Thursday, August 22, 2019

Cover Reveal: Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

~ Cover Reveal ~

Title: Nothing Ventured
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 5 September, 2019







Nothing Ventured is the incredible and thrilling novel by the master storyteller and bestselling author of the Clifton Chronicles and Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer.

This is not a detective story, this is a story about the making of a detective . . .

William Warwick has always wanted to be a detective, and decides, much to his father’s dismay, that rather than become a barrister like his father, Sir Julian Warwick QC, and his sister Grace, he will join London’s Metropolitan Police Force.
After graduating from university, William begins a career that will define his life: from his early months on the beat under the watchful eye of his first mentor, Constable Fred Yates, to his first high-stakes case as a fledgling detective in Scotland Yard’s arts and antiquities squad. Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.

While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his brilliant lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William. Meanwhile, Miles Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on?




Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include the Clifton Chronicles, Kane and Abel and Cat O' Nine Tales, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction, short stories and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries). A member of the House of Lords for over a quarter of a century, the author is married to Dame Mary Archer, and they have two sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.



Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Showcase: The Ornery Gene by Warren C. Embree

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The Ornery Gene

by Warren C. Embree

on Tour August 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

The Ornery Gene by Warren C Embree
When itinerant ranch hand Buck Ellison took a job with Sarah Watkins at her ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska, he thought he had found the place where he could park his pickup, leave the past behind, and never move again.

On a rainy July night, a dead body at the south end of Sarah’s ranch forces him to become a reluctant detective, digging into the business of cattle breeding for rodeos and digging up events from his past that are linked to the circumstances surrounding the murder of Sam Danielson.

Working with his boss Sarah, her nephew Travis Martin, and the cook Diane Gibbons, Buck unmasks the murderer, but at the cost of learning the reality of past events that he chooses to keep to himself.

Book Details:


Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Published by: Down and Out Books
Publication Date: April 27, 2019
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 1643960121 (978-1643960128)

