Tag Archives: mystery

Review & Giveaway: Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills

DEEP EXTRACTION
An FBI Task Force Novel, Book 2
by
By DiAnn Mills
  Genre: Contemporary / Mystery / Christian
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 413
Scroll down for Giveaway!
  

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.
Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.
Watch the book trailer!

Praise for Deep Extraction
“Combined with intense action and stunning twists, this search for truth keeps readers on the edges of their favorite reading chairs.”  Romantic Times

“Mills many fans will devour” Library Journal

Goodreads readers praise Deep Extraction
“This was truly an amazing, suspenseful read that can be held up as an example of what good Christian suspense should be.” 

“DiAnn Mills’ writing is evocative of an excellent crime show. Sharp and to the point. Just how I imagine law enforcement work, think and talk.”

“Mills’ has captured the rush of adrenaline along with a good romance. Suspense and adventure are the real stars of this book.  Her motto is, “Expect an Adventure,” and she achieves it in this book.”
 
300b2-review
Mills has a clear vision of who her characters are and what it is they go through precisely. This talent is what makes it very hard to put this book down. Every chapter propels you to the next, anxious to see what clues might surface or what danger might befall the lovely Tori or handsome Cole. Cole. Now that’s a name that makes you feel safe inside but you know that there’s more beneath the surface. And while we’re on the subject of names, you have a hunch that Tori is short for Victoria, and it makes you wonder why Mills went with the nickname Tori over the more popular Vicky. Answer: This chick is tough and a Vicky would not have cut it at all.
Even more impressive than these complex characters working together to solve a murder, Mills keeps surprising the reader with each new revelation about Nathan Moore. I can honestly say that I have never been more interested in a character whose actual living presence in the book is so brief. I found myself torn between not wanting to know more about the secret life of this respectable business and family man, and morbidly fascinated with just how far down the rabbit hole goes.
Mills is a master at making you question your gut feeling with subtle details sprinkled here and there. And before you can berate yourself for being so dense, she reminds you of the history and relationships between the characters. Even they couldn’t believe their eyes or ears. They can hardly trust their own decisions.
I have more of a tendency to focus on little things when I like a book as much as this one. Like a coach nitpicking his star player, I would like to share my constructive criticisms. The problem with having laser-like vision as a writer is that time is of the essence if you’re not making a particular adventure into a trilogy. We lose some characterization because there just isn’t any time for it. Even though I know it’s going to happen, the attraction and relationship between Tori and Cole feels a bit off. Their professions and personalities make it very easy to envision the two coming together, but it doesn’t ring as true as it should.
Strangely enough, while Mills is the farthest thing from an angsty teenage boy, I found the character of Lance to be most believable and interesting. Especially when you hold him up against his sweet and uncomplicated brother Jack, the kid is pretty amazing. I hope that Mills considers following him as an adult since I see a future detective or something equally cool brewing in there.
Without ruining the ending, I was pleased with finding out who did it and why. I have read some great mysteries over the years who fumble that last bit, but Mills brings it in for the winning touchdown. The motive is clean and the clues were subtle. Mills has a way of painting every person of interest as a viable bad guy. And when you see the true antagonist(s) and the inner workings of their minds, you will be equally bewildered and impressed.
Great read and really, truly hope to read a book about Lance in the future!

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
20-Apr
Review
21-Apr
Guest Post: 4 Agencies You Didn’t Know Worked With the FBI
22-Apr
Review
23-Apr
Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 1
24-Apr
Guest Post: 4 Ways the FBI Assists Other Agencies
25-Apr
Review
26-Apr
Guest Post: 6 Ways the FBI Investigates a Potential Threat
27-Apr
Guest Post: 9 Crimes the FBI Investigates
28-Apr
Review
29-Apr
Guest Post: 10 Ways to Show Character Growth and Change
30-Apr
Promo
1-May
Review
2-May
Guest Post: 10 Ways to Show You’re a Strong Woman
3-May
Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 2
4-May
Review
 
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Author Interview & Giveaway: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane


EVIDENCE
OF THINGS NOT SEEN
by
By Lindsey Lane
  Genre: YA /  Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of Publication: December 16, 2015
Number of Pages: 240
Scroll down for Giveaway!
  
