Friday, June 24, 2022

Sharab by Randy C. Dockens

After arriving on an alien planet, a human astronaut, nicknamed Nuke, attempts to bring two alien cultures together but instead brings them to the brink of civil war and his own demise. Nuke furiously works with leaders on two alien planets, Sharab and Ramah, to unite their differences, but finds these alien cultures have become intertwined and codependent. Every step he takes seems to lead toward a schism rather than to a uniting of these two worlds. Will he be able to help them come together and prepare for Erabon’s return, their deity? Or will his actions lead them instead to the destruction and collapse of their two civilizations? Sharab is the second book of a unique Christian science fiction series entitled Erabon Prophecy Trilogy by futuristic fiction author Randy C Dockens. If you enjoy the metaphorical imagery technique used by the great C.S. Lewis in several of his writings, then you will enjoy this series as well. Also, the romantic interests between Nuke and the female Myeemian who he has met continues and offers a romantic read amid the attempts to unite these alien cultures as Nuke realizes his return to his own solar system through the interstellar gate is remote. Get your copy of Sharab and let your imagination soar in this exciting new twist to Christian science fiction today! My Take: This second book in the Erabon Triology picks up where the first book left off. Nuke has entered a new universe and these people think that he is there to unite all the planets together and that he is there god. He is just going along with everything to survive and is doing the best he can. There are chases by Animals that are huge as a baby. I received a review copy of this book from Pum Up Your Book tours and was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Myeem by Randy C. Dockens

The first book of an exciting trilogy where an astronaut, nicknamed Nuke, working on an interstellar gate, is accidently thrown so deep into the universe that there is no way for him to get home. He does, however, find life on a nearby planet, one in which the citizens look very different from him. Although tense at first, he finds these aliens think he is the forerunner to the return of their deity and has been charged with reuniting the clans living on six different planets. What is stranger to him still is that while everything seems so foreign from anything he has ever experienced, there is an element that also feels extremely familiar. Will each alien culture fully accept him as he is also an alien to them? Will these clans accept him as the prophet to their deity, Erabon? Can he himself even believe it? My take: I have started to really like sci-fi books in the last few years. I am really glad I read this one along with the other two books in this trilogy. I found the story of Nuke being stranded very compelling and I felt his apprehension and I felt the story was told very well. I highly recommend this book and will be reviewing the other two books a little later so stay tuned. I recieved a review copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book Tours and was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Erabon Prophecy Trilogy by Dr. Randy Dockens

Title: ERABON PROPHECY TRILOGY Author: Randy C. Dockens Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing Genre: Christian Science Fiction Book Blurb: An exciting trilogy where an astronaut, nicknamed Nuke and working on an interstellar gate, is accidentally thrown so deep into the universe there is no way for him to get home. He does, however, find life on a nearby planet, one in which the citizens look very different from him. Although tense at first, he finds these aliens think he is the forerunner to the return of their deity and has been charged with reuniting the clans living on six different planets. What is stranger to him still is that while everything seems so foreign from anything he has ever experienced, there is an element that also feels extremely familiar. He has to gain the trust from each alien clan and demonstrate through various acts that he is the one they have been waiting for so each culture can fully accept him and follow him. But for the aliens to accept him as the prophet to their deity, Erabon, he has to first accept it and believe it himself. Book Information Release Dates: Book One: Myeem: 23-Dec-2020 Book Two: Sharab: 06-Apr-2021 Book Three: Qerach: 01-Oct-2021 Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing Number of pages: Myeem/271; Sharab/249; Qerach/347 Link to books on Amazon: Book One: Myeem: Amazon.com: Myeem: Book One of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 1): 9781952025129: Randy C Dockens: Books Book Two: Sharab: Sharab: Book Two of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 2): Dockens, Randy C: 9781952025136: Amazon.com: Books Book Three: Qerach: Qerach: Book Three of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 3): Dockens, Randy C: 9781952025143: Amazon.com: Books Erabon Prophecy Trilogy 2 Meet The Author
Randy C. Dockens Dr. Randy C. Dockens has a fascination with science and with the Bible, holds Ph.D. degrees in both areas, and is a man not only of faith and science, but also of creativity. He believes that faith and science go hand in hand without being enemies of each other. After completing his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Auburn University he went on to graduate school at Auburn and completed his first doctorate degree in Pharmaceutics. He began his scientific career as a pharmacokinetic reviewer for the Food and Drug Administration and later joined a leading pharmaceutical company as a pharmacokineticist, which is a scientist who analyzes how the human body affects drugs after they have been administered (i.e, absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted). Through the years, he has worked on potential medicines within several disease areas, including cardiovascular, fibrosis, and immunoscience to seek and develop new and novel medicines in these therapy areas. He has also had his attention on the academic study of the Bible. He earned a second doctorate in Biblical Prophecy from Louisiana Baptist University after receiving a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Internet Bible Institute under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Congdon. Randy has recently retired from his pharmaceutical career and is spending even more time on his writing efforts. He has written several books that span dystopian, end-time prophecy, science fiction, and uniquely told Bible stories. All of his books, while fun to read, are futuristic, filled with science to give them an authentic feel, have a science fiction feel to them, and allow one to learn some aspect of Biblical truth one may not have thought about before. This is all done in a fast-paced action format that is both entertaining and provides a fun read to his readers. Randy’s latest books are in the Christian science fiction series, ERABON PROPHECY TRILOGY. You can visit his website at www.RandyDockens.com or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Midnight's Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller

Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway https://www.audrajennings.com/2022/05/win-copy-of-midnights-budding-morrow.html About the series: While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.” Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores. About the book: Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue? Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother. When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love. Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed? When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope? Click here to read an excerpt. About the author: Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food. Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author), Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor). My Take: I apologize for the look of this post. For some reason I can't get the post to give the right spacing or post images. Anyway My take on the book, I like that this book is looking at the more common people during the Regency era. I think that this gives the whole book a more personal touch and connects with the reader on a more personal level. I liked that no matter what Sarah, the main character tries to give the others in the story some common human decentcy. Of course there are dother characters in the story that are trying to do all they can to make sure that doesn't happen. I received a review copy of this book from Read with Audra book tours and was not required to write a positive reveiw.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Songs that Could Have Been by Amanda Wen

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace. After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson's life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she's surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter. Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren't lost--and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn't sure he's courageous enough to make a different choice this time around. When Lauren's elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before--a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie's past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives--and Rosie's--forever. Along the way they'll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption. The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen's first book in the series. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves. About the Author Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been. In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat. To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen). Copyright © 2022 Audra Jennings PR, All rights reserved. My Take:This book had two different time lines but hey meshed very well together. this is a second in a series but it can be read alone. This book is chocked full of amazing chacters and the love for God came through loud and clear and I enjoyed it from beginning till the end. I received a review copy from Audra Jennings Read With Audra tours and was not required to write a positive review. . Our mailing address is: Audra Jennings PR 2609 Sandy Lane Corsicana, Texas 75110 Add us to your address book

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Silver Sail by Bridgette Dutta Portman

The Silver Sail (The Coseema Saga #2) by Bridgette Dutta Portman (Goodreads Author) A looming supernova. A long-lost starship. A hero turned evil. Olive Joshi never meant to fall through a portal into her own abandoned novel, much less kill her protagonist and resurrect her as a villain. Now she’s on the run in a universe quickly spiraling out of her control. After narrowly escaping Coseema with her life, Olive and her friends head for a distant planet in search of the legendary starship the Wave-Rider, which may be the only hope for the doomed people of Lyria. But the voyage there is littered with obstacles—the tyrannical ruler of a dying colony, a mysterious spacefarer, the ever-present threat of Coseema, and Olive’s own obsessive fears. Back on Lyria, Olive’s allies face obstacles of their own as they vie with the cruel emperor Burnash, while Burnash himself chafes under Coseema’s control. Olive, armed with her omniscient journal, finds comfort in reading along with her friends’ adventures. But when time runs out, she must embark on a risky collision course with her former heroine, one that may force her to give up what she treasures most. The Silver Sail, Book Two of the Coseema Saga, is a must-read for fans of portal fantasy, space opera, coming-of-age adventures, and novels about mental health, self-esteem, friendship, and courage in the face of uncertainty. My Take: This book takes off where the first one left off and you will want dive right in because you want to find out is the evil Coseema gets to Olive or if Olive gets away. There is so much more adventure in this book that you will be sucked into the story and won't want to come up for air until you have read the last page. Great second book in the series. Not disappointed. I recieved a review copy of this book from Lola Book Tours and was no required to write a positive review.

The Twin Stars by Bridgette Dutta Portman

The Twin Stars (The Coseema Saga #1) by Bridgette Dutta Portman (Goodreads Author) A magical journal. A world savaged by its own suns. An evil prince. A princess in hiding. And a teenage girl who learns to be the hero of her own story. Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and can't stop worrying about hurting the people she loves. She finds refuge in writing about Coseema, a magical princess on a distant planet. Coseema is fearless, confident, and perfect - everything Olive thinks she’ll never be. When she falls through a portal into her own unfinished story, Olive finds herself in a world in peril: double suns scorch the land, the brutal Prince Burnash seeks supreme power, and Coseema is nowhere to be found. Together with her friends - a bold poet, a cursed musician, a renegade soldier, and an adventurous girl from the desert - Olive will have to face her deepest fears to find the hero in herself. An engrossing new portal fantasy in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, the Neverending Story, and the Chronicles of Narnia. My Take: This book"s main charcter has ocd and it just goed to show that you can do anything you set your mind to if you want something bad enough. This is the debut novel of Bridgette Dutta Portman and I think she did a very good job of representing something that is so comonn in today's society but so mis understood. Olive writes about Coseema who is a Princess that is everything that Olive thinks she is not. Olive falls through a magical portal and must fix things with her friends. I received a review copy of this book from Lola Book Tours and was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston

Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston Banner

Death Warrant

by Bryan Johnston

June 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston

Death Makes Great TV.

Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie―a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big―agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the planet: Death Warrant. Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment.

After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last.

She could be a star, if only she lives that long.

Praise for Death Warrant:

“I absolutely loved Death Warrant! This will definitely make the ‘Best of 2022’ list.”
—Elle Ellsberry, Content Acquisition & Partnerships, Scribd

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 074430508X (ISBN13: 9780744305081)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Jesus, thought Joey, stopping to catch his breath while simultaneously chastising himself for using the Lord’s name in vain. They’d said the hike was challenging, even by hardy Norwegian mountaineering standards. But he didn’t realize “challenging” was code for “your lungs will be bleeding.” Probably not too demanding for a younger person, but he grudgingly admitted he no longer fit that demographic. Those advancing “middle-years” made his little adventures even more important to him. He took a swig from his water bottle and checked his watch. He’d been making good time. “That’s why you trained for six months, dummy,” he reminded himself for the umpteenth time, not that anyone could hear him. He’d seen a few hikers coming back down the mountain, but to his surprise he hadn’t seen anyone else making the ascent. He’d purposefully picked the least touristy season that didn’t include several feet of snow to make his bucket list trip, but still, he’d expected to see a few more people. Not that he was complaining; he was enjoying the solitude. With one last cleansing breath and the taste of copper dissipating from his mouth, he got to his feet for the final push. On the climb he’d taken to talking to himself, carrying on conversations out loud, playing the part of all parties involved. He’d found it highly entertaining, and it helped keep his mind off the lactic acid burning in his thighs over the five-hour climb.

“Why in heaven’s name does it have to be Norway? It’s so far away,” Joey said out loud in the closest resemblance of his wife Joanie’s patent ed exasperated tone. He’d had thirty years of marriage to fine tune it.

“Because that’s where the Trolltunga is, hon!” Joey replied.

He vividly remembered when the holo-brochure had arrived. “Have you ever seen anything like it?” he’d asked her. She hadn’t. The 3D image projected by the brochure had been impressive, and even his wife couldn’t deny that. The Trolltunga was a rock formation that sprang 2,000 feet straight up above the north end of a Norwegian lake whose name Joanie never could pronounce and was topped with a cliff that jutted out preposterously far, like an enormous plank of a pirate ship. Watching the image slowly rotating over the brochure on their dining table had sealed the deal.

Joey could taste the copper again but powered through. He knew he was almost there.

“Should have brought the stick, genius,” he grumbled to himself. “That’s what hiking staffs are for.” But he’d been afraid some careless baggage handler would damage it. The staff had been too important to him. The entire Boy Scout Troop had carved their names into it along with the final inscription, “Thanks for all your years of service.” He wasn’t sure who was prouder of the gift, him, or Joanie. Regardless, the staff would have been a help.

His research showed that the round-trip climb would be about 22 kilometers—45,000 steps—and the equivalent of climbing and descending 341 floors. He guessed he was right around floor 170. Almost there.

As he rounded a large boulder, he thought back on all his training, preparation, and admittedly, the inconveniences he’d put Joanie through, and recited one of his wife’s favorite admonitions, “Joey Dahl, I swear you will be the death of me.” But then what he saw stopped him in his tracks. At that moment Joey felt complete validation. He also instantly understood what made the Trolltunga such a draw for thrill seekers. The cliff ’s edge reached out so far that the photo op was one for the books, the type of picture you frame and hang in your den. A conversation starter.

Bragging rights. The other church deacons were going to be sick of hearing about it.

“Oh, babe,” Joey said, more to himself this time, “I wish you were here to see this.” But even six months ago he knew that was never going to happen, what with her condition, but she was never going to begrudge him this trip. He’d been dreaming about it for years.

It took a certain person, one immune to heights and vertigo, to walk to that cliff’s edge and look out. Joey was one of those people. He set up the small, portable tripod he’d brought and mounted his mobile device, his optic, to take pictures and video remotely. He couldn’t wait to show it to Joanie and the kids. Through a little trial and error, he eventually got the framing right and strode out to the edge. He turned to face the camera and spread his arms wide in a “look at what I achieved” pose. The optic’s camera lens clicked once, twice, three times.

And then the bullet hit him right above the left eye.

Joey Dahl dropped like a puppet whose strings had been cut, toppling backwards off the cliff, falling into space. Like a base jumper without a wingsuit or parachute. His body tumbled down the sheer cliff face, yet he never quite hit the side. His body stayed clear of the rocky wall, due to the sharp drafts from the lake below. The constant pushing away from the wall, managed to keep him undamaged, bullet wound aside, until he finally met the ground below, by a lake whose name his wife never could pronounce. By then, however, he’d been long dead.

@@@

Six thousand miles away, a room full of people in finely tailored suits and skirts were watching intently, applauding with their approval. One of them, a woman with severe bangs, all business, smoothly pivoted from the wall of monitors, her eyes drawn to another, smaller screen where a series of numbers were appearing in real time. She allowed herself a trace of a smile. The ratings were in. Perhaps not matching those of the pop star’s demise from last summer, but still better than management had expected. Enough to trigger her bonus. Maybe she’d take the kids to Six Flags.

Chapter 1

JANUARY

If you’re going to be summarily executed, you’d at least want the place that’s arranging your death to have a couple of nice rugs. Just for appearances. Nobody wants to be offed by some fly-by-night outfit that considers Ikea the height of corporate d├ęcor. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. I really didn’t know what to expect, they don’t show the offices on the commercials. I knew it probably wouldn’t be like walking into a tax-prep firm on a strip mall—some tiny space filled with cheap furniture, all pleather and particleboard. It is anything but, and instantly fills me with a good vibe and reinforces my belief that I am making the right choice. The entry doors are an artistic combination of rich amber-hued wood, glass, and burnished metal, most likely brass, but buffed dull to appear understated. Classy. You feel like you are walking into a place of importance, where critical decisions are made on a by-minute basis, which I guess they are.

Upon entering I’m greeted by a kindly gentleman with open arms. “Welcome, Ms. Percival, we’re so pleased to see you,” he says with utter sincerity. “Our receptionist will take care of your every need.”

It takes me a second to realize the man is a hologram. I take a step closer and poke at it, which the holographic gentleman tolerates with a smile. Only the subtlest flicker gives away its true identity. From more than a few feet away you’d swear the man was flesh and blood. Holos are common these days, but this one takes the cake. The technology they have here obviously is top shelf stuff. Based on the greeting, they had me scanned and identified the moment I stepped through the front door.

I immediately pick up on the smell: lavender. It’s subtle but noticeable. Upon deeper consideration, the perfect scent. It’s probably the world’s most relaxing smell. Smells have a stronger link to memories than any of the senses, and I can feel myself imprinting the scent with the experience. What did my high school teacher always say? Smells ring bells. True that. I’ll probably go to my grave associating that smell with this place. Ha, go to my grave, bad choice of words for this visit.

The lobby floor is a combination of real hardwoods and Persian rugs so soft you instantly want to take your shoes off for the sheer sensory experience. The space feels more like the lobby of a four-star hotel: tasteful, elegant, contemporary without pressing the issue. The woman behind the reception desk is perfectly in line with the ambience. She is probably in her late thirties, attractive but non-threatening. I like the cut of her jib, as my mom used to say. Her clothes are professional but still fashionable. If I were to guess, they were most likely chosen for her by a consultant, like news anchors choose their clothes to project an image of trustworthiness. When I approach the desk, her face lights up with one of the most endearing smiles I have ever witnessed. I lean in a bit and squint to make sure she’s real. Yep, carbon-based life form.

“How may I help you?” she asks, and I absolutely believe she means it. “I’m here to get whacked.” I mimic guns with my fingers, firing off a couple rounds at her before blowing the non-existent smoke from the barrels. When I’m nervous I say stupid stuff. Stupid or snarky. Stupid, snarky, or sarcastic. I’ve been attempting to pare it down to just one for the last ten years with mixed results. I try to sound like being here is no biggie, but my voice sounds shrill in my ears, and I seriously doubt my anti-perspirant is up to the challenge.

The woman, unfazed by my cavalier attitude, nods with a soft, endearing smile. “Of course. You can speak with one of our sales associates. Please take a seat. Someone will be with you in a moment.”

She gestures to a cozy waiting area with a half-dozen comfortable looking chairs, one of them occupied by a distinguished looking woman idly paging through an issue of Vanity Fair, one of the last media hold outs that still clings to the quaint notion of publishing on paper. I can see an A-list actress of some substance gracing the cover, dressed in a bold red riding jacket, khaki jodhpurs and knee-high boots. I can practically hear the baying of the hounds. The actress is currently all the rage and the expected shoo-in come award time for her role in a recent high-profile drama that has captured the country’s imagination. A period piece that boasts betrayal, star-crossed love, and overcoming staggering odds in the face of adversity. Or at least that’s what the trailers led me to believe.

I turn back to the receptionist. “So, how’s it work?” “Pardon?” she asks innocently.

“I mean, do you get to choose? Sniper shot? Blown up? Pitched into a vat of acid? There was one episode, brutal, they dropped a piano on the guy, like in a cartoon.” I also yap when I’m nervous.

The receptionist’s smile doesn’t waver. “I remember it well.” She gives me a polite nod and says, “Your sales associate will answer all of your questions,” and then tips her head in the direction of where the woman with the magazine is sitting.

With a wink I fire off another round at the receptionist, holster my hands in my pockets, and turn toward the waiting area. Jesus, she must think I’m a moron. I take a seat several chairs away from my silver-haired counterpart. She glances up at me and gives the tiniest of polite smiles— held a beat longer than is socially necessary—before turning her attention back to her magazine. In that singular moment we become confederates, there for the same reason, and she is acknowledging to me with that brief exchange that regardless of my race, sex, social standing, or political leanings, that I—we—are about to become members of a rather unique club. All for one, one for all.

My distinguished clubmate looks distinguished, well, prominent. The cut of her suit speaks of dinner parties of the well-heeled, where talk of debutantes and cotillions is not simply language of earlier generations. And that’s what’s puzzling. I’d simply assumed this place was not frequented by the 1 percent. I mean, why would they need to resort to this measure? They’re all loaded. They’ve got the means to provide for their family members without going to the extremes this joint provides. It then dawns on me that maybe not everyone here is doing this for the money. But why else? Fame? Boredom?

A moment later, a slim middle-aged woman with flawless hair approaches and addresses my clubmate. She rises to her feet, shakes the proffered associate’s hand, and off they go. It is now just me and the glossy A-lister.

I don’t even have a chance to pick up the magazine before my appointed sales associate arrives to greet me. If there ever was a physical embodiment of warmth and compassion, he stands before me. He introduces himself as Benjamin and I can no sooner call him Ben than flap my arms and fly to the moon. To call him Ben would be an affront. This is Benjamin, the type of man who walks one step behind his wife, who enters a room of strangers with his hand on the small of her back to let her know he’s right there with her. Benjamin is clearly a man who listens more than he speaks and gives careful consideration before he does. This is my three-second impression.

Benjamin appears to be maybe a decade older than me, in the early throes of middle age with salt-and-pepper hair, receding, in baseball terms, at the power-alleys of his forehead.

He wears a nice-fitting suit of deep blue with the thinnest of pinstripes. His shoes, brown, match his eyes. It’s the eyes that support everything. His whole demeanor, his warmth, radiates from those dark twins. But I can see upon further review that the smile that rides along with them is what seals the deal. The smile and eyes work in tandem. One without the other, strong, but together, unimpeachable. I would buy a Rolex out of the trunk of this guy’s car.

Benjamin shakes my hand and asks me to join him in his office where we can chat. That’s what he says¾ chat, not talk. The perfect word to set my mind at ease.

Just two pals.

His office is small but nicely appointed and has a window overlooking a wooded urban park. The lavender scent follows us into the room, which I appreciate. Benjamin offers me a seat in front of his desk and takes the chair behind it. The desk is tidy, with nothing but a couple of framed family photos, a World’s Most Okayest Employee mug, and a glass computer tablet mounted on a small, low-profile frame to keep it upright when he chooses to use it in that position.

Benjamin steeples his hands on his desk and fixes me with those molten lava cake eyes.

“So, Frances,” he begins. Not Ms. Percival, but Frances. “You’d like to learn more about . . .” He glances at his glass tablet and looks up with a small smile. “. . . how to get whacked.”

“Pretty much. And by the way, you can call me Frankie.”

“Then Frankie it is. And by the way, it’s okay, you can call it by its official name, a death warrant.”

“Fair enough.”

“How much do you know about the process?” Benjamin asks evenly. He says process with a long o. Benjamin has what used to be called a Trans-Atlantic accent. You’d hear it all the time in ancient movies with actors like Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It’s halfway between a British and American accent. Like something taught at a New England boarding school. It sounds divine.

I shrug. “Not much. How come there’s hardly anything about it on the Internet? I mean, that’s pretty crazy that you’re able to keep it so hush-hush.”

Benjamin nods and smiles compassionately. “It is rather amazing, isn’t it? You’d think someone would talk. Somebody always talks. I’m embarrassed to say I really don’t know.”

And I believe him.

“And yet virtually nothing shows up in the media,” I observe, probably a little more pointedly than intended.

But Benjamin doesn’t seem to mind. He holds his hands out, shoulders arched in the classic Beats me pose. “Those are the interior machinations of the machine that are a mystery even to me. Ask me what time it is, and I can tell you. Ask me how the watch works, and I can’t. Much of the information is purely on a need-to-know basis.”

“And you don’t need to know?” I ask.

“Way above my paygrade. We’re highly compartmentalized.” He can see my skepticism. “Rest assured; I can answer most of your questions.”

He settles back into his chair and that’s when it occurs to me. The eyes. Brown. The receptionist’s eyes were brown. The other sales associate’s eyes were brown. Don’t ask me how I notice this, it’s what I do. I notice things. Little stuff that often is of no consequence. That’s why I was always a fan of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. He noticed things. While others saw, he observed. I thought that was cool. We were kindred spirits. Of course, his gift of observation made nonsense of mine, but the one thing I have going for me is that I am nonfiction. I live in the real world. What I don’t have is the benefit of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle ensuring that I can spot a scuff on a shoe and divine that the culprit had brushed it against a curb in a rush to catch the number five bus. It’s bullshit, but it’s entertaining bullshit. Instead, my ability to notice things on a high but more realistic level has made me reasonably successful in my career—I’m a mentalist. My job is to observe. Take note. Listen and connect dots that others don’t see. I suppose I could be a cop or a private investigator, but that seems like work. Being a mentalist, on the other hand, is fun. We’re like magicians, but without the corny patter. Do I really have the gift of divination and clairvoyance? Sometimes it sure as hell feels like it. Let’s just say I’ve got a knack. However, a byproduct of my keen perception is an overactive imagination. I’ll sometimes see things for more than they are. But it does make life more interesting.

Back to the brown eyes. Of course. Brown eyes are soft, they’re compassionate. Blue eyes are striking, but in a place like this you don’t want striking, you want everything to be the Xanax of appearance. Calming. I’ll bet every public-facing employee here has brown eyes. In fact, I would imagine they’re all screened by a team of consultants to within an inch of their lives to fit specific criteria. A place like this probably only hires people who radiate kindness. I wonder how they measure that? There’s got to be some way to quantify a person’s level of kindness and compassion beyond spending five minutes in a room with them. With today’s technology, I’m sure someone’s found a way to figure out the analytics. To make it measurable.

Benjamin breaks into a smile no less cozy than an electric blanket. “So, what would you like to know?”

“Uh, how about you tell me what you can, and I’ll ask questions as they come to me.”

Benjamin gives a short nod. “Certainly. Let’s begin with the 30,000- foot view, and for clarity’s sake, I will use vernacular that I’m technically not supposed to: You will be killed, and your death will be televised.”

“Pretty damn clear vernacular,” I say.

Benjamin is all smiles. “I know, right? Gets to the meat of it pretty quick.”

“What did you mean by vernacular you’re not supposed to use?” I ask.

“Part of our internal policies. Company culture.” Benjamin says amiably. “Our programs are to be referred to as ‘episodes,’ not ‘shows.’ There are no ‘victims,’ but ‘participants’ or ‘souls.’ And all ‘participants’ will be shown the highest respect and dignity.”

“Mighty neighborly of you.”

“Thank you,” says Benjamin, looking sincerely appreciative of my comment, despite its snark. “Let me see if I can guess your next question,” he asks. “How does it work?”

“You’ve done this before, Benjamin.”

“Once or twice. We’ve got plenty of packages to choose from, depending on your budget, time frame, and other factors.”

“What kind of factors?”

Benjamin turns his eyes to his glass tablet, makes a few taps and swipes to call up the necessary information. “Do you care if it’s clean or messy? Quick and painless or would you rather feel the experience? Do you want a run-of-the-mill termination or something more exotic?”

“Who the hell wants to feel the experience of dying?”

“You’d be surprised. There are some people who want to embrace their last moments on earth. I’m told they think that’s when they feel most alive.”

“That’s whacko.”

“Preaching to the choir here, Frankie.” Just a couple of pals. “What do you mean by exotic?”

Benjamin leans back in his chair and stares up at the ceiling for a moment, collecting his thoughts. “Well, there was one we did a few years back that struck me as outside the lines, as well as being spectacularly challenging.”

“What was that?”

“Piranha attack. And he lived in the city.” “No shit?”

“That one took some serious production to pull off. We had to bring in twice our normal crew. But it was worth it; the ratings were outstanding.”

“How outstanding?” I ask.

“Are you familiar with ratings?” “A little.”

Benjamin taps on his glass tablet. “Piranha attack …… 48.8 rating, 71 share.”

He informs me that a rating point is a percentage of the total viewing population being polled and the share is the percentage of that population that’s watching at that moment. So that meant almost half of the country was watching and 70 percent of those who had their TVs, computers, or optics on were tuned in. I wonder what the other 30 percent were watching.

“Holy crap! Those are Super World Bowl numbers.”

“Actually, a little higher.”

“And I read that a thirty-second ad in that game runs for ten million dollars.”

Benjamin ruminates for a beat. “10.2, last I checked.”

This is where the rubber meets the road, where the money comes into play.

“So, how does it work? Money-wise, I mean.”

Benjamin clasps his hands in front of him and his face takes on an astonishing look of grace. I don’t know what they are paying him, but it isn’t enough.

My brain is having a difficult time reconciling the fact that this man who looks and sounds like a warm bath works for a company that kills people for profit.

“Certainly,” he says. “This is why you’ve come in. So your family will be sufficiently provided for after your passing.”

His demeanor strikes me as that of a funeral director talking costs for the casket, flowers, and organist. A tricky balancing act. Put the client at ease while doing your job to assure you’re keeping the company in the black, so the owner can continue to pay his gas bill, the mortgage, and take his kids to Disneyland.

“If you choose to move forward with our services you will pay a fee, earnest money, as it were, again based on some of the criteria I listed earlier—time frame, complexity.” Benjamin pauses for an instant, like it’s important to him that the following line land properly. “The up-front fee is to ensure we aren’t seen as preying on the desperate.”

“I can see how some might get that impression,” I reply with a straight face.

Benjamin smiles at my understanding. “Once our service is rendered and your passing is confirmed, your designee—the dependent, as it were—will receive a percentage of the advertising revenue brought in by the televised production.”

“And I’m guessing the more elaborate the production, the higher the ratings, and therefore more money for the . . . what did you call it? The designee?”

Benjamin cocks an eyebrow. “Usually, but not necessarily. I’ve seen some pretty pedestrian terminations receive quite robust ratings because of the backstory involved.”

“Backstory?”

“Well, a background that may give the episode a little more drama. Let me give you an example.” Benjamin does the glance-at-the-ceiling thing again, drawing on memories. “There was one episode where the method of death was a simple blow up. Explosives set to go off at a designated time and location. Nothing overly dramatic. But what gave it an extra twist was that on the day of the scheduled event our client decided to take his dog for a walk. An unexpected deviation from his normal schedule. We were embarrassingly unprepared for this. All our research gave us a 99 percent chance that he would be alone at the time of detonation. But as fate would have it, that miscue on our part became a ratings bonanza.”

“What did taking his dog for a walk have to do with any of that?” I ask.

@@@

Chris miller had no idea Max, the gray-muzzled little lab mix padding alongside him, was causing conniptions in a television studio four states away. Well, padding was generous, it was more like limping, or waddling; Max was pushing ninety-eight in people years and built like a kielbasa sausage—mostly due to Chris’s soft heart and table scraps. Chris figured Max could eat anything he damn well pleased for as long as he lived. Seven years previously, Chris and Max had been hiking in Zion National Park when Chris fell down a crevasse and was pinned. He only had enough water to last about a day. But Max had run for help, just like in the classic Timmy-fell-down-the-well scenario. Ever since, Chris spoiled his aging mutt mercilessly.

And that’s what the people in the television studio hadn’t foreseen. “How long before he’s at the optimal detonation coordinates?” asked the director. He dabbed an already moist handkerchief across his brow for the dozenth time in the last fifteen minutes.

“Ten minutes,” replied the field producer, an edge to her voice. She was crumpling and uncrumpling a paper cup in her fist that moments earlier had been half filled with water which she had slugged down, desperately wishing it was something stronger. “My team has the space cleared. No civilians present. At least for now. For the time being, everything is go.”

Nothing was go, thought the director. Things were far from go. But he had to keep a lid on it. He glanced up at the bank of monitors covering the control room wall. A half dozen or so showed audiences from around the globe watching the action. Most at impromptu Death Warrant parties. The public did seem to bond in these instances. The director liked to see how the audience was reacting to the circumstances; it helped him craft the story arc and emotional payout by seeing first-hand what they were responding to. At that moment the audience members were generally freaking out. Nobody wanted to see a cute, albeit fat, little dog blown to bits. In the pre-show the audience is given the opportunity to know the method of termination. It was impossible to guess which way they’d lean from episode to episode. Sometimes they wanted to know, other times they wanted to be surprised.

On this night, however, the votes were for knowing. When the hosts shared that the death would be delivered by explosion, the initial reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Detonation was always a crowd pleaser. But the closer they got to boom-time, the antsier the audience became. They didn’t know the exact moment, but they did know that a little dog was more than likely going to be caught in the line of fire. Thus, the freaking out.

“How could nobody have seen this coming?” shouted a large, imposing executive from the back of the room, a hint of a German accent in his voice. Not a soul dared make eye contact or a feeble excuse; that would have been career suicide. In circumstances like this they resorted to their training, experience, and professionalism, which ran in abundance in this control room. They were the cream of the crop and liked to think they were prepared for any emergency.

The director turned to a small, earnest looking man huddled over a computer screen in the corner of the studio. “Stats. What the hell? Why the dog? He was supposed to be solo.”

The lead statistician gave a shrug. “Over the past 245 days since the job was approved, the featured participant made a nightly walk to this park 232 times.” The man glanced back down to his monitor. “He always left between 6:00 and 6:10 p.m.” The statistician turned back to the director. “It was, to use a more colloquial term, his evening constitutional. You could set your watch by him. Over those 232 times he brought his dog along a grand total of two times.” The man pointed at his screen. “Based on our numbers, the odds of the featured participant taking the dog were less than 1 percent. Well below our threshold.”

The field producer cleared her throat. “Uh, evidently one of those new doggy cafes just opened on the far side of the park. You know, one of those trendy coffee shops that sell dog biscuits along with cappuccinos? Our, um, best guess is that Mr. Miller may be taking his dog there for a treat.”

Back over in the corner, the statistician shrugged again. “Human nature is always the wild card.”

***

Excerpt from Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston. Copyright 2022 by Bryan Johnston. Reproduced with permission from Bryan Johnston. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Bryan Johnston

Bryan Johnston takes tremendous pride in being an eleven-time Emmy award-winning writer and producer during his 25 years in local network television. Following his career in broadcast, he became the Creative Director for a Seattle-based creative agency, developing concepts and writing scripts for companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and Amazon. He has authored several books and written for numerous magazines and websites. Bryan lives in the Seattle, Washington area with his wife, two kids, and one large Goldendoodle. He is a devout movie lover, sports fan, and avid reader. His one great hope is for the Seattle Mariners to make it to the World Series before he dies. He's not holding his breath.

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My take; This book is a scifi , thriller type book that the main character Frankie is trying to get cast on Death Warrant the latest reality show that kills you on the air and your family gets paid according to how many people watch. You don't remember you signed up for the show as your memory is wiped. i found this book extremely addicting and it stayed on my mind long after I finfished it. I highly recommend it. I received a review copy of this book from Partner's in Crime Tours and was not required to leave a positive review.

Dead man's Leap by Tina Debellegarde

Dead Man's Leap by Tina deBellegarde Banner

Dead Man's Leap

by Tina deBellegarde

May 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Dead Man's Leap by Tina deBellegarde

DEAD MAN’S LEAP revisits Bianca St. Denis in Batavia-on-Hudson, New York

Rushing waters…dead bodies…secrets…

As Bianca St. Denis and her neighbors scour their attics for donations to the charity rummage sale, they unearth secrets as well as prized possessions. Leonard Marshall’s historic inn hosts the sale each year, but it is his basement that houses the key to his past. When an enigmatic antiques dealer arrives in town, he upends Leonard’s carefully reconstructed life with an impossible choice that harkens back to the past.

Meanwhile, when a storm forces the villagers of Batavia-on-Hudson to seek shelter, the river rises and so do tempers. Close quarters fuel simmering disputes, and Sheriff Mike Riley has his work cut out for him. When the floods wash up a corpse, Bianca once again finds herself teaming up with Sheriff Riley to solve a mystery. Are they investigating an accidental drowning or something more nefarious?

Dead Man’s Leap explores the burden of secrets, the relief of renunciation, and the danger of believing we can outpace our past.

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Number of Pages: 254
ISBN: 1685120849 (ISBN-13: 978-1685120849)
Series: A Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery, #2
Purchase Links: Amazon

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

He inched toward the precipice, his toes gripping the stone ledge as if they had a will of their own. He lifted his head and squinted into the sunlight still streaming through the blackening clouds. He took in the expanse of rushing water below. In all his eighteen years, Trevor had never seen the creek roil so ferociously.

A clap of thunder startled him. His toes relaxed, and he felt as if the slightest wind could take him over the edge. Lightheaded for a second, he regained his footing and his purpose.

He had no choice if he wanted all this to stop.

He needed to do it.

And do it now.

The downpour would break again soon. But for now, all he could hear was the rushing of Horseshoe Falls beneath him, the roar drowning out the noise of his past.

Of his father.

Of his mother.

Yes, his mother. He had expected his father to be weak, and wasn’t surprised at all after he left. But his mother? A mother’s love is supposed to be unconditional. At least that’s what she had always said before she had turned their world upside down. It was bad enough when she had played at being the sexiest woman in town. At least when his friends teased him then, it was meant to be fun. But this was worse, far worse. Now they wanted nothing to do with him. Now they used him as a punching bag.

His gang no longer looked to him as their leader. They ridiculed him for what his mother had done. From the beginning, he knew those kids were bad news. What choice did he have? In grade school he’d been bullied. Well, he had put a stop to that in high school. Can’t be bullied if you’re the biggest bully.

His mother was gone. His father was gone. And now his posse. First, it was the cold shoulder, and a few snide remarks. Then he was cornered in the locker room after the game one day. That was the hardest. He hadn’t taken a beating like that since the fifth grade. But the tables had been turned on him so fast that he never saw it coming. Trevor realized now that they were never friends. They were just a group of trouble makers who hung out together. Good riddance to them. He didn’t need them anymore.

Another thunderclap reminded him where he was. On the edge. Right on the edge. He either had to do this properly or he would be going over anyway.

Trevor looked over his shoulder one last time and heard a faint commotion in the background. Once they rounded the path, he closed his eyes and jumped.

* * *

Bianca St. Denis stretched to grab the cord just out of reach above her head and yanked on it with all her force to bring down the attic staircase. She tilted her head to avoid being struck as it made its way down. She unfolded the retractable stairs and put one foot on the first rung. But there she stopped, not sure she could take the next few steps. At forty-two the issue wasn’t her physical ability to climb the steps, she was active, even fairly athletic. The old saying went “the mind was willing but the body was not.” Well, in her case “the body was willing but the mind was not.”

She had stayed out of the attic all these months since Richard’s death. She had made do without her ski parka this past winter, and used Richard’s barn jacket she’d found in the mudroom instead. She had made do without the spring curtains she would normally switch out in the living room each March. The winter ones still hung heavy and foreboding. And she made do without the patio cushions she had sewn two seasons ago. She simply sat on the raw wood when she wanted to read or eat in the backyard. She hadn’t realized the number of things she had been doing without by avoiding the attic, not until the town started buzzing about the rummage sale. She pretended it was because she hadn’t had time to search for the items, but she knew better.

She took her foot off the rung, bent and picked up the stairs again, refolded them, and let them float to the ceiling. The hatch closed with a neat click.

* * *

Once Trevor hit the water, his tension disappeared. He welcomed the release and let himself drop. Slowly he was pulled down into the chaos of the rushing water, but his mind had floated above it all. He didn’t feel a thing, he observed it instead. He watched as his body sank, as it swirled in the vortex of the overfull creek. He watched as his body escaped the current and floated peacefully in the murky water. And he watched as he gave in to full renunciation and allowed the water to decide what was to become of him.

His thoughts slowed, as muddy as the water surrounding him.

They slowed, but he could not make them disappear.

He had managed to avoid jumping off Dead Man’s Leap every summer, but this year he knew he couldn’t get away with it. They had already threatened to make sure he jumped this year. That was only part of what the summer had in store for him. Who could he turn to? His grandparents had no idea what he was going through. They always hid their heads in the sand anyway. There was nothing they could do for him. So, he had taken matters into his own hands.

He was shocked when his head broke the surface, and despite himself he gasped for air in enormous mouthfuls until he gagged. He bobbed there, undecided, until he finally attempted the few strides to reach the cove. It took him longer than he expected, like swimming in molasses. A cross between his fatigue, his indifference, and the strong current kept him from reaching the bank in the three strokes it would normally require. On his knees, he crawled out of the pull of rushing water and dropped on the shore.

* * *

Leonard Marshall picked up the package, the paper crinkling in his hand. He carefully unwrapped one layer, then another. Layer after layer until he held the smooth tiny statuette in his hand. He trembled, and smiled, attracted and repulsed at the same time. How could such a tiny thing hold so many emotions for him? So much power over him? It was so small he could cradle it in the palm of his hand. He closed his fingers around it. It disappeared. He opened them again, and there it was. With it came a flood of memories. Exhilarating. His heart raced with a quick pat, pat, pat.

The basement door creaked. He took in a breath.

Time slowed and his heart with it.

Thump……thump……thump.

The light clicked on.

Another creak. Above him a step, a pause, another step. The door ached on its hinges as it opened wider. The light flicked off. The door closed. The steps faded. He let out his breath.

* * *

Trevor had never experienced fatigue like this. He crawled onto shore in the shadow of the cliff and collapsed. He never expected to make it out of the water, and now that he had, he lay there drawing in large mouthfuls of air, as if his lungs would never get enough. He stayed there, staring up at the sky, watching the dark clouds shapeshift. The rain would be there any moment, and to his surprise, he welcomed it.

As his breathing relaxed, he realized that the pain he felt was a sharp object stabbing his back. He rolled over, removed it, and threw it off to the side. As he turned to lay back down, his blurry eyes focused on the object. It was a bone. A human bone? He scrambled onto his knees and slowly made his way over to it. He was repulsed and fascinated, but mostly he was frightened by the sight of a bone and what that could mean. What had happened here, right here in this cove?

In the distance, he heard their drunken voices again. He knelt and grabbed handfuls of dirt to cover the bone. He heard them approach the edge of the cliff.

“He came this way. I saw him jump.”

“He’s too chicken, he didn’t jump. But when I find him, he’ll jump alright. He’ll jump or I’ll send him flying.”

“He jumped, I tell ya. Leave him alone. You wanted him to jump, and he did. I saw him. Let it go, already.”

“Yeah, well if he jumped, where is he?”

“You think he’s still under? You think he hit his head like that kid a while back?”

“I’m telling you, he didn’t jump.”

“There’s nowhere else to go but down. Of course, he jumped.”

“I’m going in. If he did jump, we’ll find him down there. He’s probably hiding under the cliff.”

Trevor carefully picked his way out of the cove. Scraping up against the cliff as close as his body would allow, he followed the contours until he came out on the other side of the falls. With his last bit of strength, he climbed up the rocky trail alongside Horseshoe Falls.

***

Excerpt from Dead Man's Leap by Tina deBellegarde. Copyright 2022 by Tina deBellegarde. Reproduced with permission from Tina deBellegarde. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Tina deBellegarde

Tina deBellegarde has been called “the Louise Penny of the Catskills.” Winter Witness, the first book in her Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery series, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, a Silver Falchion Award and a Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Award. Her story “Tokyo Stranger” which appears in the Mystery Writers of America anthology When a Stranger Comes to Town edited by Michael Koryta has been nominated for a Derringer Award. Tina’s short fiction also appears in The Best New England Crime Stories anthologies. She is the vice-president of the Upper Hudson Chapter of Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America and Writers in Kyoto. She lives in Catskill, New York, with her husband Denis and their cat Shelby where they tend to their beehives, harvest shiitake mushrooms, and cultivate their vegetable garden. She winters in Florida and travels to Japan regularly to visit her son Alessandro.

Catch Up With Tina deBellegarde:
tinadebellegarde.com
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Instagram - @tdb_writes
Twitter - @tdbwrites
Facebook - @tinadebellegardeauthor

 

 

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My Take: This book is set in a close knit village which also has it's share of secrets. The weather plays a big part in the mystery as everyone has to shelter at the community center and a dead body is found. This is the second book in the Batavia - on - Hudson Mystery series. I hope to go bake and read the first book in the series Winter Witness. This book can be read as a Stand Alone though. I received a review copy of this book from Partner's in Crime Tours and was not required to write a postive review.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Song Girl : A Mystery in Two Verses by Keith Hirshland

Song Girl by Keith HirshlandSong Girl: A Mystery in Two Verses by Keith Hirshland: On Tour Publisher: Beacon Publishing Group (January 21, 2022) Categories: Mystery Thriller, Detective/Police Procedural Tour Dates April and May, 2022 ISBN: 978-1949472400 Available in Print and ebook, 388 pages Song Girl

Description Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

Detective Marc Allen is ready to leave the Raleigh, North Carolina, Police Department. Two murders that happened on his watch have apparently been solved thanks to a suicide note confession written by a distraught father. But Allen isn’t buying it. He’s convinced that the man’s adopted daughter, Teri Hickox, is the one responsible for the heinous crimes. With his personal life a muddle and his professional career unsettled he decides the best thing for him is a change of scenery. The detective, now in Colorado Springs, is working new cases and making new friends. One of those friends is Hannah Hunt who, after suffering a freak accident, finds herself only able to speak in song titles. Another is a mysterious drifter who lives out of an old Dodge van and goes by “the champ”. But as Allen builds a new future, events unfold showing him that he can’t escape his past. Song Girl is… Part sequel to The Flower Girl Murder Part stand-alone mystery All entertaining

Praise for Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

”A well-written mystery”-The Hollywood Digest “Highly enjoyable! Engaging from start to finish.”-The Entrepreneur Magazine

Praise for Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland

“I had to dig my teeth in the first pages but once I did, I was on a twisty turning ride. This one turned out to be worth the ride. A fast-paced story with great characters. The plot had some twists making it entertaining. As the bodies begin piling up it’s a race to solve the mystery. I enjoyed reading ‘The Flower Girl Murder’. and look forward to reading more from this author. “-My Reading Journeys The Flower Girl Murder is an exciting police procedural/crime mystery story that has realistic characters; witty dialogue and interactions; rich descriptions of the setting that transports the reader to Raleigh, NC, Reno, NV, and Aspen, CO; a fascinating behind the scenes intertwining of police procedural and investigative techniques and the news station on-air news stories and CTA (call to action) segments; and a multi-layered storyline that draws the reader into the interconnection between the main characters as the pieces of the murder investigations puzzle comes together and is solved. The Flower Girl Murder is the kind of mystery that easily keeps the reader captivated, guessing, on their toes, and wanting more!”-Kathleen, Jersey Girl Book Reviews “This is a great story and one that after I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I like how the deaths were linked. There were lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing along the way. This is one mystery I would recommend checking out”- JBronder Book Reviews “There was a lot of action, intrigue, and suspense to keep me entertained. The who done it kept echoing in my mind…guessing happened a lot. Keith Hirshland is a talented writer. He made it impossible to stop reading his book. The detective is a determined fellow who gives his all into solving his investigations. I really liked this character. Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to all.”-Urban Book Reviews

Awards and Recognition for Keith Hirshland

Book Talk Radio Club Book of the Year 2020 (Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis) Top Shelf Award First Place (mystery) for Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis New Apple Awards Solo Medalist True Crime Category (Big Flies) Shelf Abound Award Winner Indie Book Competition (Big Flies)

About Keith HirshlandSong Girl by Keith Hirshland

Keith Hirshland is an Emmy Award–winning sports television producer with more than three decades of experience producing live and pre-recorded programs that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Among the first forty people to be hired by the Golf Channel in 1994, Hirshland was in the middle of the action when that network debuted in 1995. He provided his talents for Golf Channel, as its live tournament producer, for two decades. Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In: Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat is a memoir about his experiences in the television industry. Published by Beacon Publishing Group, Cover Me Boys was recognized as the Book Talk Radio Club Memoir of the Year. Hirshland’s second book, and first work of fiction, Big Flies, was published in 2016 and is the recipient of the New Apple Awards “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime Category. Hirshland followed that success with his third book, The Flower Girl Murder. In 2020 Beacon Publishing Group released Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis, Hirshland’s third mystery novel. It was a Top Shelf Magazine First Place award winner and was named the Book Talk Radio Club Book of the Year for 2020. Song Girl Hirshland’s fifth book is the sequel to The Flower Girl Murder and was released in January of 2022. All five books are available at www.keithhirshland.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. Keith Hirshland lives in Colorado with his wife and their Pyredoodle Mac. Website: https://www.keithhirshland.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/khhauthor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeithHirshlandAuthor/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khhauthor/?hl=en

Buy Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

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Giveaway Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

This giveaway is for 3 print copies One for each of 3 winners. This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on June 1, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus April 4 Kickoff & Interview Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews April 5 Guest Review & Excerpt Michelle Reading Authors Network April 6 Dee Amazon April 8 Review Jody G Amazon April 11 Review Sal Bound 4 Escape April 12 Guest Review Louise Amazon April 14 Review Suzie M. My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews April 19 Review & Interview Gud Reader Goodreads April 20 Review Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus April 21 Guest Review Becky Life as Rog April 22 Review & Guest Post Kim F. Amazon April 25 Review Avonna Loves Genres April 27 Review & Excerpt Am Goodreads April 28 Review Jas International Book Promotion May 2 Review Denise Amazon May 4 Review Lisa's Writopia May 5 Guest Post Liam Goodreads May 6 Review Lisa's Writopia May 11 Review DT Chantel Amazon May 19 Review Nora S. Storeybook Reviews May 20 Guest Review & Excerpt Linda Lu Goodreads May 23 Review Betty Toots Book Reviews May 24 Review & Excerpt Bookgirl Goodreads May 25 Review Mindy Room Without Books is Empty May 26 Review Amy Locks, Hooks and Books May 27 Review & Guest Post Gracie Goodreads May 30 Review Bee Book Pleasures May 31 Review & Interview Song Girl by Keith Hirshland My Take: This is a great book that is kind of a sequel to Flower Girl Murder but can be read alone. I read both books and liked them both. The story is on that keeps your attention till the very end. There are some very great characters and the mystery was a very good one. I would recommend this book and The Flower Girl Murder. The author is very good at what he does. I received a review copy of this book from Virtual Authors Book Tours and was not required to write a positive review.