Monday, August 21, 2017

Blog Tour: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Date of publication: July 2017

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?
With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

Purchase Links

I have very mixed feelings about The Writing Desk.  In reality, it was like getting two books in one. One story I was really invested in and the other not so much.  The story is told dual timelines and through the eyes of four people.  I'm not sure that many perspectives worked for me.  Some of it seemed like filler and really didn't need to be there.    As I said, of the two story lines, I was really invested in and enjoyed Birdie's story the most.  I loved her perspective and her love story with Elijah. It was heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time.  I loved seeing her get justice in the end.

As for Tenley's story, I really didn't care for it.  I had a hard time liking her.  I felt uncomfortable with her growing  friendship with Jonas while she was engaged to another man.  No matter what Holt did to her, she in a way, did the same to him through her emotional investment in Jonas.  In the end, I just didn't like many of the choices she made or how her ending was too neatly tied up.  Her time with Blanche was just about the only thing I did like.  Their journey to forgiveness with each other was touching.

This is the second book I have read by this author.  I will probably try her out again.  This is a relatively clean romance and a pretty fast read.  Pick it up and give it a try.
About the author:

Rachel Hauck is the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower.

Connect with Rachel

Rachel Hauck’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 24th: A. Holland Reads
Wednesday, July 26th: Fiction Aficionado
Friday, July 28th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, August 1st: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 2nd: Just One More Chapter
Friday, August 4th: Cafinated Reads
Monday, August 7th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, August 11th: By the Book
Monday, August 14th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, August 16th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Thursday, August 17th: Just Commonly
Monday, August 21st: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, August 22nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, August 23rd: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, August 24th: Reading is My SuperPower
Friday, August 25th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, August 28th: Steph the Bookworm

TBD: Books a la Mode – author guest post

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Say No More by Liliana Hart

Author: Liliana Hart
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date of publication: July 2017

Dante Malcolm is a man of refined tastes. He was once a part of Britain’s Elite Intelligence Force, but there was a reason he’d never been able to capture Simon Locke, the notorious thief who always seemed to be one step ahead. That’s because Dante and Simon were one and the same, until Dante’s double life eventually caught up with him and now he belongs to the Gravediggers.

Olivia Rothschild is a Detective Inspector with Interpol and is the one responsible for catching MI-6’s most notorious agent in his final heist—except the heist killed him. But something has never felt right about his death, and it’s haunted her for months. It was too easy, and Dante Malcolm was too smart to go down that way.

Dante might belong to the Gravediggers in body, but his heart and soul will always belong to the next job. The rest of the team doesn’t know about his alter ego because he made sure the information went missing from his file. So when the job he’s always waited for seems like a possibility, he sneaks out of the country like a thief in the night, only to run into the only woman who’s ever been able to match him in wit—and passion—for the job. Except they’re standing on opposite sides of the law—and only one of them can walk away with the prize.

Say No More is the third book in the Gravediggers series and so far it's my favotire.  The series involves the Gravediggers who are a group of men who have "died" and come back to be an elite spec ops team who save the world from evil.  This is Dante's story.

This is definitely my favorite because I loved the amount of back story about Dante and Olivia that we were given.  I totally bought into their love story.  Dante was a much more complicated character than he came across in the first two books.  He was kind of mysterious and not a lot was known about him.  It was nice to find out he was more than an arrogant British spy.  Olivia's back story was heart breaking and it definitely shaped the woman and spy she had become.  I loved these two together.

The rest of this story is intense and and action packed.  The ending has a very touching scene with one of the previous couples, so keep an eye out for that one.  Elaine the computer gave some really funny comic relief and added to the fun of the story.  I definitely recommend this one.  I can't wait to see whose story is next.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spotlight: :Switching it Up and Forging Love by Michele Zurlo

A SAFE Security series
by Michele Zurlo

Book 2

As Brea settles into her new life as a D/s switch, treasure hunter, and David’s fiancée, her old nemesis Grayson Cuyler resurfaces with a deadly deal. Either David must accept a dangerous, unsanctioned mission or Cuyler will make sure Brea pays for her former life as a thief and con artist. Against Brea’s wishes, David and his team take on this impossible task.

