Tuesday, April 30, 2024

One-Day Book Blitz & Giveaway: Just A Hat by Shanah Khubiar



Young Adult / Coming of Age / Jewish Fiction / Small-Town Texas / 1970s
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Page Count: 254
Publication Date: July 18, 2023

Scroll down for giveaway!

Action-packed, humorous, and bittersweet, this 1970s-era coming-of-age novel is more relevant than ever--exploring how a second-generation immigrant kid in a new hometown must navigate bullying, unexpected friendships, and the struggle of keeping both feet firmly planted in two very different cultures.

It's 1979, and thirteen-year-old Joseph Nissan can't help but notice that small-town Texas has something in common with Revolution-era Iran: an absence of fellow Jews. And in such a small town it seems obvious that a brown kid like him was bound to make friends with Latinos--which is a plus, since his new buds, the Ybarra twins, have his back. But when the Iran hostage crisis, two neighborhood bullies, and the local reverend's beautiful daughter put him in all sorts of danger, Joseph must find new ways to cope at home and at school.
As he struggles to trust others and stay true to himself, a fiercely guarded family secret keeps his father at a distance, and even his piano teacher, Miss Eleanor--who is like a grandmother to him--can't always protect him. But Joseph is not alone, and with a little help from his friends, he finds the courage to confront his fears and discovers he can inspire others to find their courage, too.

Just a Hat is an authentically one-of-a-kind YA debut that fuses the humor of Firoozeh Dumas's Funny in Farsi with the poignancy of Daniel Nayeri's Everything Sad Is Untrue.


Shanah Khubiar is a retired law enforcement officer, and she is now self-employed as a subject matter specialist. She holds a BS and MEd in education from East Texas State University and a PhD in philosophy. A student of her Persian ancestry, she incorporates (Mizrachi) Middle Eastern Jewry into her fiction, examining the historical challenges and triumphs of a different culture and narrative than what usually appears in literature. Khubiar is a sometime resident and always fan of most things Texas.

Signed hardback copy of JUST A HAT
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/9/24)

Monday, April 29, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Some Kind of Truth by Westley Smith

Some Kind of Truth by Westley Smith Banner


by Westley Smith

April 8 - May 3, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Some Kind of Truth by Westley Smith

A mysterious video. A cold case. A reporter hunting for answers to both.

Pittsburgh crime reporter, Steve James, returns home to find a mysterious package waiting outside his apartment door. At first, Steve fears the package could contain a deadly threat from a local mob boss pressuring him to retract his story, which helped put him behind bars. Instead, Steve finds a junior driver’s license belonging to Rebecca Ann Turner, a teenager who went missing from a party twenty-five years ago, and a USB flash drive containing a video of her murder.

Horrified by the contents inside the package, Steve is determined to find out what happened to Rebecca and why someone dragged him into uncovering this mystery. But as Steve sifts through the clues and weaves his way around those trying to prevent him from exposing the truth, he continues to struggle with personal issues stemming from his time as a war correspondent in Afghanistan, where he was filmed being tortured and nearly executed by the Taliban, making what happened to Rebecca all the more personal.

Some Kind of Truth Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Wicked House Publishing
Publication Date: February 2, 2024
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781959798309 (ISBN10: 1959798308)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


The package was marked…


…and wrapped in brown butcher’s paper as if it were a poor-man’s version of a Christmas present.

Steve had received anonymous packages before, some with leads to run down, others with incriminating evidence from a source he was working with. However, this package had not been delivered to the Pittsburgh Tribune like it should have been. It was left outside his apartment door.

Perplexed, Steve lifted the package, gingerly, from the floor. It was light and about six inches long by four inches wide. He shook it, but nothing moved inside.

He had not been expecting a delivery, certainly not one to his home by an anonymous person. His guts tightened into an uncomfortable, disconcerting knot. Turning, he looked down the hallway, to where the back stairwell led out to the rear entrance of the apartment building. Sunlight shone through the single window at the end of the hall and cut a sharp blade-like angle of light onto the floor. Dust particles floated in the air as if recently disturbed – maybe by the deliverer of the package.

