Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Monthly Giveaway - Only 3 days Left!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Insanity of Murder by Felicity Young - Free Copies of Book

To Doctor Dody McCleland, the gruesome job of dealing with the results of an explosion at the Necropolis Railway Station is testing enough. But when her suffragette sister Florence is implicated in the crime, matters worsen and Dody finds her loyalty cruelly divided. Can she choose between love for her sister and her secret love for Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, the investigating officer on the case?

Dody and Pike's investigations lead them to a women's rest home where patients are not encouraged to read or think and where clandestine treatments and operations are conducted in an unethical and inhumane manner. Together Dody and Pike must uncover such foul play before their secret liaisons become public knowledge - and before Florence becomes the rest home's next victim.

Florence sprang up from her dressing-table chair and rushed to her bed, throwing herself face down upon her pillow. Her emotions spilled as if from a burst floodgate, the bones of her back visible through the thin fabric of her chemise, rising and falling with each gasp. 
‘All right, I did it, I did it,’ she sobbed. 
It was all very well to have suspicions, but to hear them confirmed thus changed everything. The shock of the admission felt like a blow to Dody’s chest, a physical pain. As she closed her eyes and prayed for strength, angry thoughts buzzed around her head like disturbed bees in a hive. 
Steeling herself as best she could, she sat on the edge of the bed. She must not let her anger show. She must remain calm for Florence’s sake, offer her support and then suggest the most honest course of action — that Florence turn herself in and throw herself on the mercy of the courts. 
Florence spoke first. ‘Every time I close my eyes I see that night watchman’s face. He caught us just after we’d planted the bomb. He tried to put his hand on me and I threw him to the ground. He hit his head.’
‘You managed to throw a grown man to the ground?’
Florence ignored the incredulity in Dody’s voice. ‘We knew the bomb would blow any minute and dragged him behind the convenience block outside the station. We stayed with him until the authorities arrived, then made our escape before we were seen by anyone.’ She paused to draw a shaking breath. ‘If I could save him by surrendering myself to the authorities, I would.’ She sat up in the bed and took the handkerchief Dody offered. ‘I really would — but it won’t make any difference to him now, will it?’
‘No, I suppose it won’t,’ Dody said, chewing her bottom lip. ‘But it would offer his family some form of justice.’
Florence appeared not to hear Dody’s last remark, as if still fixated on the scene in her head. It must be a relief to talk the whole ghastly incident through with someone, Dody thought.
‘And all those bodies … it was a horrible mistake that should never have happened,’ Florence said.
‘Who was your partner? You seem to have been left to face the consequences.’
She lifted her chin with some of her usual spirit. ‘I will never reveal my accomplice’s name. ’
‘But you will turn yourself in, won’t you?’
Florence swallowed. She shook her head.
‘But you have to.’
‘I received a note from Christabel. On no account am I to admit to this disaster. This incident has apparently been an embarrassment to them.’
‘For goodness sake, Florence, you mean they will take no responsibility for this atrocity at all?’
‘No,’ she said, with an amazing absence of rancour.
Dody wanted to throttle her sister. How could she brush this betrayal off so easily? Her dedication to the cause had made her quite blind to its dark side. Dody jumped up from the bed and began to pace.
‘I suppose you’ll tell Pike now,’ Florence said with a sigh. ‘I’ll deny it, of course.’
Dody said nothing. Her agitated footsteps bounced the floorboards and made the scent bottles on the dressing table tremble.
‘So where does this leave you?’ Florence added, finally.
‘Between Scylla and Charybdis,’ Dody muttered under her breath as she continued to pace. And think. 

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I was born in Germany and educated at an English boarding school while my parents travelled the world with the British army. I think the long boring plane trips home played an important part in helping me to develop my creative imagination.

I settled with my parents in Western Australia in 1976, became a nurse, married young and had three children. Not surprisingly, it took ten years to complete an Arts degree (English lit) at UWA.

In 1990 my family and I moved to a small farm 40 kilometers NE of Perth (Western Australia) where I established a Suffolk sheep stud, reared orphan kangaroos and embarked upon a life of crime writing.

