Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner - Free Book

Date Published: May 17, 2017
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

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Tucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead the following morning. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal. 

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?

Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other. 

For the next hour and a half, he drifted in and out of sleep. Cradled by the night sounds of the desert outside the open window, each time a memory emerged, his thoughts thickened and folded back into sleep. At one point he heard water running for a bath. A little later, he heard a car outside. Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. He stumbled to the window and opened the curtains. In the street, two long rectangular taillights moved away, turning south onto Oracle Road.
Matt leaned against the wall, staring at the sunflower sheets on Crystal’s bed. The same bed he and Travis had jumped up and down on when they were eight. The digital clock read 10:38 p.m. His head throbbed. He needed to close his eyes. Crystal would wake him in time to leave before Travis got home. He fell back onto the bed.
When he woke up again, the room was very dark. He wore only his boxers and a white T-shirt his mother had insisted upon—claiming his usual dark one would show through his tuxedo shirt. As if the color of his T-shirt could ruin her perfect wedding. But he’d been ingenious and found another way to ruin things for his mother. He turned toward the empty space beside him. It took a few moments for him to realize where he was. He closed his eyes, shook his aching head to clear it. Crystal was his best friend’s mother. What the hell was he doing in her bed?
He thought he heard the sound of the front door open, then close again. Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. His eyes adjusted to the darkness. One event at a time, he remembered everything.
Fully awake now, he shot from the bed, rocking for a few seconds before he achieved balance, then hurried to the window. The moon hung over the mountaintop, its light silver and unforgiving. Crystal’s driveway was empty. Whoever he’d heard, it wasn’t Travis. On the other side of the street, an engine started. This time the taillights were round. Definitely not Crystal’s Escort. The car turned north on Oracle Road.
Matt let out the breath he’d been holding and glanced at the digital clock—its red letters told him it was 11:20 p.m. He needed to get dressed and leave. The dance ended in forty minutes and Travis would head home. He grabbed his tuxedo pants and shirt from the chair. His hands shook so hard he could barely work the fly and the button on his trousers. He slipped into his shirt, then sat on the edge of the bed. As if he had the flu, his head throbbed and his stomach felt queasy.
He rushed down the hallway toward the bathroom. And when he did, he saw the puddle of blood on the floor beside the bathtub.
He hurried across the room, jerked open the pale green shower curtain.
Crystal lay naked in a bathtub filled with blood-colored water. Her hair, her beautiful blonde curls, had been chopped off, shorter in some places than others, as if a small child had done it. Some of the curls were floating on top of the water.
For a strange moment, everything remained calm and slow.
Her head was propped against one of those blow-up pillows attached to the back of the tub with suction cups. The tint of her skin was pale and slightly blue. Crystal’s eyes were open and staring straight ahead—looking at something he couldn’t see. Blood splattered the white tiles that surrounded the tub. It dripped down them like wet paint. One of her hands flopped over the side of the tub. A single thick drop fell from her index finger into the crimson pond congealing on the linoleum floor. It covered her neck and shoulders. Tiny bubbles of frothy blood still oozed from the gash in her neck.

About the Author

Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers' Association Novel Award twice for her novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Her novel, A Bend In The Willow, was published in January 2017. Redemption Lake, the first in a 3-book detective series, will be released May 17, 2017. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. 

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. In her spare time, Susan likes to make quilts and stained glass windows. She says it is a little bit like writing, telling stories with fabric and glass.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Lost Spaniel - available for preorder

The Lost Spaniel is the third novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott opened Lost and Found Pets because she loves animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

When Alex’s mentor, Eddie Hill, calls about his lost Cocker Spaniel, Alex rushes to the rescue. They quickly track the dog to an abandoned construction site, but after bullets start flying, Alex realizes there’s more to this case than a missing dog.

Alex and Eddie have to dig into their pasts to find out who might want to harm them or their pets. The list of suspects grows long as Alex tries to solve the mystery of the lost Spaniel.

