Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Heart of a Cowboy by Kristin Vayden




Title: Heart of a Cowboy
Series: Elk Heights Ranch #1
Author: Kristin Vayden
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Genre: Western Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2017



Blurb

A stubborn cowboy has sworn never to forgive or forget—but one special woman may find a way to change his mind . . .
 
Hospice nurse Laken Garlington helps people face the end with peace and dignity, surrounded by their loved ones. But the son of her new patient didn’t come home to reunite with his dad. So why is Cyler Myer back in horse country? It’s clear the sexy, six-three hunk with the steely eyes has a score to settle, and Laken doesn’t plan on being collateral damage . . . no matter how irresistible she finds the prodigal cowboy.

Dying is too good for the father Cyler will never forgive—not in this lifetime.
Showing up at his family’s Washington State ranch is the first step in his plan. But revenge takes a back seat to desire when Cyler meets a bossy beauty who arouses feelings he isn’t ready to face. As they work together to save an ailing mare, Cyler realizes he must decide where his true destiny lies. With darkness . . . or with the woman who offers the promise of redemption with every kiss.






Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Excerpt

His gaze shamelessly took in her silhouette against the evening sun, and he edged closer. Yet with each step, it wasn’t enough. Rather like a magnet, she pulled him in, and he didn’t want to fight the impulse.
Softly, he reached up and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, his body heating as she met his gaze, then shyly diverted her eyes. He traced his fingertips down her neck then gently grasped her shoulder, encouraging her to turn and face him fully. Anticipation flooded him. Her breath quickened, and her pink tongue darted out to caress her lower lip, enticing him. Deliberately, he leaned forward, watching as her eyes widened, but quickly she stepped out from his hold, putting several feet of distance between them.
“No. I can’t.” She wrapped her arms around her waist, hugging herself. Her eyes were bright with suppressed excitement, encouraging him.
“Why?” he asked, stepping forward.
Laken edged back. “This is the very definition of conflict of interest.” She arched a brow but grinned, her posture relaxing.
“I’m not going to take no for an answer.” He gave a small grin in return, taking a step closer.
She laughed, rolling her green eyes. “Why am I not surprised?”
“Just being honest.” He shrugged.

“Thank you. I think.” She chuckled again, the sound slightly nervous. “Unless you’re not interested?” He let the question linger, closing the distance as he watched indecision, desire, and hesitancy flash across her face. “That’s beside the point—”
“That is the only point,” he interrupted.

