Thursday, 25 April 2019

New Release Spotlight: Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.



Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.
 

A beaten homeless vet. Three cops gunned down. A multistate manhunt. The trial of the decade.
A new kind of legal thriller
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?



N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

http://www.author-n-lombardi-jr.com/


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Spotlight & Review: Daring Dreamer by Deborah King



Daring Dreamer by Deborah King

Two best friends. Two fresh starts. Will old regrets sabotage their second chance?
Janna’s heart is heavy with grief and broken by betrayal. But as she leaves the big city for a quaint midwestern town, the future feels less frightening with her best friend, Shelby, by her side. After landing a job in the local fresh market and the attentions of a handsome architect, she may yet learn to heal old scars…
Shelby loves the position Janna secured for her and the new sense of community, but wishes small-town life wasn’t so lonely. After packing up all she could salvage from her painful past, she endures more than her fair share of bumps on the winding road to recovery. Afraid her heart may be too damaged for real love, she drowns her sorrows in drunken nights at bars.
With new heartaches around every corner, can Janna and Shelby stay true to their friendship and their dream of lasting freedom?
Daring Dreamer is the first book in the Inspiration in Cologne series of women’s fiction novels. If you like brave women, picturesque settings, and second chance romance, then you’ll love Deborah King’s empowering saga.
Buy Daring Dreamer to explore a risk worth taking today!
Amazon UK      Amazon US  

The overwhelming theme of this novel is the power of friendship. The trails and tribulations of two friends who bonded over similar life experiences. Who leave their past lives in Kansas City to restart and build a new life in a new small town in the US Midwest.

Those who love cosy sagas based in small towns will enjoy the community spirit of Cologne and its inhabitants. The author writes a colourful portrayal of the places and people who live there and it isn't difficult to imagine how such a place would be. The plot-lines are realistic and not all are happy ones as the author explores the realities faced by many families with elderly relatives. However, there's a happy ending so all's well that ends well and I anticipate we'll see the protagonists in future books in this series.

The writing style took some getting used to due to how the author set up the narrative. In parts, it's told from two points of view which occasionally changes mid-chapter. For my own personal preference, I'd have liked there to be stronger plotlines and less descriptive scene setting to keep the narrative flowing. However, I know many readers like the little details I prefer to skim over.

To sum up, Daring Dreamer is a delightful, quick read and the first instalment in the Inspiration in Cologne series.

***Review copy received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***

Deborah King is a spirited woman who was inspired to pursue her dreams due to her mother’s death from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has the unique ability to read people and tackle life’s hardships.
Deborah is a distinctive new voice in inspirational, romantic women’s fiction. After raising two children, working with a not-for-profit wildlife rescue organization, and reading too many books to count, she retired from her personal training and weight management business to follow her dream of writing.
She is extremely grateful for having the opportunity to work with many different people sharing and teaching what inspires her, which you’ll catch glimpses of in her books.
Deborah’s lived in several diverse areas in her city as well as three years in a rural setting. She lives in Missouri with her supportive husband, two rescue cats, who believe they’re dogs, her mini fitness store, and her eclectic collection of books.
For all the latest information, excerpts from her upcoming books, general fun, or to chat, follow Deborah on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DeborahKingAuthor.
She loves to hear from her fans. To follow Deborah’s social media links, reviews of her women’s fiction books, her blog, and to sign up for her monthly updates, visit her at https://deborahkingbooks.com.

Giveaway – Win a Paperback copy of Daring Dreamer (Open US Only).
*Terms and Conditions –USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Release Day Spotlight, Excerpt and Guest Post: Hide and Seek by Mary Burton



Title: Hide and Seek
Author: Mary Burton
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance


Special Agent Macy Crow is a survivor. After a vicious hit-and-run nearly kills her, she gets right back to work, and now she’s gunning for a spot on the FBI’s elite profiling team. As an audition, she offers to investigate the recently discovered bones of Tobi Turner, a high school girl who disappeared fifteen years ago.