My breathing was becoming shallow, and my whole body was shaking. I couldn’t stop moving. It felt like an eternity, but a few moments later, Craig rushed in. He took one look at me and stopped.
“Hero’s been shot,” I shouted. I waved my arms, pointing to the German Shepard and then toward the dog in Eddie’s arms. “He’s bleeding. And Daisy is covered in glass.”
“Okay,” Craig said calmly, nodding once.
“It’s not okay,” I yelled. “Hero’s been shot. Daisy…”
“Alex!” Craig said sternly. “Stop.”
“He’s been shot,” I whispered desperately.
“Alex,” Craig said softly. “Look. Look at Hero. He’s okay.”
I looked at the dog on the table. Hero was lying down, but his head was up, and he was panting softly. When he saw me looking at him, he thumped his tail. I looked back at Craig who nodded once. I collapsed into the chair behind me and buried my face in my hands.
“I’m Craig Burns.”
“Eddie Hill.”
“Ah, Mr. Hill,” Craig said. I heard, rather than saw, the smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Alex speaks very highly of you.”
“Really?” Eddie asked.
“Well, as highly as Alex speaks of anyone.”
The two men laughed. I raised my head to glare at them, but neither one was looking at me so I sat back in my chair. Craig glanced at me then. When he saw I was somewhat under control, he smiled.
“I’m going to take Hero for an ex-ray and to clean up his wound.” He turned back to Eddie. “Rich will take Daisy and get her cleaned up and check for any injuries.”
Rich is Craig’s assistant and was now standing in the doorway. I hadn’t seen him earlier and hoped he hadn’t witnessed my meltdown. He stepped inside and carefully took Daisy from Eddie before disappearing down the hallway.
Craig looked at me again. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, but it may take a while as I need to finish with my other patient.”
I flushed guiltily. I hadn’t even considered the other people or pets. My only concern had been for Hero. Craig got Hero to follow him from the room. The dog was limping slightly but had no trouble walking.
After the door closed behind them, I leaned my head against the wall and closed my eyes. Eddie and I sat in silence a moment while I relived the events of the past hour. When I opened my eyes, Eddie was watching me.
“Who wants you dead, Eddie?” I asked.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Saying I Do by Tracey Alverez - Release Day Giveaway

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This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from May 19 to May 25. See the tour schedule here.

Saying I DoSaying I Do (Stewart Island #8)
by Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: May 19, 2017

Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…

Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.

MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?
Feet moving of their own accord, Mac stomped over to him. “You can learn a lot about someone in a short amount of time, and I’ve learned this about your sister already—if you push her too hard too fast, she’ll dig in her heels. So back the hell off for a bit. You’re too heavy-handed.”
His jaw bunched, and suddenly he wasn’t leaning against the door anymore—she was—with Joe’s big hands still clamped on her arms, which was how he’d twisted her around and pinned her.
“Heavy-handed, am I?”
Deeper and rougher than his usual silky tone with a hint of Ireland, his accent came out in force. It wasn’t the voice of a doctor with a charming bedside manner, but the voice of a man who could walk through the rougher parts of Dublin with confidence.
The word came out high-pitched like a chick’s peep because his grip had loosened on her arms. Both his thumbs stroked over the curve of her biceps, and, dear God—she couldn’t for the life of her stop a delicious shiver from skimming down to her toes.
Her breath shuddered out on a gasp. Even though she knew how to break away from a man by inflicting enough pain to ensure he wouldn’t grab her again, Mac couldn’t do anything but curl her toes and stare at the working of Joe’s Adam’s apple.
She licked suddenly dry lips. “You, ah, need to use a gentler touch.”
“Do I, darlin’?”
The mean streets of Dublin had left his voice, and a new tone appeared. One she’d never heard from him. One that a tiny corner of her heart recognized with a skittering jump, conjuring up a fantasy of a stone cottage on a lonely, Irish cliff top, the sea roaring below and a man whispering Irish endearments in her ears.
His hands skimmed up her shoulders, and one finger traced the line of her jaw, coming to rest in the cleft of her chin. “That’s how you expect a man to handle you, no doubt. As if you were made of spun glass, and a kiss that was anything but gentle would shatter you.”
“A kiss won’t shatter me.” That didn’t make sense, but then nothing did when she could barely hear his words over the pounding bass and the pounding thrum of blood firing through her veins.
“Are you sure now? Because I’m not wantin’ to be gentle.”
He dipped his head and brushed his lips along the path his finger had taken a moment before. A total contradiction of his words. Mac’s stomach dropped in a giddying free fall, and her hands—which had found their way onto his hips—bunched in the soft wool of his sweater.
“Anyone ever tell you you talk too much?” she said.
When she’d meant to say, “I need you to kiss me, fool.”
Apparently, his diagnostic powers were good because he figured out what she needed, and he cupped one big hand behind her neck, lowering his mouth to hers. Warm, firm lips teased hers, not quite a kiss, more testing for reaction as he drew back a fraction, waiting for her to broach the hairbreadth of distance between them again. And with a ragged inhale, she did, parting her mouth slightly to draw him in deeper. If she was going to kiss Joe, then, dammit, it was going to be a good kiss. A grand kiss.
A not gentle, not polite, not going to stop thinking about it for days kiss.

