Thursday, September 19, 2019

RELEASE DAY FOR LIARS & LUNATICS IN GOOSE PIMPLE JUNCTION



It's finally here! Release day for the fifth book in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. It's been three years since the last GPJ book was released, but the wait is over. And now . . . a little self-promotion . . .


ABOUT THE BOOK


It's election season, and there's a new candidate in town. Virgil Pepper is determined to take the job from Goose Pimple Junction's long-time mayor. Virgil is a charming and charismatic candidate but someone who will say anything (and mean none of it) to get what he wants. Three things top his list: to become mayor, to acquire Jackson Wright's land, and to make Caledonia Culpepper one of his many conquests.

Wynona Baxter is back, and she's a new woman. Now Daisy has a new identity, new life, and new business-ironically named Killer Cupcakes. But the town soon finds out that isn't the only kind of killer in town. Book five of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series combines political hijinks, delicious cupcakes, Goose Juice moonshine, the ups and downs of finding true love, and, of course, murder.

It is said that "It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what." Lying in politics, lying for personal and professional gain, lying about an identity . . . What are the folks of Goose Pimple Junction willing to lie for . . . and what are they willing to die for?



Book Details:


Title: Liars & Lunatics in Goose Pimple Junction


Author’s name: Amy Metz


Genre: cozy mystery


Series: Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries, book 5


Publisher: Southern Ink Press, (September 19, 2019)


Print length: 244 pages








LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH AMY METZ


Things you love about writing: I love being able to say and do things I’d never do in real life. I also love killing off my real-life bad guys, even if it’s only fictionally.
Things you hate about writing: marketing, the fifth round of editing.

Easiest thing about being a writer: setting my own schedule and deadlines.

Hardest thing about being a writer: the middle of the book. I don’t have a problem coming up with a beginning and an ending. It’s the middle that gives me fits.


Words that describe you: mom, introvert, writer, photographer, baker.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: introvert, empty-nester, unlucky in love.

Favorite foods: pizza, steak, salad, fried green tomatoes, pie, lemon cake, cheesecake, donuts.
Things that make you want to throw up: canned asparagus, liver.

Favorite beverage: sweet tea with lemon.

Something that gives you a pickle face: beer.

Favorite smell: honeysuckle.

Something that makes you hold your nose: salt-rising bread in the oven or toaster.

Something you’re really good at: baking.

Something you’re really bad at: math.

Something you like to do: bake.

Something you wish you’d never done: date that one guy.

Things you always put in your books: the name “Lou” in some form, as a nod to my hometown; murder; romance; humor.

Things you never put in your books: graphic violence or sex.

Things to say to an author: “I loved your book and left a review on Amazon.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I read your book . . .” (and then crickets).

Favorite places you’ve been: Stockbridge, Massachusetts (actually most anywhere in Massachusetts); Kennebunkport, Maine (actually most anywhere in Maine); Asheville, North Carolina; Point Clear, Alabama.

Places you never want to go to again: Alabama in the summertime.

Things that make you happy: my family, the moon, big trees, flowers, fall, donuts.

Things that drive you crazy: rude or mean people; people who cut you off in traffic; people who lie; when cable or internet goes out.

Best thing you’ve ever done:
my two sons.

Biggest mistake: dating that one guy.

Favorite things to do:
spend time with my family; attend my son’s concerts; bake; take photographs; look at the moon; travel.

Something you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: public speaking.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest and Facebook, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy loves unique Southern phrases, cupcakes, and a good mystery. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


Connect with Amy:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:
Amazon

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

FEATURED CHARACTER: CLAIRE LOGAN'S PAMELA JACKSON



ABOUT THE BOOK


Just married! It's time for . . . a murder?



When checking into the posh Myriad Hotel on their honeymoon, Hector and Pamela Jackson discover a dead body! All the couple wants to do, though, is keep out of the commotion and enjoy some well-earned rest.



But another person dies, and they happen to appear at the crime scene. When a third person falls right in front of them, the police begin to wonder why.



Who's responsible for the murders? Why are they happening? Are the couple under suspicion? Where does the little stray dog hanging around the hotel entrance come from? And when are Hector and Pamela finally going to have a proper honeymoon?



All these questions are answered in this first of The Myriad Mysteries—a clean, mild murder mystery set in a fictional hotel in 1920's Chicago.


