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Cover Reveal: A Lust for Blood – K.C. Smith

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How gorgeous is the cover for K.C. Smith’s debut novel, A Lust for Blood?! Read on for more info and pre-order a copy. There’s even a beautiful pre-order incentive!

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A Lust for Blood (A Realm of Curses Novel)

Expected Publication Date: November 1st. 2022

Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Phantom House Press

There is no escape when the monster is you

When Oriana awakens in a field of blood and bodies, she is devastated to realize the patchwork of death was caused by her own hand. A curse lingers in the air, and there is only one option to save herself from further bloodshed. Oriana uses her magic to create an enchanted forest imprisoning the monster responsible for the massacre–herself.

Garren has built a career around slaying demons. When he learns of a centuries old creature locked away in the strange Phantom Wood, the opportunity is too great. He will stop at nothing to destroy the demon filth that lurks in those shadows if only to satisfy his own haunting memories.

Oriana soon finds herself caught in a cat and mouse game, fighting to keep her identity secret. As the two grow closer, secrets unravel. But could they each be the answer the other has been searching for?

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Pre-order a copy and you will receive a stunning art print. Proof of purchase must be sent to the author. You can email K.C. Smith at kcsmithauthor@gmail.com 

About the Author

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K.C. Smith is a writer of Adult Fantasy from Maryland where she lives with her husband and their chihuahua, Tank. Writing allows her to escape from her busy life as an Accountant and small business owner. When not writing or reading, she can be found rock climbing or traveling the world! A Lust for Blood is K.C.’s debut novel and will be releasing November 1, 2022!

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Blog Tour: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances – Rebecca Raisin

An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.
It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.
Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?
But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?

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Rebecca Raisin writes heartwarming romance from her home in sunny Perth, Australia.
Her heroines tend to be on the quirky side and her books are usually set in exotic locations so her readers can armchair travel any day of the week. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous
heroes who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true, once in a lifetime love. Her bestselling novel
Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has been optioned for film with MRC studios and Frolic Media.

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My thoughts: Elodie is hired to reinvigorate a library – one she visited as a child. But she’s keeping a secret and her wealthy family at arms length. She wants to do this on her own, no family money, no media, no red carpets.

Her ideas are innovative and fun – I liked the idea of “borrowing” a person and hearing their life story. Unfortunately not everyone feels the same way. And there’s a dishy local journalist she’s hoping to kiss.

A sweet, fun and funny book about not judging a book by its cover and a person by what local gossips have to say.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Case of Elena and All That Went Wrong – Aprille Clarke

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Welcome to the book tour for The Case of Elena and All that Went Wrong by Aprille Clarke!

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The Case of Elena and All That Went Wrong

Publication Date: May 19th, 2022

Genre: Magical Realism/ Paranormal

Publisher: Moonfire Publishing

The Case of Elena and All that Went Wrong focuses on a cast of recurring main characters and their peripheral acquaintances. The characters come from a range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and ages, but what they have in common is that they all must navigate the world while facing bizarre challenges. At its core, this book is about human relationships within a framework of magical realism that provides humor and opportunities for insight. How does a working-class lesbian reconcile the weird appeal of a shrinking man who wants her to swallow him? Should a middle-class white guy believe that the scrappy, probably-a-grifter man who has been dehydrated and crammed behind the tray table on an airplane really just needs some money to get home to his son? What does a black man do when his young, white, female piano student starts bleeding on his keys? In the vein of the classic Simpsons episode “22 Short Films about Springfield,” as well as Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her, the overlapping characters and plotlines in this book inform one another and interweave to create a satisfying experience for the reader.

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About the Author

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After completing her MFA, Aprille Clarke spent about a decade working in higher education instructional technology. Her areas of focus included learning management system administration, consulting and training university faculty on effective uses of technology in teaching, and pedagogically sound uses of technology-enhanced classrooms. She left that work in order to focus on childrearing and creative pursuits. Currently, she is employed as a simulated patient for medical students, which involves faking sick for money. She lives with her spouse and three children. The Case of Elena and All That Went Wrong is her first book. For more information, please visit https://www.aprilleclarke.com/

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Blog Tour: Little Dirt Road & Juiced – Ted Mulcahey plus giveaway

The O’Malleys are doing what? How is it possible that dangerous complications arise from their simple vacation in wine country? With their recent move to South Whidbey Island, only the O’Malley’s would stumble upon drug smugglers, embezzlers, and murderers amongst the locals. The quirky, pastoral island, reachable by a less than speedy ferry from Mukilteo or the narrow, deteriorating Deception Pass bridge, is no match for the wicked men about to visit.

