Sunday, June 30, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Easier Dead Than Drawn (Paint by Murder Mystery, #3) by Bailee Abbott


Easier Dead Than Drawn
A Paint by Murder Mystery
Bailee Abbott

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series (1st with this publisher)
Setting - New York
Publisher: Level Best Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2024
Print length: 272 pages
ASIN: B0D15342M1



When the town council hires Chloe Abbington’s close friend, famous wall muralist Lana Easton, to paint a mural advertising the return of the floating amphitheater, not everyone in Whisper Cove is happy about the theater or Lana. Naysayers think the noise from concerts and visitors will disrupt their quiet community. It doesn’t help that a lot of money taken from the town’s budget is being used to pay the muralist for her services. The mood turns even more grim when Lana is found dead, and since Chloe was there alone to discover her body, that makes her the prime suspect.

Before Chloe finds herself painted into a corner as the killer, she and sister Izzie hurry to solve the case and find the real criminal. The suspect list grows to include Lana’s boyfriend and her intern, as well as a couple of local residents. The task is a tall order for the sisters, and it doesn’t help that the detective on the case is someone who doesn’t seem to care for Chloe or her interference. Clues about Lana’s past surface and point to more than one suspect. The challenge will be to decide which one is the real killer.


4 stars!

An exciting return to Whisper Cove! 

While Easier Dead Than Drawn is the third book in author Bailee Abbott’s fun and artsy Paint By Murder cozy mystery series, it has enough backstory woven into the narrative so readers who are new to the series can easily catch up and enjoy the current adventure. (However, the entire series is charming and full of mystery and suspense and shouldn’t be missed!) 

The Abbington sister sleuths, family, friends, and love interests all work together to solve the murder of Chloe’s former roommate, who is in Whisper Cove on a commission for the town to create a mural. Their need to catch the killer is critical as Chloe, having discovered the body of her friend, is one of the first suspects of the lead detective on the case. 

The plot of the book, besides the murder and the women’s investigation, is enhanced by the conflict among the townspeople over a proposed new amphitheater: some absolutely want it, while some vehemently oppose it. The case focuses on a couple of promising suspects close to the artist, with plot twists that help rule out some or send the investigators in another direction. The resolution was accomplished in a unique manner, which was a great surprise. And, of course, the storyline features the sisters’ business of those fun group painting parties! 

I recommend EASIER DEAD THAN DRAWN to cozy mystery readers, especially those who enjoy a craft-themed story.


Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She's a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Visits to Bemus Point, a town along the Chautauqua Lake in southwest New York inspired the setting for the PAINT BY MURDER mystery series. Bailee also writes the SIERRA PINES B&B MYSTERIES and the MACKENZIE BLUE MYSTERIES as Kathryn Long.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads |


June 17 – Books, Ramblings, and Tea - SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 20 – Hearts & Scribbles - SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 22 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Christy's Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – MJB Reviewer – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 30 - Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW


Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!
Want to Book a Tour?
Click Here

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: What Grows From the Dead by Dave Dobson


What Grows From the Dead
Dave Dobson

Setting - North Carolina
Independently Published
Publication Date: March 9, 2024
Paperback page count: 367 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8884545977 / Digital ASIN: B0CXN1KQ1B



Morris Drummond is not at his best. Well, he hasn't been at his best for a while now. But having just suffered two crushing losses, he's almost at rock bottom, which for him means driving ride-share in his mom's beat up Chevy, drowning his sorrows in tacos and spray cheese, and avoiding anything related to ambition, self-care, or laundry.

Morris is about to learn that he didn't even know what rock bottom looked like, and it's all thanks to his mom. A secret she left behind comes to light, and that brings down a lot of unwanted attention on Morris, the kind that looks likely to send him either to prison or to the hereafter. Blood and treachery from long ago rise to the surface, and Morris has only his lawyer Annie, who's an old high school friend, and a few unexpected allies to call on as he tries to figure out what his mom was up to and why so many people want him out of the picture.

