Thursday teaser: Imperfect Harmony

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House of Archer Series #1

By Raine Thomas

Coming in January 2017

Read on to find out how you can win a $10 Amazon gift card

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Excerpt

“I don’t get it, Dane,” Lily said at last. “What are you so afraid of?”

Archer frowned over the blunt question. “That’s easy enough for you to say. You’re not the one facing the idea of trying to make it on your own after failing so badly before.”

“You’re right, I’m not. And neither are you. What you’re doing is considering making a change while you’re already on the cusp of stardom…a change that could finally push you over the edge into the success you so obviously want.”

He bristled over her pointed statement even though he knew she was right. “You make it all sound so simple,” he grumbled. “What if all that’s waiting for me over that edge is an empty void?”

“Then you make the world crave to be in that void right along with you.”

Lily’s calm and practical responses eased the anxiety and pressure that Archer had carried into the conversation. By the time her uncle and the maintenance worker returned with the tools and removed the door handle to free her, he’d made a decision that would change the course of his future.

The door finally opened and Lily stumbled out, blinking against the light. Archer helped steady her before she turned to give her waiting uncle a hug. It somehow didn’t surprise Archer when Lily then turned back to him and hugged him, too.

Overall, her appearance suited the image he had formed in his head while they talked. Her hair was pulled back into a sensible ponytail. Rectangular dark-rimmed glasses perched on her lightly-freckled nose, framing her intelligent gaze. Silver braces gleamed as she shifted away from him and flashed a grateful smile.

The only trait that surprised him was her petite size. With her strong opinions and clear determination, he somehow pictured a much more domineering physical presence. Lily looked more like a woodland sprite than the pit bull he’d imagined.

“Thanks for your help, Dane,” she said. “Now can someone point me in the direction of the closest bathroom before my bladder explodes?”

“Sure,” Archer replied before casually adding, “and after that, how would you like some content for the story you came here to write?”

Her eyes sharpened with what he interpreted as approval. “You’re going to do it?”

“Yep. You convinced me, Lily Montgomery. Let’s go turn the music world on its ear.”

About Imperfect Harmony

A rock band. A reality show. The opportunity of a lifetime.

As the front man for The Void, lead singer Dane Archer has yet to achieve the success he craves. He hopes that will change when he’s approached about filming a reality show called House of Archer. All he and the band have to do is get some juicy footage while on their upcoming tour.

The problem? Archer’s life is a snoozefest. His parents are happily married, he’s never done drugs or gotten arrested, and he doesn’t get into fights with his band mates. He knows the show will fizzle and die before it ever hits the air, taking his dreams of worldwide fame along with it.

Unless…

If Archer can convince his best friend Lily to be on the show, he’s sure they’ll get all the compelling footage they need. Her life is filled with drama. Hell, she’s practically a reality show in her own right.

Archer’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Lily on board, even if it means charming her into being more than just friends. But when he finds himself falling for her, his seemingly simple plan gets complicated. Soon the line between reality and Reality TV begins to blur, leaving him wondering if achieving his dreams is worth all it might cost him.

Get it in January 2017

Sign up for book notifications on Raine’s website or follow her on Amazon to be the first to hear of Imperfect Harmony’s availability.

Win a $10 Amazon gift card

Tell us about a song you connect with, and why, in the Comments section. Raine will select one entry at random.

About the author

Raine Thomas Headshot (small)Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Follow Raine on:

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas

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Thursday Teaser: Vigilante

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By Claude Bouchard

Vigilante new 20120121 LR

The Vigilante Series currently stands at twelve thrillers with more to come but, once in a while, it’s not a bad idea to go back to the beginning. We hope you enjoy this excerpt from the debut novel, Vigilante, and urge you to leave a comment for a chance to win the first six installments in one volume!

Johnny B. was seated at a stage-side table at the Sex Cave, finishing his third Glenlivet. He liked coming here after dinner, for an hour or so, before going to do his rounds on the street. The girls looked good and occasionally, he offered one a job with his organization. They never accepted but were always polite in their refusal. After all, they knew who he was. He was Johnny B.

He looked at his Rolex and grunted when he saw the time. It was 8:25, time to go to work. He stood and the waitress automatically appeared. Slipping a folded fifty dollar bill deep into the front of her thong, he gave her bare behind a light, friendly slap.

“See ya later, doll,” he said, grinning. “Keep the change.”

Customers were forbidden to touch the girls; the club had strict rules about that. But he was an exception. He was Johnny B.

He strutted down the long narrow staircase which led to the street, preceded by Chuck, his bodyguard. Onto the sidewalk, he paused for a moment, surveying the surroundings through narrow eyes, evaluating the activity. It was a warm summer evening and a lot of people were out. Business would be good tonight.

Crossing the sidewalk to his car, which was conveniently parked in front of the club’s entrance, he climbed in behind the wheel and started the engine as Chuck squeezed his bulky form into the passenger seat. Half a block down, the traffic light was red, so there were no oncoming cars. Johnny B. revved the engine and pulled out onto the street, spinning his tires in the process as he always did. He liked getting noticed.

