Showing posts with label crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crime. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"Crossing the Line" by Ellen Wolfson Valladares


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Crossing the Line
by Ellen Wolfson Valladares

Crossing the Line by Ellen Wolfson Valladares

Crossing the Line by Ellen Wolfson Valladares is currently on tour with YA Bound 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
Laura, who died thirty years ago, enlists the help of a tenacious high school reporter named Rebecca, who is very much alive. Rebecca, although skeptical and conflicted by her supposed encounters with a spirit, determines to learn the truth about Laura’s tragic death. As the clues unravel and their worlds collide, Rebecca finds herself at a dangerous crossroads.
Laura, now pulled back into everything she left behind when she died – her old high school and memories of her life and death - has been in training for this exact moment. And nothing means more to her than succeeding at her assignment.
It is her one chance to make sure that what happened her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

Excerpt
Chapter 2 - Laura
I bolted out of my chair, ran out of the library, across the lawn, and up the twenty-some steps of Academy Hall. I couldn’t wait to tell Danny and everyone my good news. I looked up at the red brick bell tower and realized the bells hadn’t chimed. What was I hurrying for? Class wasn’t starting yet.
I sat down at the top of the steps. It was a gorgeous, sunny, breezy day, as always. Students were sitting by the lake, walking on the paths, and hanging out on the lawn. I’m finally getting used to this place, I thought.
I looked over at the wide, green lawn area, remembering my first day here.
***
“You’ve been selected to attend The Academy,” a voice had said to me.
Then suddenly, I was sitting on a big field of damp grass with a bunch of other kids my age. I was sure I had finally woken up.
“I guess it was a dream,” I said.
“What?” A boy sitting next to me had overheard me.
“Where are we?” I asked him.
“The Academy. They didn’t tell you?”
I ran my fingers through the soft blades of grass. It felt so real.
“Yeah,” I said. “But where exactly are we? This might be a strange question, but we’re alive, right?”
Then this boy, who was wearing a Members Only jacket, broke out into annoyingly loud laughter. He stopped abruptly when he saw that I wasn’t finding it funny.
“Oh, no,” he said, catching his breath. “You’re still dead. I promise.”
“Oh.” If it was true, assuming this kid knew what he was talking about, it was just so different from anything I’d experienced so far.
“Are you sure?” I questioned him. “Because this all looks so real. You look real. I think I can even smell the air.” I inhaled. “Yeah. That’s nice.”
He nodded and smiled. “I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I can’t get over it either. They want us to feel like we’re really in school. It’s like this agreed-upon visualization stuff they do in the Spirit world, I forget what they call it. Like the hospital I was in before here. Man, it felt real, ’cept no drugs or nothing.”
The boy reached out his hand. “I’m Gary.”
“Hi. Laura.” When I shook his hand, I knew he was right. What I felt wasn’t the touch of another person’s skin. It was more like the subtle energy bumps I’d gotten used to in the Spirit world. Where I’d been was nothing like this place, though. After my death, some beautiful angels and my Aunt Rita, who’d passed away from cancer, had led me to this place called the Transition Zone. They told me I would rest and rejuvenate there. It was this vast oasis of light and all of us there were formless bodies of light within it. Strangely enough, while there were no physical bodies to distinguish us, we still had some individual energy that helped us recognize others. I was told by this important being of light to think about what I desired next. The options were endless, including going back to a new life in the physical world. All I knew was I wanted to help others and then I ended up here. Now I had a body again, and from what I could tell, I looked and felt pretty much the same. There were other people around me, and grass I could feel, and buildings in the distance, so much like the physical world. What the heck was going on?
Gary got up and put out his hand.
“C’mon. Ceremony’s about to start.” He pulled me up.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Ellen Valladares delivers a unique coming of age story that delves deep into teenage angst with a believable and fresh take on the supernatural.” ~ Book critic Oline Cogdill
“What a great read! I did not want to put it down, and it kept me interested and curious right up to the very satisfying end.” ~ Lisa V.
“This book is one of a kind, captivating and engaging no matter what your age. The story is creative, the characters are well developed, interesting and totally relatable if you were ever a teenager, parent, or adult.” ~ PrudentPennies
“Such a creative story! The dialog was spot on and it really made you think about the beyond! I am not normally a believer of spirits and mediums, but this book definitely had me imagining the possibilities. Very entertaining for all ages!” ~ Dana

About the Author
Ellen Wolfson Valladares
Ellen Wolfson Valladares is an award-winning writer/author, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and mother. A native Floridian, she grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has worked as an editor, public relations professional, and freelance writer. Her newest release, Crossing the Line from WiDo Publishing, is a young adult novel about a teenage spirit from the 1980’s who befriends a current-day high school girl in the hopes of preventing a similar tragedy from occurring again.
Her first book, a middle grade novel entitled Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu, received several awards, including a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award. She also has a meditation CD, entitled “Healing and Manifestation with the Archangels.”
After her first child was stillborn in 1995, Valladares became dedicated to helping families suffering a similar loss. She volunteered as a peer counselor to help bereaved moms, ran a support group called “Surviving Pregnancy After a Loss,” and helped create and run an annual event for grieving families. In addition, she is a past president of the Board of Directors of Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, Inc.
Valladares has also taught numerous workshops in the South Florida area on a variety of metaphysical topics, including angels, intuition, meditation, and life purpose.
Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. Currently, she writes for several alumni magazines at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member and former Board member of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA). She also enjoys working as a college essay coach for high school students and helping other writers realize their dreams.
She has been married to her husband, Manny, for close to 30 years (May 2018) and they have two sons, Gabriel and Michael, two dogs, Flash and Chili Pepper, and a crazy cat named Zelda. They live in Weston, Florida.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Crossing the Line by Ellen Wolfson Valladares.

Links

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"The Silent Games" by Alex Gray


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Silent Games
(DCI Lorimer Book 11)
by Alex Gray

The Silent Games (DCI Lorimer Book 11) by Alex Gray

The Silent Games, the eleventh 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
Alex Gray's stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known
In Alex Gray's page-turning new Glasgow-set crime novel, Detective Lorimer must protect his city from a terrifying threat in the countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games is coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby countryside. As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits. But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind. One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch. Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped near to the bomb site who is proving impossible to identify. Elsewhere in the city, people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas. And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat, not just to the Games, but to the very fabric of society.

Excerpt from Chapter 2
It was worse than he could ever have imagined.
Even from the roadside, where a line of police cars was parked, Lorimer could see the devastation. Plumes of smoke and flames still rose from the heaps of broken trees, and as he emerged from the Lexus, his skin was immediately touched by flakes of ash drifting in the air. The smell of burning wood was overpowering, and he could hear the occasional crackle and hiss of fire beneath the whooshing sound from the firemen’s hoses as arcs of water were trained into the heart of the inferno. His eyes took in the gap in the hedge where the fire engines had broken through to reach the narrow walkers’ path, and the tyre marks on the verge. It would be replanted, no doubt, but the burning trees would leave a scar that would take far longer to heal.
‘Detective Superintendent Lorimer? Martin Pinder.’ The uniformed chief inspector was suddenly at his side, hand outstretched. Lorimer took it, feeling the firm once up and down as the officer motioned them to turn away from the direction of the cinders. ‘Sorry to call you out, but as I said, we needed someone to front this. And your name came up.’
‘But isn’t this a local matter?’ Lorimer asked. ‘We’re in the district of Stirling, surely?’
Pinder shook his head. ‘It’s bigger than you might imagine,’ he began. Walking Lorimer a few paces away
from the line of cars, he dropped his voice. ‘And there is intelligence to suggest that it may have a much wider remit.’
‘Oh?’ Lorimer was suddenly curious. The telephone call had mentioned an explosion, the immediate need for a senior officer from Police Scotland and a request to keep the lid on things, but nothing more.
‘You said intelligence.’ He frowned. ‘You mean Special Branch?’
Pinder nodded. ‘I’ve been charged with giving you this information, sir. And doubtless your counter terrorism unit will already be involved.’ He licked his lips, hesitating, and Lorimer could see the anxiety in the man’s grey eyes.
‘We are given to believe that this is just a trial run.’ Pinder motioned to the fire behind them.
‘A trial run,’ Lorimer said slowly. ‘A trial run for what?’
Pinder gave a sigh and raised his eyebrows.
‘The Glasgow Commonwealth Games.’
Lorimer looked at the man in disbelief, but Pinder’s face was all seriousness.
‘That’s almost a year away. Why do they think. . .?’
‘Haven’t been told that. Someone further up the chain of command will know.’ Pinder shrugged. Perhaps you’ll be told once you liaise with Counter Terrorism.’
Lorimer turned to take in the scene of the explosion once more, seeing for the first time the enormous area of burning countryside and trying to transfer it in his mind’s eye to the newly built village and arenas in Glasgow’s East End. He blinked suddenly at the very notion of carnage on such a vast scale.
‘We can’t let it happen,’ Pinder said quietly, watching the tall man’s face.
Lorimer gazed across the fields to the line of rounded hills that were the Campsies. Glasgow lay beyond, snug in the Clyde valley; on this Sunday morning its citizens remained oblivious to the danger posed by whatever fanatic had ruined this bit of tranquil landscape. He had asked why the local cops hadn’t taken this one on, and now he understood: the threat to next year’s Commonwealth Games was something too big for that. And since the various police forces in Scotland had merged into one national force, Detective Superintendent William Lorimer might be called to any part of the country.
‘The press will want statements,’ Pinder said, breaking into Lorimer’s thoughts. ‘It’s still an ongoing investigation. Don’t we just love that phrase!’ He gave a short, hard laugh. ‘And there is no loss of life, so we can try for a positive slant on that, at least.’
‘They’ll speculate,’ Lorimer told him. ‘You know that’s what they do.’
Pinder touched the detective superintendent’s arm, nodding towards the figures milling around on the fringes of the fire. ‘Apart from you and me, there is not a single person here who has been told about the background to this event. So unless the press leap to that conclusion by dint of their own imagination, any leak can only come from us.’
When Lorimer turned to face him, the uniformed officer was struck by the taller man’s penetrating blue gaze. Fora long moment they stared at one another, until Pinder looked away, feeling a sense of discomfort mixed with the certainty that he would follow this man wherever he might lead.
Wouldn’t like to be across the table from him in an interview room, he was to tell his wife later that day. But there on that lonely stretch of country road, Martin Pinder had an inkling why it was that the powers on high had called on Detective Superintendent William Lorimer to oversee this particular incident.

Praise for the Book and Author
“An excellent procedural in which Gray … does for Glasgow what Ian Rankin did for Edinburgh in the annals of crime fiction.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“Gray has no equal when it comes to unmasking killers and she has excelled herself here ... Gray is the new master of Scottish crime writing.” ~ Scottish Daily Express
“Brings Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh.” ~ Daily Mail (UK)

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 print copies of The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray (US only).

Links

Monday, February 19, 2018

"The Fourth Gunman" by John Lansing


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Fourth Gunman
(Jack Bertolino Book 4)
by John Lansing

The Fourth Gunman (Jack Bertolino Book 4) by John Lansing

The Fourth Gunman, the fourth book in The Jack Bertolino Series by John Lansing, is due for release 5 March but is currently available for pre-order. Also available: The Devil's Necktie (read my blog post), Blond Cargo, and Dead Is Dead (read my blog post).


The Fourth Gunman 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
From the bestselling author of The Devil's Necktie, Blond Cargo, and Dead Is Dead comes the latest title in the Jack Bertolino series.
Retired inspector Jack Bertolino straddles two perilous worlds. Known for his impeccable police work, Jack has also done a priceless favor for an infamous Mafia Don: he saved the gangster’s kidnapped daughter from being sold into the sex trade and brought her safely home.
In Jack’s line of work, he can’t help but have friends - and enemies - on both sides of the law.
So, when FBI agent Luke Hunter goes missing after a deep undercover assignment with that same mob boss, the FBI calls Jack in, looking for a favor. With his connections and skills, Jack’s the only man for the job: find Luke Hunter, dead or alive.
The Mobster operates an illegal gambling yacht in international waters off of Southern California, and when Luke went missing, so did half a million dollars of the mob’s money. As Jack dives into the case, he’ll learn the true mystery isn’t the agent’s disappearance, but something far more ominous …
The Fourth Gunman is a sizzling action-packed thriller that will keep you turning pages until the explosive finale.

Excerpt
Luke Hunter sat hunched over a tight built-in desk in the cabin of a weathered thirty-six-foot catamaran docked in Marina del Rey. His fingers flew over the keyboard of a MacBook Pro. There had been one amber sconce illuminating the cabin before he broke in to the vessel, but now the laptop computer was throwing more light than he was comfortable with. At two a.m., all was quiet on the dock, but Luke was running late and still had another stop to make before he could call it a night.
Luke’s hair was short, brown, and unruly, his Italian eyes smoky, his beard dark and in need of a shave. His angular face was set with determination as he slipped a flash drive into the computer, tapped a few keys, and hit Copy, hoping to make short work of his theft.
The cabin was teak, and brass, and well worn. Rolled navigational charts littered the cramped workspace but didn’t intrude on the comfortable living quarters and the bunk that occupied the bow of the catamaran.
Luke spun in the chair, unraveled specific charts on the bed, snapped photos with his iPhone, and stowed the maps back where he’d found them. He had a theory as to why so many of the charts were focused on the waters in and around the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, and hoped the computer files would corroborate his suspicions.
He took pictures of the scuba tanks, masks, flippers, speargun, and weight belts that were stowed aft. The galley was diminutive but efficient. A few potted succulents and fresh herbs on a shelf above the sink lent a feminine touch to the nautical surroundings. Nothing of interest there.
Luke heard the screech of the rusted security gate that led from the parking lot to the yachts and immediately shut down the computer, pocketed the flash drive, and closed the lid, tamping out the light.
He hoped it was just another liveaboard moored at the same dock, returning home after a night on the town. But he spun in place, laced his hands behind his head, and stretched out his legs, facing the teak steps that led from the stern into the cabin, ready to talk his way out of a dicey spot if necessary. It would be uncomfortable but doable. He set his face into a gotcha grin, ready to go on the offensive. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
The boat rocked slightly, the slippered footfalls nearly silent as a woman made her descent into the body of the vessel. Silk drawstring pants hugged her willowy frame as she stepped off the wooden stairway and seemed to suck all the air out of the cabin.
Roxy Donnelly had straight red hair that kissed her collarbone and parted in the middle, and a light feathering of freckles on her cheeks and chest. Her hazel eyes bore in to Luke’s, assessing the situation. She came to a conclusion and—without speaking—told him everything a man wanted to hear from a woman.
Roxy was backlit, her figure silhouetted in a diaphanous white blouse. Luke could see she was braless, and his heart quickened. Her nipples rippled the fabric, and sparks spread to Luke’s chest and down to his groin. As he became aroused, he found himself at a loss for words. No mafioso cracking wise, only deep breathing trying to hide his visceral reaction to the danger of her unexpected arrival. The cabin seemed to become tighter still, if that was possible, until Roxy broke the silence.
“I knew you were smarter than you looked.” If she was aware that Luke had raided her computer, she gave no indication or surprise at his presence. “You saw the schedule, Trent’s on call.”
She stepped closer and Luke found himself on his feet. “I made the schedule,” he said.
Roxy stepped so close their noses touched. He could feel her breath. The light scent of perfume was intoxicating. She reached down and touched his erection, stoking the fire. “I know what you drink, but I don’t know how you like it.”
“Any way you serve it,” Luke said, his voice deep, throaty, and bedroom. He knew he should hit the road but stood transfixed.
Roxy took his hand, squeezed it, and led him to the queen-size bunk in the rear of the cabin. “Get comfortable.”
She stepped into the galley, poured two glasses of Scotch, neat, kicked off her slipper shoes, and glided barefoot to the bed, handing Luke his drink. They clinked and each took a deep sip, never breaking eye contact.
Roxy set her glass down, slowly unbuttoned her blouse, and shrugged out of it, revealing sheer perfection. A dancer’s body. Compact upright breasts, a narrow sculpted waist, and a sapphire-pierced belly button. She tossed the blouse onto the chair Luke had been sitting in, leaned over him, and unbuckled his belt more roughly than he would have expected.
Luke might have received a reality check, but by the time his cell phone buzzed in his pants pocket, they were hanging over the chair.
“You’re not upset?” he said, a statement of fact.
“You should’ve called first, but it was inevitable. It was perfect the first time. We work too hard for no pleasure. Roll over, I’m good with my hands.”
No argument from Luke, who pulled off his gray crewneck and tossed it on the chair. He eased onto his stomach carefully because he was sporting a blazing hard-on.
Roxy was fully engaged. She lit a candle, then raked his back with her fingernails, the brief contact from her nipples as she leaned over him burning a trail from his neck down to his waist. As she straddled Luke, he felt her heat and let out a husky groan.
Roxy started on his lower back and slowly worked her way up his spine, compressing with thumbs and forefingers every third vertebrae until she reached his neck.
“You are good,” he murmured.
By the time Luke realized cold steel was pressed against the back of his head and not her thumbs, he was dead.
The explosion of the hammer striking the .22 round in her derringer created a blinding electric flash behind Luke’s eyes. The bullet rattled around his skull, tearing up brain matter, until his world turned pitch-black.
Roxy jumped off the bed, grabbed a plastic garbage bag out of the galley, pulled it over Luke’s head, and cinched it around his neck to catch any blood evidence. She picked up her cell and hit Speed Dial.
“Trent. We’ve got a situation,” and Roxy gave him the rapid-fire shorthand version while she rifled through Luke’s pants and billfold, her voice devoid of emotion. Her body vibrated uncontrollably as adrenaline coursed through her nervous system. She dropped Luke’s keys and willed her hands to stop shaking as she placed his cell phone and the flash drive next to her laptop. “I’ll clean things up on the home front, you keep your ears open and get a feel for the play at your end. Stay on shift—Shut the fuck up and let me talk!” And then in a tight whisper, “I killed a man, okay? I’ve had better nights. Okay, okay, but only text if you sense movement in our direction.” Roxy was unraveling. “You won’t hear from me again until, until, shit, Trent, until I call you.”
Roxy snapped out the light and walked over to the door and tried to still her breathing as she sucked in the thick sea air and listened for any movement on the dock. Water lapping against hulls and nylon lines clanking on aluminum masts were the only early-morning sounds. If not for the dead body lying on her bunk, it would almost be peaceful.
Roxy got down on her hands and knees and scrabbled around until she came up with the keys she’d dropped. She sat on the edge of the bed and made a mental list of what she had to accomplish. Sucked in a breath, nodded, and went into action.
Roxy pulled the duvet cover over Luke’s body and changed into jeans and black T-shirt and black running shoes. She grabbed a pair of thin cotton gloves and shrugged into Trent’s oversize black hoodie.
She rifled through the junk drawer and pulled out a roll of blue painter’s tape, took a credit card and the cash out of Luke’s wallet and added it to her own, and ran out of the catamaran, locking the door behind her.

About the Author
John Lansing
Bestselling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of Grease, before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
John closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas's More American Graffiti and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced Walker Texas Ranger, co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series Scoundrels.
John's first book was Good Cop, Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
The Devil's Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a bestseller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre. Jack Bertolino returns in John’s latest novel, The Fourth Gunman, the fourth book in his detective series.
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Links