The Last Line by Robert Dugoni – Excerpt and Author Q&A

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Summary 

His old life in the rearview, Del Castigliano has left Wisconsin to work homicide for the Seattle PD. Breaking him in is veteran detective Moss Gunderson, and he’s handing Del a big catch: the bodies of two unidentified men fished from Lake Union. It’s a major opportunity for the new detective, and Del runs with it, chasing every lead—to every dead end. Despite the help of another section rookie, Vic Fazzio, Del is going nowhere fast. Until one shotgun theory looks to be dead right: the victims are casualties of a drug smuggling operation. But critical information is missing—or purposely hidden. It’s forcing Del into a crisis of character and duty that not even the people he trusts can help him resolve.

 

 

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Interview with Bettina M. Johnson, Paranormal Cozy Mystery Author

I am very pleased to have Bettina M. Johnson here on The Book’s the Thing today. She’s going to tell us a bit about herself and her writing process, so please join me in giving her a warm welcome!

TBTT: Do the ideas for your books ever come from real-life occurrences, or are they strictly pulled from your imagination?

BMJ: Real life tends to blend with my imagination. Some of the characters in my books remind me of people I know or have met. Some remind me of old movie characters that I’ve tapped to make similar. I have had situations occur in the present or from my past which I incorporate in my stories, and some of my childhood memories wound up in a chapter or two. In my Lily Sweet Mysteries, there is a scene where the great-grandparents are dancing a polka around the living room and family members are laughing and clapping along in encouragement. This is a cherished memory of my own grandparents during one holiday. We moved the coffee table and a few chairs and my grandma and grandpa were laughing and dancing around the room….I’d never witnessed them being so happy with each other and it was a tender loving moment that remained with me. Now that moment in time is forever recorded on the pages of that book!  As for my Fortune-Telling Twins Mysteries, I tend to have a bit of the psychic woo woo Maggie Fortune is revered for. There have been certain times in my life where I held something and got a flash of the past. Even touching someone’s hand…I can’t explain it, but I see or know things and they usually come true or already occurred. Kind of freaky cool…and I knew I had to have a character that was adept in this phenomena, and delve deeper into a subject that whigs me out a bit!

TBTT: Do you have any particular writing rituals that you adhere to or unique methods of overcoming writers’ block?

BMJ: I’m one of the lucky few, I guess. I have yet to experience any sort of writer’s block. Now writers anxiety? That’s a different story. Every single time I begin a new book, I open Word, stare at the page and have this niggling thought run through my mind that perhaps I won’t be able to write the next in the series. But I take a deep breathe, relax my hands on the keys and whisper to my characters that I’m ready for their words. They’ve never failed to begin talking.

TBTT: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

BMJ: Would it be cliche of me to say I read? A lot? I do, however. I also love my Jeep and adore going junkin’ (hitting yard sales or outdoor flea markets and antique venues) in her. She’s a mojito green Jeep Wrangler Sahara, and I love nothing better than to drive up to the mountains and explore. I’d constantly be on the road driving all over the USA if I could…I’m in love with the idea of seeing every square inch of the nation and doing the grand experience all the way down to the outré roadside attractions. I wanted to be an archeologist when I was little, and a famous singer, but that’s another story! So my love of old things has me excited in museums and historical societies, looking at old documents or hunting for treasure in other people attics! I also like to sing (back to that dream of mine) and used to do so in nightclubs back in my twenties. And to unwind, I like to sculpt with polymer clay. My entire family is artistic. My dad sings like an opera star and my sister is a fine arts artist. We are a creative bunch!

TBTT: Which genres or authors do you like to read? Are there any books or authors in particular that you’d say have influenced your desire to write? 

BMJ: I love cozy mysteries (of course) or any good mystery book. Mystery romance. Fantasy genre. History and biographies. I’m a history major and where some people would have a difficult time getting through a text book on the past, I can lose myself for days on a subject. Some of the authors who influenced me did so by tickling my funny bone. The late, great Joan Hess and her Maggody series made me yearn to try my hand at humor. Whatever method I’m borrowing from her can be found in my books. My greatest joy would be to have my readers spit out their favorite beverage at the antics and hijinks my characters get in to…or at one of the many one liners my MC cracks from time to time. I also am a fan of authors Paige Shelton, Elizabeth Hayden, Dannika Dark, Ann Purser, Nancy Atherton, to name a few…as well as the greats; Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, Hans Christian Andersen. There are too many to mention and all have shaped me in some way!

TBTT: What types of stories can we expect to see from you in the future?

BMJ: I am going to expand my Lily Sweet world and give one of the supporting characters their own tales. I’ve already done this with Lily’s cousins, Maggie and Ellie Fortune. They were introduced in book 3 of the Lily Sweet Mysteries and now have their own series. I just introduced a crossroads demon named Pandora who deserves her own series…she’s a hoot! There is a recurring character names Tarni Vanderzee, a siren, who has her own series slated for later this year; The Secret Sirens Mysteries. Tarni will be telling her tale that will go back and forth from the present time to the 1980’s. I’m looking forward to starting those. I also have a character I am developing named Samantha Geist, who will be a ghost hunter whose job is to move those souls along that are trapped here for one reason or the other and if she fails, a demon swoops in to claim the lost soul in victory – and Samantha just happens to fall for one of the demons even though they are enemies…a paranormal romance in the making!

