March Madness Romance Ebook ​Giveaway - Click Image To Enter

Monday, March 18, 2019


Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post!

In addition, this book is on sale for 99 cents during the tour!

The Tursiops Syndrome

by John C. Waite

GENRE: Thriller

How do you get a nuke into the heart of the city? Maybe a dolphin can help. From Author John Waite, the tale of a police detective who matches wits with a mad scientist and terrorists intent on destroying America. When detective Hickory Logan joins Park Ranger Kevin Whitehead investigating the mysterious death of a dolphin she finds herself sucked into a far deeper whirlpool. Can she and Kevin stop the tide of terror that threatens to kill thousands or will they be fodder for a nuclear fireball?

A newspaper review described Tursiops thus: "The writing is, well, wonderful. Waite has a gift for dialogue and story-telling, and his plot is adventurous and perfectly paced. "


Red Logan hunkered down next to the Humvee's left front wheel. He folded his lanky frame in several places to assure that the vehicle shielded him from rifle fire emanating from the house a hundred feet away.

A furious fusillade had greeted A-Company, first battalion, 407th Special Forces when their vehicles pulled to a halt in front of what was a rather strange building for northern Afghanistan. In the early morning darkness it looked for all the world like a California ranch-style home.

But there was no BMW parked in the driveway.

The firefight lasted less than fifteen minutes. There was only an occasional round pinging off the slate-riddled soil and infrequent bursts of automatic fire keeping the soldiers from charging the structure. Red wondered why the squads weren’t using some of the heavier weapons. He knew the unit armament included shoulder-fired missiles and a Carl Gustav 84-mm recoilless rifle but so far, the big stuff had been silent.

The tip had placed Azam al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's chief organizer for nine-eleven, in the house.

Numerous such tips over the past two years had come to nothing. Most of them originated in minds overly-motivated to garner the twenty million American dollars offered for the capture of several of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

At least one Osama bin Laden look-alike had been found dead. And it took weeks before authorities identified the body. The man had been killed and left in a house to which an Afghan citizen directed U.S. forces. Not only did he not get the reward he sought, but his countrymen also jailed him for mutilating the corpse by cutting off its hands and feet.

Army intelligence, a title Red thought oxymoronic, had considered tonight’s tip more credible than most since it had come in anonymously. The tipster hadn’t mentioned the reward. So the Special Forces unit had headed out in the predawn darkness for a two-hour drive north from Kabul into the mountainous terrain.


The voice belonged to the figure squeezed into the wheel well behind him.

He could barely see Jessie’s sinewy shape, strangely gawky where the video camera and its now-dark lights rested on her right thigh.

“Yeah, what?” he whispered.

“Should I get some video?” Jessie asked, cocking her left hand back over her shoulder.

“Hell no. We're reporters, not soldiers. CNN's not paying us to get shot. Just keep your ass down. There's nothing to shoot."

Before he could finish his sentence, an amplified Afghan voice rang out from the vicinity of the lead Humvee, imploring the occupants of the house to surrender. The answer was a three-shot rifle volley, the rounds pinging off the hard-pack and whining away into the darkness.

“Now,” Jessie said, pushing past Red and swinging the camera onto her shoulder, leaning on the Hummer’s hood.

“No.” Red yelled, trying to pull her to the ground. But it was too late. The light on Jessie’s camera flared brilliantly then died in a crash of glass and the harsh double bark of a Kalashnikov. The rounds zinged away into the darkness, but Red heard in the report the crunch of bone.

“Jessie.” he screamed.

Guest Post from John C. Waite

Growing up in the suburbs of New Orleans (Kenner) I wasn’t aware of just how different my youth was from the lives of kids who grew up in “middle America.” Those were the days of the Marcello crime family, and the intimate mix of politics and the underworld. But despite that there was little visible street crime, no thugs on street corners selling stuff from paper bags. There was nothing to keep me indoors (and out of trouble) and I “ran the streets” without fear of official or parental rebuke. My friends and I prowled the woods and swamps without care, garnering an intimate knowledge of woodlands and swamps, of geometric social differentiations (the good part of town versus the bad part) and where to catch the biggest snakes, which we would sell to the local snake farm for a quarter, which was the price of a pack of Camels at the drugstore. Of course, I was buying them for my father.

                The drug store also had a soda fountain, which often got the little we earned stomping the wilds. It often got also the allowance provided by my parents who thought such was a necessity for an elementary school kid. In retrospect, it was a grand and free childhood, one that I now cherish in memory, which, I’m sure, paints the time in brighter colors than the time deserves.