Book Details:

Title: Ring-A-Ding Dead!

Author: Claire Logan

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: Myriad Mysteries, book 1


Publisher: Self-published (May 29, 2019)


Print length: 244 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours






CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE LOGAN'S HECTOR JACKSON


About the Character

Name: Mrs. Pamela Jackson (at least, that's what she tells everyone . . . )
Race: Today, she would be called mixed. She's described as having light brown skin.
Age: 28
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 120
Build: Slender and curvy
Hair color: At present, her hair is black.
Hair style: Bobbed, very curly
Eye color: Deep blue
Relationship status: Just married!

Name of romantic partner: Mr. Hector Jackson (well, that's what he tells everyone . . . )

Distinguishing features: At the moment, has a sling on her right arm from a recent surgery.


Neat or messy dresser? Messy.

What is her personal style: Fashionable. Likes loose clothing.
Does she have any speak with an accent? Yes, but no one in the story can really pin it down.

Is this a main character or supporting character? One of two main characters.



Personality

Is she optimistic or pessimistic? Tends to be pessimistic.

Is she an introvert or extrovert? Extrovert.

Does she have any bad habits? Smokes.

What is her strongest character trait? Single-minded: will not give up once she gets the idea to do something.

What is her weakest character trait? Is slow to trust people.

What sense does she most rely on? Vision
.
What quality does she most value in a friend? Honesty
.
What is her pet peeve? People who are overly dramatic.

What is her idiosyncrasies? Logical thinker. Likes to write things down. Goes on walks a lot.

What is her greatest achievement? Getting out of the town she grew up in.

What is her ambitions? She wants to travel the world.

What is her favorite food? Mashed potatoes.

Is she serious or laid back? Serious.

How does she feel about herself? Negatively. She's had a lot of losses which she hasn't gotten over yet.

Is there any aspect of herself that she is blind to? She can be unreasonably stubborn.

Does she make a positive or negative first impression? Does that impression hold up? Usually positive, but it doesn't always hold up.
Who does her family consist of? Right now, her and her husband.

Does she have any pets? She acquires one during the first book!

Has she ever had her heart broken? Yes. More than once.


Conflict

How does she respond to a threat? Immediately reacts.
Is she most likely to fight with their fists or their tongue? Words, although she's quite capable with weapons . . .
What is her choice of weapon? A gun.
Does she have a secret? Quite a few, actually.
Is she confrontational? Yes.
Does she carry a weapon? She used to, but doesn't anymore.

Work, Education and Hobbies

What is her current job? Currently not employed.
What are her hobbies? Loves reading!
What is her intelligence level? Fairly intelligent.
Does she have any special training? She used to be a professional private investigator.
Does she have a natural talent for something? Shooting.

Miscellaneous

Is she comfortable with technology? It's all new to her.
What is her greatest regret? Her former marriage. She's a widow and regrets not being better to her former husband.
What is her idea of perfect happiness? Forgetting the past entirely.


Please see the interview with Pamela's husband, Hector Jackson, here.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Claire Logan has loved reading since she can remember! She loves puzzles and mysteries and intrigue and of all the cities she’s been to, Chicago is her favorite. Her four years living in Chicago during grad school were wonderful. Plus she loves history. And wasn't the 1920's wild? She’s always wanted to write a series set in Chicago and now here's her chance.



Connect with Claire:
Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub

Buy the book:
Amazon









Tuesday, September 17, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: ALLISON BROOK



ABOUT THE BOOK


Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?


Book Details

Title: Buried in the Stacks

Author: written as Allison Brook

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: Haunted Library mystery series, book 3


Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)


Print length: 311 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH MARILYN LEVINSON


Ifs


Q: If you could step back into a moment or day in time, where would you go?
A: I'd love to step back into time when World War II was over and everyone thought that there would be no more wars after that.

Q: If you could time travel for an infinite period of time, where would you go?
A: I would love to travel to Paris and live there for several months during the 1920's when Hemingway, Fitzgerald and many great writers and artists lived there.

Q:  If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: I'd like to be a psychologist.

Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
A: I would work in an animal shelter and help take care of the dogs and cats.

Q: 
If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A: I would love to have a villa on the Cote d'Azur, where I'd spend my summers. The rest of the year I'd live in a penthouse of a luxury Manhattan building and spend occasional weekends in the Hamptons and other places.




