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Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Pop-Up Blog-Hop & Giveaway: The Puppy Adventures of Poter & Midge: Out and About by Jennie Chen and Giselle Nevada
Monday, May 29, 2023
A Dystopian Time Travel Sci-Fi Thriller
Date Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Elite Online Publishing
When esteemed scientist James Blackwell finds himself behind bars at StormRidge Correctional Facility, his singular goal is escaping, not back into society through the prison gates, but into another world through a wormhole.
With help from other inmates on the inside, and powerful political allies on the outside, James locates the wormhole beneath the prison campus. When four other inmates discover the horrible injustices inside the American prison system, they join James in the escape.
Once on the other side, James and his friends find themselves one hundred years in the future. Amid a dystopian world with dangers lurking around every corner, this new world reveals the treacherous impact of environmental destruction and political greed.
After briefly experiencing freedom and discovering the world is not what it used to be, James and his friends are captured and imprisoned once again. Four of them escape, leaving one behind, along with James’ most prized possession: the notebook containing his scientific research.
Traveling back to the past they know requires finding the coordinates of the wormhole. But with James’ notebook out of hand, the future of his friends, and society itself, hang in the balance.
Time travel and “Zombies!”
Escape Velocity is a new science fiction/dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel by debut author Victoria Romanski. It has so much story and excitement happening that I didn’t want to put it down. The book features an ensemble cast of characters, so while Dr. James Blackwell is the main character, readers are treated to viewpoints from several more interesting and compelling personalities. I may even have liked some of these secondary characters more than Dr. Blackwell.
The story begins in a prison setting, already a tense situation, but heads directly to a destroyed American city 100 years in the future. The author’s descriptions of the locations are vivid, so I could ‘see’ and ‘hear’ and ‘smell’ the destruction the characters encountered. I found the dystopian society and post-apocalyptic world-building robust, with fresh takes on the popular trope that made this vision of the future unique. The exposition is nicely worked into the fast-paced action, so no ‘information dump’ slows this down. The author peels the story away like the layers of an onion with little reveals that surprised me from start to finish. I kept reading this one way past a sensible bedtime.
With engaging characters, non-stop action, and easy-to-read writing that gives a fresh perspective on this genre, I recommend ESCAPE VELOCITY to readers who enjoy stories of time travel, dystopian societies, and post-apocalyptic worlds.
About the Author
Victoria Romanski’s passion for writing science fiction evolved from early interests in time travel and social justice, resulting in a novel vision of what the future could hold for us all.
A diligent spectator of political discourse and current societal issues, she crafts stories with themes that explore familiar topics, but with a dystopian twist. Victoria considers these subjects valuable to engage with while expressing her craft in fresh and inventive ways.
A storyteller at heart, Victoria enjoys learning about other cultures through global travel. She uses her role as an observer of human behavior to explore avenues to make the world a better place.
Sunday, May 28, 2023
1st in Series
Setting – England
Publisher: Kanga Press
Publication Date: May 19, 2023
Page count: 240 pages
Digital ASIN: B0BXQL5YS5
Buy Earl Grey and Shallow Graves and unearth a killer today!
Earl Grey and Shallow Graves is the debut novel in veteran author Victoria Tait's latest work, the Waterwheel Café Mysteries, a spin-off of her popular Dotty Sayers mystery series featuring Police Sergeant Keya Varma. The plot is complex, with good investigations and familiar characters that feel like old friends, and there are twists and turns that kept me reading until all was revealed. I was completely delighted with this story, and Keya is now one of my favorite cozy mystery characters.
I'm so glad Keya keeps getting more assured and confident in her bookish appearances. She still questions herself, but her instincts are good. She's still a bit of a klutz and makes a spectacular splash at a crime scene early in the book. I don't know if that makes her feel like such a kindred spirit, but I felt like I was catching up with a real-life friend as I read. There have been some changes in the department, and I enjoyed Keya's travels around her district in addition to the mystery, which is the book's focus. She and Ryan do well together, and I liked seeing Keya's relationships with series characters from the Dotty Sayers series that appear here as well.
The plot was intriguing, along with Keya trying to get her new café opened. What starts as a sad and baffling cold case revs up when a current murder is discovered, which really puts pressure on Keya's bunch to find the killer. With more than one victim to vindicate, there are quite a few contacts to make.
With its familiar and engaging characters and wonderfully vivid sense of place, I recommend EARL GREY AND SHALLOW GRAVES to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a better-than-amateur sleuth, intriguing plots, and a Cotswolds' setting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. I’ve drawn on my experiences following my military husband to write cozy murder mystery books with vivid and evocative settings. My determined female sleuths are joined by colourful but realistic teams of helpers, and you’ll experience surprises, humour, and sometimes, a tug on your heartstrings.