Someone could have gotten into the building by the rear entrance, made their way up to Steve’s apartment, dropped the package by his door, and slipped back out before anyone noticed. He did not live in one of the new high-rises being built around Pittsburgh – apartments that came with all the security bells and whistles – but rather an old turn of the century building on the lower east side of Pittsburgh. The rent was cheap, and the landlord damn-near nonexistent, especially when it came to the safety and upkeep of the building. It was what Steve could afford on a reporter’s salary.

He looked back at the parcel in his hands. The sense of unease continued to coil his stomach. Was he being targeted like reporters after 9/11, with anthrax-sealed packages delivered to their homes and offices? Possibly.

The fact that his article “MOB IN PITTSBURGH” had helped put Anthony Palazzo, a local money launderer affiliated with the New York-based DeLuca Crime Organization, behind bars could have something to do with the mysterious package outside his door that afternoon. Again, he wondered what was inside and cautiously shook it, like a kid trying to figure out the present under the wrapping on their birthday.

Nothing moved, nothing rattled inside.

Steve knew he should leave the package alone; place it back on the floor where he found it, call the police, and have them look at it first. That was the smart thing to do. The right thing to do. There could be anything inside meant to bring him harm, especially nowadays, when reporters were being unfairly besieged for spreading false information to the public.

Against his better judgment, Steve forced the apprehension away like a fly at a picnic, tucked the bundle under his left arm, fished his keys from his jacket pocket, and opened the apartment door.

Once inside, he closed the door and peered through the peephole to the hallway. Still, the hall was empty, and no one passed by. Again, he felt the skin on the back of his neck prickle, and the hairs stand on end with nervousness.

Why was the package left and what was inside? Steve wondered.

Turning away from the door, he moved into the kitchen. He placed his laptop bag on the counter beside his keys, then removed a Zippo lighter and a pack of cigarettes and placed them beside the laptop bag. He put the brown package beside his things. It looked odd on the countertop, as if it were some evil present that had been left at his home – a gift from Satan himself.

There was nothing out of the ordinary with its appearance. Other than the handwritten address, there were no other identifiable words or labels on the outside. Gooseflesh rose across Steve’s body. Whoever delivered the package knew who he was, where he worked, and where he lived.

Normally, Steve had all large packages sent to the Tribune’s mailroom. He didn’t trust his landlord, Horace Baker. The slimeball charged an extra ten dollars a month to hold deliveries larger than what could fit into the small gold mailboxes in the lobby. He called it a ‘holding charge.’ Steve was sure it was illegal, a scheme to get more money from the tenants.

Steve was not about to pay the extra money. He had heard stories from others in the building that when they received their packages some were opened, searched, and sometimes things were missing. Of course, Baker claimed it was how the parcels arrived.

This particular package, sitting ominously on his countertop, should never have made it to his floor.

Or maybe it IS from Palazzo, Steve thought. It could have been a scare tactic to get Steve to retract his story, setting Palazzo free from prison, while simultaneously clearing the DeLuca Family of any wrongdoing. For all Steve knew, there could be a small explosive inside the box, just big enough to rattle his cage but not kill him. Or, if they wanted to get the job over with, they could have laced it with anthrax, just like reporters received after 9/11.

Yet, he wasn’t so sure Palazzo or the DeLuca Family were ready to make that kind of move against him. At the moment, Palazzo and the DeLuca Family were letting their mob lawyers handle the process through the courts with a defamation and source exposure lawsuit on Steve and the Pittsburgh Tribune.

No, Steve was confident it was delivered by someone else. But who? And more importantly, why?

He pulled a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey from the cupboard along with a small glass and poured himself a healthy snort.

Just to quiet the demons, Steve thought bitterly, taking a swig. Just to quiet the demons.

He studied the package while swirling the brown liquor around in the glass, knowing he should leave it alone and call the police. But intrigue was sinking its fangs into his mind, poisoning his thoughts with fantasies of what dwelled inside its dark recesses.

Someone knew Steve well enough to know he could never leave a mystery alone. He thumbed one of the cigarettes out of the box, popped it into his mouth and lit it with the Zippo lighter. He inhaled deeply. Smoke filled his lungs. Calmed his nerves. Helped him think straight – so he thought.