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October 19: Welcome to My World of Dreams
October 20: BooksChatter
October 21: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin' - review
October 22: Long and Short Reviews
October 23: Jen's Reading Obsession
October 26: FictionZeal
October 27: Rogues Angels
October 29: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books!
October 29: Room With Books
October 30: LibriAmoriMiei - review

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Excerpt - Dead in a Park: Leah Norwood Mystery #2

He held it up with a smile. He ran his fingers across the rose petals and looked at it from every angle. The rose is carved out of a single piece of wood. The base is a square so that a rose, in full bloom, sat on top of it. Altogether, it is about six inches high and four inches wide. I love it. The look on Wade’s face was one of awe. “Beautiful. The intricacy is amazing. This is obviously one of his early pieces. The later ones were not as elaborate.”
“That’s too bad because this is gorgeous.” Wade handed the rose back, and I replaced it in the cabinet. “Why did he change his style?”
“No idea. My grandfather didn’t talk about him much. I’ve learned more about the family history in the last few months than I did growing up. Do you know why he and Arthur were estranged?”
I grinned. “Because of a woman and a great deal of money.”
Wade laughed. “I only heard the part about a great deal of money. It sounds like their stories might have been a little different. Tell me your version of the family tale, and I’ll tell you mine.”
“Okay.” I settled back on the couch with my drink. “When the brothers were young, they lived in a small village in England. They were both craftsmen. Arthur designed and made jewelry, and Albert made wooden sculptures, mostly decorative items like my rose.”
“He was a talented man.”
“Yes, he was. Anyway, they both fell in love with the same girl—my great-grandmother, Rose. She chose Arthur, and they married. Although disappointed, Albert carved her the rose and gave it to her for a wedding present.”
“It was a wedding present?” Wade asked.
“According to my grandmother. Soon after that, the brothers decided to move to the States. They arrived in New York and setup shop next door to each other. Arthur made a great deal of money in a very short time. His jewelry was sought-after and for a few years, he was one of the most sought after artisans. All of his designs were one of a kind. He never made two pieces of jewelry exactly the same.” I paused and took a drink of coffee. “Albert became jealous of Arthur, and they fought. Now here’s where things become a little muddy. My grandmother said her father began to fear for his life. He was afraid of his brother. He might have had reason because Arthur was shot. Just before he died, he hid most of his money and a few precious gems somewhere in Manhattan. Only my great-grandmother knew the location. He told her he had placed them somewhere safe. When he died, Rose fled New York and moved to Texas. She changed her name when she later remarried. She never told my grandmother where the money was. All she passed on was a few pieces of Arthur’s jewelry and that rose.”
“How did you get it?”
“I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was young. I loved to listen to her stories, and I had always been fascinated by the rose. It’s so beautiful. She left it to me, along with Rose’s engagement ring when she passed away three years ago. My sisters got the other jewelry.”
“Any idea where Arthur hid his loot?”
“No. We don’t know if he put it in a safe deposit box, left it with a friend, or even buried it somewhere. It’s a mystery.”
“Well,” Wade said, setting his cup down on the side table, “the version I heard was a little different.”
I smiled as I replied, “I’m not surprised.”
“According to my grandfather, who was Albert’s oldest son, Arthur refused to give Albert his share of the money and after Arthur died, Rose took off with it. My grandfather remembered Rose. He and your grandmother were about the same age. After Rose disappeared, Albert changed and he refused to discuss the money or Rose ever again. My grandfather was very bitter about the whole thing. He always felt he had been cheated out of his rightful inheritance because Rose took the money that belonged to Albert.”
“If she took the money, my grandmother never saw it.”
“She didn’t take the money,” Wade said.
“You seem very sure of that.”
“I am. My grandfather died five months ago. He lived in the same house all of his life. It had been Albert’s house as well. When we were cleaning it out, we found a box with a letter from Rose and a sketchbook.”
“Really?” I asked excitedly. My grandmother had often talked about her father’s sketches. She had been nine when he died, but she remembered looking through his books and watching him draw.
Wade nodded. “The letter was dated a month after Rose disappeared. She told Albert that the money was gone, and that she had left the gems where Arthur had hidden them. She said they had caused their family nothing but pain. She begged him to leave them and her alone. With the letter, she sent the sketchbook.”
“When Arthur died, his jewelry was in high demand. Those sketches would have been worth a good deal,” I said. “He never sold them?”
“No,” Wade replied. “As far as I can tell, they’re all still there. The letter and the sketchbook were wrapped in an old cloth and stored in a box. The letter was postmarked Dallas, Texas.”
We were both silent as I took it all in. When I looked back at Wade, he was watching me. I smiled slightly. “He let her go.”