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE
Wednesday, 9:15 p.m.
Sam Danielson slowed his pickup to a stop beside an old cattle chute, switched off the engine, rolled the window all the way down, and listened. He absentmindedly counted the cricket chirps for ten seconds, added forty to the number of chirps and calculated it to be about sixty-five degrees or so outside. A trick his dad had taught him. It was a little chilly for July in this part of the hills, but he had heard the low rumbling of thunder on the drive out. It smelled like rain; there was a storm moving from the northeast that was cooling things down. There could even be some ice in it. He checked his watch: nine-fifteen. Just past twilight. He opened the pickup door and took a deep breath. He reached over, grabbed the flashlight from the glove box, and slid out of the driver’s seat onto the soft sand.
Off in the distance, he heard a mama cow lowing. This was the life he had chosen, and he had never looked back. It hadn’t been easy working for, and then with, his dad. They had gone back and forth on the best way to select the bulls and broncos they supplied for “rough stock” events at the rodeos in the Sandhills of western Nebraska. There was only one way for Dad. “You don’t have the feel for how much the bull don’t want rode,” his dad would say. But Sam had gone to school and studied twentieth-century methods of livestock rearing. For his dad it was a way of life; for Sam it was a business. Sam liked the numbers. He liked to narrow the odds by more than just a feeling. He had tried to show his dad the value in breeding techniques and genetic tracking in estimating the probability that a particular bull would do well in the arena. His dad would just laugh it off. “Show me the ornery gene,” his dad would laugh. “I’ll have five bulls picked before you decide on one.” But Sam knew his would be a better one than the five. He could prove the temperament of a bull before anyone tried to ride it. He had never convinced his dad. The ornery gene had been elusive, but not the genetic makeup of the ornery bulls. He had been right, and he had a genetically identifiable line of stock to prove it.
During his travels from his ranch outside of Laramie, Wyoming, Sam had been made aware of a genetic curiosity in one of the cattle he purchased in Colorado in the spring. Being off in the records would end up being off in the genetic makeup of the calves. There never was just one gene that made the difference. It was a matter of multiple generations. He had traced the lines that looked the most promising, and closely followed the leaders in the industry. Discovering that curiosity had led him into this part of the Sandhills of Nebraska. Talking about it at the bar had got him into an argument with the old cowboy, and listening to the old man had brought him to this particular spot.
“You’ll find what you’re looking for out there,” the old cowboy had said. “Then you’ll know I was telling you the truth.” Danielson switched the flashlight on and scanned the area around the cattle chute. He had let himself be convinced that the old man knew a thing or two about cattle breeding. What had surprised Danielson most was that the old man had known about the science behind modern breeding at all. The old cowboy looked more like he’d been “rode hard and put up wet” as his dad would have said: a man who had spent a hard life out in the sun and the rain and the snow. Danielson expected someone like that to know less about biogenetics and more about old school solutions. Like his dad.
The excitement the old cowboy had shown assured Danielson it would be worth his time to find out if he was headed in the right direction. But as he looked around the area, all he saw was a dump site for old batteries, tires, cook stoves, windmill parts, cans, bed springs, and used up corral panels. He saw nothing that would explain the old cowboy’s intensity. Now he was more curious to find out how the old cowboy would explain the genetic anomaly that he was so passionate about. It was one of those things his dad would say shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference in his deciding on a bull. It probably wasn’t all that important to breeders either. But he was curious, and keeping careful records was important to the integrity of breeding livestock. It was a necessary component in the breeding business and his business. He was hoping he could find some answers out here as he tried to piece together the puzzle. He was determined to take some time to track it down to the source and maybe be able to verify when and where the mistake was made.
He had tried to be low-key when he was asking questions, but the speed at which the old cowboy had raised his hackles this afternoon showed Danielson just how hard that was going to be. He had touched the wrong nerve on the first try. He wasn’t sure whether he had asked the wrong question or his question had been taken the wrong way. It took a couple of beers and a good bit of time getting the old man calmed down. When it finally got friendly again, the old cowboy had told him about the spot out here in the hills. He gave directions and said he’d meet him out there around nine that evening.
As he waited for the old cowboy to show up, Danielson kicked at a broken pitman, picked it up, and used it to move around some cans at the edge of the dump site. He wasn’t terribly interested in getting bitten by a rattlesnake or a rat. It was a half-hearted effort. He sniffed the air again and caught the scent of pine and cedar trees this time. The hills hadn’t changed much from when he was a kid except the cedar trees. They were becoming a weed out in the hills. He shoved a wooden box with the pitman, then threw the stick of wood back into the pile. It was altogether possible that the old cowboy had sent him out on a snipe hunt. It just as well be. There was nothing he’d seen so far that was tied to the cattle breeding. If it were here, it wasn’t something obvious. What galled him was that he could be looking right at it and still not see it. For that matter, there could be nothing to it.
A loud clap of thunder caused Danielson to look up at the sky. In the southwest the clouds were fast turning to an ugly black. He saw the lightning streak across the sky and started counting. He reached fifty-two and he heard the thunder again. The storm was only about ten miles away. He didn’t want to get caught in the storm, and he hadn’t found anything yet. It wouldn’t be the first time he had gone on a wild goose chase.
He walked over to the rear of the pickup, pulled out a can of chewing tobacco from his back pocket, and stuffed a pinch in the back of his cheek. He put the can back in his pocket and picked up an old spur that was in the pickup box. He turned it over in his hand as he walked over to the chute—just an old spur. The old cowboy had given it to him, along with some old rodeo flyers, claiming he’d known Danielson’s dad and had got it from him. His dad had never been a bull rider, so the spur didn’t belong to him. He didn’t know whether someone had given it to his dad or his dad had simply found it tearing down after one of the rodeos they had supplied the bulls and broncs for. It reminded him that he needed to go through his dad’s things, a clutter of boxes, something he’d put off for ten years after his dad died. He tossed the spur toward the pickup box but hit the fender instead, bouncing the spur at an odd angle forward of the pickup. He walked over toward the cattle chute and battery and pointed his flashlight in the direction the spur had bounced.
Danielson caught the flash of lightning in the corner of his eye, heard a pop from behind him, then felt a sledgehammer hit him in the middle of the back. The strength drained out of his legs. He felt a sharp pain spring out from where the hammer had hit that seemed to rush through his torso. His legs gave out and he hit the ground, knees first, and then fell on his face. The pain was now a hot, burning sensation from the place where the hammer had hit and his back felt wet. He thought he had been struck with lightning, cursing himself for miscalculating the distance of the storm. He tried to use his arms to push himself up, but he couldn’t gather the strength. He dropped back down. He could feel that his back was soaked, but it hadn’t started raining yet.
From off to his right, he heard something moving cans around. It wasn’t the wind. It was deliberate. No animal would do that either. A few moments later, he felt someone kick his side. He grunted involuntarily, and then tried to roll over. His legs were a dead weight. He twisted his face away from the pickup, but couldn’t see anything. “He shot me,” he whispered. He tried to raise himself with his arms, but was light-headed now. I can’t believe he shot me. A few moments later rain poured from the clouds, diluting the blood from his back and mingling it with the sand.
***
Excerpt from The Ornery Gene by Warren C. Embree. Copyright © 2019 by Warren C. Embree. Reproduced with permission from Warren C. Embree. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Warren C Embree
WARREN EMBREE and his wife grew up in the Sandhills of Nebraska. He did both farm work and ranch work during those years, and he still keeps track of what goes on in the hills. After leaving the area, he pursued an academic career in English, Classical Languages, and Divinity. He lectured at a couple of institutions and preached at a few churches, and he now works in Lincoln as a data analyst for the University of Nebraska. His knowledge and love of the unique culture of the Sandhills, his education in languages and literature, and his analytical skills contribute to his story telling. He and his wife currently live in Nebraska and have 3 grown children.