Left behind, Brea and her sister/partner-in-crime Jessica hatch a plan that will take them to the Central American country of San Tesoro and put them in the clutches of the man from whom David must steal the prize that will save or doom them all.

He placed one of the throw pillows on his lap. “Come on up, Sugar.”

This was his favorite position for spanking me. It was comfortable for us both. I arranged myself across his lap with my knees underneath me and my ass lifted. The pillow he’d put on his lap took some of the stress off my knees and allowed me to maintain my position longer.

Immediately I felt the roughness of his palm against my posterior. It moved in circles, stimulating me in unexpected ways. Normally before a spanking I was a bundle of nerves, but not this time. Or maybe I was strung so tightly that the slightest touch was magnified. By the time his forays spread to my upper thighs, the small moan in my throat deepened and defied containment.

He started lightly, warming up his hand and my bottom. Soon the force doubled, and doubled again. As I cried out, I became aware of tears wetting my cheeks. Blows rained across both cheeks and my upper thighs. A few caught my pussy, and each time, my ass lifted higher to give him better access.

My ass was on fire, but I didn’t want him to stop. I begged him for more, and he didn’t let up. Now the blows centered more and more around my pussy. All of a sudden, a climax detonated in my core. Sounds of pleasure mixed with misery. Tears dripped from my eyes, and the languor of orgasm calmed my insides.

Sir picked me up and turned me around. He wrapped a soft blanket around me and cradled me in his warm embrace. “You did wonderfully, Sugar. That was a beautiful climax. Thank you for giving yourself to me, for trusting me to make sure you got what you needed. I love you so much.”
He talked to me, whispers and murmurs of praise and affection, until my sobs had quieted. I clung to him, my anchor in this maelstrom.

Book 2.5

Jessica Zinn: Rebuilding my life hasn’t been easy, and I’m far from done. I have some habits I can’t seem to shake, like picking pockets, forgery, and manipulating men to get what I want. I don’t want to manipulate Jesse, but the lines have blurred, and I can’t separate my honest emotions from my bad habits.

Jesse Foraker: I fell in love with Jessica the first time I saw her, and I’ll wait as long as it takes for her to be ready to love me back.

The time has come for Jesse to make his move, but will Jessica’s love be the real thing, or a forgery?

On the far end of the fire escape, Jessica stared at something in her hands, and I realized what had happened. “Jessica, did you open this window?”

She started, put her hands over her heart, and closed her eyes. “Christ, Jesse. You scared the shit out of me.”

“You set off an alarm.” I turned to Dean and Frankie. “Jessica decided to take the fire escape instead of the elevator.”

Frankie scowled. I knew that look, and I felt the need to protect Jessica. My entire stance altered as I puffed out my chest and crossed my arms.

Dean put his hand on Frankie’s arm. “Let’s let Jesse deal with this. Maybe look into getting Jessica her own access code. At least then we’d know it’s her and not Brea coming and going.”

I entered a code on my phone to deactivate the threat warning, and then I poked my head back out the window. My breath turned to fog in the air. “It’s cold. Why don’t you come in? We’ll let you use the stairs or the elevator free of charge.”

She turned away from me. “I’m okay.”

Though she wasn’t wearing a jacket, she did not appear to be suffering from the cold. Reasoning that she probably wouldn’t shoot me, I shed my bulletproof vest and climbed out the window. As I came closer, she edged farther away until the railing got in her way. “Don’t jump on my account.”

A pathetic laugh or cough struggled to be heard. Whichever it was, she squelched it before it got far. “I’m not suicidal.”

“So you’re standing on a third-floor fire escape without a jacket in winter because?”

“I want a cigarette.”

Book 1

Relocating to Kansas City with David and working for SAFE Security was everything Autumn thought she wanted…except that the job isn’t what she thought it would be, and her past seems to have a stranglehold on her emotions.

When Autumn takes a case without informing the rest of SAFE Security, she finds herself in hot water when secret victory blows up in her face. Her impulsive mistake almost costs their lives—and she soon finds herself jobless. Reeling from this failure and the way it’s damaged her relationships with David and the team, she vows to start fresh—with a new name and in a new city. Unfortunately a local crime boss has other ideas.