Tommy Smythe is missing.
Fact: Tommy was good at physics and less good at basic human interactions.
Fact: Tommy recorded his thoughts and observations in a notebook.
Fact: Tommy believed in the existence of parallel universes.

Fact: Tommy was adopted.The facts are simple. The conclusions to be drawn from the facts are not simple. Did he run away to find his birth parents? Did he slip through a wormhole and enter one of the multiple universes he believed in? Did he simply wander off? 

Only one thing is certain: until a possibility is proven true, all possibilities exist.

Told through multiple perspectives, here is a story about how residents of a small town seek answers to the mystery of a teen’s disappearance. 

* * *

PRAISE FOR EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN:

“In her first novel for teens, Lane offers a gripping and genre bending mosaic.” – Publishers Weekly
“Complex and Rich” – Horn Book
“This is the kind of book you tuck in with and escape into, and it will stay with you long after you finish the last lines.  Haunting and beautiful.” – Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About AliceDevoted, and Afterward
“The narrative jiggers between unexpected opposites—joy and fear, love and violence, grief and hope—all the while holding forth the constant idea that the world offers us credible evidence of what seems impossible if we only know where to look.”  J.L. Powers, author of Amina, This Thing Called The Future, and the forthcoming Broken Circle
“Ever look at a pearl and notice that its one color is, in fact, many colors? That’s the beauty of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, the stunning debut novel by Lindsey Lane.” – Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Adios Nirvana, Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways To Fly
Check out the book trailer!
PURCHASE LINKS

* * *

AuthorInterview

Author Interview: Lindsey Lane
This book on the surface is about a boy who disappears; but at closer look it is about the people around him and how their lives are entangled. What kind of research did you have to do to prepare yourself to write Evidence of Things Not Seen?

Hmmm, research is tricky for me. Because I write fiction, I usually do a lot of fact checking after I’ve drafted the story. If I wander off into too much research, I can get really bogged down in it and it takes me away from the character development. For instance with Evidence, I did do research about physics’ principles but I used secondary sources. I needed to stay with the voice of a sixteen year old totally tripped out by physics. I didn’t want him to sound like a professor. So I understood the theories pretty well but I treated them somewhat simply through a journal. When I was satisfied, I had readers’ who were savvy about physics check my facts to make sure I had conveyed the ideas correctly.
How did your studies and experiences in life help shape who you are as a writer?

I used to think my writing career was a bit haphazard but now I can see how writing plays gave me an ear for dialogue and pacing a story so that action and exposition move together seamlessly. Later my work as a journalist was critical to my ability for developing characters. I loved interviewing people and finding out their stories. I got very good at getting them to reveal themselves to me. Even when they didn’t want to. From those interviews, I became aware of the lies that certain characters told. Often times, when I uncover a character’s lie, I will find their emotional arc. Finally, picture books pared down my writing a lot and gave me a new respect for verbs. I like leaving space for the reader to enter in and make connections within the story.
Okay, so I always like to see what authors read. What are your favorite books and why?

Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty because it tells the truth about love and cruelty in the human heart.

Neil Gaiman’s The GraveYard Book I love Gaiman’s storytelling voice. Haunting and masterful.

Sherman Alexie’s True Story of a Part time Indian -The honesty of the voice. Also, when I finished this book, I thought, “Man, this is what books are meant to do: open up worlds.”

Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie. Again, India Opal’s voice and honesty and her clear beautiful emotional want makes you turn the page.

Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terebithia-Someday I may write a paper about how that book always makes me cry no matter how many times I read it.

