but Clint being a killer was terrifying, even more so than Luke, considering she’d entrusted her daughter with him.

She lowered her head and sniffled. He placed his fingers under her chin and forced her to look at him.

Not a force but a slow, gentle move. He had always been gentle. Clint had been the edgy one, the one who tested her nerves. And yet after Luke had been accused of murdering her sister, she had turned to Clint as a friend and let him take part in her life. How had he manipulated her? How had she allowed it? Her belly flopped, the drying tears searing her throat.

She’d always felt safe with Luke. Safe, yet vulnerable, because her heart was at risk.

He dropped his hand from her chin and finger brushed her hair. Her neck tingled. She longed to savor his mouth on hers after all these years.

“I’ve imagined being in front of you, begging you to listen.” His voice was a slow deep penetration to the core of her being. Something impossible to pull away from. “I did not kill your sister, and as much pain as I knew you were in, it broke my heart you never gave me a chance.”

She lifted her chin higher and stared straight into his eyes. “And I imagined having the chance to stand in front of you and kill you.”

A strangled sob escaped him. His eyes flickered. Her body grew warm with regret. Regret for her words, regret for refusing to hear him out so many years ago, and regret for wanting him so much she hurt.

“You’ve got that chance now. Why don’t you take it?”

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

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Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads (Oct 14)




 Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads


Weekly Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books you read last week and books being read this week.


Read Last Week:

1.  None

Weekly Read:

1.  The Stalking - Heather Graham
2.  Mumbo Gumbo - Laura Childs

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Library Haul 2019 (Oct 13 - 19)


Here's the list of books I picked up from the library this week:

Hardcover:

1.  The Stalking - Heather Graham
2.  Mumbo Gumbo Murder - Laura Childs
3.  Be Our Ghost - Kate Kingsbury
4.  Murder in the Corn Maze - G.A. McKevette

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail (Oct 12)


Cozy, Mystery Thriller and Romantic Suspense Mail is hosted every Saturday at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews.

I received this in the mail this week.       






Lieutenant Eve Dallas must keep the predator from becoming the prey in Vendetta in Death, the newest thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb.

She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims ― but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Eva Gates's Read and Buried Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 

I am so excited to have Eva Gates here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Eva and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Read and Buried Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Eva!







Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 15, 2019)
Hardcover: 325 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643852337
ISBN-13: 978-1643852331
Digital ASIN: B07P9MQV3F




Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can’t crack its code, she may end up read and buried.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library’s foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.

The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library – the map and the coded page are missing.

Lucy’s nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy – or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she’s forced to do what she vowed not to do – get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.






About Eva Gates

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links 

Website: www.vickidelany.com www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;
Twitter: @vickidelany @evagatesauthor
Instagram: vickidelany
Purchase Links – Amazon B and N Kobo

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792948

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/read-and-buried-a-lighthouse-library-mystery-by-eva-gates








Sunday, October 6, 2019

Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran's Mumbo Gumbo Murder Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Giveaway and Guest Post

 

I am so excited to have Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Giveaway and Guest Post.

Thanks Laura and Terrie and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Mumbo Gumbo Murder Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Laura and Terrie!

Character Guest Post by Carmela Bertrand,
main character in Mumbo Gumbo Murder
by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran

Well, it’s Jazz Fest again in New Orleans. That means all sorts of jazz concerts, parades, parties, and delicious food. And, lucky me, most of the festivities take place just a few blocks from my cute little scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter.

But there’s a problem. (There always is, isn’t there?)

The other night my BFF Ava Grieux and I went to watch a parade put on by the folks who run the Beastmaster Theater. It was a strange and spooky parade, populated by masked ninja-like people wearing oversized puppet costumes of skeletons, wolves, and vampires.

Now Ava is the proprietor of a voodoo shop (think tarot cards, amulets, and saint candles), so she’s kind of used to things that go bump in the night. But I have to confess I was a little freaked out. That’s why we cut over to Royal Street where all sorts of food vendors had set up booths. I’m always up for a po-boy sandwich, beignets, or a bag of kettle corn, but this night we decided to quench our thirst with amaretto daiquiris served in plastic geaux cups. We ambled along, enjoying the food vendors, fortune tellers, musicians, street artists, and bead and t-shirt sellers until we came to Dulcimer Antiques, the quaint little antiques shop that our friend Devon Dowling owns. As we approached, we heard a horrifically loud crash, as if the front window had just exploded!

I dashed over, screaming for help, pleading with someone to call 911. And then I made the mistake of peeking inside. As dark as the interior was, I could tell the place had been utterly trashed. Thousands of dollars of precious antiques were smashed to smithereens. And then when Devon’s little pug Mimi started barking hysterically, I crawled in through the broken window and found poor Devon, laying lifeless on a Persian rug.

I didn’t know if he’d been shot, stabbed, or clubbed. Or if he was still alive. Anyway, the police arrived along with the EMTs. And as they worked on him, they finally gave Ava and I the very sad news that Devon was dead – that he’d been stabbed in the ear with an ice pick!

Since Mimi the pug was the only witness, I decided to take her home with me and see if she could possibly identity or sniff out Devon’s killer. That meant carrying Mimi to Devon’s memorial service and sneaking her into a few other places.

But it’s been tough. Because by running my own shadow investigation, I’ve uncovered a whole lot of potential suspects. There’s Devon’s greedy landlord who wanted him to vacate so he could take the building condo, Devon’s young assistant, a fat cat art collector, and the mysterious (but strangely attractive) president of the Vampire Society.

So right now I’m a bundle of nerves as I try to sift through all the clues, interview all sorts of people who definitely don’t want to talk to me, and try to find a new home for Mimi. Sound impossible? Well, it’s the toughest murder mystery I’ve ever tried to solve. And, believe me, I’m been pulled into more than a few. This is New Orleans, after all, where strange things happen on a routine basis!

All my best,

Carmela Bertrand







Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Berkley (October 1, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489578
ISBN-13: 978-0451489579
Digital ASIN: B07M75KVSB




A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling’s antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon’s body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They’re shocked beyond belief — and now Mimi, Devon’s little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer’s list? 

About The Authors







Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links

Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31






Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards, Terrie Farley Moran is the author of the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series; co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mystery series; and has published numerous short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine and numerous anthologies.

The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren who reside in New York and Florida.

Terrie’s Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrie.moran.9

Blog: www.womenofmystery.net

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23186092-terrie-moran

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792943

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/mumbo-gumbo-murder-a-scrapbooking-mystery-by-laura-childs-and-terrie-farley-moran