John Burley: The Quiet Child Sunday, Aug 20 2017 

Readers will think they know what’s happening in John Burley’s thriller, The Quiet Child–but they are most likely to be wrong.

It’s a distubing story of the McCray family in small-town California of 1954. Already hanging on by a thread, teacher Michael McCray is struggling to handle his wife’s illness. The vibrant woman he loves has been struck by ALS, a ‘new’ disease with not a lot known about it at this time.

Danny, who doens’t speak, and his older brother, Sean, are both affected by the changes in their lives.Their situation is worsened by town gossip that Danny’s inability to speak is somehow responsible for illnesses in the town, even his own mother’s.

The two accompany their dad to pick up ice cream at the local grocery. Michael leaves Danny in the back seat of the car when the unthinkable happens: a man comes out of nowhere and tries to enter the car. Sean sees what’s happening and tries to stop the man and ends up being kidnapped, too, as the car roars off.

Sheriff Jim Kent has seen the situation before the kidnapping and worried someone in town would take drastic measures against Danny. Now he’s invovled with the two lead detectives in tryiing to find the boys.

It’s a horrendous situation all around with both boys missing. Everyone is suspicious of the parents, who are devastated. It will be difficult to discuss more of the plot without giving too much away. Suffice it to say that the ending is not what anyone is expecting on many levels.

With attention to little details that bring the setting into sharp relief, Burley’s latest is a haunting tale.

Hollie Overton: The Walls Thursday, Aug 17 2017 


The Walls is Hollie Overton’s second thriller, and introduces us to single mom Kristy Tucker, juggling her teenaged son and her ill father who lives with them. Her work as a public information officer for the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice makes her the mediator between the inmates, the prison system and the media. Part of her job is to conduct interviews and develop relationships with inmates awaiting execution on Death Row, and to be present as a witness when that execution takes place.

It’s an interesting setup that makes her vulnerable to the emotions of so many others, and to their violent sides. We see her develop a relationship with an inmate, Clifton Harris, accused of murdering his two children, who stoically maintains his insistence on his innocence.

This is a smart woman helping others, including her teenaged son, managing her father’s illness and holding down the fort alone. She craves adult companionship and someone she can lean on.

When her son’s mentor Lance Dobson enters her life, she marries him believing his stosries of his love and dedication to her and her family. But things change radically in just a few short months when Lance’s dedication becomes stifling and his insistence on how she dresses and acts soon becomes physically abusive.

Just as she gathers the strength to admit she’s made a mistake and tells him she wants a divorce, Lance threatens to murder her son and father if she leaves him. It is Clifton Harris who gives her the idea that haunts Kristy.

You may think you know this story, but you would be wrong on many counts. This is a woman at the end of her rope with not only her future but that of her son and her father hanging in the balance. How she decides to handle the situation, and how that affects her, form the second half of this absorbing look at how far someone may have to go to protect their family.

Summer Humor: Rosenfelt, Murphy and Ingelman-Sundberg Wednesday, Aug 16 2017 

Being a dog lover, David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpernter Mysteries are some of her favorites.
This summer he’s back with Collared, his newest entry starring lawyer Andy who also runs the Tara Foundation for dog rescue.

Married with an adopted son, Andy is contemplating not renewing his law license, which sends wife Laurie into a tailspin. Then he gets a call from the Tara Foundation and suddenly he’s working again.

Andy’s newest stray at his rescue has a chip the lawyer recognizes. He’s the “DNA” dog, and he’s related to a single mom, Jill Hickman, whose dog and her adopted baby were kidnapped and never seen again.

With Jill’s former boyfriend convicted of the kidnapping, it would seem case closed after evidence was found at his apartment, including dog hair which DNA testing showed as belonging to the missing dog.

Only now that same dog has surfaced, reopening the case and the hunt for the missig baby. Is the real kidnapper in jail or still on the loose? Can the missing boy still be alive?

With his wife, Laurie, urging him on, Andy and his wonderful team investigate. There are chuckles along the way in this satifying read that will please dog lovers and mystery afficionados who like a good puzzle. There’s plenty of suspense to keep you flipping pages through this satisfying read.


Shirley Rousseau Murphy returns with the twentieth installment in her popular Joe Grey Mystery. Welcome to the world of cats this time, and Cat Shining Bright
opens with Joe becoming a dad to three adorable kittens in coastal California.

Being a dad means no more helping solve village crimes, until the local beautician, along with a customer, are found dead in her salon. Surely he must take on this investigation, although he’s unaware at first the kittens trail behind him.

There will be gang of thieves, a new cat shelter, and an intriguing neighbor, along with Wilma Getz, the human for Dulcie, mother of the kittens. That the cats speak to a few humans adds to the charm of the series.

The sequel to The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is just as funny when readers crack open The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again!. Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg must enjoy writing about the crew of elder Swedish criminals she’s created, the League of Pensioners, a modern-day Robin Hood band.

Wanted for an art heist, the League travel to Las Vegas to lie low. Despite things like electric wheelchairs complicating their movements, they become luckier than they’d thought possible. Then Brains, their talented gizmo person, finds new ways to take on the casino, until a gang of jewel thieves cross their path and somehow they find themselves with diamonds to take back to Sweden along with their hefty winnings.

There will be losses, a motorcycle gang, and a decent bank job before it’s all over, until Martha has one more great idea for the gang. Enough antics to keep you smiling just from picturing this crew of seniors at work.

Patricia Hale: The Church of the Holy Child Tuesday, Aug 15 2017 

Please welcome author Patricia Hale, to introduce her newest release, The Church of the Holy Child:

Vicarious Vacations

Get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to sleep, repeat. Our days become mundane, repetitive, Groundhog Day. We all feel this sense of stagnancy at one time or another. So what do we do? We take a vacation. Nothing a sandy beach can’t fix. But if a trip isn’t in the budget, we might pick up a book because another person’s life is always more interesting than our own.

So . . .the job of a writer, besides a great plot, is to create a character that one can go on vacation with or follow anywhere. When a reader relates to a character’s fears, morals (or lack of), flaws or secrets, a connection is established. The pages turn because the reader is invested in the character and has to stay with them as they step into the darkened basement, the foreboding forest or the doomed space mission, because they can’t not go. It is our duty as writers to give the reader a vacation, to provide change, challenge and bitten finger nails, all within the comfort of a recliner. If we don’t, there’s no turquoise water, no sandy beach.

And so, when each day runs into the next and life feels stagnant, pick up a book and find a character you relate to. Take a vacation and get the bad guy, pull off a heist or fall in love. Be a detective, a PI, or even the villain–wherever your connection lies.

In my new release, The Church of the Holy Child, rookie, PI Britt Callahan chases down a serial killer who is targeting women’s shelters. Despite her fear, insecurity and guilt, Britt’s determined to protect these women and prove her self.

Sound like a vacation you want to take?

Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.
Website: http://www.patriciahale.org/

Stephen Leather: Light Touch Sunday, Aug 13 2017 

The prolific Stephen Leather had two books out last week: the paperback version of Takedown, his stand-alone, and the newest Spider Shepherd thriller.

In Takedown, Charlotte Button, ex-MI-5, has been seen before in Leather’s series, and is now tasked with taking out a rogue Special Forces soldier. He’s already hatched one deadly plot. What she needs to do if figure out his next plan and stop him before he can act.

She has help in the form of Lex Harper, who assembles a team who are capable of stopping the rogue soldier before the massive attack they fear he’s planned. Readers of the Shepherd series will know Lex, and here they’ll see another side to him.

Having these two previously seen characters in their own book brings a fresh look to this kind of adventure-filled thriller.

While this is whirling, Charlotte finds that two of three flash drives, hidden in secret places, have been stolen. Containing information on dirty government operations from the past, their loss means her life is on the line if they can get to the third. Who is after her and why?

And while you’re investigating this one in case you missed it when it first came out, Light Touch brings Dan “Spider” Shepherd back with a tough case that is topical and swiftly paced.

MI5 send Spider in when one of their undercover operatives stops giving them information on a drug lord with international smuggling on his resume. Spider needs to find out if Lucy Kemp has shifted to the dark side in her dealings with Marcus Meyer.

It’s an intriguing and delicate situation, made all the more difficult when he finds an SAS assassin is planing revenge killings for his sister’s overdose. Only Spider can find and stop Matt STanding and conviince him there’s another way to deal with all of this–Spider’s way.

With a theme built around trust, this is a filled with action and twists, with little rest on the horizon.

Leather’s skills in action have been noted by the cinema world, too.

Two of Leather’s novels have been adapted for film: The Chinaman, one of Leather’s Mike Cramer series, has been made into the movie THE FOREIGNER which opens this fall starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan. TANGO ONE has been made with Vincent Regan and Sophie Colquhoun, directed by Ssacha Bennett, and is awaiting a release date.

Wendy Walker: Emma in the Night Friday, Aug 11 2017 

Wendy Walker had a real hit with last year’s All is Not Forgotten. She returns with her newest psychological thriller, Emma in the Night, proving once again she has taken her time to explore the depths of a psychological situation that makes her work eerily real.

The story revolves around the Tanner sisters, who disappeared three years ago. Cass was 15 and her older sister, Emma, 17 on the night they didn’t come home.

Now Cass has reappeared without Emma, and with a story about where the girls have been that includes kidnapping and being held on a remote island in Maine.

Helping the FBI investigation is the forensic psychologist who was on the case originally when the girls disappeared, Dr. Abby Winter. Told in alternating viewpoints from Abby and Cass, the story unfolds in a dynamic that will grip readers.

Exploring their mother’s narcissistic personality feel familiar to Abby, whose own mother was a narcissist. The impact on Abby and her sister is one she is still feeling; indeed, her doctoral thesis was written on the disorder. She’s acutely aware of the dynamics within a family with a narcissistic parent and will use this to her advantage.

As Cass’s story is told and points are checked out and verified, it certainly seems that she’s telling the truth. Then why does her mother want to paint her as crazy? And why is Abby certain that there is more to that night than Cass is revealing?

This is one of those stories that readers will gobble up as the pages fly by. At the surprising end, there is still another twist in this terrific thriller that teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about narcissism. Be prepared to start evaluating your friends . . .

Jan Edwards: Winter Downs Wednesday, Aug 9 2017 

Please welcome Jan Edwards, whom Auntie M first read about on the wonderful UK Blog Gaslight Crime, to describe her new release, Winter Downs, the first in a new series:

Many readers have asked about the inspiration for Winter Downs, and, more specifically, why the county of Sussex, England in WW2, was the chosen setting.

Put simply, Winter Downs sprang from a Sussex childhood littered with abandoned airfields, pillboxes and dugouts, along with anecdotes swapped by parents with friends and relations.

Forgetting that, just like walls in the 1940s propaganda posters, small children also have ears, and the old timers would talk about how Mr ‘V’ was jailed for sheep rustling for the black market; How Mr and Mrs ‘W’ were interned for most of the war; How sad it was that Mrs ‘Y’s only son was shot down over France, before the Battle of Britain. And yes, I listened, never dreaming how many of those snippets would be filed away in my junk-yard brain, only to re-emerge in altered form, so many years later.

My amateur sleuth, Rose ‘Bunch’ Courtney, and her ancient family home, Perringham Hall, are entirely fictional. But they were inspired by a vast pool of local people and places, and their much-repeated intrigues – the sort of things from which all legends are born.

And what is Winter Downs about, I hear you ask?

“Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth, but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously? In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.”

Winter Downs is available in Paper and Kindle formats from:
Winter Downs on Amazon.com
Winter Downs on Amazon.uk

Winter Downs
Jan Edwards
3rd June 2017 | Penkhull Press
ISBN 978-0-9930008-6-7
Paperback £9.99 tbc | ebook £2.99 tbc
In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.
Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously?

Winter Downs is first in the Bunch Courtney Investigates series. Published in paper and e formats.

Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Press, and has written for Dr Who spinoffs with Reel Time Pictures.

For further information please contact Penkhull Press at: https://thepenkhullpress.wordpress.com/
Jan is available for Q&A s and interviews. Follow the links to the Q&A page if time is pressing and you can just pick a few questions that appeal to you or get in touch at the links below.
For reviewing purposes e ARCs available in Mobi, PDF or eFile for reviewing purposes. You can join Jan’s newsletter via the Contacts Page or at Jan @ rowangrove.co.uk or call Jan at 01538 751705

Kellye Garrett: Hollywood Homicide Tuesday, Aug 8 2017 


Please welcome Kellye Garrett, whose debut Hollywood Homicide is set in the glamour of Hollywood:

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
As a long-time book lover, I love when I recognize a place I’ve actually been in a book I’m reading. So it was important that I used as many real-life Los Angeles locations in Hollywood Homicide as possible. Here are three of my favorites.

Melrose Avenue:
Television shows aside, Melrose isn’t just a “place.” It’s one of LA’s most iconic streets. You’ll find shoe stores, fashion boutiques, amazing restaurants, and, interestingly, one really fancy auto customization shop.

The ArcLight on Sunset Boulevard:
The ArcLight is the Rolls Royce of movie theatres. It’s also the home of many a movie premiere. The best part? It doesn’t close for these premieres. The rest of the theaters still show other films and anyone can buy a ticket, which means prime celeb spotting. You can catch a movie and a glance at Channing Tatum or Queen Latifah to boot. I’ve spotted both there!

Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank:
Every book has a climax and mine suitably takes place on a studio lot. I’ve worked at Warner Bros. twice, once while interning for George Clooney’s production company, and later when I wrote for Cold Case. From the outside, a movie studio looks like a collection of really big warehouses. But step inside a soundstage and you’re transported into a completely different world—literally. They house the sets for your favorite movies and TV shows. When I was there, they shot the latest Indiana Jones movie. The temple that held the Crystal Skull was actually a Warner Bros. soundstage. I loved walking back from lunch and taking a peek inside. It was just as impressive in real life as it was on screen.

What about you? Have you been to any of these places? What’s your favorite place to visit in L.A.? Maybe you’ll find it in Book #2 of the Detective by Day series.

Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder. Her first novel, Hollywood Homicide, will be released by Midnight Ink on August 8, 2017. It was named Library Journal’s August Mystery Debut of the Month.

BOOK SUMMARY
THE SURPRISE HIT OF THE SEASON!
ACTRESS DAYNA ANDERSON’S DEADLY NEW ROLE: HOMICIDE DETECTIVE
Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semifamous, mega-broke actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. So after witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she pursues the fifteen grand reward. But Dayna soon finds herself doing a full-on investigation, wanting more than just money—she wants justice for the victim. She chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes, and movie premieres, loving every second of it—until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life.

BUY LINKS
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/BuyHollywoodHomicide
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hollywood-homicide-kellye-garrett/1125099089?ean=9780738752617
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780738752617

Susan Sloate: On Historical Research Sunday, Aug 6 2017 


Please welcome Susan Slaote, to explain about the historical research she loves!

It’s Not Laziness—It’s Research!!

I love, love, LOVE American history, and have been reading and studying it all my life. I’ve also written a fair number of books based on history: 5 biographies (Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, two books about Ray Charles), a book about baseball (BASEBALL’S HOTSHOTS: Greats of the Game When They Were Young), a history of Alcatraz Island (MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: The Secrets of Alcatraz), and in later years, a time-travel thriller about the JFK assassination (FORWARD TO CAMELOT).
When I’m looking into a subject that fascinates me, like the Earhart disappearance, days and weeks can go by before I come out of the fog. I dive into old books, magazines, photographs, films, and everything that comes up on YouTube. I’ve traveled to Oklahoma City (home of the 99’s, the women’s aviation group) to read rare documents about Amelia Earhart. I’ve flown to Chicago and Dallas to attend forums about the Kennedy assassination. I even married a guy I met at a JFK assassination symposium, even though I guess that’s a little extreme.
As I said, I can easily get lost in mountains of facts and not surface until I’ve had my fill of information. (The latest one is about a conspiracy surrounding the Titanic, which will be my next book.) I keep digging for facts, until I usually have enough to write at least two books on the subject.
All this research, I hope, results in some very good books. Sometimes, I even manage to find an obscure fact so interesting that I build an entire book around it.
A case in point is my research for FORWARD TO CAMELOT, when in my reading I came across a paragraph in William Manchester’s DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, about LBJ taking the presidential oath of office on Air Force One in Dallas on November 22, 1963, with his hand on a Bible belonging to President Kennedy. According to Manchester, the Bible disappeared completely right after the ceremony, and no one had seen it since.