A humorous mystery with elements of suspense and thrillers, What Grows From the Dead is set in present-day small-town North Carolina, not far from the mysterious Uwharrie Forest.

Content warnings: Coarse language throughout; some gun violence (not graphic).


5 stars!

Unique and entertaining, with non-stop action. 

What Grows From the Dead is a fun new mystery from Dave Dobson that is unique, entertaining, and filled with humor and action. I would have been happy to spend the day kicked back and reading this book from start to finish if my schedule had allowed it. 

The book’s protagonist is a very engaging and regular guy named Morris Drummond. Recently laid off mid-term from his tenured position as an anthropology professor, he has been unable to find another position. He is driving for a ride-share company to maintain his child support payments. When his mother passes away, he discovers she has been keeping an unexpected secret. With his teenage daughter’s sudden arrival and the local cops at his door asking questions about his mother, Morris and his attorney (and former high school crush) must try to find answers to what mom was involved in before things really get out of hand. 

The plot is intriguing, and the action takes off right away, the pace getting more frenetic as the story unfolds. The story is told from Morris’s first-person viewpoint with the added benefit of being privy to his delightfully humorous inner monologue. Joining him in the mystery are a number of engaging secondary characters: his daughter Mindy, attorney Annie, and ride-share client Vampire Steve. The story made for fun reading, but it was also satisfying to watch Morris regain his footing after the horrible year of struggles that almost did him in. 

The story is exciting and unique, with unusual twists and turns to keep things interesting and this reader turning pages. I recommend WHAT GROWS FROM THE DEAD to readers of mysteries and suspense, especially those who enjoy a lot of humor in their reading.


A native of Ames, Iowa, Dave loves writing, reading, boardgames, computer games, improv comedy, pizza, barbarian movies, and the cheaper end of the Taco Bell menu. Also, his wife and kids. Dave is the author of Snood, Snoodoku, Snood Towers, and other computer games. Dave first published Snood in 1996, and it became one of the most popular shareware games of the early Internet. He's recently published some puzzle card games in the Doctor Esker's Notebook series. Dave taught geology, environmental studies, and computer programming at Guilford College for 24 years. He does improv comedy at the Idiot Box in Greensboro, North Carolina. He's also played the world's largest tuba in concert. Not that that is relevant, but it's still kinda cool. Flames Over Frosthelm was Dave's first novel, released in 2019. He followed it a year later with Traitors Unseen and The Outcast Crown, then Daros in 2021, The Woeling Lass in 2022, and Got Trouble and Kenai in 2023. He released his first mystery novel, What Grows From the Dead, in 2024, and he's currently at work on a humorous epic fantasy novel.



June 18 – Jane Reads - REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST
June 19 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Books, Ramblings, and Tea – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 27 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 27 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
June 29 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
June 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!
Want to Book a Tour?

Click Here

15-Stop Interactive Blog Tour, Giveaway, & Playlist: A Chocolate Is Announced (Bean to Bar Mystery, #7) by Amber Royer


Bean to Bar Mystery, #7

By Amber Royer

Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery / Women Sleuths

Publisher: Golden Tip Press

Pages: 277

Publication Date: June 25, 2024

Scroll down for a giveaway!


Felicity Koerber is finally getting her life together.  She has a fiancĂ©, her bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand has become a gathering spot for the community, and she is ready to embrace whatever the future holds.  She’s ready for another launch party – despite the disaster at her grand opening, when she’d first gotten involved with solving a murder.  And this time she’s embracing her status as a sleuth.  She’s hosting a murder mystery weekend to celebrate the new Mystery Flavor line of craft chocolate bars.  She’s held a contest to choose the attendees, who will all stay at her aunt’s flip hotel and enjoy the island.  It’s all supposed to be perfectly random – only, Felicity starts to uncover connections between her guests.  When one of them winds up murdered, Felicity has to keep her aunt from becoming the main suspect.

The killer is very clearly calling Felicity out, leaving clues that mean little to anyone other than her.  But that doesn’t narrow down the suspect pool.  Her guests are there because they love the true crime podcast she’s been featured on.  And she can’t decide whether the killer wants her to catch them – or just wants to taunt her.

Meanwhile, Felicity is also playing host to her future in-laws and discovers that her fiancĂ©’s sister, who is also a cop, is very competitive.  Can Felicity hold her own and make a good impression, while keeping her business together and her aunt out of jail?  And can Felicity solve it in time to protect the people she cares about from becoming additional victims?   

Satchmo the retired police dog turned therapy dog returns to help her sniff out a few clues, and one of the guests brings along a ferret named Cheeseburger, who keeps showing up in the most unexpected places.


Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Kobo | Apple Books



Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach. 

Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape, architecture, or wildlife photographs. 

If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes.  Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at





(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 07/05/24)



A Hotel in the Process of Change Playlist

In A Chocolate is Announced, my protagonist Felicity is hosting a murder mystery weekend. Of course, something goes wrong, and there’s a very real murder. The event is being hosted at the hotel her aunt is in the process of flipping. This hotel has been a setting in several books in the series. I wanted to do a playlist that harkens back to this hotel in its heyday.

When I think hotels from when I was a kid, the first thing music-wise that pops into my head is the Muzak that used to play in the elevators. (For anyone not familiar with, we’re talking about instrumental versions of popular songs. Sometimes the tone feels off, when the original version was a love ballad or hard-rock jam, and the cover version is piano or acoustic guitar.). I collected together some interesting instrumental variations of songs from the 1960s to the early 2000 for an unobtrusive instrumental soundtrack.





Book Blitz: Sunken Leadership by Joe Aniello, Ed.D.

Sunken Leadership
Joe Aniello, Ed.D.

Essays / History / Politics / Social Science
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Publication Date: June 13, 2024
Page count: 165 pages


Unlock the Secrets of Resilient Leadership

Just as the U.S.S. Constitution—"Old Ironsides"—has withstood the test of time through exceptional construction and adaptability, our written Constitution remains a pillar of strength in our society. 

Dr. Joe Aniello's Sunken Leadership draws powerful parallels between these two enduring icons, offering profound insights into how strong leadership can navigate and rise above challenges.


In Sunken Leadership, you'll explore:

●       The remarkable resilience of "Old Ironsides" and what it teaches us about leadership.

●       How the foundational principles of our Constitution empower us to overcome modern obstacles.

●       The vital importance of viewing historical achievements with respect and understanding, rather than through a contemporary lens.


This book is not just a historical analysis; it's a call to action for current and future leaders to rise, adapt, and lead with strength and integrity.

Don't miss your chance to be inspired by the lessons of the past and apply them to today's world. Purchase your copy of Sunken Leadership by Dr. Joe Aniello today and embark on a journey to uncover the indestructible power of leadership.


Ebook for Kindle or Nook currently $0.99!


"Dr. Joe” Aniello is a tenured, full professor at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina.

He has taught in their School of Business for the last 21 years primarily in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Behavior. He also has served as Executive Director of the Francis Marion University Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

His holds an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University in New York City and an Education Doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His dissertation is on ”Increasing Creativity in Adults.”

Prior to his Academic Career, ”Dr. Joe” spent over 20 years in major American Corporations rising to the level of Officer/Vice President.

He lives in Florence with his wife, Tracy, and their three young children: Elizabeth, Patrick, and Mary.

He has two great siblings, Anthony, his wife Sheila, and their children Autumn and Christian. Anne Marie Guerrero, her husband Danny and their children Jenna and Katie. Those families are all growing and fiourishing.