Catch Up With Warren Embree On:
warrenembree.com, Goodreads, & Facebook!




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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Warren C. Embree. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2019 and runs through September 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Spotlight: The Missing Fairy Princess by Walter Salvadore Pareira

The Missing Fairy Princess 

by

 Walter Salvadore Pareira

~ Book Tour~
11th to 17th August

About the Book:
“The Missing Fairy Princess” is the story of a 16-year-old fairy princess pitted against a powerful witch. The witch has stolen a potent new mantra developed by a colleague, ruthlessly snuffing out a brilliantly innovative mind.  She then hatches an elaborate plot to frame an adversary for her misdeed.  Her intention is to exact sweet revenge from her foe and at the same time, get away with the theft.  The victim, caught in her vicious web, is doomed to disgrace and a life sentence on a harsh penal colony. Meanwhile, the witch learns from her crystal ball, about an imminent threat from a fairy princess wearing a pink tiara.  To ward off that threat she kidnaps the fairy princess, wipes her memory clean and then turns her into a two-year-old girl.  

Unfortunately for the culprit, she has goofed up by kidnapping the wrong fairy princess, Merlyn, instead of Ashlyn, her twin.  The mistake turns out to be the undoing of the witch because Ashlyn proves to be her nemesis.  The brilliant fairy princess exposes the cobweb of misleading evidence fabricated by the witch, ultimately unmasking her.

If you love mystery, whodunit, with a dash of magical realism and sci-fi, this book is for you.

Book Links:
Hi, I am Walter Salvadore Pereira.

I read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe in early teens and discovered for the first time that the written words stirred up emotions within you as much as the actual events one witnessed occurring around.  That book was followed by “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.  Those two books of entirely different genres had a profound impact on me and set on my journey as an avid book lover.  At the same time, they did ignite an urge within me to emulate their authors.  But then family responsibilities were thrust upon me and the author faded into the background.

More than six decades later, leading a quiet retired life, the passion for writing came to the fore.  My first attempt at writing was a historical fiction, inspired by the Indian classics Ramayan and Mahabharat.  It was an epic comprising of over 100,000 words.  During the writing process, I went through every conceivable phase the author undergoes; writer’s block, frustration, despair, uncertainty.  I even reached the stage where I thought about abandoning the project altogether.  But the thought of the slog over those countless hours wouldn’t let me accept defeat and I persisted through tenacity and sheer will power.  I read it over and over, and again; chopped out entire sections and re-wrote until the outcome was to my satisfaction.  It took me over six years to complete that book, titled “Bheem – The Saga of Madhavpur” and finally, it was published during February this year on KDP Select.

In between, I published a fast-paced adventure sci-fi story titled “This Nightmare is for Real”.

I had been toying with the idea of a fairy tale for the last few years on account of it being the favourite topic of my granddaughter during her younger days.  The result is the current book, “The Missing Fairy Princess”.

I have made a foray in a totally different genre altogether for my next one – the cross-border terrorism faced by India – titled “The Carnivore has a Heart”.  It will be published through KDP Select within the next few days. 


About the Author:
After spending over 25 years in the Middle East, the author, aged 75, now leads a retired life.  He lives with his wife and son in Thane, near Mumbai. He has been passionate about writing from his early days.  His first book was a fast-paced sci-fi novel titled “This Nightmare is for Real”, was self-published. That was followed by a historical fiction titled “Bheem – The Sage of Madhavpur”, again a self-publication.  A third book, a fairy tale titled “The Missing Fairy Princess” which was published on Kindle Select during the first week of June 2019, while a fourth on the oft-discussed topic of cross-border terrorism titled “The Carnivore has a Heart” is slated for publication shortly thereafter again on Kindle Select.