You can find Saying I Do on Goodreads

Listen to the soundtrack for Saying on I Do on Youtube

You can buy Saying I Do here:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Amazon CA
- Amazon Australia
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
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- Smashwords

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Tracey AlvarezAbout the Author:
Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as

Her website is and don't forget to sign up to her newsletter here:

You can find and contact Tracey here:
- Website
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There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Saying I Do. This giveaway ends May 25th.

One winner will win a prize pack (over $65 value) which includes:
~ Playing For Fun signed paperback (Playing For Fun is Book 6 in the series, and features Mac's cousin Holly)
~ Fun NZ theme tote bag
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Rejuvenating Face Pack
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Conditioning Lip Balm
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey Hand Cream
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey with Propolis Triple Milled Luxury Soap
~ Handcrafted in New Zealand woven Hessian Kete with feathers
~ 4 New Zealand Paua Shell Wine Glass Charms
~ Author magnet (not pictured)
~ Author bookmark (not pictured)
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Giveaway rules
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but the author is unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on May 25th and winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure Tracy Alvarez’s e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If the author doesn’t receive a reply from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below.

To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you'll need to purchase Saying I Do and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the last 4-word sentence at the end of Chapter 13?

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Friday, May 19, 2017

d4 by Sherrie Cronin – Free Books!

A clairvoyant young woman finds her visions of the future to be a nuisance, until she discovers that she is hardly unique. An entire group of seers has learned how to profit from their knowledge in ways that Ariel has never considered. Another group is obsessed with using their talents to understand a dark future they cannot ignore.

An alliance with either crowd looks dangerous, given that they both seem a little crazy. There is no possible way to help them both. Worse yet, each group is convinced that Ariel is more than a potential asset; she’s the one thing that they must have in order to fully succeed.

They were ready to part as friends, kindred spirits who had against all odds found each other and experienced a brief moment of understanding. Maybe they’d even try to meet again.
Ariel stood, intending to rejoin her group after paying for the coffee. She would have made it out of the door, too, if Siarnaq hadn’t reached out to take her hand as they both stood to leave.
Even his brief touch reignited the splatter of visions she had felt earlier, and she worked to steady the dizziness that came with them. While the giddy feeling was largely uncomfortable to Ariel, it seemed to intrigue Siarnaq, and he held on to her hand tightly for several seconds.
“May I?” he asked as he ran his other hand gently up her arm. “Please?”
It wasn’t like being touched by anyone else. The contact between new skin, and more skin, set off more images, as Ariel felt her own natural frequency start to piggyback onto the wavelength of Siarnaq’s visions. Her day-to-day clarity began to form around his far future events and the more skin contact she made with the man the clearer the melding of their two visions was becoming. He let go of her and took a step away. It stopped.
She took a step forward and placed the whole inside of her lower arm against his. The combined visions came back stronger. He gave her a curious smile. People in the small diner were starting to stare at them. This was not the ideal place for a science experiment. Ariel hesitated for only a second.
“Let’s go outside,” she muttered. Then, as they gathered coats and walked out into the below zero dusk, she realized that outdoors was not going to be any better. “Would you like to come back to my room?” He nodded. They both knew. At that point, they couldn’t walk away without finding out more.

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Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.

She published her first science fiction short story long ago, and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.

The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying. The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.

Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.

Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a six book series. Sherrie decided that she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

Twitter: @cinnabar01


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Snippet from The Lost Macaw

My next book will be the fourth Lost and Found Pets Novella. Here's a little snippet:

Suddenly, the front door flew open. A little, old lady stepped in. Claire and I exchanged a grin. This was one of the highlights of our week.

“Mrs. Kearns,” Claire said happily. “You’re here a little early aren’t you?”

The woman looked worried and upset. She glanced around the room and when her gaze settled on Hero, she nodded once. I stood quickly. There was something wrong. She looked at me, tears gathering in her eyes.