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dead in a Dumpster on Tour - Week Two

Follow the tour and enter to win a Dead in a Dumpster Gift Pack which will include a t-shirt, tote bag, bookmark, and magnet.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dead in a Dumpster on Tour - Week One

Follow the tour and enter to win a Dead in a Dumpster Gift Pack which will include a t-shirt, tote bag, bookmark, and magnet.

October 12: Jane Reads - review
October 13: BooksChatter
October 14: Harps Romance Book Review
October 15: Christine Young
October 15: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin' - review
October 16: Unabridged Andra's

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Monthly Giveaway - $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card

This month's giveaway is a $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card. Entering the giveaway will also register you to receive my quarterly newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn by Kristi Belcamino - eBook Giveaway

San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni has finally got it all together: a devoted and loving boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan; a beautiful little girl with him; and her dream job as the cops' reporter for the Bay Herald. But her success has been hard-won and has left her with debilitating paranoia. When a string of young co-eds starts to show up dead with suspicious Biblical verses left on their bodies—the same verses that the man she suspects kidnapped and murdered her sister twenty years ago had sent to her—she begins to question if the killer is trying to send her a message.

It is not until evil strikes Gabriella's own family that her worst fears are confirmed. As the clock begins to tick, every passing hour means the difference between life and death to those Gabriella loves...

The setting sun turns my family into dark silhouettes as I step onto the warm sand. The beach is nearly deserted, except for a lone figure walking north of us along the sand where the waves are crashing in from the Pacific Ocean.
A cool breeze makes me glad I trekked to the car to retrieve my daughter’s little lavender parka. We promised her we’d stay until the sun set.
Donovan’s back is turned, phone held to his ear. He’s pacing in his bare feet, his jeans rolled up, a scowl on his face from what he’s hearing. A murder. Every once in a while he glances back at Grace kneeling in the sand playing.
Grace has dug deep channels with a small red shovel, chatting to herself, weaving tales about mermaids and sea creatures and fairies. She bounces a plastic dinosaur along the sand, a prize won in kindergarten for reading two books in one week.
Everything I’ve ever wanted is on that beach—Donovan and our daughter, Grace. My own little family. My life.
I’m still far away, closer to the parking lot, when I see the figure walking along the shore is growing closer. It’s a man. His shadow, with its elongated arms and legs, stretches across the beach until it seems to take on a life of its own. Something about his movements seems angry and frenetic—instead of the wandering gait of a casual sunset stroll—and sets off  small alarms in my head. I walk faster, the sand seeming to reach up and grab at my ankles, slowing my progress.
Donovan’s pacing takes him in the opposite direction, away from Grace. He’s not paying attention to anything besides his phone call. The man is now closer to Grace, who seems alone on the beach, although Donovan is twenty feet away. Donovan squints up into the pink and orange clouds, raking a hand through his perpetually spiky hair.
The man’s path takes him straight toward Grace. My heart races. I can’t tell for sure, but it seems like he’s watching her. He walks at a determined clip, covering ground much faster than me in my flat, strappy sandals. I lean over in mid-stride and rip a sandal from one foot without stopping. Then I scoop up the other in one fluid motion.
Still, each step feels like my bare feet are being sucked into quicksand. I hurry, but feel like I’m moving in slow motion.
“Grace.” I shout, but my words are carried away on the wind. I’m breathless from fighting the sand tugging at my feet. The breeze, which has grown stronger in the past few minutes, whips my hair. Grace’s brown ringlets bob as she hops her plastic dinosaur around, not noticing anything else.
Donovan isn’t far from Grace, but now the man is closer.
At the same moment Donovan turns and sees the look on my face, the man reaches Grace. His long shadow falls over her small figure. She looks up with a smile and starts chatting. He leans down. His hand reaches toward her, his fingers millimeters from her arm. A wave of dread ripples through me. My feet feel cemented into the sand. My mind screams, but no words come out of my open mouth. Inside, I’m flailing and thrashing to get to Grace, but on the outside, I’m struck immobile.
The man reaches down and grasps Grace’s arm, turning her toward him, and the spell is broken. I’m on wet sand running, the scream caught in my throat coming out as a birdlike garble. I scoop Grace up onto one hip and take a step back. I gasp for air, but I can’t breathe. My heart is going to explode in my chest.

