Friday Feature ~ Damien Dickens Mysteries: Books 1, 2 and 3 by Phyllis Entis

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to fellow mystery author Phyllis Entis today. I have read ‘The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper’ and loved it. Thanks for joining me today Phyllis. Please can you tell us a little bit more about the Damien Dickens series?

PE: Damien Dickens was born during a drop-in writing workshop at the Riford Branch of the San Diego Public Library, located in La Jolla, California.

 The weekly workshop had a simple format. The moderator began each session with a writing prompt, typically a sentence, a list of words, or a picture. We all wrote at top speed for twenty minutes. At the end of the timed writing period, each of us read our creations out loud to the other participants in the group.

For the first session of 2013, our moderator introduced something new. She arrived laden with a stack of 10 x 13 brown envelopes, which she proceeded to distribute to us. Each envelope contained a different object. As a warm-up exercise, she instructed us to reach into the envelope, feel the object inside and, without looking at the object, write a few words of description. Then she had us remove the object from the envelope and use it as our story prompt.

 The object in my envelope was a string of green plastic beads, such as would be found at a New Orleans Mardi Gras event. In my story, the beads became an expensive rope of green pearls belonging to Sylvia Sutherland, the CEO of Sutherland Smokes. Sylvia, so the story went, was worried about her kid sister, Celine, and engaged Damien Dickens to protect her. In my piece of flash fiction, Sylvia was the archetypical slinky dame and Damien the clichéd down-on-his-luck private eye. Fortunately for my readers, both characters evolved dramatically by the time I had completed the first draft of THE GREEN PEARL CAPER.

 The first novel led to a second, THE WHITE RUSSIAN CAPER, and the second led to a third, THE CHOCOLATE LABRADOODLE CAPER. The three published novels are now united in a Kindle ebook compilation, DAMIEN DICKENS MYSTERIES: BOOKS 1, 2, & 3.

 The first three ‘Capers’ will be joined by a fourth Damien Dickens novel later this year.

Well I am very glad to hear there will be a fourth!! Here’s wishing you every success with the series.

In the great tradition of Agatha Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence Beresford and Dashiell Hammett’s Nick & Nora Charles, mystery writer Phyllis Entis presents Damien & Millie Dickens, Private Investigators.

 The Dickens Detective Agency may be headquartered in 1980s Atlantic City, but Damien and Millie’s cases take them from Montreal to Miami. The settings are authentic, the plots are twisted, and the action moves forward at a steady pace.

Enjoy all three of Damien and Millie’s exploits. Download DAMIEN DICKENS MYSTERIES: BOOKS 1, 2 & 3 at Amazon today.

 

 

Herewith a few excerpts that Phyllis has kindly shared – enjoy!!

Continue reading “Friday Feature ~ Damien Dickens Mysteries: Books 1, 2 and 3 by Phyllis Entis”

Friday Feature ~ Shrimpin’ Gold by Bob Spearman

Welcome, welcome, welcome to fellow Mystery author Bob Spearman. If you are looking for a book for the weekend then I have just the thing! Read on…

Welcome again Bob, can you tell us about your inspiration behind ‘Shrimpin’ Gold’?

BS: The motivation to write this book was, in part, to highlight the life of the local shrimper family and their struggle to survive the current economic tsunami that attacks their business. In the Carolinas, this business spans generations of local families who know no other way to live. The concept to tell the story of this struggle and yet give the main characters a hope for survival popped in my head while sitting on the beach. I was watching a slow moving shrimp trawler offshore as he plowed his way home to Shem Creek. What if they pulled up a net of Spanish gold?

I’ve lived most of my life in the Charleston area. Local family and friends have all enjoyed the privilege of easy access to fresh fish, shrimp, and oysters sold along the creeks of the Lowcountry. One of the most popular landmarks for fresh seafood is Shem Creek. This creek, home to numerous shrimp boats that line its shores, feeds into the Charleston harbor. It has been an icon for the Lowcountry, a favorite haunt for painters and photographers, and a magnet for restaurants and bars. With fuel prices up and the competition from Asian shrimp farms, living has been difficult for the families who have toiled at this labor for generations. Life is changing for the shrimper. Bringing awareness to this situation and the potential to help were paramount to this story. If the shrimp boats leave, the creek will lose the allure, and will become just a muddy creek.

Oh, and finally, in Charleston, we have fun with pirates and the ghost of these characters from days gone by. Adding a little of that flavor to this story is like the hot sauce on shrimp; not necessary but it sure spices it up.

What a great premise for a story Bob. I have added ‘Shrimpin’ Gold’ to my TBR holiday pile!

Shrimpin

In good seasons and bad, small family-owned shrimping operations have survived in the Carolinas. Harlin Dodd, a third generation shrimper on Shem Creek, faces the demise of a business started by his grandfather. Long time loyal first mate, Joe Ladson, struggles to pay his wife’s medical bills. Their old shrimp boat is beyond repair. Shrimp are scarce. But just as the financial dilemmas of both families seem insurmountable, their shrimp nets bring up a treasure chest filled with gold. With this prize, their troubles really begin. When pirates return for their lost gold, Joe is tortured, and Harlin’s daughter is kidnapped. Harlin must trade himself to save his daughter. Storms, pirates, gold, and ghostly illusions, all set in historical Charleston, make the shrimpers’ struggle an exciting Lowcountry tale.

