Caleb Pirtle joins BestSelling Reads

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Prolific, bestselling author Caleb Pirtle III has re-joined BestSelling Reads, the association of professional, independent authors. One of the first members of the group, Pirtle is returning in 2017.

The author of more than 70 books, Pirtle has been a newspaper reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was the travel editor of Southern Living Magazine for ten years. He was editorial director for a Dallas custom publisher for more than 25 years.

A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, Pirtle was the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Since then, several of his books and his magazine articles have received national and regional awards.

His fiction includes the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the Dead, Conspiracy of Lies, and Night Side of Dark. The fourth book in the series, Place of Skulls, will be released in the spring of 2017. His latest novel is Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever.

He has also written three teleplays that were produced on major networks.

Pirtle is also the author of a number of non-fiction titles. Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk recounts the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield, and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow is the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II.

His coffee-table book, XIT: The American Cowboy, was the third-bestselling art book in publishing history.

With his wife, Linda, Caleb Pirtle founded Venture Galleries, an author’s promotional platform.

You can find more about Caleb on his BestSelling Reads author page or his Amazon Author page.

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Thursday teaser: Scorch Road

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An exciting collaboration of two BestSelling authors:
Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Elizabeth

“You’re the whole cold transport chain, Elizabeth. Don’t take your eyes off that thing until you get it to the CDC in Washington.” Dr. Fellerman stepped away, returning to his side of the big wooden desk. “There are ten vials of the isolated virus in there. And that case will keep it cold for at least three days.” He flopped into his chair and it rolled back a few inches. Dr. Fellerman closed his eyes. “It’s too late for me, but there are still a lot of people to save.”

Elizabeth stepped forward, wanting to hug him or say something to mark this parting. Dr. Fellerman had offered her guidance without pushing, and he’d been a great teacher—one of the rare people she trusted.

He frowned at her approach. “Don’t get too close. You’re not sick now, but you know how contagious this thing is.”

She nodded. “Thank you for everything.”

Dr. Fellerman gave her a weak smile. “Thank you, Elizabeth. And Godspeed.”

Elizabeth left his office and retraced her steps through the lab. As she waited for the elevator, Elizabeth looked down at the cryocase. Inside the insulated screw top, a smaller metal cylinder held the vials of cells. Liquid nitrogen filled the larger container, keeping the isolated virus at the optimum temperature, well below freezing. It had to stay that way or vaccine production would be set back by months.

What if she failed? The thought chilled her to her bones.

***

JT

Wind drafted up his naked body as JT surveyed the land for the threat he knew was coming, but as usual he saw nothing but waving corn, velvety alfalfa, grazing pigs in their fenced pen, and the wind-ruffled leaves of soybeans and potato fields, picturesque in late summer glory.

JT had a powerful intuition, a sense of coming things. Mama called it the Sight and told him he’d inherited it from his deceased grandmother, rumored to be una strega, a witch.

“You’re a canary in a coal mine,” she had said, pulling him in for a hug after he’d told her to get her car fixed, that there was something wrong with it. The mechanic discovered a broken brake line that might have killed her. “You’ve been given the Sight. Be sure to use it for good, caro Jacobino.”

JT had tried to use that sense, along with an environmental biology degree, for good. But no one ever listened to his warnings, even those backed up by science. He’d got so tired of watching disaster strike again and again, waves on a seashore, that he’d left the EPA for this, his own place, where he could prepare.

Away from other people, JT was able to screen the stress of the Sight out better, but so close to water, he felt it acutely: the tremor of a shadow moving across the land.

A sickness was coming.

His family—five brothers, his mom, and his precious little sister—were all still out there, ignoring his warnings and invitations to the Haven. It hurt like a bruise that would never heal, a bruise that kept him up at night.

JT duckwalked around the metal platform’s edge, pleasure in the day evaporated—he was just hot, tired, and very alone. He arrowed into the pond in a swan dive. At the cool weedy bottom, he paused, his eyes shut. His mysterious sense was buffered, and yet amplified, by the water.

