Friday, May 22, 2020

May Book Reviews

For May, I have three reviews and a preview of a book now scheduled for release on August 11 (NOTE: Release of this book has been pushed back at least once due to concerns about COVID-19 and might be delayed again).

  • Historical fiction (The Man With Two Names);
  • A crime thriller/romance (Death Notice);
  • A young adult fantasy (The Sapphire Eruption); and 
  • A crime thriller (A Private Cathedral, to be released Aug. 11).

Happy reading,

The Man With Two Names: A Novel of Ancient Rome (The Sertorius Scrolls Series Book 1) by Vincent B. Davis II 

Sertorius Faces Enemies from the Roman Forum to the Wilderness of Gaul

With themes that resonant today (“The idea of an innocent statesman is more myth than the Minotaur”) and a history of ancient Rome that comes to life, it’s easy to find much to like in The Man With Two Names. The protagonist of this historical fiction, Quintus Sertorius, is pressed into political service when his father dies, leaving his hometown without a presence in Rome—a presence that’s necessary if his village is to receive the aid they need to survive. Service to the Roman patricians soon runs counter to Sertorius’s values, however, and he joins the Roman Legions in order to keep his people from starving. Now, his once possible benefactors in Rome become his mortal enemies, forcing Sertorius to face threats on two fronts—from the nobility and from Rome’s enemies in the distant battlefields of Gaul. It’s hard choice, picking the more treacherous and deadly of the two.

For the complete review, see:

Death Notice (A Kisses and Killers Thriller) by Lolli Powell

An Exceptional Blend of Romance and Crime Thriller

I once read that if romance was part of the name for a book’s genre (e.g., historical romance, romantic thriller, etc.), the romance would always take precedence and the plot might become a backdrop for intimacy. At the opposite extreme, thrillers may have the main characters jump into bed even when their behavior is more surprising than the story’s plot twists. When and how did this attraction develop when they are on the verge of a grisly death? But author Lolli Powell avoids either extreme with skill and finesse, producing a tale in Death Notice that is as naturally romantic as it is gut-wrenchingly tense.

For the complete review, see:

The Sapphire Eruption: An Epic Adventure (The Sword's Choice Book 1) by I.M. Redwright

The Start to What Promises to be an Epic, Fantasy Adventure

On his seventeenth birthday, Noakhail (Noakh) learns that he had been selected by a magic sword to rule the “fire” kingdom of his world. To take his rightful place, however, he’ll need to defeat the current king who commands a formidable army, who has the twin to Noakh’s magic sword, and who has had years of training and practice in its use. That, in a couple of sentences, is the central conflict of the series, The Sword’s Choice. Book 1 of the series, The Sapphire Eruption sees Noakh learn of his situation, attract a small band of followers, and develop his plan to return, which will take him through each of the other kingdoms (water where he’s been in hiding, earth, and air). The book also foreshadows a conflict with the water kingdom, whose magic sword has also recently selected a new queen, Vienne. She too must learn of her sword’s powers and is opposed by the reigning queen. And neither was favored for selection, Noakh being an unknown commoner and Vienne the least ‘queen-like’ of her princess sisters. Coincidences? Maybe, but more likely, the similarity of backgrounds and plights will play into this tale as it unfolds.

For the complete review, see:

A Private Cathedral: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux #23) by James Lee Burke

Hard-boiled Crime and Paranormal Make for an Uneasy Mix

The first thing I noticed about A Private Cathedral is the author’s writing style. It’s eloquent, evocative, and vividly descriptive. Author Burke doesn’t write about a sunset, but about strips of orange fire in the clouds. And while the final metaphors and similes may change—this review is based on a pre-release version of the novel—Burke’s writing style won’t, and that’s a definite plus. I appreciated the mental images and feelings his expressive prose engendered. I enjoy this style, however, as ‘seasoning’ to the text and for my taste, Burke over-seasoned this book. Amid action, he often paused to paint a word picture of the setting, or of a flashback from the protagonist’s past as a child or in Vietnam, or of a historical or mythological reference. I would have preferred that Burke depict the setting and once done, let the action flow. Additionally, he frequently rendered his flowery prose in quite lengthy sentences. One I noticed was 76 words long with seven conjunctions (and) to tie it all together. Probably as a result of these stylistic decisions, I found the story a bit slow, somewhat repetitive, and unfocused in places.

Release now set for Aug. 11 but the full review is on Goodreads here:

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)

Monday, May 11, 2020

eBook Deals and a Paperback Giveaway

This time, I have some great, limited-time Kindle eBook deals for you and a drawing for some best-selling, Sci-Fi paperbacks. I hope you find something to enjoy.

Stay safe,

The Giveaway

Win 4 bestselling Sci-Fi books plus some awesome swag!

Follow some amazing authors and enter to win paperback copies of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, a Doctor Who Dalek mug, a BSG Starbuck Funko Pop, a Star Trek communicator, and a Firefly card and dice game. You can also come back every day for special tasks that will earn you daily entry points!

The Deals
(Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 15
Kept Secrets: A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 2
By Shawn McGuire
Occult Suspense
Regular Price: $4.99  Sale Price: $0.99

If you knew you could catch a killer, would you?

Tucked next to a pristine lake, the part-Medieval Europe, part-Renaissance Faire hamlet ofWhispering Pines is a utopia . . . except for the recent murders.

One month after arriving in the Northwoods, former detective Jayne O'Shea has settled comfortably into small-town life and is making good progress with her task of getting her grandparents' house ready for sale. Then the shocking death of one of the carnies rocks the community, and the villagers look to Jayne for help, placing her in an impossible middle ground of not wanting to get involved and needing to ensure justice is served.

When a second carney turns up dead, and the newly hired sheriff--more concerned with ticketing tourists than catching the killer--dismisses the death as an accident, Jayne has no choice but to step in. Can she uncover the truth before the murderer strikes again?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 16
I’m Glad You’re Dead (Preternatural Chronicles Book 1)
By Hunter Blain
Dark Fantasy Horror
Regular Price: $3.99  Sale Price: $0.99

What price is beyond reason for revenge?

From behind the barred windows of his cell, that's exactly what John Cook must decide after helplessly witnessing the brutal execution of his proud father and his beloved mother.

A disheveled man with eyes the color of sunset and swathed in Victorian clothes matted with earth makes an offer John cannot possibly reject. John's heart stops beating and a new unlife begins.

Fast forward five hundred years to modern-day Houston, and we find our antihero working with an unlikely ally, Father Thomes. Together, they work toward using John's abilities for the light in an effort to bleach his blackened soul. If it means he gets to exsanguinate a few badies in horrific, imaginative ways without further damning himself . . . well, you know what they say about doing what you love.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 16
Hindsight: Coming of age on the streets of Hollywood
By Sheryl Recinos
Regular Price: $9.99  Sale Price: $2.99

Kirkus Review: "The fact that her story has a surprisingly happy ending (as the initials “MD” after her name on the memoir’s cover attest) does little to blunt the sting that this gritty narrative of homelessness and young womanhood leaves in its wake."

Hindsight: Coming of age on the streets of Hollywood walks you through Sheryl's harsh upbringing and takes you on a journey with her as she struggles to survive as a homeless teen. This book will give you a glimpse into what it is like to feel unheard, unseen, and unloved; and it will reveal the impact of caring adults on traumatized youth.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 16
Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors: Book 1 in the Nyssa Glass Steampunk Series
By H. L. Burke
Regular Price: $2.99  Sale Price: $0.99

Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician's apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself forced into one last job.

No one has entered Professor Dalhart's secluded mansion in almost a decade, at least not and returned to tell the tale. If Nyssa wants to ensure her freedom, she'll brave the booby trapped halls and mechanized maids. Nyssa has skills, but this house has more than its share of secrets. As she steps into the cobwebbed halls lined with dusty mirrors, she has to wonder. Is the House of Mirrors really abandoned?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 17
Wayward Magic (Magic Underground Anthologies Book 2)
By Melinda Kucsera and 20 other authors
Fantasy Anthology
Regular Price: $2.99  Sale Price: $0.99

Wayward Magic (Magic Underground Book 2) reveals stories of missing people, rescue, and most of all, magic. Our heroes will grapple with magic gone wayward in order to save themselves, their families, and often the world. This collection features:

  • Out-of-control magic that could destroy a young apprentice’s master and their world
  • A woman’s hidden magic leaving her with more freedom that she wanted
  • Sisters at the center of a black magic scandal must stop the city from falling to demons
  • The ill are suddenly protected from death by an unlikely hero…a teenage physician
  • Famine-stricken subjects await precious cargo currently stranded on a ship
  • A holy order must save a town from a pretty poison most magical and most deadly
  • And more!

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 15
Ahren: The 13th Paladin (Volume I)
By Torsten Weitze
Sword & Sorcery Fantasy
Regular Price: $5.99  Sale Price: $3.99

The bestselling epic fantasy book series "The 13th Paladin" from Germany is finally available in english!

Ahren can hardly believe his luck. His normal life consists of being beaten up by his drunkard father or bullied by the village lads. But at the annual suitability tests for apprenticeships, the young boy finds himself selected by Falk, the guardian of the forest.

From his new master he learns the skills of archery and how to fight the Dark Ones. And then, on the day of the Spring Ceremony, he touches the Stone of the Gods and it illuminates for the first time ever. It isn’t long before a cantankerous wizard turns up and urges Falk and Ahren into action. There is no time to waste, for something evil is awakening.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 16
A Good Demon Is Hard to Find: A paranormal romantic comedy (Supernatural Sweethearts Book 1)
By Kate Moseman
Humorous Dark Comedy
Regular Price: $3.99  Sale Price: $0.99

Sometimes, a date from hell is just what you need...

When Erin thoughtlessly lays a curse on Mark, her cheating ex-husband, she doesn’t expect a well-dressed Great Earl of Hell to show up in her kitchen to fulfill the curse (and make damn good coffee while he’s at it).

Andromalius specializes in wickedness and revenge. He’s ready, willing, and able to rain down hell on Erin’s ex—but when Mark announces a hasty new marriage, Erin needs more than just revenge.

She needs a date to the wedding.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 17
Dillard Double #2: Injustice for All & Reasonable Fear
By Scott Pratt
Legal Thrillers
Regular Price: $6.99  Sale Price: $3.99

Injustice for All

A criminal court judge is found hanging from a tree.

A young employee of the district attorney's office goes missing.

In this third book of the best selling Joe Dillard series, Dillard finds himself in the middle of two volatile mysteries.

Reasonable Fear

Three young women are found floating in a lake.

Dillard becomes heavily involved in the investigation with Sheriff Leon Bates and soon realizes that he is up against an enemy that he has never before encountered -- someone so rich and so powerful that the course of justice could be altered by money and political influence.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 17
In Sight of the Mountain
By Jamie McGillen
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Regular Price: $4.99  Sale Price: $0.99

In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon. But she has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house. She wants to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier.

Anna's grandfather couldn't disapprove more. And after he discovers that she's befriended a Duwamish woman in the forest, he threatens to disown her completely. 

Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to summit Mount Rainier, In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader's gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women's far-too-narrow options.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: May 17
Simon Sees
By Othello Bach
Regular Price: $2.99  Sale Price: $0.99

Elise can’t stop staring at her first foster child. Simon is only six, with wide lavender eyes and dark curls that make him disarmingly beautiful. But he doesn’t talk. When she asks him why, he says, “No one likes the things I say.” 

When he finally talks she understands why he has bounced through several foster homes in two years. He speaks of unfathomable things—things he sees that others don’t. And he only wants one thing—to find the man who knows where his mother is.

The hunt soon makes them the hunted.

Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Nothing but Freebies Newsletter

When times are tough, like now, people are often at their best—lending a hand to those out of work; delivering meals to healthcare workers; and even doing the small things, like stepping off the sidewalk to maintain social distance.

So, in the vein of (really) small things, here's my monthly newsletter with nothing but freebies, because a bit of escapism can be important right about now.

First, check out a cozy mystery by Lolli Powell and three psychic mysteries by Chariss Walker, all free during May. Then, depending on your genre preferences, I have Sci-Fi/Fantasy and/or Crime, Mystery, and Suspense book fairs. All the authors ask is that you consider leaving a review. And finally, want something for your shorter breaks? How about a short story? I have quite a few of those, as well.

Hope you find something to enjoy. Stay safe,

The Body on the Barstool by Lolli Powell
Cozy Mystery
FREE May 8 & 9


When New Yorker Erica “Ricki” Fontaine inherits a bar in an Ohio River town, she’s determined to change the Top Shelf from a bar known for its Friday night fights into the kind of drinking establishment where you can bring your granny. Finding her ex-husband dead on a barstool at opening time one morning just might put a kink in those plans.

Get it here: 

Get the first three books in the Becky Tibbs Psychic Mystery Series by Chariss Walker
Becky Tibbs didn’t ask for the job or the gift of being a medium, but after her parents died, the unusual ability became a bequest – a gift handed down from her mother’s side of the family.

A Medium's Birthday Surprise - FREE May 12

Used to dealing with ghosts on a daily basis, Becky is not easily surprised. However, on her 26th birthday, Becky gets the biggest shock she’s had in the past ten years and it’s a doozy.

Get it here: 

A Medium's Thanksgiving Table - FREE May 26

Becky tries to live as normal a life as possible. She’s planning a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with her brother and sister, but will her special dinner go according to plans?

Get it here: 

A Medium's Christmas Gift - FREE May 27

Christmas is a busy season for everyone and Becky has her hands full when she helps a newly departed ghost whose stepfather is a major player in the Colorado drug cartel. Will Becky find peace and joy during the happiest time of the year?

Get it here: 

Summer Fantasy and Sci-Fi Review Fair – May 1 to May 31

You’ll find more than 35 stories in the Summer Fantasy and Sci-Fi Review Fair, including my near-future mystery, Killer in the Retroscape.

And they’re all free if you’ll consider thanking the author with a review.

Get your copies here: 

Stories of Crime, Mystery, and Suspense – April 17 to May 16

There are more than 30 stories in the Crime, Mystery, and Suspense book fair including my dark, crime thriller, Of Half a Mind.

These, too, are free, if you'll consider thanking the author with a review.

Get your copies here:

The best short stories – May 1 to May 30

Are the breaks in your day better suited to a short story?

Then select from among 65 of them in genres from romance to science fiction in “The Best Short Stories” giveaway.

Get your copies here: 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

April Limited-Time Kindle eBook Deals

Want something to read besides COVID-19 news? Then, try one of these limited-time Kindle deals for a change of mental scenery. Hope you find something to enjoy.


(Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.)

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 27
Briette: Young Adult Princess Medieval Fantasy (The Nine Princesses Book 4)
By Anita Valle
Teen and Young Adult
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Briette never asked for any of this. She wasn’t meant to be a princess. She refuses to wear a crown, doesn’t care for fancy dresses, and going to balls is a punishment. If she hadn’t been adopted by the king, none of this would have happened.

Then she discovers that the Duke of Merridell is in need of a chambermaid. And though it seems crazy, Briette decides to disguise herself as a servant and take the position. It will give her a chance to try life as a commoner, a life where she can be invisible. She doesn’t tell a single soul, not even her eight sisters.

But as Briette adjusts to heavy chores, rude remarks, and prickly straw beds, she is shocked to learn that someone else is working undercover. And his plans are much more sinister. Furthermore, she is troubled by a haunting dream that seems to come from her childhood. All Briette wanted was a vacation from being a princess. But if she doesn’t act soon, she may never be a princess again.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 29
The Key of Apollo (The Gates of Artemis Book 1)
By R.D. Brady
Children's Fantasy
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Mythological Creatures Are Real. They Live In The World Of Iphigenesis. A World Lucy Cole Just Discovered She's Destined To Protect.

Before fourteen-year old Lucy Cole can process that insanity, her soon-to-be adopted mother Elodie is kidnapped. The only way to save her is to track down the Key of Apollo, a key that hasn't been seen in thousands of years

To succeed, Lucy must embrace her destiny and overcome the Primordial Trials, tests set up by the gods themselves.

So armed with little to no knowledge of the world of Iphigenesis, one best friend who trips over his own feet, and another who could get blown over by a strong breeze, Lucy is about to take on the challenges of the gods.

What could possibly go wrong?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 27
A Cat in the Attic Mystery: The Curse of Hollister House
By Kathi Daley
Cozy Animal Mystery
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

How is one to start again after losing the one thing that speaks to your heart and fuels your passion?

After a serious accident leaves Calliope Rose Collins unable to continue with the career that has owned her soul for most of her life, she returns to Foxtail Lake, Hollister House, and Great Aunt Gracie, only to find, childhood friend, Officer Cass Wylander, knee deep in a murder mystery involving a twelve year old girl who died in the exact same manner as Callie's best friend Stacy had died twenty years prior. Callie is certain the two deaths must be linked, but Cass has a suspect in custody and the Chief of Police wants the case closed in order to get the mayor off his back, so in spite of the fact that Callie is certain that they have the wrong man, it looks like the case will be closed. Callie knows that she owes it to both victims to find the truth, so she decides to look into things on her own, giving her not only a way to fill her days, but a means of renewing her passion.

Join Cass and Callie, along with Alastair the cat, as they seek out the hidden truths that will allow them to see what no one else seems to be willing too.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 27
THE UNDOING: A Young Adult Dystopian Scifi Novel (Book 1 of The Undoing Trilogy)
By Desserae Shepston
Teen and Young Adult
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

The Reckoning destroyed the United States of America. Survivors of the assault, led by the newly elected president, are now subject to his rules. The Vision controls nearly every aspect of life in the country now known as Anecor.

Rebecca and Jonathan grew up under the strict rules and watchful "eye" of SMALS, an AI system that monitors citizens' every move through phones and internal trackers. Those who don't follow the rules are disappeared. Never to be seen again.

When a strange virus strikes the city of Montrose, the residents panic as more of their friends, family, and acquaintances are stricken. No one knows how the virus spreads and scientists have found no cure. There have been no survivors. When the virus strikes Jonathan, Rebecca's world turns upside down.

Jonathan reveals to Rebecca his suspicions about the virus and the discovery of a mysterious glow of purple light behind a nearby mountain. It is up to Rebecca to continue the work he started. It is up to her to unravel the mystery of the virus and the purple light. It is up to her to save her city.

Rebecca will have to risk everything, including her life, to keep her promise to Jonathan.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 27
Spies and Spells : A Cozy Paranormal Mystery (Spies and Spells Series Book One)
By Tonya Kappes
Cozy Animal Mystery
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

SPIES AND SPELLS, the first in this highly anticipated new series from USA TODAY Bestseller Author Tonya Kappes is here!

While Maggie waits for her Witchy Hour, she works at the family diner with her mom, aunt Meme and Lilith, her sister - all witches. Soon Maggie gets entangled with a mysterious handsome stranger, Mick Jasper, and his secret U.S. organization, SKUL.

Has she found her calling?

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 27
Scene of the Grind: A Cozy Mystery (A Killer Coffee Mystery Series Book One)
By Tonya Kappes
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $4.99  Sale: $0.99

Roxanne Bloom (her friends, though few call her Roxie) quit her job as a lawyer, divorced her cheating husband, and moved to the quaint town of Honey Springs, Kentucky where she'd spent many of her teenage summers visiting her eccentric and fun-loving Aunt Maxi.

Roxy follows her dream and opens The Bean Hive, Honey Springs first coffee house on the town's newly revitalized boardwalk. One problem, Aunt Maxi and Alexis Roarke, owner of Crooked Cat, aren't on the best of terms. Alexis leases the book store's building from Aunt Maxi and the rent is going up.

Roxy takes Alexis a fresh cup of coffee from The Bean Hive and a tasty pastry as a peace offering between the two women, but discovers the beloved book store owner murdered and Aunt Maxi is the number one suspect.

Gossip in Honey Springs is as hot at the coffee served at the Bean Hive and Roxy has to uncover who is behind the murder not only to save her shop, her aunt, but her life.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 29
A.L.I.V.E.: A Genetic Engineering Thriller (The A.L.I.V.E.Series Book 1)
By R.D. Brady
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Reports of unknown objects in the sky date back hundreds of years. But since the early twentieth century, the frequency of those reports has increased dramatically. In response, the United States government has been looking for a way to combat the alien threat they see looming on the horizon. Their most promising prospect is the A.L.I.V.E. (Alien Life In Vitro Experiment) Project. 

Working from Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dr. Maeve Leander has been in charge of Alvie, the first subject from the A.L.I.V.E. Project, for the last three years. As a new agency takes over, though, Maeve learns that Alvie wasn't the only subject created. Caught in the middle of a giant war game, Maeve ends up in a race for her life. It's not just humans, though, she's on the run from. And it's not just herself she's trying to save. 

But as the violence increases and the chances for survival decrease, she realizes one terrifying truth: despite its name, the real goal of the A.L.I.V.E. project is to make sure no one gets out alive.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 28
Deadly Search: Sheriff Lexie Wolfe Novel (Sheriff Lexie Wolfe Novels Book 2)
By Donna Welch Jones
Women Sleuths
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

Will Sheriff Lexie destroy her own life to avenge her father's murder?

Sheriff Lexie is entangled in a web of deceit as she searches for her father's killer. At the center of the investigation is her mother, Margo, a beautiful temptress, who used the love and attention from town men to feed her ego before rejecting them. 

Lexie's mother may be the reason her father was murdered, but which of Margo's pawns did it: the judge, the lawyer, the mayor or someone else? The investigation and Lexie's betrayal of the man she loves propels her life into a dark downward spiral.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 28
Fatally Bound - A Serial Killer Crime Thriller (Mac McRyan Mystery Thriller and Suspense Series Book) (McRyan Mystery Series Book 5)
By Roger Stelljes
Financial Thriller
Usual Price: $3.99  Sale: $0.99

FATALLY BOUND... by one decision with deadly consequences.

Hannah opened the backdoor of her house and walked inside, closing the door behind her and locking it. Out of the dark his massive left arm wrapped around her chest like a vice. She was gasping for air but she couldn't break free.

FATALLY BOUND... by one mystery with deadly results.

A brilliant, methodical and vicious killer is on a mission and leaving a trail of bodies behind with little or no evidence. The hunt for the killer will put Mac McRyan and Dara Wire in harm's way testing their partnership, resolve and endurance like never before.

Start Date: NOW  End Date: April 29
Murder, of Course: A Sugarbury Falls Mystery
By Diane Weiner
Cozy Mystery
Usual Price: $2.99  Sale: $0.99

Middle-aged couple Emily and Henry Fox moved to Sugarbury Falls, Vermont to enjoy a quiet life, but when their neighbor pounds on their door at the crack of dawn pleading for help, they can't refuse. A dead woman lies on the floor of their neighbor's rental cabin. Who is she and what brought her to town?

While struggling with the mystery, Emily also struggles with an impossible new boss at the quaint college where she teaches--a boss who may be guilty of her own heinous crime.

Prices change constantly. Be sure to verify all prices before purchase.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The AloneTogether Headlines for April

"I planned to keep my distance, thinking a few meters of separation would be sufficient. But when he saw me, he sprinted off the path and into a thicket of brush. I went on, hoping he was OK but knowing he didn’t want me to check."

A few days ago, when I was out walking in my neighborhood, I thought about this section from Killer in the Retroscape ( Not that anyone ran off the sidewalk to avoid me ... though many stepped into the street, as did I when I was the first to notice. It's a different world, where shunning your neighbor is considerate rather than a slight.

Of course, I'm not the only author who's watching what they've written about unfolding. If you're interested in the views of one who's slightly better known than me (LOL), then give a listen to this interview with Stephen King.

This month, I have one of my books on sale, the first in the Mind Sleuth series (Of Half a Mind). Or how about a Sci-fi giveaway or a 99-cent, one-week sale on more than 20 titles? Interested? Then keep on reading!

Be safe,

1. ON SALE:  Of Half a Mind

For one week only (April 13-19), Of Half a Mind is on sale for only 99 cents (usually, $2.99).

When you talk to yourself, there’s only one voice. When you look at something in your mind’s eye, there’s but one image.

Psychologist Sam “Doc” Price and his colleagues had always held those principles to be true … at least under normal circumstances. But as they studied the work of a brilliant but troubled neuroscientist, they discovered a device that created a reality that was anything but normal. And when they had unraveled its mysteries, the only question that remained was, could they survive the brutal truth?

2. Visions of the Future Sci-Fi Giveaway

Like Sci-Fi?
Want to check out a new author, or two, or sixteen for free?

Then, pick up any or all of these free Sci-Fi books, samples, or short stories including my short story, Amie and Alex: A Love Story. And if you’re thinking a love story shouldn't be in a Sci-Fi giveaway, then you haven’t read it!

3. One Week 99 Cents Mega-Sale

More than 20 books, Romance to Horror, all on sale for 99 cents.

Get these books fast - this promotion ends April 19th!

Friday, March 27, 2020

March Book Reviews

I'm fortunate that one of my favorite pastimes is hiking. And since Missouri State Parks are still welcoming visitors to the outdoors, I have a few hours of my social distancing already covered each week.

It's still a little early for our blooming trees, as you can see from the shot above. But we have all the tiny streams that only run in the Spring to enjoy.

I get a few more hours of social distancing from getting lost in some great reads. Hope you find something in my March reviews that will do the same for you.

  • A crime mystery (She Wore Mourning);
  • A cozy mystery (Name Your Poison); and
  • Occult horror (The Everett Exorcism).

Happy reading,

She Wore Mourning (Zachary Goldman Mysteries Book 1) by P.D. Workman

PI Investigates His Own Demons as Well as the Crime’s 

In She Wore Mourning, Private Investigator Zachary Goldman takes on a gut-wrenching case when he investigates the drowning death of a five-year-old boy. Ruled an accident by the police, the boy’s grandmother wants closure and hires Goldman for a second opinion. Goldman has his suspicions, but he has nothing sufficient for law enforcement to re-open the investigation. Things seem at an impasse, then someone tries to kill him. But is the attempt on his life because of this case or some other that he’s working? He can’t be sure. And if it is this case, who’s responsible for the boy’s death? A pedophile who abducted the boy from his unlocked, backyard and then killed him? One or both of the parents? A forensic scientist in training who seems a bit too interested in Goldman’s case? Even the grandmother doesn’t escape Goldman’s scrutiny. Kudos to the author for keeping the suspense high, dangling several viable suspects in front of our eyes.

For the complete review, see:

Name Your Poison (Top Shelf Mysteries Book 3) by Lolli Powell

You Can’t Beat this Heroine for an Imaginative and Humorous Murder Investigation

Author Lolli Powell continues her winning formula for bar owner and amateur sleuth, Erica (Ricki) Fontaine, mixing a hyperactive imagination with a cynical sense of humor in this third installment of the Top Shelf Mysteries, Name Your Poison. Above all, our heroine has near-boundless imagination. Before the police have the forensics report on the cause of death, Ricki has already decided it was a murder. Not only that, but she’s sure the victim wasn’t the intended target and her newspaper reporter friend, Logan, was nearly killed only as collateral damage. And while that’s quite the deductive leap without a net, she becomes really creative on motives. Before a tense (and unexpected) finale, Ricki suggests the murder was motivated by everything from retaliation by a sexually harassed Hollywood starlet to an attempt to derail a movie that was to be shot in her hometown. All the better to keep the reader guessing … which I did.

For the complete review, see:

The Everett Exorcism (World of Shadows Book 1) by Lincoln Cole

Bad Things Happen When Your Exorcist Doesn’t Believe in Demons

When ‘occult’ and ‘paranormal’ are the sub-genres of a horror novel, I don’t necessarily expect to be scared. Often after loosening the constraints of reality, the authors become embroiled in creating ever more hideous creatures or discovering increasingly horrendous ways for people to die. The result is that the stories can end up being as humorous as they are scary. The Everett Exorcism, however, is NOT one of those books. It is quite creepy … in all the right ways.

For the complete review, see:

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Celebrate (Almost) Spring with A Couple of Giveaways

I've been flattered by several recent messages and emails concerning one of my books. For example, one of them read "BTW, everything that’s going on with the coronavirus reminds me of the background of the world of Killer in the Retroscape." 

While I am glad that my depiction of a world-wide pandemic reads true--something I strive for to build suspense--I'm also happy that my story is fiction. The coronavirus is life. Please listen to health officials and stay safe.

The notes I received also reminded me of an article I read recently about how government and business were tapping into Sci-Fi literature to plan for the future. Realism can serve more than suspense! I thought you might be interested.

Happy (almost) Spring,

Now to the free reads.

1. The Book Review Club

Take a look at more than 55 free books in a variety of genre, including my dark, techno-thriller, Of Half a MindFind your next favorite read and consider thanking the author with a book review.

2. The Whodunit Mystery Giveaway 

Pick up free stories from more than 20 mystery/thriller/suspense writers at the Whodunit Mystery Giveaway.

A word of clarification about this one - although the download site calls all of the free offers "books", there are also samples from novels and short stories, including my short story. And if you think my entry, Amie and Alex: A Love Story isn't a mystery, then I'd guess you haven’t read it yet!