Book #Reviews! @JoanHallWrites @harmony_kent @WendyWrites1 @judypost

I have had a month of fabulous reading and want to share the cream of the crop!

Blurb:

Bounty hunters come to Muddy River to capture its amiable bartender, Derek Fang, Raven Black, a demon and the town’s enforcer, warns them off because the vampire hasn’t committed any crime. But a succubus who was Derek’s lover centuries ago has finally found him and wants him back–enough to pay big money to whoever brings him to her–alive.

MY REVIEW:

This is book 5 in the Muddy River Mystery series and although I haven’t read the other books in the series, I was not at all lost reading this segment of the story. Muddy River is a town inhabited solely by supernatural characters. Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and Demons make up the population. In this segment of the story, Derek, a Vampire is hunted by a succubus who wants him back as her plaything and will stop at nothing to get him. I love how the town comes together to protect one of their own. I won’t give away the plot but will say the story is a page-turner and a quick read. If you love paranormal activity, believable characters, and plenty of action, you will love this story! Great world-building!

Blurb:

When celebrated international purse designer, Katherine Watson, hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Premiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened. Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner, Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

MY REVIEW:

This story is a well-written whodunit mystery that also includes some fascinating history about purses. When Katherine, a world-famous purse designer, comes back to her hometown of Bayside to establish a purse museum in their old victorian family home, things could not go more awry. Her best friend, the mayor of the small town, is murdered at the museum’s opening gala. The list of suspects is long and Katherine doesn’t trust the police to find the real murderer. So, she begins her own investigation which leads her into danger more than once. Policeman, Jason and his K-9 Hobbs become an integral part of the story along with many other characters. I loved Katherine’s eccentric mother, Moonjava. She embodied the sixties hippy image and although she came across as being flighty, when it counted the most, she stepped up to the plate. Katherine’s grandmother was another unforgettable character. So who murdered Brenda? Her husband, Russ? A pushy reporter? Someone on the City Council? A crime novelist? The list grows as Katherine digs deeper into discovering the identity of the killer. If you love a cozy mystery with bits of humor thrown in, you will enjoy this story. The author did a great job of keeping the identity of the murderer hidden until the end of the book.

Blurb:

Dream home or damned home?

Ruth Hazelton is over the moon when her husband Lee agrees with the nineteenth-century Victorian in Madeira, New Mexico, is the perfect home for them. While he starts his new job as police chief, she sets about unpacking and decorating.

But it’s not long before Ruth needs more. She becomes a fixture in the community, making time for everyone, volunteering, hosting events—she’s every bit the social butterfly her husband is not. Through her friendships, she learns several former residents of her home met with untimely deaths. If she were superstitious, she might fear a curse, but such nonsense doesn’t faze her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now, as the end of Ruth’s life draws near, she must find a way to convey her message and stop the cycle to prevent anyone else from suffering in the house of sorrow.

MY REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and wanted it to continue. It all starts with a beautiful one-hundred-year-old Victorian home in a small town in northern New Mexico. I fell in love with the town, the people, and the house in this introduction to the Madeira Legends series. This close-knit community has everything you’d expect to find in a small town, from friendly neighbors, to children who play on the streets until after dark, to mystery and intrigue. And the house is the center of attention.
Ruth Hazleton and her husband Lee move to Madeira after Lee lands the job as Chief of Police. I really related to Ruth’s character. She is friendly, outgoing, and caring. She is the lady that bakes cookies for the neighborhood children, organizes Easter egg hunts, and decorates for every holiday. Set in the sixties, the author weaves historical events throughout this short story, from the Kennedy assassinations to the first Apollo landing on the moon and the break-up of The Beatles. She makes the story believable along with the characters and the mystery surrounding the old house. Could the house truly be cursed? I cannot wait to find out! I enjoyed that the author put the first chapter from the first novel in the series at the end of this short story. It whets my appetite for more. I highly recommend this if you love a good mystery set in a believable small town with unforgettable characters.

Blurb:

It’s so remote out here. Anything could happen …

A missed phone call in the night is all it takes.

When Carole’s 18-year-old son goes missing, she breaks into Jayden’s laptop to try to understand his life.

All too soon, Carole discovers just how little she knew her boy.

And when one lead after another dead-ends, the distraught mother has to face the unthinkable.

Sucked into a sticky web of deceit and lies, nothing is as it seems.

When your life turns inside out and upside down, who would you trust?

MY REVIEW:

Talk about a nail-biter! This story begins with some backstory that is essential to what happens as the main story begins. Carole lost her husband, Harvey, to cancer. That left only her and their son, Jayden. As the story begins, Carole is texting with eighteen-year-old Jayden about when he’ll be home. Even though he’s of age, she still worries. After all, he is her entire world. She makes the mistake of taking sleeping pills with wine before going to bed that night. She missed the calls and frantic text from her son. And, he never made it home. Guilt-ridden and terrified, she searches everywhere for him and comes up empty-handed. Finally, she involves law enforcement. The author not only shows this mother’s terror, but she also places you right inside it with her. I sat with Carole as she scrolls through page after page of social media looking for any clues as to where Jayden might be. As she continues her frantic search, she is mortified to realize she knows little of her son’s life. She’s been so locked into her years of grief that she’s shut him out. I won’t go into details, but over a period of five days, Carole moves from one horrific moment and event to the next. The only thing keeping her going is her favorite Macchiato coffee and knowing in her heart that her son is still alive somewhere. I was on the edge of my seat through this entire story and devoured it as fast as possible just to find out what happened. Talk about a shock! If you love a psychological roller-coaster and don’t have a weak heart, I highly recommend this story! While the numerous scenes of Carole sitting at her table and making yet another coffee became repetitious, it was not enough to deter me from finding out the ending to this tale. It depicts a parent’s worst nightmare in a visual and emotive way.

I only post 4 and 5 star reviews. I highly recommend any or ALL of these books!

#RRBC September Spotlight Author – Susanne Leist @SusanneLeist #RRBC #RRBCSA

It is my great pleasure to welcome the #RRBC Spotlight Author for September to my blog! Susanne Leist is the author of The Dead Game Series, and today we’re featuring her third and newest book, “The Dead At Heart!”

Over to you, Susanne!

Thank you for having me at your blog stop today, Jan.

I want to share a poem that I composed as I watched the rain through my bedroom window.

WASH AWAY MY SORROW

Please wash away my sorrow and pain.

Let it flow down the streets with the rain.

Dissolved in torrents of despair and sadness,

Joining others on its way past the madness.

The ocean may take it far away

To places, we cannot even say.

Where no one recognizes its sting

Or knows the infliction it can bring.

Let the rain grow harder with its might,

Becoming hail on this fateful night.

I want to be free of all traces

Of unwanted feelings and faces.

My body grows cold from the rain.

It stands clean and free from the pain.

Shivers create a path along my spine

As I wait in the darkened woods of pine.

I hold my head high to the wet spray.

It becomes a mist of blue and grey.

The faucet has turned off for the night,

Leaving me feeling clean and so right.

Author Bio:

I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn’t reading late into the night, the TV shows such as Murder She Wrote and Columbo, entertained me with murder and suspense tales.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal, murder mysteries, but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.

The Dead Game, Book One of The Dead Game series, brings fantasy and surrealism to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

The story continues in Book Two, Prey for The Dead, as The Dead vampires use an exclusive club in Disney World to infiltrate the rich and famous. As The Dead grow in power, not even the bright sunshine of Florida can weaken them. Linda and her friends join forces with human vampires–known as hybrids–to defeat the evil threatening to control Oasis. A masquerade ball and a romp through the tunnels beneath the town lead to a showdown in southern Florida’s swamps.

The Dead At Heart is Shana’s love story. Will her love for William strengthen, or will Sam lead her on a different path? At Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Shana and her fearless friends fight for Oasis and their lives.

A career in writing has been a giant leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it’s too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart.

William’s bite bonded Shana to him, but he didn’t ask her to mate with him for life. She isn’t ready for a lifetime commitment. Now, William excludes her from his vampire meetings. Shana understands he’s an original vampire with immense powers. For them to be a couple, he has to treat as an equal partner. If William doesn’t respect her, then what are their chances of finding happiness?

Shana speaks to Linda, her best friend, of her fears.

“Paradise is an illusion.” Shana’s face grows heated as her frustration mounts. “Oasis is a haven for vampires. I’m tired of their battles. The Watchers get rid of an evil group of vamps, and another group arrives and attacks. It’s a vicious cycle. Vampires are trouble.”

“We will have a happy ending.” Linda lifts her head. “Don’t lose faith. The Watchers will protect us, and Gregg has an elite force of original vampires.” She touches Shana’s arm. “William loves you; he won’t let something happen to you.”

“The vampires keep secrets from us.” Shana swallows the lump in her throat. “I don’t want to live with vamps anymore, and I need time to decide on my relationship with William. One minute, I’m suffocating, and then the next, I’m lost without him.”

As a new enemy descends on Oasis, Florida, Shana turns to Sheriff Sam, who broke her heart. Can she trust the human-vampire?

This begins Shana’s journey to fight vampires and werewolves with Sam at her side.

An explosion at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec doesn’t stop Shana and her friends from saving their town, and maybe even the world.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK!

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter handle:  @SusanneLeist

Facebook URL:  https://www.facebook.com/susanne.leist.98

Website address:  https://www.susanneleist.com/

Thank you for supporting RRBC’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author!  If you’d like to follow along with each stop of this tour, please check out our “SPOTLIGHT” Author forum on the RRBC site.

Guest Post – Author, Tina Frisco

Meet my guest today, Author, Tina Frisco. tina-4a

She has a brand new book release and I am happy to share it here.

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Jan. I appreciate this opportunity to talk about my new book, Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire.

Vampyrie is not your typical vampire novel. It’s based in science and brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility. Although the book is not part of a series, two primary characters from my first novel, Plateau, play major roles.

One day during my morning walk, the word Valkyrie came to mind. As you may know, a valkyrie is one of a host of female helping spirits of the god Odin in Norse mythology. Depicted as both loving and bloodthirsty, valkyries decide who lives and who dies in battle. They also assist Odin in transporting his favorites among the slain to Valhalla, the hall where he houses the dead whom he deems worthy of dwelling with him. In my novel, Valkyrie becomes Vampyrie and Valhalla becomes the Haven.

I always have been fascinated by the myth of the vampire and often have wondered if the phenomenon actually could exist. My background in medicine led me to speculate about how this might have a basis in reality. If rooted in science, how might this myth come to life? The most likely answer would be as a physical disorder or disease.

As I began writing, the story began unfolding. What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future?

vampyrie_cover_for_kindle

Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility.

My protagonist, Phoebe Angelina Delaney, is a reluctant genius and a compassionate hothead. She loves deeply, agers quickly, often acts before she thinks, and curses with abandon.

She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell? Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor? Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive.

EXCERPT:

“Where in the blazes am I?” Phoebe mumbled under her breath, afraid someone might be listening. “And how in the world did I get here?”

She crept along the cold stone wall, carefully placing one foot in front of the other. The last thing she remembered was saying goodnight to Lunah outside the club. Her head was splitting.  The pain dulled her normally sharp mind. Dazed and confused, she dropped to her hands and knees and crawled in pitch-black darkness.

Shivering in the damp cold, she waved her hand in front of her eyes but couldn’t see a thing. She felt drugged, hung over, and everything in her wanted to lie down. Fear growled in her belly, threatening to explode into unbridled terror. But Phoebe wasn’t the type to cave in the face of danger. If she were ever again to see the light of day, she knew she had to pick up the pace.

“Get up, you fool!” she whispered emphatically. “You’ve no idea what might be lurking in this damned snake pit.”

She tried to ignore the throbbing in her head. She tried to shrug off feeling she was captive in the lair of some hungry beast. She forced herself to stand, despite feeling lightheaded and dizzy. Guiding herself with one hand pressed against the wall, she walked slowly and paid close attention to every step. She didn’t want to make a sound.

Just when she started to rebound, something damp prickled her fingers from between the stones.

“Damn!” Startled by the sound of her own voice, she cupped her hand over her mouth as she lurched backward. The jolt cleared her mind. She was in a cave or underground tunnel.

“I’ve got to find a way out of this hellhole!” she murmured, too frazzled to whisper. She couldn’t help giving voice to the menacing panic . . .

She forced herself to keep going, in a futile attempt to keep the phobia at bay. But it resolved to have her in its greedy clutches. Barely able to breathe, her mind flooded with profanities, and escalating terror insisted on having a voice.

“Dammit!” squeezed its way out as she panted and broke into a sweat.

She couldn’t help repeating the obscenity until it echoed down the corridor, eerily and with telltale foreboding . . .

Her head was pounding. She felt as if she were spinning round and round on some horrific amusement park ride. Yet she knew she hadn’t drunk enough alcohol to cause such nauseating vertigo. She lost her balance and fell back against the wall, gasping for air and fighting to stay conscious. Her body slid down until she sat with her hands braced flat on the ground. The feel of the cold stone against her skin helped her catch her breath.

“Snap out of it, Pheebs; you’re stronger than this,” she whispered, mindful the darkness might be concealing something deadly. She repeated the reproach until she finally heard herself.

When the panic lifted, she grasped the flashlight with her teeth, leaned back against the wall, and slowly pushed her body upward until she stood. Although trembling and lightheaded, she managed to maintain her balance.

She brushed her hands together to remove the grit, but instead of falling to the ground, it rolled across her wet palms and stuck to her fingers. Aiming the flashlight downward, she saw something red covering her hands. Frantic to get rid of the nasty stuff, she rubbed her palms across the wall until they were chafed. But the red slime seemed to penetrate her skin. When she realized what it was, a sickening horror struck and dared her to regain composure.

“Oh my god, it’s blood!”

Shrieking, the flashlight dropped from between her lips and broke as it hit the ground. But Phoebe was too spent and disoriented to notice.

EDITORIAL REVIEW

I was hooked from the first paragraph. Phoebe has an indomitable spirit. I was rooting for her throughout her quest and her ordeals. As the tension built, I found myself riveted to the page . . . and then the next page and the next. I read this book in two days. I could barely put it down when outside forces demanded my attention. There is also an underlying metaphysical angle to the narrative that only enhanced the pleasure I experienced while reading this wonderful, wonderful story. —Andrew Joyce, Author of Yellow Hair and Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer

Pick up a copy of Vampyrie today!

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