Contact the Author:




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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Showcase: The Best Lousy Choice by Jim Nesbitt

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The Best Lousy Choice

An Ed Earl Burch Novel

by Jim Nesbitt

on Tour August 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

The Best Lousy Choice: An Ed Earl Burch Novel
Dallas private eye Ed Earl Burch is an emotional wreck, living on the edge of madness, hosing down the nightmares of his last case with bourbon and Percodan, dreading the next onslaught of demons that haunt his days and nights, including a one-eyed dead man who still wants to carve out his heart and eat it.

Burch is also a walking contradiction. Steady and relentless when working a case. Tormented and unbalanced when idle. He’s deeply in debt to a shyster lawyer who forces him to take the type of case he loathes — divorce work, peephole creeping to get dirt on a wayward husband.

Work with no honor. Work that reminds him of how far he’s fallen since he lost the gold shield of a Dallas homicide detective. Work in the stark, harsh badlands of West Texas, the border country where he almost got killed and his nightmares began.

What he longs for is the clarity and sense of purpose he had when he carried that gold shield and chased killers for a living. The adrenaline spike of the showdown. Smoke ‘em or cuff ‘em. Justice served — by his .45 or a judge and jury.

When a rich rancher and war hero is killed in a suspicious barn fire, the rancher’s outlaw cousin hires Burch to investigate a death the county sheriff is reluctant to touch.

Seems a lot of folks had reason for wanting the rancher dead — the local narco who has the sheriff on his payroll; some ruthless Houston developers who want the rancher’s land; maybe his own daughter. Maybe the outlaw cousin who hired Burch.

Thrilled to be a manhunter again, Burch ignores these red flags, forgetting something he once knew by heart.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. And it might just get you killed.

But it’s the best lousy choice Ed Earl Burch is ever going to get.

Book Details:


Genre: Hard-boiled Crime Thriller
Published by: Spotted Mule Press
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Number of Pages: 347
ISBN: 978-0-9983294-2-0
Series: An Ed Earl Burch Novel; 2
Purchase Links: Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Burch slipped through a thick snarl of gawkers, glad-handers, gossips and genuine mourners going nowhere fast in the vestibule of Sartell’s Funeral Home, nodding and smiling like the prodigal returned to the paternal table.
To ease his passage toward the chapel where Bart Hulett’s charred corpse was surely hidden in a closed casket, he patted the passing shoulder, shook the hand thrust his way and mouthed the “good to see you” to the stranger’s face that smiled in mistaken recognition. Baptist reflexes from a long-ago boyhood, handy for the preacher, pol or low-rent peeper — remnants of an endless string of God Box Sundays he’d rather forget.
The chapel was packed and the well-mannered buzz of polite stage whispers filled the room, triggering another Baptist flashback — the hushed sanctuary conversations of the flock anticipating the opening chords of a Sunday service first hymn.
Ten rows of hard-backed dark wooden pews flanked each side of a center aisle leading to a low lacquered plywood platform topped by a glossy Texas pecan wood casket with burnished brass lugs and fixtures. Two blown-up photographs in fluted gilt frames faced the mourners, standing guard at each end of the casket — a colorized, wartime portrait of a young Bart Hulett in Marine dress blues and visored white cover at the foot; a candid of Hulett and his blonde wife on horseback at the head, their smiling faces goldened by the setting sun.
Behind the pews, five rows of equally unforgiving aluminum folding chairs, all sporting the durable silver-gray institutional enamel common to the breed, stood as ready reserve for the overflow of mourners. The pews were filled and a butt claimed every chair — a testament to Bart Hulett’s standing as a fallen civic leader and member of one of the founding families of Cuervo County.
No cushions in pew or chair. Comfort wasn’t on the dance card in this part of West Texas. The land was too stark, harsh and demanding, intolerant of those seeking a soft life of leisure. And Baptists damned dancing as a sin and kept those pews rock hard so you’d stay wide awake for the preacher’s fiery reminder about the brimstone wages of sin.
Dark blue carpet covered what Burch’s knees told him was a concrete floor. Flocked, deep-red fabric lined the walls, brightened by a line of wall sconces trimmed in shiny brass that reflected the dimmed light from electric candles. Two brass candelabras hung from the ceiling, bathing the chapel in a warm, yellow glow. Heavy, burgundy velour drapes lined the front wall and flanked the rear entrance and the opening to a sitting room to the left of the casket.
The total effect was meant to be plush, somber and churchly, yet welcoming. Don’t fear death. It comes to us all. Just a part of the great circle of life and God’s eternal plan. Let us gather together and celebrate the days on earth of this great man who has left us for his final reward.
But Burch wasn’t buying the undertaker’s refried Baptist bill of fare. To his eye, the drapes, the wall covering and the brass light fixtures looked more like the lush trappings of a high-dollar whorehouse than a church, an old-timey sin palace that packaged purchased pleasure in a luxury wrapper. All that was missing was a line of near-naked whores for the choosing and a piano man in a bowler hat and gartered shirt sleeves, tickling the ivories while chomping a cigar.
Nothing more honest than a fifty-dollar blow job from a working girl who knows her trade.
Nothing more bitter than the cynical heresy of a backslidden Baptist sinner.
Nothing more useless than a de-frocked cop still ready to call out the hypocrisy of a church he thought was just a dot in his rearview mirror.
Burch cold-cocked his bitter musings and wiped the smirk off his face. He grabbed a corner at the rear of the room and continued his chapel observations. He tried to settle into the old routine. Relax. Watch and wait. Keep the eyes moving and let it come to you. Don’t force it.
But the watcher’s mantra wasn’t working.
Couldn’t shake the feeling that eyes had been on him while he juked and doubled back through town earlier in the day and that eyes were on him now. Couldn’t blame the demons for this. He was still cool and calm from that special cocktail he served himself before leaving the ranch. That meant the sixth sense was real, not a figment of his nightmares. And he was far too old a dog to ignore it.
Burch took a deep breath and let it out slow, just like he did at the rifle range before squeezing off the next round. His heartbeat slowed. He felt himself relax. The uneasy feeling was still there, but it was a small sliver of edginess. Do the job. Watch and wait. Keep the eyes moving. Let it come to you.
From the chapel entrance, a thick line of mourners broke toward the right rear corner of the room and angled along the wall opposite Burch before bending again to crowd the closed casket, leading to a small knot of Hulett family members standing next to the photo of Bart and his dead wife.