What’s inside? a shadowy voice spoke from the alcoves of Steve’s mind, pulling him from his reverie. He could not argue with this strange, archaic voice. He desperately wanted to know what was inside the package. Taking a long drag on the cigarette, he let the smoke out slowly between his teeth with a low sssss.

What to do? What to do?

There was only one thing to do.

Setting the cigarette in the ashtray, Steve picked the package up. He felt that familiar chill of disquiet crawl over him, like cold skeleton fingers walking up his spine, vertebra by vertebra.

“Enough of this guessing-game shit,” Steve said and tore the heavy brown paper away, exposing a white box underneath which resembled something a pastry would come in. The lid was sealed shut with a single piece of Scotch Tape.

Steve knew no one would send him sweets – maybe anthrax, maybe a bomb, but certainly not sweets. In a career that spanned more than twenty years as a crime reporter for the Tribune, Steve had made more enemies, like Anthony Palazzo, than friends. Such was the life, he supposed.

He peeled the Scotch Tape from the box and then lifted the lid slowly, as if a venomous snake were about to spring out and bury its sharp fangs into his face. With the box lid cracked, he peered inside.

Instead of finding something harmful, the box contained a USB Flash Drive secured in white tissue paper. Two words were handwritten on the front of the flash drive in black magic marker:/p>


Steve frowned. Why would someone send him a flash drive anonymously? Did it have something to do with the Palazzo story he’d spent the better part of two years working on? Some missing information that would, without a shadow of a doubt, ensure that Palazzo stayed behind bars for the rest of his life?

Or was it something unrelated?

Steve didn’t know.

Then he noticed the USB was not the only item inside the box.

Tucked beside the flash drive was a small piece of white plastic. Removing the plastic from the box, Steve found it was about the size of a credit card and coated with a reddish-brown dirt. He rubbed his fingertips together feeling a gritty dust, like a fine sand. Turning the card over revealed it was a Pennsylvania Junior Driver’s License issued to a Rebecca Ann Turner of 428 Water Street, Abbottstown Pennsylvania. Her birthdate was 10/02/1982. The issue date on the card was 11/23/1998 — twenty-six years ago. The top right-hand corner, where the expiration date should have been, was broken, the plastic chipped away, forever lost to time, leaving a jagged edge that looked sharp enough to slice through flesh.

The driver’s license photo of Rebecca Turner showed an attractive sixteen-year-old girl with blonde hair and bright blue eyes that sparkled with life. Her face was long, narrow, and innocent, holding the optimism of youth. Her beaming smile radiated from the picture, enhancing her natural beauty and charm. According to the driver’s license, Rebecca was born in 1982, which would make her forty-two years old now. But Steve got the sickening feeling that Rebecca did not live to see her forty-second birthday.

He looked back to the flash drive resting inside the box. He was unsure how the driver’s license and the USB were connected, but he was certain they were, or they would not have been delivered together.

What’s on the flash drive? Steve wondered anxiously. His heart began to race, and his palms grew moist with sweat. A horrible notion rushed through his mind that something awful had happened to Rebecca Turner, something the USB would ultimately reveal.

“H-holy shit,” he said aloud; the shudder in his voice surprised him. Someone wants you to find out what happened to this young lady, Steve ol’ Boy, and expose the truth.

Reaching for the cigarette in the ashtray, he brought it to his lips and inhaled. The smoke settled on his lungs with a comfortable bite that he relished.

He looked back to the box; his eyes lingered on its contents. Possible scenarios played across his mind as to why someone would want him involved. But none of these thoughts made much sense at the moment.

Steve took another drag and stubbed the cigarette out in the ashtray. He had smoked it down to the filter as he often did; a haze of heavy, thick smoke hovered around the ceiling. He picked up the glass of whiskey and finished it in one swallow, and then poured himself another – three fingers worth this time. His mouth had gone bone dry, but he wasn’t sure another shot – even three fingers worth – would wet his whistle.

The demons inside were growing, and Steve needed to calm them. Or, at least, he continued to tell himself that on a nightly basis.

Warily, he lifted the USB from the box. Dare he view whatever was on it, or call the police and let them handle the situation?