TBTT: And just for fun – Coffee or Tea?

BMJ: I have a burr grinder. Only buy ethically sourced whole beans, and my dream is to someday have the ability to roast and grind them myself for optimum freshness and taste. Does that give you an idea of what my preference is?

Link to Amazon:  https://amzn.to/3lj7L2L
 
Bio:  I always knew I wanted to write.  As a kid, way before the technology age had hit, I’d be stuck in the car with the folks as we drove from our home on Staten Island, NY, where I was born and raised, to our family property in the Catskill Mountains. To drive away boredom, I would sit, staring out the window, and create adventures in my mind.
 
As the years passed, I’d start writing a book, then stop, then start again only to let life get in the way, until one day I had an epiphany—if I waited any longer, all those wonderful characters in my head would never have their stories told, and that made me sad. So, I began to write. Once I started, it became apparent nothing would ever stop me again.
 
I write paranormal mysteries, romance and suspense that fall somewhere in between a cozy mystery and urban fantasy. I always write with humor and hope to keep my readers guessing to the very end—and I always add a dash of romance to keep things interesting.
 
I live near the North Georgia mountains on what I like to call a farm, with my husband and almost adult kids, a Cairn Terrier, two black cats, a tuxedo cat and fish. Occasionally other critters show up to keep things exciting.
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The Secret of the 14th Room by Rebecca Hemlock

Hi everyone! I am very excited to hand control of the blog over to author Rebecca Hemlock today to talk about her latest release, The Secret of the 14th Room. Enjoy!

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Hello all,

I am thrilled for the opportunity to appear here and share with you my latest book, The Secret of the 14th Room. I thought it would be fun to give you an exclusive insight into my main character, Levi Corbin. So today, I will be during an interview with Levi. Enjoy!

Tell me about your parents.

From what I can remember about them, they were great. My mom loved to cook, and my dad and I used to play with a little race track on the floor. I’ll never forget how scared I was when I went to live with my grandma. I thought I’d never be happy again.

What do you like to do for fun?

I never really did much for fun before. I had no one to do anything with. I was in such a hurry to grow up and be on my own that I forgot to make friends. I worked as hard as I could and saved every penny I could so I could get my own place. Now I love spending time with my best friend Abigail and her family. I know I had my grandma, and nothing could ever replace her in my heart, but the Wilson’s are the closest thing I’ve ever had to a family.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is letting people down. I strive every day to make sure I don’t let down the people I love most.

I hear you were raised by your grandmother. How well did you two get along?

We got along better than any grandparent and grandson could. She was more of a mom than a grandma. I bet that makes you wonder why I was in such a rush to get out on my own. It’s not as bad as it sounds. She told me stories about how my ancestors were strong and brave people. They went out in the world and became the best they could be. I wanted so badly to do the same and make her proud of me.

If you could go back in time for one day, where would you go?

I would want to go back and hug my grandma one more time and tell her what I’ve figured out about the Granton house.

What is your earliest memory?

I remember a time when I was about four or five. My mom picked me up and hugged me tightly. She used to say that I gave the best hugs. It made me feel really good and special. Then my dad came in and told her that the car broke down. He was really upset about it. My mom handed me over to my dad and told him that one of my hugs would make him feel better. I squeezed him as tight as I could. When I looked at his face, he was smiling too. Five year old me felt like hugging was my superpower.

I know this is a random question, but do you hold the door open for the person behind you, or do you let it go and slam in their face?

I would hold the door opened. I can’t say that’s what I’ve always done, but I like to think of myself as a good person. Although, there was that one time where I slammed the door in my cousin Silas’s face when I was mad at him. But I don’t think it counts. I went into my grandma’s bedroom to get away from him. It was right after her funeral. I wasn’t myself.

What do you feel is your greatest success?

I’m not really sure. I would have to say that it was my work with the Granton house. I have a lot in the works, but I guess I’ll say that I feel that this is going to be my greatest success.

Did you play any sports in high school?

A little basketball. Most of my time was spent fishing with my grandma.

What is your favorite thing to eat?

Lamar’s Burgers. They are the best.

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The Secret of the 14th Room

Do you ever get a feeling that something is following you?

Levi Corbin left home at a young age, running from the demons of his childhood. But when he receives word that his grandmother has died, his world is turned upside down. Levi decides he’d rather face his past than let down the only person who ever loved him.

It isn’t long before Levi discovers that he is not the only heir to his grandmother’s estate. While trying to figure out if he’s ready to let go of the past, Levi finds a deep dark secret that could change his life and the course of history forever. Levi has to find someone to talk to about what he found, and soon gets an eerie feeling that someone is watching him. Someone who is out to get him.

