Thursday teaser #excerpt: Instigator

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This week’s excerpt is from Eliza Carlisle Mystery number 3

Read on to see how you could win a copy of the first Eliza Carlisle mystery, Trouble Magnet.

By DelSheree Gladden

He caught my wrist just as I reached his apartment door. Sighing, I turned to face him. He spoke before I could. “Can you come in for just a minute?”

“Baxter,” I said, “I have to meet Morales soon. I don’t have time—”

“Just for a minute,” he said, careful to keep most of the pleading from his voice.

The last few seconds before he stormed out of my apartment the night before played back in my mind. He’d switched from angry about me getting involved in the cupcake case to purposely seductive. That had only happened a few rare times, all quite memorable. I had no idea what he’d been about to suggest, I knew it hadn’t been advice on how to get through the weekend with Puck’s parents. In fact, I was almost positive it was something closer to me spending time with him instead of anyone related to Puck…or Puck himself.

All of that should have been enough reason for me to walk away. “Just for a minute,” I said, disappointed at my own weakness. Maybe he wanted to apologize. But probably not….

I slipped past him into his apartment and stopped as soon as I saw the table set for two. Either he was extremely presumptuous about me making him breakfast after the way he’d behaved or…. I stepped closer to the table and realized that while the mugs and bowls were empty, there was a covered dish and a thermos of what I hoped was coffee sitting in the middle of the table.

Turning to face Baxter, I couldn’t keep my surprise hidden. “You made me breakfast?”

“It’s nothing like what you can do, but…” He froze when my eyes welled with tears. “What? I’m trying to apologize.”

Blinking back tears, I asked, “Do you know when the last time was someone made me breakfast?”

“No,” he said slowly, wary of the answer.

I fought against the memories resurfacing and focused solely on Baxter. “The morning Ben died. My mom made me toast and scrambled eggs. After that…doing something nice for me would have been like admitting it hadn’t been my fault.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” Baxter said, his voice blunt and unbending.

“Regardless,” I said, gesturing at the meal, “thank you.”

Grimacing, Baxter’s gaze fell. “I was trying to thank you…for putting up with me the last few months.”

I chuckled and closed the distance between us. “I’ve been putting up with you since we met. The last two months haven’t been anything I can’t handle.”

Surprisingly, that drew a small smile from him. “I’m not sure there’s anything you can’t handle.”

I snorted and turned away to turn off the oven he’d left on. The list of things I couldn’t handle was quite long. He just didn’t happen to be on it.

About Instigator

“Why would someone commit murder over a cupcake?”

That is Detective Gordon’s question. Eliza doesn’t have an answer, and doesn’t particularly want to find one. Gordy promises she doesn’t have to get involved…just look at the cupcake and use her culinary knowledge to tell him why it would inspire murder.

It’s never that easy.

Not for Eliza Carlisle.

What should be a relaxing two week break between semesters of culinary school turns into a never ending string of embarrassing, injury-inducing, rat-filled situations Eliza can’t escape. She hadn’t wanted to meet Puck’s parents to begin with. Meeting them in the middle of the murder investigation and running into Chef Harper, her least favorite instructor who is intent on making her life miserable, guarantees anything but a good time.

Add it just keeps getting better. Baxter is getting impatient. His ex-wife, the Evil Queen of Darkness, is getting more vicious by the second. Cupcake bakers are dropping every time the cops turns around. Eliza quickly finds herself hating the Christmas holidays even more than usual. All she has to do to survive her least favorite time of the year is catch a killer, beat Megan at her own evil game, hold off Baxter a little longer, and face down Puck’s unimpressed parents.

Piece of…cupcake.

Get it on:

Check out the other three Eliza Carlisle mysteries:

If you liked this excerpt, leave a Comment to be entered in a draw for a free e-copy of the first Eliza Carlisle mystery, Trouble Magnet.

About the author

USA Today bestselling young adult and romance author DelSheree Gladden loves books—reading them and writing them.

The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities.

DelSheree lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist.