That was all I needed. I’d found the ultimate McGuffin, lost in history, and wasted no time deciding that my heroine, a time traveler, would travel back in time SPECIFICALLY to recover JFK’s lost Bible at the very moment when it was lost. (It took about two years to figure this out, but once we knew we were sending her back in time for the Bible, we got a lot more clarity on the storyline.) I checked, just to be sure, with the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, who said no, they didn’t have it, and no, they didn’t know where it was.
The book was published, in its original edition, in 2003, and a few years later, my co-author, Kevin Finn, called me in great agitation. “We have to pull the book,” he told me.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I know where the Bible is,” he said. “It was the answer to a question on Jeopardy!”
Turns out the Bible had been given to Mrs. Johnson after the swearing-in, and she in turn gave it to Liz Carpenter, her press secretary, so she could show it to reporters who asked about the ceremony.
Except nobody asked. Nobody ever cared. The story was the dead president, not the new president (which must have been a real kick in LBJ’s massive ego). And when the LBJ Presidential Library was being built in Austin, Texas, the Johnsons offered the Bible (actually a Catholic missal, or prayer book) to the Kennedys, who said they felt it belonged in the Johnson presidency, not with Kennedy, who didn’t even own it for very long.
It’s on display, as it has been for years, in the LBJ Presidential Library, complete with JFK’s initials on the stamped leather. And it was never a McGuffin at all.
But we kept the book in print, until we re-edited and re-published it in a new edition in 2013. We kept the same storyline, and even kept the Bible as the McGuffin. No one has been the wiser.
Among the other fantastic tidbits of info we came up with, through diligent research, were that Joe Kennedy kept medicines for JFK stashed in multiple safe-deposit boxes in banks around the country, so no one would learn of his Addison’s disease. And Lee Oswald’s being a terrific dancer. All those endless hours of reading and research have paid off big-time, with most readers unable to determine what is fact and what is fiction in FORWARD TO CAMELOT.
And after all, isn’t that the whole point??


SUSAN SLOATE is the award-winning, best-selling author of 20 published books, both fiction and nonfiction. STEALING FIRE, her 2013 autobiographical love story, went to #2 in its category on Amazon, was a Hot New Release for its first 90 days and was honored in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Award competition. FORWARD TO CAMELOT (co-authored with Kevin Finn), which was first published in 2003 and re-published in 2013, took honors in 3 literary competitions, went to #6 on Amazon and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. For REALIZING YOU (co-authored with Ron Doades), she invented a new genre: Self-Help FICTION.

“Susan lives in South Carolina, coaches aspiring authors and speaks frequently at writers conventions. Visit her online at www.susansloate.com.

Simon Toyne: The Boy Who Saw Friday, Aug 4 2017 


Simon Toyne introduced Solomon Credd in The Searcher, the man whose identity is unknown except for a label stitched into his jacket: “This suit was made to treasure for Mr. Solomon Creed.”

It was a startling device for the new thriller series and in the sequel, Solomon decides he must track down the tailor who made the suit, believing he holds the key to his identity. With roots in the Holocaust, he’s traveled to France to find Josef Engel.

It’s a fool’s errand, when Solomon finds the man’s murdered body, a Star of David crudely carved into his chest, his body torn apart. The man’s granddaughter and her son remember the grandfather’s stories from the past, as well as tales of the man who saved them from the concentration camps.

The police suspect Solomon, that strange-looking pigment-free pale man in the murder. He must escape and find refuge with Marie-Claude, who is seeking her own refuge from an abusive husband, and her son, the adorable Leo.

If it wasn’t an interesting enough premise, Toyne ups the interest by having Leo and Solomon have something in common: a synesthesia, which in Solomon takes the form of smelling danger, while in Leo, allows him to see emotions as colors. It’s an intriguing and often useful element for Solomon, who’s been described as a genius high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic, one whose toxic memories have been removed by use of an implanted device in his shoulder.

The unlikely trio flees across France, avoiding Engel’s killer while still trying to solve his murder. Elements of the paranormal will keep you guessing if they are imagined or can be explained away. A rocking good ride.

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