Three books inspired the form of Evidence of Things Not Seen: Kathi Appelt’s Kissing Tennesee; An Na’s A Step Toward Heaven and Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street. Kathi’s book is linked short stories around a middle school dance and gives you a glimpse into each character going to the prom. Both Na’s and Sandra’s books stunned me in their spare writing. So much is told with so little. Good writing that breaks form allows us to pad along behind and write the best stories we possible can with greater freedom.
Night owl or early bird? How does it help with your writing process?

Most reliably, the early morning hours are the most spacious and quietest times to write. I will often do a lot of drafting then because my critical mind is still snoozing. But you know what? I’ve discovered a little trick to create morning writing at all hours. I do a reset with a little nap or a shower. I find that those two things can recreate quiet and I can sit down for another couple of hours and work. Even late a night.
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

I knew I always wanted to be a writer. I thought writers were the smartest most magical people in the world. I could create whole worlds and explain how everything works. Yup. That seemed way better than being President of the United States.
If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?

I’m going to have to go middle grade. Polly Horvath’s Everything on a Waffle. I love that town where everyone watches over you and no one calls the police. I love being by the ocean. I love the freedom and the safety of that world.
And finally, what other projects, if any, are you working on?

I’m close to finishing a pretty good draft of a young adult novel. The working title is Truth Inside. It is about a girl who murders someone and then redeems herself by turning herself in. How do you redeem yourself when you have done the worst possible thing in the world? Here is a haiku I wrote to hone the focus of the novel:

She must trade her life

For the girl she killed one night

No win redemption

 

Lindsey Lane is the author of the young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen (Farrar Straus Giroux) and the award-winning picture book and iTunes app Snuggle Mountain (Clarion/PicPocket Books). She is represented by Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Before she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010, Lindsey was a features journalist (Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman) and an award-winning playwright (The Miracle of Washing Dishes). Lindsey is a featured presenter at schools and conferences and universities and also teaches writing at Austin Community College, Writers League of Texas, and the Writing Barn. She lives in Austin, Texas but loves to travel, especially to the ocean. She loves books, films, good food and her cadre of dear friends. Her idea of a perfect evening is having a dinner party at her home with friends from around the world and discussing everything under the sun while eating, drinking, and laughing. 
WEBSITE     FACEBOOK    TWITTER    INSTAGRAM
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FIVE SIGNED HARDCOVER COPIES!
 (U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/12
Video Guest Post
4/13
Playlist
4/14
Review
4/15
Excerpt
4/16
Author Interview
4/17
Review
4/18
Scrapbook
4/19
Review
4/20
Guest Post
4/21
Review


 

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Winter Song by Susan C. Muller

WINTER SONG
Book 1 of the SEASON PASS Series
 
by Susan C. Muller
 
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
 
I’m excited to announce Susan C. Muller’s new four book series: 
Seasons Pass: Murder is always in Season
Starting in November, and releasing one each month, enjoy Winter Song, Spring Shadow, Summer Storm, andAutumn Secrets.
 

 

Meet Homicide Detective Noah Daugherty and his partner, Conner Crawford. Follow them through four seasons worth of cases full of hit men, stalkers, vigilantes, and serial killers.

 

In Winter Song, homicide detective Noah Daugherty is on a mission: solve cases, lock up murderous scum, and get on with what’s left of his life. He’s on the clock, and his time is steadily ticking away. His path leads him to an icy Houston street, where a car has careened out-of-control and crashed, the driver, a beautiful young socialite, is dead. All the clues lead straight to her husband, but Noah’s intuition screams the case is more than meets the eye.
Not willing to give up until he solves this cold-blooded murder, he finds the unthinkable . . . a hitman no one saw coming, with a chilling personal agenda that now targets Noah.
 
Can he solve the case and save himself before winter is finished singing her song?
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan C. Muller is a fourth generation Texan. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she studied business administration but took creative writing classes on the side. She started her first novel at age eleven, but it wasn’t until after she had worked many years and raised a family that she returned to her first love, writing. 
She enjoys speaking to book clubs and writer’s groups. Susan lives in Spring, Texas with her rescue dog, Maggie. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to see much of the world. Her favorite places include Kenya, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands.
When not writing, she can be found doing volunteer work at a local hospital. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, snorkeling and taking long walks.
Connect with the author online:
 

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Excerpt: The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin

 THE DO-RIGHT

 

 

by 
Lisa Sandlin 

 

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Date of Publication: October 27, 2015
# of pages: 306
Scroll down for Giveaway!