He shook the thought off. His reporter instinct had taken over. He needed to know what was on the USB, how it connected with the girl on the junior driver’s license, and why he was chosen to unravel this mystery before going to the police.


Excerpt from Some Kind of Truth by Westley Smith. Copyright 2024 by Westley Smith. Reproduced with permission from Westley Smith. All rights reserved.




5 stars!

A gripping, dark, and frightening thriller! 

Some Kind of Truth is a gripping new thriller by author Westley Smith that kept me fully engaged from start to finish. With its damaged but determined to get to the truth main character and compelling plot involving unthinkable crimes against a young teenage girl, I was driven to keep reading to discover what was going on and see if justice would be served for the victims. 

Steve James, a victim himself in the past, is chosen by persons unknown to get involved in a 25-year-old missing person's case when he finds a mysterious package waiting outside his apartment door, which contains shocking information never seen before. The missing girl had lived in a small town hours away from Pittsburgh where Steve works for a major newspaper. He immediately, and periodically thereafter, questions why he was pinpointed as the package's recipient. As the paper's top crime reporter, his investment in the case is guaranteed once he examines the box's contents. 

Steve suffers from the memories and trauma of his past and self-medicates with copious amounts of Jameson's, feeling the need for a drink every waking moment. However, he can still control acting on his needs most of the time and retains his edge as a skilled investigative reporter. He's joined in his quest for answers by a local small-town reporter, Amy Richards, and the two deal well together as they follow the clues. 

The author has great storytelling skills, and I was completely drawn into the book, lost in the story, and oblivious to how much time had passed while reading. I was reluctant to leave the story behind when everyday life eventually demanded my attention. The descriptions of secondary characters and settings were vivid and realistic, fueling my absorption with the story. Although Steve spends some time debating his initial moves, there are few pauses in the action, and a couple of more recent murders are discovered to have some possible similarities to the cold case. As the case progresses, the plot has additional twists, including a real eleventh-hour surprise. There are clues in the narrative for sharp-witted armchair detectives to find or not. 

I recommend SOME KIND OF TRUTH to readers of grittier mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction.

Author Bio:

Westley Smith

Westley Smith had his first short story, Off to War, published when he was just sixteen. Recently, he has had short stories featured in On the Premise, Unveiling Nightmares, and Crystal Lake Entertainment. He was the runner-up contestant in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine’s “Mysterious Photograph Contest,” where his name was featured in the magazine. He sold his debut thriller, Some Kind of Truth, to Wicked House Publishing, it was released on February 2nd, 2024.

Catch Up With Westley Smith:
Instagram - @wsmithbooks
Facebook - @westleysmith100



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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Virtual BookTour & Giveaway: A Match Made in Murder (Clover City Files, #3) by Barbara Howard


A Match Made in Murder
The Clover City Files
Barbara Howard

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Fictional small town, Clover City (Mid-West, USA)
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: February 14, 2024
Paperback page count: 134 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8224039555 / Digital ASIN: B0CR44LMBR




"In the heart of Clover City, love is a grand affair orchestrated by matchmaker extraordinaire, Fiona Murphy. But this Valentine's Day, her twelve perfect weddings become a chilling mystery. As the Boat House restaurant transforms from a haven of romance to a crime scene, 'A Match Made in Murder' unveils a tale where love and betrayal intermingle, and uncovering the truth becomes the ultimate act of love."

In the heart of the charming town of Clover City, matchmaker extraordinaire, Fiona Murphy, is renowned for orchestrating love stories that culminate in dreamy weddings. This Valentine's Day, she's outdone herself by arranging twelve weddings in a grand celebration at the upscale Boat House restaurant, where love is on the menu and bliss is in the air.

Among the attendees is Fiona’s efficient and loyal assistant, eager to ensure everything runs smoothly. There's also an unexpected guest—Fiona’s charismatic yet enigmatic ex-husband, whose presence adds a layer of complexity to the festivities.

However, as the festivities kick off, a hushed realization sweeps through the gathering—someone is conspicuously absent. The joyous occasion takes a dark turn when a lifeless body is discovered, casting a shadow over the day meant for love and celebration. Suddenly, the Boat House transforms from a haven of romance to a crime scene, and everyone present becomes a suspect.