Ands



5 things you love about writing

    •    I get to create a world full of characters, events, and places
    •    I'm able to create something that is mine and mine alone
    •    I get a wonderful sense of accomplishment after a few hours of writing
    •    I love hearing from readers, that they enjoyed my last book and can't wait to read the next one
and
    •    I've made wonderful writing friends, both authors and readers.

5 things you love about where you live:
    •    I have wonderful friends nearby
    •    I live in a gated community and feel safe
    •    I can go for a walk in a beautiful environment
    •    I live but a train ride away from Manhattan
and
    •    Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound are close
 
5 things you never want to run out of:
    •    books to read
    •    crossword puzzles
    •    Sudoku puzzles
    •    books to write
and
    •    knitting projects

5 words to describe you:
    •    interesting
    •    enthusiastic
    •    caring
    •    friendly
and
    •    helpful


5 things you always put in your books:
    •    three-dimensional characters and their relationships with one another
    •    secrets—almost every character has one
    •    a pet—usually a cat
    •    a best friend
and
    •    a romantic interest

5 favorite books:
    •    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    •    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
    •    Agatha Christie's mysteries
    •    Novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard
and
    •    Novels by Mary Wesley

5 favorite things to do:
    •    write fiction
    •    read fiction
    •    travel
    •    talk to friends
and
    •    dine out

Whats


Q: What’s your all-time favorite memory?
A: Summers in my country home in Connecticut.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: Two For the Road.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite city?
A: Manhattan (a borough, I know, but considered a city).

Q: What’s the loveliest sight you’ve ever seen?
A: The sun setting at 11:23 during White Nights in St Petersburg.

Q: What’s the most beautiful sound you’ve heard?
A: My grandchildren greeting me on FaceTime

Q: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
A: Road trips through England.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Honeyed nuts, potato chips.

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Pecan pie.

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?
A: Good white wine.

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Chocolate and pistachio.

Q: What’s your favorite hobby or past-time?
A: Watching English mysteries.

Q: What’s your favorite social media site?
A: Facebook

Q: 
What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
A: My pocketbook, which holds my wallet, car key, house key, lipstick, comb, and cellphone.

Q: 
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A: A photo of my grandkids
.

Q: 
What movie genre do you prefer?
A: Drama—murder mysteries.

Q: What do you collect?
A: Photos of cats and dogs on Pinterest.

Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: I'm editing the fourth book in my Haunted Library mystery series

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for: (It would be awesome if you answered all of these!)
Food:  Indian food shrimp or chicken tikka marsala.
Music: classical—my faves are Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach.
Movie: The Upside.
Book:  Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
Audiobook: any mystery by a favorite author.
TV: Grantchester.
Netflix/Amazon Prime: Silent Witness.
Miscellaneous: dining outdoors near water.

Q: What books do you currently have published?
A: All are available on my Amazon page.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library mystery series. Death Overdue, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel last year. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series. Among her YAs and books for kids are: Getting Back To Normal, And Don’t Bring Jeremy, which was a nominee for six state awards, and Rufus And Magic Run Amok, an International Reading Association-Children’s Book Council “Children’s Choice." Many of Marilyn’s books take place on Long Island, where she lives.



Connect with Allison:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Pinterest

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  IndieBound




Sunday, September 15, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: FRAN LEWIS



ABOUT THE BOOK


Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

What stories were hidden?

Whose voices are now silenced?



Book Details:


Title: Silent Voices

Author: Fran Lewis

Genre: horror, suspense

Series: Silent Voices


Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC (June 10th 2019)


Print length: 51 pages


On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours










LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH FRAN LEWIS


A few of your favorite things: reading interesting novels, doing my interviews, walking in the morning to my favorite bakery.
Things you need to throw out: old shoes and old coats.

Things you need in order to write: my thoughts, my computer, my notepad on my phone.
Things that hamper your writing: annoying phone calls and writer’s block.

Things you love about writing: I get to write whatever I want and express my thoughts in my own way.
Things you hate about writing: editing and correcting mistakes.

Hardest thing about being a writer: writing and hoping to attract many different types of audiences.
Easiest thing about being a writer: choosing my titles and genres.

Things you love about where you live: the quiet, the people and the local stores within walking distance.
Things that make you want to move: not anymore.

