New Release and Giveaway! FLIRTING WITH TIME by Mary Anne Edwards (Charlie McClung series)

We are so excited to announce the latest release in the Charlie McClung series by Mary Anne Edwards, Flirting With Time.

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Now is your chance to get in on the mystery and suspense! This is the fifth installment in the series. You can get your copy of all five books on Amazon today!

Get the books:

Brilliant Disguise | A Good Girl | Criminal Kind
Sins of my Youth | Flirting With Time

Mystery ~ Romance ~ Murder
A Deadly Combination

synopsis

Flirting With Time

Detective Charlie McClung is haunted by someone leaving mysterious paper hearts in odd places for his bride, Marian. Any thought that this is the work of a harmless prankster quickly vanishes when his men are attacked and people begin to die. The stalker is growing bolder and Charlie knows he needs to act quickly but there are too many suspects, too many alibis, and too much at stake.

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Add to Goodreads Shelf:
Brilliant Disguise | A Good Girl | Criminal Kind
Sins of my Youth

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What people are saying about Flirting With Time:

“Haunting, but in a good way. Twisty, turny, and full of heart.”
~Gretchen Archer – author of the USA Today Bestselling Davis Way Crime Capers

“Fans of Nick and Nora, fans of Tracy and Hepburn—rejoice. You’ll love Marian and Charlie. The talented Mary Anne Edwards weaves a charming, entertaining and delightfully romantic tale of small town deceit. It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart—and happy readers will eagerly await the next page-turning puzzle.”
~Hank Phillippi Ryan – Anthony, Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity winning mystery author. Emmy-winning journalist.

“Mary Anne Edwards has written a classic whodunit, but the deeper mystery at its heart is who and how we love. Tender, fast-paced, and rich in character,Flirting With Time delivers malice and warmth in equal measure.”
~Tina Whittle – Bestselling author of the Tai Randolph Mysteries

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teasers

In case you haven’t already checked out the other books in the series, here are a few teasers to get you ready!

Brilliant Disguise Teaser

A Good Girl Candle

Criminal Kind Teaser 2

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about the author

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Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, released June 30, 2017 with at least five more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

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~Traditional mysteries with a touch of romance~

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+| Goodreads

Subscribe to Mary Anne Edwards’ newsletter to keep up to date on all news, and receive a copy of The Wedding, a short story by Mary Anne Edwards as our way of saying, “Thank you.”

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giveaway

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Mary Anne Edwards is giving away an awesome Swag Bag, mobi copies of all five books in the series, $5 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of winner’s choice of one of her books!! Be sure to enter to win one of these great prizes! (US shipping only)

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Release Day and Giveaway! #YOLO by K.M. Pyne (Ruby Knight Chronicles)

 

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for

#YOLO by K.M. Pyne!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, K.M. PYNE!

#YOLO
by K.M. Pyne
Publication Date: May 8, 2017

 

Once again Ruby Knight finds herself dragged into her Mam’s World. This time someone at her school is out for revenge!

Ruby, along with her friends, have to work out who is murdering students … Why they are murdering them? … What do they ultimately want?

At the same time relationships are made and some are broken, but will Ruby find the killer in time?

Or will someone else have to perish at the hands of a killer?

Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

 

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

 

 

When Ruby Knight’s best friend, Catriona Taylor disappears Ruby knows something isn’t right.

Time is ticking and the race is on to find Catriona. Has she run away? Is she really on a holiday with her parents? Has something more sinister happened to her?

These are the questions facing Ruby. Can she find Catriona? Can she ask her detective Mam for help? Or will she leave it too late?

Follow Ruby on her journey to find her best friend!

 

KM Pyne lives in Dublin, Ireland and this is her first YA book. There are sequels which are already written and some paranormal YA’s in the future. She is married, has two children and works full time. Writing is a hobby, but it takes over more and more of her life. Characters and stories come into her mind all the time and she has to stop and write them down so that she can build on them at a later date.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Snapchat | Goodreads

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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A Conversation with Diana Rodriguez Wallach, Author of PROOF OF LIES (Anastasia Phoenix)

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Diana! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I love to travel, and I have a goal to visit every country in Europe before I die. I’ve already made a solid dent. All of my books have settings both in the U.S. and abroad, and all are based on places I’ve visited. So PROOF OF LIES is set in Boston, Tuscany, Rome and Venice. Book Two is set in England and Rio de Janeiro. And Book Three, well, you’ll have to wait and see.
  2. I have two kids, ages 2 and 5, and I dedicated PROOF OF LIES to them and my husband.
  3. I used to be a reporter, so the topic of disinformation that comes up in PROOF OF LIES (and on CNN lately—hello, “alternative facts”) is near and dear to my heart.
  4. I’m going to the U2 Joshua Tree concert this summer, and for a long time lyrics from U2’s song “One” were the epigraph for PROOF OF LIES.
  5. In PROOF OF LIES, Anastasia describes eating the local cuisine everywhere she goes. I actually do this; and yes, I have eaten snails in Paris and they do taste like buttery pencil erasers.