Stella Rae was playing the head of household role, reaching across her body to shake hands with her left because her right was burned, bandaged and hanging loose at her side, the white tape and pinkish gauze riding below the rolled-back cuff of a navy cowgirl shirt with white piping and a bright red cactus blossom on each yoke.
She was wearing Wranglers too new to be faded and pointy-toed lizard-skin boots the color of peanut brittle, her dark blonde hair swept back from her oval face and touching her shoulders. The warm light from the candelabras picked up the slight rose tint of her olive skin and the flash of white from her smile.
A beautiful woman putting on a brave front. A woman custom-made to be looked at with lustful intent. Burch didn’t need imagination to mentally undress Stella Rae Hulett. He had seen her at her carnal best while staring through the telephoto lens of a camera as she fucked her lover in a dimly lit motel room. He had his own highlight reel of her taut body stored in his brainpan.
But his mind was on the charred chain in the bed of Gyp Hulett’s pickup, his eyes locked on the bandaged hand dangling at her side. How’d you really burn your hand, missy? Where were you when your daddy died?
Jason Powell stood behind her, looming over her right shoulder, the protective hand of a lover on her upper arm as he nodded to each mourner paying respect as Stella Rae shook their hand. Gotta give the guitar picker some credit. Looks like he’s in it for the long haul.
To Stella’s right stood a young man in jeans, boots and a red brocade vest over a crisp, white shirt and a bolo with a silver and onyx slide. His round face was pale and pockmarked, his hair black and wiry. Burch guessed he was looking at Jimmy Carl Hulett, Bart Hulett’s only son.
Jimmy Carl looked like a sawed-off version of his ancient cousin, Gyp, minus the gunsight stare, the wolf smile and the Browning Hi-Power on the hip. Which was another way of saying the boy had more than a few dollops of bad outlaw blood running through his veins, but none of the lethal menace.
The younger Hulett looked uncomfortable shaking the hands of mourners, his eyes shifting but always downcast, his head nodding with a nervous jerk, the overhead glow highlighting a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. Between handshakes, he wiped his hawk’s beak nose with a dark blue bandana.
He looked like a man who needed a drink.
Or a spike of Mexican Brown.
Burch knew the look. Saw it a thousand times as a Dallas street cop. Telltales of a junkie. A loser. A Hulett in name only. A weak link who would sell his soul for his next fix. Or sell out his daddy. How bad are you hooked, boy? Who has his claws in you besides your dealer? Malo Garza? Needle Burnet? Or another player to be named later?
Burch tucked these questions into his mental deck and resumed scanning the crowd, ignoring that edgy sliver, keeping a slight smile on his face — just a prodigal looking for old friends and neighbors. Damned tedious work, standing in the corner of a whorehouse chapel, watching and waiting, working a cop’s most hackneyed routine — hitting the victim’s funeral.
His feet and knees started to ache. Never cut it walking a beat again. He ignored the pain and kept his eyes moving. He wasn’t expecting a lightning flash of sudden insight or the appearance of a beady-eyed suspect wearing their guilt like a gaudy neon sign. That only happened on Murder, She Wrote and Angela Lansbury didn’t fit in with this West Texas crowd.
Burch was looking for smaller stuff. Dribs and drabs. A pattern. A sense of how people caught up in a case fit together — or didn’t. A loose thread. An odd moment. A step out of line or time.
A facial tic or look. Like a Hulett with the junkie’s sniffles.
A mismatch. Like a beautiful woman with a burned and bandaged right hand.
A shard. Anything that caused his cop instincts to tingle, triggering questions he needed to ask. He found two. Small kernels, granted, but grist for the mill.
He kept his eyes moving, looking for more of something he wouldn’t know until he saw it. Minutes dragged by, grinding like a gearbox with sand in it. The line of mourners grew shorter. The pain moved up to the small of his back.
The sliver grew into a sharp stab of warning. Eyes were on him. Felt rather than seen. He shifted his gaze to his right, keeping his head still. Across the center aisle, at the near end of the last row of chairs, a gaunt brown face with thin black hair turned to face the front of the chapel. Before the turn, Burch saw intense, dark eyes studying him — the watcher being watched.
Both knew the other was there so Burch took his time studying the man’s profile. Thin, bony nose, hair brushed back dry from a receding widow’s peak, black suit with an open-collar white dress shirt. The man quit pretending he hadn’t been made, turning to look at Burch with a slight smile and close-set eyes that flashed a predatory interest.
Burch returned the stare with the dead-eyed look of a cop and burned an image for his memory bank.
Who are you, friend? Another Garza hitter? Jesus, Burch, that isn’t what the narcos call their gunsels. Get your head out of the 1940s. Sicario — that’s it.
What about it, friend? You another of Malo’s sicarios? Or are you outside talent? Maybe that specialist Bustamante talked about. Maybe a freelancer working for Malo’s competition. Or the Bryte Brothers.