Joe also had two awesome parents, Anthony F., and Antoinette Marie who have since gone on to their eternal rewards given for lives devoted to others. They continue to become even more awesome to me with each passing year of my life.

 | Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok |

RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz: Weight of the Kiss by Derek W. Whaley

Weight of the Kiss
Derek W. Whaley

Military Thriller
Publisher: MindStir Media
Publication Date: April 17, 2024
Page count: 164 pages

Bombs, Bullets, and burnt-out vehicles are the order of the day in Kandahar, Afghanistan. War is afoot and everywhere you turn someone is hunting you. Follow Reaper-1, the leader of Reaper and Bang squads, as he takes a tour in Afghanistan. Learn about the military equipment, the soldiers, and the environment. Reaper-1 will show you plenty of shenanigans, struggle, and sadness. You will laugh when you read about all the characters and their stories, you will hurt as they are pinned down in combat, and you will cry when some of your favorite members are lost to war. Reaper-1 will walk you through struggles of friendship, combat, and post combat mental health. Reaper-1 will show you what it means to be alive and the pain of death. Come take a trip to Afghanistan, once the smoke clears, you'll be glad you did.



Master Sergeant, retired USAF, Derek Whaley hails from Twin Falls, Idaho. His life purpose are his two children. His son, 9 and his daughter, 15. Derek served 20 years in the United States Air Force, retiring under Honorable conditions in 2019. Derek transitioned to social work and earned his master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. He interned with substance abuse disorders in Haverhill, Massachusetts and discovered a liking to the field and is now a Drug Court Therapist. If you’re ever looking for Derek, just find people struggling and Derek will be near to help.


Purchase Today

RABT Book Tours & PR

Friday, June 28, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: the Devil You Knew by Mike Cobb


by Mike Cobb

June 3 - 28, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


The Devil You Knew by Mike Cobb

Atlanta. 1963.

Three adolescent girls go missing. And a killer is on the loose.

Young Billy Tarwater, eleven years old at the time and infatuated with one of the girls, thirteen-year-old Cynthia Hudspeth, finds himself caught up in the drama and suspense of the kidnappings.

Fast forward to 1980. Tarwater, now an up-and-coming newspaperman, sets out to find the killer and free an innocent victim of injustice.

THE DEVIL YOU KNEW masterfully combines coming-of-age poignancy with the cliffhanging suspense of a noir thriller.

The reader is taken on a journey of twists and turns to an unexpected end.

Praise for The Devil You Knew:

"A sinister, masterfully penned drama. Supported by a rich cast of three-dimensional characters, a host of red herrings, and a looming suspicion that readers have known the culprit all along, this is a powerfully written thriller. Cobb has constructed a complex procedural mystery with poignant historical accuracy, never letting readers forget about the timeless issues at the novel's core, resulting in a dark and enthralling historical thriller."
~ Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

"A dynamic cast drives this striking, historically rich crime thriller."
~ Kirkus Reviews (Recommended Book)

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Crime Fiction
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: September 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780578371436 (ISBN10: 057837143X)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

I, Billy Tarwater

“Won’t you come.”

The Reverend Virlyn Kilgallon’s baritone reverberated in a thunderous cannonade, his voice at once magisterial and dark. The altar call always came at the end, when the congregants were sufficiently energized by his twenty-five minutes of prophecy and supplication. The sermon was timed with precision. I know because I clocked it with my Caravelle self-winding, a gift from my Granddaddy Parker.

The year was 1963. I was a tow-headed eleven year old, not quite ready to make the lonely walk to the chancel rail, but old enough to feel pangs of guilt, accompanied by a generous dollop of fear. Looking back, I now understand that my anxiety was borne of both a dread of the curtain-cloaked water vessel behind the choir loft and a sense that I was missing out on something big.

Was there some great, liberating secret lurking behind the curtain––a secret shared only by members of the club, manifest in a covert handshake or a knowing back-channel glance––a secret that I dared not ponder until I made The Walk myself? The Walk. The dreaded Walk. Each Sunday I would steel myself and stand on the edge of the precipice. But every time, I would throttle. Back away. No, not yet. Not ready. Not today. Maybe next week.

What lies behind the curtain carries great weight, conjuring all sorts of images, both good and bad, hopeful and foreboding. But more often than not, when the curtain is finally drawn back, the ordinary, the mundane, dispels any notion of mystery. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, the Wizard said. A part of me yearned to ignore the Wizard––to throw open

the faux velvet. But another part of me reveled in the impenetrable mystery.