With the victim silenced forever, secrets, grudges, and long-buried emotions rise to the surface. The task of unraveling the twisted threads of this romantic tragedy falls into the hands of the local patrons, as the Boat House becomes a stage for a mystery where the appetizer is suspicion, the main course is intrigue, and the dessert is justice.

Bonus: Recipes included.




Claire poured the tea with precision, the amber liquid swirling in tiny hypnotic waves. As they settled into their places, the conversation turned to the upcoming holiday.

"Valentine's Day always brings a touch of romance, doesn't it?" Claire said, a twinkle in her eye. "Do you have any special plans, my dear?"

Amira's gaze drifted towards the window, where the winter sun cast a silver hue on the snow-covered trees and thought of the plans for Darius' next business trip to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. "Not this year, but I've always dreamed of having someone special to share it with. You know, a romantic dinner, maybe cuddled up under a blanket on a carriage ride under the stars..."

Claire nodded. "Ah, the allure of love. It's a beautiful thing. Have you ever thought about what kind of love story you'd like to have? And with whom?"

Amira's eyes shifted into a dreamy gaze. "I imagine it would be something out of a classic novel—a slow-burning romance, filled with laughter, sharing our dreams, and kisses that take my breath away." She let out a long, dramatic sigh and giggled.

Claire gave a knowing look. "Your desire sounds lovely. But it doesn't sound like something Darius would entertain." Her teacup poised an inch from her mouth. "Or I could be wrong."

"No," Amira let out a deep sigh. She added a drop of cream to her tea and fixated on stirring it in a slow figure eight. "You're not wrong. Actually, Miss Claire, I've switched my office hours so that we're never in the same room together. I keep the office running, but we only communicate through text and email. It doesn't seem to matter, as long as the business is successful. It's all he really cares about, it seems." She lifted her spoon and looked into Claire's face, holding back tears. "We both know that it's over, but we can't seem to end it."

"Well, you must," Claire said, her gaze unwavering and voice resolute. "It's time to move on." A slight curve inched along the edge of her lips. "To Lionel, I think."

"Oh, I–" Amira gasped. "I don't–"

"Don't what?" Claire lowered her cup and patted Amira's cheek. "You don't like him?"

"No," Amira wiped her face with the monogrammed linen napkin, hoping to cool the heat of embarrassment. "I do like him, Miss Claire. I mean, he's–"

"Your ideal match." Claire said, her face beaming.

"He's a friend of Darius." Amira returned to her teacup and inhaled. "So, he's out of bounds."

"You young people will be the death of me. Why do you make everything so complicated? Oh, I forgot the biscuits." Claire tossed up her hands and walked into the pantry. "There's a brand-new tin in here somewhere."

Amira watched with a smirk on her face. She knew Claire was trying to "fix" her life, but she was right. Sometimes things are more complicated than they should be. If she were honest, her curiosity regarding Claire's relationship with Chef Dak was far more interesting. Since they reunited, the couple had kept a low profile, and everyone respected their privacy. However, she had so many questions bubbling inside that she could almost burst.

"I was thinking about trying a dating service." Amira called out as she unfolded the newspaper. "If I could afford it, I would hire a Sparkz matchmaker. People say it's worth the price because Miss Fiona's got a perfect record." She chuckled. "I guess that's why she's so rich."

A commotion echoed from the pantry, followed by a resonant crash. Claire emerged and walked over to Amira. Bending down, she peered into her eyes.

"Don't ever go near that woman. I can't have you–Just stay away from her."


Barbara Howard is an author of mystery stories featuring a female amateur sleuth, diverse characters, and a dash of romance. Barbara Howard is the author of two cozy mystery series; Finding Home and The Clover City Files. Her stories feature a female amateur sleuth, diverse characters, and a dash of romance. She is a first-generation tech geek turned master gardener. Ms. Howard returned to her Midwestern hometown after an extensive career as a Department of Defense Project Manager at the Pentagon, KPMG Eastern Region Project Leader, and Corporate Sales Representative for Borders Books & Music. She now spends most of her time treasure hunting, spoiling her fur-babies, growing veggies, and plotting whodunits. 


