Friday, October 31, 2014

Series Spotlight: The Lizzy Gardner Series by T.R. Ragan


When Lizzy Gardner was only seventeen, what should have been the perfect night became the perfect nightmare. Kidnapped just blocks from home after a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Jared, she woke up to find herself at the mercy of a depraved serial killer. Imprisoned and tormented for months by the maniac she came to know as Spiderman, Lizzy narrowly escaped, the only one of his victims to survive. But Spiderman escaped too, outwitting police and cursing Lizzy to spend her life looking over her shoulder…

Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a private investigator who teaches self-defense to teenage girls in her free time. She does what she can to help others protect themselves and to forget the horror of her ordeal, yet fears she will always be known as “the one who got away.” Then she receives a phone call from Jared, now a special agent for the FBI, with grim news. The killer has resurfaced, this time with a very specific target—Lizzy. And he’s made it clear that she will not escape him again. So begins a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, a terrifying, heart-pounding hunt that only one will survive.


Private investigator Lizzy Gardner knows a thing or two about living in the past. As a teenager, she was terrorized by a serial killer, an ordeal that haunted her for more than a decade before the maniac was finally stopped. So when terminally ill Ruth Fullerton begs Lizzy to reopen the cold case into her daughter’s disappearance, it’s hard to say no. More than twenty years have passed since Carol Fullerton vanished, abandoning her car by the side of a California freeway. The police wrote her off as a runaway, yet something tells Lizzy the truth isn’t so simple…

Carol’s cold case has barely begun to thaw when Andrea Kramer shows up at Lizzy’s door. Andrea’s sister, Diane, has been missing for months, and she’s convinced a charismatic weight-loss guru—part Tony Robbins and part Richard Simmons—is responsible. Diane was obese, but could her obsession with losing weight have led to her disappearance?

As if two active missing persons cases weren’t enough, Lizzy is also trying to manage her two teenage assistants, including one as wounded and haunted by her past as Lizzy.

Fast-paced and deftly plotted, this impressive follow-up to the best-selling Abducted finds Sacramento PI Lizzy Gardner in over her head—but more determined than ever to help those no one else will.


A serial killer is terrorizing Sacramento, preying on happily married couples and unleashing unspeakable cruelties upon his victims. The ordeal rekindles disturbing memories for private investigator Lizzy Gardner, who barely escaped a serial killer’s clutches only years ago. But while most Sacramento residents are hiding in the shadows, paralyzed by fear, Lizzy is compelled to go after the Lovebird Killer.

So it’s no surprise that, when a routine workers’ compensation case suddenly leads her and her two young assistants onto the killer’s trail, she welcomes the chase, determined to bring him to justice before he can claim another victim. She never imagines he could be two steps ahead, watching her every move and plotting his bloodiest, most triumphant conquest of all.


Desperate for better ratings, radio psychologist Madeline Blair tells her listeners she’s being stalked, unaware that her long-time listener and biggest fan, Seth Brown, will do anything to protect her. When her publicity stunt is revealed, Seth becomes enraged by her deceit and dangerously unhinged.

When her friends mysteriously begin to vanish and damning evidence points to Madeline, she turns to private investigator Lizzy Gardner for help. Lizzy knows her way around a murderer’s mind, after surviving her own horrifying ordeal at the hands of a serial killer years ago.

As Lizzy closes in, Seth Brown is undeterred. Madeline wanted a stalker and now she has one. Nothing is going to stop him. He’s obsessed.

T.R. Ragan is the bestselling author of the Lizzy Gardner series. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold nearly one million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, PC Magazine, Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly. She and her husband, Joe, have four children and live in Sacramento, California.

Learn more about T.R. Ragan at www.theresaragan.com.

Find Ragan's books at Amazon!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kindle Freebie: Deadly Straits by R.E. McDermott


When very part-time spook Tom Dugan becomes collateral damage in the War on Terror, he's not about to take it lying down.

Falsely implicated in a hijacking, he's offered a chance to clear himself by helping the CIA snare their real prey, Dugan's best friend, London ship owner Alex Kairouz. Reluctantly, Dugan agrees to go undercover in Alex's company, despite doubts about his friend's guilt. Once undercover, Dugan's steadfast refusal to accept Alex's guilt puts him at odds not only with his CIA superiors, but also with a beautiful British agent with whom he's romantically involved.

When a tanker is found adrift near Singapore with a dead crew, and another explodes in Panama as Alex lies near death after a suspicious suicide attempt, Dugan is framed for the attacks. Out of options, and convinced the attacks are prelude to an even more devastating assault, Dugan eludes capture to follow his last lead to Russia, only to be shanghaied as an 'advisor' to a Russian Spetsnaz unit on a suicide mission.

Deadly Straits is a non-stop thrill ride, from London streets, to the dry docks of Singapore, to the decks of the tankers that feed the world's thirst for oil, with stops along the way in Panama, Langley, Virginia, and Teheran. Richly spiced with detail from the author's 30 years sailing, building, and repairing ships worldwide, it is, in the words of one reviewer, "fast-paced, multilayered and gripping."

File Size: 512 KB
Print Length: 415 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983741700
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: R.E. McDermott (December 9, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B0057AMO2A

Purchase here!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George


Enga Dancing Flower knows her Neanderthal tribe is in trouble. The dark seasons are becoming longer and the mammoth herds are fleeing south. When the tribal leader is found stabbed to death, the new leader thinks Enga did it. Expulsion and certain death loom. Enga must find the murderer to save her tribe -- and herself.

Nominated for Best Historical Mystery in the 2014 Agatha Awards!

File Size: 392 KB
Print Length: 221 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing (June 5, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00D7YUBGO

PURCHASE HERE!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Spotlight: AMACAT by Chuck Bowie


Second in the Donovan: Thief For Hire thriller series, Sean Donovan is embroiled in a triplet of trouble.

His sister’s newly ex-boyfriend, an obsessed art collector, dumped an ugly, but valuable fish mask in her lap. A mask being hunted by a lethal insurance agent.

Beth McLean, barely an acquaintance from London, is being framed. She reaches out to the only person she believes can help clear her name. Who at the Canadian embassy is behind this treachery?

Or is it all connected to his nemesis, Gaia? And did the multimillionaire art dealer order the murder of Donovan’s ex-girlfriend as the ultimate payback?

All this falls into Donovan’s lap, and he still cannot stop himself from a small side trip to find a stolen cask of the last great batch of Proven├žal pinot noir wine. Too much baggage? Read A Mask, A Cask and A Task: AMACAT.




Release October 17, 2014
Words 79000
Pages 308
ISBN 978-1-77127-602-3
Price $5.95

Purchase here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coming Soon! The Hudson Bay Mystery by John Russo


Back in the 1800s, freshman Pinkerton Detective Ethan Edwards, after solving his first field crime case, ‘The Gold Eagle’ safe robberies, is assigned his second case. His chief, Captain Butterworth, sends Ethan to Boston to investigate a $10,000 Hudson Bay fur robbery that took place during the Fourth of July fireworks celebration at Boston Harbor. The furs were discovered missing from their pier warehouse.

With the concurrence of the Boston police, Ethan questions everyone connected with the warehouse. His investigation broadens as he pursues leads involving the family that put on the display, and a quick trip to New York’s furrier district, which ultimately lead him toward unraveling the mystery.

Excerpt
Chief Butterworth came partway through. “Ah, Ethan! Right on time. Come in and bring your drink.”
“Yes, sir.” I tilted my glass in gratitude in Janet’s direction as I entered his office. Following him as he made his way to his desk, I couldn’t help thinking how most people would expect the Chief Detective of Pinkerton to be a burly, tall, gruff individual. But at six-two, I peered easily over the top of his graying head. Of course, I wasn’t exactly the figure of a criminal investigator either. My height only exaggerated my thin frame, and being so lanky, with size eleven feet, I appeared more like an overgrown farm boy in an inexpensive suit. I usually avoided wearing a hat to cover my thinning black hair since it further exaggerated my height.
“Have a seat, Ethan,” he invited as he plopped his stout frame in what I observed was a well worn, yet comfortable-looking leather chair.
“Thank you, sir.” I sat facing him in an armless metal chair, which I supposed was comfortable enough for brief meetings with the chief.
“Here, set your glass on this.” He slid a note pad over to my side of his desk. “That was a fine piece of work you did in Frisco, Ethan. Wells Fargo was quite pleased as well.”
“Thank you, sir. I must admit, for my first traveling assignment, I racked up quite a few miles but I did get to see a good part of our country.”
“Your expenses certainly indicated as much.”
“I tried to keep expenses at a minimum, sir…”
“I’m sure you did. It takes money to make money, which brings me to your next assignment.”
“Yes, sir.” I felt myself stiffen in the straight-backed chair.
“Are you comfortable, Ethan? You can stretch your legs if you wish.”
“I’m fine, sir. After two trips out west on the Union Pacific seats this old body appreciates a regular chair.”
“Old body! If I recall it was 1876 when we recruited you, Ethan. You were about… what twenty-six then? That’s far from old, believe me.”
I realized it was a poor choice of words when the chief had to be at least fifty. “Yes, sir, that was three years ago. I just turned twenty-nine last month.”
“Congratulations, however, you’re still one of our youngest agents. Now about your assignment.”
I took out my note pad as he picked up a folder from his desk.
“This time you’ll be traveling to Boston, Ethan,” he explained as he perused the contents of the folder. “We’ve been retained by the Hudson Bay Company.”
“Isn’t that an English company, sir?”
“Yes. They operate mostly out of Canada. It seems their main warehouse on Boston harbor was robbed, I should say emptied, of over ten thousand dollars worth of precious furs. Let’s see? Yes, here it is, Minks, Sables and Ermines.”
“That’s a considerable amount of pelts, sir.” I noted the amount.
“Apparently, it was being readied for shipment to England for distribution into the European furrier markets.”
“When was this, sir?”
“A week and a half ago, on July fourth.”
“Independence Day.” I penciled that fact down.
“Yes, that’s right. Not much of a celebration for our English friends in either event I’m afraid.”
I noted a slight grin on his face. Seems Samuel Butterworth has a bit of a sense of humor under that somber black suit and tie.
“And the Boston police?”
“They’re baffled. No witnesses and no leads. The only thing they have for certain is that the thieves blew up the heavy steel-clad wooden doors to get in.”
“But the noise, sir? That had to be heard by someone.” I stopped writing at this point and rose to stretch my legs.
“That’s the irony of it, Ethan. It happened during the fireworks celebration on the adjoining pier.”
“Sounds like a well planned job.”
“Very clever one and it’s all yours. I suggest you leave as soon as possible. And, Ethan, when you arrive check in with the Boston police. Pinkerton has a good rapport with local authorities and we try to keep it that way. Understood?”
“Yes, sir. I’ll leave for Boston in the morning.”
“Do that. And remember, Ethan, your expenses start then.”
“Of course, sir, and I’ll report back as usual.”
He was already involved with another folder as I retreated.
“Good assignment?” Janet asked as I returned the empty glass.
“Quite explosive, I believe.”
I left her looking as perplexed as I was.


Release October 28, 2014
Words 13910
Pages 59
ISBN 978-1-77127-617-7
Price $2.50

Coming soon!

Don't forget, MuseItUpPublishing is celebrating their 4th anniversary with 50 - 80% select titles.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bargain Kindle Book: Hard to Kill by Wendy Byrne


Trained as children to become assassins by the infamous Goren Petrovich, Sabrina Shaw and her two brothers have had a less-than-normal upbringing. After escaping his clutches, Sabrina and her brothers have tried to make a normal life for themselves. Now Sabrina works for an organization called The Alliance, specializing in the kind of jobs that no one else can or wants to do. Her current assignment: find the daughter of a prominent politician who has disappeared, categorized as a runaway by the authorities. It seems simple enough, until Sabrina uncovers the girl may have been the victim of a kidnapping that goes far beyond ransom requests. Now Sabrina must put her training to the test as she infiltrates a sex trafficking ring operating in Europe in order to find the girl...all while dodging a mysterious FBI agent and the demons from her own past.

File Size: 2099 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500385905
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing (August 9, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00MLAKVFG


Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Win FREE Books from Lauren Carr: The Murders at Astaire Castle Book Blitz


We're happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book
Blitz today!





Title: Married One Night

Author: Amber Leigh Williams

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

Pages: 384

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
- See more at: http://theliterarynook.blogspot.com/#sthash.phdOBY3i.dpu




Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle

Author: Lauren Carr

Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Pages: 286

Genre: Mystery

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON



Mac Faraday Meets
the Wolf Man!





Never tell Mac Faraday not
to do something.



In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!
Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.”
In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.




Book Excerpt:

Prologue







November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain,
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Shivering, Rafaela turned up
the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for
snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain,
she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through
the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.
The notion of being trapped
at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job
as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her
prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only
was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was
paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.
What a gem to put on my
housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors
of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an
honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of
being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the
daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.
Rafaela regretted her
decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.
At first, she dismissed her
cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing
someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same
with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the
old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried
to tell herself that it was all her imagination.
None of that was anything
compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she
was cleaning it.
She had heard all about the
Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two
teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about
him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s
kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.
That day she ran out of the
castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had
promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the
end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give
her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.
Rafaela caught her breath
when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into
the front courtyard and fountain.
The fountain was off. Damian
Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent
his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He
wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.
Then there was the
editor—Mr. Jansen.
He reminded Rafaela of a
bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick
eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a
squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he
was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he
was always lurking nearby.
Damian’s daughter,
Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her
family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela
felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more
housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to
clean—estates that weren’t haunted.
Rafaela pulled her car
around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led
to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her
long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her
thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her
shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.
Need to make this quick.
They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.
The wind yanked the heavy
wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.
“Stupid door!” Rafaela set
the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut.
“Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing
you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.
“Raf-aela …”
She stopped. With wide eyes,
she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr.
Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”
“Get out. Now.”
Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts.
There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while
hurrying to the back of the castle.
“I don’t suppose you had any
trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with
the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”
She waited for an answer.
She heard footsteps on the floor up above.
The smell of burnt meat came
to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too
long.
They must have grilled
steaks last night.
“Lots of little children
stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box
of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and
furniture polish.
Best to start in the living
room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.
Admiring the decades-old
priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room.
With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this
visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on
the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.
What’s that? Catsup?
It wasn’t until she spotted
a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but
something much more sinister.  She
spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.
There was a red pool in
front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that
projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down
below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the
fire pit outside.
She saw the flames and smoke
wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway.
She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a
burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.
The hand and fingers reached
out to her.
The index finger was
pointing at her.
Through the rapid beating of
her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.
“Get out!”
His image was reflected in
the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.
It’s the Wolf Man!





Watch the Trailer!




About the Author:


Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information
 Giveaway!


Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE!





Terms & Conditions:


  • By entering the giveaway, you are
    confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends
    October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on
    Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good
luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 10, 2014

MuseItUp Publishing Celebrates 4 Years!



Congratulations goes out to MuseItUp Publishing. They are currently celebrating their 4 year anniversary. During the month of October, select eBooks are 50 - 80% OFF! Here is a small sampling of the mysteries on sale:



80% OFF



60% OFF


80% OFF


50% OFF


Visit MuseItUp Publishing for further details at https://museituppublishing.com/ 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bargain Kindle Book: Words Can Kill by C.A. Larmer


Fasten your seatbelts for a cozy mystery ride through Europe — but remember, this ain't no holiday.
Hunky photographer Max Farrell has just vanished into thin air, his last sighting in the arms of a blonde floozy at a Swiss mountain resort. Max’s estranged girlfriend Roxy Parker pretends she doesn’t care but when his flatmate shows up murdered, bludgeoned by his own guitar, and then the floozy takes a dive off a cliff on the Italian Riviera, she must face the truth at last—Max’s life is hanging in the balance and she is his only hope.

Where is Max?

Who killed his Berlin flatmate?

And what the hell was he doing with that blonde in the first place!

In the latest Ghostwriter Mystery, Roxy Parker packs her designer luggage and heads to Europe on a quest to find the man she wishes she didn’t love. With his uber-trendy, self-absorbed sister, Caroline, by her side, Roxy must follow a series of tantalising clues that take them from the heights of Mt Pilatus to the azure Mediterranean Sea encountering brash German police, secretive Swiss soliders, and an Italian lothario to die for.

File Size: 758 KB
Print Length: 271 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Larmer Media; 1 edition (February 23, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00IM2IC7G


Purchase for only 99 cents!