                Yes, I loved it.
                My younger brother would often, figuratively, hang onto my coattails when I headed out with my friends, and to this day I regret not giving him more time. If anything, he was smarter than I was, but we fought a lot and I thought of him as a burden on my social life, particularly when I began to find girls interesting and attractive. The thing about girls was, I didn’t know why they were so different. So I developed the hobby of spending a lot of time at the local library, sneaking into the adult sections, and reading books about sex. I got caught doing that a couple of times and had my library privileges temporarily revoked. But I learned the basics about anatomical differences. What the books didn’t teach me, however, was the social and emotional impacts of those differences. I’m still not sure about them.
I rode buses to school until I became a senior, then acquired a hand-me-down car, a 1954 Crosley, a tiny station wagon with a bad clutch. But it was a car and having that put me in a more socially acceptable status, particularly when it came to dating. And having the car enabled me to put to use some of the things I had learned about sex from the books I had read several years before sneaking around the library. Luckily there were benevolent parents on both sides, and a church wedding legalized everything.
While in high school my best friend and I had seriously considered becoming a marine biologists, but things changed as we entered college and we went our separate ways, He graduated as a US Marine ROTC candidate and joined the corps, and wound up dying in Vietnam. I discovered my love of the English language and earned a degree in journalism. I then went from there to both broadcast and print journalism, eventually winding up back in deep south Louisiana, New Orleans, and lesser known communities further south, in Cajun country.
During those years I won a number of awards for journalistic endeavors both  in print and in broadcast formats. Those were still tumultuous years socially, with one marriage ending and another following a couple of years later. Those marriages produced four great kids, three girls and one boy, now healthy and active adults.
Perhaps I’m getting a bit too personal.
So, I’ve been writing all of my life, professionally. I always thought I would write a book or three, but always put most of that energy into my reporting. At a point when I felt I wasn’t being sufficiently rewarded for my efforts, I quit the profession and became a merchant mariner, a field that paid much better than journalism. I drove big boats for the next almost twenty years. I have visited most ports on both the east and west coasts, traversed the Panama Canal a couple of times, sailed to Hawaii and back, and spent time offshore and inland in the Pacific northwest. And, of course, some of those experiences have found their way into my fiction. While I started writing my novels years ago, I published them, plus a book of short stories and a middle-grade youth sci-fi adventure only a couple of years ago. Still have quite a few projects in the works.
As for the actual writing, I have a studio in my apartment where I assemble most of my projects. It’s a pleasant place with a view of a golf course across the way, and quick access to downtown Pensacola, a city that has grown from a sleepy sort of village into a bustling almost metropolis. The condo is on the bay, and I confess that all to often I catch myself just sitting and dreaming instead of plotting.
Plotting is one of the sunniest parts of writing fiction. I believe in the Elmore Leonard approach. Design the character and the situation, and the action will flow from there. Some things I have written started with the plot, but usually the plot stems from what the character will do on the stage you have set for him or her. When I am starting a book I sketch the opening, then the close. Sometimes the plot won’t let you end it the way you planned, but the plan will still affect the end.
I try to write daily, even if it is only a few graphs. I think that’s necessary just to keep an edge on Occam's Razor. Simple solutions are better than complex ones. Thus part of the author’s work is to simplify. And that can be tough.
Writing should also be enjoyable. I started to say it should be fun, but that implies something that might lack meaning. You want the story to have meaning, and you want to enjoy creating that meaning. I have some fun with things that I don’t actually publish. I have a part time job working for a funeral home as a driver. We transport corpses, sometimes locally and sometimes long distant. When I’m driving I often initiate conversations with the person who once occupied the body i’m moving. Yeah, I know it sounds strange, but those talks have helped me pass many hours  on the road, and given me insights into my motivations and feelings.

               In my writing I am not trying to preach, politicize, or criticize. I am merely trying to tell a tale someone would enjoy. If I help someone enjoy a part of his or her day, I’m satisfied.

John C. Waite

Thousands of author John C Waite’s words flew past Alpha Centauri years ago, heading for the center of the galaxy, perhaps sparking an arthropod’s grin in route. Waite, a degreed journalist and retired Merchant Mariner has numerous writing and broadcasting awards to his credit, and millions of words in print and broadcast media. Originally from New Orleans he has called Panhandle Florida his home for fifty years, but still retains a taste for things Creole and Cajun. A recreational and professional sailor, his travels have covered the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, portions of south and Central America, Canada, Hawaii, Ireland, Britain, and Europe. John resides in Pensacola, Florida. He is a father to four, and grandfather to four. His books are available on Amazon.

The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour!


John C. Waite will be awarding a $50 Gift Certificate to to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 15, 2019


Sportsman's Bet
Ian Dodge Mysteries Book 1
Judy Nichols

Genre: Mystery

Velma Saunders, the town clerk of Tobias, North Carolina never had a kind
word to say to anyone. In fact, most people were afraid of her,
including her boss, Mayor Mike Ellis.

Still, the whole town is shocked when Velma's body is found in the Municipal
Building's old bomb shelter. The only clue to her murderer is a copy
of a cryptic message from a Nigerian email scammer.

All the evidence points to Mayor Mike, who's charged with killing Velma.
Investigator Ian Dodge, a British transplant who's never quite taken
root in the Deep South, sets out to find out who else hated Velma
enough to kill her.

In the course of his investigation, Ian discovers the dark secrets Velma
has been hiding all these years, and exactly why she was so mean.