“Molly’s missing!”

Friday, May 12, 2017


I think I’ve mentioned I love to travel. I usually take one or two vacations a year. Last year, my big trip was to Iceland. It was a lot of fun and the people were incredibly kind. This year, we are staying in the U.S.

One of my goals is to see as many of the national parks, monuments, and memorials as possible. I will soon be going to Rapid City, South Dakota. We will be staying in Rapid City and then venturing out in all directions each day. There will be a lot of driving, but we are going to see a lot. We are going to visit Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, the Badlands National Park, Wine Cave National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Jewell Cave National Monument as well as several state parks and site.

I’m really looking forward to this trip. I think it’s going to be fun!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jersey Diner by Lisa Diane Kastner - $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Lauren has a dead end job as a waitress at the Oaklyn Diner. She becomes ecstatic when the diner is chosen to be the focal point of an upcoming movie, *Jersey Diner,* starring Jonathan Pearce. When filming ends she moves to California to start a new life with him. Lauren quickly discovers that all that she thought was real and true are in question.

“Here’s a copy of the script, read through it and then go over the scenes with the girl.”

“I can try. I never acted so I don’t know how much of a help I’ll be.”

He plopped it into my arms. The script weighed more than a stacked tray.

“This isn’t about acting. It’s about realism. That’s why we need your help. You’re a real waitress and this one just doesn’t get it.” He smirked. “If I could get ten cents for every time one of these actresses thought they could feel their way through a part. I’d be a zillionaire. Then give me a dime for every time they were wrong. Oh. I’d be …” He stopped. “Start reading.”

I had opened the cover and started flipping through the pages.

“Good. I knew you’d be the right person for the job. We’ll pay you for your time. You can be our ‘Resident Expert on Serving.’ Ya know, like a martial arts expert.”


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Lisa is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery.

She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. ( She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award.

Lisa presented at a TEDx in Seattle on The Power of Connecting. And presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) on the “You Sent Us What?” panel.
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey The Redness migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously encourage and engage in little sparks of anarchy.

Twitter: @lisadkastner
Instagram: 60shadesofred

What is your favorite genre to read?
Cross genre, fantasy, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, memoir … I pretty much read everything.

Who is your favorite author to read?
Only one? Well, that’s not fair. All time favorites – Junot Diaz, Angela Carter, Carolyn Turgeon, Da Chen, Tom Perrotta, Hannah Tinti, J.M. Coetzee, F. Scott Fitzgerald and a ton more.

What is your favorite movie?
Again, only one? Yeesh. I’m not good at following rules. J Fight Club, Princess Bride, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Keanu, The Fisher King and a ton more.

Do you have any favorite quotes?
“Be your own kind of beautiful”
“If not now, when?” Incubus
“Be humble in your confidence, yet courageous in your character,” Melanie Koulouris
"To all the girls that think you're fat because you're not a size zero, you're the beautiful one, it's society who's ugly." Marilyn Monroe

Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Nope. If I listen to music when I’m writing then I end up writing the music lyrics. Kind of annoying.

Do you have any phobias?
Not really. I don’t like chicken feet, does that count?

Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC. Enter now:

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Matchmaker Abduction by Donna McDonald

True love is said to defy time, but can it survive space, aliens, and being abducted? Angus MacNamara and Erin O’Shea are about to find out.

The big blue planet that most call Earth desperately needs matchmakers. There is only one small—okay, BIG—problem. No one wants the alien dating service job. No one. The original matchmakers are dead, and much worse, their DNA is no longer viable for cloning.

Solution? Go back in time to some of Earth’s other—thankfully slower spinning—versions, and retrieve the alternates of the one couple in any universe who seems able to do the job.

Far easier said than done though, especially when the alternates are anything but a loving couple, and both are none too pleased to be thrown into the future.

What does oil and water create? Salad dressing or a real mess of aliens, humans, and matchmaking fun!