April 24 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST
April 28 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 30 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 1 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
May 5 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 6 – Celticlady's Reviews – RECIPE POST
May 7 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT



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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Last One To Die (Detective Nikki Cassidy, #2) by Dana Perry

THE NOWHERE GIRLS by Dana Perry Banner


by Dana Perry

April 1 - May 10, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Book 1 in the Detective Nikki Cassidy series

My kid sister was murdered fifteen years ago. Now the killer has struck again. And this time, I’m going to take my revenge…

On the anniversary of her sister’s death, FBI agent Nikki Cassidy takes a call that has her heart pounding in her chest, the image of her beautiful sister Caitlin etched in her mind.

Another girl has been taken.

Days later, the lifeless body of twelve-year-old Natalie Jarvis is found in a remote patch of woodland, a crown of roses delicately placed on her head. Just like Caitlin.

The killer is back.

Nikki rushes to her small hometown of Groveton, Ohio. She will do anything to stop another young girl dying, but she soon realises that nothing is what it seems—everyone in her hometown is keeping a secret. And when a note is discovered near Natalie’s body addressed to Nikki, it’s clear what the murderer really wants: her…

She’s caught killers before, but this time it’s personal. And Nikki will risk everything—even her own life—to get justice for every victim. It’s time to stop this twisted killer, once and for all…

If you love reading Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot, you won’t be able to put down this gripping new series. Full of heart-racing twists and turns, you’ll be hooked!


Book 2 in the Detective Nikki Cassidy series

Ten days ago, straight-A student Jessica Staley ran away from home. Now her lifeless body lies pale and still in an empty parking lot, her unblinking brown eyes staring up to the night sky…

FBI agent Nikki Cassidy’s heart pounds as she takes in the short, dark hair and delicate features of fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Jessica Stanley. It’s another unsolved murder in Groveton, Ohio, just like her sister, Caitlin, fifteen years before. Her family beg her to keep her distance, but Nikki knows she can’t walk away.

What if her sister’s killer is back?

Talking to Jessica’s heartbroken family, Nikki learns that she wasn’t happy at home. Just days ago, she packed a few belongings into her school backpack and left, never to be seen alive again.

Determined to give Jessica’s family the answers she never found for herself, Nikki works around the clock, trawling hours of CCTV footage from the scene. And just when she thinks she’s close to uncovering the truth, a chilling email arrives that confirms her deepest fear. There are more victims, Nikki. Can you ever stop me?

This killer is playing a dangerous game, and he has Nikki in his sights now—one wrong move and she could be his next victim. She’s determined to unmask the monster who has tortured her hometown for decades. But what if the killer is someone close to her? What if it’s someone she loves?

Fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot will absolutely love this gripping new series from Dana Perry. Prepare to stay up all night!



Book 3 in the Detective Nikki Cassidy series

As dawn breaks over a small gas station on the outskirts of Groveton, Ohio, the body of a teenage girl lies totally still. Long blonde hair covers her face, and a length of frayed rope hangs loosely around her neck. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds her, just like her killer intended…

When FBI agent Nikki Cassidy receives a call from Groveton’s Chief of Police, her heart pounds. A young girl just knocked on the door of Nikki’s old family home, claiming to be Nikki’s kid sister, Caitlin. But Caitlin was murdered fifteen years ago. Who is the girl and what does she want?

Nikki thinks the impersonator could finally lead her to her sister’s twisted killer. But her hope is shattered when the girl’s lifeless body is found strangled at a local service stop. If the girl knew about Caitlin, could she have known the identity of the killer? Was she murdered before she could unmask them?

Going against her boss’s orders to stay away, Nikki traces the girl’s last known steps to her best friend, Shirley. Nikki learns that the girl was last seen meeting with a stranger at the mall. Could it have been her killer?

Closer than ever to uncovering the truth, Nikki can’t give up now. But when Shirley’s body is found at another service station, a length of rope wound around her neck, her heart shatters. Another young life has been lost. Nikki vows that this will be the last.

When an intruder breaks into her old home, Nikki knows it’s the killer sending her a sign. As she walks into the familiar old house in the dead of night, will she finally get justice and catch her sister’s killer, or did she just walk into a deadly trap?


Praise for Dana Perry:

THE NOWHERE GIRLS: "A twisty-breath-taking page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat until it’s stunning conclusion. Fast-paced and riveting, it keeps you guessing till the very end."
Lisa Regan, author

"A thrilling new series."
Killer Nashville

"A fantastic book… Dana Perry has created one heck of female lead!"
NetGalley reviewer

"Wow!!!!! What did I just read!!! Mind blown!!!! Absolutely shattered after being up all night reading but boy was it worth it! Absolutely unputdownable!!"

"This was an edge-of-your-seat page-turner!"


Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thriller
Published by: Bookouture
Publication Date: April 2, 2024
Number of Pages: 341
ISBN: 9781803147932 (ISBN10: 1803147938)
Series: Detective Nikki Cassidy


Read an excerpt:




5 stars!

The tension mounts as FBI agent Nikki Cassidy searches for a serial killer. 

Last One To Die is the second book in author Dana Perry’s Detective Nikki Cassidy series, and once again, FBI Agent Nikki Cassidy finds herself involved in a cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer. The tension starts right away and builds as the killer taunts and teases law enforcement from somewhere nearby but just out of sight. 

The story unfolds from Nikki’s point of view and picks up only months after her successful resolution of her sister’s cold-case murder. She’s still mentally recuperating from some of the awful truths she uncovered and the death of an officer with whom she had developed a romantic relationship. But a desperate mother’s direct appeal for her help in solving her daughter’s 20-year-old murder galvanizes her and her partner, Alex, into action. Nikki is a strong and tenacious protagonist with definite ideas about how the investigation should proceed. Although she is capable and confident she will find and stop the killer; she barely gets started before he strikes again, this time in her hometown of Huntsdale, where her sister had been abducted and murdered. 

The plot splits the investigation between cities and the old and new cases, which have some surprising connections. The cold case investigation had a lot left undone by local law enforcement, but they had a quick arrest and a suspect who confessed to the murder at the time. Tracking down witnesses and clues 20 years after the fact is naturally difficult, so the agents must get creative. Nikki finds the new police chief in the town where the cold case occurred easy to work with, and he becomes an interesting distraction. The taunting notes from the killer were chilling in their knowledge of what was going on in Nikki’s investigation and the threats about more to come. 

Although this is the second book in the series, it can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone. While the author does a comprehensive job of catching new readers up on what preceded the current events, these could be spoilers for readers who want to back up and read the first book. 

With its tense plot, steady, compelling pacing, and likable main character, I recommend LAST ONE TO DIE to readers of mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction, as well as fans of the previous book in the series.

*See my review of Book One of The Nowhere Girls HERE!

Author Bio:

Dana Perry

I am a New York City author who writes mystery thrillers under the pen name of Dana Perry - and also as R.G. Belsky.

Catch Up With Dana Perry:
Twitter/X - @DanaPerryAuthor
Facebook - @DanaPerryAuthor
Instagram - @dickbelsky



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Friday, April 26, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: The Fallenwood Chronicles by Leslie D. Soule



Leslie D. Soule



The Fallenwood Chronicles is the ongoing story of Ash Kensington, a young woman who finds herself transported into a fantasy world, where she must take up arms in a battle of Good vs. Evil, against the Dark Lord Malegaunt. Tragedy strikes her life in the real world, but she finds friends in Fallenwood, like her mentor Will Everett, a talking cat named Greymalkin, and a court jester named Terces. Working together, they battle against the odds as Ash faces attacks from the world and from within. Eventually Ash finds the strength within herself, to attempt the fight against Malegaunt, against overwhelming odds, come what may.



When 23-year-old Ash Kensington is thrust into Fallenwood's power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough for Ash, bound by grief over her stepfather's death. But she has to keep going, for the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal - the catalyst for all the land's magic. As all six kingdoms prepare for all-out war on an epic scale, Ash must find the power to save the world, and herself. Will she destroy the crystal in time to save Fallenwood?

Book One of The Fallenwood Chronicles
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Page count: 195 pages



Ashley "Ash" Kensington wakes up in the Other Realm, to find that she has lost all recollection of the fantasy realm known as Fallenwood. She continues holding down a "normal" job and a serene though unfulfilling relationship and life, until she finds a talking cat who begins filling her head with fanciful tales of another place and time.