“I...I could lose my job.” She spoke quietly.
“Are you on the clock right now?” Cyler reached up, tracing the line from her ear along her jaw, pausing at her full lips.
“It’s complicated. But in short, no.” she murmured, her expression softening.
“Good.” Without giving her a chance to protest, he closed the final distance between them and sealed her lips with his.
At first contact, he realized the danger he’d just invited. It wasn’t just a kiss; rather, each nerve had come alive, demanding more. Angling his head slightly, he was able to capture more of her kiss, deepening the exchange as his tongue ran along the seam of her lips, begging for entrance. He could feel her hesitation melt as she leaned into him, her lips caressing his, inviting, intoxicating him with each touch.
As she opened her mouth, her arms tentatively grasped his forearms before sliding up to his shoulders then pulling him in tight. Cyler’s already- burning body smoldered deeper, demanding more than just a kiss. Yet he held himself in check, in spite of the pounding blood that seemed to overtake every other sense.
His hand slid up her back, mapping the delicate curve of her waist. Her tongue met his, stealing every other rational thought as he accepted her invitation and tasted the full flavor that was Laken. Her fingers slid up from his shoulders, threading through his hair and tugging, causing his heart to pound harder, his body to grow even harder as he pressed into her soft curves. He breathed in her soft gasp as he bit on her lower lip, pulling her in, leading her. He mated with her lips, fusing his with hers, searing his brand with each brush of his lips, each caress of his hand across her waist.
Abruptly she pulled away, her green eyes wild as they blinked up at him, staring deep into his soul. Naked in his eyes—yet fully clothed—she studied him, and the kiss had him off guard just enough that all the careful walls he’d constructed were still lowered.
Damn it all.
“So...that just happened,” she whispered, a hand reaching up to touch her pink lips. “Whoa.” She swallowed, his eyes capturing each minute movement, each tiny shift of her gaze.
Then she smiled.
“To be fair, I did warn you I wasn’t taking no for an answer.” He relaxed slightly, feeling less exposed and vulnerable.
“You did.” Her gaze flickered to the ground as her lips tipped into a lopsided grin.
“And I’ll be straight with you. I’m going to kiss you again.”
Her gaze shot back to his, widening slightly. “So, you’re saying I don’t get a choice?” She flirted.
He chuckled. “I’m saying you don’t really want one.”
She rolled her eyes. “A little sure of yourself, aren’t you?” She tucked her hands into her back pockets, regarding him.
He took a small step forward, leaning in to her before whispering, “You kissed me back.”
Her pert nose scrunched up. “Caught that, did you?”
“Yup. Pretty much.” He laughed softly, reaching out and tugging on her elbow, and she willingly released her hand from her back pocket.
“Fair warning?” she asked as he leaned in.
“Fair warning,” he murmured before taking her lips once more, astounded at how her warmth captivated him, and how his blood went to an immediate boil.
He’d expected her to moderate the kiss, and he’d been fully prepared to tease her, to test the waters to see how far she’d let him push, but what he hadn’t been prepared for was her response.
Rather than play hard to get, she returned the kiss with full force, biting his lower lip and fanning the already-burning flames. Her hands mapped his back, kneading, tracing, driving him crazy with each touch, reminding him that he could—should—be closer. He groaned as she tugged on his button-up shirt, sliding her hand up his chest, skin on skin.
He breathed in her sigh as he splayed his hands across her hips, pulling her closer then rocking her against him. He was taken by surprise when she kissed then bit him gently on the neck before quickly disentangling herself from his grasp and walking away.
Confused, he turned to watch as she glanced over her shoulder, giving him a teasing grin. “Fair warning.”
Cyler’s face broke into a wide smile, one that caused his cheeks to ache with an unfamiliar yet welcome pain as he watched her hike back up the hill. “Are you just going to stand there and stare, or are you going to hurry up? Daylight’s burning.” She taunted as she continued her trek toward the truck. Cyler rubbed the back of his neck with his hand, shaking his head, and grinning. “Is that how it’s going to be?”
“Are you complaining?” Laken turned, taking a few steps backward on a flatter portion of the hike.

“No, ma’am,” Cyler replied, starting toward her.
“Good.” She giggled and finished the hike with him not far behind. When Cyler reached Laken, he grasped her hand in his and kept it tight the whole way back to the ranch. The sunset’s glow made her face appear even more flushed, and he couldn’t help the smug satisfaction that he’d done that to her. It had been a long time since he’d felt that way, since he’d even wanted a woman to wear his kiss. It was disconcerting, yet electrifying all at once, but as much as he wanted to ride the wave of excitement, he felt the familiar suspicion creep in, the kind that made him question if this were truly real.
Because heaven only knew how he’d been fooled before.
Cyler glanced over to Laken, meeting her gaze and smiling before he back to gazing out the window.
The past was the past. This was a chance for a new future. Let that serve as fair warning...to his heart. 


A story of hope and desperation, love and forgiveness. A story about death while learning about living and not wasting present moments. You know it is going to be sad, but so beautifully written you appreciate the emotional rollercoaster.
Author Bio

Kristin's inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook or some mess to clean but she loves every moment of it! Life is full—of blessings and adventure! Needless to say she’s a big fan of coffee and wine…and living in Washington she’s within walking distance of both!


Author Links


Saturday, December 16, 2017

UNNATURAL CAUSES

Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery by Dawn Eastman

 
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth 
New Series 
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017) 
Hardcover: 288 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1683313137 
Digital ASIN: B0767G2XLL

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.
Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn't be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn't remember writing it.
When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town's history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it's too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman's riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great mystery with all sorts of entanglements.  I don't want to spoil it for you. Go get it and enjoy the reading.