He turned right on Union and then left on René-Lévesque as he headed for Old Montreal. A number of his girls worked this sector in the summer, especially around Place St-Jacques, which was crowded with restaurants, bars and a slew of prospective clients. Turning right on Beaver Hall Hill, he headed south towards the river, stopping at the red light at the corner of St-Jacques. With the exception of a car which had just turned onto the street at the top of the hill behind him, his was the only vehicle in circulation. Pedestrian traffic was also non-existent.

He always found it amusing how this area could be so quiet, sandwiched between the active sector he had just left and the lively one he was going to. The light turned green and Johnny B. rapidly accelerated through the empty intersection and then decelerated just as quickly to turn left on LeMoyne. As it slowed, the Mercedes exploded into a huge fireball, sending bits and pieces of plastic, metal, flesh and bone flying through the air.

Two blocks behind the explosion, a black Corvette turned left onto Notre-Dame and headed for the cinema.

About Vigilante

vigilanteboxsetDoesn’t everyone fantasize a bit about vigilante justice? Haven’t you ever read or heard of some despicable act of violence and secretly wished you could have the opportunity to make the predator pay? Welcome to the VIGILANTE Series, a growing collection of suspense best sellers best described as thrillers and mysteries which will have you cheering for the assassin as justice is delivered in a clandestine fashion… But remember, this is fiction so it’s not a crime… Available in kindle and print books…

Get the box set: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EPE926Y

About the author

CBouchardUSA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR*

Claude was born in Montreal, Canada, at a very young age, where he still resides with his spouse, Joanne, under the watchful eye of Krystalle and Midnight, two black females of the feline persuasion. In a former life, he completed his studies at McGill University and worked in various management capacities for a handful of firms over countless years. From there, considering his extensive background in human resources and finance, it was a logical leap in his career path to stay home and write crime thrillers.

Read his full bio on his BestSellingReads Author page. And visit his:

And follow him on Twitter @ceebee308.

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Win 10 BestSelling Reads books on an iPad Air 2

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Send us the first line of Chapter 4 from your favorite BestSelling Reads book for a chance to win a brand new iPad Air 2 loaded with the Kindle Reader and 10 books by Bestselling Reads authors.

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To be eligible to win the prize, you must email the first line of Chapter 4 from any book by one of the authors in the list above. It doesn’t have to be one of the books on the iPad Air 2 — in fact, it’s better if it’s a different one.

All you have to do is go to any book in any format by one of those authors, turn to the first page of Chapter 4 and copy the first line into an email to contest@bestsellingreads.com. All correct entries before the end of October 30, 2016 will be eligible to win.

Need more help? Follow these links to the contest authors’ websites to see more of their books.

We look forward to your entries!

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Thursday Teaser: The Wife Line

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You could WIN a free copy of this Sydney Rye Kindle World mystery.

WifeLine-final-smallBy Scott Bury

Find out how at the end of this excerpt.

Chapter 1: A simple assignment

Provence, France, May 2010

The mansion seemed to Sydney the epitome of France: originally constructed of light grey stone probably hundreds of years ago, it had new, modern windows that showed polished wood floors, bright lamps and modern furniture inside. The light spilling out the windows added to that from modern fixtures that lit up the manicured gardens inside the wall. Two cars sat on the gravel, a black Peugeot and a bright red Lamborghini.

While she couldn’t see them from her vantage point in the tree, Sydney was certain there was also state-of-the-art security and surveillance technology that kept a better eye on the grounds than she had.

Sydney glanced down to the ground. She couldn’t see Blue in the shadows below her, but she could feel him there. Blue — her rock. Always there for her. He had saved Sydney’s life more than once, even took a bullet meant for her.

Blue was the size of a Great Dane with the long, thick fur of a wolf, the markings of a Husky and the elegant muzzle of a collie. He was better to her than she was to him, Sydney knew, but she also knew she could always rely on him.

She turned her attention to the manor house. Two men entered the front room. One was her target — no, make that subject, Sydney reminded herself — Nigel Willem, wearing a suit without a tie, one button of his white shirt open at the collar. The other was a short, broad man with dark hair, cropped short. He had a round, blunt face, heavy eyebrows and a short, thick neck. He wore a golf shirt and casual pants, and as he sat in an overstuffed leather sofa and crossed one ankle over the other knee, Sydney could see he wore deck shoes.

Okay, so Willem is meeting with someone from the Russian mob. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a movie star.

But why? And why sneak here to do it?

Movement in the front yard caught her eye. A shadow slid down the wall. A tall man dressed all in black crouch-walked to the Lamborghini, keeping it between himself and the front door. The slim figure vanished into the car’s shadow, then re-emerged a few seconds later. It took a run at the wall, sprang up, gripped the top and swung over, vanishing into the night.

Sydney jumped off the branch, landing ten feet below beside Blue. “Hunt,” she said, pointing along the wall toward the front of the estate. Blue sprang ahead, disappearing into the darkness under the trees.