In the midst of a mission, David must rush back to try to stop Autumn from leaving—only to find that Autumn and her sister have disappeared. Can he find them in time to save them and his relationship with the woman he treasures?

In Treasure Me, Michele Zurlo delivers a sexy, action-packed adventure tale full of emotional twists and turns.


David thought going to a Halloween party would be a fun night out with his new bride. After all, what kind of trouble could she possibly find at a costume party? Plenty.

Join David and Brea for a hot night of intrigue and treachery.

COMING OCTOBER 15, 2017 IN SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, AN RB4U ANTHOLOGY Follow RB4U's site for future details

I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI and the SAFE Security series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Blog Tour: Guest post from Christine Rimmer, author of The Maverick Fakes a Bride!

We are excited to be a port of the End of Summer Blog Tour with Harlequin Books and TLC Book Tours! Each tour stop will feature a guest post from one of the authors below, plus a fun Rafflecopter giveaway. Be sure to follow along!

Today we have a guest post from Christine Rimmer, author of The Maverick Fakes a Bride

Author: Christine Rimmer
July 2017 Release
ISBN: 978-0373623563

 All the single ladies in Rust Creek Falls know Travis Dalton. And they all know the sexy, rascally rancher is not the marrying kind. So how is it that our town's most notorious bachelor has wound up engaged on a Western reality TV show? 

We here at the Gazette are pleased The Great Roundup has chosen our hometown heartbreaker as a contestant. And we are definitely rooting for Travis's unexpected union with childhood friend Brenna O'Reilly, the one girl we believe can keep this cowboy on his toes. But is it true this betrothal is strictly a fabrication for the cameras? Pass the popcorn, dear readers. We suspect this made-for-TV romance could be headed straight for a Hollywood happy ending!

Purchase Links

Guest Post:


It’s mid-August already.  Summer’s almost gone.  But I intend to make the most of every last ray of hot sun right up through Labor Day.  I read a lot in the summer, maybe even more than in other seasons.  There’s something about heat and sun and a good book: unbeatable.
Back in the day, I was a true sun-worshipper. My favorite summer pastime then was called “Laying Out”—meaning basking in the sun in a bikini or something equally skimpy.   Sunscreen?  Never heard of it.  I’m shocked now to admit I used to slather myself in baby oil and let the sun have its way with me as I got deliciously lost in the pages of a yummy beach read.
I lived in California’s central valley then. At every opportunity, I’d escape to the Sierras, where there is wondrous Laying Out to be had on the banks of the Yuba River. I’d lie on slate outcroppings or in stretches of silvery sand, with the long, sighing sounds of the wind in the evergreens and the constant hollow rushing of the river to keep me company. And I would read a juicy novel, one that would totally sweep me away.
A bikini, a beach towel, a bottle of baby oil, and a good book. The four B’s—oh, my yes. 
The years, as they tend to do, somehow have flown right past. Now, I am perhaps wiser. And definitely more cautious—and you will notice I didn’t say a word about “older.” Hah. I want to keep the wrinkles at a minimum. And avoiding melanoma is a must.
Yes, I still Lay Out. But now I do it wearing sunscreen on my covered deck, in the shade. I’m down to one “B”: a good book. And you know what? As long as I’ve got a book, I’m just fine. 
And about the book…?
Well, I’ve read some great ones this summer.  And now I’m trolling for more.  I’ve got some RaeAnne Thayne and the latest Susan Mallery.  And Jane Green’s The Sunshine Sisters, as well.  Can’t wait to dig into those. I don’t even miss the baby oil and the sun on my back when I’m caught up in a great story.
So here’s to extending the end of your summer to the last possible warm, sunny day and to stellar summer reading for all of you—and please.  Don’t forget the sunscreen. 😉

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

End of Summer Blog Tour TOUR STOPS:

Monday, August 7th: Mama Reads – guest post from Cynthia Eden
Wednesday, August 9th: Smexy Books –  guest post from Gena Showalter
Friday, August 11th: Books a la Mode – guest post from Maureen Child
Saturday, Aug. 12th:Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – review: New York, Actually
Monday, August 14th: Reading Reality – guest post from Maisey Yates
Tuesday, August 15th: Reading is My SuperPower – review, Bounty Hunter
Wednesday, August 16th: Just Commonly – guest post from Patricia Davids
Thursday, August 17th: Reviews from the Heart – review, Their Pretend Amish Courtship
Friday, August 18th: From the TBR Pile – guest post from Christine Rimmer
Friday, August 18th: Just Commonly  – review, Bounty Hunter
Saturday, Aug. 19th:Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – review: Holiday in the Hamptons
Monday, August 21st: Bewitched Bookworms – guest post from Sarah Morgan
Tuesday, August 22nd: Just Commonly  – review, Their Pretend Amish Courtship
Tuesday, August 22nd: Reviews from the Heart – review, Bounty Hunter
Wednesday, August 23rd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – guest post from Lynne Graham
Friday, August 25th: The Sassy Bookster – guest post from Lisa Childs
Friday, August 25th: Just Commonly  – review, New York, Actually
Monday, August 28th: Romancing the Readers – guest post from Rhenna Morgan
Monday, August 28th: Books and Bindings -review: New York, Actually
Tuesday, August 29th: Just Commonly  – review, Holiday in the Hamptons
Tuesday, August 29th:Books and Bindings – review, Holiday in the Hamptons
Wednesday, August 30th: Reading is My SuperPower – guest post from Lynette Eason
Wednesday, Aug. 12th:Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – review: Can’t Hardly Breathe
Friday, September 1st: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – guest post from Annabeth Albert

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blog Tour: Branded as Trouble by Delores Fossen

Author: Delores Fossen
Publisher: HarelquinBooks 
Date of publication: June 27, 2017
Series: A Wrangler’s Creek Novel

Every town needs a bad boy, and Wrangler’s Creek’s has been gone far too long… 

Getting his high school girlfriend pregnant was just one square in Roman Granger’s checkered past, but it changed him forever. When his son’s mother skipped town after the birth, Roman decided to do the same, baby Tate in tow, hoping for a fresh start.

Now Roman fears his teenage son is following in his wayward footsteps, so he returns home to Wrangler’s Creek, aiming to set him straight. It’s there he encounters Tate’s cousin Mila Banchini, the good-girl opposite of Roman who’s had a crush on him since childhood. The old spark between them undeniably never died, though Roman worries it’ll only lead to heartache. But if falling for Mila is such a bad idea, why does everything about holding her feel so right?

Branded as Trouble is the third book in this series  While my least favorite of the series, I still enjoyed it.  This is Roman's story.  Mila is a friend and has been in love with Roman for years.  She is also over 30 and still a virgin.  She would love for Roman to be her first, but who knows if that will ever happen.  Roman's son Tate is going through a rough patch and moving back to the ranch he hates seems to be the best idea for the time being.

As I  said, this one wasn't my favorite,  I just didn't really feel the pull between Roman and Mila.  I mean, I was told it was there and the attraction was there, but I didn't really see Roman fall in love with her.  I think  there was just too much going on in the background with  Tate and his issues in school and his mother.  As well as Roman's mother, Belle, and her love life.  Not to mention Mila's mother dropping her revelation about Mila's father.  The story just felt too unfocused, so the love story was lost to me.

Despite all of that, I did love the humor in the book.  Belle is such a fun character because of her unpredictability.  I also loved to catch up with Sophie and Clay as well.  This is a fun series and I do recommend it.  I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

Purchase Links

About Delores Fossen

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.
Connect with Delores

Delores Fossen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 17th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, July 19th: Reading Lark After Dark
Friday, July 21st: Reading Reality
Tuesday, July 25th: Readaholic Zone – excerpt
Wednesday, July 26th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, August 1st: Becky on Books – excerpt

Wednesday, August 2nd: Book Nerd
Monday, August 7th: The Sassy Bookster
Wednesday, August 9th: A Fortress of Books – excerpt
Monday, August 14th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, August 15th: Books and Spoons – excerpt
Thursday, August 17th: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blog Tour:Spotlight of Before the Dawn by Cynthia Eden

Author: Cynthia Eden
Publisher: Harlequin Books 
Date of publication: August 1, 2017

Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason’s final victim—Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous “Iceman.”

It’s Tucker’s up close and personal experience with evil that’s made him perfect for Samantha Dark’s experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate.

Ten full years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother…and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question—has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?