I like the way Dr. Katie looked at the clues the same way she went about diagnosing an illness.
If you appreciate any of the top television amateur sleuth shows you will enjoy this book even more.

 

About the Author
National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. 
Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. 
When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. 
She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Author Links
  WebpageFacebookGoodreads
  Twitter – @DawnAEastman

  Purchase Links Amazon B&N



 

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HONEY BAKED HOMICIDE




Character Guest Post – Jenna Flowers – Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Leeson

All Grown Up

Hi, there. I’m Jenna, Amy’s mom. I don’t get down here to the Down South Café as often as I’d like to. I’m afraid to leave Aunt Bess alone for too long. Who knows what she’d get into. Aunt Bess is my late mother’s sister. She moved in with Mom a few years after Pop died. Aunt Bess was a widow too, and they decided they’d rather live together than alone. It was a good arrangement for both of them. They took care of each other and, although they bickered almost nonstop, they had fun together. Come to think of it, Aunt Bess and I bicker quite a bit too. The woman’s just a bickerer…what can I say?
My niece Jackie is up at the big house with Aunt Bess now, so I’m visiting the café for a nice change of pace. We call Mom’s house “the big house” because there are two houses on the property. One—the one I lived in with Amy before Mom died, and the one where Amy still lives—was built as a guesthouse for my grandmother. It’s way down the hill from the main house because my dad didn’t particularly care for his mother-in-law.
I can’t help but smile as I watch Amy bustling around the kitchen, serving up orders, and greeting patrons. She’s really come into her own since buying this café. I can remember when she was a toddler working in a plastic kitchen making pretend food for Mom, Pop, and me.
She’d stride over to us with a make-believe notepad and pen. “May I help you?”
Pop always asked for roast beef and gravy.
Amy would hurry back to her little kitchen, bang around a plastic pot or two, and return with an empty plate. Pop would take one look at it and say, “Nope! I need more gravy than that!”
While Mom was slapping Pop on the arm for not accepting his roast beef and loving it, Amy was running back to the kitchen to add more gravy. She’d bring it back, and Pop would say, “Now, that’s more like it!”

I wonder if she even remembers that? I’ll have to remind her about it. Later. And maybe ask her to make roast beef and gravy the special of the day tomorrow. Pop would be so proud.





Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) Series: A Cackleberry Club Mystery (Book 7)




egg-drop-dead




Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) by Laura Childs Mass Market Paperback

Series: A Cackleberry Club Mystery (Book 7) 
Publisher: Berkley (December 5, 2017) 
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-0425281710 
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4MW

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Synopsis

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…
Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.
But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.
Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them...
RECIPES INCLUDED!





Today’s guest blogger is Laura Childs,
author of the New York Times bestselling
Cackleberry Club Mysteries and Tea Shop Mysteries.


Greetings, Dear Readers!

I have to tell you, I’m a huge champion of women over forty. Not just because I’ve hit that milestone myself, but because women this age generally possess a certain sassy smarts. Before I sold my marketing firm and took up mystery writing, I worked with a lot of high-test forty-plus women. These were women who ran companies, served as communications directors, and knew their way around the media. They were smart business people and forward thinkers who didn’t get rattled by deadlines, details, and decisions. 

Those are pretty much the same attributes I imbue in my characters, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the major protagonists in Egg Drop Dead, my just-released-in-paperback Cackleberry Club Mystery. This tale of female friendship entwined with a nasty murder takes place at the Cackleberry Club, a small café set in the fictional Midwestern town of Kindred. Eggs are the morning specialty – fluffy omelets, slumbering volcanoes, and foggy morning soufflés – as my entrepreneurial ladies work a double shift as amateur sleuths.