Book Two of The Fallenwood Chronicles
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: January 4, 2014
Page count: 175 pages



With five crystals to destroy, in order to rob the dark lord Malegaunt of his power, Ash Kensington's path is set. She begins a quest with the talking cat, Greymalkin, and her wyvern, Slick. But when she meets up with the handsome dragon slayer, Draeon, her senses overwhelm her, and she becomes distracted. Will she be able to destroy the crystals in time to challenge Malegaunt?

Book Three of The Fallenwood Chronicles
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Page count: 170 pages


Ash Kensington has one final quest in the fantasy realm across the portals, known as Fallenwood. There’s no one to help her, now, and she has to figure out how to get to the dark lord Malegaunt and demand her retribution for the events that have transpired. But with her resources running out and her patience running thin, will she be able to find and confront him? And if she does, what answers await her?

Book Four of The Fallenwood Chronicles
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Page count: 199 pages



Her heart raced and she breathed slowly, trying to calm her frazzled nerves. Glancing around, she wondered how far off the road she’d wandered. She knew it had been midday when she’d started running, and now looking up into the star-filled sky, it had to be late into the night. A rush of air greeted her the moment she reached this strange part of the forest, before her eyes had temporarily forsaken her. The wind whipped around her from all sides. She backed away from where she stood, and the wind felt like it was whooshing up from a precipice. Ashley paused to allow her eyes to adjust to the dark. When her sight returned, she realized that she was standing nowhere near a cliff—it was just an unfamiliar area of forest. Suddenly, a ball of fire hurtled overhead in an arc toward her. Her mind screamed at her to run, but she found that her legs wouldn’t move. The flaming orb continued its descent, burrowing itself into the soft ground only inches away from Ashley’s boots. Two men rushed toward her, arguing all the while as Ashley stood immobilized. Her bones were in revolt. Her brain scrambled for an alias to give out to the men if they asked, but she could only come up with Ash, because she was looking at the little pile of soot at her boots. “Deflected,” the man in the lead announced.


Leslie D. Soule received her M.A. in English from National University. She is a scholar, artist, citizen journalist, and martial artist. She has been an established writer for a decade, and has novels published by Melange Books, Terror House Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and Nat 1 Publishing. The Fallenwood Chronicles is her 4-book fantasy series and features the novels Fallenwood, Forgetting Fallenwood, Betrayer, and Retribution.


A randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN gift card.

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Magical Elements of the Periodic Table Presented Alphabetically by the Elemental Dragons (Magical Elements of the Periodic Table, #2) by Sybrina Durant


Magical Elements of the Periodic Table, Book 2
By Sybrina Durant

Children’s Picture Book / STEM / Chemistry
Publisher: Sybrina Publishing
Page Count: 44
Publication Date: March 9, 2024

Scroll down for a giveaway!

In this unique alphabet book, members of the Elemental Dragon Clan present 26 Magical Elements of the Periodic Table in alphabetical order. Each member of the clan has an element tipped tail. They also have magical powers based on the properties of their metals. There are no more perfect groups than unicorns and dragons to familiarize yourself with elements from the Periodic Table. Their theme is: "No Metal -- No Magic. . .and No Technology."

In this book, Antz starts out the book by introducing the very necessary metal, Antimony on his element page. Zora rounds out the alphabet by presenting scientific facts and other fun information about the metal, Zirconium, on her elemental page. In all, readers will get some great insight into the properties of 26 elements from the periodic table. Each page is full of amazing facts and tons of FUN. There's a Magical Elemental themed periodic table, too!

This unique book will help tweens, teens and anyone else quickly absorb the elements of the Periodic Table.
No Metal,
No Magic…
And No Technology.
It's Techno-Magical!


Sybrina Durant is a unicorn author and entrepreneur. In addition to books, she offers unicorn-themed activities, t-shirts, and more. Plus, she has pulled together a collection of nearly all the unicorn books available today from hundreds of authors. They are categorized on her website by Little Kid, Middle Kid, and Teen Unicorn Books

Signed paperback of Magical Elements of The Periodic Table, Book 2
and 24 x 36 poster of the Periodic Table
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/2/24)

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