I hope you enjoyed Keya’s first book. Why not join her and her friends as they solve more mysteries in my Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series, also based in the Cotswolds. Visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09TMJFL7L
Do you like tea, cakes and books? Then why not join our TeaCozy Club for regular news and updates, and receive your free book gift at VictoriaTait.com
Who doesn’t like tea, cake, and a slice of murder?
Saturday, May 27, 2023
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Action-packed paranormal mystery with several intriguing plotlines to follow.
After an assignment goes against her principles, CIA operative Candle Bearclaw resigns and returns to her small hometown of Aspen Ridge, Colorado, to open a cyber security firm. Her father, the former Chief of Police of the town, and her mother are ecstatic to have her back home, having seen far too little of her during her fifteen years with the agency. With their daughter home, they are finally ready to enjoy their retirement.Former military intelligence officer Miacoh Zane has returned to Aspen Ridge to settle the estate of his beloved grandmother, Rosy. His grandparents had raised him after it had become too much for his father, who had been critically injured during a hunting trip in Canada, and his mother had abruptly taken off. Miacoh had immediately recognized the all-grown-up Candle as the pre-teen girl who had had the biggest crush on him when he was in high school. But the memories in Aspen Ridge were painful ones, and Miacoh had no intention of hanging around town to encourage an adult relationship with her.
Soon after their reintroduction, though, the new police chief of Aspen Ridge is murdered, and Candle’s former CIA boss dies under suspicious circumstances. Candle starts asking questions that someone doesn’t want to be answered. When perhaps that same someone disables her security system and tries to hack into her computer, she realizes she won’t be able to leave her old life behind as easily as she had planned, and Miacoh’s instincts to protect those he loves kick into high gear. Together, they are determined to figure out who is behind the murders and why these people were targeted.Security Force of Two is the debut novel in author Tena Stetler’s new paranormal mystery series, Mountain Town Mysteries. This kick-off sets the stage for more to come with supernatural elements such as shapeshifters and second sight. It introduces a variety of characters and backstories on which to build some amazing follow-up tales. I look forward to seeing what the author does with all the possibilities she’s created.
The main characters, Candle and Miacoh, are the most sympatico partners I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, there is a little push and pull in the beginning over the idea of one “belonging” to the other and an incident of green-eyed jealousy, but they work things out quickly. There are a lot of secondary characters gracing the pages, but Candle’s parents are my favorites.The plot gets the two lovers together while they look into murders, espionage, and domestic terrorism. Along with Candle’s Chow puppy, Terrabyte, the two seek out those behind the crimes and are steps ahead of the FBI and Homeland Security, calling in favors from friends from their shadowy, classified pasts. The story has a lot going on, and the feeling that someone in the background is manipulating things is always present.
I did have one tiny quibble with the story early on, and not pertinent to the ongoing action. Dogs are not allowed on the grounds of The Alamo unless they meet the ADA definition of a service dog and have completed training as such. Terrabyte, as a puppy, would not have been old enough to have been trained, and based on Candle’s established personality and strong ethical background, I doubt she would try to circumvent the rules.With its intriguing characters and paranormal backstory, I recommend SECURITY FORCE OF TWO to readers of paranormal mysteries or paranormal romantic suspense, especially those who like puppies that are “very good girls” and fans of the author’s previous work.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tours.
View all my reviews
Friday, May 26, 2023
Each of the three crime scenes is the same, yet different: the same types of things but not the same specific things left with each body. As McLaren becomes enmeshed in the hunt for the killer, his friend Melanie arrives for a planned visit. Can his days become more complicated than simultaneously playing host and unmasking a killer? They can when he’s aware that each tick of the clock brings them closer to the next planned murder. And perhaps an unplanned one...thrown in for fun.
Overdue is the 17th case in author Jo A. Hiestand’s outstanding McLaren Mystery series and continues the unofficial investigations of the former detective inspector Michael McLaren. In this new adventure, McLaren is back on his home turf of Derbyshire, assisting his friend, Jamie Kydd, with a baffling series of killings by what the constabulary has dubbed “The Signed Murders.”
As I only picked up on this series with the previous novel, The Low Road, and it was set in Scotland while McLaren and his woman friend, Melanie, were staying with his father, I was glad that this book returned to Derbyshire where he lives and had his successful career as an investigator. As readers accompany Mike while he backtracks the police investigation, reworking their leads and contacts, we also get a glimpse of the Peak District of England. McLaren has come to terms with his actions that had him leaving the force and appears satisfied with his new life in which he repairs dry stone walls for a living and occasionally plays music with his pals. Amid the current case, Melanie is headed up for a visit and a look-see at houses in Mike’s village as their relationship progresses. (Yay!) And readers also get a closer look into McLaren’s relationship with his sister, Gwen.