My ignore-the-Wizard self would sometimes conjure memories of the fourth grade experience at the Nathan B. Forrest Elementary School, a two-story red brick on the edge of my neighborhood, around the corner from the public library and Fire Station No. 13, and a block away from the A&P. Downstairs were K through 3, upstairs 4 through 7 (we didn’t have middle school back then). In ’60, as a third grader, I had never been upstairs. We of the lower classes were forbidden to make the journey to the upper reaches––our day would come, we were told. The two fourth grade teachers, Misses Throckmorton and Sexton, both spinsters, looked––to my eight-year-old eyes––to have been at least a hundred, maybe a hundred and one. In the minds of all of us third graders, they were the oldest, meanest creatures we’d ever known. We feared what lay ahead for us next year. And believe me, the images we concocted were not pretty. But then, when we finally made it to the top, we learned that upstairs was really no different from downstairs––just a little more worldly, a little more challenging. And Miss Throckmorton, my teacher, was an innocent compared to the ogre I had imagined. I should have learned a lesson from that.

The liturgical plunging into the depths at the hand of the reverend––there wasn’t much to it, really, as I would later find out.

* * *

“Won’t you come.”

We always sat in the second pew from the front, in the very center, facing the reverend head-on so that, when he proclaimed the inerrant word of God, we would be assured he was speaking directly to us, as if we were the only souls in the room. I would be flanked by

Grandmother Tarwater on my left and my mother on my right. My brother Chester would be somewhere in the balcony, where the teenagers sat, surely to enjoy some semblance of privacy for whatever-they-did-up-there. It was only on the rarest occasion that my father would grace us with his presence, even though it was his mother who sat beside me and who would, on occasion, retrieve a stick of Doublemint gum from her purse and slip it to me when her daughter-in-law wasn’t looking. I can still remember the pear green packaging with its dark green and white logo. Her beam of diabolical satisfaction as she surreptitiously passed it. The double-strength peppermint juice coated my tongue and drifted down my throat. Somehow, that seemingly simple indulgence allayed the discomfort of my bony frame against the hard mahogany surface (I was skinny back then––would that I could recapture that aspect of my youth), the cold clime of the sanctuary, the jarring from the sermon that, as it went on, bore more opprobrium than good news.

* * *

I wasn’t Billy back then. I was Binky. Not a nickname I would have enthusiastically chosen. But it was given to me when I was much younger and, to my abiding chagrin, it stuck. The name had nothing to do with pacifiers, by the way––I’m told I would puff my cheeks and eject the tasteless abomination, formed of rubber and plastic, across the room whenever my mother tried to force it on me––a poor excuse for the real thing, I must have thought. Rather, the moniker had derived from my odd habit as a tot, hopping restlessly, doing a little twist, and sticking my backside in the air like a lapine doe in heat. Anyway, the nickname stuck, and I lived with it until the age of twelve-and-a-half, at which time Binky left home for good and Billy arrived, standing at the door, shuffling back and forth, raring to be let in.

* * *

“Raise a hand. I see your hand…and your hand…and your hand.”

I would sit on that cold, hard bench and watch the hands go up throughout the congregation. Some old and wrinkled. Some young and firm. Some worn and calloused. Some pale and smooth like mine. Within minutes, most of the fold would have both hands in the air, waving them back and forth and beckoning the firmament.

“Now rise before God.”

My grandmother would reach down and pull me up by my bony elbow as she leapt from her seat. My mother followed suit. The entire congregation stood before the reverend and swayed like a mighty wind casting back and forth on a restless sea.

“Won’t you come. Your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Show Him you love Him. Confess before all.” He swept his hand across the room in a wide arc. “And you. You who have not found Him. Will this be the day you cross the line of faith?”