Things you never want to run out of: coffee pods, paper, ink for my computer, paper cups and smiles.
Things you wish you’d never bought: some of my shoes and jackets.

Words that describe you: intelligent, humorous, headstrong, tough, perceptive, and kind.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: hard to handle, confrontational at times, inquisitive.

Favorite foods: pizza and tuna.
Things that make you want to throw up: foods with too much sugar or salt.

Favorite music or song: classical and opera.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap and HIP HOP.

Favorite beverage:
black coffee.
Something that gives you a pickle face: spicy foods.

Favorite smell: fresh air.
Something that makes you hold your nose: perfume that makes you want to walk down the stairs because it is so strong.

Something you’re really good at: book reviews, interviews on my radio shows, helping my nieces and nephews understand their projects for school and solving problems and getting answers to my questions no matter what.
Something you’re really bad at: hearing the word NO.

Something you wish you could do: have a magic wand and bring back the people that I miss everyday.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: play tennis in college.

Something you like to do: visit more museums.
Something you wish you’d never done: gone to Florida with college friends.

People you consider as heroes: my dad who made me strong and my grandfather who taught ethics and morals.
People with a big L on their foreheads: people that critique others just for the fun of hurting their feelings because their self-esteem is low. People that are constantly negative.

Last best thing you ate: one slice of pizza.
Last thing you regret eating: salty tuna.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a great sale at my favorite store, finding the right nondairy cupcake, my family.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: phone calls that ask for money, surveys on the phone and people that just always want something and never do anything in return.
 
Things to say to an author:
write what you know about, stay true to who you are and do not write a book with a small font or that is too long. As a reviewer I  cannot review books where I need a magnifying glass to see the print or the plot is overdone.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I would love to be an evil twin to your main character in your next book and hopefully be brought back many times.,

Favorite places you’ve been: San Diego, Florida, several states.
Places you never want to go to again: Staten Island.

Favorite books:
fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, general fiction, romance, historical romance.
Books you would ban: erotica.

People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): Iris Johansen, Charles Dickens, James Patterson.
People you’d cancel dinner on: negative people.

Favorite things to do: read, walk, jog, go to museums, parks, and the Bronx  Zoo.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: the dentist, the laundry, cooking.

Things that make you happy: when my nephews and nieces text me every few days to say hi or call to say they miss and love me when am I going to visit.
Things that drive you crazy: when someone calls for money.

Most embarrassing moment: learning to drive when I was 16 and driving towards a cute guy.
Proudest moment: when I got my masters and PD.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I never tell my age I usually pick a number from 19-29 and choose a different one every day.
A lie you wish you’d told: When I weighed 200 pounds and was about to go on a blind date I told him I weighed 100, but now I do weight 107.

Best thing you’ve ever done: spending my years as an educator, dean, staff developer and helping my students succeed in life. They are on Facebook and remind me all the time of the positive impact I had on their lives.
Biggest mistake: never really feeling comfortable behind the wheel of a car and not driving anymore.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: taking a camel ride and walking for March of Dimes.
Something you chickened out from doing: motorboating and kayaking.

The last thing you did for the first time: buying distance glasses one pair for each day of the week and getting my colorful highlights in my hair: Red, blue, green, purple and more.
Something you’ll never do again: go back to black hair. I am a blonde




ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Fran Lewis taught for 36 years in a New York Public School as a dean, staff developer and reading specialist. She loved helping children with learning disabilities soar and rise to the top. Fran loves music and majored in music when she attended Hunter College and was a concert violist. Fran has a master’s in reading and learning disabilities , education, Administration and supervision and a PD in Administration and supervision. Fran enjoys doing book reviews, interviews on her network MJ network on Blog Talk radio and she is currently writing her next Faces Behind the Stones book. Title to be decided.

Connect with Fran:
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon

Friday, September 13, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: DIANN MILLS




ABOUT THE BOOK


There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.

As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.


Book Details:

Title: Fatal Strike

Author: DiAnn Mills

Genre: Romantic suspense

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (September 3, 2019)

Print length: 400 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Book Tours









GUEST POST BY DIANN MILLS


A Day in the Life of DiAnn Mills


Whenever someone learns I’m a writer, I see widened eyes, hear “wows,” and I think they smell money. Those responses make me laugh. None of those people would want me to balance their checkbook. Neither would many of them want to spend hours alone in the writing process, and I’m certainly not in the publishing world for the money.

I’m a writer because I cannot not write.
I’m a writer because I love story.
I’m a writer because I’m addicted to the art of story writing.

What a blessing to work at a career that fills me with such amazing satisfaction. I treasure the time to create a world with characters who are distinct and send the reader on an unpredictable adventure.

The more I write, the more I learn about myself, my views about life, and how to better impact the world for good. My goals are: To entertain with story. To inspire others to dream big and find the tools to accomplish the previously unattainable. To encourage the downtrodden and weak by offering light and hope. Life isn’t always good, but we can choose joy.

I wrote from the time I could hold a pencil but not seriously until 1996 when my husband challenged me to write a book. He suggested I quit my job and take a year to see if I could get anything published. I never went back to work.

Not so sure you’d want to climb inside my head. On any given day, I could take on the identity of many different people—some are funny, yet some are scary.

I write fiction because we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. I want to show readers there are trained men and woman who are committed to keeping us safe.

I write Christian fiction because that’s who I am . . . showing good overcomes evil. I believe in a character who lives his/her life according to their faith, not spouting Scripture and belittling those who have different beliefs.

My motto to write comes from James Patterson: “Don’t assume anyone’s safe.”

Balance is hard for me because I tend to be a workaholic. I’m such a type A personality that my blood type is A+. I’m a bit OCD about goals. Every due date is scheduled to be completed two months ahead of time. That buffer in time allows for life interruptions, additional edits, and perhaps a vacation.

I’m disciplined, maybe to a fault. Want to see my schedule?


5:00  Up and into my Bible and prayer.
5:30  Grab my laptop and get started with the day on the treadmill. Do email and schedule social
media and work on word count.
7:30  Breakfast.
8:15  After getting cleaned up, I write until lunch.
1:00  Check email and social media. Professional development either with the craft or social media.
1:30  Write blogs.
2:30  Writing students/mentoring/coaching.
3:30  Read: a novel in my genre.
4:00  Finish up loose ends for the day.
5:00  Cook dinner—yes, I cook. Great time to think about what I’ve written during the day and how to make it better.
After dinner while husband watches a show or movie, I join him on the sofa and continue with what didn’t get done during the day.

That’s it! I love readers and would love to connect.