1959. Delpha Wade killed a man who was raping her. Wanted to kill the other one too, but he got away. Now, after fourteen years in prison, she’s out. It’s 1973, and nobody’s rushing to hire a parolee. Persistence and smarts land her a secretarial job with Tom Phelan, an ex-roughneck turned neophyte private eye. Together these two pry into the dark corners of Beaumont, a blue-collar, Cajun-influenced town dominated by Big Oil. A mysterious client plots mayhem against a small petrochemical company-why? Searching for a teenage boy, Phelan uncovers the weird lair of a serial killer. And Delpha — on a weekend outing — looks into the eyes of her rapist, the one who got away. The novel’s conclusion is classic noir, full of surprise, excitement, and karmic justice. Sandlin’s elegant prose, twisting through the dark thickets of human passion, allows Delpha to open her heart again to friendship, compassion, and sexuality.
PRAISE FOR THE DO-RIGHT:

“Lisa Sandlin’s The Do-Right is something akin to a rusted nail through the foot: it’s dirty, it hurts, and it’ll have you jumping up and down—or possibly just on the floor. Delpha Wade and Tom Phelan are as lovable a duo as any in noir fiction.” — Joseph Borden, Killer Nashville

 

“When a critic praises a writer’s original voice, what does that really mean? In the case
of Texas native Lisa Sandlin, it means dog-earing page after page in her novel The
Do-Right, to reread particularly terrific passages or, even better, share them aloud . . .
Check out The Do-Right, and see if you don’t find yourself reading passages aloud
just for the sheer pleasure of it.” – Shawna Seed, The Dallas Morning News
“Smashingly original.” — Jack Batten, Toronto Star
  PURCHASE LINKS:

 

  AMAZON        CINCO PUNTOS PRESS
ed92b-excerpt

EXCERPT #2: THE DO-RIGHT:

 

She had thought this out many times.

She opened the door to #221, put down the suitcase and plate as before. Swiveled and locked the door, set the key in clear view on a chest of drawers. Then she picked up the plate and looked around. Moss-green walls. Window facing an alley. Single bed with a chenille spread, dusky rose. Bedside table, lamp. Chest of drawers. Chair. Closet. That picture of two kids huddling on a bridge, wide-winged angel flared up behind, enough to scare the tar out of them. She’d count on a Gideon in the night table.

Delpha unpacked her four pairs of white cotton panties, her extra brassiere, also white cotton, a sanitary belt and
box of Kotex into the chest of drawers. Hung two skirts and blouses and a dress in the closet. Unzipped her navy blue skirt and hung it up too, shed her shirt, bra and panties, and kept on the white nylon slip. The old hotel had been refurbished with central air but a measly amount circulated. She raised the window for fresh air. Switched on the ceiling fan, but not the lamp. She took her sandwich to the side of the bed, where, sitting down, she ate it slowly, holding her head over the plate so as not to drop crumbs onto the swept wood floor. Fragrant, that mayhaw. She sopped up the crumbs with a damp finger.

Then she pulled down the covers and lay down, stretched out her legs, her toes spread against cotton washed two hundred times, drew the sheet up to her shoulders. Laying her head on the flattened pillow, she felt, then savored how the door was locked and she was alone.

The door was locked. She was alone.

Nobody was in this ten by twelve space but her. No other breathing, gabbing, farting, pouting person. Everybody, everything else shut out. Locked out, on the other side somewhere. No one could walk in. She was not counted.

She did not have to speak. She did not have to share or to hoard, yet. She had to hear no one, except an occasional door shutting, a word or two from down the hall whose meaning she was not obliged to heed. She lay inside this idea for an indecipherable while, breaking the spell periodically to check the key up there on top of the chest of drawers. Still there.