“Are they that invested in having long lives?” Angus asked.
“I believe they are. Their population is a lot smaller than you might imagine. Bad aliens attacked Universe 1 some 500 years ago and they brought with them a sickness that wiped out two-thirds of all the people on the planet. So now they take very good care of themselves and any children they have. And apparently, they take care of where we come from too. No universe connected to the Earth is allowed to end because no one quite knows what that kind of change will bring. Agent Black, and those like him, police the balance on behalf of some group they refer to as the Guardians. They do their policing work through the same machine the aliens use to come and go. I get the impression the aliens don’t know about how the agents are using it. That’s one of just many secrets here in this strange place.”
“Ya must know that all that sounds like some big story yar spinning.”
Erin nodded. “I well know it. It sounds like one to my own ears, even after living it for a while.”
She drifted off in her storytelling and Angus let it happen. His mind was on overload anyway.
They ate in silence while he thought hard about why they were being treated well when it was clear from Toorg outside the door that they were prisoners. Instinct, combined with the guard’s massive size, sent a clear message that Toorg wasn’t going to let them do anything they weren’t allowed to do.
Someone Toorg’s size could easily enforce anything he needed to. Angus was no small man himself, and in his youth had made extra money tossing drunken buggers out of Paddy’s. All pondering the size and girth of their guard brought him was the clear thought that Erin had taken the proper course in playing along.
“So what have ya been doing with yerself while I was cooking in the box?”
Erin shrugged and continued eating. Finally, she rested her fork. She dreaded the explosion her revelation would cause, but she couldn’t handle lying to Angus the way she did to everyone else. “I’ve been matchmaking,” she finally said.
Angus’s fork froze halfway to his mouth. He stared at her and blinked.
She rolled her eyes over his reaction. “Do ya really think I would fecking make that up just to see that stunned look on yer face? And don’t be getting pissy at me for being the messenger either. Eat yer food and take it in, because every word is the fecking truth. That’s what they brought us here for, Angus. The old matchmakers who used to do the work are both dead.”
Perhaps he’d get angry later. For the moment, surprise had rendered him mute. Angus let the fork with the food on it find his mouth, but he tasted nothing. He even lifted another bite and chewed that too. Then he sat the fork down. He’d honestly thought Nate had been telling him a tall tale.
“Who the feck are ya matching up?” Angus asked tightly, trying not to yell the question. Erin’s glare said she knew him too well. She knew what was under that irritated tone.
“I’m matching up shirtless, muscled aliens with troubled women this group is exploiting. The women’s stories are dire and every single one of them would be dead if they hadn’t put themselves in this fecking program. Instead of fixing the real problems of the women, these power mad peckerheads are bartering them to aliens as brides. This bunch has woven quite the story about how wonderful being abducted is, so the women in the program are mostly jubilant. I don’t understand any of it.”
“Are the aliens all like Toorg and Berg? I can’t imagine having a conversation with someone who answers in the same sentence over and over.”
Erin snorted. “Those two are more eloquent than they appear. Toorg has an emotional range as wide as yers. Berg doesn’t bother with much inflection, but then he seems to have a few more sentences in his vocabulary.”
“Erin… I’ve seen ya resist a helping hand to carry a load of peat to yer fire. If ya think they’re doing something wrong, why are ya helping them?” Angus asked, going back to his food.
“Because I’m not sure this isn’t all normal here,” Erin explained, spreading her hands. “Plus those girls are so green about men.” She thought of sad Prudence. “Well, most of them are green. There is the occasional one who’s just here because life has dealt very poorly with her.”
“And I can see yar attached to those already,” Angus concluded, seeing determination in her eyes. “Ya never were neutral about yer customers, Erin.”
“No, I wasn’t, because I actually gave a shit about who they ended up with… unlike some I know. If it hadn’t been for me, ya would have matched yer own daughter with that married pervert from Dublin. The ghost of Mary MacNamara would have come back for me if I’d let ya do that to her first born girl.”
Angus grunted. She had a point about that one, but she didn’t have to keep rubbing his nose in his worst mistake. “He wasn’t all that bad as a person. He just wasn’t right for my Lorrie.”
“He was already married to another, Angus. It doesn’t get much worse than that for someone of yer religion, now does it? The Dubliner wanted a young girl to play with until he’d ruined her. Not all fecking men are as good as ya. I’ll not be having matched those kind up on my conscience. Brighid strike me dead if I ever start going that way.”
Angus nodded solemnly. He’d forgotten about the Dubliner being married. It had happened years ago.
“Had I ever thanked ya for finding Joshua for her? The lad has made her very happy over the years. They were the first to get with a babe. I remember he was over the moon with joy about it, and the same with the babes that followed.”
Erin snorted. “Thanked me? No. Ya never thanked me for anything I did to help, Angus. All ya ever did was accuse me of meddling in yer important affairs.”
“Have I always been a contrary bastard to ya?” Angus asked, wincing when he realized he’d opened himself to be flayed with her answer. Erin surprised him by ducking her head.
“No,” she said. “At times, I thought ya were the kindest man ever to walk the Earth in any universe, but…”
Angus blinked hard as he took the last bite of his strangely filling dinner. He set down his fork for good. “What am I hearing at the end there? But… but what?”
Erin lifted her chin. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot because everyone here has memories of the ones like us who’ve now died. The Angus here died of old age, which apparently no one can fight forever—cooking box or not. His Erin died within the week that followed of nothing they could identify. It’s assumed she died from grieving his loss. Our other selves weren’t just matchmakers. They were the perfect match. They were legendary lovers that inspired those in this universe to find love themselves.”

Purchase Links
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About the Author:
Donna McDonald published her first romance novel in March of 2011. Forty plus novels later, she admits to living her own happily ever after as a full time author. Her work spans several genres, such as contemporary romance, paranormal, and science fiction. Humor is the most common element across all her writing. Addicted to making readers laugh, she includes a good dose of romantic comedy in every book.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dead in a Dumpster - only $0.99

The kindle edition of the first book in my Leah Norwood Mysteries series, Dead in a Dumpster, is on sale for $0.99. This is the last day!

When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t liked Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe.  Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police charge her with murder?


“So you found the victim about seven fifty?” asked the baby-faced young cop about twenty minutes later.
Why was everyone so young? The name on his badge read Keith Cisneros. I have always been a little nervous around police officers. I’m not sure why. Other than the occasional speeding ticket, I don’t break any laws. Maybe it’s the uniform or just the authority figure mystique. However, I couldn’t be nervous around Keith. First, he was just too young. Second, I didn’t have any nerves left. I was too wet, too cold, and too miserable. And third, I knew Keith. Not well, but well enough to not find him intimidating. He had been the star quarterback on the local high school football team a few years back. His girlfriend at the time had come into my shop quite often, and wherever Susan went, Keith was not far behind. I don’t know what happened to Susan. I haven’t seen her since she went away to college, but Keith had stayed in Reed Hill. He had attended community college and then did whatever it was one did to become a police officer.
We were standing by the dumpster and trying not to look at Isabel. I don’t think Keith had ever seen a dead body either because the look on his face made me think he wanted to follow in my footsteps – scream, run into the nearest building, and lose his lunch. But the kid was made of sterner stuff. My estimation of him rose as he held his ground and questioned me.
“What were you doing out here?” he asked. Okay, so my estimation of him fell a little. I glanced at the trash bags sitting at our feet and tried to keep my voice even as I answered.
“I was taking out the trash.” I don’t think I succeeded as he looked at the trash and then flushed. Now I felt bad, like I had kicked a puppy.
“So did you…”
“Cisneros.” A deep, smoky voice cut through the night. Both of us jumped and then turned toward the voice. Keith’s car was parked nearby, and his front lights were illuminating the vicinity around the dumpster. With the lights from the nearby stores, it was a well-lit area. From the shadows, a figure emerged. If I had any nerves left, I might have been a little anxious. The man walking toward us moved like a stalking panther. Smooth, long strides that ate up the space.
He was breathtaking. Not gorgeous or handsome but there was a power about him that drew the eye. He wasn’t exceptionally tall, standing about five eleven, but his shoulders were broad and his hips narrow. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on his lean, hard body. Dark hair cut short in a military style, covered his head. His face was attractive in a timeless way. Chiseled and clean-shaven but with just a hint of a five o’clock shadow. He had a small indentation on the right side of his mouth that was trying very hard to be a dimple. It was as if he was willing it not to appear with the strength of his personality alone. He had intense green eyes that swept over me briefly before settling on Keith. He was dressed casually in blue jeans, a dark t-shirt, and a navy sports coat. He had to be freezing, but it certainly didn’t show.
He looked familiar, but I knew we had never met. I would have remembered him. He wasn’t the type of man you would ever forget. I searched my brain for a name to go with the face but came up empty. He stopped between us and turned to Keith. “What have we got?”
The kid stood straighter. I guess the man was his supervisor. Although he didn’t look much older than I did, his physical presence alone commanded authority. Keith answered quickly while consulting his notes. “Victim identified as Isabel Meeks. Gunshot wound to the chest, close range.”
The man looked at Isabel still sitting where I found her. He leaned closer. “Looks like a Glock 9mm.”
I was impressed. He was able to identify the type of gun by looking at the body. I owned a Glock and also knew what type of bullet hole it made, but I would have never been able to tell by looking at Isabel. Keith nodded and then looked back at his notes. “She was found about seven fifty p.m. by Ms. Norwood.”
Keith pointed to me, and the man turned his eyes to mine. His gaze swept down my body and back up. He then dismissed me without a second glance before turning back to the rookie. “Has the ME been called?”
Now, I know that I am not the most attractive person in the world. I am what most people would call average. Average height, average weight, average looks, but being dismissed so completely really pissed me off. I was cold, wet, tired, and quite frankly, still a little queasy. And it had been a really bad day. The two men were in deep conversation about the medical examiner when I interrupted.
“Can I leave now?”
Both of them turned toward me. Keith seemed a little surprised that I was still there. I guess he had forgotten about me. The other man just seemed irritated that I had interrupted him.
“You found the body?” he asked and then continued when I nodded, “We’ll need to ask you some questions.”
Keith had been asking me questions. My nerves were shot and my temper short. I am not usually such a bitch, but I had enough of standing out in the freezing rain. I probably shouldn’t have mouthed off to a police officer, but I figured my day couldn’t get any worse. I summoned up my inner diva, gave him my most haughty look, and asked in a snooty tone. “And you are?”
He stared at me a minute, his eyes hard and unyielding. He raised his eyebrows just a notch, pulled out a badge, and held it toward me. “Chief of Police Alexander Griggs.”
Well, damn, my day just got worse.