Suzanne is the ringleader, a woman who lost her husband but found love again with the town doctor. She’s hopelessly romantic, yet level-headed when it comes to business and crime-solving. Toni, one of her partners, is a self-proclaimed hoochie mama who favors tight cowboy shirts, tighter jeans, and hot pink extensions in her hair. Petra, the third partner, is the café’s chef, a big-hearted woman who’s the most spiritual of the bunch. (Think Eat Pray Love with a touch of Steel Magnolias).

Along with a gritty murder in chapter one that jumpstarts the investigation, I also made a special effort to intersperse pulse-pounding action scenes (chases, robberies, stolen horses, explosions) with some genteel moments that include knitting, tea, and scones.

I had great fun writing this murder mystery and plunging my forty-plus Cackleberry Club characters right into the thick of things. And given their entrepreneurial spirit and rich life experiences, they turn out to be terrific amateur sleuths!

All my best,

Laura Childs




BIO

Laura Childs is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese and Japanese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Find out more at www.laurachilds.com






Laura Childs never disappoints. 
This book reads well all by itself but you will want to read more in this series once you've read this. These are people you want to spend time with.
Laced with humor and heart, pull up a stool at the Cackleberry Club cafe or come for tea and gossip.

The fast pace begins with the first page and doesn't end until the explosive conclusion.

If you like small town mysteries, a warm romance, Halloween, horses, well meaning neighbors or just a fun all around good read, grab this book and enjoy.

laura childs from facebook
About The Author
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries
In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!)
 Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries - set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries - set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links: Webpage - http://www.laurachilds.com/
  Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31




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Thursday, December 14, 2017

MURDER SHE SLOPES BOOK BLAST



Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Release Date - November 26, 2017 
Print Length: 214 pages 
ASIN: B075CTKP2B

Sirens ring. Are you listening? Near Candy Cane Lane. A Body is glistening. A murderous sight. Trubble's investigating tonight. Walking through this winter wonderland.
It's the week before Christmas and Investigative Journalist Penelope Trubble has reluctantly agreed to investigate the death of a woman at the Sleighs & Slopes Adventure Resort in the hopes of exonerating her her husband—who just happens to be Penny’s ex. But with so many suspicious characters lurking in the trees, Penelope risks being strangled by clues, Christmas lights, conjecture, and catastrophe. It doesn’t help that Penny's still a little frosty with the man accused of icing his bride, and she must prove he's no cold-blooded killer. At least there’s candy-cane cocoa, a roaring fire, and the Laurentian Mountains to savor—not to mention the hunky detective dashing through the snow after her. Helping an ex is a slippery slope, and things are going downhill fast for Penelope Trubble.



 When Penny Trubble is called by her cheating ex-boyfriend to investigate the murder of his wife, she tries everything in her power to say no. When she finds herself at a snow covered theme resort trying to make sense of a lot of random clues, there is no end to the people wanting to help her. The information she discovers seems to lead to more questions than answers. It also leads to more bodies.
A captivating cozy mystery to enjoy in front of a roaring fire. 
The characters all have something in their backgrounds to hide and connections between them are elusive. Can Penny solve this case before she ends up being the next victim?


About The Author

Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.
Author Links
GET YOUR COPY TODAY!



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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

RUNNING OUT OF TIME BOOK TOUR



Running Out of Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery) 
by Suzanne Trauth


Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell’s themed food ideas have been called cute, clever, and delicious, but never revolutionary—until now.


Running out of Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (October 10, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601837240
Digital ASIN: B01NBUM1LD

Dodie’s Windjammer Restaurant is stocking the Etonville Little Theatre’s concession stand with colonial-era desserts and drinks: Swamp Yankee applesauce cake, pumpkin bread, hot cider punch, and mulled wine to complement the latest production. A local playwright has adapted Thornton Wilder’s Our Town into Eton Town, shifting the story to colonial America and the founding of Etonville, New Jersey, shortly after the Revolutionary War.
On opening night, hours before the curtain rises, Dodie runs into an agitated actress backstage with blood on her hands. Then a stranger is found among the chairs set for a graveyard scene with a knife in his chest. The show will not go on—the theatre is now a crime scene. Hoping to clear the red-handed suspect, Dodie returns to the role of amateur sleuth to mull over the clues and beat the backstage stabber to the punch—before someone else becomes history . . .