You the eyes I feel watchin’ me? Why the sudden interest? Those two shooters I smoked friends of yours?
Movement up front caught Burch’s attention. Gyp Hulett, hat in hand and wearing a black frock coat straight out of the 1890s that wasn’t in the truck cab during the ride to town, parting the sitting room drapes. The old outlaw walked up to his younger cousins in a bow-legged stride, whispering to each, then beckoning them to follow him as he retraced his steps.
Burch glanced back toward the gaunt Mexican. Gone. A sucker’s play if he followed. Burch slid out of his corner perch and along the back row of chairs to get a better look at the sitting room entrance. Gyp parted the drapes to let Stella Rae and Jimmy Carl enter.
Through the opening, Burch could see Boelcke standing next to a tall man with a thick, dark moustache, an inverted V above a stern, downturned mouth, echoed by thick eyebrows. He had ramrod straight posture and was wearing a tailored, dark gray suit, a pearl gray shirt and a black tie. Black hair in a conservative businessman’s cut, light brown skin and an aquiline nose gave him the look of a criollo, the New World Spaniards who ripped the land of their birth away from the mother country.
Malo Garza, paying his respects in private. Gyp Hulett swept the drapes closed as he ducked into the room. Burch braced himself for the bark of a Browning Hi-Power he hoped he wouldn’t hear and marveled at the high hypocrisy of Garza showing up at the funeral of a man he wanted dead.
Took balls and brass to do that. Matched by a restraint Burch didn’t know Gyp Hulett had.
“Bet you’d like to be a fly on the wall in that room.”
For a split second, Burch thought he was hearing the voice of Wynn Moore’s ghost. Then he looked to his right and met the sad, brown eyes of Cuervo County Chief Deputy Elroy Jesus “Sudden” Doggett.
“Wouldn’t mind that one bit. Imagine it’s quite the show. Lots of polite words of sorrow and respect. Lots of posturing. Lots of restraint. Have to be considerin’ one man in there would like to kill the other.”
“That would be your client, right? The ever-popular Gyp Hulett, gringo gangster of the Trans-Pecos.”
“Can’t tell you who I’m working for, Deputy. You know that’s confidential.”
Doggett’s eyes went from sad to flat annoyed and his voice took on a metallic edge.
“That ain’t no secret, hoss. Not to me or anybody else who matters around here, including the other big
mule in that room. And that man probably wants to kill you.”
“Malo Garza? The man don’t even know me.”
“That’s a point in your favor. If he did know you, he’d put you out of your misery right now.”
“A big dog like him? He’s got more important things to worry about than lil’ ol’ me.”
“You don’t know Malo Garza. Anybody pokin’ his nose anywhere near his business draws his personal interest. And believe you me, that ain’t healthy.”
“Ol’ Malo might find me a tad hard to kill. I tend to shoot back. If he wants a piece of me, he’ll have to get in line.”
Doggett paused. His eyes turned sad again. When he spoke, the edge was gone from his voice.
“Listen to us — two guys talkin’ about killin’ at a great man’s funeral. Let’s step outside for a smoke and a
talk.”
“Unless this is the type of talk that follows an arrest, I’d rather stay here and watch the floor show.”
Doggett chuckled.
“Don’t have that kind of talk in mind right now, although the man I work for just might. This’ll be a private chat between you and me.”
“Thought we had a meeting tomorrow. You are the hombre that had that trustee give Lawyer Boelcke that invitation to Guerrero’s, right?”
“Right. Things change. Come ahead on. I’ll have you back for the next act. It’s one you won’t want to miss. Star of the show. Blue Willingham, shedding crocodile tears for Bart Hulett. He won’t show up until Garza’s done paying his respects.”
Nothing like dancing the West Texas waltz with bent lawmen, lupine outlaws, patrician drug lords, gaunt killers and Baptist undertakers with bordello tastes.
In three-quarter time.
***
Excerpt from The Best Lousy Choice: An Ed Earl Burch Novel by Jim Nesbitt. Copyright © 2019 by Jim Nesbitt. Reproduced with permission from Jim Nesbitt. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Jim Nesbitt
Jim Nesbitt is the author of three hard-boiled Texas crime thrillers that feature battered but dogged Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch — THE LAST SECOND CHANCE, a Silver Falchion finalist; THE RIGHT WRONG NUMBER, an Underground Book Reviews “Top Pick”; and his latest, THE BEST LOUSY CHOICE.
Nesbitt was a journalist for more than 30 years, serving as a reporter, editor and roving national correspondent for newspapers and wire services in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. He chased hurricanes, earthquakes, plane wrecks, presidential candidates, wildfires, rodeo cowboys, migrant field hands, neo-Nazis and nuns with an eye for the telling detail and an ear for the voice of the people who give life to a story.
His stories have appeared in newspapers across the country and in magazines such as Cigar Aficionado and American Cowboy. He is a lapsed horseman, pilot, hunter and saloon sport with a keen appreciation for old guns, vintage cars and trucks, good cigars, aged whiskey and a well-told story.
He now lives in Athens, Alabama.