The scorching of the earth was coming here—right to his doorstep—into his fields.

The knowledge chilled JT more than the cold green water at the bottom of the pond. He shot for the sunlight, gasping for breath.

About Scorch Road

A new romantic action adventure series for fans of romance thriller and family romance sagas!

One of six Italian brothers and a sister, JT Luciano is a widowed environmental biologist with a touch of the Sight who is preparing for an apocalyptic event he knows is coming. Holed up at the military survival camp prepared for his family, the Haven, JT is ready for whatever might come… except for one woman.

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, virologist and Senator’s daughter, is carrying precious cells for a vaccine against the swiftly-evolving, deadly flu that’s sweeping the nation. Her plane crashes in JT’s potato field–and she must convince him to leave the Haven and help her get to Washington, DC.

One by one, the structures of society implode in the face of the flu’s devastation as JT and Elizabeth travel a scorching road cross country.

Can danger bring them together to find one good, true thing in a changing world?

Get it on Amazon.

About the authors

Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling Sydney Rye Series, which 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!

Emily can be found:

Website   |   Facebook    |   Twitter

Toby Neal is the author of the bestselling Lei Crime series featuring Maui police detective Lei Texeira, the Paradise Crime series featuring security specialist Sophie Ang, the Michaels Family Romance series, and the new Scorch Series romantic thrillers with Emily Kimelman.

Visit her:

 

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Thursday teaser: Avengers of Blood

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By Gae-Lynn Woods

THE PHONE SLIPPED AS he wrote, and Tom Kado hunched his shoulder to bring the handset up against his ear. “Would you repeat that?”

The forensics man from Thayerville, Alabama, sighed. “Calvin Whitman. Born September 13, 1935. Died December 27, 1978. White male. Six feet two inches tall, two hundred and ten pounds. I still think something’s wrong with those fingerprints.”

“I can fax copies to you. I’ll even overnight an original to Alabama,” Kado said, finishing his notes. “But I’m absolutely certain that your dead Calvin Whitman has been living in Arcadia for over thirty years.”

“It doesn’t seem possible.”

“Why?”

“I’m looking at his file. His house burned the night of December 27. The fire started from faulty Christmas tree lights. The house went up fast. His bedroom was on the second floor but they found Whitman in the remains of his bed in the living room. Looks like the middle of the house collapsed and most of the second story dropped to the first floor.”

“How did they confirm that it was Calvin Whitman?”

“Let’s see.” Kado heard a sneeze. “Sorry, I had to dig this file out of storage. You’re lucky we still have it. This was part of a group scheduled to be shredded last year. I don’t know why they missed it.” The sound of shuffling paper came through the phone. “Here we go. Seems they found a ring that belonged to Whitman on the right hand, and some of the hair was still on his head. From the photo in the file, he had very thick black hair.”

“Was an autopsy performed?”

“Yes. Cause of death was smoke inhalation.”

“Dental comparison?” Kado asked.

“Umm,” more paper shuffling, “no.”

“Isn’t that odd?”

“Maybe. No fingerprints, either, probably due to the fire damage to the body. A deputy confirmed that it was Whitman. Nobody questioned his identification. Say, Tom?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you have a photo of this Calvin Whitehead? He must have been an old man, right?”

It was Kado’s turn to shuffle through paperwork. He located the crime scene photos and found only one photograph of Calvin Whitman. It was hanging on the wall behind the cash register and Kado needed a magnifying glass to see it clearly in the crime scene photo. In the picture, Whitman was frowning at the camera as he held a pair of scissors, ready to snip a ribbon stretched across the little store’s doors. Half a dozen locals looked on, smiling broadly. “There must be a driver’s license photo on file, and that’ll be pretty recent. We’ve got one early photo of him in a newspaper. Do you want a copy?”

“Of both, please.”

“Do you have one for me?”

“Yeah, I’ll send it when we’re done.” He sighed heavily again. “If you’re right, you know what this means for us?”

“Yup, you’ve got an open case,” Kado answered.

“A very old, very cold murder case.”

“And the very dead Calvin Whitman or Whitehead is your prime suspect.”

“Man, I’m gonna land in a white-hot shit storm.”

“Sorry about that,” Kado said, with genuine feeling. “When you send Whitman’s photograph, would you include his arrest record?”

“What arrest record?”

“Well, why is he in your system?”

“For exclusion purposes, of course.”

Kado felt dread tighten his gut. “What do you mean?”

“I didn’t mention it earlier?”

“Mention what?” Kado asked as the dread uncoiled along his spine.

“Calvin Whitman was Thayerville’s sheriff when he died. Had been, for close to twenty years. Everybody loved him. This, his still being alive, means that he’s a criminal. That’s why I’m gonna land in a shit storm.”

About Avengers of Blood

A deadly game of cat and mouse is playing out in Forney County…

Detective Cass Elliot is still on suspension after killing a fellow officer and Sheriff Hoffner refuses to sign her release papers. But when four people are murdered in one night, one with the exceptional brutality of a lynching, the Medical Examiner side-steps Hoffner to hire Cass and loan her to Forney County’s overstretched police department.

As Cass and her partner investigate, they realize that three of the murders were committed by the same person but find no connection between the victims. Their frustration intensifies when another victim survives and disappears instead of coming to the police.

Sheriff Hoffner is frantic about anonymous letters claiming one of his star officers is dirty, and Cass suspects a link to the current crimes. The pieces fall together when she uncovers the true identity of the man who was lynched, revealing connections between the victims, the killer, and an unpunished crime committed nearly fifty years ago.

Find it on

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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Thursday teaser: Nightmare Sally—The latest Reed Ferguson mystery

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By Renée Pawlish

She looked nervous.

That was my first impression as I watched her for a moment from the entryway of the Cherry Hills Country Club restaurant.

“May I help you, sir?” a hostess in dark slacks and a white blouse asked me.

“I’m meeting someone,” I said, then gestured at the woman, who was sitting near a window across the room.

“Ah, yes. Are you Reed Ferguson?”

I nodded.

“Mrs. Evans is expecting you.”

She escorted me to Mrs. Evans’s table, then said to her, “Your guest has arrived.”

Mrs. Evans thanked the hostess, then indicated I should sit down.

I introduced myself and she smiled.

“Call me Brenda.”

She discreetly sized me up, probably wondering how could this brown-haired guy with boring hazel eyes be a private investigator.

If my guess was correct, Brenda Evans was in her fifties. That was maybe ten years or so younger than my mother, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking at her. Her cream-colored pantsuit hung loosely on her thin frame, her cheeks were hollow, and her short blond hair had a strange quality I couldn’t put my finger on.

“I’ve met you before, but it was a long time ago,” she said.

“I’m sorry, I don’t remember.”

“When your parents lived in Denver, we golfed here at the club with them.”

I nodded, letting her ease into the conversation. A waiter came over and asked if I wanted something to drink. Brenda was sipping coffee, but that wasn’t generally my style, and I asked for a Coke. He nodded and scurried away. It was after one on a beautiful September day, and the restaurant was quiet, only a few other diners in the room. The murmur of their conversations drifted into the background as Brenda and I talked.

“I talked to your mother the other day on the phone and was telling her about my … situation,” she said, “and she suggested I contact you.”

I leaned in a bit. “I’m happy to help if I can.”

“Your mother speaks very highly of you. She says you’re quite the detective.”

“That’s nice to hear.”

And it was. My parents had been slow to warm up to the idea of my being a private investigator, but now that I had been in the business for several years, they were coming around. Brenda interrupted my thoughts.

“But she does say that she worries about your getting into dangerous situations.”

There it is, I thought. That was the one thing with my mother that wouldn’t go away. She always assumed that when I was working on a case, somehow I would end up getting hurt. I’m sure she was sitting on the balcony of her Florida condo right now, wondering what kind of precarious situation I was in.

Brenda smiled. “I assure you, there’s nothing dangerous in what I’m asking you to do.”

“Okay,” I said. “What do you need?”

“I want you to get a message to my daughter.”

I watched her twist a gold ring on a bony finger. The waiter returned with my Coke and asked if I wanted anything to eat. Brenda wasn’t eating, so I declined.

“We – my husband, Joel, and I,” she continued after the waiter left, “haven’t had contact with her in months. She barely talks to us.” Sadness spread across her pale face.

“What’s her name?”

“Sally. I don’t think you ever met her.”

I couldn’t recall if I had. “Tell me about her.”

About Nightmare Sally

Reed Ferguson’s latest case could be a nightmare!

When Brenda Evans asks private investigator Reed Ferguson to deliver a message to her estranged daughter, Sally, Reed thinks this will be the easiest case he’s ever had. Unfortunately, Sally has moved without leaving a forwarding address. When Reed finally finds Sally, she happens to be the prime suspect in a murder. Sally claims she’s innocent, and Brenda wants Reed to prove it.

Reed’s investigation leads him through the seedy side of Denver, involving ex-cons, a masked social media personality, and back to Sally, who has secrets of her own. One thing is certain: danger is at every turn as Reed hunts for the killer.

Nightmare Sally 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.

Published this week 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 In, Take 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.

Renée can be found:

And follow her on Twitter @ReneePawlish.

 

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Monday musings: Looking back on 2016

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Photo courtesy of Jannes Pockele (Creative Commons)

By Renée Pawlish

2016 has been a busy year for me. I started the year by publishing the first novel in the Dewey Webb historical mystery series. Dewey Webb first appeared in a Reed Ferguson mystery, Back Story, and I thought it would be fun to develop Dewey into a spin-off series. This year, I published three Dewey mysteries (Web of Deceit, Murder in Fashion, Secrets and Lies). The stories take place in the late 1940s, and it’s been fun to write the stories, but also challenging to make them as historically accurate as possible. I’ve been blessed with a few beta readers who grew up in the Denver area, and they’ve helped me with tips on Denver during that time, and they’ve also corrected some of my mistakes. When I started this series, I didn’t know if it would take off or not, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Readers seem to like Dewey, and I plan to write at least three or four more in the series.

I’ve also continued the Reed Ferguson mystery series, adding two more novels, two novellas, and a short story. The challenge for this series is to keep Reed fresh. I always thought I would stop this series at eight books, but I’m about to release the fifteenth book in the series. With each new novel, I try to come up with a new and interesting premise, and make sure that Reed’s supporting cast is involved in fun ways (my readers love the cast around Reed almost as much as Reed himself). I don’t plot out my stories ahead of time, and it’s refreshing to see what’s in store for all the characters.  

One of the things I challenged myself to do in 2016 was to release a novel every other month, and a short story or novella in the months between those releases. I wasn’t able to do this the entire year, but I came close. It’s not been easy, but when I’m writing a novel, I try to keep to a goal of writing one chapter per day. I don’t ever hit this, and a day here or there gets missed, but overall I am able to write a novel in about six weeks. For me, that’s about as fast as I can write a book and still feel that it’s a quality product. I’d like to keep up this schedule in 2017, but I’ll only do it if I feel like I’m still producing good stories, and if my readers say the stories are good. If not, it’s time to slow down.

Finally, I’ve had my best sales year yet, and I am very pleased with that. Amazon continues to make things challenging for authors, but I’ve still done well. I hope that this growth continues in 2017 and beyond.

Thanks for reading.

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

Visit Renée’s

And follow her on Twitter @reneepawlish.

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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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Thursday teasers: New BestSelling Reads from your favorite authors

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Your favorite writers have been hard at work. Here are the newest books, just out or soon to be, from BestSelling  Reads members.

sugarforsugarsebkirby2Sugar for Sugar by Seb Kirby

How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past?

Issy Cunningham has made a new life for herself but that’s all about to come crashing down.

If only she could recall what happened that Valentine’s Eve, she would be able to tell the police what really took place.

But those memories won’t come because there’s too much in the past that troubles her.

How can she set the record straight when her past won’t let her be?

Get it now on Amazon.

tgwtgEmily (author photo)The Girl with the Gun by Emily Kimelman

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.

Get it now on Amazon.

wired-rouge-text-usa-today-high-res-185x278TobyNealWired Rogue by Toby Neal

“Wired in” to her computers, MMA-fighting tech agent Sophie Ang has been content in her clean, cool tech lab, where she chases criminals online, continuing a dance in the dark with the enigmatic vigilante known as the Ghost.

Tumultuous changes from without and within eject her from her agency cocoon to the front lines, where she finds herself in partnership with a brilliant, overbearing, larger-than-life ex-Special Forces operative, Jake Dunn. They climb walls, dodge bullets, kidnap children and dig up bodies for a case that might cost her life—and has already taken her badge.

Get it now on Amazon.

 

smalltownfocusRenee PawlishSmall Town Focus: A Reed Ferguson Mystery by Renée Pawlish

With this one sentence, Gina Smith immediately draws Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson into a case. Questioning her past and yearning to find the mother she’s never met, Gina hires Reed to find answers. With the help of his wife, Willie, his best friend Cal, and the always amusing Goofball Brothers, Reed’s search for Gina’s mother leads him to a rural Colorado town and a puzzling mystery that involves a decades-old kidnapping, a powerful small-town mayor, a seductively charming pastor, and an unsolved murder. And if Reed isn’t careful, the murderer’s focus could turn to him.

Small Town Focus is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a dose 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 now on Amazon.

obliviousgirlshandbookDelShereeGladden4The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook by DelSheree Gladden

Being oblivious to all the signs that your life is about to fall apart doesn’t stop it from happening to Sara Taylor.

Alone except for the Siamese cat her boyfriend—ex-boyfriend—Joseph left behind to teach her a lesson, Sara has no clue how to survive on her own. She hasn’t handled her own bills in years, can’t meet a deadline without someone else programming alarms into her phone, and is constantly either losing important things or getting herself hopelessly lost. Sara has no idea how she’s supposed to move out of her university apartment and start her first real job without someone there to hold her hand.

Although she knows her new friend Monroe would step in to help, she’s not about to call him after having thrown him out of her apartment when his suspicions about Joseph prove true and Sara is left angry and mortified. It doesn’t take long before she is desperate to lean on someone else’s strength, even for just a few minutes, as real life begins to overwhelm her. Pride forces her to either sink or swim, even when sinking seems the most likely outcome.

Get it now on Amazon.

violenceinvegasJulie Gilbert 2013Violence in Vegas by Julie C. Gilbert

Coming December 1

Sin City holds some dark secrets …

But Marcella Scott’s in town to help Angela Melkin-Pierce with a small case of sabotage. Somebody’s been slashing guests’ tires and ransacking rooms at The Grand Game Hotel. With the guest list including the Reno Birdwatcher’s Society and the Paradise Quilting Club, the suspect list is kind of thin. The only intriguing option is Gatton Technologies. When the eccentric billionaire who runs the company decides to host a masquerade party at the hotel, Marcella goes undercover.

The air of elegance quickly turns to terror when masked men kidnap Jeffrey Gatton and Angela.

Marcella’s going to need all of her wits—and a borrowed handgun or two—if she wants to survive the violence in Vegas.

Get more information on Julie’s website.

More to come

black-jasmine-185x287Keep watching this blog for more exciting news about books from your favorite bestselling authors. Fill out the form at the top right of this page to Subscribe to BestSelling Reads by email and you can download a free copy of Toby Neal’s Black Jasmine.

 

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Thursday Teaser: Small Town Focus

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The latest Reed Ferguson mystery

By Renée Pawlish

smalltownfocusShe got right to the point. “I think my father might have killed my mother.”

That wasn’t what I’d expected to hear. “Why do you say that?”

She frowned. “I guess that’s not the best way to start the conversation.” Gina Smith let out a little nervous laugh. “Something odd is going on.”

“I’m an only child. According to my father, my mother left us when I was a few weeks old. We moved to Colorado shortly after that, and he raised me by himself.”

“He never remarried?”

“No.”

“Has your father ever said why your mother left?”

She shrugged. “He’s been very vague, and said that she was unhappy, and she had some problems. It’s a touchy subject, but when I’ve asked questions, he tells me that the past is in the past, that he loves me enough for both of them, and that I should let it go.”

I studied her for a few seconds. “But you’ve had a hard time doing that.”

“Yes. Dad doesn’t even have a picture of my mother, let alone anything that belonged to her. And he never even told me her name. It’s like he cut her completely out of his life, so she’s a complete mystery to me, and that’s always made it hard. I have an intense desire to know more about her, to know what she looked like, what things made her who she was, and what made her tick.”

“And what made her leave.”

“Yes,” she said softly. She took another drink, and stared at me with intense brown eyes.

“This is all intriguing,” I said, then hesitated. “But I still don’t see why you think your father may have killed your mother.”

“There’s more,” she said.

“I’m listening.”

“A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting Dad and I went into the den. The news was on, and the anchor was talking about skeletal remains of a body that had been found in a field east of Denver. Based on the size of the bones, the authorities thought it was probably a woman. You should have seen the look on Dad’s face. He was in shock, just staring at the screen with his jaw open. I spoke to him three times before he noticed I was there, and his face was as white as a ghost. I asked him about the remains, and he snapped at me to shut up.” Pain wrinkled the corners of her eyes. “He never talks to me like that. I asked him why the news was upsetting him, and he told me it was nothing, and he changed the subject. Then, the next time I was there, a few days later, I overheard him on the phone. I have no idea who he was talking to, but he said something about the woman in the field, and about it being taken care of, and she was never supposed to be found. He was furious.” She tapped the table for emphasis. “He was talking about that woman.”

I gazed into her pleading face. “Okay,” I finally said. “I’ll look into it.”

Although her dad had certainly been acting strangely, I doubted there was anything sinister behind his behavior, but it would be easy enough to find out, and put her mind at ease.

How wrong I was.

About Small Town Focus

Reed Ferguson is back!

“I think my father might have killed my mother.”

With this one sentence, Gina Smith immediately draws Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson into a case. Questioning her past and yearning to find the mother she’s never met, Gina hires Reed to find answers. With the help of his wife, Willie, his best friend Cal, and the always amusing Goofball Brothers, Reed’s search for Gina’s mother leads him to a rural Colorado town and a puzzling mystery that involves a decades-old kidnapping, a powerful small-town mayor, a seductively charming pastor, and an unsolved murder. And if Reed isn’t careful, the murderer’s focus could turn to him.

Small Town Focus is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a dose 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.

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.

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.

Visit Renée’s

And follow her on Twitter @ReneePawlish.

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Thursday teaser: A Case of Sour Grapes

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Woods-SourGrapesYou could WIN a FREE
e-copy of this Cass Elliot Companion Novel. See the details at the end of the excerpt.

By Gae-Lynn Woods

TO TELL THE TRUTH, even after reading the internet articles I was clueless about how to find someone. So I did what every enterprising woman does when faced with a challenge: I had a facial and massage. When at home in Fort Worth, I use a fabulous technician named Jeremy. Handsome and a honey, he’s gooey in love with his partner of the moment, Paul. But that won’t last. It never does. My relationship with Jeremy has survived at least seven partners. I big-sister him through every break up and remind him of the importance of protected sex when each new love comes along.

Funny, now that I think of it. He does the same for me.

But my options are limited when I’m in Forney County. The best salon I’ve found is on the Loop around Arcadia, a place called Holy Rollers. It’s run by a family of Pentecostal women and let me tell you, despite their own reluctance to doll up, these gals know hair and skin. Janie took one look and ordered me to strip and assume the position on the massage table.

“What’s eating you, Maxine?” she asked in a soft voice, covering me with a sheet and placing hot, smooth stones along the back of my left leg and one in each palm.

“I need to find someone, and I’m not sure how to do it.”

“Why?” She slicked oil along my right leg and worked the muscles, then gently massaged its length with a hot stone.

“He’s just somebody I need to find.”

“Nobody’s invisible these days. Start with the internet. Use a picture and do a facial recognition thing.”

“No photo.”

“What do you mean?” Janie finished working my right leg, placed hot stones along its length, and oiled the left leg. I was butter already.

“He hates having his picture taken.” I pointed at the magazine in my purse, folded open to the shot of Blue and Bret Ivey laughing. “That’s the best his wife has.”

“Suspicious.”

I rose to twist and look at her, but Janie pushed me back down. “Why?” I asked.

“With all the smart phones around? Given that he runs a winery, there are bound to be pictures of him out there in cyberspace.” She hit the ticklish spot on my left thigh with a hot stone and I giggled. “Be still. Google him. See who he’s with.”

“Pretty smart,” I told her. “If that doesn’t work, all I know is where he lives and what kind of vehicle he drives. I don’t know how to find him when he’s not at home.”

Janie moved the sheet from my back to my legs and placed hot stones along my spine and on both shoulder blades. The tension in my neck melted away. “Can’t you wait until he comes home and then follow him to wherever he goes?”

“He’s not coming home, which is part of the problem. And I’d like to be proactive.”

“Then you’ll have to go wherever he goes.”

“I don’t know where he goes.”

“Well, what kind of things does he like?”

“Leather and Corvettes.”

“That’s easy,” Janie said. She removed the stones from my back and worked the muscles from my lower spine up to my shoulders. “If he stays around here, he’ll be at The Golden O over the state line.”

I lifted from the massage table and looked over my shoulder. “The biker bar? How in the world do you know about The Golden O?”

Her smile was like the Mona Lisa’s, intriguingly unreadable. “I haven’t always done hair and nails.”

“Janie Chapman. You are full of surprises. You used to strip at The Golden O, didn’t you?”

“If you won’t be still, turn over.” My prim Pentecostal masseuse lifted the sheet and I rolled to my back. “I wore a mask and had my hair pinned up until the final spin combo on the pole. I’d pull a clip out, my hair would swing free, and the dollar bills? Honey, they came a-flying.” She laid the sheet over my chest and hips and went to work on my legs. “That’s how I paid for beauty school. Don’t tell anyone. I couldn’t bear for my family to know.”

“Given everything you know about my life, your secret is safe with me.” I thought for a moment. “I always think of strip clubs as boob focused. He likes big bottoms. Do they have them at The Golden O?”

“Most of the places hire anyone who hasn’t been overcome by gravity, so you’ll find all shapes and sizes everywhere you go. But try The Bicycle Club. They used to hire women with more Rubenesque figures.”

I wiped my hands on the sheet and reached for my phone. “Give me a minute. I need to find an accomplice for tonight’s outing.”

“Unless you want lots of male attention, choose an attractive woman and pretend you’re lesbians.” That Mona Lisa smile returned. “It’ll ramp the men up, but at least they’ll believe you’re unavailable.”

I stared up at this sweet-faced woman who knew my body almost intimately, and whom I clearly knew not at all. “So how about it?” I asked. “Got any plans tonight?”

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.