Because there are three murders tied to the same killer, McLaren has numerous contacts to follow up on, people that knew the victims, and three different crime scenes to visit. Some time has passed since the murders occurred, though these are still very active cases, and the families of the victims are anxious and angry that the police haven’t solved their loved ones’ murders yet. Adding to the pressure is the fear that the serial killer is about to strike again should they follow their established pattern. I was intrigued by the killer’s MO of affixing an odd memento to each victim’s corpse and leaving a slip of paper with a partial name on it at the crime scenes. McLaren’s investigation uncovers various clues and motives, and with plenty of twists and turns, I was kept guessing about the truth until the final reveal. I will be reading more of this series for sure.
With its top-rate mystery and savvy, likable “unofficial” detective, I recommend OVERDUE to mystery readers who enjoy series or standalone books and cases solved by trained investigators rather than amateurs.
Curses and Chaos
(Arcane Souls World: The Lost Witch, #1)
Publication date: May 23rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
If the ABI finds me, I’m dead.
Agent or not, when your dad is the head of the most notorious arcane crime family in the country, no one believes you when you say you didn’t open that gate to Hell on purpose.
Now, I’m practically glued under enough null wards to hide a god and stuck with a stupidly sexy shifter of a jailer who hates my guts.
When my former employer comes sniffing around, not only does my captor keep me alive, but we find out that our pasts are far more connected than either of us realize.
And the lies we’ve been told could kill us both.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” a rumble came from the dark recess of the doorway at my right, a familiar voice that should in no way be here. The athame in my hand was at Theo Acosta’s gut before I ever really gave my hand the command to move.
Theo Acosta was the biggest pain in my ass, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get rid of him. As second in command of the Acosta pack, Theo had been in my business since the day we’d met. I’d managed to avoid him while in the middle of my little murder spree, but if he was here, the jig was up.
“I’m looking for a job,” I quipped, tilting my head to the side like I was a little soft in the head. I mean, we were in a strip club, after all. “The ABI can’t pay all the bills, you know.” That was a bald-faced lie, but given my glamour and outfit, it sure as shit looked like the truth. How he could see through said glamour was a little concerning, but I couldn’t think about that right then.
He gripped my wrist as he plucked the blade from my fingers like he was taking it away from a toddler, moving into the harsh illumination of the club’s neon mood lighting. He’d gotten a haircut since the time I’d seen him last. His usual shoulder-length locks were cropped close to his head in the back and left a little longer in the front highlighting his strong jaw and fabulous cheekbones.
It suited him, the bastard.
I’d never met someone so pretty and so shitty all at the same time.
“Bullshit, Jacobs. You’re up to something.” The green of his wolf lit in his eyes, showing me just how pissed off he was. “You’re always up to something.”
In two and a half years, Theo hadn’t trusted me one bit—not that I’d given him a reason not to. He had some beef with all witches—Wren excluded—so him warming up to me just wasn’t going to happen. The rest of the Acostas loved me. Mari and I painted our nails together. Dayana and I shared dessert recipes. And his mama? She adored me.
But Theo? No such luck.
“Of course, I’m up to something, you dope. I’m trying to get enough power to break the Fae in your dungeon, or did you forget about him while you were being so judgy? So why don’t you go home, mind your business, and I’ll get the answer to all our problems, mm-kay Pumpkin?”
Those green eyes narrowed to slits as his jaw solidified. “Eleven witches are missing, Jacobs. No one has found the bodies, but I know they’re dead. You planning a takeover? Expanding the coven for dear, old daddy?”
I ripped my wrist out of his hold as well as the blade. “No, you moron. I’m getting enough power to make that Fae do what we need him to do before Nico decides to get himself killed. How many packs would love to take over Savannah, hmm? Five? Ten? And how well will your pack fare without a true Alpha when they come? How long do you think Nico will hold on without Wren?”
The tip of my athame was at his throat in a blink. “No coven will help me—help us,” I hissed. “And no, I didn’t ask my daddy for help because the last thing we need is Josiah Jacobs in Savannah.”
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2023
The Disappearance of Emily
by Elizabeth Pantley
May 23, 2023 Book Blast
A magic mirror. An enchanted world. A mysterious missing mother. A suspicious package. An unexplained death. A community of strange, quirky people. A sassy cat and a hilarious, perpetually annoyed witch. Come visit Destiny Falls and escape to a great time.
…Hayden’s life was normal until she fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, and the amazing mansion she lives in changes to meet the needs of the people who live there, including her! Every day she discovers a new enchantment.
But something is amiss. Hayden gets an ominous warning from a strange woman, who promises to tell her the town secrets and give her a package – if she’ll meet her at the mysterious ferry that lacks a published destination. The ferry visit is cancelled, but the package is delivered. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead. Then the suspicious episodes start, too many to call them coincidences. She and her family are targeted and in danger.
