Apr 152020
 

Flight Risk

by Cara Putman

on Tour April 1-30, 2020

Synopsis:

Flight Risk by Cara Putman

Bestselling author Cara Putman returns with a romantic legal thriller that will challenge the assumptions of truth tellers everywhere.

Savannah Daniels has worked hard to build her law practice, to surround herself with good friends, and to be the loyal aunt her troubled niece can always count on. But since her ex-husband’s betrayal, she has trouble trusting anyone.

Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a false newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Now a fierce champion of truth, Jett is writing the story of his journalism career—an international sex-trafficking exposé that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.

When Jett’s story breaks, tragedy ensues. Then a commercial airline crashes, and one of Savannah’s clients is implicated in the crash. Men connected to the scandal, including her ex, begin to die amid mysterious circumstances, and Savannah’s niece becomes an unwitting target.

Against their better instincts, Jett and Savannah join ranks to sort the facts from fiction. But can Savannah trust the reporter who threw her life into chaos? And can Jett face the possibility that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life?

Book Details:

Genre: Political/Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 7th 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 078523327X (ISBN13: 9780785233275)
Series: This is a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Cara Putman

Cara Putman is the author of more than twenty-five legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, completed her law degree at twenty-seven, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Guest Post
Ten Facts about Savannah Daniels

1. Savannah Daniels is based on the woman who was my mentor in law school. Victoria made all the difference in that first year and then became a dear friend. She’s one of the people I still miss years after we left the DC area. I only hope I’m half the mentor to my students that Victoria was to me.

2. Savannah wants to be a good sister, but sometimes it’s really hard. I think she’s like a lot of in that respect. We want to be the person our family members need, but family has a way of putting us off balance.

3. She doesn’t want to be a loner, but she’s never sure where she fits. Even with the gals she mentors, she doesn’t quite fit…especially as their lives begin to look like the life she’d imagined but doesn’t have.

4. Savannah is stuck in the past, but hasn’t been willing to acknowledge it. That means she can’t move forward because she hasn’t released the things that have her trapped.

5. Her favorite idea of an evening is curling up with a good book from her favorite author.

6. If she could travel anywhere she’d start with Israel and then move to Budapest. There’s something about the birthplace of her faith that grabs her heart. And once she read that the castle in Budapest had been destroyed and rebuilt three times, it got added to her bucket list.

7. Savannah’s niece is the child she never had in so many ways. She’s grateful for the special relationship even when it adds tension to her relationship with her sister.

8. Savannah lives in the neighborhood we did when we lived in DC. It’s such a fun spot, basically a small town tucked inside the beltway.

9. Savannah finds too much of her identity in being excellent in all she does. That’s why her failed marriage is still a wound fifteen years later.

10. What Savannah doesn’t see in herself that those around her do is that she readily lends her strength to others. She is a rock for those who need her and will do anything for her people. That is a gift that makes her the mentor figure for the Hidden Justice heroines and for her niece.

Visit her at:
CaraPutman.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter – @Cara_Putman, & Facebook – Cara.Putman!

 

Read an excerpt:

The conversation flowed over the antipasti course and into the pasta della casa. Every bite of Savannah’s manicotti alla fiorentina was wonderful, the ricotta and spinach blending perfectly. Just when she knew she couldn’t take another bite and get anything done afterward, thanks to the food coma, a waiter came out with a slice of cheesecake. Her mouth watered as she took in the raspberries atop the homemade delight. She put a hand on her stomach and then smiled. “I hope you brought fresh forks for everyone.”

The handsome waiter flashed a bright smile. “Whatever the birthday donna wishes is my command.” He gave a slight bow and turned away. A moment later when he returned, a fist of forks at the ready, his demeanor had changed.

Emilie watched him a moment. “What’s wrong, Antonio?”

“There has been a horrible accident. It is on the TV in the office.”

“What kind of accident?” Savannah leaned toward him. “Does it involve someone you know?”

“No.” The man shook his head, and not one of his dark hairs moved. Yet his eyes were weighted with sadness and the shadow of something more. “It is a plane. It looks bad.”

“Oh no.” The memory of a plane careening by as she looked out a courtroom window in downtown Washington, DC, years earlier flashed through her mind. Savannah fought a shudder as she withdrew a credit card from her phone case and placed it on the bill, only for Hayden to slide it back to her and replace it with her own.

“Thank you.”

Please let this be a terrible accident and not the beginning of another 9/11.

Jaime’s head was bowed over her phone as she clicked the screen. “Looks like an isolated crash.”

All Savannah could think was that Jaime should add so far to her sentence. “That’s what we all thought on 9/11 too.”

Then a second plane careened into the Twin Towers. She saw the plane that hit the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, killing one of her fellow law students. She cleared her throat and stood, motioning the gals to join her.

“Let’s get back to work and see what we can learn.”

As they left her favorite restaurant, her phone buzzed and she paused to pull it out of her pocket. She glanced at the text message on the screen and her blood froze.

911. From Addy. Their emergency code.

***

Excerpt from Flight Risk by Cara Putman. Copyright 2020 by Cara Putman. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Apr 092020
 

Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan Banner

 

 

Dirty Old Town

by Gabriel Valjan

on Tour March 1 – April 30, 2020

Synopsis:

Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan

“Robert B. Parker would stand and cheer, and George V. Higgins would join the ovation. This is a terrific book–tough, smart, spare, and authentic. Gabriel Valjan is a true talent–impressive and skilled–providing knock-out prose, a fine-tuned sense of place and sleekly wry style.”– Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of The Murder List

Shane Cleary, a PI in a city where the cops want him dead, is tough, honest and broke. When he’s asked to look into a case of blackmail, the money is too good for him to refuse, even though the client is a snake and his wife is the woman who stomped on Shane’s heart years before. When a fellow vet and Boston cop with a secret asks Shane to find a missing person, the paying gig and the favor for a friend lead Shane to an arsonist, mobsters, a shady sports agent, and Boston’s deadliest hitman, the Barbarian. With both criminals and cops out to get him, the pressure is on for Shane to put all the pieces together before time runs out.