Hmmm. I’ll have to take your word for it, because pencil erasers—buttery or not—just don’t appeal to me 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Oddly, the first spark of inspiration for Anastasia Phoenix came when I was in high school. I was attending a college fair at the now defunct Adams Mark Hotel on City Line Ave., and I was listening to students talk about Boston University. One kid was going on and on about the knowledge depth of his professors—how he was learning journalism from Pulitzer-prize winning reporters from the Boston Globe, The Washington Post and The NY Times. Then he spoke about a very unusual professor, one who was a former communist spy for Czechoslovakia during the Cold War and who now taught budding journalists how to tell if they were being fed false information. Not only was I hooked by the story and utterly impressed by the faculty, but for some reason the tale of the rouge spy stuck with me long after I left Conference Room B that day.

By the time I ultimately got to BU, Lawrence Martin Bittman, the spy-turned-journalism professor, had since retired. I never had the pleasure of taking his course. However, years later when I decided to attempt an international thriller packed with super spies, that story came back to me as if it had always been waiting there. I wanted my world of espionage to be focused on a unique specialty that offered me some creative freedom, and disinformation fit the bill.

Eventually, I got to meet the spy who inspired me, and we had a fascinating conversation in his home that led to many of the espionage elements in PROOF OF LIES, as well as the name of the CIA agent that appears at the end of the novel, Martin Bittman.

That is SO cool!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ll warn you, it’s kind of strange. I started writing my first novel because I had a dream one night that I was a young adult author, and I dreamt the concept for an entire series of books. Seriously. When I woke up and told my husband, he reminded me of a vacation we took five years earlier through New England.

We had stopped in Salem, MA to see the witches’ houses. While there, I decided to visit a psychic (when in Rome, right?). So I sat down and the psychic immediately said, “You’re a writer.” And I was; at the time, I was a reporter. I told her this, and she asked what I wrote about. Intentionally trying to be cryptic (I mean, she is a psychic, shouldn’t she already know?), I told her that I wrote about “business.” She swiftly said, “No. I see you writing books, little books, like children’s books.”

I had never considered writing a book before. But after the dream, and my recollection of that encounter, I figured it was “a sign.” So I sat down and started writing my first novel. I published the first book in the Amor and Summer Secrets series in 2008, and now I’m about to publish my fourth novel, Proof of Lies.

And OMG—that is even COOLER.

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working hard on Books Two and Three of the Anastasia Phoenix series! Book Two, Lies that Bind, comes out in March 2018, and its first chapter appears at the end of Proof of Lies. Book Three comes out in March 2019. I’m also working on a draft of a children’s picture book, but that’s still very much in the early stages.

Fantastic! So much to look forward to 🙂

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m currently reading the YA thriller With Malice by Eileen Cook. I’m only 15% of the way in, so I can’t comment too much other than to say it reminds me of the Amanda Knox story, which I was obsessed with, so I’m enjoying it. The two favorite books I’ve read recently are A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Both are dark psychological YA thrillers that kept me hooked not only by the plotlines, but also the gorgeous writing. I could read them again and again.

Annnnd my TBR grows…again! Thanks for the recs!

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Are you kidding? Do you know how many tweets I’ve written about this book? J Lately, I’ve been posting collages on Twitter to showcase my characters.

Here’s a tweet, with a collage, I posted for my main character Anastasia Phoenix:


Since I’ve been marching & protesting so much, seems fitting I get to write about a kick butt, Girl Power teen. #anastasiaphoenix https://twitter.com/dianarwallach/status/830093431074648067

 

Here’s a tweet, with a collage, I posted for Anastasia’s love interest, Marcus Rey:


The making of a book boyfriend–1 part leather jacket, 1 part motorcycle, 1 part Spanish accent & a heaping dose of mystery. Stir & swoon. https://twitter.com/dianarwallach/status/827203394532159488

That is awesome! I’ve seriously never had anyone already have tweets at the ready, let alone tweets with collages!

 

About the author:

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three YA spy thrillers set to debut beginning in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books.

Proof of Lies
Anastasia Phoenix #1
Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.

New Release Spotlight and Giveaway! ONE WAS LOST by Natalie D. Richards

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Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe One Was Lost is finally here.  It feels weird to admit that I’ve been desperately looking forward to scaring you all and keeping you up way past your bedtimes, but it’s the truth.  And now that it’s finally out in the world, I just can’t wait to hear what you all think!  I mean, after you get some sleep of course.  I’m not that impatient.

As a writer with my fourth book hitting the shelves, I can say each new release has its own special brand of excitement.  Each story has elements that you cherish and characters you love.  But One Was Lost wasn’t like any of my other books.  Writing this book was a whole new ball game.