A notorious drug lord and a nondescript enforcer with freakish hell-raising skills invade the peaceful Pacific Northwest island—where not even the friendly locales and free-roaming long-eared rabbits can soften his homicidal heart.

Weeding through the facts and surprisingly connected characters with their trusted friend, Bellevue Detective Bill Owens, the narrative swirls from Mexico to Canada and throughout Puget Sound. It’s a heart-racing and outrageously offbeat adventure for two innocent people, proving once again that trouble will find the O’Malleys without the slightest amount of effort on their part.

Little Dirt Road excerpt

           “Kevin, Jenne, wow what are you two doing here?”
Robbie Burns had surprised Kevin and Jenne O’Malley as they were seated at the bar, killing time while waiting for their room to be made up.
“Mick, hey, what a stunner seeing you here.” Although slightly less than enthusiastic, Kevin’s tone seemed to escape Burns’ notice.
` “The U.S. sales division brought all the leading dealerships here for a sales meeting. I’ve never been here, but man, this is spectacular. How about you two?”
Even though the O’Malleys had stayed at the lodge a few times in the past, Kevin was reluctant to get into anything other than a cool hello with this fellow, even though they were casual acquaintances from their membership at the same golf club. “We’re here for a few days just to relax and visit a few wineries. Hope you have fun, we’re just heading over to reception to pick up our room keys. Maybe we’ll see you later.”
The two interior designers quickly made for the exit and set out for the quaint bungalow that housed the reception area. “Kinda, gave Mick the bum’s rush, eh Kev?”
“Yeah, well we’re here to unwind and the less I have to deal with that asshole the more relaxed I’m going to be.”
“Just because we stopped working for him on that barn out in Carnation doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.” Jenne was slightly less critical of the man.
“I’m not saying he’s bad or evil. I just think he’s a pompous ass, very enamored with himself, and I rather not be around him.” Kevin, on the other hand, was less inclined to be subtle about these things.
They strode up to the reception table where Aaron was looking expectantly at them. They knew it was Aaron because his name tag said it was. The lodge was comprised of forty or so separate bungalows, each a duplex, spread over a magnificent valley with sumptuous views.
“Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley, your room is ready for you now. Would you like two keys?”
“Aaron, my man, can I ask you a question about another guest? It’s not that I’m prying, I just don’t like the guy and I don’t want our cottage to be anywhere near his. I understand you have privacy rules but we’re here to relax, and he’s not very relaxing.”
The Lodge didn’t get to be exclusive without being attentive to their guests. The staff was trained to serve, above all else.
“I understand sir, what’s the guest’s name?”
“It’s Burns, Robbie Burns.”
Aaron looked up from his screen with a pleased smile and said, “Not to worry Mr. O’Malley. He and his associates are at the far end of the property. You’re safe.”
With Aaron’s assurance that all would be well, they hopped a shuttle to their Napa-style cabin, their home for three nights.
The drive to the wine country was always relaxing. Seven hours to Ashland, OR to spend the night and break up the drive, and then only four hours or so to the epicenter of winemaking in the United States.
Staying at the famous, and very expensive Meadowlark Lodge in Rutherford, the O’Malleys had looked forward to four days of decompressing. It had been a bizarre year to say the least.
Their Bellevue Washington-based interior design firm had more business than they could handle at the moment. Their involvement in a white separatist terrorist attack at Kelsey Creek Country Club had been at the forefront of the national news for the last twelve months, the resulting unsolicited publicity a windfall to their practice.
After arriving at a lovely cottage on the hillside overlooking the valley, they unloaded their things, then sat on the deck and inhaled the fragrant lavender-filled air.
“Finally,” Jenne commented, “It feels great just to sit and listen to absolutely nothing.”
“I’m pretty sure there’s a golf tournament on, we could see who’s in the lead.” Kevin was a big fan of the sport and rarely missed an opportunity to indulge himself with some prime Golf Channel viewing.
“You turn that thing on, and you’ll be having sex with yourself the next three nights.” Jenne – pronounced “Jenny” – was less enthusiastic about the game and apparently was enjoying the “quiet time”.
“Okay, well, you put it that way then hell, I don’t need no stinkin’ TV.” Kevin needed only to be told once that the penalty for interrupting their silence was this severe. Three days in this beautiful place with no frolicking in the sheets was not an option.
After a half hour of basking in the autumn sun on a cloudless October afternoon, Jenne was ready to leisurely stroll up to the main lodge building for the daily wine tasting.
While the lodge was world famous for their hospitality, its owner was world famous for his cult wines, offered at enormous prices. The everyday tastings were of excellent producers from Napa Valley and were accompanied by appetizers.
As the couple entered the foyer of the lodge they were greeted by George Harmon, the owner of the place. He felt it was his duty to occasionally show up at these social gatherings to welcome the guests.
“Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley, welcome back and thanks for visiting us again.” Kevin had to hand it to the man, he knew his business. They had been here two years ago, so it took some effort on the owner’s part to research the current crop of visitors.
“Thanks, George, we love coming here. It’s got to be the most beautiful place in this part of the country.” That Jenne, Kevin thought, she really knew how to suck up to a potential client.
“I agree,” chimed in Kevin, “You also do a wonderful job with your staff, they always make us feel welcome.” If Jenne could suck up then Kevin wasn’t going to be far behind. Much of the O’Malleys’ work was in the hospitality segment and they were always on the lookout for marketing opportunities.
Kevin caught the immediate eyeroll from his wife and took the cue to dial back the schmooze level. He considered himself among the luckiest men alive to have Jenne for his wife and he still wasn’t certain what she saw in him.
Kevin, in his mid-fifties, and Jenne, five years younger, had been married for seven years. Strangely, it felt both old and new at the same time. Because of their design firm, they were together almost constantly, though he never tired of it.
Her stylish gray hair framed a beautiful olive complexioned face, which was only enhanced by her wide-set hazel eyes. Avid hiking and a dedicated workout routine kept her physique in better shape than women ten years her junior. Yes, Kevin concluded, he was a very lucky man.
“So what do the two of you have planned for the next few days?” Even though it seemed Harmon’s question was perfunctory, his apparent sincerity was appreciated.
“We’ll visit a few wineries, do a little hiking and just kick back. We might even play nine on your executive course.” Kevin had played the little nine-hole course here at the lodge the last time they visited and, although small in scale, it was still a hoot to play.
“If you don’t already have appointments, perhaps our concierge can set up a few things for you. There are several very small producers nearby that make fabulous wine. Because they are boutique places, smaller than a few thousand cases, most people haven’t heard of them. Most of their production is sold to upscale restaurants but you can still purchase from many of them.”
“Geez, George, that would be terrific. Who should we talk to?” Jenne was never shy about leading the way.
“I’ll take care of everything. We’ll even have our car and driver shuttle you around to insure you can enjoy yourselves without any concern about directions or driving after tasting.”
Kevin wasn’t certain why Harmon was being so solicitous but he sure as hell wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. “That’s very kind of you, George, we really appreciate it.”