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jim Nesbitt. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2019 and runs through September 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Showcase: Eye for Eye by JK Franko

Eye for Eye

by JK Franko

on Tour July 22 - September 20, 2019

Eye for Eye by JK Franko

"NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN"
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.






Book Details:


Genre: Crime & Mystery
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: June 22nd 2019
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1999318803 (ISBN13: 9781999318802)
Series: Talion #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.
Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.
Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if she was frightened.
Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.
Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.
Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.
True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.
She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy, or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.
Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.
***
Excerpt from Eye For Eye by JK Franko. Copyright © 2019 by JK Franko. Reproduced with permission from JK Franko. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

JK Franko
J.K. FRANKO was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.
His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.
J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.

Catch Up With JK Franko On:
jkfranko.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!




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Enter The Giveaway!!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Void where prohibited.



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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Showcase: A Monster of All Time by JT Hunter

A Monster Of All Time

by J.T. Hunter

on Tour July 1-31, 2019

 

A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter


The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.



What evil lurked inside him?

What demons drove him to kill?

What made him A Monster of All Time?


Book Details:


Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue
January 1987
Parchman, Mississippi

The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
"When they let me out of here," the prisoner swore to himself, "I’ll make them all pay."
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.
~~~~~
Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.
Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.
Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.
In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.
Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.
Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.
"Gemini," an eerie voice proclaimed. "I am Gemini."
At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.
And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.
***
Excerpt from A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter. Copyright 2018 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter
J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.
JT's bestselling true crime books include:

  • Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
  • The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
  • In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
  • Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
  • Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
  • The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

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    Enter Giveaway!:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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    Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    Book Review: Shakuni – Master of the Game by Ashutosh Nadkar


    Title: Shakuni – Master of the Game

    Author: Ashutosh Nadkar

    Publisher: Juggernaut





    Ashutosh Nadkar’s ‘Shakuni – Master of the Game’ is a retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspective of one of the important antagonists, Shakuni. The novel explores the circumstances that made him one of the greatest villains in Indian mythology.


    It is always exciting to know the backstory of an otherwise neglected character in an established myth. In this case it is Shakuni. The crown prince of Gandhara, Shakuni is often credited as the mastermind behind the Great War of Kurukshetra. He was considered the greatest illusionist of that era, second only to Lord Krishna. But is he really the bad guy? Or is he a man who has been wronged and only tries to punish the wrong-doer? In this book, Nadkar gives voice to a hitherto misunderstood, and supposedly vile, character
    .
    Personally, I never thought about this side of the narration that Nadkar has put forth. I’ve always thought of Shakuni as evil and I’m sure so have many others. This book shows otherwise. We mustn’t forget that every coin has two sides. So does every incident. Upon reading the book, I found that Shakuni has a lot of redeeming qualities. It not only diminished the negativity associated with him but also evoked in me sympathy for him.

    That Nadkar knows the Mahabharata well is obvious in his treatment of his characters, both important and inconspicuous. He keeps true to the original story and only changes the point of view of the telling.

    For Nadkar, Shakuni is tragic rather than evil. He lets the latter raise certain questions in the novel— why all his schemes are seen as treachery even today while Kaurava adviser Vidura’s are considered ethical strategies and Pandava tactician Krishna’s are regarded divine play. Shakuni asks himself and the reader: “Was I the vilest of villains in that epic story?”

    However, the book reads like a lengthy explanation by Shakuni. True, he has been wronged. But in this retelling the writer doesn’t let him shoulder any responsibility of his actions. Shakuni is shown to be doing the bidding of fate. In doing justice to this misunderstood character, Nadkar overlooks the fact that Shakuni did exact his revenge using his cunning. But he also lets Shakuni acknowledge the biggest mistake of his life: that he did not condemn Duryodhana’s behaviour with Draupadi after the game of dice. Nadkar lets Shakuni end his life on a philosophical note.

    A passionate re-telling of the timeless Mahabharata and the literary characters it produced.








    Ashutosh Nadkar is originally from Madhya Pradesh. He has been active in print, television and web journalism for the past two decades. He is currently working with the Network18 group as an associate editor.






    I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!




    * I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    ** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in, Twitter




    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Blog Tour: How to Date a Cowboy by Amy L. Gale



    ●▬▬▬▬▬▬๑★๑▬▬▬▬▬●
    New Release
    How to Date a Cowboy
    (Bear Creek Rodeo Book Two)
    By Amy L. Gale
    #WTMODAC
    ●▬▬▬▬▬▬๑★๑▬▬▬▬▬●





    How to Date a Cowboy (Bear Creek Rodeo Book Two)
    Promoter Kayla Barnes just scored her first real job, creating buzz for the Bear Creek Rodeo. Looking to make a name for herself and increase attendance numbers like never before, she talks the star bull rider, Casey Jennings, into being the prize in her biggest contest yet. One lucky winner gets a date with Casey, but as they work out the details and grow closer Kayla realizes she wants to be the number one contestant.


    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46289382-how-to-date-a-cowboy?from_search=true




    Universal Buy Links (All Platforms)





    Resisting the Cowboy

    (Bear Creek Rodeo Series Book One)








    Resisting the Cowboy (Bear Creek Rodeo Book One)

    Saddle bronc rider Luke Reno is taking the PRCA by storm, until he's thrown off of a horse ending up unconscious.

    Straight-laced doctor Daisy Blackwell avoids taking unnecessary risks, both in and out of the Bear Creek Community hospital.

    When Luke regains consciousness in the ER and saves Daisy from an attack by an unstable patient, she finds herself agreeing to dinner but never expects the feelings that follow. When she finds out about Luke's dangerous occupation her instincts want her to run but her heart has other plans.



    Universal Buy Links (All Platforms)




    “This author always seems to amaze me with her brilliantly written books and well-developed character who you fall madly in love with. I highly recommend this book. It was a great and easy read!
    Always Team Daisy And Luke.” ~ Olivia

    “I enjoyed this story, Resisting the Cowboy, the characters in the story are in a in a humorous, at times, suspense and romantic tangle. The author has done a nice job of telling the story. Fun and entertaining to read!” ~ Gary Lehn








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    USA Today Bestselling author Amy L. Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes. Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, she attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach. She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, seven cats, and golden retriever.






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