Why is it the last time always sticks in your memory?

Like the last time I saw my mum on a long ago visit to England. I can still see her, drinking her tea and raging against the new management at the Black Swan. Now it was ferns and toffee-nosed gits, she said. And the price of a pint was outrageous.

Or the last time I drove my beloved ’69 Camaro before it was stolen. Nicked right outside my New York apartment, it was. The cops never did find it. Not that they looked very hard.

And of course, the last time I saw Velma Saunders.

Velma was the secretary/bookkeeper for Tobias, North Carolina, my adopted hometown. To say Tobias is off the beaten track is being charitable. It’s forty miles away from anything interesting, like the city of Wilmington or the Atlantic Ocean. No one ever comes to Tobias unless they have family here—or they’re lost.

Velma was here because of family. I, on the other hand, count myself among the lost.

As always, Velma was at her post in the mayor’s office, answering the phone and guarding the mayor from salesmen and other petty annoyances, like irate constituents. And that’s how I picture her, sitting at her desk glued to her computer screen, engrossed in an e-mail.

At the time, I thought it was funny, seeing as how she’d fought tooth and nail against the Internet when the town fathers decided to enter the twenty-first century and invest in an Internet connection. Velma said more than once that telephones and the U.S. Postal Service worked just fine, why bother with all this e-rubbish? Only threats of forced retirement persuaded her to log on.

That day she wore her usual ensemble of a baggy brown cardigan sweater, a beige blouse, and a brown and black plaid skirt. Always reminded me of the school uniforms the girls at my grammar school wore. Nobody ever looked good in those, especially a woman on the high side of sixty.

Trouble and Strife
Ian Dodge Mysteries Book 2

Lorrie Mattingly has it all.
Young and beautiful, married to the richest man in town, she spends her
time driving fast cars, riding horses and keeping herself pretty. And
yet, she's down to earth, and sweet, devoted to her handicapped twin
sister Linnie. Everyone loves her.

Maybe not everyone.

When she suffers from a severe allergic reaction during a tanning session,
private investigator Ian Dodge is called in by the owners of the
salon, since they're getting sued big time. It doesn't take long for
Ian to figure out Lorrie's attack wasn't an accident, or negligence
but attempted murder. Or to learn that there were plenty of people
who wanted this sweet girl dead.

Pork Pies
Ian Dodge Mysteries Book 3

Crusty British transplant Ian Dodge is back on the beat, this time in the
service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food
Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has
threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to
Ian Dodge to get it sorted.

When her blackmailer is found stabbed to death in his hotel room, Her
Majesty is the prime suspect. It's Ian's job to untangle the web of
deception and pork pies (lies) to find the culprit, all the while
dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.

Judy Nichols lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, but she is by no means a
"Southern writer." Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in
the nearby town of Batavia, she still is a no-nonsense midwesterner.
Although she does find true southerners quite charming.

Judy holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.
She has been a newspaper reporter, a teacher, a temporary office
worker, a customer service representative, a stay-at-home mom, a
volunteer, and a proud organizer of the now defunct Cape Fear Crime
Festival mystery writers' conference.

Judy started her first novel Caviar Dreams while her daughter
was napping one day. Five years later it was finished. The biggest
challenge arrived once her daughter stopped taking naps and
eventually lost interest in watching the "Toy Story" video.

Since then she has gone on to write several more books, including the Ian
Dodge Mysteries inspired by her UK born husband Nigel. Ian Dodge is a
persnickety private investigator, living in coastal North Carolina,
who refuses to be assimilated and instead hangs on to every shred of
his Britishness.

Now that her daughter is grown up and gone, she spends lots of quality
time with her husband and Bailey the Wonder Dog. Also, reading and
writing good books.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post!

Karen Tjebben
Contemporary Romance
Date Published:  March 2019

Cassie Bowmont had what it took to succeed, at least that’s what she told herself. Hoping a change of pace and new scenery would get her creative juices flowing, she rented a beach cottage in the small town of Avenel where she could dip her pen into the steamy depths of adult romance. She didn’t need or want any distractions to thwart her progress, but she hadn’t counted on Chris Walker. After deciding that he would be a great muse for the hero in her book, she realized that a summer fling with him was just what the Book Gods ordered.    

When Chris Walker spotted the small car on the shoulder of the road, his hero complex kicked in. Unable to ignore a damsel in distress, he pulled over to be a knight in a Ford F-150. He stomped through the flooded road and convinced Cassie to follow him to safety. After a goodbye wave in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly, he figured he’d never see her again, but Fate had other plans. When their paths crossed once more, he paused long enough to notice the delight in her eyes, the playful smirk on her glossy lips, and the determination of her spirit. His heart stuttered. His brain flooded with need, and a crack penetrated the wall around his heart. 

They knew the summer was all they’d have but falling for each other was inevitable. The pleasure of lust somehow transformed into the contentment of love. When a jilted lover returns and sabotages their relationship, they must decide if they will be prisoners to the past or sail into their future.