The choir would open up with the invitational hymn, their sotto voce voices gradually rising to a crescendo that rattled the twelve-station stained glass windows along the side walls of the sanctuary. On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

One by one, damned near half the flock would leave their rows, sidle gingerly in front of their more reluctant pewmates to the aisle, and promenade to the chancel rail, their hands clasped before them or, on occasion, still raised in the air. One or two of the petitioners my age or a year or so older would profess his or her lust to be gulfed in that big, awesome tank of water. The occasional adult, finding himself having reached maturity without knowing God’s salvation, would plea for the gift of immersion, tears streaming down his cheeks.

My grandmother would sashay to the front of the sanctuary, a queen pink lace handkerchief held tight in her hand. My mother would follow. I would sit alone, with my palms flat against the seat, my thumbs and forefingers slightly under my scrawny thighs, wondering when I would be ready to make The Walk, stand before the congregants who would have chosen on that particular Sunday to remain in the pews, and profess my love of the Almighty, praise be.

At the time, I reckoned that all Southern Baptist churches behaved like my grandmother’s. I would later learn that some preachers assumed God didn’t require multiple trips to the rail––one profession of faith, followed shortly thereafter by the dunk in the tub, was sufficient. But not Virlyn Kilgallon. He expected it every Sunday––I once heard him refer to it as “hitting the sawdust trail,” something about a reference to tent revivals. But thank God he didn’t require multiple dips in the bath. Otherwise, we would have been in church all day on baptism Sundays.

* * *

When the altar call was not afoot, I amused myself in assorted ways, some harmless, some not so much. My diversions of the latter kind shall remain, at least for the time being, unadvertised. But they often involved some clandestine desecration of the hymnal pages. As for the former, my favorite distraction involved carefully examining the odd members of that motley group that called themselves a choir, for whom I made up aliases. There was No Neck Nancy––the woman (she must have been in her early thirties) whose head literally sat smack-dab on her shoulders with nothing in between. Whenever she wanted to look to the right or the left she had to turn her entire body. I now know the malady for what it is, or was (I have no idea where she is today or, for that matter, whether she is anywhere)––Klippel-Feil syndrome. But at the time, she was just one more freak, likely having escaped from a carnival midway somewhere. And there was See Me Sylvia. My grandmother claimed she came to church primarily for one reason––to show off her fancy hats and jewelry––but there didn’t seem to be much there worth flaunting. Launchpad Leonard would, out of the blue, produce the loudest, most explosive belch you’d ever heard––so loud, in fact, that it sounded like one of those Atlas rockets blasting off from Cape Canaveral. And whenever I saw him do it outside the choir loft without his robe, his quaking beer belly spilling over his belt buckle, my first instinct was to run for my life.

How would I have survived Sunday mornings without diversions? My brother, perched high above the sanctuary floor in the balcony with his friends, no doubt had his own amusements. More than once, I suspected him of sneaking out of the church just as the service began, sitting in the back seat of the Brookwood Wagon reading Mad Magazine, only to scurry back in a few minutes prior to the service’s ending so he could walk out with the rest of the assembly and my mother would be none the wiser.

* * *

Almost every Sunday, Reverend Kilgallon’s mien and comportment would take a bleak and sinister turn about halfway through the sermon. It was as if he became a different man altogether. Not the paternalistic pastor calling his flock to salvation, but, rather, a demonic, truculent savage condemning all in his presence to a life of eternal damnation.

I would always see it coming. He would remove his wire-rimmed bifocals and whack them onto the lectern––I awaited some Sunday when he would send shards flying across the room. His face would redden. The veins in his temples would pulse. A curious tic would come upon him––an emergent twitching around his right eye. Then he would let loose, pointing to the

balcony and setting free a stentorian roar. “Sinners all. The whole vile lot of you. You will roast in Hell––like sizzling bacon at the men’s fellowship breakfast.” (Okay, he didn’t really say that last part about the bacon––I made that up––but the thought may have crossed his mind.) Then he would turn on the assembly at large, sweeping his finger across the room and damning every single one of us.

An electric charge would run down my spine as if I had been sitting on metal, rather than mahogany, and the Almighty Himself had let loose a bolt of lightning onto the church. I would give a little shake and look back at the balcony.