“Suspenseful, sexy fare that keeps you turning pages until you reach the story’s conclusion.” –RT Book Reviews: on AFTER THE DARK
“Eden expertly twines terror and true love in her second Killer Instinct contemporary romantic thriller…. Eden employs countless red herrings, making it impossible to tell who the real killer is until the book’s end. This winning tale is a tightly plotted, expertly characterized adrenaline rush from start to finish.” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review on Before the Dawn by Cynthia Eden

Purchase Links

About Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller.
Cynthia writes dark tales of romantic suspense and sexy paranormal romance novels. She is a three-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over seventy novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Never miss a release from Cynthia Eden! Sign up for her newsletter HERE. You can also visit her Facebook page for her latest updates.
Cynthia Eden’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, July 25th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Wednesday, July 26th: Mama Reads -excerpt and review
Thursday, July 27th: Buried Under Romance
Thursday, July 27th: Deborah Blanchard
Monday, July 31st: A Fortress of Books
Wednesday, August 2nd: Snowdrop Dreams – excerpt
Thursday, August 3rd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Friday, August 4th: Reading Lark After Dark
Monday, August 7th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, August 9th: Blogging with A
Thursday, August 10th: Book Nerd
Friday, August 11th: Readaholic Zone – excerpt
Monday, August 14th: The Sassy Bookster
Wednesday, August 16th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, August 16th: Becky on Books
Friday, August 18th: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, August 21st: Books and Spoons – excerpt
Monday, August 21st: Jathan & Heather
Tuesday, August 29th: Romancing the Readers

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spotlight Tour: Murder Is Academic & Murder Is Pathological by P.M. Carlson

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: October 2012
Number of Pages: 194
ISBN: 1932325239 (ISBN13: 9781932325232)
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O'Connor #2

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Smashwords 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

A finalist for the Anthony Award

Vietnam, assassinations and riots. In the spring semester of 1968, a series of brutal attacks draws campus women together to study self-defense and the psychology of rape. Graduate student Mary Beth Nelson struggles to keep the Lords of Death at bay by immersing herself in researching Mayan languages. Her new housemate, Maggie Ryan, has her own secrets. When murder strikes close to home, Maggie investigates with a little help from her friends.

"MURDER IS ACADEMIC treats violation of truth in tandem with assault and rape true violations of person, mind, and body–– and presents a cogent caesar for the inviolability both of persons and truth."–– The Armchair Detective

"Murder is Academic" by P.M. Carlson The Maggie Ryan Series #2

Read an excerpt:

Near an upstate New York university, June 1968.
She was dead now, no more threat. The murderer pushed aside the long dark hair and, very carefully, cut the triangle into the young cheek. Done. Now, walk to the car calmly, get in. Back to the highway, driving coolly, back in control again.
* * *
The Christian conquerors teach that days don’t begin until midnight. The Maya know that it takes longer to hand over the burdens of time, and that the influence of the incoming god may begin at sunset. The day known as Monday, June 17, to those who count by the Gregorian calendar was pleasantly breezy, as befitted the Ixil 9 Iiq; but shortly after sunset it became one of the most tragic of Mary Beth’s life. A Mayan traditionalist might have attributed the change to the coming of that doubly unlucky day, 10 Aqbal.
But it had all begun quite cheerfully.
Maggie had borrowed Sue’s backpack in case Nick needed one for the picnic, and had packed her own and Mary Beth’s with the camp stove and the food. She hummed lightheartedly as she worked.
“You’re happy to see him, aren’t you?” Mary Beth had said, tightening the top of the salad dressing jar.
“Yes, but that’s only part of it,” Maggie had confessed. “It’s just good to know that’s behind me. It was a very bad time, and Nick was there. But I can see him now and just enjoy the friendship. The bad memories are there, way in the background, but the good ones are too. It doesn’t hurt anymore. It hurt quite a lot for a while.”
* * *
Excerpt from Murder Is Academic by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: May 28th 2013
Number of Pages: 212
ISBN: 9781932325270
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O'Connor #3

It’s 1969, in a brain research lab. The exploding wastebasket is a prank, but slaughtered lab rats have graduate students Maggie Ryan, Monica Bauer and the rest of the lab on edge. Then the custodian is murdered. Maggie’s friend, actor Nick O'Connor, goes undercover to investigate, help that Maggie does not appreciate– or does she? While Nick and Maggie search for the killer, Monica struggles to connect with a Vietnam veteran with a brain injury.