Sydney ran as fast as she could behind him. She rounded the corner of the wall, arriving in a small clearing, still invisible to anyone in the manor. She had expected to find Blue pinning the shadowy figure to the ground, standing on his chest and growling into his face.

Instead, the wan light showed Blue in classic play posture: butt high in the air, tail wagging furiously, front paws and head low to the ground, head tilted slightly to one side.

In front of him was a man in the same posture, or as close as a human being could get to doggie pose: on his hands and knees, butt high, head low. He and Blue looked at each other, sprang up simultaneously, collided, fell together on the ground, rolled over and over. Blue jumped away, giving a little, happy bark, turning to look back at the man lying on the ground. Blue’s tail was a blur in the dark.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Sydney stepped close, getting down on one knee to touch the barrel of her gun to his head and said “Freeze.”

The man did not freeze. Instead, he rolled over onto his back and smiled up at her. He had large, light-colored eyes under heavy eyebrows, high cheekbones, a perfectly straight nose, a full mouth and a slight dimple in his chin. The woolen cap on his head hid his hair.

Sydney leaned over to keep the gun in his face, and turned to Blue. “What is the matter with you?”

Blue’s ears drooped, his tail stopped and fell. He whined softly.

Sydney turned to the man in black. “Who the hell are you and what have you done to my dog?”

“Dogs like me,” he replied with an American accent. His deep voice stirred something inside Sydney’s chest. She swallowed. She could feel sweat on her upper lip.

He smiled broadly, his teeth shining in the wan light. That smell again, she thought. What is it? It was so faint, she wondered whether she was imagining it. Soft but irresistible. Her mouth suddenly felt too full of saliva.

About The Wife Line

Human traffickers are selling young women from eastern Europe as sex slaves and killing them when they become inconvenient. Sydney Rye’s job is only to protect her client, until a mysterious, aggravating and irresistible young crusader pulls her and Blue on a far more dangerous path: taking down the whole slaving ring.

If you like Emily Kimelman’s Sydney Rye series featuring a strong female character, her canine best friend, Blue, tons of action and a dash of sex, you won’t be able to put The Wife Line down.

Following Sydney, Blue and Van across the seamiest part of Europe.

Get is exclusively on Amazon.

How to WIN a free copy of this Sydney Rye Kindle World mystery

It’s easy: in the Comments below, name any other title in the Sydney Rye Kindle World. The author will draw two winners from the correct answers.

Don’t forget to leave your name and contact information when you leave your comment.

About the author

Pic-ScottBuryScott Bury cannot stay in one genre. As an award-winning journalist, he has published articles in Macworld, The Financial Post, Marketing, Graphic Arts Monthly, Applied Arts and other magazines in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. His first published fiction was a children’s story, Sam, the Strawb Part. His next was a paranormal/occult thriller, Dark Clouds, followed by the bestselling historical fantasy, The Bones of the Earth.

His other titles include a parody, One Shade of Red, and Army of Worn Soles, a memoir of World War 2 seen through the eyes of a man who fought on the Eastern Front.

Most recently, he has been writing mystery-thrillers in three Kindle Worlds:

  • Torn Roots, a Lei Crime Kindle World mystery
  • Jet: Stealth, a JET Kindle World thriller
  • Palm Trees & Snowflakes, a Lei Crime Kindle World story
  • The Wife Line, a Sydney Rye Kindle World thriller

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He holds a BA from Carleton University’s School of Journalism. He has two sons, an orange cat and a loving wife who puts up with a lot.

He is a recipient of Maclean Hunter’s Top 6 Award and a member of a team that won a Neal Award for business reporting.

Scott can be found:

BestSelling Reads Author page    |  Website   |   Blog    |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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Book Launch Tuesday: The Girl with the Gun

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Buy Emily Kimelman’s newest Sydney Rye blockbuster & get a free bonus book

tgwtgTo celebrate the launch of the eighth book in the bestselling Sydney Rye action/mystery series, Emily Kimelman is giving away a free e-copy and audiobook of Death in the Dark, the second Sydney Rye adventure.

What’s The Girl with the Gun about?

When international fugitive Sydney Rye turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists.

From a bestselling author who “has reimagined a traditional genre for a new generation.” (New York Times Best Selling Author of “Black Hawk Down” Mark Bowden).

How to get your free bonus book

Download a copy of The Girl with the Gun by Saturday, September 17, and send proof of purchase to emily@emilykimelman.com. She’ll send you your free bonus!

Get it on any of these sites:

About the author

Emily (author photo)Emily Kimelman is the author of the bestselling Sydney Rye Series including Unleashed, Death in the Dark, Insatiable, Strings of Glass, The Devil’s Breath, Inviting Fire and Shadow Harvest. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first book in the Sydney Rye series, Unleashed, is available as a free download on all major ebook retailers.

She has also been penning a Web serial, Kiss. This is an apocalyptic urban fantasy featuring vampires, zombies and multidimensional travel. The first six episodes are now available on Amazon.