The truth behind One Was Lost is that my father died a few months before I started writing it. He was my inspiration for writing as a child and easily one of my closest friends throughout my life.  Losing him was like having my foundation knocked sideways.  My grief felt oceans deep and I was lost in the roll of every wave. It was brutally difficult.

For anyone who’s met me and knows what a class clown I am, I’ll confess 2015 was one of the least funny years of my life.  Still, when I sat down to write One Was Lost, I knew I had something special.  These characters were speaking to me like characters never had.  This story was at a roiling boil in my head—but, could I really write it?

Doubt plagued me in those first days. Could I still remember how to get lost in a story? Could I get it right when I was still struggling so much? Most importantly, could I still be the writer I used to be?

The answer was quick and a little terrifying.  No.

I couldn’t go back to the writer I was before.  Losing someone incredibly important to you changes you.  There is a new normal you must adjust to, and that new normal doesn’t fade away after the funeral is done and over.

My new normal proved to be a very powerful force in my writing life.  One Was Lost forced me to face fears I might have danced around in other books. I had no choice but to dive more deeply than ever before. My new perspective had me spend more time than usual learning about these new characters.  Trying to understand them.  Hurting with them and fearing with them.

I didn’t just lose myself in One Was Lost, I drowned in it.  I fell so deeply into this book that at times it was difficult to resurface to do normal, mundane not-lost-and-terrified-in-the-forest things.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been more in love with characters in any of my stories, and I’m absolutely sure I’ve never been happier with the way a book has turned out.

It is my dearest hope that you’ll all get a little lost in this book too. Sometimes even the scariest things can bring out strength and goodness we never believed possible. And it is just that reason that One Was Lost is a book I’m so particularly proud of and excited to share with you.

Happy Reading!

Natalie


After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her third novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.

 

Website:  www.nataliedrichards.com
Twitter: @NatDRichards
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Natalie-D-Richards-398044640315789
Instagram: @NatDRichards


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Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

While on a mandatory senior field trip, a flash flood cuts off Sera and three classmates from their group with no way to call for help. But they’re not as alone as they thought…

Someone is stalking them through the woods. Someone who drugged them, stole their supplies, and wrote on their skin. Is it a judgement? A warning? If Sera doesn’t uncover the truth, it’s only a matter of time before the hunter finds her.

 

Excerpt:

“Everyone, quiet. We need to move.” Mr. Walker’s voice is tight. Something’s wrong. But he’s halfway across, and the water is still below his knees. It’s moving quickly, but it seems OK. So why is Mr. Walker scanning the horizon like a soldier?

When he’s on the other side, he relaxes. “All right, let’s move. You’ll get to test those waterproof boots here. Emily, you first. Then Jude and right down the line.”

I stumble to the edge of the stream, rocks slipping and scatter­ing under my boots. Jude’s next to me, earbuds in and his chin tipped up like we need a reminder that he’s better than us.

Emily begins to cross with Jude behind her. Then me and Lucas and the rest of the group after. I can’t help but think about what we must look like, this conga line of plastic-wrapped hikers splashing its way through the river.

Jude gasps ahead of me. Before I can ask, cold water gushes over the tops of my boots, then past my ankles. I stop when it reaches my knees. It’s higher. We’re not even halfway across.

Lucas splashes up from behind, rising over me. “Need me to carry you?”

I don’t dignify the question with a response. Behind me, Hayley and Madison shriek. I turn to see a glimpse of all three of them, Hayley on her butt in the water and Madison and Ms. Brighton rushing back for her. The girls are laughing hysterically.

“We’re almost halfway,” Lucas says, ignoring them. “Keep going.”

“Should we help?”

“They’re fine. Move.”

“Stop playing around back there! Get them up, Ms. Brighton,” Mr. Walker barks, then more softly to the ones climbing out, “Good job, Emily. Jude! Earbuds out!”

Mr. Walker looks downstream, and his expression hardens. “Sera, speed up now.”

I look up and wish I hadn’t. I don’t like the urgency in his tone any more than I like the rushing sound of water I hear off to the east.

“Is that rain?” I ask because I want it to be rain. Or hail. I want it to be anything other than what I already know it is.

Mr. Walker’s eyes flick upstream, his face going pale. “It’s flooding,” he admits.

My hope snaps like a rubber band. Fear billows out in its place, making me woozy.

“Sera, move!” Lucas says, prodding my backpack.

“I got it!” I snap, plowing ahead.

Hayley screams again behind us. They’re all three shouting. Something about a shoe. Someone’s stuck. Mr. Walker is yelling at Emily and Jude to back up, back up! And then the rain changes, the shower shifting into a driving roar with drops so hard they feel like sand spraying down. Everything is garbled. Muffled. Fear pushes the hair up on the nape of my neck.

We’re not going to get across.

“Go, Sera!”

Lucas. His voice right behind me, his wide hand just under my backpack, urging me forward. I stumble, spreading my arms wide for balance.

“Lucas, help!” Madison’s cry filters through the rain, but Mr. Walker shakes his head.

“No!” he bellows. “Move, Lucas! Ms. Brighton, pull Hayley and Madison back to shore!”

The water is moving quicker and higher, and my boots are sucking down into the mud at the bottom. The current pushes back at me. Steps turn into half steps. Quarter steps.

“Forget her shoes!” Mr. Walker screams. Someone’s coughing back there, but I don’t look, though I can hear their garbled cries. They’re struggling.

“I can’t get her!” Ms. Brighton’s voice is suddenly young and small, nothing like the serene woman from before. This is scared little kid voice. “Help! Hel—”

 

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New Release and Excerpt! THE CABIN by Natasha Preston

There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new young adult thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar, a New York Times Bestseller, and Awake

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They think they’re invincible.

They think they can do and say whatever they want.

They think there are no consequences.

They’ve left me no choice.

It’s time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…

 

Excerpt:

The most annoying part was Blake, a guy I’d known for two sodding seconds, recognized that more than my friends and family. OK, so he didn’t know what had happened, but he knew there was something I was hiding. If I could help it, he would never learn what that was.

“I don’t know specifics, but you’ve got frustrated–teen tattooed all over yourself.”

“And what have you got tattooed over yourself ?” Arrogant arse was my guess.

“The Japanese rising sun.”

“Huh?”

He pulled up his T–shirt sleeve, revealing a black tattoo of half a sun.

Oh, he was talking literally. “What does it stand for?”

“No idea. Just liked it.”

OK…

“Well, I think it’s cool,” I said.

Chuckling to himself, he walked deeper into the forest. The trees were a bright, crisp green and leaves blew softly in the light wind as we walked. It was cooler under the trees, and since England was going strong with the heat wave, it was welcome.

“You’ve known the others for years?” he asked as I jogged to catch up with him again.

“Yeah.”

“Kyle and Aaron didn’t seem that happy about me crashing your weekend. Megan either, actually.”

I shrugged. “They’re cool. They just liked the dynamic we had pre–Josh–and–Courtney best. They can be kind of protective, Aaron especially. That guy would literally do anything for his friends. He’d take a bullet for us. Not that I wouldn’t. Once a guy grabbed my arse after I refused a dance and Aaron knocked him out cold.”

“He sounds more psychotic than protective, but put whatever label you want on it.”

“I will,” I replied, narrowing my eyes. I could handle Blake’s theories about me. What I didn’t like was his speaking badly of my friends.

“So, tell me. A group as close as you lot…”

I knew where that was going. “Not me. Josh and Courtney, as you know. Aaron and Tilly had an on/off relationship.”

“You never? Not even once?”

“Nope. Girls and guys can be just friends, you know.”

“Sure, just seems odd. I’ve been around groups of friends, and there’s always a few who have had drunken sex. Or at least gotten their hands busy.”

Oh, that’s lovely. “Sorry. No dirt here.” Not that kind anyway.

“Wow, Kenzie, you lot really are as straight as they come. You plan some board games for this evening?”

“No, of course not! Sorry, we’re so boring, Mr. Excitement. What do you do for fun anyway?”

He whipped around. His eyes were wide and hungry as he grabbed my wrists and pushed me against a tree, trapping me with his entire body. I was stunned. My body wanted to arch into him. I wanted to feel his skin against mine, his tongue in my mouth, his breath on my neck.

Get. A. Grip. Mackenzie.

What was going on with me? I’d never had this kind of chemistry so quickly with someone. Actually, I’d never had this much chemistry with someone else at all. It was his fault. Blake’s outrageously good looks and air of mystery short–circuited my brain, and I had to force myself to stay focused. My legs turned to jelly, and if it wasn’t for him holding me up, I’d be on the floor.

Forcing myself to get it together, I swallowed, my throat like the Sahara, and whispered, “Sex is the only fun you have?” His body pressed against mine a little bit harder, and I stifled a moan. I could feel the hard muscles of his chest. Stop. It.

“No. Sex is the most fun I have.” His eyes, now on fire, looked right through me, to the secrets I hid away. Still, he stayed pressed against me, his jaw tight, as if he was finding it hard to hold back.

I can’t be doing this right now. Or at all. I wasn’t the person that instantly wanted someone. I had to build up to that, get to know them first, but Blake made me want to throw all my rules out of the window. Rules I had worked very hard to keep.

He suddenly pulled away from me. My knees felt weak. Gripping the tree, I barely managed to keep myself upright. “What?” I asked, shaking my head to clear the fog of confusion and lust that had swept over me.

“What’re the odds of you freaking afterward?”

“High,” I replied. Having sex in the middle of the forest with Josh’s brother, who I’d only met today, was a terrible idea. I couldn’t quite get that through to my racing pulse and overheated body though. “Thought so. Come on. I’ll show you where I shoved Josh in the river and broke his arm.”