Light had faded from the window, and the dark had come in to hang beneath the ceiling.

She breathed up the quiet, the silence—substance, balm, flower, fruit and medicine. She was taking it inside of her, where it expanded, filling scores and pits. The silence of the people who were not here. Silence of the bureau. The single bed. Silence of the empty places where the furniture was not. Silence rose up from the corners of this moss-green room like clear walls. Silence of the curtains riffled by a breeze. Silence of the lock.

 

 

Lisa Sandlin’s story “Phelan’s First Case” was anthologized in Lone Star Noir (Akashic) and was later re-anthologized in Akashic’s Best of the Noir compendium, USA Noir. The Do-Right, which uses the characters from that story, is her first full-length mystery. Lisa was born in Beaumont, Texas, currently lives and teaches in Omaha, Nebraska, and summers in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
SIX SIGNED COPIES OF THE BOOK
(US ONLY)
  June 6 – June 15, 2016

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

6/6       All for the Love of the Word      — Review
6/7       Country Girl Bookaholic — Author Interview #1
6/8       Forgotten Winds           — Excerpt #1
6/9       My Book Fix Blog          — Review
6/11     Missus Gonzo   — Excerpt #2
6/12     Texas Book Lover          — Author Interview #2
6/13     Margie’s Must Reads    — Review
6/14     The Crazy Booksellers   — Promo
6/15     Book Chase      — Review

 

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Dollar Signs by Manning Wolfe

Dollar Signs NEW BANNER

DOLLAR SIGNS
  Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King
Texas Lady Lawyer Novel #1 
by Manning Wolfe
ClaFirst Place, The Writer’s League of Texas Annual Manuscript Contest, 2014
Genre: Adult / Legal Thriller / Mystery /Suspense
Date of Publication: February 18, 2016
# of pages: 310
 
Scroll down for GIVEAWAY!
MERIT BRIDGES, an attorney and widowed mother in Austin, Texas, works hard, drinks too much wine, and sleeps with younger men. When Merit goes after a shady corporation threatening her client, she encounters hired gun Boots King. His charge is simple, “Stop her!” Merit and her team – including Betty, a mothering office manager with a bad-ass attitude – struggle to stay alive, while they navigate a labyrinth of legal issues, and prove once again that you don’t mess with a Texas lady lawyer.
 
Praise for the books:
A legal thriller not to be missed…Manning Wolfe just put
herself on my list of must-read authors. — Mark Pryor, Hugo
Marston Novels
 
Move over, John Grisham. There’s a lady lawyer in town.
Elizabeth Garcia, Deputy Ricos Tales
 
This novel is smart, funny, moving, and entertaining as hell.
Jesse Sublett, 1960’s Austin Gangsters
 
A great read, and Texas crime fiction has a new star.
Bill Crider, Dan Rhodes Mysteries
 
Pages smoke like burnt fried chicken grease on a Saturday
night…This one, my friends, is a non-putter-downer!
George Wier, Bill Travis Mysteries.
 
A high-speed storyline full of twists and turns upon a stark
background of reality as lawyers might really experience
it. Manning Wolfe is one of the up and coming legal thriller
writers of this generation. Read her and enjoy her, but don’t
expect much sleep! — John Ellsworth, author, Thaddeus
Murfee Legal Thrillers
 
                                                                                               MANNING WOLFE an author and attorney residing in Austin, Texas, writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas bullshit. The first in her series, featuring Austin Lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King. A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peek into some shady characters’ lives and a front row seat to watch the good people who stand against them.
 