After they confirmed the following day’s agenda they headed back to their cottage. Rather than eat at the restaurant, Jenne suggested room service and a nice Oakville cabernet to celebrate their first night.
Kevin was secretly hoping that the festivities would further continue in the bedroom, but he knew better than to suggest the dessert items just yet. He was thinking those things always seemed to work out better if he didn’t do the planning.
The lodge was sandwiched between two steep hillsides, making for a cozy, quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the real world. On this clear, moonless evening, with the temperature dipping into the forties, the climb up the gentle slope to their cabin was refreshing.
The footpath, illuminated by pools of subtle, garden lighting meandered through sweet-smelling pines, lavender and clumps of feather grass. Rounding the last turn just short of their rooms, they looked up to a darkened porch leading to their entry door. The only other cottages they could see had their porch lights on.
“Looks like our light is burned out, not something you usually see at this place with all their attention to detail.” Kevin wasn’t overly concerned given the security of the resort.
“Kev looks like the door isn’t closed all the way. I’m pretty sure I closed and locked it when we left.”
“Maybe housekeeping left it that way when they did their turndown service.” Kevin’s suggestion sounded more hopeful than reassuring. The Meadowlark just did not make mistakes like this.
“Jenne, stay here for a minute and let me take a look first.” Kevin stepped up to the porch, reached inside to find the light switch, and flipped it on. Immediately the landing was brightly lit. “I guess the light works, it just wasn’t turned on.”
“You’d think housekeeping would know better.” Jenne was happy just to write it off as a mistake, perhaps a new employee on the staff.
“Yeah, maybe. Hold on a sec until I get the lights on in here.” As he stepped inside, Kevin flicked the rest of the toggle switches up, bathing the simply but elegantly designed interior in soft, efficient lighting.
The cottage was comprised of a foyer/living room area with a wood burning fireplace which connected to a bedroom, furnished with a king-sized bed, completed with Frette linens. Carrera marble and white subway tiles were the finishes of choice in the spa-like adjacent bath.
Normally Kevin would have relaxed at the sheer comfort of the place. Unfortunately, the sight of Robbie Burns’ limp body lying at the foot of the turned down bed and the deep red blood stains on the lavish Frette linens was going to curtail the planned activities he had counted on for the evening.

An invention that can save the planet?

Somehow, someway the O’Malleys have found themselves in the thick of things once again. On peaceful, bucolic Whidbey Island, they become entangled in a corporate plot to stifle a paradigm-shattering discovery, one that promises to upend conventional thinking, topple markets, and create an entirely new industry.

Kevin and Jenne, along with scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, find themselves pitted against a band of bumbling criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want—including arson and murder.

It’s another rollicking adventure for the retired interior designers ably assisted by their favorite detective, the FBI, and Emma, their ever-vigilant German Shepherd Dog.

Join the O’Malleys, along with their ever vigilant German Shepherd, Emma, on Whidbey Island as they take on criminals, embezzlers, drug lords, and murderers, putting themselves right in the center of all the danger. With the help of their friend, Bellevue Detective Bill Owens, will they come out on top?

Juiced excerpt

It was one of those dark, rainy afternoons in the Pacific Northwest. Four-thirty, and already the headlights were bouncing off the slick, shiny freeway. 
I was on my way back to Whidbey Island. Playing golf in Seattle in late November was not for the faint of heart. Bundled up with rain gear, umbrella stuck on the push golf cart, wet khakis tucked into even wetter socks, we had slogged through eighteen holes of betting and swearing.
Usually, the Wednesday round was followed by more swearing, drinking wine, and playing gin rummy, but today was different. Today was Jenne’s birthday. It was the big one, double nickels. Well, sort of a big one.
Of course, she told me to stay, have fun and enjoy myself – no big deal. When you’ve been married more than once, you absolutely know for sure that birthdays are a big deal. Unless, that is, you don’t care if your sexual activities are curtailed for, say, a month or two.
Well, not this husband. No sir. I managed to make the 5:30 ferry. And also had the foresight to stop at Walgreens and select a lovely greeting card. From Hallmark. I figured the card with a heartfelt message, along with the bouquet purchased at the Star Store when I drove through Langley, would put me in Jenne’s good graces.
It should have been a wonderful evening.
But it wasn’t.
I made the right onto Little Dirt Road. About five hundred yards up the hill, on the unpaved surface, I turned on the crushed gravel driveway leading to our tidy, shingled home. We live on a bluff that normally overlooks Saratoga Passage. Tonight it was dark and rainy.
And there were no lights on in the house or on the grounds.
This seemed odd. I negotiated the six steps to the porch in the dark. Emma was inside, barking as only a German shepherd can, when anything, and I mean anything, is perceived as a threat.
“Easy girl, easy. It’s me.” She quieted only slightly until I opened the door—it was unlocked—and she calmed down. I flicked the lights on, rubbed behind her ears, and stupidly called out
Jenne’s name. She’s not here, you dope. She wouldn’t be sitting in the dark. I walked to the kitchen counter. There was a note in her writing. “Went for a walk in case you get home early. Back around 4:30.” It was followed by a little heart and a smiley face.
What the fuck? It was 6:45. Still not accepting reality, I dialed her cell. The sounds of “The Irish Washerwoman,” her ringtone, came from the little nook with the fireplace, just off the kitchen.
This was strange. Even though she always thought she had forgotten her phone, she seldom did.
I stood there, searching my mind but coming up with nothing. Her car was in the courtyard, her phone in the house. Where the fuck is she?
We didn’t know that many people on the island. We knew our neighbors and a few others, but few were close friends. The only people Jenne was close to lived off-island. And they did not come up in this crappy weather.
One thing was certain, if she left around 3:30, she sure as hell wasn’t still on her walk.
I walked across the dark, grassy area separating us from our neighbors, Tim and Raye. I knocked on the door, perhaps a little too forcefully.
“Kevin. Hi, good to see you.” Tim was a gentle soul and a terrific neighbor, always there if you needed him, and highly considerate in every way.
“Hi, Tim. Have you seen Jenne? When I got home, the house was dark. She left a note saying she’d be back at 4:30. Do you know where she could be?”
“Geez, Kev, no, I don’t. I did see her a little before five. She was headed down the street. I thought it a bit odd because it was getting dark, but that was about it.”
“She was headed south?”
“Yes.”
“She always goes the other way on her walks and finishes by coming up the hill. She says it feels good to stretch out at the end of it.”
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m sure she was headed down.
Is there anything I can do?”
“Thanks. Not yet. Let me think about it first.”
Tim’s face showed genuine concern. “You know we’re here if you need anything.”
“I do, Tim. Thanks.”
I went back home and stood in the kitchen. “Emma, what do you think? Where the hell is your mom?”
The ninety-pound black and tan animal looked directly at me and twisted her head to the left. “Ah, I wish you could talk, kiddo.”
If Tim saw Jenne go back down the hill, maybe she was going to one of the homes on Saratoga Road. For some reason. To someone’s house, she didn’t know. Sure.
“Emma. Let’s go. Get in the truck.” Before I went entirely off the deep end, I figured a drive around the area might be productive. Maybe Emma could be of some help. Maybe.
We drove slowly down the hill, past Tim and Raye’s house and past the Robinsons, who lived on the opposite corner. Most of the properties were well over an acre. As a result, there weren’t many homes nearby.
After turning right on Saratoga, where there was no traffic, thankfully, we crept as slowly as possible. I rolled down the rear windows in case Emma caught a scent.
We passed three homes. Emma acted as though this was a simple trip to the store. Maybe even treats if she behaved.
On the left was a huge vacant field where sheep occasionally grazed. Beyond that was a long, straight two-track that served as a driveway for a home hidden by tall firs and cedars.
During our walks, we’d always speculate as to who lived there. Occasionally we would see an island car chug and sputter down the drive. Island cars are beaters that nobody would ever take on the ferry. They frequently break down, and hell hath no fury greater than ferry patrons missing the boat because some yahoo couldn’t start their fucking car.
We passed the mailbox and then the driveway. Then Emma went batshit crazy. It was close to nine o’clock when I pulled to the side of the road. I shut the engine off and turned out the lights, and tried everything to get the dog to quiet down, with no success. She had picked up a scent.

Amazon: LITTLE DIRT ROAD JUICED

Goodreads: LITTLE DIRT ROAD JUICED

Win signed copies of both books, sent directly from the author! Enter <a id="rcwidget_515cd7eb" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="bad0356c2" data-theme="classic" data-template="" href="http://a Rafflecopter giveaway (open internationally) T&Cs below.

Ted Mulcahey has lived throughout the US, the past 35 years in the Pacific Northwest. He’s an Army vet, sales and marketing VP, entrepreneur, business owner, avid reader, one of nine children, former caddie, and lover of dogs and golf. The last twenty-five years were spent in partnership with his wife Patte, as the owners of a highly respected and published hospitality interior design firm in the Seattle Area. They’re now living on Whidbey Island and enjoying its rural bliss. 

Ted writes about things he’s seen and places he’s been. He tries to incorporate personality traits of people he’s known into his fictional characters, although none of them exist in reality. Many of the locations are real but the names have been changed. 

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Interview with the author

On writing:

How did you do research for your book?

For Juiced I found a number of articles discussing the projects (including their battery research) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

For Little Dirt I spent many hours researching harmful drug culture as well as the geography of the Puget Sound waters.

For both, my many years in business were immensely helpful.

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The easiest, of course, are the O’Malleys. The mercenary corporate characters are fun to write but often difficult. Emma, our GSD is the dearest.

How did you come up with the ideas for your books?

The idea for Juiced began when I came across an interesting article on vanadium battery technology.

For Little Dirt, it was more of a desire to highlight the many beautiful areas of the Pacific Northwest.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

Mostly the quirky characters I bump into while living on an island.

What makes your books different from other cozy mysteries out there?

The locales and perhaps the sarcastic sense of humor from the principal characters.

What advice would you give budding writers?

Sit down and write. Then when you’re done for the day think about what you’ve written, but write without thinking first—that’s when the real you happens.

Your book is set in the Puget Sound area. Have you ever been there?

I live there.

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

There’s a good deal of Kevin O’Malley in me, but he’s likely an improved version.

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Nope.

How long have you been writing?

Off and on since my high school newspaper.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?

Not block, per se, but sometimes it’s difficult coming up with a satisfactory resolution that is somewhat unique.

What is your next project?

The O’Malleys find themselves enmeshed in nastiness among folks in the Walla Walla wine country.

What genre do you write and why?

Cozy Mysteries, mostly for an enjoyable humorous journey that takes the reader somewhere else, if only for a little while.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

It’s an old one, but Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille made an indelible impression. Probably because I was a junior officer in the US Army during the same period as the story.

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?

“I really had fun reading it”, is always my favorite.

How are you similar to or different from your lead character?

Similar in life experiences but I have considerably more foibles than Kevin O’Malley.

If your book were made into a movie, who would star in the leading roles?

Paul Rudd and Sandra Bullock.

If your book were made into a movie, what songs would be on the soundtrack?

“Ripple” by the Grateful Dead

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing your book?

The reward is in solving the riddles and completing the story.

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like?

Long


Gloria Steinem once said "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." That’s how I feel when I’m writing.
If I’m on the golf course, there are times I feel I should be home doing chores or doing something with my wife (although she’s probably just as happy in the garden than having me underfoot).
If I’m doing chores or something with my wife, there are times I feel I should be writing or maybe taking Emma for a walk. When I’m writing, though, I never feel like I’m missing out on something or feeling guilty about not doing something. There are periods I get so lost in the story, the places and the characters that I lose all sense of time. You’d think sitting in a crummy task chair for three hours with no pee or coffee breaks would force an occasional glance at a watch or clock, but that doesn’t happen.
I had dabbled with writing for a long time while I was working. Usually, it was a short story or maybe an article for a trade posting. There were dozens of openings and characters started and discarded over the years. Finally, after we sold our business, I had some time to fill and revisited the remaining detritus of my efforts. I deleted most and kept a few which turned into my first completed novel, Bearied Treasure.
The title was my wife’s idea, and I can’t tell you how many people told me I had misspelled Buried. It’s the story of a fictional cult on a small island just off the coast of Vancouver Island and features a humongous Kodiak bear. Being my first effort, it is riddled with amateurish mistakes, but I still love the characters and literally shed a tear or two when I finally typed the last period.
I think Ms. Steinem had it right, at least for me.

My thoughts: these books were a lot of fun to read. In Little Dirt Road a trip to wine country ends with a dead body in Kevin and Jenne’s hotel room bed. They head home, little knowing trouble is following them. Luckily they have a knack for making interesting friends and even a shoot out in a neighbour’s fancy wine cellar doesn’t stop them.

In Juiced, they’re at it again, embroiled in trouble – corporate espionage and murder this time. Jenne helps an elderly neighbour and inherits her house. Just in time to assist a scientist to create a battery that doesn’t need difficult to extract lithium and is cleaner too! As long as he doesn’t get killed, this will revolutionise power.

In both cases there’s crazy antics and very peculiar hitmen (the pair in Juiced in particular). Their friend Bill, a detective, cannot understand how the O’Malleys keep getting involved with criminals, from finding fentanyl hidden in a wall to scientific secrets under the floorboards, everywhere they go, they’re knee deep in chaos and intrigue. Luckily they come through relatively unscathed.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: The Heart of Neverland – Natalie J. Reddy

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There are so many amazing books coming out this fall and here is another one! Check out this beauty and pre-order a copy today!

eBook - The Heart of Neverland

The Heart of Neverland (The Neverwitch Chronicles #1)

Expected Publication Date: November 30th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Romance/ Adventure/ Pirates/ Pan Retelling

One night.

That’s all it takes to turn my life upside down. It’s not like I had the most stable childhood to begin. Most of it was spent on the run from the villains in my mom’s head. It isn’t until after she’s murdered right in front of me that I realize maybe they weren’t in her head after all.

After her death I go to stay with an uncle I didn’t know existed to try to make sense of my life and find some answers about who I really am. As I search for the truth a guy named Peter shows up and makes it his mission to constantly get in my personal space. He’s gorgeous, flirty and completely infuriating. And possibly not actually human or from this world.

The things he tells me sound insane and I don’t think I can trust him. It doesn’t matter that each heated touch draws me deeper into his web. Things like magic, pirates and Peter Pan just aren’t real.

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About the Author

Author

Natalie J. Reddy is a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.

Natalie realized at an early age that she had a passion for storytelling and that passion followed her into adulthood. There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it’s in her own writing or the writing of others. Natalie is the author of the Scar of Days Forgotten series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.

When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

To keep up to date on upcoming books, subscribe to Natalie’s newsletter at nataliejreddy.com

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Blog Tour: The Good Shepherd and the Last Perfect – Susan Kaberry

In 14th Century Languedoc, after a century of persecution drove the Believers underground, a revival of the Cathar heresy gains a foothold in the mountain villages of the County of Foix. As it sweeps around the region, two men leave their homes and families and become embroiled in the forbidden faith.

Based on Inquisition records archived for nearly 700 years in the Vatican, this is a fictionalised account of the epic, true story of these two men, Pierre Maury (Pedro, the shepherd) and Guillaume Belibaste (Guy), who was fated to become the last of the Cathar Holy Men (Perfects).

As the Inquisition launch a brutal campaign against them, the men must again leave their loved ones and seek safety across the border in Aragon. As many Perfects are burned alive and friends and family are arrested, can Guy and Pedro stay safe? And can their faith and their friendship survive as the Inquisition become closer and ever more brutal?

Susan Kaberry lives in Manchester with her husband and two miniature dachshunds. She began writing fiction when she retired after working in the NHS for most of her life. Her first Cathar novel was The Chatelaine of Montaillou, also based on Jacques Fournier’s records. She has also written a memoir Britannia Street under her maiden name of Beth Cox.

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My thoughts: based on records by Bishop Jacques Fournier, about the interrogation and torture of Pedro Maury and Guy Belibaste, Cathars and Good Men or Perfects, this is the story of how two ordinary men became important figures in what was called The Heresy, for which thousands of people were killed in the Middle Ages.

Pedro is a shepherd, working for his wealthier cousin Raymond when he is inducted into the secret faith of the Cathars, while Guy was raised in the beliefs. The religion was forced underground following the massacre at Beziers and incarceration at Carcassonne of many more. But Good Men or Perfects, as the leaders were called, still travelled to speak to believers, and Pedro and Guy become the last two. Their lives must have been shrouded in secrecy and fear.

The book tells of their attempts to live quietly and not attract the attention of the Catholic Church, while preaching to their flock and carrying out the duties of their office. Sadly they are betrayed by a man they thought was trustworthy and subjected to the offices of the Inquisition.

Based on the testimony of Pedro (Guy’s unfortunately has been lost) recorded by Fournier, this story about faith and strength, even to the cruellest of ends – Pedro is imprisoned, Guy burnt at the stake as a heretic, is moving and tragic.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: River of Ashes – Alexandra Weis & Lucas Astor

ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

My thoughts: Beau is a cruel and violent young man, he sees nothing wrong in what he does to young women or even in how he treats his mother and friends.

But the terrible things he does are catching up with him as his victims start to talk to one another and even his girlfriend, blind to his monstrous nature, turns against him. He plans to torture and rape her twin sister, but the avenging women have their own plans for him.

Dark and sometimes hard to read, discomforting and rage inducing. I couldn’t believe no one had tried to stop him before. Only once Beau started to lose the tightly controlled persona he let others see, did changes start to happen. His comeuppance came at a terrible price but at least he was finally stopped.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: Lessons in Love and Death – W.H. Lockwood

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I am beyond excited to share this gorgeous cover with you all today! Lessons in Love and Death by W.H. Lockwood will be available September 26th, but you can pre-order your copy today!

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A Lesson in Love and Death (Endymion College #1)

Expected Publication Date: September 26th, 2022

Genre: Cozy Horror Romance/ Dark Academia

Anna James dreamed of only two things in life: to read books and to not die.

The day she is offered a scholarship to study literature at the beautiful, exclusive and gothic Endymion College, is the happiest day of her life, but soon after arrival, Anna finds it is nothing like the brochure.

Instantly thrust into a dangerous conspiracy, sent to live in a haunted dormitory with a captivating rival, Anna struggles to keep control of her only chance at a better life and to maintain her already tenuous grip on reality.

Things soon go from bad to worse when a séance goes awry, and finding herself pursued by a terrifying spectre, Anna finds comfort and a kindred spirit in her professor of literature: young, devastatingly handsome and completely off-limits.

Anna must find a way to fight both her desire and a relentless supernatural force out for blood, all while completing her work on time to hold on to her precious scholarship.

Darkly humorous, crushingly awkward, deeply romantic, Endymion College: A Lesson in Love and Death is a celebration of the books we love and an action-packed, supernatural, feminist, horror story all rolled into one.

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About the Author

Author

W.H. Lockwood writes feminist gothic and historical fiction, dark academia and cosy horror, all with a romantic twist.

Raised on a diet of Point books and Pepsi, only willing to leave her den to attend chess club at public school, W.H. Lockwood started writing at a young age and has kept this passion throughout her life.

Always a voracious reader, she obtained an undergraduate degree in literary studies from a gorgeous sandstone university, following that with a master’s degree in publishing and editing, then another master’s degree in astronomy, thus uniting her two great loves of the arts and science, leaving her utterly unqualified to cope with the real world.

These days, W.H. Lockwood works as a professional editor and can often be found aimlessly wandering through the coffee shops and bookstores of the beautiful city she calls home.

WH Lockwood | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Facebook

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Blog Tour: A Long Way From Home – Brian W. Caves

A sleepy town in 1960s South Georgia, where to some residents, segregation is more important than catching a killer. 

An ex-homicide detective from Chicago called to honour an old promise. 

With a rising body count and a community guarding their secrets more fiercely than their children, asking questions could prove deadly for the outsider…

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I started out as an engineer, then an estate agent, followed by senior management roles in cable TV and telecoms. Spent a few years as a management consultant and now work in the language translation industry.

I have played music all my life. Classically trained on the clarinet from the age of eight until fourteen when my world took a quantum leap forward after hearing Jimi Hendrix and Voodoo Child on the radio. I thought, wow, I gotta do that. I dumped the clarinet and I picked up the guitar and have never put it down. I have played alongside topflight musicians, both live and in studios.

From a young age I read books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, then The Famous Five, Billy Bunter, Jennings and Derbyshire, Biggles, and Tarzan. Agatha Christie had a major impact as did Georges Simenon. I penned short stories at school – mostly adventure, but it wasn’t until I became hooked on American Crime Noir that my urge to write came crashing to the forefront of my mind. Reading Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, Macdonald, and the master, James M. Cain had the same effect on my potential writing career as Hendrix had for my music.

Currently, having been further influenced by the greats of Southern literature, I write crime stories based in the Deep South as well as UK based dark noir crime set in the county of Northamptonshire where I reside. Throw into the pot crime and horror short stories and novellas and you’ll have some idea of what goes on in my head.

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My thoughts: this is a tale of cruel men doing dark deeds and getting away with it because of who they are and the colour of their skin. Until a PI from Chicago comes to town and starts looking for a missing girl.

Tom is not afraid of the Klan, of the townsfolk and the men who run things. He’s determined to find out what happened to Alice, and when he realises there’s a pattern of disappearances over the years, those other victims too. The Sheriff is too eager to punish a young black man for the crimes but Tom smells several rats, white ones.

Violence simmers under the surface in segregated Georgia and Tom’s refusal to toe the line brings him close to danger too often but his determination to see justice done properly wins over.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own

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Blog Tour: Unjust Bias – Liz Mistry

A murdered boy disowned by his family.
A teen terrified his past will catch up with him.
A girl with nowhere to go.
Men with rage so visceral they will do anything.
With the unsolved murder of a homeless boy still preying on his mind, DI Gus McGuire is confronted with a similar murder, a missing teen and no clues.
Does the answer lie with an illegal dark web site where ‘slaves’ are auctioned off? Or with an online forum for teens?
How can Gus keep people safe when unjust bias rears its head and being different could cost you your life…?

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Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with
three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats and a huge extended family later, Liz uses
her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’
whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity
University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts
herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also
teaches creative writing too. Liz has completed a PhD in Creative Writing on Diverse voices in crime fiction.
In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire
landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.
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My thoughts: dark deeds online and in person for DI Gus McGuire and his team in this next installment. A dark web site is hosting a “slave” auction, queer teenagers are ending up dead and no one is talking.

While trying to find out what has been happening at a local church, which seems welcoming and accepting on the surface, but gay and trans people linked to it have been killed. There’s also the need to protect a young girl from online predators and her gangster father.

Stretched thin by the two cases, and worrying about his young son, Gus is running out of time and trying to remain focused. His team have his back, as he has theirs as they unravel the identity of a killer.

Dark, shocking and utterly gripping. Another slice of Northern noir.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.