Is my brother up there? Or is he in the station wagon, reading The Lighter Side or Spy vs. Spy, oblivious to the judgment, the condemnation, that has just been leveled on him?

On all of us.


Excerpt from THE DEVIL YOU KNEW by Mike Cobb. Copyright 2024 by Mike Cobb. Reproduced with permission from Mike Cobb. All rights reserved.




5 stars!

Mesmerizing storytelling! 

The Devil You Knew by Mike Cobb, with its recognizably Southern speech patterns and rhythms, was absolutely gripping; I was completely content to sit and read and let the author transport me to Atlanta’s past. 

I was immediately charmed by young Binky (Billy Tarwater as an eight-year-old Atlanta schoolboy) as he set the stage for what was to come. Billy’s voice is fresh yet familiar, straight out of my memories, as were those of most of the other characters. I am a contemporary of this character, and at eight years of age in the early 60s, I was a bit further west in Shreveport, Louisiana, so I could almost hear the narrative in my mind. 

The plot initially wends its way along, building the setting and paying careful attention to period details. Binky grows to become Billy and eventually an adult. Still, his sensibilities, propagated in childhood, continue to supply him with a never-ending supply of curiosity and the belief in the innocence of a man he knows in his gut has been wrongly convicted of murder. 

The author is a wonderful storyteller, crafting exquisite yet easy-to-read prose and building a tight and suspense-laden mystery. As the tension increased, so did my compelling need to keep reading to get to the final resolution. As the author mentions up front, historical fiction walks a tricky path between accuracy and adapting the uglier aspects of previous times to align with what is acceptable now. This author has opted for accuracy so readers should be prepared for the language and attitudes of a different time and place because he nails it. There are words and scenes that could be triggering for some. 

I recommend THE DEVIL YOU KNEW to historical mystery and suspense readers, especially those who enjoy noirish tales, coming-of-age stories, and authentic Southern fiction.

Author Bio:

Mike Cobb

Mike's body of work includes both fiction and nonfiction, short form and long form, as well as articles and blogs of literary interest.

While he is comfortable playing across a broad range of genres, much of his focus is on historical fiction, crime fiction, and true crime. Rigorous research is foundational to his writing. He gets that honestly, having spent much of his professional career as a scientist.

Mike splits his time between midtown Atlanta and a lake in the North Georgia mountains, far away from the rat race of the city. The balance between city life and mountain life inspires his writing.

Catch Up With Mike Cobb:
Instagram - @cobbmg
Twitter/X - @mgcobb
Facebook - @MGCobbWriter



Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and opportunities to WIN in the giveaway!




Don't Miss Your Chance to Win! Enter Today!

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Mike Cobb. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.



Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours


Book Blitz: Ask A CEO - Hints, Tips, and Observations - 30 Years in the Corner Office by Gregory P. Demetriou

Hints, Tips, and Observations
30 Years in the Corner Office
Gregory P. Demetriou

Business / Management / C-Suite
Publisher: MindStir Media
Publication Date: May 20, 2024
Page count: 


From decorated NYPD Detective to CEO of an award-winning marketing agency, Greg Demetriou knows a thing about resilience and reinvention. When his career was cut short by a near-fatal, in the line of duty shooting, Greg needed to reimagine his life.

Never one to fear a challenge, he embarked on a new business path. With the conviction that failure was not an option, he immersed himself in learning the ins and outs and challenges of growing an organization. Though the road was not always smooth, the small print and mail business he purchased 30 years ago is now a successful, full-service marketing agency. Along the way, Greg used his passion for writing to chronicle his experiences. This book is a compilation of those works-hints, tips, and observations-put together to impart a sense of the journey and day-to-day life in the corner office.



From New York City Detective to CEO of Lorraine Gregory Communications.  I have directed the growth of my company into a leading marketing and communications agency it is today.  LGC now boasts a client list of over 800 with an expanding market share in the digital and online marketing sphere.

Website | LinkedIn | Facebook |


RABT Book Tours & PR