Showing posts with label suspense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suspense. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Keep the Midnight Out" by Alex Gray


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Keep the Midnight Out
(DCI Lorimer Book 12)
by Alex Gray

Keep the Midnight Out (DCI Lorimer Book 12)  by Alex Gray

Keep the Midnight Out, the twelfth book in the DCI Lorimer series by Alex Gray, is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.



Description
When the body of a red-haired young man is washed up on the shore of the beautiful Isle of Mull, Detective Superintendent Lorimer’s tranquil holiday away from the gritty streets of Glasgow is rudely interrupted. The body has been bound with twine in a ghoulishly unnatural position and strongly reminds Lorimer of another murder: a twenty year old Glasgow case that he failed to solve as a newly fledged detective constable and which has haunted him ever since.
As local cop DI Stevie Crozier takes charge of the island murder investigation, Lorimer tries to avoid stepping on her toes. But as the similarities between the young man’s death and his cold case grow more obvious, Lorimer realises that there could be a serial killer on the loose after all these years.
As the action switches dramatically between the Mull murder and the Glasgow cold case twenty years earlier, Lorimer tries desperately to catch a cold-hearted killer. Has someone got away with murder for decades?

Excerpt from Chapter 1
They called it ‘the splash’; though the boat that crept silently, oars dipping lightly in and out of the water creating myriad bubbles of phosphorescence, made little sound at all. It was vital to keep quiet; the time for frightening the fish would not come until the net was properly laid across the mouth of the burn. After that the oars would be raised high and brought down with force, driving the sea trout from their shadowy lairs straight into the trap. It was illegal, of course, had been for decades, but that did not stop more intrepid poachers sneaking in at dead of night and lying in wait for the fish.
Unfair, unsporting, the fishery bodies claimed, though most folk here, on the island of Mull, recognised the thrill of rowing under the stars and risking some wrath from the law enforcers.
Ewan Angus Munro glanced back over his shoulder to see his son playing out the last of the splash net; the ancient cork floats now in a perfect arc across this narrow neck of water.
Young Ewan looked towards his father and nodded; the first part of the deed was done and now all that remained was to ensure that the fish would be scared out from their hiding places by the sudden noise of oars thrashing on the surface so that they would rush towards the net.
The old man turned the boat with an expertise that came from many years of practice, then headed back towards the shallow channel. He raised the oars, resting them in the rowlocks, water dripping like molten rain from their blades. The small craft was allowed to drift a little before Ewan Angus turned to his son again, the eye contact and nod a definite signal to begin the second stage of their night’s work.
Young Ewan Angus stood, legs apart, perfectly balanced in the centre of the boat, one oar raised high above his shoulder as the older man watched him, eyes full of approval. The boy had been given more than just his father’s names: his flair for the splash, too, had been passed down from father to son.
Across the marshy strand full of bog cotton and sweet-smelling myrtle sat a small white cottage. A swift glance showed him that there was no light on anywhere; the holiday folk were doubtless sound asleep, oblivious to the small drama being played out yards from their front door.
The sound of the splash seemed magnified as it disrupted the stillness, echoing over the bay. The young man heaved the oar again and again, each whack making his body stiffen with fear and a sort of bravado. If they were caught they’d lose both the net and the boat, a heavy price to pay for a night of fun and a good catch of sea trout, fish that fetched a decent price at the back doors of the best hotel kitchens.
Several times the boat was rowed up and down, followed by a series of splashes until the old man raised his callused hand to call a halt. Now it was time to wait and see if the fish had indeed been scared witless enough to swim towards their doom.
Once more the old man rowed along the line of corks, his son lifting the net to see if anything lingered below.
‘A beauty,’ the boy whispered, raising the net to reveal a good-sized sea trout struggling in the brown mesh.
‘Ten pounder at least!’ he went on, freeing the huge fish where its gills had caught and hurling it into a wooden box below his feet.
‘Be-wheesht and get the net up,’ his father hissed, though the grin on his face showed how pleased he was with their first catch of the night. The old man bent towards the struggling fish, his fist around the priest, a wooden club that had been in the family for generations. One swift blow and the fish lay lifeless in the box, its silvery scales gleaming in the night.
One by one, others joined the fated sea trout as the two men made their laborious way along the edge of the net.
‘My, a grand haul, the night, Faither,’ Young Ewan Angus exclaimed, his voice still hushed for fear of any sound carrying over the water.
‘Aye, no’ bad,’ his father agreed, a contented smile on his face. One of the middling fish would be wrapped in layers of bracken and left in the porch of Calum Mhor, the police sergeant. A wee thank you for turning his continual blind eye to the nocturnal activities taking place down the road from Craignure. Mrs Calum had guests staying and she’d be fair pleased to serve them a fresh sea trout for their dinner. It was universally acknowledged here on the island that the pink fish was far superior in flavour to the coarser salmon, particularly those that had been farmed.
‘My, here’s a big one!’
The young man staggered as he tried to haul in the final part of the splash net. ‘I can hardly lift it!’ he exclaimed.
‘Must be caught on a rock,’ the old man grumbled, his mouth twisting in a moue of disgust. If they had to tear the net to release it then it would take hours of work to mend, but the operation depended on being in and out of these waters as quickly as they could manage. Hanging about was not an option in case the Men from the Revenue had decided on a little night-time excursion of their own.
Suddenly the young man bent down in the boat, hands gripping the gunwales as he peered into the depths below.
His brow furrowed at the rounded mass swaying beneath the surface, rags of bladderwrack shifting back and forwards with the motion of the waves. Then, as his eyes focused on the ascending shape, Ewan Angus Munro saw pale tendrils that had once been fingers of flesh and one thin arm floating upwards.
He screamed, and covered his mouth as the sickness rose in his throat, then stumbled backwards. The boy flung out his arms, desperate to grasp hold of something solid to break his fall but all he felt under his hands were the wet bodies of slithering fish.
‘What the . . . ? Ewan Angus turned, an oath dying on his lips as the boat rocked violently, small waves dashing over the bow.
Wordlessly, his son pointed to the waters below. Then, as the old man peered over the side of the boat, he saw the body rising to the surface, its passage out to sea impeded by their net.

Praise for the Book
“Another rip-roaring tale from Alex Gray!” ~ Auntie Annie
“Always love the stories involving the characters. Bill and Maggie are so in love but that sense of loss of their children is poignant. Alex brings the landscape to life and as a ex pat Scot I love it!” ~ Amazon Customer
“As usual Alex Gray has come up with a very enjoyable book.” ~ hazel duffau
“I have enjoyed the Lorimer mysteries and this is a good one. […] I recommend this book to mystery readers who enjoy a well crafted novel with a good balance of description, character development, and plot progression.” ~ Joan N.
“… it’s a corker. With a distinctive setting and a cast of memorable characters, this well-written novel will appeal to readers in search of a fresh take on Scottish crime fiction.” ~ Jim Napier, mystery & crime fiction reviewer

About the Author
Alex Gray
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.
Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.
A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of the DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of The Silent Games by Alex Gray.

Links

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"Everything Under the Sun" by Jessica Redmerski


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Everything Under the Sun
by Jessica Redmerski

Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.
Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?


Excerpt
“Are you still angry?” I asked him.
“About what?”
“Giving the bread away to those people.”
He shook his head against the quilt.
“No, Thais, I’m not still angry.”
After a moment, he said, “Thais?”
“Mmm-hmm?”
“Don’t ask me to kiss you again.”
I paused, tensed. “Why not?” I was afraid of the answer.
We continued to look up at the stars. Behind us the horses whickered and their tails swished about. A light breeze combed through the trees, carrying the bitter and sweet scents of pine and honeysuckle with it.
Finally, Atticus answered, “Because whatever you want from me, Thais, I’d rather you just take it.”
I wanted to cry.
I smiled to myself instead.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Hands down one of the best books that I have read this year. I must admit that I was a bit intimidated by the length of the story, but I devoured every page. This was such an intense story. Everything Thais and Atticus endure, both separately and together, was astounding. I can't remember the last time that I felt so emotionally invested in two characters. This book truly blew me away.” ~ Misha
“This book will take you on a long, dangerous, exciting journey. These characters will stay with you and you will fall so in love with them! I want to read it again, and again, and again! I’m so happy there’s going to be a second book because I need more Thais and Atticus!” ~ ImJaclyn
“First of all WOW! I'm blown away with this book! It's a book that will have your eyes glued and you will not wanna stop turning the pages... The connection of Thais and Atticus will take your breath away and it will make you know what true love is truly about! This is a book I will never ever forgot about and it deserves a lot more than 5 stars!” ~ Juju10
“Wow! What an excellent book! It sure had a bit of everything in it, the love and sacrifice they both went through! A book that will stay with you.” ~ Kindle Customer
“I went into this book going blind. I am so happy I did! I have read Redmerski's other work and this really does not compare to what she has written before. She brought Thais Fenwick and Atticus Hunt to life in this story. The feelings you feel for Thais and her family and the struggle that she went through, as well as Atticus struggle. It is a lengthy book, but I would not have had it any other way. When I got to the end. I was wanting more, needing more.” ~ Sweet Mable Ann

Guest Post by the Author
My Favorite Scenes from Everything Under the Sun
I wrote Everything Under the Sun over the span of about three years, so there are many scenes that really stuck out for me. One of my most memorable was, by far, the time when Atticus and Thais have their first real ‘argument’. It happens in the cabin after a certain event that I will not spoil here, and the scene, for me, was very intense and emotional to write. I felt like my heart was breaking and filling up at the same time.
Another one of my favorite scenes - and apparently many readers’ as well - was the arena scene, when Atticus is forced to fight to the death, gauntlet-style. And I admit, while writing it, I felt like I was there, seeing it through Thais’s eyes - which is why her reaction to what was happening to the man she loves was so brave and dangerous. In this story, it’s certainly not only the guy who saves the girl, as Thais, regardless of her peaceful nature and small stature, is far from being the damsel-in-distress type. She is strong and fearless, and she proves that not only in the arena scene, but time and time again.


About the Author
Jessica Redmerski
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of The Edge of Never, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic.
She also writes as J. A. Redmerski.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies (international) or one of five signed paperback copies of Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski plus signed bookmarks and post cards (US only).

Links

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Lies in the Wind" by Judy Bruce


NEW RELEASE and EXCERPT
Lies in the Wind
(Wind Series Book 5)
by Judy Bruce

Lies in the Wind (Wind Series Book 5) by Judy Bruce


Today we feature Lies in the Wind, the fifth book in the Wind Series by Judy Bruce. The author stops by to share an excerpt from the book. Keep an eye out for my review, coming soon. Also available: Voices in the Wind (read my blog post), Alone in the Wind (read my blog post), Cries in the Wind (read my blog post), and Fire in the Wind (read my blog post).

Alone in the Wind by Judy BruceCries in the Wind by Judy BruceFire in the Wind by Judy Bruce


For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Death Steppe: A World War II Novel.

Description
In the fifth book in the Wind Series, two Dexter residents die in an apparent murder-suicide. Sensing great evil, Megan seeks the truth. When another murder occurs, Megan and the police understand the mortal danger to others, including a young autistic.
Meanwhile, Megan’s love life falls apart. Again. With the help of Edgar Allan Poe, she uncovers fraud, betrayal, and lies, thereby exposing the killer, and forcing a fight for survival. Again.

Excerpt from Chapter 1
Life calmed down a bit—I hadn’t killed anyone for several weeks. And I didn’t intend to shoot my new boyfriend, Jay. I spent a horrible day in jail falsely accused of murdering my last boyfriend, but I made bail and was later dismissed from charges. I continued to wallow in grief and guilt over the death of my unborn child; otherwise, life was good.
Still, as I rode my black stallion across a swath of buffalo grass, I sensed the roiling in my guts meant something was coming to invade my desolate corner of the world, also known as western Nebraska. I’d been shot at, divorced, knifed twice, and I’d solved murders and family mysteries; yeah, I knew about trouble. After I slowed Strider to a canter, I checked my smartphone for messages, but found none. I turned my horse around and spurred him to a full charge certain of one thing—the calamity now brewing would find me.
***
The next day passed normally, though my clients shocked me with their punctuality; still, my barometer of danger, my guts, percolated. Late in the afternoon, I stood chatting with Eldon Strumple, a retired minister, in the doorway of my law firm office when pounding sounded at the front entrance. Glenda, my receptionist, asked through the intercom who called.
Glenda turned toward me and said, “It’s Celeste Percival. She’s rather excited.”
“Let her in,” I said as I shook Eldon’s hand.
As Eldon wandered over to chat with Glenda, who was preparing to leave for the day, Celeste burst through the door, paused, spotted me then ran toward me.
“Megan! My aunt and uncle are dead and they’ve arrested my dad!”
Well, that got my attention. I ushered her into my office and closed the door. Celeste was early twenties, with dark hair and a medium build. I met her during my jail stint.
“Okay, now take a deep breath and tell me what happened.”
“Well, my mom called me and that’s what she said.”
“So your father was arrested for murder?”
“Yeah.”
“Hang on,” I said as I dialed my phone. Within a few minutes, one of my law partners, Rich Dewey, entered the room.
“Now, let’s go through this step by step,” I said. “Your dad has been arrested. Do they think he killed your uncle?"
“And my aunt. He went to their house because no one came to get Mitch and they didn’t answer the phone.”
“What police department was at the scene?” asked Rich.
“Ah, the county sheriff. But this makes no sense. My folks and my aunt and uncle always got along. Now they’re dead. My God.”
When she began to blurt and sob, I summoned Glenda, who brought a root beer and a cream cheese pastry.
After Celeste took a few swigs of the root beer, she said, “No sense, no damn sense. Those Redmonds always hated the Goblets and my mom is a Goblet and my aunt Val is a Redmond and Shiny Goblet would kill anyone for a buck.”
Rich looked at me in utter confusion then turned to Celeste and said, “I’ll go the sheriff’s office to see your dad. I’ll be in touch.”
Rich closed the door behind him.
“Who’s Shiny Goblet?” I asked.
“Fred Goblet.”
“Oh, right, he operates an insurance agency in Kimball. He seems respectable enough.”
“Oh, he’s a snake, a’right. A slimy cheat. Got divorced because he was foolin’ around on his wife. That was years ago.” She heaved a great sigh. “My aunt and uncle…just can’t believe it…finally getting’ that room built on…and now they’re dead.”
“Celeste, I want you to go home. Mitch is there, isn’t he?”
“Yeah. Van brings him about quarter till four.”
“Then go home…help take care of him. I will go to the scene. You’ll hear from me or Rich, or maybe Gus, my other partner.”
“But I want to go with you,” she said.
“They’ll never let family get close. I don’t even know if I can get in even as the family attorney. Listen, your family needs to keep Mitch, at least for now. I’ll try to collect clothes and things and bring them over.”
Celeste nodded as she rose and walked stiff-legged to the door. It occurred to me that I hadn’t smelled smoke on her, which pleased me.
I rang Melanie Sundstrom, my Nordic-blonde paralegal, who quickly appeared at the door. I gave a quick sketch of the situation then told her to follow Celeste home.
“Wait, take this.” I walked over and gave my National Geographic floor globe a spin. “Mitch loves this…the colors and the texture of the mountains. I can get a new one.”
“I saw Junior and Valerie at Custer’s just last week,” she said.
“I know...it’s horrible. Oh, let Gus in on things when his meeting ends. Thanks.”
On the way to the Percival house on this chilly November day, I thought about Edward  “Junior” Percival and Valerie Percival. Last week, they’d brought in Mitch, their only child, a profoundly autistic, mentally retarded, nonverbal youngster of fifteen. That poor boy—he struggled greatly with change, so the permanent disappearance of his parents would hit him hard. As I neared the Percival house, my hands began to sweat. I’d never visited a murder scene—well, except for the ones I’d participated in. Three Cheyenne County cruisers were parked in the street blocking traffic. So I parked a block away. Onlookers gathered in the yards. An ambulance was parked backwards in the single-lane driveway behind a silver pickup truck I assumed to be Junior’s. The Dexter police car was parked directly in the front of the house—the presence of our chief of police heartened me.
Chief Tate McNeill met me as I approached the sidewalk of the narrow, light beige, single-story house.
“Megan, I don’t know if they’ll let you in,” he said.
“Well, let me try.”
The moment I approached the front porch, the county sheriff and one of his deputies crowded me to a stop.
“What do you think you’re doing?” said Sheriff Stan Smythe.
“Do you know Mitch?” I asked.
“I know about him,” said the burly cop.
“Then you know he’s epileptic.”
“Ah, right.”
“Now that boy is going to suffer greatly over a loss he’ll never understand. I don’t think he needs seizures on top of the deaths of his parents, do you?”
The sheriff scratched his late-day whiskers.
“I’m here to collect meds and clothing for Mitch. I’m also his attorney and the attorney for the Percival estate. Now, I’m asking that you allow me to enter this house. Chief McNeill can supervise me.” I handed him my card.
“You will not disturb or take photos of the crime scenes,” said the sheriff.
“I have no legal interest in the criminal aspects of the case. I do plan to bag up several of Mitch’s toys and DVDs, with your permission and inspection, of course.”
“All right, make it quick,” said Sheriff Smythe.
As soon as I stepped into the front room, I heard him—a gasp of surprise then a grunt. And I felt it—evil. Cold and terrible. Then I saw him—flat on his back, blood had run down from the bullet hole under Junior’s chin onto his neck, staining his sweatshirt collar dark. Blood had pooled beside him on the wood floorboards and the edge had been smudged. Blood was splattered on the taupe wall behind him. A rifle lay on the floor next to him, but not in his hand. My God.
I knew this man. He was no more. Why?
Chief Tate gently tugged my arm and I walked with him. But leaving the room gave me no relief—the house was thick with menace and pain; fear hung in the air as we entered the kitchen. The second death happened here—I knew it before I saw her.
A scream jolted me to a stop. She had screamed in terror, gasped, and then gurgled. I stepped forward and peered around the kitchen table. Val was slumped against the door to their bedroom, a dark hole in her forehead. She wasn’t bloody, but a dark smudge was visible on the left side of her neck. Her head was propped up by the frame of the door, her arms hung down at her side, and her left leg was straight out in front of her as the other was bent so that her foot rested against the inside of her left knee. Along the inside of the pant leg was a dark spot and the sole of her gray slipper showed a dark smudge. Like Junior, she wore jeans, but with a royal blue fleece pullover, probably the clothes they changed into after work. My phone buzzed inside my purse, but I ignored it.
“The evil just hangs in the air,” I said.
“Um, right,” said Chief Tate. “The Sheriff says Junior must have shot her, shoved her against the door…she’s got bruises on both sides of her neck. Then he went into the front room and shot himself.”
“But that can’t be. I know these people…I mean, not close…but it doesn’t seem right.”
My whole body went to lead. Chief Tate pulled me to a cupboard in the kitchen.
“Ah, right. Meds.” I started opening the cupboard doors.
“Here,” Tate said as he looked into a cupboard beside the sink.
On the inside of a door was a list of medications, their dosages, and the schedule of times for administration. Prozac, Seroquel, Risperdal, Depakote, multivitamin, Miralax, melatonin—no wonder they needed a list. I found a box of plastic bags. I started loading the stash of bottles into the sack. Tate gently pulled down the list from the door and added it to the bags. I took it to the front door where I set it down for the deputies to investigate. The sheriff walked over to me.
“Judge Shelton is a family friend. I’m going to tell him of your good judgment in allowing Chief and me to get these items for Mitch…or would that get you in trouble?”
He nodded to me. “That would be fine, Miz Docket.”
When I walked back to the kitchen, Tate was grinning at me.
“Quite the diplomat,” he whispered.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I’m a huge fan of the Wind Series and this one is by far, the best! Judy Bruce pushes Megan, already reeling from the loss of her unborn child and many other lives, to the very limit and we’re left to watch as Megan picks up the pieces. Emotional roller coaster wrapped up in a brutal double-murder is the crux of Lies in the Wind. While there was quite a bit more characters to keep straight, it added to the depth of the mystery and I enjoyed trying to figure it out before Megan did. An edge of your seat thriller with a flawed female protagonist who puts her life on the line to help solve the crimes in her town. Highly recommend!” ~ N. N. Light
Lies in the Wind is a murder mystery with just enough romance sprinkled in it to give it a real down to earth feel. This novel is evenly paced and is a well-written whodunit. Bruce covers all her bases on this one keeping the reader involved, tracing over the clues and the characters woven into the story. Bruce will keep you guessing who the killers and if Megan Docket will be able to prove the guilt of the real murderer? The mix of deduction, intuition, and well, quiddity kept the pages turning. I just could not wait to see what happened next. So if you’re up for a ‘who done it’ with a little Western/American Indian twist you could easily get hooked with this latest in Judy Bruce’s Wind Series. You can rest assured you will not be able to set it down.” ~ AuthorsReading
“Bruce keeps up a crackling pace in her fifth Docket novel, helping the reader keep track of a large cast through good exposition and a cast list. Megan’s psychic abilities help nudge her in the right direction but aren’t overly convenient, giving her room to demonstrate her lawyerly and investigative chops. As with the previous novels, Megan’s personality interestingly blends compassion and practicality. She’ll kill if she has to but pleads with God, ‘Please don’t let me be evil.’ A few clever surprises keep readers guessing with a satisfying outcome. Another fine series entry, featuring a well-rounded heroine whose psychic abilities are just some of her gifts.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

About the Author
Judy Bruce
Judy Bruce is a novelist and screenwriter. In addition to her acclaimed novel, Death Steppe: A World War II Novel, five stories have been published from her Wind Series: Voices in the Wind, Alone in the Wind, Cries in the Wind, Fire in the Wind, and Lies in the Wind. Judy maintains a website and a blog. She is a wife, mother, and sister residing in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Creighton University law school graduate. Her autistic son keeps her in touch with her quirky side.







Links