Emily splits her time between the Hudson Valley and traveling the world with her husband and dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone), researching exciting locations for the Sydney Rye Series. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Facebook, and on Emily’s blog.

Visit Emily’s

And follow her on Twitter @EJKimelman.

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Thursday Teaser: Somewhere on St. Thomas

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StThomas-lowresA Michaels Family Romance (book 1)

By Toby Neal

You could WIN a free e-copy of Somewhere in the City, Book 2 in this series. Find out how at the end of the excerpt.

Chapter 1 

I never expected a spelling bee to be the apogee of my life, but the night of July thirtieth, 1983, turned out to be exactly that. I was one of two finalists competing for a major college scholarship, and I needed to win or I was going to be stuck on our tiny island of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands, cleaning hotel rooms.

Blinded by hot stage lights, I clutched the old wooden podium and stood listening to my competition recite, “Succedaneum.” Thank God they didn’t also require a definition. Sweat prickled under my armpits.

My competition, a tall gangly boy with thick glasses and an accent that marked him as from the nearby French Antilles, made it through. Modest applause followed his effort.

“Antediluvian,” the proctor said. Oh, this felt like cheating because I knew it so well. My parents had come to St. Thomas to do religious work, stayed on past their allotted stint, and made a niche on the island managing vacation rental homes for off-islanders.

“Antediluvian,” I stated. “Of, or pertaining to the period preceding the Great Flood referred to in the Bible. A-n-t-e-d-i-l-u-v-i-a-n.”

More applause than the other kid got. I was showing off a bit, but I was tired of proving that red hair and big boobs meant bimbo. All I had to do now to prove that to the world was get off this rock, go to college, and become a lawyer in the big city.

“Xanthosis,” the proctor said to the gangly boy. The kid’s Adam’s apple worked as he blinked behind his glasses. I could tell it was over.

“Xanthosis,” the kid repeated. “Z-a-n-t-h-o-s-i-s.”

The buzzer marked his shame, and sympathetic clapping escorted him off the stage. I felt bad for him, but he was younger and there would be other chances. This was it for me, and if I could get this word right, I’d win a golden ticket out of here. And oh, how badly I needed to get out of this palm-tree studded, nowhere paradise. There was nothing for me here—except my family, of course.

“Pococurante,” the proctor said to me.

The lights blinded me. I clung to the podium and I shut my eyes. I could feel the prickle of sweat under my arms penetrating the green fabric of the dress Mom had told me to wear to enhance the color of my eyes. I tried not to hyperventilate. I pictured myself as the lawyer I hoped to be, making a confident plea to a jury.

I knew what this word meant, but I wasn’t sure of the spelling. I sucked in a breath, blew it out, and went for it.

“Pococurante,” I said.  “To be indifferent to something. And I am certainly not p-o-c-o-c-u-r-a-n-t-e to winning this scholarship. I want it more than anything.”

Huge applause broke out as a bell marked the end of the competition. My dad ran to the front of the stage and I hopped off and into his arms.

“I did it!”

“I never had a doubt, Ruby,” he exclaimed, blue eyes extra-bright with excitement. “You’re going to get your dream, girl!”

Mom, Pearl, and Jade were right behind him, and we mass-hugged in the narrow area in front of the battered wooden stage. I had the best, most loving family: Mom, sturdy and tall with her auburn hair and hazel eyes; ten-year-old Jade, who shared my green eyes but had Mom’s hair, and Pearl who had Dad’s blue eyes and curly blonde hair, already so beautiful at fourteen that she should wear a bag on her head.

Yes, this was the night I found out for sure I’d to be able to go to Northeastern University, where I’ve already been accepted. With this win, I’d be leaving in two weeks.

“Got a nice dinner planned,” Mom said. “Lobster and fish. Hope you don’t mind we invited company on your special night—he brought the main dish.”

“Who is it?” I frowned a little. Mom and Dad were hospitable to a fault, always inviting ex-pats or the transient workers they hired for cleaning and yard work over for meals.

“New yard and coconut trimming guy.” Dad hefted Jade up like she was two, and headed for the door. “Sailor. Seems to have some ocean skills.” Dad liked guys with ocean skills. I usually found them not that bright.

Mom winked. “I think you’ll like this one, Ruby.”

“Hah. I’m out of here,” I snorted. Mom knew how focused I was, so she liked to tease that I was going to fall in love, marry a local, and end up staying on Saint Thomas.

About Somewhere on St. Thomas

***FINALIST: Reader’s Choice Award, The Romance Reviews*** 

Redheaded spelling champion Ruby Michaels meets the wrong man on the eve of her departure from St. Thomas for college—and fireworks ensue. “I wasn’t going to be derailed by anyone—no matter how handsome and interesting,” she vowed. But some promises are made to be broken.

“Toby Neal introduces Caribbean island girl, Ruby Day Michaels, a modern-day young woman who will capture your heart. Ruby is sure to delight readers who love a smart, delightful heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind.” Eden Baylee, author

Now on sale for $0.99 from: 

About the author

Toby Neal, bestselling author of Hawaii mystery Torch Ginger

Toby Neal

Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawai’i and makes the Islands home after living elsewhere for “stretches of exile” to pursue education. Toby enjoys outdoor activities including bodyboarding, scuba diving, photography and hiking as well as writing. A mental health therapist, Toby credits that career with adding depth to the characters in the Lei Crime Series.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @tobywneal.

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Thursday teaser: Web of Deceit

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You could WIN a free e-copy of Web of Deceit. Find out how at the end of the excerpt.

WebOfDeceitI’d never heard of Gordon Sandalwood until he walked up to my booth at State Bar & Grill and slid into the seat across from me.

“This table’s taken, bub,” I said. I had been enjoying my lunch while I read The Denver Post – four years after the war and there was still trouble in Germany – and I wasn’t in the mood to be disturbed. Reminders of the war tended to leave me with a foul disposition.

“Dewey Webb?” he asked, but it wasn’t a question. He knew who I was.

I leaned back and contemplated him. He was neat and tidy, in a gray suit and a white shirt with blue stripes, a blue tie and a gray wool trilby hat. A gray tweed overcoat was draped over one arm. I’m sure people instinctively called him ‘Sir.’ ”

“Okay, you know my name,” I finally said. I wasn’t going to say ‘Sir.’ I hadn’t done that since I was in the Marines. “How about telling me yours?”

“Gordon Sandalwood.”

He took off his hat and set it and the overcoat on the seat next to him, then reached a thin hand across the table. I waited just long enough so he’d know I was still annoyed that he was interrupting me, then firmly shook the hand.

“Okay.” I pointed a finger at him. “Now I know who you are. What do you want?”

“I need a moment of your time, Mr. Webb,” he said.

I gestured at my hot roast beef sandwich. “Can’t it wait?”

He sighed heavily. “You’re a private investigator, and I need your help.”

“Why not come to my office?” After the war, I’d been an investigator for a law firm, but a year ago, I’d gone out on my own. I had a place on Sherman Street in an old Victorian house that had been converted to offices. It wasn’t much, but it was private, and it was where I should be conducting business.

He shook his head as he took out a Chesterfield and lit it. He blew smoke off to the side, then said, “I did. Twice. I got as far as your door, but couldn’t bring myself to go in. The second time, I ran into you in the hallway, but I didn’t say anything.”

I gave him a good once-over. “I remember you. It was last week, right?” He’d been dressed in brown that time, from his shoes to his hat. I wondered if he was always perfectly color-coordinated.

He nodded. “Then today, I’d finally screwed up my courage to talk to you, but when I got to your office, you were just leaving. So I followed you here.”

I folded up my paper and pushed it aside. The article about Ted Williams winning the AL MVP would have to wait. “It must be something important if it couldn’t wait any longer.”

“It is.” His face twisted up with a pained expression. “It’s not easy to ask for help.”

“But you’re here, so shoot.”

“It’s my wife.”

I folded my arms, beginning to lose patience with him. “I’m listening.”

About Web of Deceit

MurderFashionCover

Web of Deceit is the first Dewey Webb mystery. Book 2, Murder in Fashion, is now available on Amazon. Check it out!

It’s 1949. World War II is over, but it has a way of haunting people for years to come.

Gordon Sandalwood suspects his wife Edith is hiding something from him, and he asks Denver private investigator Dewey Webb to find out what. Dewey, toughened by his own war experiences, reluctantly takes the case, certain it will lead to nothing. But when he sees Edith rendezvous with a mysterious man, Dewey realizes his assumptions might be wrong. As he digs deeper to identify the stranger, he turns up secrets that reach back into the war, and as he unravels a web of deceit, he discovers who has the most to gain, and the most to lose.

A hard-boiled, historical mystery that’s great for fans who love a traditional detective crime story with a noir flavor, but without a lot of sex or swearing.

Get it on Amazon.

How to win a free e-copy

Renée Pawlish will choose three winners from those who leave a comment, below, answering this question:

Why do you love detective stories?

About the author

Renee PawlishRenée Pawlish is the award-winning author of the bestselling Reed Ferguson mystery series, horror bestseller Nephilim Genesis of Evil, The Noah Winters YA Adventure series, middle-grade historical novel This War We’re In, Take Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a nonfiction account of a haunted house investigation.

Read her full bio on her BestSelling Reads Author page.

Also visit Renée’s

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Thursday Teaser: Blogging for Authors

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By Barb Drozdowich

You could WIN a free e-copy of Blogging for Authors. Find out how at the end of the excerpt.

AT ITS HEART, blogging is just another form of communication. In my mind there isn’t a lot of difference between blogging and having a chat with some friends over a cup of coffee. You’ll notice that I’m using the words “chat” or “conversation.” When we’re talking about blogging, I want you to keep the word “dialogue” in mind.

A blog is neither a billboard, nor a monologue. Blogging should be a dialogue.

Although I refer to the words “conversation” and “dialogue,” your first response may be that no one talks on your blog, or that no one leaves comments for you to respond to. Times have changed.

The face of a conversation has changed in the electronic world. The person with whom we are chatting may not literally respond with words – they might respond with actions such as sharing your post with their friends on Facebook. They are doing the electronic equivalent of “Come over here and listen to this person.” The electronic version is more along the lines of “This is great information; please go and read it.” That’s a response and in the big picture, that’s a much more important response. Although I’m the first one to admit that comments are wonderful, such interaction is between two people. I have 16,000+ followers on Twitter. If I share on Twitter, it’s pretty likely that more people than just myself will be part of the conversation. It’s also pretty likely that a handful of my 16,000+ followers will join in, in their own way.

If you have a WordPress blog, one of the people you are “speaking” to might click on the Like button or in fact be so moved by what you have to say that they re-blog it. And the conversation grows to include even more people.

The author’s blog is a space that belongs to the author – unlike Facebook, Twitter or other social media. The author’s blog is also searched and indexed by Google unlike the various social media (for the most part). This allows for your conversations to be searched for and found long after they take place. This isn’t true of any material that you put on most social media. In fact, a post on your blog can be found years after it’s created. The accepted shelf life of a Facebook post is considered to be between two and five hours and the shelf life of a Twitter post is 18 minutes. A LinkedIn post can have a shelf life of up to 24 hours in some cases.

An author’s blog is the place where the author can share with their community; the place they can start or continue conversations and have dialogues. This is the place that the dialogue will grow a community of friends and supporters – people with like interests who will help spread the word about your book.

What’s Blogging for Authors all about?

Are you an author who needs to learn more about blogging?

Do you feeling uncertain about technology or what to blog about?

Finding that all-important reader is the key to an author’s success. Many studies shows that blogging is a great way to connect with readers because at it’s heart, blogging is just another form of communication.

Blogging for Authors covers all aspects of blogging from what to write to how to navigate today’s technology

In this book you will learn:

* Why authors need to blog

* What topics authors should blog about

* How to choose a platform to blog on

* How to create the ideal blog post

* How to manage sidebars and widgets

* How to keep your site safe and up to date

˃˃˃ And there is more!

Blogging for Authors contains links to 26 free instructional YouTube videos as well as a coupon for money off my newly created WordPress for Beginners Course – the perfect tool for authors & bloggers. This course is an online program specifically designed with beginner authors/bloggers in mind.

Pick up this great deal today from Amazon and approach blogging with confidence.

How to win a free e-copy

If you’re an author, tell us your biggest blogging challenge in the Comments section below. Author Barb Drozdowich will choose a commenter at random for a free e-copy of Blogging for Authors.

About the author

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 9 books, over 25 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @sugarbeatbc.

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Teaser Thursday—The Legend: A Marienstadt Story

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By Kathleen Valentine

You can win a free paperback copy of this new book. Read the excerpt to find out how.

TheLegend-Marienstadt“Got us a new boarder,” Andy said, hanging up the phone, one morning when Kit came into the stable’s office. “The owner just called and said she talked to our vet and checked our references. Nice lady. She came by the other day and Giselle showed her around.”
“Good,” Kit said. “Are they bringing the horse over or should I go pick him up?”

“She’s riding him over this morning. I told her we could give her a ride home, but she said her husband would come for her.” Andy grinned a mischievous grin. “We’re in for a treat with this one. Ever seen a Friesian stallion?”

“No. What’s that?”

“One of the most beautiful breeds of horse that you’ll ever see. Black as coal, every one of them, and powerful. They’re an ancient breed of draft horses so they’re all muscle, but every one I’ve ever seen is as graceful and nimble as a show horse.”

Kit’s eyes widened. “No kidding?”

“Missus St. Clair said the horse was a gift from her husband. He’s some kind of big shot financier—worth a ton of money. She said they had a big place out in the country where she could take care of the horse herself, but her husband is selling it so they can move into the city. She didn’t sound real happy about that.”

“Why would he do that?”

“Because people have their heads up their asses.” Andy stood up and reached for his hat hanging on a wall rack. “It happens too damn often. A horse is a twenty-five to thirty year commitment. These people with more money than brains buy one because mommy and daddy didn’t let them have a pony when they were little, then a few years later they can’t be bothered. It pisses me off.” He shouldered into his jacket. “Giselle needs me out in the north pasture. Can I count on you to stick around here?”

“Sure.”

“Her name is Amelia St. Clair. I’m sure you’ll be more charming than I am. She sounded upset. I’m not real good with upset women.”

Kit kept his amusement to himself as he watched Andy take the reins of the horse waiting for him, mount it, and ride off like a disgruntled old gunslinger tired of shooting people for their own good. An hour later Kit was crossing the driveway between the office and the house when he spotted a horse with rider galloping through the south pasture toward him. He stopped in his tracks and stared. There was no mistaking this creature—he had never seen anything like it. The horse was both powerful and graceful with an elegant neck and a long, thick mane that blew about in the wind like billowing smoke. Its deep black coat gleamed and long feathers puffed out around all four lower legs with each step. As horse and rider drew closer, the animal slowed to a beautiful, high-stepping trot. Kit looked up at the rider whose face was shaded by the brim of a dark fedora. He raised his hand in greeting.

About The Legend

The Legend continues the story of the Wilde family from The Christmas Daughter: A Marienstadt Story. Boone Wilde’s life is busy as he continues to run the hotel and tavern his parents started, raise his daughter, Charity, who is now fourteen, and romance Grace Winter. Then on a snowy winter morning his brother Kit returns to Marienstadt to enlists Boone’s help. Kit tells him about Sultan, a magnificent Friesian stallion, that was removed from the Kentucky horse stables where Kit works. Sultan belonged to a woman named Amelia and for three years she has been searching for him. With the help of a motorcycle club called Durga’s Dogs, whose mission it is to rescue fight dogs, Kit has a lead to Sultan’s whereabouts, but he has to hurry before the horse is sent to slaughter. This is a story about failure, last chances, redemption, and the love between brothers.

Get it as an e-book or paperback on Amazon—or leave a comment about your favorite horse and we’ll pick one at random for a free paperback. Don’t forget to leave your email address so we can contact you when you win!

About the author

KV-300pxKathleen Valentine was born and grew up in the Allegheny Highlands of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in The Arts and worked for over twenty years in the art/marketing departments of high-tech corporations. Since 2003 she has run her own design business, Valentine-Design.com. She is the author of “Fry Bacon. Add Onions”, a cookbook/memoir of growing up, Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as 4 novels, several novelettes and short story collections, and knitting instruction books. She has been listed as an Amazon Top 100 Author in Horror. Her novellas, The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic and Ghosts of a Beach Town in Winter were Amazon Top Ten Best Sellers in Horror and Ghost Stories for over 20 weeks.

Visit Kathleen’s

and follow her on Twitter @Kathleen 01930.

 

 

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Teaser Thursday: Wired In

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Read this preview of the latest Paradise Crime novel by Toby Neal and win a free copy

Toby will choose a commenter for an ebook copy of Wired In! Tell one thing you like about Hawaii per entry. Ends March 2.

wired-22416

The child had curled her body around an old stuffed rabbit as if protecting it. She lay on a bare mattress in a walk-in closet whose gloom was held back by a night-light, her thumb in her mouth. Blond hair gleamed silver in the grainy video feed. 

Special Agent Sophie Ang swiveled the tiny video cam snaked through a hole bored in the drywall of the ceiling. She checked all four corners of the small space, and there was nothing to see but empty shelves. She brought the camera back to rest on the tiny figure in the daisy-sprigged nightgown she’d been wearing when they took her. 

“Primary feed established,” Sophie whispered into the comm unit. 

She took one more look at the child, visible in a window on the monitor, before crawling along the floor of the apartment above, pushing the floor schematic ahead of her.

Sophie drilled her second hole right near where the living room light fixture should be. She leaned all her body weight onto the silent, battery-operated pneumatic drill. The dust and wood of the subfloor and ceiling material of the unit below blew past her on a jet of warm air, making her nose tickle with an incipient sneeze. She turned her head hard, pressing her nose against her shoulder and holding her breath until the urge passed.

 Sophie felt a sudden give as the drill punched through and instantly let up on the pressure, holding the drill in place so it could suck the last bits of ceiling material out of the hole. She fed in the camera on its stiff, flexible cable, looking to see what was happening in the room below on the monitor. 

Directly beneath the eye of the camera two men lounged on couches set at right angles facing a flat screen TV. Sophie rotated the cable slowly, watching in the monitor. The camera scanned the room, taking in guns set carelessly on the coffee table beside empty pizza boxes and a pyramid of beer cans.

“Secondary cam installed and operational. Two unsubs in exterior room, armed,” Sophie whispered.

“Roger that. Return to base when camera secure.”

Sophie opened the black tool backpack she’d carried in for the operation. Inside were a battery-operated cutting saw, pliers, and the camera equipment’s plastic case. She stowed the drill in the backpack and glanced at the two open windows of the video feed, now streaming wirelessly to the surveillance van parked outside the apartment building.

The little girl rolled over, looking at the ceiling, the rabbit clutched in her arms. 

“Mama,” she whispered. “Mama.” Her eyes were black holes in the low-resolution image. Tears shone on her cheeks. Sophie felt something painful tug at her as she read the girl’s lips. She endured a flash of unwanted memory.

Something was happening in the other video feed. 

Both men had picked up their phones and were reading what looked like a text message. Sophie saw them look up at each other, and through the floor beneath her, voices rumbled to accompany her lip reading.

“The FBI is onto us. You ratted us out!” 

One of the men leapt to his feet. 

“No, you did!” the other one yelled. “You even got the payoff!”

Sophie whirled and grabbed the saw out of the tool backpack. She ran back to the hole directly above the child even as her earbud crackled with orders for the rescue team. “Move, move, move!”

Sophie flipped on the saw, set at top speed, yanked off the vacuum piece that suctioned out the dust. She brought the chainsaw-like tool down, whining like a dentist’s drill. The saw bit into the wood, tearing though it like an electric bread knife through dinner rolls. She hauled the saw up out of the hole, threw it out at another angle, and drew it toward the end of the last cut. 

The girl only had moments.

Sophie made the third cut of a triangle as the room below echoed with yelling, then the deafening bam-bam-bam of the kidnappers firing on each other.

Sophie leapt to her feet, threw aside the saw, and, hoping like hell the child had the sense to get out from under the hole appearing in her ceiling, she leapt with both feet and all her weight onto the rough triangle she’d made.

 The fall was short and hard and she landed facing the closet door as she’d planned, knees bent to absorb the landing, the mattress taking some of the shock.

She hadn’t landed on the child. That was all she cared about as a tumult of wood, drywall and dust followed her down. She drew her weapon, and the closet door opened.

Sophie fired at the dark silhouette in the doorway. She fired until the shape fell backward out of sight, and then she spun to find the girl.

Anna Marie Addams had folded herself into the corner of the closet and her rabbit was tight against her chest. She lifted her head, eyes huge. Sophie squatted down, touched Anna’s hair and whispered softly, “Don’t look. You’re safe now. But don’t look. And put your fingers in your ears.”

Anna obeyed, putting her head down over the rabbit and her hands over her ears. Sophie turned and faced the door, blocking the girl with her body. 

“Package is secure,” she said into the comm. 

Her earbud crackled. “Roger that. Breaching the apartment.”

Sophie felt Anna shudder with terror, pressed against the back of her legs, as the door cannon boomed in the exterior of the apartment. 

This time the doorway filled with nothing but a man’s arm, firing into the closet. Sophie fired back, but her breath was stolen by a blow to the chest that knocked her back against the child and the wall. 

Sophie felt Anna squirming beneath her. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe, and an endless long moment passed as black spots filled her vision and her hands scrabbled for the Velcro closures of the vest. Then hands lifted her off of the child, dragged her over the bodies in the doorway, and ripped open her Kevlar vest.

Sophie’s diaphragm finally started working and she dragged in a breath. Her squad commander, Agent Gundersohn, leaned down into her face. “You’re okay, Agent Ang. The vest caught the round.” 

Demon spawn of a pox-ridden sailor,” she cursed in Thai, her voice a thin wheeze.

“What?” Gundersohn cupped his ear.

In the closet, Anna was screaming.

Sophie hauled herself to her feet. Her ears rang from the gunshots in the enclosed space. Her ankle buckled when she stood and it hurt like hell to breathe—but Anna was screaming. She stumbled back into the closet, pushed her way through the two team members trying to calm the girl, and dropped to her knees in front of the child. 

Anna’s head was down and her hands were still over her ears. A high-pitched cry ululated from her tiny body. Sophie put her hand on the child’s head and leaned close, into the screaming.

“Hush, you’re safe now. They’re gone.” 

A second later the shrieking stopped. The rigid little body uncurled. The small white arms reached out. Sophie stood up with the child in her arms.

“Don’t look,” Sophie whispered. 

Anna pressed her wet face into Sophie’s neck and shut her eyes, clinging like a baby monkey with her arms and legs. Sophie carried the child past the two sprawled bodies in the doorway, past the pizza containers and fallen beer cans and the man with his throat ripped open by bullets, leaving arterial spray across the couch. Past the black-clad Hostage Rescue Team members in their FBI-emblazoned Kevlar. Down the hall and a flight of stairs, through the push-handled exit, across the foyer of the building, out the glass front door, onto the sidewalk, and into the sunshine.

About Wired In

Paradise has no protection from a hacker with a hidden agenda.

Special Agent Sophie Ang’s emotions are battered by a child kidnapping case that goes badly wrong. In tracking the criminal ring, her rogue data analysis program D.A.V.I.D. identifies an anomaly that leads her into a cat-and-mouse game online with a deadly enemy whose motives are unclear. The chase lures her through dark corridors of cyberspace into a confrontation with the violence from her past that sent her fleeing to the United States. She’ll need every skill she’s learned to defeat her worst nightmare—and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“Toby Neal has created a wonderfully rounded action heroine with everything: looks, brains, mixed martial arts prowess, and the ability to swear proficiently in Thai and English. Fans of the genre will love FBI agent Sophie Ang, as well as the tangled web she must negotiate in the tropical setting of Hawaii.” — Russell Blake, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

Where to get Wired In

About the author

Toby Neal, bestselling author of Hawaii mystery Torch Ginger

Toby Neal

Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawai’i and makes the Islands home after living elsewhere for “stretches of exile” to pursue education. Toby enjoys outdoor activities including bodyboarding, scuba diving, photography and hiking as well as writing. A mental health therapist, Toby credits that career with adding depth to the characters in the Lei Crime Series.

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