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

4 stars

This was the first book that I read by this author and thoroughly enjoyed his writing style.

Shane Cleary, P.I. and ex Boston Police Detective is down on his luck and needing some cash, gets a call from an old friend that he hasn’t seen in 10 years, Brayton Braddock, and in need of his help due to someone is blackmailing him. There is some bad blood there since Brayton also won the girl that Cleary loved at one time. But money is money.

The Boston Police would love to see Cleary go down since he went against the Brotherhood when he testified against another police officer. They are looking for him because he was on the scene when an FBI auditor was murdered.

The story takes place in the ’70’s and the writing style made me reminiscent of an early era with gumshoed investigators. The descriptive delivery, not only captivated me but allowed me to create vivid imagery.

Full of friendships, enemies, and the mafia of days past, the book was definitely character-driven with an atmospheric tale. The mystery kept the pages turning. I was pulled in and completely engrossed.

I will be checking out other books but Mr. Valjan!!!!

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Procedural, Historical Fiction
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: January 14th 2020
Number of Pages: 162
ISBN: 1087857325 (ISBN13: 9781087857329)
Series: A Shane Cleary Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The phone rang. Not that I heard it at first, but Delilah, who was lying next to me, kicked me in the ribs. Good thing she did because a call, no matter what the hour, meant business, and my cat had a better sense of finances than I did. Rent was overdue on the apartment, and we were living out of my office in downtown Boston to avoid my landlord in the South End. The phone trilled.

Again, and again, it rang.

I staggered through the darkness to the desk and picked up the receiver. Out of spite I didn’t say a word. I’d let the caller who’d ruined my sleep start the conversation.

“Mr. Shane Cleary?” a gruff voice asked.

“Maybe.”

The obnoxious noise in my ear indicated the phone had been handed to someone else. The crusty voice was playing operator for the real boss.

“Shane, old pal. It’s BB.”

Dread as ancient as the schoolyard blues spread through me. Those familiar initials also made me think of monogrammed towels and cufflinks. I checked the clock.

“Brayton Braddock. Remember me?”

“It’s two in the morning, Bray. What do you want?”

Calling him Bray was intended as a jab, to remind him his name was one syllable away from the sound of a jackass. BB was what he’d called himself when we were kids, because he thought it was cool. It wasn’t. He thought it made him one of the guys. It didn’t, but that didn’t stop him. Money creates delusions. Old money guarantees them.

“I need your help.”

“At this hour?”

“Don’t be like that.”

“What’s this about, Bray?”

Delilah meowed at my feet and did figure eights around my legs. My gal was telling me I was dealing with a snake, and she preferred I didn’t take the assignment, no matter how much it paid us. But how could I not listen to Brayton Braddock III? I needed the money. Delilah and I were both on a first-name basis with Charlie the Tuna, given the number of cans of Starkist around the office. Anyone who told you poverty was noble is a damn fool.

“I’d rather talk about this in person, Shane.”

I fumbled for pen and paper.

“When and where?”

“Beacon Hill. My driver is on his way.”

“But—”

I heard the click. I could’ve walked from my office to the Hill. I turned on the desk light and answered the worried eyes and mew. “Looks like we both might have some high-end kibble in our future, Dee.”

She understood what I’d said. Her body bumped the side of my leg. She issued plaintive yelps of disapproval. The one opinion I wanted, from the female I trusted most, and she couldn’t speak human.

I scraped my face smooth with a tired razor and threw on a clean dress shirt, blue, and slacks, dark and pressed. I might be poor, but my mother and then the military had taught me dignity and decency at all times. I dressed conservatively, never hip or loud. Another thing the Army taught me was not to stand out. Be the gray man in any group. It wasn’t like Braddock and his milieu understood contemporary fashion, widespread collars, leisure suits, or platform shoes.

I choose not to wear a tie, just to offend his Brahmin sensibilities. Beacon Hill was where the Elites, the Movers and Shakers in Boston lived, as far back to the days of John Winthrop. At this hour, I expected Braddock in nothing less than bespoke Parisian couture. I gave thought as to whether I should carry or not. I had enemies, and a .38 snub-nose under my left armpit was both insurance and deodorant.

Not knowing how long I’d be gone, I fortified Delilah with the canned stuff. She kept time better than any of the Bruins referees and there was always a present outside the penalty box when I ran overtime with her meals. I meted out extra portions of tuna and the last of the dry food for her.

I checked the window. A sleek Continental slid into place across the street. I admired the chauffeur’s skill at mooring the leviathan. He flashed the headlights to announce his arrival. Impressed that he knew that I knew he was there, I said goodbye, locked and deadbolted the door for the walk down to Washington Street and the car.

Outside the air, severe and cold as the city’s forefathers, slapped my cheeks numb. Stupid me had forgotten gloves. My fingers were almost blue. Good thing the car was yards away, idling, the exhaust rising behind it. I cupped my hands and blew hot air into them and crossed the street. I wouldn’t dignify poor planning on my part with a sprint.

Minimal traffic. Not a word from him or me during the ride. Boston goes to sleep at 12:30 a.m. Public transit does its last call at that hour. Checkered hacks scavenge the streets for fares in the small hours before sunrise. The other side of the city comes alive then, before the rest of the town awakes, before whatever time Mr. Coffee hits the filter and grounds. While men and women who slept until an alarm clock sprung them forward into another day, another repeat of their daily routine, the sitcom of their lives, all for the hallelujah of a paycheck, another set of people moved, with their ties yanked down, shirts and skirts unbuttoned, and tails pulled up and out. The night life, the good life was on. The distinguished set in search of young flesh migrated to the Chess Room on the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets, and a certain crowd shifted down to the Playland on Essex, where drag queens, truck drivers, and curious college boys mixed more than drinks.

The car was warmer than my office and the radio dialed to stultifying mood music. Light from one of the streetlamps revealed a business card on the seat next to me. I reviewed it: Braddock’s card, the usual details on the front, a phone number in ink. A man’s handwriting on the back when I turned it over. I pocketed it.

All I saw in front of me from my angle in the backseat was a five-cornered hat, not unlike a policeman’s cover, and a pair of black gloves on the wheel. On the occasion of a turn, I was given a profile. No matinee idol there and yet his face looked as familiar as the character actor whose name escapes you. I’d say he was mid-thirties, about my height, which is a liar’s hair under six-foot, and the spread of his shoulders hinted at a hundred-eighty pounds, which made me feel self-conscious and underfed because I’m a hundred-sixty in shoes.

He eased the car to a halt, pushed a button, and the bolt on my door shot upright. Job or no job, I never believed any man was another man’s servant. I thanked him and I watched the head nod.

Outside on the pavement, the cold air knifed my lungs. A light turned on. The glow invited me to consider the flight of stairs with no railing. Even in their architecture, Boston’s aristocracy reminded everyone that any form of ascent needed assistance.

A woman took my winter coat, and a butler said hello. I recognized his voice from the phone. He led and I followed. Wide shoulders and height were apparently in vogue because Braddock had chosen the best from the catalog for driver and butler. I knew the etiquette that came with class distinction. I would not be announced, but merely allowed to slip in.

Logs in the fireplace crackled. Orange and red hues flickered against all the walls. Cozy and intimate for him, a room in hell for me. Braddock waited there, in his armchair, Hefner smoking jacket on. I hadn’t seen the man in almost ten years, but I’ll give credit where it’s due. His parents had done their bit after my mother’s death before foster care swallowed me up. Not so much as a birthday or Christmas card from them or their son since then, and now their prince was calling on me.

Not yet thirty, Braddock manifested a decadence that came with wealth. A pronounced belly, round as a teapot, and when he stood up, I confronted an anemic face, thin lips, and a receding hairline. Middle-age, around the corner for him, suggested a bad toupee and a nubile mistress, if he didn’t have one already. He approached me and did a boxer’s bob and weave. I sparred when I was younger. The things people remembered about you always surprised me. Stuck in the past, and yet Braddock had enough presence of mind to know my occupation and drop the proverbial dime to call me.

“Still got that devastating left hook?” he asked.

“I might.”

“I appreciate your coming on short notice.” He indicated a chair, but I declined. “I have a situation,” he said. He pointed to a decanter of brandy. “Like some…Henri IV Heritage, aged in oak for a century.”

He headed for the small bar to pour me some of his precious Heritage. His drink sat on a small table next to his chair. The decanter waited for him on a liquor caddy with a glass counter and a rotary phone. I reacquainted myself with the room and décor.

I had forgotten how high the ceilings were in these brownstones. The only warm thing in the room was the fire. The heating bill here alone would’ve surpassed the mortgage payment my parents used to pay on our place. The marble, white as it was, was sepulchral. Two nude caryatids for the columns in the fireplace had their eyes closed. The Axminster carpet underfoot, likely an heirloom from one of Cromwell’s cohorts in the family tree, displayed a graphic hunting scene.

I took one look at the decanter, saw all the studded diamonds, and knew Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton would have done the set number of paces with a pair of hand-wrought dueling pistols to own it. Bray handed me a snifter of brandy and resumed his place in his chair. I placed my drink on the mantel. “Tell me more about this situation you have.”

“Quite simple, really. Someone in my company is blackmailing me.”

“And which company is that?”

“Immaterial at the moment. Please do take a seat.”

I declined his attempt at schmooze. This wasn’t social. This was business.

“If you know who it is,” I said, “and you want something done about it, I’d recommend the chauffeur without reservation, or is it that you’re not a hundred percent sure?”

I approached Bray and leaned down to talk right into his face. I did it out of spite. One of the lessons I’d learned is that the wealthy are an eccentric and paranoid crowd. Intimacy and germs rank high on their list of phobias.

“I’m confident I’ve got the right man.” Brayton swallowed some of his expensive liquor.

“Then go to the police and set up a sting.”

“I’d like to have you handle the matter for me.”

“I’m not muscle, Brayton. Let’s be clear about that. You mean to say a man of your position doesn’t have any friends on the force to do your dirty work?”

“Like you have any friends there?”

I threw a hand onto each of the armrests and stared into his eyes. Any talk about the case that bounced me off the police force and into the poorhouse soured my disposition. I wanted the worm to squirm.

“Watch it, Bray. Old bones ought to stay buried. I can walk right out that door.”

“That was uncalled for, and I’m sorry,” he said. “This is a clean job.”

Unexpected. The man apologized for the foul. I had thought the word “apology” had been crossed out in his family dictionary. I backed off and let him breathe and savor his brandy.

I needed the job. The money. I didn’t trust Bray as a kid, nor the man the society pages said saved New England with his business deals and largesse.

“Let’s talk about this blackmail then,” I said. “Think one of your employees isn’t happy with their Christmas bonus?”

He bolted upright from his armchair. “I treat my people well.”

Sensitive, I thought and went to say something else, when I heard a sound behind me, and then I smelled her perfume. Jasmine, chased with the sweet burn of bourbon. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them I saw his smug face.

“You remember Cat, don’t you?”

“How could I not?” I said and kissed the back of the hand offered to me. Cat always took matters one step forward. She kissed me on the cheek, close enough that I could feel her against me. She withdrew and her scent stuck to me. Cat was the kind of woman who did all the teaching and you were grateful for the lessons. Here we were, all these years later, the three of us in one room, in the middle of the night.

“Still enjoy those film noir movies?” she asked.

“Every chance I get.”

“I’m glad you came at my husband’s request.”

The word husband hurt. I had read about their marriage in the paper.

“I think you should leave, dear, and let the men talk,” her beloved said.

His choice of words amused me as much as it did her, from the look she gave me. I never would have called her “dear” in public or close quarters. You don’t dismiss her, either.

“Oh please,” she told her husband. “My sensibility isn’t that delicate and it’s not like I haven’t heard business discussed. Shane understands confidentiality and discretion. You also forget a wife can’t be forced to testify against her husband. Is this yours, Shane?” she asked about the snifter on the brandy on the mantel. I nodded. “I’ll keep it warm for you.”

She leaned against the mantel for warmth. She nosed the brandy and closed her eyes. When they opened, her lips parted in a sly smile, knowing her power. Firelight illuminated the length of her legs and my eyes traveled. Braddock noticed and he screwed himself into his chair and gave her a venomous look.

“Why the look, darling?” she said. “You know Shane and I have history.”

Understatement. She raised the glass. Her lips touched the rim and she took the slightest sip. Our eyes met again and I wanted a cigarette, but I’d quit the habit. I relished the sight until Braddock broke the spell. He said, “I’m being blackmailed over a pending business deal.”

“Blackmail implies dirty laundry you don’t want aired,” I said. “What kind of deal?”

“Nothing I thought was that important,” he said.

“Somebody thinks otherwise.”

“This acquisition does have certain aspects that, if exposed, would shift public opinion, even though it’s completely aboveboard.” Braddock sipped and stared at me while that expensive juice went down his throat.

“All legit, huh,” I said. “Again, what kind of acquisition?”

“Real estate.”

“The kind of deal where folks in this town receive an eviction notice?”

He didn’t answer that. As a kid, I’d heard how folks in the West End were tossed out and the Bullfinch Triangle was razed to create Government Center, a modern and brutal Stonehenge, complete with tiered slabs of concrete and glass. Scollay Square disappeared overnight. Gone were the restaurants and the watering holes, the theaters where the Booth brothers performed, and burlesque and vaudeville coexisted. Given short notice, a nominal sum that was more symbolic than anything else, thousands of working-class families had to move or face the police who were as pleasant and diplomatic as the cops at the Chicago Democratic National Convention.

I didn’t say I’d accept the job. I wanted Braddock to simmer and knew how to spike his temperature. I reclaimed my glass from Cat. She enjoyed that. “Pardon me,” I said to her. “Not shy about sharing a glass, I hope.”

“Not at all.”

I let Bray Braddock cook. If he could afford to drink centennial grape juice then he could sustain my contempt. I gulped his cognac to show what a plebe I was, and handed the glass back to Cat with a wink. She walked to the bar and poured herself another splash, while I questioned my future employer. “Has this blackmailer made any demands? Asked for a sum?”

“None,” Braddock answered.

“But he knows details about your acquisition?” I asked.

“He relayed a communication.”

Braddock yelled out to his butler, who appeared faster than recruits I’d known in Basic Training. The man streamed into the room, gave Braddock two envelopes, and exited with an impressive gait. Braddock handed me one of the envelopes.

I opened it. I fished out a thick wad of paperwork. Photostats. Looking them over, I saw names and figures and dates. Accounting.

“Xeroxes,” Braddock said. “They arrived in the mail.”

“Copies? What, carbon copies aren’t good enough for you?”

“We’re beyond the days of the hand-cranked mimeograph machine, Shane. My partners and I have spared no expense to implement the latest technology in our offices.”

I examined pages. “Explain to me in layman’s terms what I’m looking at, the abridged version, or I’ll be drinking more of your brandy.”

The magisterial hand pointed to the decanter. “Help yourself.”

“No thanks.”

“Those copies are from a ledger for the proposed deal. Keep them. Knowledgeable eyes can connect names there to certain companies, to certain men, which in turn lead to friends in high places, and I think you can infer the rest. Nothing illegal, mind you, but you know how things get, if they find their way into the papers. Yellow journalism has never died out.”

I pocketed the copies. “It didn’t die out, on account of your people using it to underwrite the Spanish-American War. If what you have here is fair-and-square business, then your problem is public relations—a black eye the barbershops on Madison Ave can pretty up in the morning. I don’t do PR, Mr. Braddock. What is it you think I can do for you?”

“Ascertain the identity of the blackmailer.”

“Then you aren’t certain of…never mind. And what do I do when I ascertain that identity?”

“Nothing. I’ll do the rest.”

“Coming from you, that worries me, seeing how your people have treated the peasants, historically speaking.”

Brayton didn’t say a word to that.

“And that other envelope in your lap?” I asked.

The balding halo on the top of his head revealed itself when he looked down at the envelope. Those sickly lips parted when he faced me. I knew I would hate the answer. Cat stood behind him. She glanced at me then at the figure of a dog chasing a rabbit on the carpet.

“Envelope contains the name of a lead, an address, and a generous advance. Cash.”

Brayton tossed it my way. The envelope, fat as a fish, hit me. I caught it.

***

Excerpt from Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan. Copyright 2020 by Gabriel Valjan. Reproduced with permission from Gabriel Valjan. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Gabriel Valjan

Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. Dirty Old Town is the first in the Shane Cleary series for Level Best Books. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. He has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. You can find him on Twitter (@GValjan) and Instagram (gabrielvaljan). He lurks the hallways at crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. Gabriel is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Gabriel Valjan On:
GabrielValjan.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

 

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Apr 042020
 

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen Banner

 

 

A Venomous Love

by Chris Karlsen

on Tour April 1-30, 2020

Synopsis:

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen

The killer whispered-“A pretty damsel…worth a pretty risk.”

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Suspense
Published by: Books to Go Now
Publication Date: February 28, 2020
Number of Pages: TBD
ISBN: 979-8600864139
Series: Bloodstone Series, #3
Purchase Links:

  • Amazon.com
  • Amazon.ca
  • Amazon.co.uk
  • BN.com
  • Kobo.com
  • Apple.com
  • Goodreads
  • Read an excerpt:

    Puzzled, Ruddy asked, “You say the body is still in the chapel? Couldn’t the nurse bring an exam table to put him on and start treatment?”

    “She did. Young and I attempted to help but he suffered violent convulsions. Because the hospital is for children, they don’t have restraints. The head nurse instructed us to leave him back on the floor. She was afraid he’d fall off the table.”

    “Makes sense.” The timeframe of Underhill’s death didn’t make sense. At minimum it usually took an hour and more often, hours for the venom to kill. A horrible thought occurred to Ruddy. What if it was a different suspect with a different lethal snake? “But he died while you were still here?”

    “Yes. He convulsed brutally hard a few more times and an excessive amount of drool came out his mouth. Then he lost consciousness. A nurse put a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. He died as she was making him comfortable.”

    “Strange. This is abnormally fast even for cobra venom.” Flanders stepped up on Ruddy’s right. “What is it, constable?”

    “Shall I leave you to start my search?” Flanders asked.

    “Yes. Collect anything, and I mean anything, you find that looks out of the ordinary,” Archie told him. “This case is so unusual we can’t be sure what is important and what isn’t.”

    The nurse led them to the curtained-off bed. Honoria Underhill lay on her side softly sobbing. Her legs were curled up so she fit on the short bed meant for a child. The nurses had covered her with a blanket. When she saw Ruddy and Archie, she sat up and swung her legs down to the side of the bed.

    “Yes. We know this is traumatic for you but we need to ask you to repeat what happened with as much detail as you can recall,” Ruddy told her.

    “I understand.” Her shoulders trembled. She buried her fists in her skirt and kept her head down as she fought to control her emotions.

    Ruddy brought the conversation back to the crime. “Did the suspect say anything when he attacked?”

    “’A pretty little damsel, worth a pretty risk,’ he said as he rushed toward us. Then he leapt at me with the snake in hand inches from my face. Father pushed me out of the man’s reach and stepped between us. My father tried to knock the man’s hand away and swatted at the animal.”

    She dabbed at her nose again and then offered the handkerchief back to Archie who waved off the return. “It happened so fast,” Honoria continued. “In the time it took me to blink, the snake’s throat blew outward, like a fan opening.” She demonstrated the action with her hands. “A second later it lunged and struck.”

    ***

    Excerpt from A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen. Copyright 2020 by Chris Karlsen. Reproduced with permission from Chris Karlsen. All rights reserved.

     

     

    Author Bio:

    Chris Karlsen

    I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

    My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

    I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series, which is historical suspense with romantic elements. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.

    I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs.

    Catch Up With Chris Karlsen On:
    ChrisKarlsen.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

     

     

    Tour Participants:

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



     

     

    Enter Now!!!:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Karlsen. There will be Three (3) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen (eBook). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2020 and runs through May 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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    Mar 202020
     

    No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane Banner

     

     

    No Stone Unturned

    by Andrea Kane

    on Tour March 16 – April 17, 2020

    Synopsis:

    No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane

    WHAT IF YOU FOUND YOUR FRIEND DEAD AND FEARED YOU’D BE NEXT?

    Jewelry designer Fiona McKay is working on her latest collection of Celtic-inspired jewelry. She’s excited by the possibilities uncovered by Rose Flaherty, the antiquities dealer helping her research the heirloom tapestries inspiring her new collection. So when Rose calls to tell her she has answers, Fiona hurries to meet her. But her artistic world is shattered when she finds the lifeless body of the elderly woman.

    Why would anyone kill such a harmless person? And what if Fiona had arrived just a few minutes earlier? Would she have been killed as well? Unnerved, she heads for her brother’s Brooklyn apartment seeking advice and comfort.

    Ryan McKay, Forensic Instincts’ technology wiz is not amused by his little sister interrupting his evening with his girlfriend and co-worker, Claire Hedgleigh. But when Ryan and Claire hear the details of Rose’s murder, they fear that Fiona could be next, and quickly assume the role of her protectors. What they’re unaware of is how many people are desperately seeking the information now buried along with Rose.

    A former IRA sniper. A traitorous killer who worked for the British. Two vicious adversaries taking their epic battle to America. A secret Irish hoard as the grand prize in a winner takes all fight to the death.

    As the story woven into the tapestries passed down from McKay mother to daughter unravels, Forensic Instincts realizes that Fiona and her family are in grave danger. Together, the team must stay one step ahead of two rival assassins or risk Fiona’s life and the McKay family tree.

    MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

    5 stars

    If you are an avid reader, like I am, then I’m sure you have an “authors to read” list that you wait patiently for their next book to get your hands on. And even better, if it’s an ARC!!! For me, one of those authors is Andrea Kane!!! So receiving a signed ARC from the author was both exciting and honored!!!!! Now that I have finished reading it, this book will be placed in a special bookcase where I proudly store my signed editions. Family and friends know not to touch these books nor even breathe near them!!!!

    The Forensic Instinct team, a highly sophisticated PI firm, is back and this time the case involves one of the member’s sister, Fiona McKay. As the synopsis states, Fiona is a jewelry designer and creates her pieces on Celtic art via tapestries that her family has inherited ​that were ​passed down from generations past.

    Rose Flaherty, an elderly antique dealer/expert is working with Fiona to aide her with the research. Until that night Fiona and Rose were meeting because Rose had important and exciting news to share. Upon entering the shop, Fiona found Rose dead and it is being ruled a homicide. And within days, Fiona’s apartment was broken into and was ransacked. Nothing was taken so what were they looking for? Will Fiona be the next victim? The Forensic Instinct team will not let that happen so they are on the case but they soon find out that there are some unsavory men that could be the killer but also want the hoard that is hidden in those tapestries.

    Why do I love Ms. Kane’s books, you ask. For many reasons!!!

    The story and suspense flow and is gripping and consuming from the very first word to the last. I find myself submerged and caught up in the narrative. The characters are well developed and realistic. The action was electrifying. The writing is descriptive, so much so, that I could create vivid images in my mind as if I was watching a movie. And the in-depth research is phenomenal whereas I became more informed about things I didn’t know much about, like Celtic tapestries, Celtic art, the IRA and much more.

    A page turner that was hard to put down!!!! And the reason she is on my “authors to read” list because it was another book by her that I devoured!!!

    Bonus: Check out Fiona McKay’s
    Designs HERE

    UPDATE

    After reading this book, I was intrigued by the Celtic jewelry. So when Fiona McKay / Andrea Kane, launched the jewelry site, I had to have a piece of jewelry. I chose the Tree Of Life necklace which symbolizes strength, family, and resilience. I just received it and the picture does not do it justice. It is gorgeous!!!

    Book Details:

    Genre: Suspense Thriller
    Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
    Publication Date:
    Number of Pages: March 17, 2020
    ISBN: 978-1-68232-039-
    Series: Forensic Instincts
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Slowly, Rose Flaherty made her way over to the front window of her Greenwich Village antique shop, leaning heavily on her cane as she did. Preoccupied with the ramifications of her research findings, she barely took note of the passersby on Bedford Street, most of them headed home for the evening. A few of them glanced in her window, their unpracticed eyes seeing none of the beauty attached to the treasure trove of antiques and antiquities, instead seeing only the dusty surfaces, the random pieces, and odd assortment of furnishings that bespoke unwanted junk from the past.

    At seventy-nine years old, Rose had long ago stopped caring what people thought. She knew who and what she was. And she knew it was no accident that her established clientele, many of whom were wealthy and educated in the realm of ancient civilizations—including Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, and her beloved Celtic—came to her for her expertise as well as her one-of-a-kind offerings. Her knowledge was vast, her list of contacts vaster still.

    The levels of research she performed were always a labor of love. However, her current project was even more than that. It was a thrilling adventure, a fascination of possibilities that transcended anything she’d dealt with in the past.

    She couldn’t wait to delve deeper.

    Impatiently, she squinted at her watch, barely able to make out the hands without the aid of her glasses, which she’d left somewhere. Ah. Five fifteen. Forty-five minutes to go.

    Given the magnitude of her findings, there was just one way to pass the time.

    She limped her way over to her Chippendale desk, sliding open the bottom drawer and pulling out the bottle of rare, old Irish whiskey she kept on hand for special clients. It was sinfully expensive. How fortunate that one of her prominent clients, Niall Dempsey, was a wealthy real estate developer who also appreciated fine Irish whiskey and who had been kind enough to gift this to her.

    She poured the whiskey into a glass, making sure to put out a second for her client. They certainly had something to toast to. She would just get a wee bit of a head start.

    “Rose?” Glenna Robinson, Rose’s assistant, poked her head out of the back room. Glenna was studying archeology at NYU and thoroughly enjoyed her part-time job at the shop. The fragile, white-haired owner was an intellectual wonder. Learning from her was an honor—even if she was becoming a bit more absentminded as she neared eighty. Absentminded about everything except her work. In that precious realm, her mind was like a steel trap.

    “Hmmm?” Rose lifted her lips from her glass and turned, initially surprised to see Glenna was still here. Ah, but it wasn’t yet five thirty, and Glenna never left before checking in, so she should have expected to see her shiny young face. Such was the level of Rose’s absorption with the task at hand. “Yes, dear?”

    Glenna’s gaze flickered from the glass in Rose’s hand to its mate, sitting neatly beside the whiskey bottle on the desk. “Do you need me to stay late? You mentioned an evening appointment, obviously an important one… even if it’s not in the calendar.”

    “It was last minute.” Rose smiled, giving a gentle wave of her hand. “There’s no need for you to stay. This is a meeting, not a transaction. If you’d just collect the mail and drop it off, you can go and enjoy your evening.”

    Glenna smiled back, trying not to look as relieved as she felt. Her friends had invited her to join them for pizza and beer. After a long week, that was exactly what she needed. But she wouldn’t leave Rose in the lurch.

    “Are you sure?” she asked.

    “Positive. Now run along.”

    “Thank you. See you tomorrow afternoon.” Glenna blew Rose a kiss, then retraced her steps into the small back room—the business office, as she and Rose laughingly called it. It was barely larger than a closet, but it served its purpose. Glenna used it to answer phone calls, schedule appointments, email invoices, do reams of paperwork, and keep track of the countless Post-its Rose stuck on every inch of available surface space. She called it Glenna’s to-do list, but Glenna was well aware that the reminders were really for Rose, not for her. All part of Rose’s charm. The Post-it-spotted room contained a jam-packed file cabinet, a rusty metal desk, an on-its- last-legs photocopier, and a computer that Glenna had nicknamed Methuselah because it was older than time. Still, it was enough for their needs and Rose didn’t know how to use it anyway. That was part of Glenna’s job. She’d been doing it since she was sixteen, and she had no desire to go elsewhere.

    She scooped up the stack of mail and was about to leave when she spotted a manila envelope propped up against the outbox with the name of the addressee penned on it in Rose’s neat hand. No street address. No postage.

    Typical forgetful Rose.

    Recognizing the client’s name, Glenna quickly scanned their contacts list, found the requisite address, printed it on a label that she adhered to the envelope, and carefully marked the parcel: hand cancel. She’d take care of the postage at the post office. Jimmy would move the process along. He was an efficient postal worker with a wild crush on her. She’d be in and out in a flash.

    After tucking the envelope beneath the rest of the mail, she shut down Methuselah for the night, then grabbed her lightweight jacket and left the shop.

    The tinkling sound of the bells over the door echoed behind her.

    Twenty minutes later, they tinkled again.

    Rose had been sitting in a chair midway in the shop, her back turned to the entrance as she sipped her whiskey and stared idly at the marble fireplace that stayed lit year-round to ward off dampness and mildew. Hearing the bells, she reached for her cane and came to her feet, surprised but delighted. Her client was early.

    She turned, a greeting freezing on her lips.

    It wasn’t a client who had come for her.

    ***

    Excerpt from No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane. Copyright 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.

     

     

    Author Bio:

    Andrea Kane

    Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty novels, including sixteen 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, NO STONE UNTURNED, showcases the dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators as they solve a seemingly impossible case while narrowly avoiding an enraged law enforcement frustrated over Forensic Instincts’ secretive and successful interference in a murder case. 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, A FACE TO DIE FOR, and DEAD IN A WEEK.

    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.

    Catch Up With Andrea Kane:
    AndreaKane.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

     

     

    Tour Participants:

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



     

     

    Enter The Giveaway!!:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be 6 winners for this tour. One winner will receive (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 5 winners will receive No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane (eBook). The giveaway begins on March 16, 2020 and runs through April 19, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

    • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
    Mar 192020
     

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits Banner

     

     

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution

    by Lisa de Nikolits

    on Tour March 1-31, 2020

    Synopsis:

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa de Nikolits

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about a couple experiencing a crisis. The husband, Lyndon, loses his job as editor of a financial magazine. Neither are happy with aging. Lyndon has gotten by with charm and frozen emotions. The wife, Margaux, has no idea how angry she is with him for his detachment. It is her idea to sell the house and just travel. But he is not coping well with retirement, so he simply walks off a ferry in Australia and leaves her. He steals a cat (well, he steals an expensive SUV that happens to have a cat onboard) and he flees Sydney, ending up in Apollo Bay, a few hours south-west of Melbourne, where he falls in with a group of anarchists and punk rockers in a tattoo parlour, planning revolution.

    Meanwhile, Margaux sits tight in Sydney with no idea of where her husband might be or what happened. She moves into the red-light Kings Cross area, befriending the owner of the hostel, a seventy-year-old ex-cop drag queen from Saint John, New Brunswick, and waits to hear from her husband.

    When she learns that her husband is fine, she is consumed by wrath and she invokes the angry spirit of an evil nurse, a key player in the terrible Chelmsworth sleep therapy in which many patients died (historical fact). While Lyndon gets in touch with his original career ambition to become an artist and wrestles with anarchism versus capitalism, Margaux learns to deal with her rage.

    A serio-comedic thriller about a couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how love and passion can make a difference, at any age.

    Book Details:

    Genre: Suspense Thriller
    Published by: Inanna Poetry & Fiction Series
    Publication Date: September 30th 2019
    Number of Pages: 300
    ISBN: 1771336498 (ISBN13: 9781771336499)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Margaux

    My husband has fallen overboard into the black sea of the Sydney Harbour. Panic stops my breath as if a cork has been shoved down my throat and I run from one side of the ferry to the other and back, but, just like the last time I checked, he’s not there.

    It’s close to midnight and the Sydney Harbour is a tar pit of roiling waves, churning and chopping. I lean over the railing, trying to see him in the water, searching for an out-stretched arm but the ferry is moving too quickly. Half a dozen people onboard look at me curiously and I can see them thinking nuts, she’s nuts, don’t make eye contact. I can’t breathe for panic and I am panting like a dog, making horrible sounds.

    I grab the deckhand by the arm. I try to form words but I can hardly talk and all I can say is husband, gone, must have fallen overboard and I point towards the thick molasses water.

    The deckhand is kind. He doesn’t call me a raving lunatic. He helps me check the ferry from stern to bow, starboard to port, not once but twice. He asks for my husband’s cell phone number and he dials it on speaker. It goes straight to messages. I’ve already tried, with the same response. Hiya, Lyndon here, do the necessary or forever hold your peace.

    “He’s fallen overboard,” I say. “We have to send out a rescue party. We have to find him.”

    ***

    Lyndon

    I’m driving on the wrong side of the road. Except of course for them, it’s the right side. I am driving a stolen car and I must concentrate, I can’t afford to get into an accident.

    For the most part, this car just about drives itself. I got lucky, what kind of idiot leaves a brand-new Jeep running while she gets a coffee? I was standing there, about to sip my skinny flat white when this rich suburban ditz comes along, parks right in front of me, leaps out and rushes into the coffee shop. It’s not like I was looking for a car to steal, of course not, but when she showed up, I knew what I had to do.

    I sidled around the car, opened the door and shot into the driver’s seat, quickly pulling the door closed. The air con was an arctic blast and I was chilled in seconds. Where was the off-switch? But more importantly, I had to get the hell out of Dodge.

    I pulled out into the traffic, bracing for sirens, flashing lights and my imminent arrest but there was just the usual Sydney gridlock. I threaded in between the cars, glancing in the rearview mirror and looking for a furious blonde in hot pursuit, shaking her fist and dialling 911 but there was no sign of her.

    I fumbled with the car’s buttons and levers, driving with one hand, and I managed to turn off the air con. I opened my window and let the warm summer wind blast into the car, washing it clean of the cold, burnt air.

    But where was I going? A quick decision was necessary. I called up a map of Australia in my mind. I’d studied it long enough before this trip, losing myself in the tongue-twisting Aboriginal names like Woollara, Woolloomoolo and Wollongong and wishing that I didn’t have to go at all. But, here I was, and I had a choice. I could go north east or south west. But the north east Gold Coast sounded cheap and nasty so Melbourne won the coin toss.

    I was about to take the turnoff for the Hume highway when I realized that highways might have cameras, whereas the smaller roads would not and I decided to navigate by the compass on the dashboard and stay off the radar as much as possible. I had the sudden worry that the car might have a tracker but I figured that if it did, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I felt strangely free and yet resigned at the same time.

    I checked the gas tank. Full. I didn’t have to worry about that. In fact, for the first time in ages, I didn’t have to worry about anything at all. I was free. Free from all the societal and familial shackles and manacles. I pounded the steering wheel with my fist and I grinned a Jack Nicholson crazy-man smile – yes, I’m doing the Jack-man proud! I’ve been bowed and beaten and nearly broken but not for one second longer! I’ve finally taken control.

    I released all the windows in the car to get the full volume of the sweet-scented, hot Australian summer and I leaned back in my luxurious seat to savour my moment of triumph. I didn’t let the bastards grind me down!

    I reached for my skinny flat white and took a satisfying gulp. Say what you will about the Australians, they make great coffee. I took another slug and nearly choked because at that moment, a scream pierced my eardrums and my scrotum clenched so far back in my body I was convinced I’d lost my balls for life. I choked down the mouthful of coffee and shoved the cup into the holder.

    Another ungodly ear-piercing howl filled into the air and I nearly swerved off the road. I white-knuckled the car into submission and tried to steady my heart which was pounding so hard that my eyeballs were popping. What in god’s name was that? There was a demon in the car? Oh my god, don’t tell me it’s a baby. I stole a car with a baby in it, didn’t I? I glanced into the back, fully expecting to see a baby staring at me with accusing eyes. It’s one thing to be a car thief – which, I’ll have you know I am not – but a kidnapper? My insides sloshed back and forth as if I’d swallowed the green mush that Margaux made me eat instead of breakfast, hoping to get my weight gain under control. I have that same bitter taste in my mouth now as I prepare to meet the gaze of the stolen baby. The baby strapped into the car seat, pursing its little Chuckie-doll monster mouth and getting ready to let loose another of those horrifying screams. But there is no baby. There is no car seat. No Chuckie. Relief washes over me and my balls ungrip a millimeter. At least I am not a child thief, I am not a kidnapper. I can breathe again. Thank god. There is, however, a large grey box on the back seat. A cat box.

    I take my eyes off the road for a moment and swing around to look at the box. Yes, it’s a cat box. I have kidnapped a cat. I have catnapped. I am a cat-thieving felon. I am sixty years old and I am a cat thief. It is one thing to steal a car, but it is quite another to steal a cat. You do not steal cats. Top of the range Jeeps, yes, that is somewhat acceptable, although of course, I am not a car-thief by profession or nature although deep down, I must be one, since I appropriated the car with such natural ease. I have been a car thief for my entire life, only I never knew it until now. But I am not, nor ever will be, a cat thief.

    Thoughts fill my mind like dust devils and whirling dervishes and I force my eyes back onto the road. I must focus. Self-recriminations and internal philosophical debates are of little use to me now, I must think. But another eardrum-destroying howl fills the car, as if a hundred geese are being mauled by a pack of wild dogs. And then, pigs are tortured and they squeal and honk and attack each other in a frenzy and it’s all I can do to keep the car moving in a straight line. My hands are shaking and sweat pours off me and I am stuck to the leather seat I was admiring only moments before. What in the blazers is that box? Is a cat even capable of making sounds like that? I need to pull over and dump the box. Nothing in the world should make a noise like that, not even Lizzie Borden’s family as they were chopped up by her nasty axe-wielding little hand. And why is the cat suddenly so distraught when it was utterly silent when I made off with the car? Why is it howling now, a good half an hour later?

    I scramble for solutions, which is pretty hard to do when devilish sounds are turning the mushy insides of my bowels to ice despite the summer heat which is flooding the car. Ice… which in turn which makes me recall the air con – the car was like a refrigerator when I took it – could it be that the creature wanted the air conditioning back on?

    Another yowl fills the tiny area and I’m about to pull over and pitch the box out but there are cars in front of me and behind me and I can’t stop – where did all this traffic suddenly come from? Pulling over is not an option.

    I fumble with the buttons on the steering wheel and manage to close the windows. I punch the air con up to the max, full blast. The cat is still squealing and hissing and I pound the steering wheel with my fist.

    “Shut up, shut up, shut up, cat,” I shout into the back of the car and I give a low growling moan, trying to quell the beast into submission. I can’t count the years since I’ve raised my voice. I’ve never raised my voice to my children, or my wife and certainly not my staff members. “Shut up! Shut up!”

    I increase the volume of my chant and my growl turns into a scream which sounds rusty at first, a bit squeaky and I’m certainly no match for the cat who is still putting me to shame. “Shut up! Stop it, eyyyyyyy yayyyyy!” I put some force behind it and soon I am reaching down into my lungs and my gut and it feels fantastic and I grin like Jack while I scream. It takes me a while to notice that the cat has gone quiet and the only sound in the car is coming from me. Feeling remarkably stupid, I stop shouting and all I can hear is frigid air blasting into the confines of the car. I am covered in goose bumps but the cat is silent. I was correct. The cat loves the air con.

    I clear my throat and readjust my body in the seat and try to reorganize my thoughts and myself after my unexpectedly exhilarating screamfest. I wonder if I should carry on screaming for the fun of it but I have lost momentum.

    The car is as cold as mortuary’s freezer. That’s why the woman left the car running when she went to get her coffee. To keep the cat happy. That must be some cat.

    ***

    Excerpt from The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by xx. Copyright 2019 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.

     

     

    Author Bio:

    Lisa de Nikolits

    Lisa de Nikolits is the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of nine novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, Rotten Peaches and The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution (all Inanna) No Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo. Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals across the country. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

    Catch Up With Lisa de Nikolits On:
    LisadeNikolitsWriter.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

     

     

    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 Lisa de Nikolits. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2020 and runs through April 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

     

    Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours