Mar 192019
 

Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane Banner

 

 

Dead In A Week

by Andrea Kane

on Tour March 18 – April 19, 2019

Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane

What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and given only a week to live?

Lauren Pennington is celebrating her junior year abroad when life comes to a screeching halt. At Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, she engages in an innocent flirtation with a charming stranger for the length of a drink. Drink finished, Lauren leaves—only to be snatched from the streets and thrown into an unmarked van.

Officially, Aidan Deveraux is a communications expert for one of the largest financial firms in the world. In his secret life, the former Marine heads the Zermatt Group, a covert team of military and spy agency operatives that search the data stream for troubling events in an increasingly troubled world. When his artificial intelligence system detects Lauren’s kidnapping, Aidan immediately sees the bigger picture.

Silicon Valley: Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is about to launch a ground-breaking technology with his company NanoUSA—a technology that the Chinese are desperate for. No sooner does Aidan arrive on Vance’s doorstep to explain the situation than the father receives a chilling text message: hand over the technology or Lauren will be dead in a week.

In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save Lauren from a brutal death.

Check out my review HERE!

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing
Publication Date: March 19th 2019
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 1682320294 (ISBN13: 9781682320297)
Series: Forensic Instincts, Zermatt Group
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Munich, Germany
20 February
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. local time

Normally, Lauren Pennington loved the sound of her combat boots clomping across the cobblestone apron. But right now, all she could think about was the growling of her empty stomach, urging her to move faster. She was oblivious to everything else—the couple on the corner sharing a passionate, open-mouthed kiss, the guy puking up his over-consumption of beer into the storm sewer grating, and the man watching her every move as he talked into his cell phone in a language that Lauren wouldn’t have recognized had she been paying attention.

She walked into Hofbräuhaus’ main hall, took a seat at one of the wooden tables, and placed her order. Minutes later, the waitress came over and brought Lauren’s food and drink. Barely uttering a perfunctory “Danke,” Lauren bit into a pretzel the size of her head and took a healthy gulp of Hofbräu.

The semester had ended, and she was entitled to some carbs and a dose of people-watching at the historic Munich brewery. Pretzels and beer were addicting, but people-watching had always fascinated her. Despite a whole winter semester of her junior year abroad studying art history at the Ludwig Maximilian University at Munich, she still enjoyed playing the tourist. Not at school, but every time she strolled the streets, studied the architecture, chatted with the locals.

Hofbräuhaus was less than a mile from campus, but the brewery’s main hall had a reputation all its own. With its old-world atmosphere of wooden tables, terra cotta floors, painted arches, and hanging lanterns, how could anyone not feel a sense of history just being within these walls?

Maybe that’s why Europe called out to her, not just here, but from a million different places. Museums. Theaters. Cathedrals. She wanted to experience them all, and then some. She’d be going home to San Francisco in July, and she hadn’t been to Paris or London or Brussels. She’d gotten a mere taste of Munich and had yet to visit Berlin.

When would she get another chance to do all that?

Not for ages. And certainly not with the sense of freedom she had as a college student, with little or no responsibilities outside her schoolwork to claim her attention. On the flip side, she felt terribly guilty. Every February, her entire family traveled to Lake Tahoe together. It was a ritual and a very big deal, since her father rarely got a day, much less a week, off as a high-powered executive. Her mother usually began making arrangements for the trip right after the holidays. In her mind, it was like a second Christmas, with the whole family reuniting and sharing time and laughter together.

This year was no different. Lauren’s brother, Andrew, and her sister, Jessica, were both taking time off from their busy careers to join their parents at Tahoe—no easy feat considering Andrew was an intellectual property attorney in Atlanta, and Jess was a corporate buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Lauren was the only holdout. Lauren. The college kid. The baby. The free spirit who always came home from Pomona College to nest, especially for family gatherings and rituals.

Her parents had been very quiet when she’d told them about her plans. Lauren knew what that silence meant. After the phone call ended, her mother would have cried that she was losing her baby, and her father would have scowled and written off her decision as college rebellion. Neither was true. But no matter how she explained it, her parents didn’t understand. They’d traveled extensively in Europe, and to them, it was no big deal. But it was Lauren’s first time here, and to her, it was like discovering a whole new world—a world she felt an instant rapport with. It was like discovering a part of her soul she’d never known existed. And she had to immerse herself in it.

She’d entertained the idea of flying to Lake Tahoe for the week and then returning to fulfill her dream. Her parents would definitely pay for that. But given the long international travel, the flight changes, the time differences, and the jet lag, Tahoe would put too much of a crimp in the many plans she had for her break between semesters. She’d had invitations from school friends who said she could stay with them during her travels—friends from Germany and so many other countries.

The world was at her feet.

No, despite how much she loved her family, she had to do things her way this time. There’d be other Februarys, other trips to Tahoe. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

She was still drinking her beer and lamenting her situation when a masculine voice from behind her said, “Hallo. Kann ich mitmachen?”

Turning, Lauren saw a handsome, rugged-featured guy, gazing at her with raised brows. He was asking if he could join her.

“Sind Sie allein?” he asked, glancing to her right and to her left.

“Yes, I’m alone,” she answered in German. “And, yes, please join me.”

The man came around and slid onto the bench seat. He propped his elbow on the table, signalling to the waitress that he’d have the same as the lady. The waitress nodded, hurrying off to get his refreshment.

He turned his gaze back to Lauren. “You’re American,” he noted, speaking English that was heavily accented.

“Guilty as charged,” she responded in English. “Is it that obvious?” She gave him a rueful look.

He smiled, idly playing with the gold chain around his neck. “Your German is quite good. But I picked up the American…what’s the word you use? Twang.”

Lauren had to laugh. “It’s my turn to take a stab at it, then. You’re French? Slavic? A combination of both?”

“The last.“ His smile widened. “You have a good ear, as well.”

“Your German and your English are excellent. I guess I just got lucky.”

“Speaking of getting lucky, what’s your name?” he asked.

His boldness took her aback, but she answered anyway. “Lauren. What’s yours?”

“Marko.” He held out his hand, which Lauren shook. “I’m in Munich on business. And you?”

“I’m an exchange student. I’m on break, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some time exploring Europe.”

Marko looked intrigued. “I can give you a few tips.” A mischievous glint lit his eyes. “Or I could travel with you for a few days and give you the best taste of Munich you’ll ever have.”

Lauren felt flushed. She was twenty years old. She knew very well what Marko meant by “the best taste.” She should be offended. But she couldn’t help being flattered. He was older, good-looking, and charming.
Nonetheless, she wasn’t stupid. And she wasn’t in the market for a hookup.

“Thanks, but I’m tackling this trip on my own,” she replied. “I’m meeting up with friends later, but I’m good as planned.”

“Pity.” The glint in his eyes faded with regret. “Then at least let me give you some pointers about the best sights to see and the best restaurants and places to visit.”

“That would be fantastic.” Lauren rummaged in her purse for a pen and paper. Having found them, she set her bag on the floor between them.

She spent the next twenty mesmerizing minutes listening to Marko detail the highlights of Munich and other parts of Bavaria, as she simultaneously scribbled down what he was saying.

“Thank you so much,” she said when he was finished. “This is like a guided tour.”

“Once again, I could do it in person.”

“And once again, I’m flattered, but no thank you.” Lauren signaled for her check, reaching into her bag and retrieving a twenty euro bill when the waitress approached the table. “The rest is for you,” she told her.

“I’ll take care of that,” Marko offered, stopping Lauren by catching her wrist and simultaneously fishing for his wallet. Evidently, he was still holding out hope that she would change her mind.

“That’s okay. I’ve got it.” Lauren wriggled out of his grasp, leaned forward, and completed the transaction.

“You’ve been a tremendous help,” she said to Marko as she rose. “I’m glad we met.”

This time it was she who extended her hand.

Reluctantly, he shook it. “I hope we meet again, Lauren. I’ll look for you the next time I’m in Munich.”

Still smiling, Lauren left the café and walked through the wide cobblestone apron outside. There were little tables with umbrellas scattered about, with patrons chatting and eating. Sated by the beer and pretzel, she inhaled happily, and then, walking over to the sidewalk, began what she expected to be a thoughtful stroll. Maybe she’d text her parents this time, try explaining her position without all the drama of a phone call.

She was halfway down the street when she heard a male voice call after her, “Lauren!”

She turned to see Marko hurrying in her direction. “Here.” He extended his arm, a familiar iPhone in his hand. “You left this on the table.”

“Oh, thank you.” How could she have been so careless? She protected her cell phone like a small child. “I’d be lost without that—“

As she spoke, a Mercedes van tore around the corner and came screeching up to them.

The near doors were flung open, and a stocky man jumped out, his face concealed by a black hood. Before Lauren could so much as blink, he grabbed her, yanking a burlap sack over her head and tossing her over his shoulder.

“Merr në makinë,” he said in a language Lauren didn’t understand.

By this time, Lauren had recovered enough to struggle for her freedom. Her legs flailed in the air, kicking furiously, and she pounded on the man’s back as he carried her and flung her into the back of the van.
Marko jumped in behind her, slamming the doors shut and barking out something in the same dialect as the other man—neither French nor Slavic—as the stocky barbarian held her down.

Finally finding her voice, Lauren let out a scream, which was quickly muffled by the pressure of Marko’s hand over her mouth. She could taste the wool of the sack, and she inclined her head so she could breathe through her nose.

A short-lived reprieve.

Marko fumbled around, then shoved a handkerchief under the sack, covering her nose and mouth. Lauren thrashed her head from side to side, struggling to avoid it. The odor was sickeningly sweet and citrusy.

Chloroform.

Tears burned behind her eyes. Shock waves pulsed through her body.

Oh God, she didn’t want to die.

Marko clamped his other hand on the back of her head, holding it in place while he forced the handkerchief flush against her nose and mouth, making it impossible for her to escape.

Dizziness. Nausea. Black specks. Nothing.

“Shko,” Marko ordered his accomplice, shoving him toward the driver’s seat.

The van screeched off, headed to hell.

***

Excerpt from Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane. Copyright © 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.

Andrea Kane

Andrea KaneAndrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including fifteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.

Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week, adds the Zermatt Group into the mix—a covert team of former military and spy agency operatives. With a week to save a young woman from ruthless kidnappers, this globe-spanning chase, from the beerhalls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia will keep readers guessing until the very end. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks, The Murder That Never Was, and A Face to Die For.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Author Hometown – Warren, New Jersey

Q&A with Andrea Kane

Writing:
Q: Which of your characters do you dislike the most and why?
A: Hmmm… given DEAD IN A WEEK’s storyline, how do I answer this question without giving too much away? I’ll start out by saying that I have the same kind of emotional attachment and sense of loyalty to the Zermatt Group as I do to the Forensic Instincts team. I could never dislike any of them, and if I did, they’d be gone! That covers the “good guys”. Next, come the gray characters—the ones who are unpleasantly flawed but not evil. Some of them I pity, some of them ruffle my feathers, and some of them truly irk me. Still, it’s the unconscionable characters, the ones who commit despicable and unforgivable acts—those are the ones I can’t help but hate. The problem here is, I can’t tell you who they are since it would ruin the book for you! But, trust me, once you’ve turned the final page, you’ll know exactly who I mean.

Q: Which of your characters is the hardest to write and why?
A: The Zermatt Group makes its debut in DEAD IN A WEEK, so I had to dig deep to create the “core four”. I already had a connection to Aidan Devereaux, from his assistance on Forensic Instincts cases, and from the fact that he’s Marc’s brother and Abby’s daddy. He was the first Zermatt team member (as it should be, since he’s the guy at the helm!) that I fleshed out, and he quickly grew to be exactly who he was meant to be (his decision, not mine!). That left Simone, Philip, and Terri. An easy choice: Terri. Her way over-the-top techno-sophistication, her scientific focus, and her more insular personality are all so diametrically opposed to who I am that I had to really get inside her head (not to mention doing a lot of research) to flesh her out and watch her become a real person. She’s so brilliant that it was worth the effort!

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through writing?
A: That there’s no half-measure and no shortcuts. The basics still hold true: You must care deeply about the characters you create, whether it’s love or hate, and feel the excitement of the storyline as it unfolds and the danger escalates. If you don’t, you can’t expect your readers to. I set super high standards for myself, and I do everything I can to meet or exceed those standards. My ultimate goal is always to write the very best book I can write.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge to your writing career?
A: Balancing my professional and my personal life without compromising either, which I refuse to do. I lay out great organizational timelines, but life always intervenes and blows my schedule apart. So I ride the waves, but, given what a diehard perfectionist I am, the thing that usually goes by the wayside is my sleep. Oh, and my housework, but that’s secondary to me.

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A: I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, long before I could write them down. I’d play them out through my stuffed animals, through the books that I read, through the wonder of my imagination. As soon as I could, I started writing smaller pieces—essays, stories, and, of course, long, long journal entries. I always loved to read and I always loved to write. When my daughter was little, I wrote book reviews, which taught me a great deal about being concise—and about the fact that I wasn’t born to be concise! At a certain point, when my ideas kept growing and growing, I decided to take the plunge and try my hand at a novel. Despite the grueling work hours, setbacks, and struggles along the way, I’ve never regretted my decision and never once looked back. I know the saying is trite, but for me it’s still true: Writing is really who I am, not just what I do.

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: The creation of the Zermatt Group, and its integration with the Forensic Instincts team, was truly a labor of love for me. I hope you feel the same way when you read DEAD IN A WEEK.

Fun Questions:

Q: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
A: I’ve been asked this question before and I never have an answer. My characters are so specific in my mind that no actors or actresses ever feel right to play the parts. I wish I could give you a better answer, but I just don’t have one. I doubt I ever will.

Q: Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
A: Since a good chunk of DEAD IN A WEEK takes place in Croatia, I had to do months of long-distance research. My FBI liaison (a/k/a my lifesaver) connected me up with everyone from law enforcement to dairy farmers, all of whom were beyond generous with their time and knowledge. The dairy farmers sent me a fabulous care package of kulen (their own high quality sausage) and a home produced bottle of Rakia (a fruit brandy I had never tasted but later learned had a 50% alcohol content). I savored the kulen and then took a deep swallow of the Rakia. My insides burst into flames and my sinuses sure cleared up in a hurry! Wow! That stuff is potent! I was slumped over the table after one glass and didn’t do any writing that night. 

Q: Favorite foods?
A: Hands-down, pizza and ice cream.

Q: Favorite activities?
A: Playing with my 1-year-old granddaughter, cuddling up with my Pomeranian, and watching the New York Yankees.

Catch Up With Our Author On: AndreaKane.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be 6 winners. One winner (1) will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and five (5) winners will receive an eBook copy of Dead In A Week. The giveaway begins on March 18, 2019 and runs through April 21, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Feb 132019
 
Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits Tour banner

Rotten Peaches

by Lisa de Nikolits

on Tour February 1-28, 2019

Synopsis:

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches is a gripping epic filled with disturbing and unforgettable insights into the human condition. Love, lust, race and greed. How far will you go? Two women. Two men. One happy ending. It takes place in Canada, the U.S. and South Africa. Nature or nurture. South Africa, racism and old prejudices — these are hardly old topics but what happens when biological half-siblings meet with insidious intentions? Can their moral corruption be blamed on genetics — were they born rotten to begin with? And what happens when they meet up with more of their ilk? What further havoc can be wreaked, with devastating familial consequences?

“Wow. Just wow. Lisa de Nikolits’ Rotten Peaches blew me away. A dark, compulsive, and addictive story in which the characters’ secrets and needs conflict with each other and fold back in on themselves in an ever-tightening noose, Rotten Peaches will keep readers gripped until the very last page. Highly recommended!” —Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Suspense Thriller
Published by: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series
Publication Date: September 20th 2018
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 1771335297 (ISBN13: 9781771335294)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Inanna | Goodreads

Rotten Peaches Trailer:

Read an excerpt:

I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man. I went too far this time, and there’s no going back. There’s no going anywhere, period. I nearly stayed afloat, but my luck ran out. Luck, that mystical mythical glue that holds the shards of despair together and makes life navigable. But fragmented despair, that’s what sinks you.

It’s the middle of the day and the ghost of a cat walks across my bed. I am hidden in the downy softness of bleach-laundered sheets, sheets ironed with starch and cleansed of their filthy sins by scalding Catholic water.

The bed is high and wide and the pillows are like clouds ripped from a summer’s sky. I bury my head in cotton balls, puffy meringues and whipped cream, and try to ignore the ghost of the cat that is walking the length of my back.

The cat settles at my feet but it gets up again and pads along my legs. When it first started its prowl, I sat up and reached for it but, like all ghosts, it immediately vanished and waited for me to turn away before settling in a warm, heavy lump against my side. Its weight is comforting in a way, like being massaged by the hand of God, but it isn’t God. It can’t be,because God, like luck, has left the building of my life.

***

Excerpt from Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits. Copyright © 2018 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.

 

Bonus Content!

Bake Your Way To Happiness by Lisa de Nikolits
amazon barnes & noble Goodreads

In addition to Lisa’s amazing new thriller, she’s also released a new cookbook. To celebrate she’s sharing the recipe for one of the South African desserts mentioned in Rotten Peaches!

Download your copy today & start baking your way to a nourished body and spirit!

Click Here to Download Your Copy of Melk Tert Recipe

 

Author Bio:

Lisa de Nikolits

Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain. Her seventh novel, No Fury Like That will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo, in 2019. Previous works include The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, Witchdoctor’s Bones; Between The Cracks She Fell and The Nearly Girl. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto and her very new book, Rotten Peaches is hot off the press to reader and literary acclaim. Lisa a member of the Sisters in Crime, Toronto Chapter, Sisters in Crime, Mesdames of Mayhem, The International Thriller Writers.

Q&A with Lisa de Nikolits

Which of your characters do you dislike the most and why?
That’s like asking a mother which of her children she dislikes the most! I love them all. A lot of them are pretty weird and they behave in self-destructive and morally reprehensible ways but that’s what makes them so interesting! One day, in the afterlife, I’d love to hold a banquet and invite every character I’ve ever written! All of them! Or maybe we’d rent out a resort in the Bahamas for a month and get to know each other!

Which of your character is the hardest to write and why? Leonie who was hard to write and she definitely took the most work. I think it’s because I thought she was perfectly formed in her first draft and it took the persistent nudging of a good friend to say hey, who is this gal? Once I started fleshing her out, I just loved working with her!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through writing?
That you can work as hard as you like, be the hardest worker in the world and still, you may not be able to make your dreams comes true. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success and not even success guarantees success. I know a lot of really talented writer friends who’ve had bestselling novels and they’re struggling to find homes for their more recent books. It’s one of life’s assumptions that if you reach a certain point, that there will be no downhill from there but that’s so untrue! Which is why I love watching documentaries about movie stars or writers or musicians who peaked and then fell and then rose again and it was even sweeter the second time around. Also, you get to see how extremely hard those artists work, they practice every day, write every day, and they’re relentless in their comittment to their craft even when you’d think they’d be ready to sit on their laurels and enjoy doing not much of anything in the sunshine!

What has been your biggest challenge to your writing career
The biggest challenge is that I don’t write a straightforward, genre type of novel. Readers, booksellers, agents and publishers like books that neatly fit a slot and mine don’t do that! And if you mention the word ‘cross-genre’, people get suspicious. And the question, ‘who do you write like, or so what are your books about, or, tell me a book that’s similar to yours

What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve tirelessly written books for the past thirty years! However, in the beginning, I didn’t actually realize what it meant, to write a book. I didn’t know anything about plot arcs or character development or strong dialogue or setting as character. I studied English Literature (with the goal of wanting to become a writer) but back in the day, we didn’t have creative writing courses. So I wrote long manuscripts that were awful streams of consciousness – terrible things!

The very first book I wrote was called Single Girls Go Mad Sooner and it was supposed to be a collaborative effort with an illustrator friend of mine. I would write anecdotes about dating (pre-Internet!) and she would illustrate these tales of disaster! This was in my early twenties. Then she bailed on me and I went ahead and wrote it anyway. It was, truly, one of the most poorly written collection of short stories to ever see the light of day but at least I tried! I always tell myself that, to not be disparaging of my early efforts because they all showed passion and commitment and the desire to do that which I really felt was my calling. Thankfully, there are no copies of Single Girls Go Mad Sooner out there and at one point I thought of rewriting it and I read it and shuddered! There wasn’t anything at all to salvage from it!

So really, the first book I sat down to really write in a proper way, was The Witchdoctor’s Bones, which was twelve years ago. By that time, I had attended conferences and workshops, I had read books on writing by the stack, I studied books in a different way, I dissected books to see how they had been written. I left my day job (madness!) and sat down and wrote The Witchdoctor’s Bones.

And one more note, clearly I hadn’t done my homework well enough because I wrote the book at 220 000 words! The average book length should be between 70-85 000 words! This resulted in many rejection letters and a lot of rewriting but the The Witchdoctor’s Bones made it into the world in 2014 and I was just delighted! I still love this book so very much

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d like to say, please give Rotten Peaches a try! I know some readers are more used to my more serio-comedic books, like The Nearly Girl and No Fury Like That but Rotten Peaches will give you a good read! It has a unique setting and story line and it’s a good, entertaining read! When I read a book, the thing I want most, is to escape into that world and I offer readers an escape!

Fun Questions:
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I can see Charlize Theron as Bernice and Sandra Bullock as Leonie. Both are very strong women and would bring such power to the roles! And I’d love to see Sandra Bullock as the really nasty sociopathic, amoral Leonie.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
I tried to turn one aspect of Rotten Peaches into reality! In Rotten Peaches, Bernice is the author of self-help cookbooks and I thought this would be a hit in real life! So I got together with a wonderful therapist, Marilyn Riesz, and an extremely talented food editor, Gilean Watts, and we came up with Bake Your Way to Happiness. You can find it on Amazon (link below). Unfortunately this book did not fly in the way that I truly believed it would (and should!) but you never know, it’s day might still come – it really is a wonderful book and it got great reviews! https://amzn.to/2FhJjxe

Favorite foods?
My husband, Brad, made slow-cooked scalloped potatos with aged cheddar, garlic and parmesan cheese! That is definitely my most favourite thing in the world right now! Followed by birthday cake! Give me those two things in one meal and I’d be ecstatic!

Favorite activities?
Having a nap is definitely on the top of my charts! Talking to my cat, having a few good reads on the go at the same time, finding a fabulous new series to binge watch! I love finding a series with about eight episodes because that way you’re not going to lose your entire life for months but just a few hours! I’d love to watch Sons of Anarchy but with seven seasons and ten episodes (and actually I think there are more!), that’s 70 hours! Which is, I guess, two work weeks, so if I ever have a two week vacation and don’t know what to do with myself, I’ll do that! I love going for bike rides in summer and I also love exploring abandoned places! If there’s a hole in the fence, I’m in! Travel is high on my list too. If I won the lottery, Brad and I would travel the world, with the cat of course!

 photo LDN 200.png

Catch Up With Lisa On:
lisadenikolitswriter.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Lisa de Nikolits picture credit Richard Picton

 

Tour Participants:



Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lisa de Nikolits. There will be 5 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be 1 2nd Prize winner of one (1) Print Edition of Rotten Peaches (US & Canadian Mailing Addresses only). There will be 3 additional winners of one (1) eBook Edition of Rotten Peaches. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2019 and runs through March 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Dec 132018
 

The Winner Maker

by Jeff Bond

on Tour December 1-31, 2018

Synopsis:

The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond

Bob Fiske — the 74-year-old dinosaur who’s taught Honors English and coached varsity football for five decades — is missing.

To his Winners, class favorites Fiske designated over the years for their potential to “Live Big,” it’s heartbreaking. Fiske did more than inspire with soaring oratory; he supported their ambitions into adulthood. Four of his brightest former stars reunite to find him, putting high-octane careers on hold, slipping police barricades, racing into the wilds of Northern Michigan for clues about the fate of their legendary mentor.

Others don’t see a legend. They see an elitist whose time has passed.

When a current student — female — disappears just hours into the Winners’ search amid rumors of inappropriate meetings, the Great Man’s reputation is a shambles.

Feints, betrayal, explosive secrets from their own pasts: as facts emerge, each Winner must decide how far they’ll go for Fiske. Can the truth redeem him? Or has this cult of hyper-achievement spawned a thing so vile none of their lives will survive intact?

“An exhilarating and emotionally astute mystery.” ~ Kirkus

Book Details:

Genre: Upmarket Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 1st 2018
Number of Pages: 332
ISBN: 1732255202 (ISBN13: 9781732255203)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Jeff Bond

Author Bio:

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

 

 

Q&A with Jeff Bond

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

I do, from both. I keep a running document of story ideas – categorized into “short,” “novella,” and “novel” – and try to add at least one per day. Generally it’ll be something inspired by my day, an interesting person I crossed paths with or situation I or one of my kids faced; or by a news story.

I subscribe to The New York Times on Kindle and live in constant regret for not reading it cover-to-cover, because every time I do, I find a great germ of a story.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

It varies. I’m a big upfront plotter, and before I sit down to write any scene at the level of dialog or physical description, I’ll know all the major plot points. (Which is not to say they can’t change later, either based on my own or early readers’ thoughts.) Sometimes the climax comes to me first—if you have a well-defined protagonist and antagonist, you can often imagine how they ought to collide for maximum effect.

Other times, particularly if the element driving a story is character or setting/milieu rather than situation or episode, I’ll just start brainstorming complications and possible twists, sprinkling them throughout an outline, and the plot emerges sort of all at once.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

While I certainly steal certain traits or mannerisms, I don’t have any characters – at least in The Winner Maker – that’re very close to real people. It can be tempting to do with minor characters. For example, if you want to quickly characterize a setting and know a person who typifies that place, you feel like just rolling them out with a different name. I try not to.

With major characters, in my experience, it can’t really work. You’re always going to need something different to support your plot or maximize conflict – even if it’s just a stray hobby or expertise.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I keep it pretty simple. Coffee and laptop. A café, library, or botanical gardens in good weather. I used to write in the early morning hours before going to a regular nine-to-five job, which conditioned me to write anywhere and make use of small windows of time.

Tell us why we should read this book.

The Winner Maker is unique in that it delivers high-octane thrills and reversals in the style of Harlan Coben or James Patterson, but does it using complex, likable characters you’ll recognize from real life.

I thought Kirkus Reviews captured this well: “Bond collapses two distinct literary genres into one seamless novelistic whole: a mystery and an emotional drama…The novel’s central mystery is thrilling, but the true spine of the tale is the fragile connections between the past Winners, who must not only investigate Fiske’s disappearance, but also the authenticity of their lives and friendships.”

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Gillian Flynn, Tana French, Jonathan Franzen, Nick Hornby, Harlan Coben

What are you reading now?

For me, Beartown by Fredrik Backman. To my kids, Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

My follow-up is called Blackquest 40. It’s more of a go-go thriller than Winner, a fresh take on the Die Hard formula about San Francisco tech workers whose office is locked down for a forty-hour corporate training exercise—or so they’re told as the story begins.

I’m just finishing final edits and plan a mid-May release.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

I’m afraid parenting duties have eroded my knowledge of current movie actors who might play my Winners–in their late twenties—but for the title role of Bob Fiske, the missing teacher, I’ll take Ian McKellen.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Basketball when I can find the time, and listening to audiobooks every morning while walking the dog.

Favorite meal?

Pozole, a pork and hominy Mexican stew.

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

 

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook!

 

Read an excerpt:

Bob Fiske stalked out onto a glass-bottomed observation box of the Sears Tower, appearing to join the sky. His hair, wild and white, whorled with the passing clouds. His strides were at once rickety—owing to seventy-four-year-old joints—and resolute, each footfall seeming to make gravity, to seize its own plane of air.

He planted the portable lectern before his students with a leathered fist. “Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning brightly, poetry is just the ash.”

The entire honors English class, and more than one passing tourist, considered this in reverential silence. The students’ faces glowed with a mishmash of excitements. They were out of school on a field trip! They had to recite a poem by heart; would they remember?

Being here with Fiske—Coach Fiske, Fiske the Great, Fiske the Feared—made them feel the way all high-school seniors should at least once during this final, never-to-be-forgotten year: special. Sure that every important thing in life was happening right here, right now, to them uniquely.

Marna Jacobs (left side, midway back) felt all this too, but more pressing was the weight of dual backpacks on her shoulders. What had Jesse put in this thing, lead? She shifted to resettle the load more comfortably over her five-one frame.

A voice behind her said, “Ooh, Marna, carrying your boyfriend’s bag for him? How old-fashioned. Part of the new vintage motif?”

It was Caitlyn of the perfect cheekbones and 4.5 GPA, a surefire Winner when Fiske’s list came out.

“Jesse’s not my boyfriend.” Marna crossed her ankles, suddenly less psyched about her thrift-store oxfords.

“Didn’t you two go to homecoming together?”

“We, um, broke up.”

“And you’ve accepted the demotion to pack mule?” Caitlyn said with a grin of ice.

Marna and Jesse were outsiders here, AP English being their only honors class. While the others elbowed for brownie points, Marna tried to fly under the radar—a strategy that had worked until last month when Mr. Fiske had praised her Brave New World essay as “refreshing, primitively honest.” Now Caitlyn ridiculed her at every turn.

Still, the question was legit. Marna had been standing around waiting to board one of the tower’s shockingly fast elevators when Jesse nudged her, asking if she’d leave his backpack on the glass bottom for him. Without waiting for an answer, he’d heaved the pack onto her shoulder. When she’d complained it was heavy, he had said all she had to do was leave it on the glass—then he slipped away as every ligament in Marna’s neck and upper back croaked under the burden.

“We’re friends,” Marna said now. “Friends do each other favors.”

Caitlyn sneered around the observation deck. The first student was approaching the podium, stealing a last peek at her crinkled notes. “What’s inside, a bomb? You two always were quiet. Maybe too quiet.”

Marna squirmed underneath the pack. It couldn’t be a bomb. Right? Everyone had gone through security. Jesse’s pack had been X-rayed.

She thought. Was pretty sure.

“Marna brought a bomb?” Todd Bruckmueller said, overhearing.

Caitlyn opened her shoulders to a larger audience. “Maybe.”

“This is really mean, you guys, I—”

“Let’s see!”

Todd, right tackle for the football team, reached for the pack. Marna hunched like a threatened armadillo but couldn’t keep Todd from dislodging one arm. They struggled. Marna dug an elbow into the oaf’s ribs. He lost his grip, and the pack crashed to the glass floor.

Driven less by loyalty to Jesse than rage, Marna grabbed one strap. Todd grabbed the other. Security personnel moved dimly in the periphery.

“Enough.”

The word boomed forth, sucking all air from the fight. Marna first thought Todd had said it—so loud, his meat-pie face right here—before spotting the pair of Illinois State 6A Championship rings against his neck. The rings belonged to Fiske. The septuagenarian had his 230-pound lineman in a half nelson.

“Poor form, Mr. Bruckmueller.” Fiske unhanded Todd, then turned to Marna with a wink. “I cordially invite you to Wildkit Stadium this afternoon, four o’clock sharp, to witness your tormentor ascending and descending the east stairs in rapid succession. Two hundred flights or heatstroke, whichever comes first.”

Before Marna could respond—was she supposed to respond? could Fiske get busted for laying hands on a student like that?—a metallic clunk sounded nearby. Jesse’s pack began sliding in the direction of the noise.

“Hey, what—what’s happening?” Todd said, scurrying back.

Marna instinctively raised her hands. Three guards were beelining her way, fingers pressed to earpieces. Students and tourists alike scattered. The backpack moved seven inches across the glass floor before locking into place with a small, intense shimmy.

Directly below, on the underside of the glass and suspended 103 stories above Wacker Drive, a hook protruded from a squat black cylinder.

A magnet.

That’s why the backpack was so heavy. There’s a gigantic magnet inside.

The hook was closed, and now a hand—a hand?—emerged from the void to clip what looked like a fat red ribbon onto it. The backpack’s fabric strained about the glass in a circle, the magnet inside perfectly mirroring the magnet below.

Marna squinted to make sure this wasn’t allergies messing with her eyes. Also, the day was overcast; up here, they were literally in the clouds.

“Oh. My. God.”

Jesse.

Suspended upside down, staring at her with that wobbly grin. The diamond-check soles of his shoes visible through the glass, he held on by a short length of the ribbon—which Marna saw was a bungee cord. The rest of the cord dangled far below, lilting now back against the skyscraper, now out over the Chicago River, twisting and kinking, rippling, the greatest part shrouded in fog.

Marna staggered into a row with the security guards. How did he get up there? Are those magnets seriously gonna hold? Will the guards shoot him, or Tase him? Can you Tase through glass?

The guards barked into walkie-talkies. When one stepped toward the pack, Jesse felt for something behind his waist and gave the bungee two sharp tugs.

“No!” Marna screamed. “You stupid jerk, no! Whatever you’re thinking!”

But she recognized the sequence he was rushing through: the harness buckling, the strap cinching, his rawboned fingers jittery but unhesitating. Technical rock climbing was Jesse’s thing—he actually taught yuppies at a downtown bouldering gym. He could do it in his sleep.

Marna flattened her whole body to the glass floor, fingers splayed, nose squished. “Why? What is the point, J? Stop!”

Into the misty chasm, her words were weak and scrabbling and basically nothing.

Jesse glanced past her. As his wild pupils settled on Fiske, his face took on a dreamy, near-euphoric blush.

The venerable teacher stood with arms folded. Impassive. Like Marna, Jesse had been encouraged by Fiske—had won kudos for his “exuberant prose style,” even been assigned an extracurricular joint project with one of Fiske’s pet students. In recent weeks, Jesse had even talked about making Winner.

“Respect your life!” Fiske called down. “Cherish it. Be the keeper of its sanctity.”

He knelt beside Marna and, placing both hands on the glass, glared down. She had a fleeting notion that the Great Man could grab Jesse, that those gnarled fingers were capable of parting glass—or transmuting through, or willing matter around, something—and rescuing him.

The blush heightened in Jesse’s face. His eyes pulsed. The sinews of his neck became taut and grotesque.

He plunged. Leading with his forehead, Adam’s apple slicing the clouds. He was a falling, twisting, shrinking blur.

Smaller, smaller…very small.

Marna had almost lost the dot when an enormous white tarp exploded upward through the fog. A block-print message snapped into view across its expanse:

LIVE BIG.

***

Excerpt from The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond. Copyright © 2018 by Jeff Bond. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Bond. All rights reserved.

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 1, 2018 and runs through January 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Nov 282018
 

The Devil’s Son

by Charles Kowalski

on Tour November 19 – December 21, 2018

Synopsis:

The Devil's Son by Charles Kowalski

 

 

The son of a notorious Nazi fugitive is running for U.S. President. A Secret Service Agent sworn to protect him meets a beautiful Mossad spy determined to stop him.

 

 

 

 

Book Details:

Genre: Political, Espionage thriller
Published by: Seabridge Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 333
ISBN: 1724248731 (ISBN13: 9781724248732)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Charles Kowalski

Charles Kowalski is an active member of International Thriller Writers. His debut thriller, MIND VIRUS, won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Award, and was a finalist for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller of 2017. His latest, THE DEVIL’S SON, was shortlisted for the 2018 Adventure Writers’ Competition Grandmaster Award. He divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university, and Downeast Maine.

Catch Up With Charles Kowalski On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Q&A with Charles Kowalski

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

I started this book by drawing from current events, but then current events caught up with the book – and overtaken it, in frightening ways that I couldn’t have foreseen. As C.S. Lewis once said, “The trouble with writing satire is that the real world always anticipates you, and things that were meant as exaggerations turn out to be nothing of the sort.”

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I start with a concept. When I sit down to write, I start from the beginning and have a fair idea where the story will go. I don’t start unless I can see the ending, but invariably, there are twists and turns on the way that take me by surprise.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
Any similarity to any actual persons, events, or presidents is purely coincidental.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I have a full-time job and a family, so I write in stolen moments – on trains, in cafes, in the office after the day’s work is done, or at home after everyone has gone to bed. I often get my best ideas when I’m in motion, either going for a walk or performing some mindless task, so I’ll often have my laptop on the kitchen counter when washing the dishes or hanging the laundry, just in case inspiration strikes.

Tell us why we should read this book.

To make sure it stays in the fiction section.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I’ve been inspired by other writers of thrillers with a religious angle, like Dan Brown and Daniel Silva. I’ve also been encouraged by other Japan-based thriller writers whose scope has expanded worldwide, like Barry Eisler and Barry Lancet; I hope I can do the same, even though my name isn’t Barry!

What are you reading now?

I’m eagerly looking forward to starting the Detective Hiroshi series by a fellow Japan-based author, Michael Pronko.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

After two highly charged, research-intensive thrillers, MIND VIRUS and THE DEVIL’S SON, I’m working on something lighter and hopefully non-controversial: a middle-grade historical fantasy set in 17th century Japan, featuring Simon Grey, an English boy who runs away to sea to escape from his “gift” of seeing ghosts.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Gal Gadot as Rachel. As for Henry Hale, Aaron Eckhart says he doesn’t want to play any more villains, but I hope he’d make an exception.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Besides writing? Or did you mean “favorite means of procrastination”? I confess before the assembly of the faithful that I’m more easily distracted by the siren song of social media (that counts as writing, right?) and Netflix (that counts as research, right?) than I would like to be.

Favorite meal?

My default lunch on a busy writing day is spaghetti pepperoncino made with habanero-infused olive oil. Definitely not for the faint of heart!

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

 

Read an excerpt:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1960

Azriel “Azi” Horowitz grimaced as his partner’s Zippo flared in the darkness beside him. He had never been a smoker, and in the confines of the Ford Mainline – a clunker, but the best rental they could find, and not out of place in the working-class Olivos neighborhood in Partido Vicente Lopez – the fumes from the Lucky Strikes nauseated him.

“Yaki, you know I have a little problem with noxious gases in closed spaces.”

Yaakov Lavan shrugged, with his usual easygoing grin. “We’re just two old friends having a chat, right, Azi? And we have to do it in the car, because my wife won’t let me smoke near the baby.”

Horowitz had to concede the point, although he still thought it was a rather thin cover story. One small mercy of operating in Argentina was that the sight of two men conversing in a parked car at night was not altogether uncommon, but every little extra touch of realism they could add was vital. If anyone accosted them, they would have a lot more explaining to do than either of them could manage in Spanish.

Lavan took a deep drag from his cigarette, held it for a moment, and slowly exhaled a white cloud with a look of supreme contentment. As much as Horowitz hated the smell of tobacco, he felt a touch of envy for his partner, and wished he had some similarly portable means of calming his own nerves. His mind continually flitted over the long journey that had brought them to this moment – the years of detective work that had traced their targets to Argentina, the months of secretly stalking and planning in their theater of operations – and all the hundreds of things that could still go wrong.

In addition to the unease in his mind, Horowitz felt another kind in his body: he desperately needed a bathroom break. Thanks to one of the men they were waiting for, his kidneys had stopped growing at the age of seven.

Their targets called themselves Carlos Vasquez and José Mendoza, and had the identity cards to prove it, but Horowitz had first made their acquaintance under different names. One was SS Hauptsturmführer Karl Weiss, #7278, the sadistic Lagerführer – deputy commandant – of Auschwitz. The other, holding the same SS rank, was Josef Mengele, #317885, a living desecration of the title of “doctor.” Anyone who had ever passed through the gates of Auschwitz knew him by yet another name: der Totesengel, the Angel of Death.

If all goes well, Horowitz thought, tonight will be a night for the history books. With luck and the blessing of the Almighty, they would soon have their targets in hand and be on their way to the safe house code-named Tira – “castle” in Hebrew – where Mengele and Weiss would go straight into an improvised holding cell, to join the worst of the worst: SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, “the Master,” architect of the Holocaust, personally responsible for the murder of millions.

The Israeli government naturally regarded Eichmann as the grand prize, but Horowitz had a personal score to settle with Mengele and Weiss. As soon as the cattle car arrived in Auschwitz, Weiss had sent Horowitz’s mother and father directly to the gas chambers, but knowing Mengele’s notorious fascination with twins, kept Azriel and his sister Rachel alive as subjects for his experiments. Mengele had tried to change Rachel’s eye color by injecting her eyeballs with a substance that left her blind, and then infected her with typhus, keeping a careful record of her wasting away. When her end was near, rather than let the disease claim her, Mengele passed her on to Weiss, who used her in one final experiment to see how long it would take to die from a new type of lethal injection.

It had taken twelve minutes and nineteen seconds before she stopped screaming.

“Look,” came Lavan’s voice, bringing Horowitz sharply back to the present. “Is that them?”

Horowitz gazed through the windshield and saw two figures staggering tipsily along the route from the Hofbräuhaus, the German restaurant Mengele and Weiss were known to frequent, towards the guest house where they lived. At first, the darkness and distance made it impossible to make out their features. Then they stepped into the light of a street lamp, and Horowitz risked a quick glance through his binoculars. At the sight of their faces, he felt a sudden burning pain in his left forearm.

Fifteen years had passed since Horowitz last saw those faces, but there could be no mistaking the granite jaw and ice-blue eyes of Weiss. Nor was there any doubt about the gap-toothed smile that gave Mengele the appearance of a little boy – one who delighted in torturing anything smaller and weaker than himself. Many children in Auschwitz had seen that smile on the face of their self-proclaimed “Uncle Josef” as he sat them on his knee, gave them sweets, stroked their hair – and in a soft, soothing voice, ordered an aide to inject them with poison.

“It’s them,” Horowitz said.

“You’re sure?”

“Positive.”

Lavan stubbed out his cigarette. He turned around in the driver’s seat, pointed a hooded flashlight at the car behind them, and gave it two quick on-off bursts. The crew in the second car would relay the signal to Tabor and Rosen, who were waiting around the corner.

Right on cue, they appeared a moment later, Tabor in a suit and fedora, Rosen in a coat that would allow her ample freedom of movement. They sauntered toward Mengele and Weiss, with the same relaxed, unsteady gait as their targets, pretending to be absorbed in conversation, occasionally leaning on each other for support. To all appearances, they were a couple coming home from a party with a few too many drinks under their belts, too wrapped up in each other to take much notice of their surroundings.

They would maintain this masquerade until they passed their targets, right between the two cars. Then they would turn and grab them from behind, as the driver of the rear car switched on the high beams to blind them. Horowitz, and the other strongman in the rear car, would jump out and help Tabor and Rosen subdue their targets and bundle one of them into each car. They would apply an ether mask to knock them out, and the two cars would take off on separate routes to Tira, where they and their captives would stay until the plane was ready to take them all back to Israel.

And then, Horowitz thought, all the stories you thought would lie buried with your victims will be told to the world, from a courtroom in Jerusalem. The world will know what we mean when we say, “Never forget.”

He pulled on a pair of gloves. The May night was chill enough to warrant them, but more than that, he might have to use his hand to muffle Weiss’s screams. It revolted him to think of his bare hands touching the mouth that had ordered his parents gassed and his sister tortured to death.

Tabor and Rosen were fifty paces away from their targets and closing.

Forty paces.

Thirty.

Horowitz heard the roar of a motorcycle approaching from behind. He tensed, and took an anxious glance in the rear-view mirror. The last thing they needed at this moment was for the police to pass by. The upcoming celebrations for Argentina’s hundred-fiftieth anniversary, which had all of Buenos Aires in a festive mood, had proven to be a double-edged sword for Horowitz and his team. The diplomatic entourage from Israel, one of many visiting from all over the world, had provided the perfect cover, but the influx of high-level international visitors also meant the constant menace of police patrols and checkpoints. The Mossad team was conducting this operation without the knowledge or approval of the Argentine government, and if they were found out, they might well go to jail. And, far worse, their targets might well go free.

The motorcycle passed by the lead car. Horowitz took a sidelong glance and saw no police insignia, just a single rider driving rather unsteadily. He breathed a little easier, but his heart was still pounding.

Twenty paces.

Ten.

“Get ready to meet the real Angel of Death, you sons of bitches,” Horowitz muttered aloud.

***

Excerpt from The Devil’s Son by Charles Kowalski. Copyright © 2018 by Charles Kowalski. Reproduced with permission from Charles Kowalski. All rights reserved.

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


 

Enter to win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Kowalski. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 19, 2018 and runs through December 22, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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Sep 062018
 

The Last Weekend Of The Summer
by Peter Murphy
on Tour September 1 – October 31, 2018

The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy cover

Synopsis:

They have been coming to their grandmother Gloria’s lake cottage since they were babies. Now Johnnie and Buddy have families of their own and C.C. has a life full of adult drama and adventure. And this trip – the only stated purpose of which is to bring the family together for the last weekend of the summer – seems full of portent. Gloria has been hinting that there’s more on the agenda than grilling and swimming, and when the three siblings learn that their estranged father will also be in attendance, it becomes clear that this weekend will have implications that last far beyond the final days of the season.

A touching, incisive view into the dynamics of a family on the verge of change and filled with characters both distinctive and utterly relatable, THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER is a rich, lyrical reading experience that will resonate in your heart.

Check out my review HERE and enter the giveaway!!

 

Book Details

Genre: Literary Fiction

Published by: The Story Plant

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Number of Pages: 224

ISBN: 1611882575 (ISBN13: 9781611882575)

Purchase Links: The Last Weekend Of The Summer on Amazon The Last Weekend Of The Summer on  on Barnes & Noble The Last Weekend Of The Summer on  on Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy author
Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family had to move to Dublin. Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for “The Wine and Gold.” He also played football (soccer) in secret! After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff, Paddy, Tommy and Sean. Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London. He also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world.

But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while and ended up living there for more than thirty years. He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened. Having raised his children and packed them off to university, Murphy answered the long-ignored internal voice and began to write. He has published five novels so far and has begun work on a new one. Nowadays, he lives in beautiful Lisbon with his wife Eduarda and their well-read dog, Baxter.

 

Connect with Peter at:
peterdmurphy.com
Twitter – PeterD_Murphy
Facebook – PeterDMurphyAuthor

Q&A with Peter Murphy

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Both! In my first novel, LAGAN LOVE, history and mythology were the backdrop and Ireland’s economic boom was a force of conflict and juxtaposition. Much of the story happened in places I frequented and people I knew showed up in the book.

The times I have lived through can be found in BORN & BRED, WANDERING IN EXILE, and ALL ROADS. These books—THE LIFE & TIMES TRILOGY—spanned a period of sixty years, and global events became a part of the different characters as they followed their own paths.

Now while most writers insist that their books are not about themselves, that might not be the whole truth. Every writer has been formed by experiences that shape perspective and reaction. Writers should write about what they know and, in my case, by virtue of all that happened me along the way, I know a little about my life.

In my most recent novel, THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER, I focused entirely on family dynamics and made little reference to time and place. Family is timeless, fascinating, good and bad, and a very fertile place for a writer to work in.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

It really depends on the story. LAGAN LOVE was my homage to my home town of Dublin. I wanted to record a way of living that was being altered by progress. The ideas started to form back in the mid nineteen-seventies but the story was not written for another thirty years.

You can read more about that here: http://peterdamienmurphy.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-behind-lagan-love.html

As it was my first effort at writing a novel, I tried following the swirling story line and got hopeless lost. I would still be there if it were not for the intervention of my editor and publisher, the great and wonderful Lou Aronica, who could see far more clearly than I. Under his guidance I found my way to the end.

THE LIFE & TIMES TRILOGY happened by accident. I had the idea in mind but when I began to write it, it didn’t work—something I had to accept one hundred pages in. So, I started again, wrote almost another hundred pages and arrived at the same conclusion. Then, after a few weeks of despair and despondency, I realized that it had to be three books. I was, however, able to recycle much and now one of the original first chapters can be found near the end of the last book.

Like many things in life, wisdom and knowledge comes after the doing and each book I write teaches me a little more about writing. THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER was planned and plotted before I wrote anything.

That said, the closing scene was written very early on because it came to me one evening and I loved it. It still causes me to get a little choked up.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

Notwithstanding that: Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination etc, the answer is yes.

This was a cause for concern when I first published, but most people enjoyed seeing themselves in the pages and it became a joke amongst a small circle of friends back in Dublin.

I had one negative reaction from a person in Toronto who was very upset to be “used as a character in a novel,” but he hasn’t read it. If he did he might like the character he helped to form.

I see no point in taking a real person and applying a thin disguise. Also, people should be able to see a part of themselves in written characters. They may not like what they see but that is how we relate to each other—real or fictious, for good and bad.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

Each book has been a different experience and has changed the way I write. While writing my first, I would walk with my dog when I was trying to resolve some issue. Often the solution would form in my mind so I would phone home and leave myself a message. I also discussed plot issues with my dog and, depending on her level of disinterest, I would know what had to be done next.

Other times I stared out the window not seeing what was there. Instead I saw my imaginary creatures resolving their issues. Writers are, by many definitions, mad as hatters and the more I write the madder I become.

Tell us why we should read this book.

This is a very difficult question for me to answer as I was raised to believe that self-praise was no praise. So, in an attempt to brag modestly, I believe THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER is the written version of a weekend by the lake with family—something most of us can relate to, to invest in, and thoroughly enjoy without having to spend hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get there. It is the story of people most readers already know and will recognize. Some readers may even find themselves by the lake. And while the world around us seems to be going through one of its “confused” phases, it is a story of how we find our way through difficult times.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

The great Canadian writer, Guy Vanderhague, who produced work of such quality that he has quietly won three Governor General Awards.

Irishman Brian O’ Nolan (aka Flann O’ Brien, etc.) who made absurdity funny and normal.

J.K. Rowling who wrote books that inspired my children to read.

Gabriel García Márquez whose big books caught the world’s imagination and whose final works were masterly in their brevity, style and form.

What are you reading now?

JAMES JOYCE, by Edna O’ Brien.

THE HISTORY OF THE SIEGE OF LISBON by José Saramago.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

Yes. It began as one thing but after submitting the first draft to my editor, it is about to become the story of a simple-minded girl falling in love with a man with a dark secret. Set on the West Coast of Ireland in the early nineteen forties when neutral Ireland was trying navigate its way through the waves caused by the Second World War.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Maggie Smith as Gloria.

Kathy Bates as Mary.

Zoe Perry as Buddy.

Jason Bateman as Norm.

Rachel Mcadams as Carol.

Viggo Mortensen as Johnny.

Mariana Mourato as C.C.

Ian McKellan as Jake.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

People watching while sipping coffee in the Praça Luís de Camões in the middle of Lisbon.

Favorite meal?

Fettuccine carbonara (or puttanesca.)

Thank you for the opportunity to drop by and “chat” with your readers and for you interest in my book,

Peter

 

Read an excerpt:

As the truck slithered to a halt on the gravel road, Susie and Joey took off. It was one of their cottage rituals, running to Gloria who stood waving from the veranda. For the last few years, Joey had let Susie win but had always made it look like he was running as fast as he could. Johnnie and Carol sat back and watched. They always gave the kids a few moments with Gloria before they joined them.

“So, what’s really going on?” Carol asked without looking over at him.

“What do you mean?”

“There’s a little dark cloud hovering over your head.”

“Damn. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice it.”

“Come on, out with it.”

“Dad’s coming too. He’s coming sometime Saturday morning.”

“Does your mother know?”

“I don’t think so. Gloria wanted to break the news to everyone at the same time.”

“Oh dear, so Buddy doesn’t know yet?”

“No, and there’s more.”

There always was with his family, but Carol didn’t say that. Instead, she just sat for a moment taking it all in. And when he was finished, she squeezed his hand and leaned across to kiss his cheek. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Are you going to be okay?”

“Don’t worry about me; I’ll be fine. And we’re all going to have a great time, no matter what.” He smiled and winked at her. “Ready?”

“Showtime,” she smiled back, and she got out and walked towards the veranda. She knew what he was doing; he was getting himself ready for another weekend of enabling his sisters and his mother. She wished he wouldn’t, but there was no point in saying that. Instead, she’d be as loving and supportive as he needed her to be. It was how they dealt with life—along with having a laugh at themselves. “And stop checking out my ass,” she called over her shoulder as she went.

“Better yours than someone else’s,” Gloria laughed as she slowly descended the stairs from the veranda and kissed Carol’s cheek. She still had the most remarkable hearing. “That was something my Harry always used to say.”

“Really, Gloria, I wouldn’t have thought stuff like that would have been a problem for you guys.”

“He was blind, Carol, but he was still a man.”

Carol pretended to look shocked, but Gloria carried on as if she didn’t notice. “But you have nothing to worry about. Johnnie’s still madly in love with you, isn’t he, dear?” Gloria had a twinkle in her eye.

“Of course he is. And I’m still crazy about him—just don’t tell him.”

“I hope so, dear, because I put you two in the east room. I know it’s your favorite.”

“Thanks,” Carol took the old, brittle woman into her arms. “And are you okay, Gloria?”

“Of course I am. Why would you ask such a thing?” But she stayed in Carol’s arms for a little while longer.

“What are you two plotting?” Johnnie asked as he struggled up with their bags. “And don’t worry about me—I’ll just lug everybody’s stuff by myself.”

“And, well, you should,” Gloria reached up and kissed him, and hugged him as tight as her frail old arms would allow. “Your poor wife and children are here for a rest, so don’t be selfish and go around spoiling everything.

“So,” Gloria asked after Carol had gone to settle the kids into the new rooms over the boathouse. “Have you talked with your father?” She waited at the bottom step for Johnnie to take her by the elbow. She could have made it on her own, but she knew he liked to behave like a gentleman.

“Yes, and I hope he knows what he’s doing. It might be asking a bit too much.”

“Not of you, dear, surely?”

“No, I’m okay with it all, and I really want this to work out—for everyone. I was a bit torn up when I first heard, but it’s settled in now and, well, you know . . .”

“Yes, Johnnie, I do.” She smiled up at him and reached up to stroke his cheek. It always reminded her of Harry’s—at least his good side. “Being family means having to go through things like this, and we will all get to play our parts. Hopefully C.C.’s new love interest will provide enough distraction for your mother.”

She paused when they got to the top step and looked up at him for a moment as if she was about to say something else but changed her mind.

“What is it, Gloria? What other secrets are you keeping from me?”

“Far too many for what little time we have left. Now let’s go inside. I have some nice cold beer in the fridge. You might need some fortification before your mother gets here.”

Excerpt from The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy. Copyright © 2018 by The Story Plant. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

 

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