Review
I have a really bad habit of comparing books to other books I’ve read or movies I’ve watched. So when I started this one, I thought, “Attractive lawyer helping the underdog. Erin Brockovich!” Of course, Erin wasn’t a lawyer and the case she was working on wasn’t the same. And nobody would ever mistake Merit for a floozy. (She has her share of boy toys but she’s all lady.) I don’t want to ruin anything, but let’s just say that some things go awry and a new plan goes into motion. Other cases are referenced, and the PG&E case is one of them. So my Brockovich comparison wasn’t way off.
Wolfe’s actual experience as an attorney shines through with all of the details (riveting stuff) and she weaves seamlessly between character point of views and scene changes. You can tell when a writer has a little bit of a screenwriter in them as well. Wolfe is one of these. The dialogue is excellent, the characters are fleshed out and interesting, and the plot is realistic and deliciously suspenseful. Details like particular backroads, restaurants, and landmarks confirm that Wolfe knows her way around Texas.
As I tend to do with the really good books I read, I’m going to nitpick now. Merit is a crazy sharp individual, but I find it hard to believe that she didn’t connect Boots King to the truck with “KNG69” or something equally douchey on the license plate. The only thing that would have made the truck more obvious was if it had a huge boot on top or was wrapped in a boot decal. Maybe Wolfe intended for me to smack my forehead and yell, “WAKE UP, MERIT!” I yelled in my head, course.
As a CHL holder and spouse to a gun enthusiast, I cringed every time the magazine was referred to as a clip. I think the CHL instructor character even called it that (not likely to happen in real life). Gun guys HATE it when people call magazines clips. However, I loved the bit about going 9mm (or larger) or going home because I have that conversation with my gun buddies too.
And just for fun I will add that I was blindsided by one character digging on Merit, almost as much as she was. For a good portion of the book, this guy is normal with her, you don’t get the vibe that he’s into her at all. But then Betty says something to the effect of, “He’s into you,” and suddenly there’s all this description about the guy mooning over Merit. And it gets laid thicker and thicker until Merit finally sees it and responds. Not going to ruin that for you either. But I can’t help but give a rundown on my thoughts when there’s romance in a book. There are so many great things about this book. Read it!
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One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of  Dollar Signs, a $50 Visa Gift Card, a “Don’t Mess With Texas Women” plaque, and some fun dollar sign beads!
Giveaway runs from 12:01am 2/18/16 through 11:59pm 4/2/16
 
  Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

2/18 Texas Book Lover — Excerpt
2/19 My Book Fix Blog — Promo
2/25 Missus Gonzo — Review
2/29 Books and Broomsticks – Author Interview
3/1   The Crazy Booksellers — Review
3/3   Texas Book-aholic — Promo
3/15 It’s a Jenn World — Promo
3/17 A Novel Reality – Promo
3/22 Hall Ways Blog — Review
3/24 The Page Unbound — Promo
3/31 The Librarian Talks — Review

 

 

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Murder at Peacock Mansion by Judy Alter

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours 
presents
 
MURDER AT PEACOCK MANSION
a Blue Plate Cafe Mystery
 
by 
Judy Alter
 
 
Title: MURDER AT PEACOCK MANSION
Author: Judy Alter
Genre: Cozy Mystery
# of pages: 258
 
 
Arson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers. Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die…and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.
 
 
BUY LINKS
 
 
Praise for the author
 
“Kate Chambers continues to impress. This third book in the Blue Plate Café mysteries opens with two intriguing story lines that intermingle flawlessly and will keep you captivated until the final page.” Terrie Farley Moran, Agatha Award-Winning author of the Read ’Em and Eat cozy mysteries. 
“With Murder at Peacock Mansion, the showy feathers of a rich woman’s birds aren’t enough to save either them or relatives of the recluse who thinks someone’s out to get her. Judy Alter, in her third Blue Plate Special mystery, serves up more than chicken-fried chicken as cafe proprietor Kate Chambers fights to save the ones she loves and figure out who the killer is, while keeping herself and her business alive, too.” Edith Maxwell, Agatha-nominated and national bestselling author of the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries, and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries
 