How to WIN

You can win a free e-copy of A Case of Sour Grapes by answering this question in the Comments section below:

What’s your strategy when you have to visit a strip club?

Don’t forget to include your contact information. The author will randomly select a winner from the entries.

About the author

Gae-Lynn Woods 2015-08Gae-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.

Gae-Lynn writes the Cass Elliot Crime Series. When she’s not playing the roadie, tending to cows, fixing fence, or digging post holes, Gae-Lynn is working on the next Cass Elliot novel and the next Companion Novel featuring Maxine Leverman, Cass’ best friend, who makes her debut in Avengers of Blood.

Visit Gae-Lynn’s

And follow Gae-Lynn online:

Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Google+   |   Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website   |    Blog

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Thursday teaser: Collateral Damage

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cover-collateral-damage1(Annie Ogden Series Book 3)

By Frederick Lee Brooke

Sometimes it bugs the hell out of me. She calls, I jump. She knows I’ll do anything for her, anytime. She takes advantage of me. We’ll have a fantastic time, laughing together, kissing, and dreaming about the future, and the next day she’ll be twelve kinds of bitchy. We spend a glorious day and a half after getting engaged, and then she calls me from her ex-boyfriend’s car. She’s on her way to Florida.

Fine.

She goes on a road trip with her ex-lover. Accepting this is part of being an adult. I’m not jealous. I’m not worried. I’m not happy, either, but I’ll deal with it. Even though Garcia is a certified wingnut who does stalkerish things like attacking Annie wearing a mask or breaking into her sister’s apartment and spending the night in a closet. Talk about unhealthy fixations.

And what happens at their famous party? Garcia’s best friend is butchered with a bayonet. They have Garcia’s fingerprints, they have the murder weapon, and they have the body. He’s got a mile-long record. Florida hasn’t outlawed capital punishment like a lot of other states, including Illinois. He’s gonna fry.

Will you come to Florida?

Will you help me find the real killer?

Not because there’s anything between them. Not because he wrote her a love poem, oh no. For justice.

Of course, it’s for justice. We all want justice. And the police don’t know what they’re doing, right, Annie?

It means nothing to her that the murder victim is the nephew of a US senator. That means the police will be working three times as hard to build a solid case. They’ll want ironclad evidence, spotless procedure, and the best witnesses money can buy. To Annie, all this means nothing. Garcia is innocent no matter what everyone else says, no matter what all the evidence says. He couldn’t have done it. When Annie becomes irrational, watch out. You don’t stand a chance. Her ears might as well be plugged.

There’s always a motive if you look hard enough. Two war buddies could have a fight, two roommates who’ve done three tours in Iraq. They can call it PTSD. Maybe drugs. No shortage of motives in that minestrone. That DA would have to be a real idiot to botch this one.

Or was this wishful thinking?

I was boarding my Tampa-bound plane as these thoughts traversed my love-addled brain. Annie only had to call to set off a chain reaction in my body chemistry. Hormonal reactions.

I’m getting married again.

It hit me for the five hundredth time. I was standing there, waiting for someone to move in the cramped airplane aisle, so I could sit. A single mom was buckling three kids into their seats. Suddenly I felt the contentment of an old mafia don surrounded by laughing grandchildren. Annie and I would make wonderful kids. We would have a blast raising them. God made me for that.

About Collateral Damage

Annie Ogden is back. Like it or not, she’s about to learn about COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

A love story.

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

Get it from Amazon.

About the author

fredbrookeFrederick Lee Brooke launched the Drone Wars Series in 2013 with Saving Raine, and the sequel, Inferno, followed in 2014. The third and last book in the series, The Drone Wars, released in June, 2015 wraps up the short, catastrophic period in which Matt Carney first learned he had a twin brother.

A resident of Switzerland since 1991, Frederick Lee Brooke is also the author of the Annie Ogden Mystery Series. He has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He makes frequent trips to the United States to visit friends and family. Visit Fred on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @FrederickBrooke.

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