What? One minute the guy was all over me, and the next, he was playing tour guide?

I took a deep breath to get my thoughts together and stop being an idiot around him. “You broke his arm?” I asked, running again to catch up with him.

“Accidentally.” He smirked. “I’m not a sociopath.”

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2c2MCGJ

B&N: http://bit.ly/2bQSNyZ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2bQSVyE

BAM: http://bit.ly/2c2NDOS

 

 

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New Release and Giveaway! DRAGONFLY NIGHTMARE by Erin Richards (Once Upon a Secret #1)

 

Dragonfly Nightmare
Erin Richards
(Once Upon A Secret, #1)
Publication date: September 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult

To be a normal teenage girl.
To forget about the past.
To fall in love for the first time.
Is that too much to ask?

Sixteen-year-old Allie Bailey just wants a break—a break from her overly-protected life. And Dragonfly Meadows summer camp is the answer. A summer away from her parents in the California Sierras with her best friend is exactly what she needs.

But once at camp, Allie notices that things are a little off. Paid excursions are cancelled and staff is replaced with shady new people. When the camp’s founder goes “missing,” Allie starts to worry. Unable to let it rest due to her past, she starts to investigate, enlisting the help of Logan Montgomery, her best friend’s older and adorably geeky brother.

When hauntingly familiar flowers appear in Allie’s cabin, she’s not sure what to think—has her past caught up to her? Yet, after Allie stumbles across a murder conspiracy and chases down the truth, she becomes a target. Pushing through her paranoia and fear to find strength, it’s up to Allie to save herself and the campers from a deranged killer before it’s too late.

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You can request a review copy of Dragonfly Nightmare here!

EXCERPT:

My life turned a corner today to a kickass summer. A glorious day sliding past go and collecting $200 on the highway to my freedom, two days after the ultimate Independence Day. I wanted to shout my bliss to the world, but I refrained from killing my mother’s eardrums any further. Nerd, much?

For the first time in my short sixteen years, I was headed to summer camp. How stupid exciting was that? For others it was no big deal, or even lame. For me, camp meant paradise, considering I’d begged my parents to let me go for the last four summers and got the big, fat no every flipping time. It wasn’t even about money. Just major overprotectiveness due to The Incident That Shall Not Be Cloned.

Although I was joining the Teen Leadership Program as a Cabin Leader, I was coming apart at the seams to revel in the whole camp experience. Not all would be work, though. My best friend slash partner in crime, Laurel Montgomery, and I had dibs on fun. Escaping the house for two weeks was a major step toward more freedom in my life. I just wished my parents held my same excitement. The thought deflated my insane joy.

My gaze bounced to Mom’s white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. I brushed my fingers over her thigh. “It’ll be okay. You have to let me go sometime.” The four black beads rolled on my leather cuff as I withdrew my hand from her leg. I spun the beads around the band, ignoring their significance for a change.

“I know, Allie. I’m just—”

I curbed the urge to pull more of my hair out before baldness set in. “We’ve hashed this out. You’ve checked out the camp a zillion times. Carla Amadori’s family has owned the joint forever. Laurel and Logan love her, and you spoke to all the other parents.” Overkill if you ask me. “And you know Laurel and Logan will kill anyone who even looks at me wrong.” Even though I kidded, I mentally kicked myself for dredging up that bit of paranoia.

Four years ago on my twelfth birthday, a psycho abducted me and held me at gunpoint for twenty-four hours. My father’s investment brokerage had fired the freak and he flipped. I knew the man from attending various company events. I was lucky he didn’t lay his grubby paws on me or physically harm me. The mental damage was bad enough. Now everyone looked suspicious, and I couldn’t go anywhere without spying one person who looked like a deranged kidnapper. After counseling, I’d learned ways to cope with the trauma, but I still watched my back whenever I left the house. Seriously, I had developed eyes in the back of my head.

The Incident shaped my teenage existence in so many ways. Worst of all, it royally curtailed my freedom. Four smothering years later, because Laurel and her seventeen-year-old brother, Logan, my appointed watchdogs, talked my parents into letting me go, promising they’d stay with me 24/7, I was on my way. Without Laurel’s nagging, I’d be stuck at home this summer with the swimming pool, my cat, and the housekeeper eagle-eyeing my every move.

For the most part, I had buried the memories of the abduction. When I dwelled on them, I made myself believe The Incident was a fictional movie about a girl named Alex. Now, I just wanted to appease my mother before she changed her mind and locked me up at Casa Bailey for the summer. The gates to my prison had opened. By the skin of my dead body, I wasn’t going back inside.

“Happened a long time ago, Mom.” I fingered the bangles on her right wrist. “You have to let it go.” You have to let me go. “Everything will be fine.”

“I know. I know.” Mom’s fingers loosened on the steering wheel. “You have your phone?”

Groaning, I knocked my head on the headrest. “For the millionth time, you know we aren’t allowed to bring them.” The camp was electronic-free, back to nature, home to crappy cell reception. I had no problems living off the grid for two weeks. I wasn’t big on social media or texting anyone except Laurel anyway. The parentals also forbade me to engage on social media, so my phone was simply a phone.

“Right.” Eyes on the road ahead, Mom dug through her purse and withdrew a new smartphone. “Take this.” She stuck it in my hand. “Keep it with you at all times.” A charger landed on my lap.

“Are you kidding me? Mom!” I held the phone as if dog crap coated it. My nose wrinkled. “Paranoid, much?”

“No, I’m not kidding. Don’t tell anyone you have it. Not even Laurel or Logan.”

“You planning to call me every flipping day?” I stuffed the phone in my hobo purse and clutched the bag to my chest, my irritation fading as we neared the school.

“Watch your tongue.” She wheeled the car into the parking lot.

We passed through the familiar scrolled wrought-iron gates of my private school. The campground had a deal with the San Francisco school to use their bus to cart local kids to the camp. Otherwise, you wouldn’t catch me dead or alive on school grounds during the summer.

Vehicles jammed the small parking lot, ignoring the white parking lines. Logan stood by the Montgomery’s silver van. He’d morphed into a taller, sinewy geek with pale skin sorely needing a tan. Maybe he’d buy one at camp, far, far away from me.

Ugh. Why’d he agree to come this summer? Seeing him set off a tumble of thoughts inside my head and an odd crick in my heart I wanted to avoid. I’d once had a tiny crush on the gangly, too-tall-for-his-body loner. Into mixed martial arts, he had a black belt which made him king of the geek squad. Laurel, Logan, and I used to hang like birds on a wire at their home when my parents worked, which was all the time. Then the abduction happened. Next thing, I had the plague as far as he was concerned. He’d disappeared without a word to boarding school in Arizona, and then abruptly returned home this past December for his final semester of junior year. My crush evaporated along with many emotions and feelings that year. We’d avoided one another since his return, both of us burying our heads in the sand. Logan had much ado about the kidnapping, and neither of us had confronted each other about that gruesome event. Talk about lame times ten. Blame, resentment, guilt, sorrow, it all boiled up into a mixed stew when I thought about him. Confusion skewered me most of all. I repeat, ugh.

 

 

Author Bio:

Erin Richards lives in sunny Northern California. She writes young adult fiction and adult romance, where you’ll typically find her characters in peril, whether based in reality or a contemporary fantasy setting. Magic, murder and mayhem are all in a days’ work! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and re-landscaping her backyard, even though she hates digging holes…unless she’s burying fictional bodies! Erin also confesses to a fascination with American muscle cars…and reality TV shows. Keep up with Erin’s latest news, exclusive content, and giveaways and subscribe to her Newsletter.

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Sales Blitz and Giveaway! KILLER INSTINCT by S.E. Green

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green is on sale this month! To celebrate, we’re having a blitz, with an excerpt and a giveaway. Make sure to check it out and grab your copy of Killer Instinct while it’s still on sale!
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About Killer Instinct:

She’s not evil, but she has certain… urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.

Why?

Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.

And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return… in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim…

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Excerpt:

I study serial killers. They’re loners. Obsessive compulsives. People who lack emotion and fantasize violence. Intelligent people who on the outside seem normal.

Interesting thing is, I am those profiles. I have urges. I plot ways to violently make people pay for what they’ve done to others.

Nature versus nurture. Of course I’ve studied that. I’ve got good parents with decent genetics so for me I’ve always suspected it’s something else. Except . . . I have no clue what.

I don’t know why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, why I do the things I do. All I know is that I’m different. Always have been. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know something was off in me.

At ten, when other kids were coloring with crayons, I started tracking serial killers and keeping details of their murders in a journal—a journal no one has ever seen but me.

Now, seven years later, most teens hang out with friends. I, however, prefer spending my spare time at the court house—with Judge Penn to be exact. He tries all the hard cases.

His staff expects to see me, believing my lie about wanting to go into law, and so I give my customary nod as I enter the back of Penn’s court and quietly take my usual spot in the left rear corner. I sit down and get out my summer reading just in case today’s log is boring.

It’s not.

A balding, short, pudgy, accountant type man sits beside a slick lawyer he’s obviously spent a lot of money on. The Weasel is what I decide to name him.

In the viewing gallery sit a handful of women, three are crying and two stoically stare straight ahead.

On the stand is another one of the expressionless ones and she’s speaking, “. . . classical music, a candle. He knew his way around, like he’d been in my house before. He handcuffed my ankles and wrists to the bed posts and stuffed gauze in my mouth so my screams couldn’t be heard. He cut my clothes away and left me naked. He wore a condom and was clean shaven, everywhere. He had a full face mask on.”

No evidence.

“He raped me,” she matter-of-factly reports and then describes in detail all the vicious wayshe violated her.

“I’m going to be sick,” the woman in front of me whispers before getting up and leaving the room.

I continue listening to the details, mentally cataloging them. Details don’t bother me. They don’t make me sick. They don’t make me want to leave a room. If anything they draw me in because they are just that—details, facts.

A few of the women in the room sniffle and I glance to The Weasel. Although he’s doing a good job of keeping his emotions blank, I catch a slight smirk on his lips that kicks my pulse.

This is one of the things I consider a talent of mine. While some people show every emotion, I show none. And I can read others’ body language, others’ faces when they think they’re doing a stellar job of masking. The Weasel obviously thinks he’s getting away with something.

Thirty minutes later The Weasel is found not guilty due to lack of evidence. As he walks from the court room, his slight smirk becomes more visible when he glances at one of the sniffling women.

This is another thing people make the mistake of—confidence, cockiness, ego.

The Weasel will rape again. Of this I’m sure.

If it is my destiny to be a killer, I’m going to need a type. And today decides that my typewill be criminals—specifically, those that have managed to avoid punishment.

I turn seventeen next week. The Weasel will be my birthday present to myself. I think I’ve just found my first victim.

 

S.E. Green Bio:

E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Vanquished is her debut novel for adults.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.

Links:

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New Release Review! TRACKS OF HER TEARS by Melinda Leigh (Rouge Winter #1)

TRACKS OF HER TEARS
(Rouge Winter #1)
by Melinda Leigh

 

Synopsis:

In the first thrilling Rogue Winter Novella, sleepy little Solitude, Oregon, wakes up to another deadly threat.

County investigator Seth Harding intends to spend the holidays with his newly reconciled family, but a few days before Christmas, a homicide thwarts his plan. Seth arrives at the scene and makes a painful discovery: the victim is his brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Her apartment has been ransacked and her toddler left motherless. To make matters worse, Seth’s brother-in-law, Bruce, is missing. With Solitude locked in a rare, deadly deep freeze and the temperature plummeting, the residents launch a desperate search.

Seth calls his wife, social worker Carly Taylor, to take the case so the little girl doesn’t get lost in the foster care system. With the holidays near, Carly brings the child home with them to celebrate Christmas. But when the Taylor farm is also trashed, Seth and Carly must race against time—and against a paralyzing winter storm—to find Bruce and catch a killer in the first pulse-pounding sequel to the Rogue River Novellas.

Review:

Tracks of Her Tears is the first novella in a new series, but it is about characters established in a previous one by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliott–the Rouge River series. I haven’t read that one (yet–all four books have been added to my TBR!), but I didn’t feel at all lost as I read this one. Somehow Seth and Carly almost managed to feel like old friends even though I hadn’t read either of their previous books (Ms. Leigh’s books focus on them, and Ms. Elliott’s center on Carly’s sister Stevie and Zane, the new police chief). Since this book sets off a new overarching plot arc set in Solitude, Oregon, it’s the perfect place to start.

Tracks of Her Tears was a quick, suspenseful read–reading it was very much like reading an episode of a favorite crime show, and I didn’t have to feel too guilty about taking time out of my weekend of schoolwork to polish it off. (Thank goodness for Thanksgiving break–it definitely cannot come too soon.) I immediately felt caught up in Seth and Carly’s lives as they adjusted to their reconciliation and raced against time and an incoming snowstorm to find Carly’s brother Bruce and figure out who had killed his girlfriend.

Thanksgiving break goals–get caught up on schoolwork and squeeze in book two in the series, Dead in Her Tracks

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

New Release Spotlight! MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE by Janet Finsilver

Title: Murder at Redwood Cove
Author: Janet Finsilver
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Bed, breakfast…and a body!

If it weren’t for the fact that she’s replacing a dead man, Kelly Jackson would love her new job managing the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast on the coast of Northern California. But Bob Phillips did plunge off the cliff to his death…and Kelly’s starting to think it may not have been an accident. Bob’s retired friends—The “Silver Sentinels”—are also on the case, especially when Kelly is attacked…and another body turns up. Kelly has her hands full with overseeing the B&B’s annual Taste of Chocolate and Wine Festival, but she’s also closing in on the killer…who’s ready to send Kelly on her own permanent vacation…

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ORDERINFORMATION
Murder at Redwood Cove is available for order at: 
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About the author:

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. She’s been involved in many activities during her life. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. She’s traveled extensively. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!

 

She’s currently working on the next book in her series scheduled for release in June 2016.

For More Information

Visit Janet’s website.

 

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New Release Spotlight! BLOOD RED by Wendy Corsi Staub (Mundy’s Landing #1)

Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub

Title: Blood Red
Author: Wendy Corsi Staub
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Audible

 

From New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub comes the first in a terrifying new series set in a small town with a sinister secret…

 

The razor’s gleaming blade slices effortlessly through skin and tendon, and he relishes the final anguished moments of his prey. There’s only one thing he prizes more: their long, silken strands of red hair. But these women are merely stand-ins . . . a prelude to his ultimate victim.

 

Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley, Mundy’s Landing is famous for its picturesque setting—and for a century-old string of gruesome unsolved murders. Rowan returned to her hometown years ago, fleeing a momentary mistake that could have destroyed her family. Life is good here. Peaceful. Until an anonymous gift brings Rowan’s fears to life again.

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The town’s violent history was just the beginning. Soon everyone in Mundy’s Landing will know that the past cannot be forgotten or forgiven—not until every sin has been paid for, in blood.

 

Blood Red

ORDER INFORMATION

Blood Red is available for order at: 

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About the author:Wendy Corsi Staub

New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than eighty novels in a career that has spanned more than two decades. Under her own name, Wendy achieved New York Times bestselling status with her single title psychological suspense novels. Those novels and the women’s fiction she writes under the pseudonym Wendy Markham have also frequently appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookscan bestseller lists.

In Autumn 2015, Wendy will launch two new series. The first is the “Mundy’s Landing” adult suspense trilogy for HarperCollins, with the launch title, Blood Red, on sale September 29, to be followed in 2016 by Blue Moon and Bone White. The other is “Lily Dale,” a hardcover cozy mystery series set in the upstate New York spiritual community. Book One, Nine Lives, goes on sale October 26, with a second title to come in Summer 2016.

Another 2015 suspense novel, The Black Widow (HarperCollins, March), concludes her Social Media predator series that began withThe Good Sister (October 2013) and continued with the USA Todaybestseller The Perfect Stranger (July 2014), and its prequel ebook novella, Cold Hearted (May 2014).

She has published two other suspense trilogies with HarperCollins in recent years. Nightwatcher (September 2012), won the Westchester Library Association Washington Irving Prize for Fiction. It was followed by the New York Times bestseller Sleepwalker (October 2012), which went on to become a finalist for the prestigious Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award presented at the Mystery Writers of America Edgars Symposium, and Shadowkiller (February 2013). New York Times bestseller Live to Tell (March 2010) received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was also a finalist at the 2011 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Its sequel, Scared to Death, (January 2011) was honored with the WLA Washington Irving Prize for Fiction, followed by the bestseller Hell to Pay (October 2011).

She previously published more than a dozen award-winning, bestselling adult suspense novels with Kensington Books and co-authored a Mystery series with the late former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch and a romance series with Fabio. She has ghostwritten novels for a number of other celebrities and bestselling authors.

As “Wendy Markham,” her most recent title, The Best Gift, is a sequel to the acclaimed 2006 Christmas Time Travel romance, If Only in My Dreams (both from Signet). Prior, she published nearly two dozen women’s fiction novels with Hachette, Warner, Avon, Grand Central Publishing, Red Dress Ink, and Berkley. She also has an extensive Young Adult/Middle Grade backlist that includes the acclaimed series “Lily Dale” (Bloomsbury/Walker). Early in her writing career, she published in various genres including suspense, horror, historical and category romance, television and movie tie-in, and biography.

In addition to the Mary Higgins Clark Award nominations, Wendy has won the 2008 RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense and the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement. A proud recipient of the RWA Rita award, she has also been honored five times with the Westchester Library Association’s Washington Irving Prize for Fiction and was recognized as one of WLA’s Millennial Authors in 2000. Her Wendy Markham novel Slightly Single was named one of Waldenbooks’ 100 Best Fiction titles of 2002. Her novels Slightly SuburbanThe Last to Know, and Ask Me Again were nominated for RT Reviewers Choice awards, and five of her novels, Don’t ScreamThe Last to Know; Mike, Mike and Me;Hello, It’s Me; and Bride Needs Groom, were awarded a month’s top pick review by the RT BOOK club magazine.

Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide and her titles are regularly selected as features for Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Large Print Book Club, and Rhapsody Book Club.

Wendy grew up in a large, close-knit family in rural southwestern New York State and decided she wanted to become an author while in third grade. She worked in two independent bookstores during college, then moved alone to New York City at twenty-one to pursue her dream of becoming a working writer. After stints as a book editor for a Manhattan publishing house and an account coordinator for a major advertising agency, she sold her first novel, the supernatural young adult thriller Summer Lightning in 1991.

Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband of twenty-four years and their two children. A 1986 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, she proudly delivered the keynote commencement address at her alma mater in May 2008, was a featured speaker at the 2011 Academic Convocation.

Having lost her mother and mother-in-law to breast cancer, she has been a vocal and active supporter of charitable causes such as Relay for Life, Support Connection, and the American Cancer Society. In September 2012, she was an Ovarian Cancer Awareness month national spokesperson for Avon’s Kiss and Teal campaign with the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. As an animal rights advocate, she currently fosters cats and kittens for various rescue organizations in the metro New York City area.

 

For More Information:

Visit Wendy’s website.
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