Get to know DelSheree at:

And follow her on Twitter @Delsheree.

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Pre-Valentines teaser: 7 romances for you

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Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. Romance is everywhere this time of year, including  with your favorite BestSelling authors. Seven members have put their romance stories on special prices this season, so you can still enjoy a great read and have enough money left for flowers, wine and chocolate.

Back Side of a Blue Moon

Romantic mystery by Caleb Pirtle III

What happens when a man with a checkered past comes face to face with a woman whose past is as mysterious as his? “A riveting tale.”

Get it on sale.

Becoming

YA romantic fantasy by Raine Thomas

On her 18th birthday, Amber Hopkins learns why she has power surges.

“Phenomenal!”

Get it on sale.

 

The Crazy Girl’s Handbook

Romantic comedy by DelSheree Gladden

Longest. Weekend. Ever. Embarrassment for Greenly Kendrick turns into mortification, a head wound, and being patch up by her amused knight in shining armor.

“Just perfect!”

Get it on sale.

Once Upon a [Stolen] Time

Historical romantic fantasy by Samreen Ahsan

Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles. A new job awakens dark powers and binds her to a romance spanning the centuries.

“A heartwarming read that will make you realize that true love holds no bounds.”

Get it on sale.

One Shade of Red

Sizzling-hot romantic spoof by Scott Bury

University student Damien takes on a new summer business, and a romance that may be too much for him to handle.

“Funny, deep and sexy.”

Get it on sale.

The Poppy Fields

Military romance by D.G. Torrens

Emily struggles to come to terms with her tragic loss. James, a military physiotherapist, avoids love at all costs. When they meet, their lives are changed forever…

“An emotional rollercoaster.”

Get it on sale.

A Case of Sour Grapes

Romantic crime thriller by Gae-Lynn Woods

Maxine Leverman, lover of expensive shoes and beautiful handbags must unravel the links between a forgotten folk punk band, an international drug cartel, and the tangled history of a missing polygamist to keep his multiple duped wives alive.

“A delightful caper of whodunit.”

Get it on sale.

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Thursday teaser #excerpt: Wildfire

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By Scott Bury

This week’s excerpt is a special one: it’s from a yet-to-be released book, the first in a new mystery series. Titled Wildfire, its author plans to release it as an e-book on Amazon on March 20, to be followed quickly by releases on other platforms and in paperback.

This excerpt is from Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: An Open Door

From a distance, the winery looked like a simple barn, but when she got close she could see it was a modern building, painted to match the yellow and orange of the mansion-restaurant. Set into the ersatz stucco front wall was a wide barn door made of solid dark wood. In its center, a human-size door gaped open. When Tara walked close enough, she could feel conditioned, cool air flowing out.

She leaned in and knocked on the open door. No one said anything. She could hear the hum of some kind of machinery. Smooth concrete floors and light grey ducts and pipes gleamed under halogen lights on the high ceiling. To the left, windows in sheetrock walls showed offices, where a man with dark hair sat, writing with a pencil.

Tara took another deep breath of cool air, stepped up to the office’s interior door and knocked on its frame. The dark-haired man looked up quickly, hazel eyes wide, then relaxing. She could now see a shaggy dog curled up on the floor near his feet.

“Yes? Can I help you?”

His voice was deep and smooth, his tone fast but courteous. Tinged with sadness? Stop imagining things, Tara. You haven’t even met him yet.

“Mr. DaSilva?” She stepped farther into the office, hand extended. The dog stood up, looking at her. The tail wagged tentatively. Its head was just below the level of the desktop, its light brown fur curly. It had a square nose and the fur at the blunt end of it looked to Tara like a moustache.

“I’m Tara Rezeck.”

The dark-haired man stood to shake Tara’s hand. He was tall and slim. The sleeves of his open-necked dress shirt were rolled up over his elbows, showing ropey forearms. His hand was rough, his grip firm. On the left hand was a large gold ring with a dark stone. “Rezeck? Oh, yes. Sophia called about you.” He indicated a guest chair in front of his desk and sat again. “So you’re looking for a job?”

The dog’s mouth opened slightly and its tailed wagged freely now.

Tara already had a crisp new copy of her résumé out of her briefcase. He took it and leaned back in his chair.

She waited, trying not to look around the office like some kind of thief casing the place. It wasn’t much to look at, just the working office of a company that made wine. Messy stacks of paper and notebooks took up most of DaSilva’s desk, and on an extension at right angles to the main part sat a large office telephone and a laptop computer. The screen saver was a picture of a vineyard.

On the wall beside DaSilva, over the laptop computer, a large whiteboard hung, covered with a multi-colored chart and acronyms that Tara could not begin to interpret. Behind him was a large window that looked out into the winery. Beyond high tanks, Tara thought she could see people moving around.

A window on the other side looked outside, where trucks were parked on a wide, dusty yard. Behind that was a thick hedge, a fence, and beyond that the vineyards, on south-facing slopes bathed in sunlight.

“You have a law degree?” DaSilva was staring at her, eyebrows high and mouth slightly open.

Tara nodded. “From the Vermont Law School. I graduated cum laude last spring.”

“Then what are you doing here? Why aren’t you applying for jobs with law firms in Vermont?”

Like it? Leave a Comment to be entered in a draw for a free e-copy.

About Wildfire

Single mom Tara Rezeck moves to California after graduating from law school, in pursuit of a lifelong dream. Unable to find a position in a Bay-area law firm, she takes a job in the kitchen of a prestigious winery-restaurant in Sonoma County.

When wildfires ravage wine country, a burned body raises questions that the police are too overwhelmed to investigate. It’s up to Tara to discover her own skills as an investigator and rebuild her confidence.

Wildfire will publish on March 22, 2018.

About the author

Pic-ScottBuryScott Bury can’t stay in one genre.

His first published book was The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, followed in 2013 with a “50 Shades” spoof, One Shade of Red, in 2013. Then came the first volume in his Eastern Front trilogy, Army of Worn Soles, a memoir telling the story of a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in the Second World War.

He has also written four mysteries in the Lei Crime Kindle World (based on characters and settings created by bestselling Toby Neal), two action thrillers in the Sydney Rye Kindle World (based on Emily Kimelman’s bestselling series) and a thriller in the JET Kindle World (based on Russell Blake’s Jet series.)

Visit Scott’s:

And follow him on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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Monday musings: The writing year ahead

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At the beginning of the year, Monday Musings tells readers BestSelling authors’ plans for the year—so you can start getting excited now!

By Caleb Pirtle III

New year.

New plans.

It happens every time one yellowed and dog-eared calendar bites the dust, and another January suddenly appears out of the blue.

I have long written that today’s readers prefer shorter books.

At least they do with mystery/thrillers.

Or romance.

Forget the epics, the long-winded sagas.

Readers don’t want to make the journey anymore.

Those days of settling down and following a family through three generations and six-hundred pages have faded away.

No, readers prefer bite-sized books.

Grab me quick.

Tell me a story.

Few characters.

A lot of emotion.

Some suspense and surprises along the way.

Make me laugh a little.

Make me shed a tear or two.

Write The End, and let me move on to another book.

It may be a saga.

It may be about the same family.

But tell me their story in four books instead of one.

In today’s hectic, chaotic, stress-filed world, readers no longer have the attention span they once did.

They want short.

Maybe even shorter.

So here is what I intend to do.

During 2018, I plan to write a time travel series built around the same character.

Each book will be a novella, somewhere between 100 to 120 pages.

I will place each on Amazon as a stand-alone eBook, then my idea is to package all three novellas into one Trade paperback book.

I think the three-in-one concept will be great for book signings, which is where I sell most of paperback books anyway.

My idea is not original.

It’s not a breakthrough concept.

Many authors are already writing and producing variations of the idea.

But I’ve never done it before, so I’m anxious to give it a whirl and see what the marketplace does it with it.

The idea may work.

It may not.

It may hit a dead end and fall flat at my feet.

If so, there will always be another year.

I’ll take a deep breath and develop another plan.

Books are like life.

We have a lot of stops and starts and usually get lost a few times from the opening chapter to the last.

Caleb Pirtle III

is the author of more than seventy books, including the Ambrose Lincoln series.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written three teleplays, and wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third best selling art book of all time.

Learn more about Caleb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @CalebPirtle.

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Bestselling writing goals for 2018: Alan McDermott

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For the beginning of 2018, BestSelling Reads members will reveal member authors’ writing plans for the year ahead—so you know the great reading you can get excited about. This week: the bestselling Alan McDermott.

Well, 2017 started off much as 2016 ended; with a work in progress that wasn’t progressing in the slightest.  I’d started my new novel in the usual way.  The seed of an idea came to me one day, and I just started writing.  After a few hundred words, I made notes for the next few chapters, but it was such a slow process.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I got stuck.  Days, even weeks would go by before I found enough inspiration to add to the manuscript, but the next block was just around the corner.

In all, it took me seventeen months to finish Driscoll: Run and Hide, and as always, it was straight onto the next idea.  Only this time, I didn’t have time to sit and write, so I just made notes over the next few days.  That turned into bullet points, then into full blown chapters ideas.  Within a week I had 35 chapters planned, and as soon as my wife set off for a two-month holiday, I began writing the second Driscoll novel.  That was the best 48 days of my writing career.  I worked twelve hours a day, every day, and finished the book before she returned.

Now, I’m back to square one.  Looking for an idea that I can turn into a three-book series.  The only problem is coming up with something original.  I thought about an MI6 agent, but that’s already been done in the form of James Bond.  An ex-soldier?  Did that with Tom Gray.  A group of high-tech vigilante do-gooders?  The PRIMAL series by Jake Silkstone has that covered.

So, my task for 2018?  Come up with something truly original that fans of the action-thriller genre can relate to.

No pressure, then…

Alan McDermott

lives in the south of England,  and is married with beautiful twin daughters. He recently gave up his job of creating critical applications for the NHS to write action thrillers full time.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, was very well received and earned him bestseller status. The next two books in the series — Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption — were enough to attract the attention of a major publisher, and he has since added Gray RetributionGray Vengeance and Gray Salvation to the list.  Alan’s seventh title, Trojan, is a spinoff featuring MI5 agent Andrew Harvey, released in 2017.

Alan can be found:

Website and blog  |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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Thursday teaser excerpt: The Damned Don’t Die

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This week’s excerpt is from Book 16 of the Reed Ferguson mysteries

By Renée Pawlish

“I know exactly what you’re up to.” It was Shirley. She was just as angry as she’d been inside.

“I can assure you, I’ve been board president for two terms now, and there have never been any issues.” This from Alan Prestwick.

“If you want to cover up for Phil Epstein, you can try, but I’m not going to put up with this nonsense. My money is valuable, and if I have to get the law involved, or more, I will. This is important, and if you don’t do something about it, I might talk to people. And that won’t help you with that other situation.”

“You wouldn’t do that!”

“If I have to, I will. How would you like that?”

“Don’t you threaten me.” Prestwick’s voice had grown ominous. “You think I don’t have ways to handle people like you?”

“That sounds like a threat, too. You better watch yourself.”

A crack sounded loudly in the darkness, and Prestwick cleared his throat. Then footsteps clapped on the pavement. I pressed against the wall, but neither one of them came by me. I peeked around the corner. No one was there.

What was that crack? Had one of them hit the other?

I peered into the night and mulled things over. Shirley was certainly stirring things up. Was it justified? The investigator in me didn’t think I could let it go, but I hadn’t heard anything about the HOA’s financials being off. However, I hadn’t been at too many meetings.

“You ready to go, hon?”

I jumped at the sound of Willie’s voice. She laughed and put her arm on my shoulder.

“I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s okay. I didn’t hear you come up behind me.”

She looked around the corner. “What’s going on? Is there a ghost out there?”

“Nothing.” I told her what I’d overheard.