Monday, May 1, 2017

At Home With Andre by Kathleen Duhamel - $25 Amazon or B&N GC

New York public relations consultant and self-proclaimed control freak Katie McDowell may have made the biggest career mistake of her life. She’s agreed to temporarily leave her beloved Manhattan to manage the company’s struggling New Orleans office, knowing her biggest client is television chef Andre Thibodeaux, whose massive masculine presence makes her feel hotter than the onset of menopause.

Finding her way in a funky new city and earning the trust of her employees is tough enough without annoying hot flashes, night sweats and ugly mood swings, not to mention the lingering memory of one steamy night she shared with the big man she thinks she can’t have.

Sexy, smart, and successful, Chef Andre has everything a man could want except the right woman, and he’s determined to learn why Katie rejected him. To convince her to stay in Louisiana, he’ll need to find a way to make her fall in love-with him, as well as the vibrant southern city he calls home.

“Lovely, don’t ya think?”

My New Orleans real estate agent pushes open the heavy front door of a first-floor unit in the Garden District, sighing with appreciation as the two of us walk through the apartment’s graceful foyer into a spacious living area with floor-to-ceiling windows and a gleaming hardwood floor. Violet Samuels runs one ring-adorned hand along the antique marble fireplace mantel as if she’s stroking a cat, while describing the premises in glowing detail.

“This buildin’ dates back to before the Civil War,” she gushes. “It was converted into executive rentals a few years ago. All the wood trim, ceiling medallions and windows are original. You don’t see nothin’ like this anymore.”

Miz Violet, as she refers to herself, guides me through the open kitchen, where I’m relieved to see new appliances and upgraded lighting, past a couple of small bedrooms and into the master. Its focal point is a pair of graceful, arched windows overlooking the tree-lined street.

She turns to me and says, “Lotta character, and it comes furnished. Is this gonna work for you, hon?”

How would I know? The furniture is in good condition, but it’s too traditional for my taste. I prefer a clean, minimalist design. However, if this apartment was located in Manhattan, where I lived until a few days ago, it would be a rare find, a steal at three times the rent she quoted me. Instead, it’s in Naw Leens, in the state of Loozie Anna, where it’s unnaturally warm in January and the natives speak a language that only barely resembles English in its structure.

Kathleen Duhamel is the author of Deep Blue, Deeper, and At Home With Andre. She wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has been a writer for most of her life. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses. A native of Texas, she spent most of her adult life in Colorado before relocating to Virginia in 2014, where she lives with her husband, a standard poodle and geriatric cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art and pop culture.

Kathleen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour for more chances to win:
May 2: Harlie's Books - review