EXCERPT FROM FATAL STRIKE



SPECIAL AGENT LEAH RIESEL scanned the headlines on her phone. A prosecutor from Galveston had been found murdered behind a construction site, the second apparent victim of gang violence in two days. Both deaths were caused by rattlesnake venom injections to the heart. Before she could pull up additional reports on the woman’s untimely death, Leah’s phonerang.
“Riesel, hostage situation in Galveston,” the SWAT commander said. “Grab your gear. The chopper takes off in five.”
“On it.” She took a last lingering look at the half-eaten blueberry donut and coffee on her cubicle’s desk.
Could this have anything to do with the two murders in Galveston?
Before most of the city began the workday, Leah boarded a Little Bird helicopter beneath whirling blades and the pressure of a critical operation. Dressed in full camo and shouldering her sniper gear, she inhaled the rising temps. Feverish Houston.  With the familiar air transport sounds ushering in memories of past missions, her adrenaline kicked in.
A pilot from the tactical helicopter unit lifted the chopper into the air for the twenty-minute ride to Galveston. She recognized him from previous assignments involving aircraft used to deliver SWAT and the elite hostage rescue teams to crisis incidents. This morning her focus eliminated any chitchat.
Leah grabbed sound-canceling headphones and contacted the SWAT commander already on the ground. “Riesel here. Special Agent in Charge Thomas briefed me on a home invasion that’s turned violent.”
The SAC would be watching the operation at the Crisis Management Operations Center.
“Negotiations have gotten us nowhere.” The SWAT commander’s voice rose above the chopper’s blade-snap. “Two unidentified men are holding two women and three children at gunpoint. Galveston PD estimates they’ve been inside the home for at least an hour. Demanding we leave the area after giving them five hundred grand and a gassed-up speedboat.
Clock is ticking with forty minutes max. We’ve backed off as far as they know.”
Leah swiped through pics taken with telephoto lenses and sent to her phone. Each ski-masked man held a child as a shield. Leah detested the savagery and the horrific emotions the hostages
must be feeling.
“We’re located on San Luis Pass Road on the western section of the island. Nearest house is five hundred yards away. Owners are in Europe. We’re in contact with the agency managing it.”
She didn’t need a key to access the home.
The SWAT commander continued. “One of the hostages is the owner of the home, Amanda Barton.”
“Is there a Mr. Barton in the picture?”
“Divorced. Lives in California.”
Unlikely the ex-husband was behind this.
“Agent Jon Colbert will be on scene shortly,” the commander said. “He had a deposition early this morning in Texas City and drove on to Galveston. Over the weekend, his SWAT partner had emergency knee surgery. Out for six weeks.”
And Leah’s partner had left the city yesterday on vacation.
The luck of the draw meant she and Jon would be working together. “I’ll contact you as soon as we land.”
Jon Colbert, a sniper who had excellent marksmanship and a stellar reputation, also worked organized crime. But she and Jon had never worked together. The idea of teaming up with an agent she barely knew made her uneasy. If a sniper mission required a partner, she preferred an established relationship where she would know how the person processed information.
Shoving aside her doubts, she narrowed her thoughts on what lay ahead. The precarious situation and local law enforcement’s inability to negotiate added up to why she and Jon had
been assigned to the case.
She grasped her backpack, lighter than usual with only a spotting scope, ammo, water, communication equipment, extra batteries, granola bar, and a handheld radio. Her Glock, as comfortable in her right hand as a toothbrush, found its spot in her back waistband. She touched her H-S Precision heavy tactical rifle.
The sooner she got to Galveston, the sooner she could provide intelligence and help neutralize the circumstances. Her priority was seeing the women and children freed from these ruthless men.
*    *    *
Jon received a text from Special Agent in Charge Thomas that Leah Riesel had left the Houston FBI office and was en route to Galveston. He’d met her a few times, and they’d qualified
together. Attractive woman—dark-brown hair, light-olive skin, New Yorker with the accent to prove it. Her professionalism in the violent crime division wavered between exceptional and extraordinary. A touch of toughness. Jon had heard not to make her mad—she had earned the nickname Panther for a reason.  He remembered her stats—number three in the US for distance shots. Good thing he wasn’t easily intimidated.
Once the chopper landed, Leah would be transported in an unmarked car to a vacant house more than a quarter of a mile away from the Barton home. No point in making the two men more trigger-happy when they’d warned law enforcement to back off.
The SWAT commander spoke through Jon’s radio attached to his collar. “Thermal imaging confirms four adults and three children inside the Barton home. The men claim they’ll kill the
children first. We have fifteen minutes.”
In Galveston, Jon stopped at Broadway and Sixty-First Street. Tourists persisted in the middle of the thoroughfare, pushing strollers, riding surrey bikes, and enjoying the day.  Some were dressed for the beach and others clutched what they needed for their excursion. All hindered his turn. Obstacles in his mission. If they knew the situation not far from them, they’d grab their loved ones and speed home. Each moment delayed his shot and shoved the hostages closer to death. A chilling composure took over his emotional, mental, and physical reactions.  The busy street finally cleared. Jon turned west onto Seawall Boulevard and drove on to San Luis Pass. The hostage site was four and a half miles beyond there.
Were the two men inside the Barton home wannabes looking to make a name for themselves? Strung out on drugs? Was this a personal vendetta? No matter how this ended—either a surrender or he’d be instructed to take a shot— their moment in history would likely be the lead story on tonight’s news.  His phone alerted him to an incoming call. He responded
before the first ring ended. “Colbert.” The chopper’s rhythmic whir reverberated through his phone.
“Riesel here. Landing in five at Galveston Island State Park.  SWAT commander has given me a location on the west side of the Barton home.”
“I’ll be on foot by then. Taking a position on the east, beach side.”
“I’ll need seven minutes to get into place,” she said.
“Okay.” No need to remind her of the ticking clock.
He touched End and whipped his truck onto a beach-access road where police officers had instructed residents to shelter in place. He switched off the engine. Grabbing his gear, he bolted
down the beach. A Galveston police officer stopped him, and Jon handed him his ID. Seconds later, he moved toward his site.
A sultry breeze blew across the water, and he recalculated his shot.
Crouching low, he moved past police SWAT standing guard.
FBI SWAT held the position Riesel was headed for. They were racing against time, a commodity that stopped for nothing or no one. At any moment, one of the armed men could pull the
trigger on those inside the Barton home.
Restraint.
Control.
Tense muscles relaxed.  His heartbeat slowed.
A clear head laid out the steps before the kill shot.
No mistakes.
Precision.
Accuracy.
A chance for the women and children to live another day.
Near a sand dune, he tuned out the occasional seagull and the waves rushing against the shore. After wiping the sweat from his hands on his pants, Jon set up his rifle and scope,
activated his radio, and spoke to the SWAT commander and Leah Riesel.
***
Excerpt from Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills.  Copyright © 2019 by DiAnn Mills. Reproduced with permission from DiAnn Mills. All rights reserved.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Conference, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Connect with DiAnn:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon




Wednesday, September 11, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: MARY ELLEN HUGHES



ABOUT THE BOOK


Callie Reed is looking forward to her first Keepsake Cove spring festival. But her excitement dims considerably when she learns that her ex-boyfriend, Hank, will be performing with one of the hired country-western bands. Callie vows to keep her distance, but that changes when the band's manager, Bobby Linville, is found dead, killed with the music box Hank bought at Callie's shop.

Hank is soon singing a sad tune in a detention center with Callie his only lifeline. Though thoroughly aware of his many faults, she knows violence and murder aren't in his blood. But that means one of her fellow Keepsake Cove residents must be hiding a dark secret―something Callie desperately needs to uncover.



Book Details:

Title: A Curio Killing

Author: Mary Ellen Hughes

Genre: Cozy mystery


Series: Keepsake Cove Mystery, book 3


Publisher: Midnight Ink
 (Sept. 8, 2019)


Print length: 264 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH MARY ELLEN HUGHES


Ifs


Q: If you could live in any time period which would it be?
A: I’m happy to be in the current time period. The past is interesting, but I’d hate to give up the progress that got us to where we are now. The future might be better (or not!) and I’d hate to take a chance on it. I’ll stay where I am, thanks.

Q: If you could step back into a moment or day in time, where would you go?
A: Ah, now that’s a different kettle of fish. For a moment I think I’d like to drop in on Philadelphia as colonial America was becoming the U.S.A. A fascinating time when you think of all they accomplished!


Q: If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
A: Jane Austen would be an interesting author to meet. I’d love to hear (if she’d tell me) where her characters and stories come from, and how in the world she could write an entire novel by hand!

Q: If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book?
A: Oh, St. Mary Mead from any of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books. The people living there are so well-mannered . . . except when they commit their murders.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A: Can I have five homes, please? I’d love to spend a few weeks in a different area—mountain, seaside, New York, London, and my own home, where I’d come back to unwind.




Ands



5 things you need in order to write:
    •    quiet
    •    a comfy chair
    •    laptop
    •    water or tea
and
    •    ideas

5 things you love about writing: 
    •    creating characters
    •    learning new things through my research
    •    meeting with other writers
    •    the excitement of coming up with new ideas
and 
    •    typing “The End”

5 things you love about where you live:
    •     peacefulness
    •    wildlife
    •    good neighbors
    •    change of seasons
and
    •    internet access

5 favorite foods:
    •    coffee
    •    chocolate
    •    pickles
    •    apples
and
    •    yogurt

 
5 things you always put in your books: 
    •    animals
    •    food
    •    laughs
    •    tension
and
    •    conflict

Whats


Q:  What’s your all-time favorite library?
A: The little library I walked to when I was about 7 or 8 and checked out as many books as they’d let me.

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Baskin Robbin’s Jamoca Almond Fudge.

Q: What’s your favorite hobby or past-time?
A: Doubles tennis.

Q: What’s your favorite social media site? Would you rather tweet or post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest . . .?
A: I’m an active Facebook-er.


Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: A Wicked Yarn, book one of a new craft fair/knitting series I am writing under the pen name Emmie Caldwell.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries (Penguin), and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries (Avalon), along with several short stories. A Curio Killing is her third book with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where’s she’s set many of her stories.

Connect with Mary Ellen:
Facebook  |  Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo









Monday, September 9, 2019

FEATURED CHARACTER: CLAIRE LOGAN'S HECTOR JACKSON




Ring-A-Ding Dead! is a cozy mystery set in a fictional 1920's Chicago about a newly married couple. Part of the mystery is who these characters are and where they came from. Claire's virtual book tour with Great Escape Book Tours begins on September 11. Watch for the second character post from this main character couple on September 18.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Just married! It's time for . . .  a murder?



