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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"The Swedish Girl" by Alex Gray

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Swedish Girl
(DCI Lorimer Book 10)
by Alex Gray

The Swedish Girl (DCI Lorimer Book 10) by Alex Gray

The Swedish Girl, the tenth 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.


More books by this author: The Riverman (blog post), Pitch Black (blog post), and A Pound of Flesh (blog post).

Description
Another gripping Lorimer novel from Alex Gray, evoking Glasgow like no other writer can.
When Kirsty Wilson lands a room in a luxury Glasgow flat owned by Swedish fellow student Eva Magnusson she can’t believe her luck. But Kirsty’s delight turns to terror when she finds the beautiful Swedish girl lying dead in their home and their male flatmate accused of her murder. Kirsty refuses to accept that he is guilty and, inspired by family friend Detective Superintendent Lorimer, sets out to clear his name.
Meanwhile, Lorimer calls on trusted psychologist Solly Brightman to help unravel the truth behind the enigmatic Eva’s life and death. But it is not long until another woman, bearing a marked resemblance to Eva, is brutally murdered. Horrified, Lorimer realises that Kirsty could be right. Is it possible that Glasgow’s finest detective has put the wrong man behind bars? And is there a cold-blooded killer out there orchestrating the death of the next innocent victim?

Excerpt from Chapter 9
December
Kirsty turned the key in the door and closed it behind her with a sigh. The hall was in darkness and there was no sound coming from the living room. Her shoulders moved up and down in a shrug of resignation; she was alone in the flat again. Then she remembered. Wasn’t there some party that Eva had mentioned? They’d all be there, wouldn’t they? Pulling off her thin raincoat and hanging it on the old-fashioned wooden coat stand, Kirsty sauntered into the bedroom next to the front door, unbuttoning her jacket. It was fair handy having this big room to herself, especially when she was working late shift at the hotel. Nobody would be disturbed by her comings and goings. She took off her shoes and tossed her jacket, bag and mobile phone onto the bed. Oh, it was good to be home. A wee cup of hot chocolate and some of her own gingerbread would go down well, she thought, already imagining her teeth sinking into a thick slab of treacly cake.
She stopped for a moment, listening. There was a swish then a click as the front door opened and closed again. Then, nothing.
‘Colin? Is that you back already?’ Kirsty wandered out into the hall, her bare feet sinking into the pile of the hall carpet, still thick and soft despite all their winter boots tramping back and forth. Eva’s father had spared no expense in doing up this flat for his daughter and Kirsty Wilson was grateful for those small luxuries that were absent from most of her friends’ student flats.
Frowning slightly, Kirsty padded down the unlit corridor, one hand out ready to flick on the light switch as she reached the kitchen. But something made her turn left into the living room instead, just to see if anyone was at home after all.
At first she imagined the girl had fallen asleep, sprawled out in front of the television.
‘Eva?’
Kirsty moved forward and bent down, expecting the girl to sit up and yawn. One hand reached out to touch the back of her head but then she drew back as though guided by some inner instinct.
She stood up again and stepped around the recumbent figure, unaware that she was holding her breath.
Then, as Kirsty saw the expression in the dead girl’s eyes, the thin wail escaping from her open mouth turned into a scream of terror.
***
Detective Superintendent Lorimer crouched over the body, aware of the sounds of voices coming from the hall. The dead girl was lying on her back, one arm flung out, the fist curled tightly in the moment of death. Her head was bent to one side, blond hair partly obscuring her features, but Lorimer could see enough to make him wonder about the cause of death.
‘Manual strangulation?’ he asked, glancing up at the consultant pathologist who was kneeling on the other side of the girl’s body. The on-duty pathologist tonight was his friend, Dr Rosie Fergusson. He glanced at her with his usual admiration for her calm efficiency, knowing how different she could be at home as a doting mother and as the wife of Professor Brightman, an eminent psychologist and sometime criminal profiler who had worked with Lorimer in the past.
‘Looks like it,’ Rosie murmured, her gloved hands smoothing the hair from the victim’s face, letting Lorimer see for the first time what Kirsty Wilson had found earlier that night.
Eva Magnusson still had that ethereal quality in death that had captivated those who had gazed upon her: Lorimer saw the perfect oval face with flawless skin and bow-shaped lips that were slightly parted as though she had been taken by surprise. He watched as Rosie reached out to close the dead girl’s eyelids, seeing for the final time those pale blue Scandinavian eyes staring out at a world that had proved less than kind.

Praise for the Book
“Gray teases her readers unmercifully as the tension rises and the body count and list of suspects slowly, but surely, grows.” ~ Scottish Daily Express
“Gray's superb Lorimer series hits double digits with this tenth instalment and continues to go from strength to strength. With every outing Lorimer's world widens, the secondary characters adding extra depth and authenticity, yet never detracting from the cool authority of the man who is ultimately in charge. The dialogue rings true, the procedures are by the book, and with twists that leave questions until the pulse-racing conclusion. The story of this Swedish girl shows that this Scottish author is at the top of her game.” ~ Daily Record
“Considering that this is the 10th in Alex Gray's Lorimer series, she does a great job in continuing her characters while delivering a distinctly different plot each time out. […] Of note is the fact that The Swedish Girl can be enjoyably read whether or not you've previously read Gray's series.” ~ Dianne
“Gray masterfully brings his characters to life in a plot as intricate and deep as anything in today's headlines.” ~ Auntie Annie
“The stories are always intriguing, captivating and keep you reading on to find out more. The characters, despite their flaws and sometimes maddening traits, are sympathetic and superbly worked out. Keep them coming Alex.” ~ W. M. Koolstra-dekker

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 A Pound of Flesh by Alex Gray.

Links

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Indiscretions of a God" by Sunniva Dee

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Indiscretions of a God
(Porn Star Boyfriend Book 3)
by Sunniva Dee

Indiscretions of a God (Porn Star Boyfriend Book 3) by Sunniva Dee

Indiscretions of a God, the third book in the Porn Star Boyfriend series by Sunniva Dee, has just been released. Also available: The Truth About Porn Star Boyfriends (read my blog post) and Twin Savage (read my blog post).

The Truth About Porn Star Boyfriends by Sunniva DeeTwin Savage by Sunniva Dee

This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Panda and Boodle.


For more books by this author, check out Shattering Halos (read my blog post), Leon's Way (read my blog post), Adrenaline Crush (read my blog post), Cat Love (read my blog post), Walking Heartbreak (read my blog post), Dodging Trains (read my blog post), In the Absence of You (read my blog post), The Fighter and the Baroness (read my blog post), and Path of Thieves (read my blog post).

Description
I’m not a saint. That’s not why I left the mafia. I left because I’m god, because I need no one, and fail at nothing.
I’m Isaias Di Nascimbeni, owner of Lucid, the biggest adult entertainment studio in L.A. Son of Il Lince and second generation Italian in the U.S, I’m dirty rich and adored by highlife as well as lowlife.
Whatever I focus on turns to gold. On the Richter’s scale of eye candy, I’m a twenty. I’m a hunter who tests limits. A warrior who goes shady when the law becomes dreary.
While conducting business at the St. Tatiana, the most stunning woman I’ve ever seen enters my radar. Isn’t it interesting that her name is Tatiana? Isn’t it bizarre that she’s a nun? Isn’t it wild that she’s unimpressed by me?
Isn't it fucking insane that I can’t get her out of my head?
She doesn’t acknowledge me when I return to her church. It’s unprecedented. Unheard of. Not happening. But the hunt is my fetish. Novice or not, she’s only postponing the inevitable. Beautiful Tatiana asked for this. By the time I'm done, she’ll worship me, because now it's game on.
Indiscretions of a God is standalone book #3 in the Porn Star Boyfriend series.


Excerpt
“Isaias.” Tatiana’s fingers brush down my temple and my cheek to my mouth. “I need to leave for about an hour. I didn’t want you to worry.”
I blink off my sleep. I’m on the couch in the living room, waiting for my phone to ring with news about Gabriela.
“I can’t let you leave, baby.” I arch my head backward, following the sound of her voice. Her pretty face hovers over me from behind. I reach up, pull her down to me. She sinks to her knees and cradles my face with her hands.
Tatiana allows me to devour her mouth. My tongue delves in, swiping and suckling her into a moan. It’s heart-battering. I breathe faster, and then her exhales become shallow too. I love that sound.
“It’s not safe out there for you.” I lace my fingers into her hair, extending it around our faces. We’re in a tent of silk and warm sugar. “I’d never hold you back if it weren’t for your safety. Because you need to live on. On and on and on with that crazy beauty you are.”
She puffs a quiet laugh against me. “Weirdo.”
“I want you,” I sigh out.
“Tonight, darling. I just need to do this, okay?”
I still her face over me. Nudge it away enough to stare into her eyes. “I’ll come with you.”
“You can’t. It’s nun business.”
“You still think of nuns?”
“My business with the sisterhood doesn’t simply disappear because of an explosion in a church,” she whispers to me.
“Let me at least drive you there.”
I shut my eyes while her soft fingers draw trails down my cheeks. In my adult life, I’ve been touched often and in many ways, but Tatiana’s caresses remain on my skin long after they’re gone.
“Isaias, I’m twenty-seven years old. I’ve been fending for myself for a long time. I’ll be fine, okay?”
I scrunch my eyes shut, knowing I won’t be forcing myself on this stubborn, beautiful, independent woman tonight.
“I’ll be honest with you. I can’t bear the thought of you and Gabriela both out there without my protection.” I pull her down so I can kiss the infinitely soft skin of her throat. “Just let me drive you there. I won’t come in. I’ll, you know, play with my phone and listen to music like some dopy-ass high-school boyfriend until you come out.”
***
I grew up surrounded by women. I grew up surrounded by macho men too, but they all knew when to yield to their women. It’s why my father’s heart still beats for my mother. It’s why hers stutters every time he’s in danger.
So I let Tatiana go. I stand there on the gravel, hands fisted in my pockets like a douche. At least she accepted my offer of taking the Escalade with the bulletproof windows. She better get used to that, because she’s with Isaias di Nascimbeni. From now on, I’ll make damn sure she never drives anything that can’t repel the bullets of my father’s enemies.
“Fritz,” I shout as soon as she rolls toward the highway. “Get in.”
“Uhm?”
I walk up to him and point toward another loaner. It’s a joke of a car. Small and grey, it’s unassuming enough to blend in anywhere. I chuck him the key.
“I hold you personally responsible for Tatiana’s wellbeing until she’s back in my arms. Understood?”
“Absolutely, sir. It’s an honor.”
I pitch him my Glock too, and I don’t fucking care how unprecedented that is. He grabs it on reflex, gaze humbled as it meets mine. “Mr. Nascimbeni. I’ve got it. I have my sub.”
I stare him down, willing him to tell me it’ll be enough. Because is it? His stare dims with determination. Then he tosses my gun back. I watch it swirl in the air and find my palm in seconds.
“You’re sure?”  My voice doesn’t sound right.
“I am.”
I squint, forcing liquid away from my eyes.
“I will get your woman back to you.”
Ah.


Praise for the Book
“Again Sunniva Dee has created story that’s nothing like I expected and that’s exactly why I read her work. I experienced numerous emotions while reading Indiscretions Of A God.” ~ Malene_D
Indiscretions had all the feels. As mentioned earlier, emotional beyond words (holy-moley), hilariously funny moments, passion (of course) and true unconditional love. Kudos for being able to put together a fantastic read that encompasses so many different layers!!” ~ Kager & Lefse Book Blog
“The story moves quickly, filled with action and suspense. It's a captivating and enjoyable read. I bow in awe to this author's ability to write so beautifully and craft such entertaining and satisfying stories.” ~ Chris
“There is a flow and an ebb to this story that kept me guessing as to what was going on. It kept me entertained from the beginning to end.” ~ Maura
“Wow. I mean, just an AWESOME book! I was ENTHRALLED. For me, this was one of those ‘can't put it down, read a paragraph whenever I have a free minute’ books.” ~ Romance Novel Giveaways Lauren Seiberling


About the Author
Sunniva Dee
Sunniva Dee is a reader, a lover of everything beautifully written no matter the genre. As an author, she pens flawed characters and seeks the flip side where the soul hides. Once there, she wants to be pulled out of her comfort zone by stories taking on a life of their own.
Sunniva has written paranormal and young adult. She’s committed contemporary romance verging on erotica, and she’s dabbled in supernatural mystery. But her heart is rooted in new adult of the true kind: young adult all grown up, with conflicts and passions that are familiar to college-aged readers and readers who remember those days like they happened last night.


Giveaway
Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Friday, November 24, 2017

"Dark and Stormy" by J. Mercer

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Dark and Stormy
by J. Mercer

Dark and Stormy by J. Mercer

Dark and Stormy by J. Mercer is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Faryn Miller wants to build a new life in a small town. It’s her last chance to figure out, of all the roles she’s played in her thirty-some years, which one truly fits. Her aim at simplicity sounds like the perfect medicine until she meets Kai Allen, who’s spent his life doing everything the hard way and never bending for anyone. Lucky for Kai, Faryn has no preconceived notions about what he’s done and who he is, unlike the rest of town.
When cryptic messages start sneaking their way into Faryn’s apartment, then blatant threats, the two of them compile a long list of who could be stalking her. Unable to keep his frustration and rage hidden any longer, Kai explodes on everyone in his path, and Faryn can’t help but wonder if the storm is closer than she thinks.

Excerpt
Faryn
Sometimes I felt wild and restless, like a mustang that turns around one day and realizes it’s been domesticated when all it thought it did was take the offer of a simple apple. It always started the same way, from a point deep in my center, and would grow to an incessant itch I couldn’t shake.
To soothe it, I’d been driving for days, all my belongings stacked high behind me in my small SUV. The ones I’d seen as necessities anyway, since my goal was to pare back and succumb to basic need.
I yearned for amnesia to settle on my mind and recreate me into who I was supposed to be, because at thirty-three I didn’t know anymore. I’d been so many things, so very split and so widely scattered.
If I chased solitude and eliminated distractions, I figured my true self would have no choice but to rise from the ashes of all the other roles I’d spent my life playing. And if it did, maybe I could go back home and survive the future, whether that entailed the path I’d been on or a new one altogether.
Or maybe I’d find a home here, in this small Midwestern town that spoke to me of fresh beginnings. After an hour of winding along its streets, exploring every corner, I stopped in the driveway of an old brick house that was split into four units. A large cube with many windows, it pulled at me more than the apartment building a few blocks over, or the gaping farmhouse on the edge of town, all three of which had for rent signs crookedly staked in their front lawns.
It was manageable and adorable, at least from the outside. All brick, but lighter than the standard red, with faded white windowpanes and a small covering over an even smaller front porch. An attached covered staircase ran up the left side, and an old grill stood sentry on the right.
Perfect.
Fishing my phone out of my bag, I dialed the number written in fat permanent marker beneath the words encouraging me to call. And as if fate had shifted the winds to drop me here, my new landlord was not only home, but able to forgo everything to meet me and hand over the key in ten minutes flat.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
"Complex characters give way to a brilliantly written story ... Incredible writing from a first time author."
"Great small town setting with an awesome cast of characters. J Mercer masterfully takes you on a journey full of twists and reveals that are woven so skillfully into the story you’ll want to read it again and again."
"J Mercer combines her gift for poignantly haunting characters with a plot that is intriguingly complicated."
"I couldn’t put this book down! When I reached the last page, I sat, breathless, stunned."
"This book had me hanging on page by page. With thought provoking character development and surprises at every turn."

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Faryn moves to a small town for a fresh start and meets a number of local characters in her new bartending job. She's not looking for romance, but she can't help her attraction to Kai. Kai has a troubled past, but he's trying to reform, and he thinks Faryn is just the one to help him. When Faryn notices strange things happening in her apartment, the locals blame it on the ghost of the previous tenant. But could it be that someone has it out for her? What is Faryn running from, anyway? Has someone from her past followed her? And what about that opening scene? Did Kai, in fact, kill Faryn?
This book sounds complex but, in fact, nothing ever happens. It's a love story where thirty-somethings won't even have sex - totally unbelievable. It's told in the first person, mainly from the points-of-view of Faryn and Kai, with some input by minor characters. Kai's version of Faryn doesn't seem to mesh with her view of herself. For example: he makes her out to be a wanton tease, whereas she constantly tells us she's not looking for a lover; he makes her out to be confident, in control, and cocky, whereas she presents herself as being meek and mild. These discrepancies may be explained by what we find out later but, unfortunately, I found it all to be a bit too unbelievable. In addition, the opening scene is totally unnecessary and, while it may create suspense, it spoils the ending.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, sex scenes (not graphic), violence.

About the Author
J. Mercer
J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology, only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband - though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Dark and Stormy by J. Mercer (open internationally).

Links