“Do you think Shirley has uncovered something illegal?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll make a few calls.”

“Okay. Let’s go.”

We walked to my 4-Runner and drove to B 52s. I didn’t think about Shirley for the rest of the evening. After a few games of pool, Willie and I headed home.

The next morning, Humphrey Bogart’s voice woke me from a deep sleep.

“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

It was a new sound bite I’d installed, Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon. I’m an avid film noir fan. I love those movies with the dark, noir hero and the femme fatales. And I aspire to be as cool as Bogie was. A stretch, I know, but I can dream, can’t I?

Willie mumbled something about killing whoever was calling so early as I picked up my phone. I recognized the number. Deuce.

“What’s up, buddy?” I said through a yawn.

“You’re never going to believe it.”

“What?”

Humphrey – the kitten – jumped upon my chest and began purring.

“Shirley Durocher’s dead.”

About The Damned Don’t Die

From Amazon #1 Bestselling Author with over 1 million books in circulation.

“This series just keeps on getting better.”—Amazon review

Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson isn’t looking for an investigation, but one comes his way when his crotchety neighbor, Shirley Durocher, is murdered the day after a contentious Homeowners Association meeting. The suspects with motives are many, including Shirley’s shy granddaughter, Holly, who insists she is innocent and hires Reed to clear her name and find the real killer. To complicate matters, romantic sparks fly between Holly and Cal, Reed’s computer-geek best friend. As Reed delves into the case, he discovers lies, deceit, thieves, and secrets that may lead to Shirley Durocher’s murderer. Can Reed juggle his most challenging case yet while playing matchmaker for Cal?

The Damned Don’t Die is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a lots of humor, and a clever homage to film noir. From the award-wining author of This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies.

Great for fans who love a fast-paced, humorous read, without a lot of swearing or sex.

Get it on Amazon.

About the author

Renée 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 InTake Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a nonfiction account of a haunted house investigation.

Renée has been called “a promising new voice to the comic murder mystery genre” and “a powerful storyteller.” Nephilim Genesis of Evil has been compared to Stephen King and Frank Peretti.

Renée was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Colorado.

Find more about Renée and her books on

 

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What to get the mystery lover on your gift list? A BestSelling mystery or two!

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The 25th is coming up fast, but you can give the gift the mystery reader will love. Just choose any of the titles from our bestselling mystery /thriller authors.

Eden Baylee stepped into the mystery genre with her psychological suspense bestseller, Stranger at Sunset. She took her taut, un-put-downable style into three mysteries in the Lei Crime Kindle World (based on the bestselling Lei Crime series by Toby Neal), featuring therapist Laney Lee and ex-SEAL Max Scott.

Claude Bouchard‘s Vigilante series has been a hit with readers since the first book, Vigilante. There are now 13 in the bestselling series, with the latest, Make it Happen.

Fred Brook‘s Doing Max Vinyl is a gripping and very funny book, and the first appearance of the bestselling Annie Ogden.

Scott Bury has written four mysteries in the Hawaii-based Lei Crime Kindle World, all featuring FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm and some of the readers’ favorite characters from Toby Neal’s Lei Crime series, like Pono Kaihale and Ken Yamada.

Seb Kirby hit the bestseller shelves with his James Blake trilogy, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More. His latest mystery is the psychological suspense revenge tale, Sugar for Sugar.

Toby Neal has two crime fiction series that are both bestsellers: The Lei Crime series, with 12 titles; and the related Paradise Crime series, now at five titles. The latest, Wired Dawn, came out just last week!

Renée Pawlish‘s Reed Ferguson Mystery series takes the noir thrillers of the past into the 21st century in tense, funny and compelling stories. Her Dewey Webb Mystery series goes back to the 1940s with darker, hardboiled detective mysteries.

Caleb Pirtle III is the author of more than 70 books, including four noir series in the Ambrose Lincoln series, set during the Second World War: Secrets of the DeadConspiracy of Lies, Night Side of DarkSecrets and Conspiracy and Place of Skulls. 