Who or what is causing the chaos? All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother - way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away? Can she learn more about the secrets kept for her lifetime? With the help of her sassy sidekick cat, and a host of new family and friends, Hayden finds herself surrounded with support as she solves the mystery of the death and learns secrets about herself.
Praise for The Disappearance of Emily:
'Intriguing and totally unput-downable, it draws you in from the word go, and you will not want to leave until it chucks you at "The End."'
~ Carol, Goodreads
"Will blow you away!"
~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Better Beginnings, Inc.
Publication Date: March 2021
Number of Pages: 208
Series: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series, Book 2
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents, published in over twenty languages.
She simultaneously writes the well-loved Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic book series and the new Magical Mystery Book Club series.
Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest, the gorgeous inspiration for the setting in many of her books.
Catch Up With Elizabeth Pantley:
BookBub - @DestinyFalls
Instagram - @destinyfallsmystery
Facebook - @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic
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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Elizabeth Pantley. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Gillespie Field Groove
by Corey Fayman
May 8 - June 2, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
An obscure rock'n'roll roadie dies under mysterious circumstances. A prized Jimi Hendrix guitar has gone missing. Can Rolly Waters save his new client from the ruthless collectors looking for it?
When nurse and fledgling pilot Lucinda Rhodes hires guitar-playing private detective Rolly Waters to track down a Stratocaster guitar owned by her deceased father, Rolly is thrilled to take on her case, especially when he learns the guitar’s original owner may have been Jimi Hendrix. But Gerry Rhodes’s reckless personal history leads to more questions than Rolly and Lucinda have bargained for, as an aging rock’n’roll impresario, his trophy wife, a Russian gangster and the FBI get involved. When a forty-year-old shooting accident reveals a surprising connection to a pop star’s hit record, Rolly sees darker forces at work. And his and Lucinda’s lives hang in the balance.
Praise for Gillespie Field Groove:
"Gillespie Field Groove hits all the right notes. Music fans and general mystery readers alike will enjoy this story’s irresistible beat."
"Exciting, compelling, suspenseful, and reflective of the realities of the music industry and San Diego culture, Gillespie Field Groove is a thrilling mystery novel in which a man seeks to right the wrongs committed by greedy executives."
"GILLESPIE FIELD GROOVE is a gripping mystery and a captivating ride through rock and roll history and San Diego’s music scene. It’s so authentic you can practically hear the fuzz and crunch of Jimi’s Stratocaster coming off the page."
~ Matthew Quirk, New York Times bestselling author of RED WARNING and THE NIGHT AGENT (now a Netflix series)
"Rolly Waters is back with a ripped-from-the headlines thriller custom made for music-lovers. Hired to hunt down a missing Fender Strat that may have belonged to Jimi Hendrix, Waters uncovers a series of intertwined mysteries with more twists than a crate full of guitar cables. Gillespie Field Groove is an uptempo page turner that shines a spotlight on the music industry’s darkest corners."
~ S.W. Lauden, author of BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and THAT’LL BE THE DAY:A POWER POP HEIST
"Carefully crafted characters. Twists and revelations. Music and murder. A PI who plays guitar or a guitar player who dallies in detecting? Even Rolly Waters isn’t sure. Whichever it is, Corey Lynn Fayman’s latest gives you a real insight into what it means to be both. Like Don Quixote wielding a guitar instead of a sword. Awesome."
~ Pamela Cowan, author of COLD KILL
"GILLESPIE FIELD GROOVE is like an easter egg hunt filled with suspense and intrigue that also gives readers a straightforward look into the life of a working musician. I love this series."
~ Marc Intravaia, guitarist, RICHIE FURAY BAND; BACK TO THE GARDEN
Genre: Private Detective Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Published by: Konstellation Press
Publication Date: March 2023
Number of Pages: 276
ISBN: 0998748285 (ISBN-13: 978-0998748283)
Series: A Rolly Waters Mystery, 5th
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Corey Lynn Fayman has worked as a musician, sound technician, and interactive designer. He holds a B.A. in English, with a specialization in creative writing and poetry from UCLA, and an M.A. in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. Fayman spent five years as a sound technician and designer at the nationally lauded Old Globe Theatre, where he received several nominations and a Drama-Logue Award for his theatrical sound design. He’s worked as an interactive designer for organizations both corporate and sundry and has taught technology and design courses at various colleges and universities. He lives in San Diego, California, and is the author of four Rolly Waters mystery series, including Blacks Beach Shuffle, Border Field Blues, and Desert City Diva (2015 Indiefab Book of the Year bronze award). The fourth in the series, Ballast Point Breakdown, was honored with the best-in-show Geisel Award at the 2021 San Diego Book Awards.
Catch Up With Corey Fayman:
BookBub - @clfayman
Twitter - @CLFayman
Facebook - @CoreyLynnFayman
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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Corey Lynn Fayman. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.