What a fun production!  This has been my favorite of the series so far. Fast paced and keeping me wanting to say I have to read one more chapter!

 If you like small towns and the gossipy characters that live in them, you will enjoy this series. There is some flirtatious romance happening but it takes a back seat to the mystery.
As Dodie's romance seems to take a step forward with Chief Bill, disaster strikes and he has to call for back-up. There is something not quite right about the suave and mysterious too handsome coyboy P.I. who says he is here to help solve a murder. 
The theatre next door to Dodie's diner is again trying to put on a production perhaps a bit above their caliber and the trials and tribulations dribble over into the Windjammer. Add in some weather, roof and car problems for never a dull moment. 




About The Author

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Readers can visit her website at www.suzannetrauth.com.

Purchase Links





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky

Down to No Good

by Earl Javorsky

on Tour October 30, 2017 - January 6, 2018

Synopsis:

Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky
Private investigator Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, gets a call from Homicide Detective Dave Putnam. Self-styled “psychic to the stars” Tamara Gale has given crucial information about three murders, and the brass thinks it makes the Department look bad. Dave wants Charlie to help figure out the angle, since he has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Trouble is, Charlie, just weeks after his full-death experience, once again has severe cognitive problems and may get them both killed.
Earl Javorsky’s DOWN TO NO GOOD is wildly original, wildly energetic, wildly funny – it’s just straight up wild, and I mean that in the best possible way.
– Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE

It's a shame you missed Down Solo:

“Earl Javorsky’s bold and unusual Down Solo blends the mysterious and the supernatural boldly and successfully. The novel is strong and haunting, a wonderful debut.”
– T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of Full Measure and The Famous and the Dead
“Awesome”
– James Frey, New York Times bestselling author
“Don’t miss Earl Javorsky’s Down Solo. It’s kick-ass, man. Excellent writing. This guy is the real deal.”
– Dan Fante, author of the memoir Fante and the novel Point Doom
“Javorksy’s writing reminded me of the Carl Hiaasen novels I’d read sprawled out on the deck on one sunny Florida vacation. Perfect entertainment, with the right amount of action to keep me alert (and to keep me from snoozing myself into a sunburned state). But there’s also a deeper layer in Down Solo, which left me thinking past the final page.”
– Bibliosmiles
“Javorsky’s dark and gritty prose is leavened with just enough humor to make Down Solo a compelling story that will take readers to the outer limits of noir.”
– San Diego City Beat

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1611882532 (ISBN13: 9781611882537)
Series: This is the sequel to DOWN SOLO.
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

I wake up looking down at my body, naked on a gurney at the morgue.
No.
That’s a memory.
This has happened to me before.
I was riding my bike, working a case, high as a meteorite that doesn’t yet know it’s about to crash and burn, still happily tooling along in space, at night, wrapped in a warm blanket of summer air, Jack Daniels, and a smidgen of heroin. Some creep shot me in the temple, and I woke up hovering above my own corpse.
This time is different.
Not a gurney. Not the morgue.
A bed. My body, eyes closed, on a bed. I’ve got a bird’s-eye view, hovering like a kite, still tethered, but barely, by an invisible string.
Let’s get clear on my condition. I don’t know what it is, but I know what it is not. I am not a vampire, or a zombie, or a ghost. I’m not a thousand years old, I have no superpowers, and I’ve never been a hero. What I do have is a broken life, a broken family, and, so far, an inexplicable inoculation against dying. And a daughter I would die for—or, in this case, return to life for.
The tether reels me in. I descend toward the body, a mirror image to it, my arms at my sides, my feet slightly apart. Three bullet holes in my face—and one in my gut—are going to need some repair. At contact, I am absorbed and no longer looking down at myself but looking up at the ceiling.
I stretch my fingers, curl them into fists, and stretch them again.
“Jesus holy fucking Christ!”
I know that voice.
I turn my head. It’s awkward, after the lightness of floating, to be in the body, to know its heaviness and vulnerability. There’s a man sitting in a chair next to the bed. He’s a cop, and the first thing I think is: He knows my secret. Now he really knows it. But it’s okay, because he’s also my friend and I trust him. I have to.
“Hey, Dave, how’s it going?” My voice sounds artificial—a forced process of pushing air, modulating vibrations with my vocal cords, shaping syllables with my mouth and tongue. I make my lips grin.
Dave sits there like a stuffed panda in his rumpled white shirt and cheap black sports coat. There’s blood on his clothes. It’s in his fingernails—my blood, dried and caked on his hands. His right hand is clasped around a Heineken, which he finally tilts to his mouth and drains.
I force the body up and into a sitting position, feet on the floor. I flex my fingers a few more times, roll my shoulders, and look at Dave. For a moment, I close my eyes and leave the body, just as an experiment, and roam around the room. From over Dave’s shoulder I watch it slump back into the pillows like a marionette whose strings have been cut. Dave stands and moves toward the bed, but I slip back into the body and work my mouth and tell him it’s okay.
I sit back up and ask Dave, “Why am I naked?”
“Because you were shot full of holes and clinically dead. I brought you back to my place and cleaned you up. I took off your clothes to see how many more bullets there might be in you. Your things are right over there.” He points to a chair in the corner.
“You’re taking this pretty well.”
He shrugs. “I feel like I’m in a bad movie, but hey . . .”
“I appreciate your bringing me here.”
“I knew if I called the paramedics you’d have been sliced and diced at the coroner’s.”
“How long have I been here?”
Dave looks at his watch. “It’s noon. Call it thirty-six hours.”
“What day is it? And date?”
“Wednesday. Last day in August.”
I stand and walk to the chair to get dressed. Roaming—moving freely out of the body—is easier than this, but I’ll adjust. I have before. The gorilla-suit quality of living in the body becomes commonplace, the intentional management of operating the system, beating the heart, making the blood run in the veins, the conscious act of breathing: all of it becomes second nature.
It’s almost like being alive.
***
Excerpt from Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky. Copyright © 2017 by Earl Javorsky. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

I had no preconceived ideas about this book. The thought of investigating a psychic interested me. I didn't realize Charlie Minor had such difficulty dying. He is a devoted father despite being a drug addict. He also cannot stay off the shady side of the law, even when working somewhat alongside Detective Dave Putnam. 
Much of this is Dave's story. It is gritty, dangerous and unpredictable. Part police procedural (although definitely not by the book) part psychic con job with added stalker hit man aspects and potential terrorist action. 
Told in an unconventional format with various viewpoints and jumps back and forth in time, the reader gets all the information required, never in a linear fashion. 
You will enjoy this story more than you expect. Definitely surprising.

Author Bio:

Earl Javorsky
Daniel Earl Javorsky was born in Berlin and immigrated to the US. He has been, among other things, a delivery boy, musician, product rep in the chemical entertainment industry, university music teacher, software salesman, copy editor, proofreader, and author of two previous novels, Down Solo and Trust Me.
He is the black sheep of a family of high artistic achievers.

Catch Up With Our Author On: earljavorsky.com , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

 


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Discombobulated Decipherers


The Discombobulated Decipherers by Julie Seedorf

 

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Self Published (November 21, 2017) 
Print Length: 195 pages 
ASIN: B076Z3YFYQ

It’s Christmas in Brilliant, Minnesota, and Brilliant is known for its glitzy Christmas traditions. A world-renowned Christmas pageant, the town square decked out with Santa’s Village and a live nativity scene bring visitors to Brilliant each year. Just as the tourists arrive, Jezabelle Jingle and her mystery writer friend, Miranda, find the body of Ernest the elf dead and wrapped in a bundle of Christmas lights in the town square. Is Ernest part of a new holiday puzzle the Discombobulated Decipherers need to solve? Or is dead Ernest part of a bigger plot? Will Jezabelle decipher the clues so Brilliant can celebrate Christmas in peace? Or will Jezabelle be the next gift-wrapped box under the village tree?






Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! I can’t tell you how many times I get teased with those words because of my name. My last name is Jingle. Apparently my father didn’t like his given last name – he never told me what it was – so he changed his last name to Jingle because his grandfather always called him jingles, referring to the bells he carried in his pocket when he was a child. He was enchanted by bells and they made him happy. That explains my last name.

My first name is Jezabelle. I know...I know...Jezebel in the Bible was not a nice woman and people are aghast because my mother named me Jezabelle. You might notice my name is not spelled the same as the Jezebel in the Bible. When I asked my mother why she gave me the name Jezabelle, she said it had spark and she was sure I was going to be sassy. My mother didn’t put much stock in what someone else was named. There were many names out there she liked even if she didn’t care for the person having the name. She explained she wasn’t going to hold the name hostage because of her aversion to the person wearing the name. Yes, my mother was a little unusual too. She was her own woman and my father, well... what you can you expect from someone that takes the name Jingle.

I live in Brilliant, Minnesota not too far from Fuchsia, Minnesota. Where Fuchsia is strange and weird, Brilliant is more structured. It was founded by seven brothers. They set up the city, moved their families and their spouse’s families to town and created a legacy to their name. As of now most places have the name Brilliant on them, although that changed recently when we renamed the library the Lackadaisical Meanderings Library. Then poof, according to legend the Brilliant brothers and their families disappeared, never to be heard from again, and they left the community a ghost town until outsiders moved in and reestablished the town keeping everything as it was.

I live in the Penderghast Neighborhood. It wasn’t until recently that I became close to my neighbors when we discovered a puzzle the Brilliant brothers left for the town. Why it took this community so many years to discover all the puzzles the brothers left for us is beyond me, except for the fact people are so brilliant here they don’t always think outside of the box and see things that don’t make sense.

I love to bake and recently, along with my best friend, Lizzy, bought the Brilliant Bistro bringing my baking skills to the bistro.  I am not so old that I can’t have a little romance in my life too but I keep my admirer secret because Brilliantites are nosy. The only relative I have close to me is Delight Delure and her daughter from Fuchsia. Every once in a while, Delight brings that pesky Granny to visit. She is trying to get us together to compare our sleuthing abilities but Granny and I are oil and water.


I must go. It was nice meeting you. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat. Please join us for our Christmas Pageant and all the happenings in Brilliant’s town square. It has been quite busy since Ernest the elf met his demise. Between preparing for our world-renowned Christmas Pageant and being aware there is a murderer on the loose, we are working hard to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Perhaps you can help us. See you there.


Not having read the previous book, I did feel like I was missing some inside information at the start of this book. I was able to catch up as the story and mysteries unfolded. 
An elf is found frozen, dead in the town square.  Santa is acting oddly elusive. The church handyman is missing and a nosy reporter disappears. Are all those things connected? 
What about the odd glass cubes found around town? 
Lots of clues and details popping up without knowing what any of them meant.Fun characters and unusual circumstances make for an enjoyable read.

This town must be near Golden Girl Rose's St. Olaf. Everyone seems to be spying on everyone else. There are no short tales. Each story takes a bizarre twist. 

About the Author

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.
I have worn many hats throughout my lifetime such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities, office manager and finally computer repair person eventually owning my own computer repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.
Adding four more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a new Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity.
I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.
Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Author Links: Website: http://julieseedorf.com
  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/julie.seedorf.author
  Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/julieseedorf
  Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/julie_seedorf
  Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/julieseedorf
  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/julieseedorf
  Sprinkled Notes Blog: http://sprinklednotes.com
  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JulieSeedorf
  Merchandise from my books: https://www.zazzle.com/hermiony

  Purchase Link - Amazon

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