When checking into the posh Myriad Hotel on their honeymoon, Hector and Pamela Jackson discover a dead body! All the couple wants to do, though, is keep out of the commotion and enjoy some well-earned rest.



But another person dies, and they happen to appear at the crime scene. When a third person falls right in front of them, the police begin to wonder why.



Who's responsible for the murders? Why are they happening? Are the couple under suspicion? Where does the little stray dog hanging around the hotel entrance come from? And when are Hector and Pamela finally going to have a proper honeymoon?



All these questions are answered in this first of The Myriad Mysteries—a clean, mild murder mystery set in a fictional hotel in 1920's Chicago.


Book Details:


Title: Ring-A-Ding Dead!

Author: Claire Logan

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: Myriad Mysteries, book 1


Publisher: Self-published (May 29, 2019)


Print length: 244 pages







CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE LOGAN'S HECTOR JACKSON


Basic Character Questions

Name: Mr. Hector Jackson (at least, that's what he tells everyone . . . )
Race: Black - has "very dark" skin
Age: 32
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190 pounds
Build: average, on the slender side
Hair color: black
Hair style: wears his hair pressed and slicked back in the current fashion and style for early 1920's Chicago
Eye color: black
Relationship status: Just married!

Name of (romantic) partner: Mrs. Pamela Jackson (well, that's what she tells everyone . . . )
Distinguishing features: Has a deep voice and a scar on his left upper arm from getting shot that one time . . .
Neat or messy dresser? Very neat
.
His personal style: Classic: he has a prep school background.

Does he have any quirks? In spite of his wealth, he's a minimalist: he carries very little with him. Doesn't drink or smoke, which is unusual for that time. Generous and tips well.
Is this a main character or supporting character? One of two main characters.

Personality

Is he optimistic or pessimistic? Optimistic
.
Is he an introvert or extrovert? Extrovert
.
What is his strongest character trait? Makes friends everywhere he goes.

What is his weakest character trait? A float through life attitude. He's used to other people taking responsibility for the dirty work - he's used to being on his own and not taking care of anyone else. Also, he's not as sneaky as he likes to think he is.

What is his motto? Today is all that matters
.
What sense does he most rely on? Observation
.
What are his pet peeves? People who judge others on appearances without knowing anything about them. The selfish. People who impose upon others for no good reason.

What are his idiosyncrasies? Prefers coffee with heavy cream, no sugar. Likes to read the newspaper. Likes boating quite a bit.

What are his ambitions? He's not very ambitious. He's happy with his life and kind of goes with the flow.

What past act is he most proud of? He once built a log cabin by himself, back when he was in his 20's.

What is his favorite food? Steak.

Is he superstitious? Not at all.

Is he serious or laid back? Laid back.

What does he do first thing on a weekday morning? Read the paper.

Does he prefer alcohol or soft drinks? Soft drinks
.
What is his soft drink of choice? Ginger ale with lemon in it
.
What is his alcoholic drink of choice? Doesn't drink alcohol
.
Does he make a positive or negative first impression? Positive.


Conflict

How does he respond to a threat? Freezes at first when faced with a sudden crisis.
Is he most likely to fight with their fists or their tongue? Words.
What is his choice of weapon? Lawyers.
Does he have a secret? Yes, lots!
Is he confrontational? No.
Does he carry a weapon? No.

Work, Education and Hobbies

What is his current job? Independently wealthy: owns lots of property all over the country and abroad, has men hired to take care of them.
What are his hobbies? Likes boating and the theater.
What is his intelligence level? High intelligence.
Does he have a natural talent for something? An intuitive thinker.

Possessions

What is in his wallet? A picture of his sister

Miscellaneous

What is his greatest extravagance? Stays in hotels wherever he goes.
What is his greatest regret? Not being able to save someone he loved very much from dying.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Claire Logan has loved reading since she can remember. She loves puzzles and mysteries and intrigue. Of all the cities she’s been to, Chicago is her favorite. Her four years living in Chicago during grad school were wonderful. Plus she loves history. And wasn't the 1920's wild? She’s always wanted to write a series set in Chicago and now here's her chance.



Connect with Claire:

BookBub  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon