My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa – Excerpt

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Synopsis:

Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but she’s about to find out that no matter how far you run, your past always catches up to you…

Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty years old and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—that is until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.

Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there’s no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?

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Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer – Review & Excerpt

Enola Holmes_Updated HC Synopsis:

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

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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.

The Vines by Shelley Nolden – Guest Post and Blog Tour

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SYNOPSIS

In the shadows of New York City’s North Brother Island stand the remains of a shuttered hospital and the haunting memories of quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses the enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past–and his own family’s dark secrets.  Nolden skillfully intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss. 

Purchase LinksAmazon | IndieBound

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Watch Her Vanish by Ellery Kane

cover Synopsis: 

The beam from the lighthouse slices through the dawn sky as she runs down the rocky stairway to the beach. She tries to take it all inthe waves crashing against the cliffs, the whip of salt grass in the windbefore finally dragging her eyes down to the innocent girl’s blonde hair, strewn across the bottom step like seaweed…

Returning home to Fog Harbor, California, to be closer to her little sister, Olivia Rockwell is struggling to adjust to life in a town so small she can hardly breathe. That is, until the sound of a scream leads her to the body of a local teacher in the shallows nearby. All the evidence points to Olivia’s most threatening criminal psychology patient, Drake, who is safely locked up behind bars…

Convinced of Drake’s innocence—and desperate to believe in the system that’s keeping her murderer father in prison and away from her sister—Olivia gets to work on her own suspect list. All her life she’s run towards trouble, but this time she’s treading on the toes of Detective Will Decker, whose past mistakes mean this case is his last chance to make amends.

Then a second woman’s body is discovered, strangled while out on an evening jog. The strip of blue material used to choke her implicates Drake once again, forcing Will to admit he needs Olivia’s special talent for understanding the minds of killers. It’s clear more innocent women will die if they don’t get one step ahead of the murders, and Olivia knows she will need her estranged father’s help to get close to Drake. 

But when Olivia’s profile leads them to believe Drake could be masterminding murders from within the prison walls, a message written on a scrap of paper found in the latest victim’s car leads them to a terrifying realization: Olivia’s little sister will be next…

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She Lies Close by Sharon Doering – Blog Tour & Excerpt

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She Lies Close

Synopsis:

A compulsive debut thriller about motherhood, obsession and how far we’d go to protect the ones we love.

Five-year-old Ava Boone has been missing for six months. There have been no leads, no arrests, no witnesses. The only suspect was quiet, middle-aged Leland Ernest.

And Grace Wright has just bought the house next door. Recently divorced, Grace uprooted her two small children to start again and hopes the move will reset her crippling insomnia. But now she understands bargain-price for her beautiful new house.

With whispered neighbourhood gossip and increasingly sleepless nights, Grace develops a fierce obsession with Leland and the safety of her children. Could she really be living next door to a child-kidnapper? A murderer?

With reality and dream blurring more each day, Grace desperately pursues the truth – following Ava’s family, demanding answers from the police – and then a body is discovered…

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Guest Post from C S Alleyne – Author of Belle Vue

Hi everyone. The kids are back in school and fall is just now visible in the distance (it can’t get here fast enough for my taste). To me that means cooler weather, pumpkin everything, and spooky books! I admit I’ve been reading more paranormal and horror than cozy mystery lately. I’m pleased to welcome paranormal mystery author C S Alleyne to the blog. Her novel Belle Vue comes out today and she will be sharing her inspiration for the book. I’ll be finishing it and posting my review soon so keep an eye out for that, and check the author links below for a chance to read an excerpt for yourself. (Just a note to my cozy readers – this novel is a far cry from cozy!)

Belle Vue by C S Alleyne

Inspiration – that feeling of enthusiasm and the source for new and creative ideas can strike an author in the oddest place. For me, it was my occasional journey past a block of luxury apartments which was converted from the original Leavesden Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles – a name not to be reckoned with now. As I walked past the main building it stirred my interest and I searched for more information about its history. Finding other pictures of evocative old asylums either in ruins or also converted into residential accommodation, I soon had lots of story ideas and started jotting notes for what would become Belle Vue.

I did a lot of research into Victorian asylums which was a real eye-opener. At the turn of the nineteenth century, England and France combined had only a few hundred individuals in asylums, but by 1900 this number had risen to the hundreds of thousands. This epidemic of madness suddenly gripped Europe and the US too. Records of reasons for admission to an asylum make for fascinating reading – and not a little concern that had any one of us been around then we may just have found ourselves in a new – and unwelcome – address!

These entries have been a source of amusement on the net with such things as ‘novel reading’, ‘tobacco and masturbation’, ‘over study’ and ‘sudden loss of several cows’ listed as causes of mental illness requiring asylum incarceration.

Women in particular were at risk – Maureen Dabbagh‘s 2001 book reveals women were admitted for –

“…laziness, egotism, disappointed love, female disease, mental excitement, cold, snuff, greediness, imaginary female trouble, “gathering in the head,” exposure and quackery, jealousy, religion, asthma, masturbation, and bad habits. Spouses used lunacy laws to rid themselves of their partners and in abducting their children.”

And these were not places you would want to go – local magistrate Godfrey Higgins, who investigated York asylum in 1814 found ‘evidence of wrongdoing on a massive scale: maltreatment of the patients extending to rape and murder; forging of records to hide deaths among the inmates; an extraordinarily widespread use of chains and other forms of mechanical restraint; massive embezzlement of funds; and conditions of utter filth and neglect.’ On one visit he forced his way through a hidden door to expose a tiny room crammed with thirteen elderly ladies, practically naked and covered in their own excrement. Higgins ‘became very sick and could no longer remain in the room.  I vomited.’

So amongst all that, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that a murder had taken place in the Leavesden Aslyum in 1899 albeit by an outsider and reading about it gave me another idea. Mary Ansell was found guilty of poisoning her sister Caroline who was an inmate in the asylum. She was hanged at St. Alban’s Jail (though in this case there was considerable public pressure for a reprieve as she too was believed to lack ‘mental capacity’). But Mary had taken out an insurance policy on her sister’s life…

As I was mulling over other possible plot lines, my ears pricked up (and sure I would not be alone in this lol!) at the mention of satanic orgies. I heard about the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe where such practices had taken place and duly paid a visit. The caves, excavated between 1748 and 1752 for Sir Francis Dashwood, were used as a meeting place for his notorious Hellfire Club.

Members included various politically and socially important 18th century figures such as William Hogarth, John Wilkes, Thomas Potter and John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Though not believed to have been a member, Benjamin Franklin was a close friend of Dashwood who visited the caves on more than one occasion.

img1  Underground Statue at the Hellfire Caves (Scott Wylie)

According to Horace Walpole, the members’ “practice was rigorously pagan: Bacchus and Venus were the deities to whom they almost publicly sacrificed; and the nymphs and the hogsheads that were laid in against the festivals of this new church, sufficiently informed the neighbourhood of the complexion of those hermits.” Dashwood’s garden at West Wycombe contained numerous statues and shrines to different gods; Daphne and Flora, Priapus and the previously mentioned Venus and Dionysus.

Many rumours of black magic, satanic rituals and orgies were in circulation during the life of the club. Club meetings often included mock rituals, pornographic materials, much drinking, wenching and banqueting. The early 1760s saw the downfall of Dashwood’s exclusive club but its tantalising premise caught my imagination and I decided to incorporate a secret society, orgies and all, into Belle Vue.

So that was my inspiration for the Mephisto Club…

Writers are often advised ‘write what you know’ but given Belle Vue is about murder, satanic orgies and mistreatment in Victorian lunatic asylums I am not putting my hand up to any of these and all down to diligent research of subjects that fascinate me lol!

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Not all asylums were as bad as this – Belle Vue simply reflects the conditions of those that were…

About the Author

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C S Alleyne grew up in Australia and originally trained as a hotel manager in the UK. After several postings in the Caribbean she changed tack and completed her MBA followed several years later by a PhD in Information Systems. She is a management consultant and also lectures in several universities. Belle Vue is her debut novel and in December last year, her novelette, POWEЯ, was published.

LINKS

Excerpt – Read the first 2 chapters here – http://csalleyne.com/excerpt-belle-vue/

Website – http://www.csalleyne.com

Blog – http://csalleyne.com/blog/

Goodreads –
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19806081.C_S_Alleyne

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53318594-belle-vue

Twitter – https://twitter.com/csalleyne

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/csalleyne/

Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/C.S.-Alleyne/e/B082P1H49C%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Amazon Author Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1646693116/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Universal purchase link – BELLE VUE – http://getbook.at/BelleVue

Universal purchase link – POWEЯ – http://getbook.at/CSPower

Book Blast & Giveaway – When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano

Book Blast – When It’s Time for Leaving
by Ang Pompano

About When It’s Time For Leaving


When It’s Time for Leaving
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Encircle Publications, LLC (October 1, 2019)
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1948338920
ISBN-13: 978-1948338929
Digital ASIN: B07TYQ8PDL

When his girlfriend dumps him and a dealer nearly rams him off a bridge, Al DeSantis quits the New Haven Police Department. Just as he plans to head for LA, he finds out the father who left when he was a kid has deeded him the Blue PalmettoDetective Agency in Georgia.

Al goes down to Savannah intending to sell fast and go west, but before he can, he discovers a strong, attractive detective named Maxine, a dead body on the dock—and his father, alive, suffering from dementia, and determined to help his “new partner Al” solve the crime. Al has a lot of adjusting to do when his traditional ideas are challenged as he has to act as his father’s caretaker, and finds that Maxine is his superior in the agency that he “owns.” When his father goes missing, Al and Max must team up to save his father–and capture the murderer.

Praise

Ang Pompano’s debut novel, WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING, is a corker. Thoroughly likable former cop, Al DeSantis, wants to get out of the crime business but inherits one that, fortunately for readers, won’t let him go. — Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

In When It’s Time for Leaving, debut mystery author Ang Pompano has created the most unusual and appealing duo of detectives since Holmes and Watson. —Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of A DEADLY FEAST

Author Ang Pompano serves up the PI for the double 20s. Al DeSantis is a classic, damaged gumshoe but with a youthful energy that pulls you through the pages. —Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and winner 2019 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction

Crime fiction has boasted some famous fathers and sons, from Inspector Richard Queen and his son Ellery to Jim Rockford and his dad Rocky. Add to that list the unforgettable duo of Al DeSantis and Big Al—building on that tradition but with some provocative twists. Ang Pompano’s first novel proves tough-minded and warm-hearted in equal measure. A fine, multi-layered debut.—Art Taylor 2019 Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Derringer Award winner

When it’s Time for Leaving is a crime thriller that delivers an atmospheric tale packed with action, suspense and some surprising twists. Pompano is a skilled storyteller who offers readers a complex mystery of chases, confrontation and introspection. The tale he weaves is, indeed a well-crafted murder mystery, set in a turbulent sea of emotions and populated with multifaceted characters. ­­­ —James Terry reviewer The Paladin Project

I like mystery/thrillers. This one is heavy on the mystery and very little thriller aspect. It is an enjoyable sometimes snarky read that made me smile. The main characters were so well written I felt like I knew them. The mystery itself was wrapped in mystery as we got to know the individuals and the hidden nuances of small towns. It was almost like watching (albeit reading) a 50/60 movie. I personally wanted the ending to share with everyone who was guilty. Have to leave it there, no spoilers. Thank you for the arc! All thoughts and opinions are my own and were unsolicited. —Cheryl M, Net Galley Reviewer

A really good and surprising mystery. The characters are great and feel like friends. I loved the snarky humor. I will definitely read more by this author. —Leah H, Net Galley Reviewer

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Praise

. . . a compelling detective mystery, with a bit of romance and lots of action and suspense. It is very well written, the plot is well intertwined and the pace is flowing.
~LibriAmoriMiei

This was a good mystery, with rough around edges characters . . . I really enjoyed this mystery . . .
~eBook Addicts

Pompano’s flawed detective is fun to watch. He’s tough with the bad guys, but when dealing with his father and the gal next store, he’s totally lost. There are moments of humor; others of sadness.
~Here’s How It Happened

When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano is a traditional PI mystery that had me intrigued from the first page . . . I enjoyed the mystery and thought it was a good debut novel.
~Brooke Blogs

 

About Ang Pompano

Ang Pompano has been writing mysteries for more than twenty years. His mystery novel, WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING will be published on October 1, 2019, by Encircle Publications. His short stories have been published in many award-winning anthologies, including the 2019 Malice Domestic Anthology, PARNELL HALL PRESENTS MALICE DOMESTIC: MURDER MOST EDIBLE. His newest story, “Stringer” will appear in SEASCAPE: THE BEST NEW ENGLAND CRIME STORIES 2019. In addition, he has written many academic pieces including one on teaching detective fiction. A member of Mystery Writers of America, he is a past recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America Scholarship for a novel in progress. He has been on the New England Crime Bake Planning Committee for fourteen years and is a long-time board member of Sisters in Crime New England. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Annette, an artist, and his two rescue dogs, Quincy and Dexter.

 

Author Links:

Website – http://angpompano.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/A.J.Pompano/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AngPompano
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/angpompano/

Purchase Links

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Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a digital copy of When It’s Time for Leaving

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CROSS HER HEART by Melinda Leigh – Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Cover Synopsis:

A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

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Clearing in the Woods by Phyllis M. Newman – Blog Tour

Synopsis:

Roberta escapes her humdrum middle-class existence and the persistent ache of her dead mother’s secrets by fleeing to Alaska. Having abandoned everything she’d spent her life building, Roberta remakes herself in another place, doing anything other than responding to the demands of her self-absorbed husband, her entitled kids, and her Pottery Barn home. Taking her first job since college, and a small room above a tourists’ shop, she contemplates new vistas. She never expected, however, to find romance in the form of a handsome federal agent involved in murder and mayhem.And it is murder and mayhem, and the discovery of other’s secrets, that causes Roberta to run for her life into the Alaskan wilderness…

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