As things go from bad to worse, Levi finds himself intrigued by several people in town. But letting his guard down results in people getting hurt. Levi will have to put his one chance at happiness on the line if he is to discover who is behind all the freak accidents that have been taking place.

About the Author

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Rebecca Hemlock has written stories her entire life. She always knew she wanted to be a writer. That dream became a reality for her in 2016 when she landed her first job writing for her local newspaper. That same year, she was able to publish a children’s book under the pen name R.C. Burch.  With a little help from some wonderful people, Rebecca  was able to move forward in her writing career.

Rebecca published two more children’s books the following year, but children’s fiction was only the beginning. She self-published a novella in 2019, titled Bitter Betrayal, Arctic mysteries,  and completed her first novel in 2020. When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family.

Aside from being a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is also a member of Sister in Crime. Rebecca has a degree in English and a certificate in Creative Writing and is also pursuing a degree in Creative Writing.

Visit Rebecca’s website for info on ordering and on her other books.

Interview with Key West food critic Hayley Snow (from A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette)

  

 Synopsis:

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s intrepid food critic Hayley Snow must sniff out a killer in the ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

Key West food critic Hayley Snow scents-es something fishy when a customer falls stone-crab cold dead on a seafood tasting tour.

Thanksgiving is nearly here, and Key West food critic Hayley Snow has just one more assignment to put to bed for Key Zest magazine before she gets to celebrate with her family and her police officer fiancé, Nathan Bransford. Then, just days later, wedding bells will ring—if death doesn’t toll first.

The sweet potatoes and stuffing will have to wait when Hayley picks up a distraught phone call from her friend, Analise Smith. On the last stop of a seafood tasting tour run by Analise, one of the customers collapsed—dead. With the police on the verge of shutting down the tour—and ruining Analise’s business—Hayley can hardly refuse her friend’s entreaties to investigate.

As if wedding jitters and family strife weren’t enough for Hayley to worry about, there’s crusty pastry chef Martha Hubbard, whose key lime pie may have been the murder weapon—but did she poison her own pie or was she framed? As the hours to Turkey Day tick away, the pressure cooker is on for Hayley to serve up the culprit on a silver platter in A Deadly Feast, national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s taste-tempting ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

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Interview with Almond Jones – Author of Wingmen

Wingmen Book Cover

Synopsis: Celeste Bonalee is anything but average. In fact, she’s one of a kind – a highly skilled courier pilot with dreams of owning her own hangar. One last delivery is all she needs.

There’s only one thing stopping her… World War II.

When Celeste is shot down over Paris in 1940, it’ll take more than she ever expected for Celeste and her dreams to survive in a world that is falling apart.

Can Celeste and her wingmen make it back home in one piece? Or will war consume her generation and its aspirations?

WINGMEN is the story of us all and the lessons we have yet to learn.

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Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Macy – Giveaway and Character Interview

As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .

Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .

But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

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Pressing the Issue (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber – Blog Tour and Giveaway!

pressing the issueAs the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a winepress, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived comely wench, or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?

Includes tantalizing recipes!

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Interview with Rich Leder – Author of Emboozlement

FINAL EMBOOZLEMENT COVER LARGE EBOOKONE SLIPPERY SPORTS BAR EMBEZZLER

TWO DEAD DECADENT DIVORCE LAWYERS

MCCALL & COMPANY ON THE CASE

PI Kate McCall was warned to stay home, stay put, and stay out of NYPD business. But someone is killing Lowry Lowe lawyers, and Kate is sure her father’s murderer is pulling the trigger. At the same time, former Major League relief pitcher Steve “Blue” Stark wants her to catch the crook embezzling big bucks from his West Side sports bar.

Kate can’t help but get in the game.

The problem is the killer is cluing her in before murdering each lawyer and she’s falling for Blue as fast as he’s becoming her prime suspect.

Can Kate and her crackpot crew catch her father’s killer before all the lawyers are dead? And will she find real love with dreamboat Blue? Or will she have to lock him up for stealing his own money?

If she comes through the kidnappings, she might beat the odds.

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Interview with Cooper Harrington from Killer Music by Tammy L. Grace


When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later.

The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben to visit the luxurious mansions of recording industry magnates, navigate the murky undercurrents of the political world, and probe complicated family matters. Scandalous indiscretions, secrets, and hints of corruption swirl in the midst of their pursuit of the killer.

Coop’s faithful friend and assistant, Annabelle and his loyal golden retriever, Gus, both lend a hand during the investigation. Even his Aunt Camille mines the local gossip mill to unearth potential killers with motive. Yet the case seems hopeless until a crucial piece of evidence emerges that sends Coop and Ben on a race to catch the killer before someone else dies.

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Interview with Meg Macy – author of Bearly Departed

Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery, #1)The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcee with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch–with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news–police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy–or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

Purchase Bearly Departed from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo

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