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Thursday teaser: Wired Dawn

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This week’s Thursday teaser excerpt is extra-special: it’s from Chapter 1 of the latest Paradise Crime novel—which releases tomorrow!

Read on to learn how you could win a free copy.

By Toby Neal

The boy ran, stumbling in the darkness, toward the farthest black corner of the cave. His breath tore through his lungs. He put his hands out, slowing as the fire got further away, its flickering light dimming behind him. The darkness thickened, and he tripped and almost fell on the loose, jagged stones of the cavern floor.

That voice like warm honey called his name. “Come, Nakai. What you running for? Where you think you can go?”

Nakai reached the back corner of the cave, a dark and drafty spot where he could feel fresh air welling like spring water from somewhere deep in the earth.

The man’s footsteps approached, unhurried and confident. Nakai glanced back and saw his flashlight swinging, illuminating the harsh volcanic walls with every swing. “Stop this foolishness, boy.”

Frantic, Nakai felt down the wall to the vent where the air came through. There was a small opening there, and he dropped to his knees and wriggled through.

Pitch darkness on the other side of the wall was thick as a muffling black blanket. Nakai crawled forward, biting his lips to keep from whimpering at the pain of rocks digging into his hands and knees.

“What, boy? You trying fo’ get away?” That voice was the sound of evil disguised as a friend, the sound of the worst kind of betrayal. Even now, the boy’s skin crawled at the memory of the man’s hands on him, touching him, stroking and petting, pinching and forcing. “You want to leave so bad? You go, then. And sleep well in the dark.”

Nakai stopped, holding his breath, turning back toward the slit illuminated by the flashlight’s beam. He heard the scrape of a rock, and then the light blinked out.

He was in total darkness, and he was trapped.

Nakai turned and felt his way back in the direction from which he’d come.

Panic rose in a strangling wave and sweat burst out over his body as he crawled forward, and forward, and forward—and felt nothing ahead. No cleft, no wall. No light whatsoever.

He was lost in the dark already.

“Let me out! Help me!”

The stone seemed to vibrate around him, as if he sat on the head of a giant drum. “That’s why music sounds so good in the cave,” the man had told the circle of boys on Nakai’s first night with the group of runaways.  “This lava tube goes on for miles, and the porousness of the stone helps sound carry.”

Maybe it would carry his calls for help. “Let me out!” Nakai cried again. “Help! I’m stuck in here!”

Nothing but the faintest echo of his terror came back to him.

Nakai crawled rapidly now, heedless of bleeding, determined to at least hit some kind of surface—and suddenly, he was out in space, falling into blackness that swallowed his scream.

What’s Wired Dawn about?

Paradise has no protection from a hidden evil.

Security specialist Sophie Ang goes “off the grid” into the remote valley of Kalalau on Kaua`i, where she stumbles across the disappearance of a young boy. As she races against time to save him, uncovering ugly secrets hidden in the heart of the jungle, the events she tried to flee on Oahu gather momentum.

Special Agent Marcella Scott straps on her Manolos and wades in to help deal with what the cyber vigilante the Ghost has left behind, trying to clear her friend from a murder charge.

Can Sophie and Marcella find their way to the truth through the tangled layers of darkness surrounding them?

“If you’re ready to hold your breath and drop everything for hours, find your most comfy chair and start reading this series!”—Laura P., Goodreads

Get it on starting December 8 from:

Write a comment for a chance to win a free copy.

About the author

Fast paced, character-driven stories set in wonderful places. “No one can read just one!”

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii. After a few “stretches of exile” to pursue education, the islands have been home for the last fifteen years.

Toby is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her books.

Outside of work and writing, Toby volunteers in a nonprofit for children and enjoys life in Hawaii through beach walking, body boarding, scuba diving, photography, and hiking.

Visit her on:

And follow her on Twitter @TobywNeal.

 

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Thursday teaser: Stranger at Sunset #excerpt

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Read on to see how you can win a copy of this week’s excerpt.

By Eden Baylee

The naked woman strolled back into his field of vision as a cramp sneaked up on him. A painful twitch stabbed his wrist, reminded him of old wounds. He dropped the binoculars secured by a strap around his neck to shake out both his hands. By the time he brought the lens to his face again, she had disappeared, no … wait, she popped up from behind the bed carrying two pillows. With an unhurried pace, she stepped out on the balcony and propped the cushions on the chair, even fluffed them before re-entering the suite. She closed the wooden French doors behind her.

The light in her room replaced the sun’s blush, a poor substitute given a set of floor-to-ceiling jalousies bracketed his view. He waited to see what she would do next. His breathing deafened his ears as if he were wheezing through a mask; adrenaline pumped in his veins. She moved in front of the window facing him. With hands on her hips, legs spread apart, she stood full frontal and stared straight at him. He shrank back and jostled her image.

Could she see him?

With his naked eye, he peeked in her direction. Nothing had changed. Motionless, she continued to stand in position. Unable to resist, he gathered his wits and raised the binoculars once again, adjusted the focus ring on her legs—those legs that seemed to go on forever.

Horizontal louvers interrupted his view of her body as he slanted the lens upward, advancing an inch at a time. He paused at her navel, swallowed hard, paused again when his lens reached her breasts.

Blood pumped in his ears as he moved up the curves of her collarbone to her long neck. When he met her eyes, he expelled a bellyful of relief. She wasn’t looking at him; she was looking through him. Her almond-shaped eyes trapped him in irrational fear of discovery.

Like a leech, he clung to her to draw out her secrets, imagined the pulse at her neck racing, wondered how it would feel to pull the pins from her hair, to touch her porcelain skin. Only a tiny squint betrayed her otherwise stoic expression.

As if she could read his mind, she turned away and broke the spell. When she faced him again, the mischief in her eyes had disappeared. She cranked the window handle, tilting the slats in unison against one another, narrowing his view with each turn of her wrist. He held his breath with one last image of her—a lowering of her chin before the light vanished from the room.

About Stranger at Sunset

Vacation can be a killer.

Dr. Kate Hampton, a respected psychiatrist, gathers with a group of strangers at her favorite travel spot, Sunset Villa in Jamaica. Included in the mix are friends of the owners, a businessman with dubious credentials, and a couple who won the trip from a TV game show.

It is January 2013, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The luxury resort is struggling, not from the storm, but due to a scathing review from caustic travel writer, Matthew Kane. The owners have invited him back with hopes he will pen a more favorable review to restore their reputation.

Even though she is haunted by her own demons, Kate feels compelled to help. She sets out to discover the motivation behind Kane’s vitriol. Used to getting what he wants, has the reviewer met his match in Kate? Or has she met hers?

Stranger at Sunset is a slow-burning mystery/thriller as seen through the eyes of different narrators, each with their own murky sense of justice. As Kate’s own psychological past begins to unravel, a mysterious stranger at Sunset may be the only one who can save her.

Available from:

Amazon  US | Amazon UK | Amazon worldwide

Win a free copy

Author Eden Baylee will give a free e-copy of Stranger at Sunset to the first two people to write a Comment, below.

About the author

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to become a full-time writer. She incorporates many of her favorite things into her writing such as: travel; humor; music; poetry; art; and much more.

Stranger at Sunset is her first mystery novel, on the heels of several books of erotic anthologies and short stories. She writes in multiple genres.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!

To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Find more about Eden at her BestSelling Reads author page, or her links below:

Website | Blog | Twitter @edenbaylee | Facebook

Goodreads | Youtube | Pinterest | Linkedin

Amazon Author page US | Amazon Author page UK

 

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Thanksgiving giveaway: A Case of Sour Grapes #excerpt

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This week’s excerpt comes from

Gae-Lynn Woods

Keep reading to see how you could win a free copy this Thanksgiving.

THE SHADOWS

IT’S A HELPLESS FEELING knowing it’s nearly midnight and your best friend is roaming the streets in pursuit of someone who might want to hurt you both, and you can do nothing to help her.

Except exactly what she tells you to do.