"P.M. Carlson's energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!"–– Sara Paretsky

Read an excerpt:

Neurology grad student Monica Bauer helps out at nursing home, 1969.
She waited. He could not summon words at will, except for the overpractised early ones–– hello, good-bye, okay. They both waited for the disconnected words to drift through his mind, waited for him to recognize the right one as it happened by.
After a while he said, "Buzzing. In, in, what is it? Not nose, not eyes."
"Buzzing in your ears?"
"Ears. Okay. In my ears."
"Does it hurt?"
"No, except . . ." Long pause. "Sometimes."
"Sometimes your head hurts."
"Yes, sometimes. Always . . . buzzing." He leaned back, tired.
"Shall we sing a little?"
He couldn't remember words, but melodies were still easy for him. She had learned to sing "la-la-la" instead of trying to teach him to catch the elusive words. Now they sang together, her alto and his baritone blending pleasantly. It made him happy.
Finally Monica said good-bye, signed out, drove away. Mary and Jock, Bibbsy and Ted never would. Four friends, trapped by their own broken brains. Especially Ted, who still struggled courageously to fuse the bits of his shattered world into coherence. Who still remembered that things had once been different, that he had once been whole.
Maybe she would never discover anything that could help them. But with Dr. Weisen’s help, she meant to give it a damn good try.
Back in Laconia, she parked in front of her square brick house, then paused to wait for Maggie, who was at the corner mailing a letter. “Trying to send a message to the outside world?” called Monica.
“Yeah. My friend Nick.” Maggie, exuberant, sprinted from the corner, ending with a cartwheel. Then she pulled herself up with dignity and asked, “How were your friends today?”
“Soaking up sun.”
“Good for them. Listen, we’re going to the concert tonight. Can you come?”
“No, I’ve got to get back to the lab right after dinner. Have to check on those baby rats I delivered today.”
And so Monica was second on the scene. She unlocked the main door of the lab, and at the sound of her steps Norman erupted from the door of the animal quarters, gaping in terror.
“Miz Bauer! Come quick!” he pleaded. “Something terrible happened!”
Monica ran after him into one of Dr. Weisen’s animal rooms. She said, “Oh, Christ!”
In the center of the room lay a heap of slaughtered rats, their backs broken and mangled, their skulls smashed.
* * *
Excerpt from Murder Is Pathological by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Smashwords, & Twitter !


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Blog Tour: The Quiet Child by John Burley

Author: John Burley
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks 
Date of publication: August 8, 2017

From the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, comes a gripping and darkly psychological novel about family, suspicion, and the price we are willing to pay to protect those we love the most.

It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.

Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.

I have really enjoyed the other book that I have read by this author.  So, I went into this book with high expectations.  I ended up being drawn right into the story right away.  I actually read this entire book on my three hour flight last week.  It's kind of hard to talk about this book without giving away spoilers, so I'm not going to try. There are a few surprises and the book definitely took a turn that I wasn't expecting.

 I had to sit on it for a few days to really digest the story and the ending.  To be honest, I'm still not sure how I feel.  And maybe that is what the book was supposed to one that will stick with me for a long time.  I liked it and I didn't at the same time.  I was kind of disturbed by some of the events in the story.  But at the same time, I had to applaud one decision that Michael made because in the end it had a positive result, but for a huge price.

I'm definitely recommending this story.  It's well written and I loved the setting.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the author:

John Burley attended medical school in Chicago and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He currently serves as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife and daughter, and their Great Dane and English bulldog.

Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 8th: The Ludic Reader
Wednesday, August 9th: The Book Bag
Thursday, August 10th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, August 11th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, August 14th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, August 15th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, August 15th: SJ2B House Of Books
Wednesday, August 16th: Readaholic Zone
Thursday, August 17th: Tina Says…
Monday, August 21st: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, August 22nd: StephTheBookworm
Wednesday, August 23rd: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Wednesday, August 23rd: Art Books Coffee
Thursday, August 24th: A Bookworm’s World