 
“How did you meet Mr. Aldridge?”
“I was a cocktail waitress at the old Baker Hotel in Dallas. You might say I was Eliza to his Henry Higgins. He taught me to dress, speak, eat properly, even dance—he made a lady out of me, and I was always grateful. But once I was “finished”—his term, not mine—he found other Pygmalion-like subjects. In other words, he cheated on me, including financially, railed that I couldn’t run the house on the reduced budget he gave me.
“I used to lie in bed and listen to him roaming about downstairs, sometimes throwing things—I always hoped it wasn’t the Limoges he’d given his first wife, Alicia—and several times I thought I heard him fall. His best friend at night was a bottle of bourbon.
“One night I woke and realized he hadn’t come upstairs. By then I kept a derringer for self-protection, and this night I grabbed it and put it in my pocket. I found him at the foot of the stairs—he fallen apparently. What I didn’t realize until after I called the police was that he’d been shot too.
This tale was getting more bizarre. I itched to check it out on the Web, but for now I was a captive audience and, I admit, mesmerized by the calm recital of this woman’s life story. “What makes you think his children are trying to kill you now?” After all she’d lived this way for thirty years.
Review
 I’m not a big mystery reader but I’ve always been that person who saw the ending a mile away. This was not the case this time. Alter’s characters are interesting and her writing is so fluid and natural that you can’t help but be sucked into the story. I hadn’t realized that this was Book 3 of the Blue Plate Cafe Mysteries, but I had an idea the way that she brushes briefly about previous events and relationships. And like any good series writer, Alter doesn’t confuse you with the past you hadn’t seen but stokes your interest in reading them when you’re done with the one you’re working on. While some of the characters were certainly eccentric, all of them felt real. And every suspect could be seen from the guilty or innocent perspective as well. I highly suggest this book and series for readers who want to bring out their inner sleuth.
 
Judy Alter retired from Texas Christian University Press after thirty years, twenty of them as director. At the same time she developed her own writing career, focusing primarily on women of the American West. Now she writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. She lives in Fort Worth.
 
 

 

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Hard Falls by Elizabeth A. Garcia

HARD FALLS
by 
 
Elizabeth A Garcia
 
 
Genre: Mystery
Author: Elizabeth A. Garcia
Publisher: Mountain Press
Release Date: October 15, 2015
#of pages: 378
It’s March in Terlingua and the weather is playing games—icy one day and warmish a few days later. But the weather is not the problem.

 

The trouble begins with a Photoshopped picture of Deputy Ricos and Sheriff Ben that makes an innocent encounter look like something it’s not. Someone is making a problem where none exists. Why?

 

Mix in the brutal murder of quiet man “everyone likes,” a young, green-eyed deputy trainee, a wealthy, mysterious newcomer to Alpine, a prostitute from Mexico, and a local ranch where it appears something “wrong” is happening. Then stir in a cast of characters you will swear you know, hillsides purplish with bluebonnets, and the never-changing/always changing mountains of South Brewster County.
 
 
Award-winning author Elizabeth A. Garcia has lived for more than thirty years in the Big Bend country of far west Texas. She has hiked, rafted, explored, and earned a living in this wild desert-mountain land near the Rio Grande, on the border of the United States and Mexico.

 

It was experiencing the deep canyons, creosote-covered bajadas, and stark, jagged mountains, and the wide-open spaces and dark, starry nights that eventually brought her to writing.


She tells her fans, “I have loved to write since I was a child. As I grew up I never made much time for it.  I was busy raising a family and running a company.  Once I started writing I realized how many stories have been stockpiled in my brain.  I’m getting them out as fast as I can.”

 

Her first novel, “One Bloody Shirt at a Time,” won “Best Crime Novel of the Year” from the Texas Association of Authors for 2013. It was her first novel, but not her first written story. For several years Ms. Garcia’s short stories were published by the Big Bend Gazette.


In addition to novels and other stories, Ms. Garcia writes a blog on this site.  In the past she has shared her blog with the Alpine Avalanche and later with the Daily Planet. She loves to describe and write about west Texas and continues to live there.

 
 
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