So I did. As I snatched up the phone on Aunt Kay’s desk and dialed, the conference room window exploded. A chorus of screams sounded and my heart jumped into overdrive. Despite the fear, I surprised myself by dropping the phone and squatting to duck walk into the conference room.

Kay and Babby hissed behind me like a pair of spitting cobras, but I stayed low and ignored them. If our intruder was throwing things, he might be armed. That was bad for Cass. I crunched across the conference room floor, bits of glass glittering in the sparse light filtering through the blinds. As had been the case for months now, there was absolutely no breeze, but the humid air rushed to invade our cool offices. The wooden slat blinds were ajar and through the slit I could see into the street. Lights were on around the square and I realized why Cass had reacted so quickly. From the conference room, she would’ve seen the glow of street lights even against the closed blinds. There was no logical reason for our power to go out.

Smart cookie.

Arcadia has a beautiful old courthouse in the middle of a grass lawn wrapped by the one way street that goes around the square. Seconds had passed since the window shattered, but nothing moved. I stayed low and waited, watching. Cass rounded the corner of the block at a full sprint. A sliver of shadow separated from the base of a giant oak on the courthouse lawn and scurried east.

I shouted through the empty window frame, “That way, Cass. He’s on foot.” I pointed and watched as she ran after him. Moments later sirens filled the night air, still heavy with a heat that would keep us in the eighties through the night.

My knees were protesting and I was ready to stand when a second shadow moved. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at first, but a dark mass peeled away from the tall war memorial and morphed into the blackness beneath another live oak. I couldn’t decide what to do. Cass was out of earshot and I couldn’t see clearly where this figure was headed. I kept my eyes on the lawn and whispered for cousin Cindy to join me.

“There’s glass everywhere, Maxine. I’m not coming in there.”

I resisted the urge to snap at her. “Call 911 again. There’s a second man on the courthouse lawn. He was hiding — wait. There he goes again. South. Call now, Cindy.”

She backed away and I heard a phone being uncradled and a voice murmuring. More sirens wailed into the night but they were too late. I’d lose this second man if I didn’t hit street level.

I think that’s when I realized just how badly I wanted to be a detective. Maybe even needed it. I was utterly helpless while my best friend was out risking her life for a case I’d stumbled into. In those minutes when Cass was out of my sight, before I heard the gunshots, a tiny piece of me grew up.

But the rest of me was still impulsively immature.

Then a gunshot cracked and an image of Cass unconscious in a hospital bed those few weeks ago hit my brain. Icy fear flooded my body.

A second gunshot sounded.

I ran for the agency’s front door.

About A Case of Sour Grapes

Wine, women, and song. What could possibly go wrong?

Meet Maxine Leverman, lover of expensive shoes, beautiful handbags, and her lingerie wearing ex-husband’s hush money. When she pleads her way into a job at family run Lost and Found Investigations, Maxine’s only goal is to gain the concealed carry license and PI skills she needs to find the man who attacked her, and then kill him. (Or maybe just put him in jail, that decision can wait.)

But when she secretly takes a missing husband case on her first day at the agency, she stumbles into a high-stakes game of blackmail and murder. Maxine must unravel the links between a forgotten folk punk band, an international drug cartel, and the tangled history of the missing husband to keep the women in his life alive.

Fans of the early Stephanie Plum novels and Stuart Woods’ Holly Barker series will love Maxine’s tenacity, grit, and lust for life.

Get it on Amazon.

How to win a free copy

For a free book, answer: If you were Maxine’s best friend Cass, would Maxine’s bravery/impulsiveness inspire you or drive you crazy?

Leave your answers in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About the author

Gae-Lynn Woods is a Texan who has traveled the world, lived overseas, and come back home. She and her husband, British jazz guitarist Martyn Popey, share a ranch in East Texas with a herd of Black Angus cattle, one very cranky donkey, and The Dude, a rescue kitty with attitude.

Visit Gae-Lynn’s

BestSelling Reads page   |   Amazon author page   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Google+   |   Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website   |    Blog

 

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