“Are you published?” Chris asked.
“Yes.” She nodded and added, “Self-published.”
“What genre?”
Pink heated her cheeks. She wasn’t about to tell him that she wrote romance and was considering erotica. She hadn’t decided yet. She read both, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be an erotica writer. She wasn’t sure she had enough sexual experience or creativity to write a book that needed eight to ten sex scenes. She thought she could handle two or three at the most per book, which was what most of the romances she’d read had.
“I’m debating between writing contemporary romance or romantic suspense. You know, chick lit.” She did her best to make that sound boring and uninteresting.
“Chick lit,” he repeated. The corners of his mouth turned up. Was that code for mommy porn? His cock perked up at the news. What kind of naughty thoughts went through her mind? Damn, she was already hot, but that information made her down right volcanic. He’d have to get his hands on one of her books to check it out.
“You know, books you read at the beach, while waiting in line at the grocery store. Something with a Happily Ever After. Feel good books,” she added with a casual shrug. Then she cursed adding that last part.
His green eyes darkened with lust. Feel good books. He knew what that meant. Women all over America read books at night to ‘feel good’. Was she into that? Damn, his pants were getting tight in the crotch just thinking about the ways she could make him feel good.
She wanted to roll her eyes. Men were so predictable. They couldn’t help but think with their cocks. She should have known the man sitting across from her would be no different. He’d been a gentleman last night and had been polite so far, but the heat in his gaze betrayed the truth that his cock had taken over his brain once the conversation shifted to something that hinted at the notion of sexuality.
When would her bacon and eggs get here? She needed to finish this impromptu breakfast. She leaned closer to him and shook her head. “I don’t write about sex,” she stated matter-of-factly and a little annoyed.
It didn’t matter that she was going to write about sex. He didn’t need to know that was what she was considering. The way he looked at her suddenly made her feel dirty. Like she was some porn queen who’d fucked an entire town or a sports team. She wasn’t into group sex or even banging strangers. She liked to be wined and dined. She had high standards for men she’d be with romantically. But if the look he was giving her was typical for how men would approach her once they knew that she wrote romance, she’d have to come up with a pen name. It was becoming clear that keeping her writing persona separate from her true identity would be the best plan.
Chris leaned back in the booth and waved his hand as if wiping away dirty thoughts. “Of course not. I didn’t think you did.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Look, you don’t owe me an explanation. I love books. The only bad book is an unread book, right?” Hopefully that appeased her.
Thankfully the waitress set their plates on the table in front of them at that moment. Clearing his throat, he thanked the waitress and grabbed a piece of bacon and shoved it into his mouth before he said something stupid.
Cassie picked up her fork and jabbed the liquid center of her egg. The yolk spilled out and flowed over the egg white. Would everyone look at her like she was a weirdo if they knew what she wrote? Could she live with that?

About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters' eyes.

Contact Links

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Monday, March 11, 2019


Don 't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!

The Runaway

Publish Date: 01/31/2019

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A corrupt corporation. Ruthless assassins. Will the family that runs together… die together?

Zach Monaghan just became a target. Under witness protection from his father’s whistleblowing, his reckless desire to win back a normal life compels him to run away. But escaping his new identity won’t last long if two contract killers catch up to him…

Richard “Birdman” Byrd has worked hand-in-hand with his tormentor Gorski for years. Siphoning away money and sending assassins to hunt down the Monaghans could be his only way out of the crooked partnership. But if Birdman doesn’t watch himself, the verbal abuse he’s received for years could turn deadly.

As the ruthless killer draws closer to Zach, surviving the greedy corporate plot may force the whole family to get their hands bloody…

The Runaway is a fast-paced thriller with dizzying twists and turns. If you like non-stop action, high-stakes tension, and large casts of compelling characters, then you’ll love Peter Thompson’s gripping novel.

Buy The Runaway to join a thrilling race against time today!

Jack. That was what they called him. Jack Freaking Sullivan. Close enough to his real name, Zach Monaghan, so he’d remember it, but every time someone called him Jack, he felt like a phony, a fraud. The worst thing was, he had to answer by the name at home too. He’d lived as Zach all his life, and now even his mom was calling him Jack. When she remembered anyway. It pissed him off.

Zach pulled his baseball cap lower on his head and stepped through the doors of the Greyhound bus terminal. His T-shirt clung to his back, and he wasn’t sure if the sweat was from nerves or the overpowering Phoenix heat. He stood, knees weak, hands trembling, unable to believe he was finally doing what he wanted with his life— returning home, to Chicago. At last he didn’t have to do what his parents told him to do. He wasn’t a little kid anymore, doing whatever they said without complaint. At almost sixteen, he was plenty old enough to make his own decisions and his own choices. He thought of Lindsey and smiled. In just a couple of days, he’d see her again. Without meaning to, he laughed out loud but quickly stopped and covered his mouth. Standing by himself, laughing like an idiot was a sure way to attract attention.

Zach glanced around the terminal. Along the front wall, behind a long counter, several ticket agents stood in front of computers, display boards behind them showing the bus schedules. He shuffled toward the ticket counter, stood in line, and reached into his pocket to make sure he still had his money. He’d cleaned out his savings account the day before. All his birthday money, everything he’d earned from mowing lawns and shoveling snow back home, and from his summer job working at Dad’s old company. Money intended for his college education—close to three thousand dollars—was now divided between his pocket and an envelope at the bottom of his backpack.

The line moved quickly, and it didn’t take long for one of the ticket agents to motion him over. Zach ordered a one-way ticket to Chicago. He was afraid the ticket agent would ask him questions or make some comment about his age. At five foot nine and one hundred forty-five pounds, he wasn’t exactly the biggest kid, but with his wide shoulders, he could probably pass for at least a year or two older.

He readjusted the baseball cap, covering his reddish-brown hair, and took a pace forward. The ticket lady barely glanced at him, punched something into the computer, and announced the price. Zach glanced behind him to be sure no one was watching, then pulled the money out of his pocket and counted out exact change. She handed over the ticket and told him the bus would be leaving within the hour.

Simple as that. Why had he been so worried?

Zach found a seat toward the back of the room where he could keep track of what was going on. He reached for his cell phone before remembering, again, his parents had taken his away when they moved and refused to replace it—even though everyone else in his class had one. The kids probably thought he was Amish or something. He took the old iPod from the top of his backpack, slipped his earbuds on, and sat back to wait. The rush of excitement hit him again, churning his gut and making his pits sweaty. He couldn’t wait to step on the bus and get out of town. Arizona, probably the hottest, grimmest, grimiest, most boring place on earth, could go to hell.

He hated the heat, and the sun and the sand, and almost everything about it. Hated his new school too. The kids were different, and he didn’t fit in at all. Most of all, he hated all the lying.

He turned up the volume on his iPod and tried to relax. It would take almost two full days to reach Chicago. Two days stuck on a bus with no bed and no shower, sitting next to a stranger who probably smelled bad and might be a serial killer or something for all he knew. The trip might well suck, but, still, he couldn’t wait to board the bus and take his next step to freedom. Freedom from his lying parents. His hands clenched just thinking about them. They claimed to love him and want the best for him. They tried to explain how they were doing this to keep him, Brenda, and Anthony safe. But that was a lie too. If they really cared about him, they wouldn’t have moved without warning in the middle of the night. They wouldn’t have cut off all contact with his friends or made it so they couldn’t talk with Grandma Kate, or Uncle Lou and Aunt Tracey, or any of the other relatives. This wasn’t about love. His dad had made a decision and they all had to live by it.

Zach looked up as a young mom inched her way up the aisle. She was pushing a stroller while at the same time trying to pull along a suitcase. Her hands were full and a young boy, maybe four or five years old, walked alongside her, his little hand clutching the hem of her dress. The baby in the stroller was crying, loud enough to hear above his music, and the mom looked weary. They stopped a few seats away from Zach. The mom was trying to take her bags off and set them down, but she looked overwhelmed. Zach slipped his earbuds down on his neck.

“Excuse me, ma’am. Is there anything I can do to help?”

The mom had the baby in her arms now, trying to stop the crying. She glanced over and gave Zach a flustered smile. “No. Thanks, I’m fine.”

Zach was about to slip the ear buds back on, but the boy was staring at him, his brown eyes wide. The mom was flustered and she might not ask for help, but Zach could tell she needed it.

“Hey, you want to see something cool?” he asked the boy.

The boy didn’t say anything but nodded his head. Zach glanced back at the mom, and she shrugged her assent.

“Watch this.” Zach unzipped his backpack and pulled a small sketchpad from the top. He took a pencil out and made a show of opening the book and inviting the boy closer. The boy moved in and sat in the seat next to him. Zach drew a small sideways oval near the bottom of the pad, and then two long ovals right above it.

“What’s that?” he asked.

The boy shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know.”

“Keep watching.” He added small circles to the bottoms of the ovals and darkened them in.

“Those are eyes!” the little boy exclaimed.

Zach smiled at him and kept drawing. He made a long half circle below, turning his sketch into a grinning face. A few more lines and its tongue was sticking out.

“Hey, that’s a face. Who is it?”

Zach smiled again but didn’t say anything. A few more lines and the kid was bouncing up and down with excitement. Zach finished the drawing by putting two near circles at the top for ears.

“That’s Mickey Mouse!”

The mom glanced over and Zach showed her the quick drawing. “Wow.” The mom bounced her baby on her shoulder. “You have a real way with kids.”

“I have a brother just a few years older than he is,” Zach said. “How did you do that?” the boy squealed. “Can you teach me?”

“I can try. Here.” Zach gave the boy the pad of paper and the pencil. “We’ll do it together this time.”

He guided the boy’s hand as they slowly went through the steps. They worked together, one step at a time. By the time Zach heard the announcement for the bus leaving for Chicago, the boy was able to draw a crude version on his own.

“That’s me. I’ve got to go.” Zach stood up.

“Thank you,” the mom said. “That really helped. Don’t forget your pad.”

“No, I’ve got another one. He can keep it. If he forgets how to do it, they have this on YouTube.” Zach zipped up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. “See you, buddy. Have a great trip.”

He smiled as he hurried to join the stream of people moving toward a side door. His tension and anger were gone now. It felt good helping the mom and playing with the kid. He was several years younger, but the way he got so enthusiastic about the littlest things, the kid reminded him of his brother Anthony. It was going to be weird being away from his family. He was mad at his parents, but he knew he wasn’t running away for good. After a few days back home in Chicago, he’d let them know where he was so they wouldn’t worry. They’d see that they needed to treat him more like an adult then, and it would work out better for all of them.

He followed the people walking out a side door to an open area where several buses were parked, engines running, belching exhaust fumes into the superheated air. A group was gathered near the front bus, and he stepped to the back of the line. Others lined up behind him and Zach clutched his backpack a little tighter. When it was his turn, Zach stepped onto the bus and handed his ticket to the driver.

“This is going to Chicago, right?”

The driver punched the ticket and returned it to him. “With stops along the way, it sure is. Hold on to that. You’ll need it later.”

Zach reclaimed the ticket, nodded, and made his way toward the rear of the bus. About half the seats were already taken. A tall man with long hair and a cowboy hat stared at him as he sidestepped past, a weird half-smile on his face. Zach turned away and walked further back. The guy creeped him out. No way he wanted to get stuck sitting next to someone like that.

He found a window seat near the back, sat, and stowed his back- pack between his legs. The bus was air-conditioned, and the cool air was a relief. Turning his head, Zach stared through the gray-tinted windows as the rest of the crowd boarded, and he wondered when he would see Phoenix again. Not any time soon, he hoped.

A gray-haired lady with a mole on her neck smiled at him and dropped into the seat beside him. She looked like someone’s grandma. Zach returned her smile, relieved she wasn’t someone creepy. He readjusted his earbuds and settled in for the ride. After a few minutes, the driver shifted the bus into gear and started it moving. Zach kept staring out the window as they merged onto the expressway.

This is it. He was really going through with it.

The scenery changed from office buildings and strip malls, to housing developments and construction sites, to bare desert. He settled more comfortably into the soft seat. Soon enough he’d be back in Chicago. He smiled at the thought.

Before they’d fled to Phoenix, life had been good. He’d made the school football team, and right before the sudden move, he was moved up to the varsity team, one of the few sophomores to make it. Everyone else on the defense outweighed him by at least thirty pounds, but the coach said he played bigger than his size and he wasn’t afraid to hit. Zach wouldn’t be able to return to school or join the team again—the season was nearly over anyway—but he couldn’t wait to see his buddies. He’d emailed his best friend, Kyle, and told him he was coming. It was going to be great seeing them all again. The truth, though, was that if it was just the guys, he’d probably still be sitting in his new home pissed off, but doing nothing about it.

It was all about Lindsey Cunningham. Even though he’d just met her, he couldn’t stop thinking about her. The day before the move, he’d met her at the mall, and she smiled at him. He’d gathered up his courage and approached her and they’d talked and joked around for over an hour. Before she left, she gave him her number. She was cute and funny, and Zach couldn’t pull his mind away from her. If they hadn’t moved, she would have been his girlfriend for sure. And it was all his parents’ fault she wasn’t.

The situation might have stayed that way forever, but then last week, after getting into another fight with his mom, he finally got up the nerve to contact Lindsey. The following day, he messaged her from the computer at the school library. He’d been certain she’d be mad at him, but she understood it wasn’t his fault and was glad to know he was all right. Even though it was just by message, talking with her made his heart race. Right then and there, he decided to run away, and they made plans to meet again at the mall the following Monday.

Zach kept staring out the window at the sand and rocks and straggly cactus. He couldn’t wait to be back in Chicago.

About the Author

 photo peterthompsonfull2_zpsmfuhvvxl.jpg
Peter Thompson grew up on the east side of Chicago, in the shadow of the steel mills where the air was sooty and smelled of sulfur. His life wasn't always so gritty, but the grit and realism find its way into his thrillers. He has always loved stories of every kind, and one of his joys is finding a way to get inside character's heads, seeing the world as they see it and feeling their triumphs, pain, and fear. He visualizes his characters when he writes, and they are larger than life in the big screen of his imagination.

Before pursuing his passion and becoming a full-time author, he tried his hand at everything from factory work, breaking cement in a construction crew, running his own pizza shop, and he was a well-regarded presence in the mortgage industry for nearly thirty years. When he isn't writing, Peter loves, spicy food, live music, and exciting and thought-provoking books and movies. He is a fitness buff who loves to spend time with his grown sons and is looking forward to traveling the world and seeking adventures with his lovely partner.

To get in touch, find out more about future projects, please stop by Sign up for his reading list to find out about new releases and receive free perks.
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Friday, March 08, 2019


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. January Bain will be awarding a Paypal $25.00 cash payout to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Canadian romance writer Rebecca Fairfax thinks a few months living in an English castle will allow her to test out her research theories about the castle and get new material for her writing. Oh, and she’ll be able to carry out her Brass Ring Sorority sisters’ dare to kiss a duke, too. Only, the whole experience ends up changing her life in a way she could never have seen coming…

Ash Piers isn’t interested in peerage and titles. He’s a freewheeling playboy who’s adopted a hedonistic lifestyle after a disastrous love affair. He thinks the upstart Canadian is a gold-digger of the worst kind, kissing his father, the Duke of Piers, on first greeting, then getting engaged to him a moment later! But, damn, he’s attracted to the woman who’s living in his home for the summer. How’s he, a red-blooded Englishman, supposed to keep his hands off her as propriety and family demand?

But with the castle lurching from one crisis to another, Ash and Rebecca have to work together to ensure his family make it through events that threaten to tear everyone apart. And when an ancient and deadly danger looms, both Ash and Rebecca are forced to conquer all fear—physical and emotional…

Part madcap caper, part serious treasure hunting, the Brass Ringers never fail to entertain or get their way!

Read an Excerpt

“Perhaps I should carry you?” he inquired, his plummy voice tinged with concern.

“Perhaps that would be best.”

She looked into his eyes. Oh my, what a lovely shade of melting chocolate. Then she caught sight of the thief from the corners of her eyes.

“Stop him! The thief—he’s getting away.”

“I thought the matter had not been decided yet?” He raised a sardonic eyebrow, his mouth twitching. Strange, he seemed less worried about the real thief than she did.

“Your tour guide can vouch for me. He pointed the way before I gave chase. Plus, this guy”—she pointed at the slippery culprit still moving with obvious discomfort down the tunnel, holding onto the side while hopping on his one good foot—“gave the game away by announcing what was in the package. The Fabergé egg. How could he know that if I was the one to steal it?”

Hmm, those melting pools of chocolate. Are those flecks of gold? Hard to be certain in the dim light. He paid her words homage and his expression softened. “Of course, that does make a great deal of sense. Though he still might have seen you take it.”

“Duh, of course, it does.” She slipped into defensive mode. “And I did not take it—I’m not the one trying to sneak away.”

“Right you are.”

“You can let me go,” she said with reluctance. “And nab the guy.”

“Are you certain? I don’t want you falling and suing us.”

“For goodness’ sake, I’m not going to sue your ass. Though, on second thoughts, perhaps I should consider suing you for slander.”

He pulled away from her, leaving her instantly colder and bereft of the lovely sensation of being in La-La Land. She tugged off her helmet, letting her fair hair spill out over her shoulders. She fluffed it out with one hand for added emphasis.

“You wouldn’t happen to be a duke of something or other, would you?” she asked at his recoil, praying it was so. That would even make up for slugging through water and ruining her best pair of motorcycle boots.

“No, just an earl. The Earl of Craigmere to be precise. My father’s the duke, so I don’t inherit until he’s gone, which I hope is a long way off—at least most days. He can be a real ballbreaker about my life at times, though perhaps he has reason.” He ran a hand through his hair, disheveling the arrangement and only managing to look even more fetching. “Excuse my language. Ash Piers at your service. Why did you want to know if I’m a duke?”

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About the Author

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination and heart as much as they do hers.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man!

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, her second home. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 06, 2019


Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women and on the track of a serial killer.
Mac has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques, so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara, sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?

About Beverly Bateman
Murder, mystery and romance fills award-winning, Canadian author and blogger, Beverley Bateman's life. She loves to plot, kill and hopefully baffle the reader. Her nursing and public health nursing background helps with some details and administering a community care facility program had her investigating and directing investigations into irregularities and sometimes a death. She even has court experience.
She began writing in her preteens and loved to write locked room mysteries. Reading Nancy Drew helped her figure out plots. Facing breast cancer, she decided she needed to do what she’d always wanted and began to write. She completed her first romantic suspense novel and hasn’t stopped writing since. She recently moved and now lives among ranches and wheat fields in southern Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog.

Monday, March 04, 2019


Don't miss the Rafflecopter at the end of the post!

This crime collection is on sale for only 99 cents!

Drop Dead Crime
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
with stories by 
Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant,
and Julie Smith

Five women. Five sublime authors of crime fiction. One stunning book.

Gripping thrillers, packed with deviously executed crimes and in-depth
investigations are some of the most popular reads available on
traditional and virtual book shelves today.

Now, you can sample some of the best female writers of crime fiction, in
Drop Dead Crime, a collection of novellas packed with the twisted plotlines and
memorable characters that excite readers and leave them demanding more.

Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant, and Julie Smith are
among the most skilled and prolific writers of the genre today, and each one knows exactly how to tease a story to maximum effect. Their use of strong female leads, combined with delicately balanced plots, means suspense is always kept at a fever pitch—ready to boil over at any second.

Lisa Regan’s Over The Edge is guaranteed to keep you up at night. When P.I. Jocelyn Rush witnesses a young mother jump from a bridge, she is determined to solve the mystery of why, and what she finds is a complex web of secrets and lies so shocking it could destroy the people left behind.

Leslie Wolfe introduces FBI Agent Tess Winnett in Not Really Dead, a fast-paced, intense thriller about a serial killer who makes a terrible mistake.

Colleen Helme stuns with Behind Blue Eyes. A grisly murder along with a new client hiding a deadly secret is just the beginning for Shelby Nichols, mind reader extraordinaire. Don't miss this exciting thriller!

In Amy Vansant’s exclusive novella Parental Kilt, the stars of her "Kilty" romantic suspense series, Catriona Phoenix and Brochan the Highlander, find themselves trapped in a serial killer's maze during a movie wrap-party gone wrong. The serial killer was supposed to be dead, but
the bodies are piling up...

Julie Smith brings a dazzling story of suspense, The Big Crazy.
Detective Skip Langdon, NOPD, while navigating a world of chaos and betrayal after Hurricane Katrina, takes on a gang of rogue cops who may be acting as self-appointed executioners.

Get a copy of Drop Dead Crime today
and sample some of the best crime fiction writing, from some of the
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Excerpt From Over the Edge
A Jocelyn Rush Story
Lisa Regan

Five Years Ago
My feet pound along the packed-earth Wissahickon Creek trail. Sweat drips from the nape of my neck, down the length of my spine, and into the back of my shorts. It beads on my nose, falling as I run, and turns my hair, pulled tightly into a ponytail, slick and heavy on the back of my neck.

I’ve been running along this path four times a week for six months, and once every few times out, I manage to overtake him on the trail. I tried not to notice him, but all that lean muscle called out to me. I knew he saw me too. Then one day, as I ran past him, I turned and met his eyes. Blue fire. He smiled. I smiled back. I ran ahead. He followed.

From then on, it’s been a game we play.

This section of the creek trail is called Forbidden Drive. The irony isn’t lost on me the day something finally happens. The morning is fresh and dewy, sunlight slipping through the canopy of trees overhead, dappling everything around me. I see his back. Today he is shirtless, and every muscle in his back and shoulders ripple, glistening with sweat. I run up beside him, closer this time. When I turn to catch his eye, there is something there that wasn’t before. An acknowledgment. I see you, those fiery blue eyes seem to say. I know what you want. I run ahead.

Far ahead but not so far that he loses sight of me. I veer off the trail at a break in the trees, my feet crushing the brush beneath them. I hear a snapping twig behind me, and I know he’s there. I stop when I reach a kind of clearing. It’s big enough, private enough. I put my hands against a tree trunk, leaning over, my breath coming fast and hard from the slightly uphill run through uneven terrain. He doesn’t talk. Hands grip my hips, digging into the flesh. Hot breath slides down the nape of my neck. It doesn’t take long. We’re not wearing much to begin with, and our bodies are already shiny and wet with sweat. Once we’ve both shuddered with satisfaction, we part ways, wordless.

It happens a few more times after that. No words. No names. Then the winter sets in, and I turn to the treadmill for my daily jog. Sometimes at night, lying in bed, I close my eyes and remember how he felt, the way his blue eyes caught me in their snare. I remember the way my body reacted to the things he did. The risks I took.

I’m glad it’s over. It was only a dream. A kinky fantasy. Fleeting. Gone forever.

I think I won’t ever see him again.

Lisa Regan is the USA Today & Wall
Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series as well as several other crime fiction titles. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master of Education degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip.

Colleen Helme is the author of the bestselling Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, a wildly entertaining and highly humorous series about Shelby Nichols, a woman with the ability to read minds. When asked if reading minds is something Colleen wishes she could do she says, “No way! It gets Shelby into so much trouble that I would never want that ability.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. Besides writing, she loves reading, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

Amy Vansant is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, specializing in fun, comedic reads about accident-prone, easily distracted women with questionable tastes in men.

So, autobiographies, mostly. Ha! But seriously… She writes happy, occasionally slightly twisted, thrilling, romantic comedies, mysteries, and urban fantasies.

Edgar-winner Julie Smith is the author of more than twenty mysteries, most set in New Orleans and starring one or the other of her detective
heroes, a cop named Skip Langdon, and a PI named Talba Wallis. (Both female, both tough and wily.) She also has two series set in San
Her novel, NEW ORLEANS MOURNING, won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best novel.
She changed direction in 2010, with her start-up digital publishing company, booksBnimble (,
beginning with four books by friends. She later added other authors and got the rights back to her own books, Then in 2015 booksBnimble
spun off bbnmarketing (,
with the aim of helping self-published authors find their audience and backlist print authors find their way back into the game.
Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina; Skip Langdon returned last year in MURDER ON MAGAZINE. But so many readers have asked--what did she do when Katrina struck? That story's THE BIG CRAZY.

Leslie Wolfe's novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive
background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.

Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie's most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller. A complete list of Leslie's titles is available at Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you. Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie's new novels!

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!