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

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.







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Monday, April 9, 2018

Love in Bloom featuring Melanie D. Snitker


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Finding Peace
by Melanie D. Snitker

Finding Peace by Melanie D. Snitker

Throughout the month of April, we will be featuring 10 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Finding Peace, the first book in the Love’s Compass series by Melanie D. Snitker. Get your FREE copy for 5 days only (9-13 April).


Also available in Love’s Compass series:


This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by I Am A Reader.


Description
Police Officer Tuck Chandler is good at his job. He’s also good at holding women at arm’s length. Jilted by his fiancée for his dedication to his job, he’s not about to open himself up to hurt like that again.
Laurie Blake is a struggling photographer. After growing up in a wealthy family, she’s determined to make it on her own, even if it means doing it the hard way.
When Tuck is assigned to a puzzling burglary involving Laurie’s fledgling photography business, he goes into it with his usual perseverance. He wants to help her – if she’ll let him. As the case unfolds and the mystery deepens, another question arises.
Will the past get in the way of their future?

Series Video


Excerpt
“Look. I wanted to apologize for yesterday.”
Of all the things Tuck might have said, that was not what Laurie had expected. “That isn’t necessary.”
Tuck stopped walking and touched her elbow. “I think that it is. I know my comment about us being friends bothered you. Which was the last thing I wanted.”
“It was silly of me to take offense at what you said. There’s nothing to apologize for.”
“I don’t think anything about you is silly.”
Tuck’s expression was open, and she just wished she knew what he was thinking. She took in a deep breath to steady her nerves. “I had the impression… Or at least I thought…” Closing her eyes, she tried to form the right words and work up the courage to let them pass her lips. “I thought there might have been something there. Because of that, I took what you said way too personally. I was wrong and I’m sorry about that.”
Feeling incredibly uncomfortable, she started down the path again. After only a couple of steps, she felt his strong hand gently hold her arm and tug her to a stop. She pivoted around and sought his eyes for an explanation.
“You weren’t wrong.”
The intensity in his gaze warmed her from the inside out. “I wasn’t?” Her words were breathless as she spoke them.
Tuck collected the strands of her hair that were blowing freely in the breeze and deposited them behind her ear. “Look, I had a relationship in the past that fell apart because of my job. It really did a number on my confidence.”
“What happened?”
They walked side by side as he told her about Jana and how much she had come to resent the interruptions his job brought to their lives.
He shrugged. “What kind of guy doesn’t know his fiancée is unhappy enough to cancel their engagement?”
“A guy whose fiancée isn’t honest with him?”
“I wish it were as simple as that.” He kicked a dirt clod with the toe of his boot and it tumbled down the slight embankment and into the pond.
Laurie stopped their progress. Ducks swam by and she watched as the ripples from their movement traveled across the surface of the pond. “It never is. Look, even if it was all your fault, are you really supposed to torture yourself over it for the rest of your life?”
“I was actually okay with that. Until my issues started to affect someone else I’m beginning to care about.”
Her breath caught as his gaze slowly explored her face and settled on her lips.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“If you’re a fan of Contemporary Christian Romance, you’ll be right at home with the Love’s Compass Series. Melanie skillfully weaves humor and redemption into a moving story grounded in family, friendship, and personal growth. The characters come to life on each page and draw you right into their home as one of their own. This is one family series you don’t want to miss.” ~ Crystal Walton, author of the Home In You series
“It’s refreshing to read a book that showed Christian values in a budding romance & police investigation. The characters where nicely developed and the storyline moved along quickly, so that I didn’t want to put the book down.” ~ Amazon Customer
“This is a must-read story for everyone who loves good, clean romance centered around families. Looking forward to reading entire series.” ~ Kindle Reader

About the Author
Melanie D. Snitker
Melanie D. Snitker writes inspirational romance novels, including the Love’s Compass series. She has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. She started out writing episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, baking, computer games, and hanging out with family and friends.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


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).

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