While investigating with local sheriff Mike Nevada, a former colleague and onetime lover, Macy discovers a link between Tobi’s case and several others that occurred around the same time as her disappearance. As Macy interviews victims and examines old cases, she uncovers a sinister picture of a stalker who graduated to sexual assault—and then murder.

Macy and Nevada race to put this monster behind bars before he can come out of hiding. But the murderer’s had years to hone his skills, and soon Macy herself becomes a target. She’s no stranger to pain and terror, but will Macy’s first profiling case be her last?

Profiling FBI Profiler Macy Crow

Special Agent Macy Crow is 33-years-old and is an accomplished FBI Agent.  She’s worked a series of high profile cases across the United States and isn’t afraid to take chances. When her father was murdered, she headed to Texas to investigate the crime. Following clues left behind by her father, she was closing in on the killer when she became the victim of a hit and run accident.

Most would have died from the injuries Macy sustained or would have been permanently disabled. However, Macy channeled her extreme ability to focus into her recovery. Though her fit muscles have softened during her recovery, she is regaining strength each day and is now laser-focused on returning to the  FBI as a field agent. Before her accident, she had shoulder length blond hair but the brain surgeons who saved her life cut off all her hair. She now proudly sports a pixie cut.  

When Macy returned to Texas, she learned a startling fact about herself. She has an identical twin—medical examiner Dr. Faith McIntyre. Though adopted by different families, the sisters already have a strong connection.  

Macy’s adoptive parents split when she was two and she moved from Texas to Alexandria, Virginia located outside of Washington, D.C. Over the years she remained close with her father and spent many summers with him helping repair old cars on his auto salvage lot. In Alexandria, she and her mother lived in a large apartment complex. When she was young, a neighborhood girl was murdered. That tragedy had a very profound affect on Macy, who discovered she wasn’t afraid of the police and FBI agents swarming the apartment complex. Instead, she was fascinated by their work and not only watched law enforcement in action but also walked the actual crime scene herself in search of clues.

Macy has never been married and has no children. For a long time, she considered herself married to her job and it wasn’t until she met FBI Special Agent Mike Nevada that she reconsidered her single status. However, her accident cut short their romance. Nevada is now the sheriff in a small Virginia town in the Shenandoah Valley. He understands Macy’s need to reclaim the FBI job she has always loved so much. In the last year, he has never forgotten her and is committed to helping regain her old life. When the two are paired on a cold case murder investigation in Nevada’s district, they become an unstoppable team.


Hide and Seek by Mary Burton

Vivid blue sky, white clouds, and golden fall leaves blanketed the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains and created a picture-perfect day in the valley. In Macy’s book, the beauty was wasted. If she had God’s ear, today would have been cold, overcast, and damp. Save the pretty days until she caught this killer.
As she drove south down I-81, Macy mentally replayed her ten minutes of regional research. In the last couple of decades, the Shenandoah Valley’s population had ballooned thanks to a growing university, its proximity to Washington, DC, and a thriving tourism trade peddling vineyards, Civil War battlefields, and railroad museums. Filling in the economic gaps were warehouse distribution centers, chain hotels, and strip malls.
The voice of Macy’s GPS cut through AC/DC’s Back in Black blasting from her playlist and instructed her to take the upcoming exit toward Deep Run. As she rolled onto Route 250, a sign for her go-to fast-food eatery gave her an excuse to stretch her legs before driving the remaining ten miles to the crime scene.
Parking, she gingerly rose up out of the car. Her leg hurt. Stretches weren’t optional any more. She grabbed her ankle and pulled until the bunched muscles in her thigh released. After a quick walk around the lot, she made a beeline for the restaurant bathroom.
She glanced into the mirror as she washed her hands. Even after five months, she still didn’t recognize the woman with the short hair and thin face.
Nevada was in for a rude awakening.
She wiped her face with a paper towel. “Macy Crow, you’re above ground and headed in the right direction. That’s what counts.”
At the counter, she ordered a supersize bucket of fries and a large soda. It wasn’t that she loved the food—okay, maybe she did love the fries—but the chain restaurant’s predictability and sameness was comforting after so many life changes.
A few fries later, she was in her car and backing out of her space when her phone rang. Nevada’s number appeared. She cleared her throat and sat a little taller.
“Agent Macy Crow,” she said.
“Ramsey tells me you’re on your way. Where are you?”
He was direct, rarely charming, and she always knew where she stood with him. “Fifteen minutes from the barn.”
“I’m here now.”
The transition back into a working relationship appeared effortless. Whatever they had was over and done. No hard feelings.
“See you soon,” she said.
En route on the interstate, she ate her fries and drained her soda. There were no guarantees on when the next meal would be.
The last few miles took her down smaller roads until she spotted the driveway marked by stacked stones. Gravel crunched under her tires as she passed a freshly cleared field. Over the rise of a hill, she saw the old barn encircled by yellow crime scene tape.
When she had been researching the area, slogans such as “Best Quality of Life” and “Raise Your Family in Deep Run” popped up on her computer screen. As she had read about the area, she had kept glancing toward her open case file filled with images of Tobi Turner’s scattered bones. Recent pictures had captured the barn surrounded by dozens of state and local law enforcement vehicles crammed side by side in the grassy field.
Now as Macy parked, she noted that all the vehicles were gone expect for a lone black SUV. She grabbed her Glock from the glove box, holstered it, and stepped out of her car. Her worn hiking boots sloshed in the damp muddy soil. She tugged on an FBI windbreaker and draped her FBI credentials around her neck. As a stiff breeze blew a lingering chill and autumn scents, she checked her pockets for latex gloves, sunglasses, a small pocketknife, and pendant light.
Edginess and excitement fused as she strode toward the stretch of yellow tape and searched for Nevada. She ducked under the tape and stepped inside the barn.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-six romance and suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three miniature dachshunds.




Monday, 22 April 2019

New Release Spotlight and Extract: Trust Me by K.J. McGillick



Trust Me by K.J. McGillick
Sex. Power. Murder.
Dr. Gabriel Blackwell and his wife Sandra Blake have it all. He’s a brilliant thoracic surgeon. She’s a high-powered attorney with family money. Their lives are as loving as they are glamorous.
Or are they?
When a nurse Dr. Blackwell works with is brutally murdered, the questions fly. Who would want to kill this woman and why? When an autopsy reveals the woman was pregnant, all signs point to Dr. Blackwell. Just what was her relationship with him?
Whispers about a scandalous sex club surface. How many other lovers are there? Are any of them safe? How far would he go to protect his reputation?
Tragedy strikes again as Sandra Blake is found dead floating in their pool. Dr. Blackwell now finds himself on trial for two murders. Facing life in prison, Dr. Blackwell will grasp at any straw to preserve his freedom.
Any straw.
Is anyone innocent? Is anyone safe?


Amazon UK       Amazon US 

Dalia leaned her shoulder against the doorjamb of my office.
I have three clients I am working on this week to determine if we should take a deal that the D.A. has offered. Cases start out so promising to win and then certain facts come to light and boom, it all falls to shit. I need to bring you up to speed and get you involved, and we can decide which to handle first. Do you want to jump into the most unusual case or what I consider the easiest? It will be up to you.”
Great, step in and take a seat. I’d like to hear about the most interesting first, for sure,” I said.
There was nothing to clear away on my desk or chairs, and I welcomed the work.
If you have that list Mary gave you, get that, and you can make notes. The top three are the ones we’ll need to discuss today and tomorrow. Then we have to go. I want to talk to Gabriel before the bail hearing.”
I pulled out the sheet that had twelve cases listed.
Let’s discuss Peter Laters today. He's charged with fraud, forgery, theft, and embezzlement. The D.A.’s office is calling the case Pretty Boy Pete. I think somewhere in their office they have him on a Most Wanted poster. It’s a fact-driven case filled with juicy details. I guess they decided to play hardball because they wanted to focus on some of the dangers of dating sites. Everyone from Dr. Phil to 20/20 has produced shows about this topic, so now it’s their turn to jump on the bandwagon, I suppose. This is my favorite case.
According to the D.A., Peter dated a large number of women from several dating sites. He doesn’t dispute that. No crime there. However, they state that in doing so it wasn’t for companionship, but rather to determine who owned their property outright and unencumbered by a mortgage or car loan. They allege he targeted the most vulnerable women. The offenses the D.A. charged him with involves a twenty-eight-year-old woman, Lilian Mathers. The woman’s grandparents left her well off financially as she was the only surviving member of the Mathers family. She lived off her investments rather than work and had limited life experience. From all accounts, she was what some people might call a susceptible person, but an adult nonetheless.
The investigation was extensive. Lilian’s version of the story was that he didn’t trick her into giving her home to him as one would think. However, instead, she said she never transferred the residence in question to him period. Peter’s story is, she signed the property over to him and thus made him the sole owner. He considered it a gift in contemplation of marriage. They lived together in the house for six months as a couple and here’s where their stories go down a different path. Lilian reports Peter suddenly filed an eviction with the court to have her removed from the home. She filed a response stating that she owned the property and the court should dismiss the case. Our client says her behavior had become so erratic over time that he feared for his life. Peter filed a petition to evict Lilian, and she states that was when she discovered the alleged falsified transfer of property.
He refused to leave and stayed in the home. Peter likewise claimed all the furniture was his as well. The luxury car in the garage in his name also is part of the dispute as a gift. The total value of the gifts? Two point one million dollars. Lilian says it’s not her signature on the deed, and the handwriting analysis is inconclusive. Witnesses we’ve interviewed say they appeared to be a loving couple; others labeled him a snake charmer. I’ll get you the file and see what you think.

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that's what New Yorker's do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing



Friday, 19 April 2019

New Release Spotlight: The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown



Title: The Perfect Dress
Author: Carolyn Brown
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance


In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.

Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.

For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?


Carolyn Brown's Real Life Inspiration for Writing THE PERFECT DRESS

Hello, everyone and thank you for inviting me to your site today! 

My granddaughter is getting married this fall, and she’s not one of those size six girls who can walk into wedding dress store, try on a dozen dresses and find the perfect dress—especially when she has her heart set on a black lace dress for her wedding. When we began to shop for her dress, I wished for a custom wedding shop that catered only to women who wore a size fourteen or larger. So I created one called The Perfect Dress and set it in the little town of Celeste, Texas. This summer I plan to bring my old Singer sewing machine out of retirement, and make my granddaughter’s black lace wedding dress—just the way she and I will design it!

The Perfect Dress is not a real place so don’t go to the local doughnut shop in Celeste and ask about it, but the town, the characters and the shop were all very real to me while I was writing about it.

Speaking of characters let me introduce you to Mitzi. She’s and her two plus sized friends, Paula and Jody, have dreamed of putting in their own plus-sized wedding dress shop for years. Now it’s a reality. They’ve bought an old two story house at the edge of Celeste and hung out their shingle. 

Jody is a thin vegetarian now, but when the girls were in high school, she was a big girl just like her friends. She’s living proof that a woman will do anything for love, but when love goes awry, she’s sure glad that she’s got Mitzi and Paula to support her.

Paula is carrying a big secret. The three women have shared everything since they were little children, but she can’t talk about her secret, not when both her friends are in the middle of drama themselves. She has to be the strong one to share Jody’s sorrow and Mitzi’s happiness.

Fanny Lou, Mitzi’s grandmother, is an eccentric old gal with lots of advice that she’s not one bit shy about spreading around. She’s the mother role for all of them, constantly popping into the shop with a box of doughnuts, or the local gossip.

Lately Mitzi has been feeling like maybe her ‘perfect family’ is missing someone... perhaps the perfect man. She hasn’t seen him since high school, but that doesn’t mean that Mitizi’s heart doesn’t go pitter-patter for this awesome single dad. Graham towers above Mitzi, who is almost six feet tall. He has twin girls, who are also plus sized. He feels the sparks, too, but questions whether Mitzi could ever love some big guy who already has teenage daughters.

There is definitely a gap between the teenager girls, who help out in the shop, and Fanny Lou, the granny, and the three best friends. But true friendship knows nothing about age—it’s love, support, and unflinching loyalty towards each other, no matter what the age.


Mitzi rushed back to the sewing room, where the hum of two sewing machines filled the air. “Graham Harrison just came in the shop to set up an appointment for his two daughters. He said they only live a few houses up the street from us. He looked like a bull in a china shop sitting on that pink sofa. And of course he didn’t even recognize me, but I sure knew him the minute I laid eyes on him.”
At the mention of that name from the past, work jolted to a halt.

All the girls in high school swooned over him, including Mitzi, but she hasn’t told us if he’s still as sexy as he was back then.” Jody took a bowl of salad from the fridge along with a plate of vegetables that she stuck into the microwave to heat.

He’s aged very, very well, and I’m having cookies,” Mitzi said.

Smart girl,” Fanny Lou said. “Life is short. Eat dessert first. So you had a little crush on Graham?”

Everyone did,” Mitzi answered.

Not me. I was always in love with Lyle,” Jody said.

Well, according to what I heard at the church bake sale today, Graham moved his daughters here to Celeste because they were being fat shamed down in Greenville. One of them knocked a girl on her butt, blacked both eyes, and bloodied her nose with one punch. It was the last day of school and they said they were going to suspend her for the first two weeks of next year for fighting,” Jody said.

She should get a medal, not suspended,” Mitzi fumed.

Fanny Lou took a gallon jug of sweet tea from the fridge. “Who all wants a glass?”

Three hands went up.

She filled four glasses with ice and then tea and carried them to the table. “I remember when he went to work for his dad at the Cadillac dealership—right after he and Rita got married. His dad gave him a job on the lowest level, and he had to work his way up. Rita was furious because she thought they’d get a big house and a new Caddy every year. Stupid woman figured since his folks had money that he had an open bank account.”

Paula took the ham and cheese containers from the fridge while Mitzi pulled a loaf of bread from the cabinet. “You eating with us, Granny?”

I’ll eat with you and Paula, but I don’t want any of that stuff Jody is having. I don’t eat fake meat. I’ll eat what I want and die when I’m supposed to. Slice some of them tomatoes I brought in here earlier. And I’d rather have bologna instead of ham and mustard instead of mayo,” Fanny Lou answered.

Me, too,” Paula said. “I want one like hers.”

I was thinking the same thing.” Mitzi set about making three sandwiches.

So Graham was divorced and raising girls on his own. Bless his heart for getting them away from a school that bullied them because of their size. Mitzi could relate to the girls. But then, so could Jody and Paula. She’d always figured that Jody adopted her own modern-day hippie style to combat those feelings of insecurity. Paula had retreated into superstition. Mitzi had just plowed her way through emotions and other kids, spending a lot of time in the principal’s office for fighting.

She pushed all that to the back of her mind, put the sandwiches on plates, and carried them to the table. “Y’all know that this job for Ellie Mae could turn into a big thing. I bet her older sister will be the maid of honor and her mother will want a fancy dress.”

That’s what you’re in business for, isn’t it?” Fanny Lou said. “Man, this brings back memories. Friday night was bologna sandwich night when I was a kid.”

Why?” Jody asked.

Because Mama always cleaned house on Friday, and she didn’t have time to make a big meal,” Fanny Lou answered.

Funny how an hour of beading takes forever and our noon hour goes so fast.” Jody pointed to the clock.

Good Lord!” Fanny Lou finished off her sandwich and grabbed a cookie. “I’ve got an appointment with my CPA at one and it’s a fifteen-minute drive to Greenville. See you girls later. You have my permission to flirt with Graham, Mitzi.”

Mitzi’s cheeks began to burn. “I had a teenage crush on him. I’ve grown up since then.”

Fanny Lou winked as she headed for the door. “Paula, since you live with Mitzi, I’m putting you in charge of being sure she takes her birth control pills every morning.”

Mitzi felt even more heat in her cheeks. “Granny!”

When you get old you get to say whatever the hell you want to.” Fanny Lou closed the door behind her.
***

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when . . . and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.