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Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist. In her former life as a newspaper crime reporter in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, watched autopsies, and interviewed serial killers. She is now a journalist based in Minneapolis and the Gabriella Giovanni mysteries are her first books.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Excerpt - Forgive Me (Holton Series #4)

Mitch turned back in time to catch his sister when she jumped into his arms. He pulled her close and held her tightly for a moment. He had missed her. When she stepped back, she had a questioning look in her eyes which he ignored. Instead, he turned to the other woman. Rachel had blossomed in the past few months. Gone were the thick glasses and drab clothes. She now looked stylish and happy.
Mitch gave her his signature grin and placed his hand over his heart in a dramatic fashion. “Rachel, it breaks my heart to see your beauty and know that you are forever lost to me.”
“Shut up, Mitch,” Rachel said in her deep, smoky voice. She stepped forward and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before stepping past him and heading into the house. Victoria gave him a wide smile and followed Rachel.
“Yes, please come in,” Mitch said sardonically as he followed the two women. The movers had finished placing the desk and chair near the window. Mitch signed the necessary paperwork and sent them on their way. He then headed to the kitchen to find his guests.
Rachel was seated at the table that was now covered with burgers and fries. Victoria was emptying the bag of the last of the food. “We brought lunch.”
“I can see. The question is why. There’s plenty of food here.” Mitch had been pleased, but not surprised, to see that the refrigerator and pantry were well stocked when he had arrived last night. His sister was nothing if not organized.
“Who wants to cook on your first day home?” Victoria asked. “Sit, eat.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
Mitch sat down at the table and picked up a burger. “Not that I’m not glad to see you both, but shouldn’t you be at work?”
Victoria worked for an advertising agency in Dallas, and Rachel was head librarian at the Holton City Library.
“You know I’m part-time now at Whitman’s. I only go into the office twice a week.”
“I took the day off,” Rachel said.
Mitch ate a little of his lunch. “So Rachel, how’s married life?”
She gave him a smile. She knew what he was doing and was willing to play along. “It’s great. We’re all moved into the house. We’re still arranging things, but it’s coming together.”
“I’m glad. I always liked the Miller house.” Rachel’s husband Paul had recently purchased a house in town that had belonged to the Miller family for years. Mitch knew that Rachel had always loved the house.
“Me, too,” she replied.
He turned to his sister. “How are plans for Mark’s birthday going?”
Her eyes narrowed as she answered. “They’re going fine. He’ll be glad you are here this year.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“Okay, cut the crap, Mitch. What the hell is going on? Why are you moving back home?”
Mitch grinned, glanced at his watch, and then turned to Rachel. “Seven minutes.”
Rachel shrugged. “She lasted longer than I thought she would.”
Mitch laughed as Victoria glared at him. He picked up a fry and popped it into his mouth before saying, “You don’t want me to move back home?”
Her face softened. “Of course I want you to move back home, but you hate it here, Mitch. So I have to ask. Why?”
“I don’t hate it here.” He smiled at the disbelief on her face. “I’ve always loved Holton. I just hated the gossips and petty backstabbing.”
“That hasn’t changed.”
“I know, but I have. I’ve done my traveling. I’ve seen the world, and now I’m ready to deal with Holton, Texas. It can’t be any worse than some of the places I have been.”
The two women laughed. Victoria shook her head. “I’m glad, Mitch, but I don’t und…”
“Oh, good grief,” Rachel interrupted. “He’s back for Emily.”
“What?” Victoria exclaimed.
Mitch gave Rachel a dirty look which she ignored. She stared back at him calmly. He started to chuckle and then broke out into laughter. Rachel grinned. “Like you would have been able to keep it from her.”
“I know,” he said, laughter still lacing his voice. “But I had hoped for at least a little time to ease into it.”

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday Teapot

I think this one is very sweet. It is little, about 4-5 inches, and for one cup of tea. It was a gift from one of my sisters.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2015 Monthly Giveaway - $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card

This month's giveaway is a $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card. Entering the giveaway will also register you to receive my quarterly newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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