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Friday Feature ~ A Demon’s Witch by Tena Stetler

Wow Friday! How did that happen?

If you are looking for a weekend read then look no further. Please help me welcome fellow author Tena Stetler to my blog today. Best selling author, Tena Stetler, uses her over-active imagination to spin tales of paranormal romance/suspense and cozy mysteries. Her spicy romances spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. From demons to faeries and witches to vampires her intriguing characters take roads less traveled to draw you into exciting tales that  engage the imagination and warm the heart. Welcome again Tena. What was your the inspiration behind A Demon’s Witch?

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TS: A Demon’s Witch was my debut novel and has remained close to my heart. A Demon’s Witch hit the market and garnered best seller status. It earned The Romantic Reviews Readers Choice 2016 Nominee in the paranormal romance category.   I love talking about this story.

The ideas begin to percolate as I sat in a beauty salon listening to the chatter from other customers. One woman swore she’d been approached by a vampire want-to-be.
This got me to thinking, which is scary in and of itself. What if the hairdresser was an alpha male, Demon Overlord of the Western Hemisphere that owned a multi-species salon in Washington DC? Enter a powerful witch, whose beauty caught the eye of the demon on a rainy day when she rushed into his salon. Now, unbeknownst to him, she is not any ordinary witch, but the little sister of the demon’s enforcer. Now you have a romance with unbelievable complications.
The story became a series, but the other planned books in the series took a strange turn when the majority of readers and reviewers clamored for the enforcer, Tristian’s story to be next in line. I’d never considered writing a book on the witch’s brother, the demon’s enforcer. But after mulling it over for several months and publishing three unrelated books,
I am excited to announce A Warlock’s Secrets (Tristian’s story) is awaiting cover art and will be published spring 2017. So please watch for it!
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Friday Feature ~ Beneath The Lake by Casi McLean

Today I would like to welcome author Casi McLean and her novel ‘Beneath The Lake’, a time slip romantic suspense! Another first for me! Thanks for joining me today Casi, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind ‘Beneath The Lake’?
CM: I love to talk about my, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my muse. A town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense, and the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, exposed its cement stands in a recent draught.
There’s a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the spine-chilling lore is the basis for book three in my Beneath The Lake series, Between The Shadows. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.
Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history, presented a plausible theory. What if the excavation explosions triggered a seismic shift? Given enough energy, could the blasts rip a portal into a different dimension or a crack in time? The possibilities were endless.
The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux’s A Knight In Shining Armor. The time-slip novel introduced her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my books honor her inspiration. My high school friend, Hilary Johnson, inspired the persona of my heroine, Lacey Montgomery. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble. Some of Hillary’s finer qualities became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.
The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Beyond The Mist is complete, in editing, and will be published in a few months.
For a Free Gift, and a chance to win my entire short story collection, Destiny: Five Novelettes With a Twist, click here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/pxekfzj8Rx4el/
I hope you enjoy my trailer, blurb, and the opening excerpt below.
 CasiMcLean
Blurb:
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of–34 years before she was born.
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.
Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.

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Saturday Spotlight ~The House on Candlewick Lane by Amy M. Reade

I am very pleased to welcome fellow mystery author Amy M. Reade. Her shiny new novel ‘The House on Candlewick Lane’ has just been released this week. Welcome Amy, how did you come up with the premise for The house on Camdlewick Lane?

AR: I came up with the idea for this book while on vacation in Scotland. The country is so different from my little corner of the world. The lochs, the mountains, the villages and the sea are never far from one’s imagination in such a rugged and beautiful place, and the capital, Edinburgh, is a wondrous city where the cosmopolitan culture of today is closely connected to the regal, artistic, and intellectual heritage of yesterday.

One thing that always fascinates me is that we can never really know what goes on behind someone else’s closed doors. Every family has something, whether it be a secret, an embarrassing circumstance, or an entire façade, that they don’t share with the rest of the world. It could be a financial problem, a marital issue, a drug habit—anything. In The House on Candlewick Lane I wanted to explore one family’s secret (or secrets), hidden behind the walls of an old house that fits in with its stony, cold landscape at the outskirts of a small Scottish village.

Having done an internship at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children many years ago, I have always been under the strong sway of the topic of familial abduction. In addition to the excitement of uncovering family secrets, The House on Candlewick Lane touches on the issue of non-custodial parental abduction in a way that sees justice served while addressing the custodial parent’s frustration and anguish.

What a great premise and a great atmospheric cover. I have my copy loaded on my Kindle….

 

Candlewick

 

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped-and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets-including some she’d rather not face. Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh-a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

 

 

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Friday Feature ~ Double Trouble by Darcy Flynn

I really do not know where the weeks are going. I keep having to remind myself that not only is it Friday but it’s February too! Today I am very please to welcome author Darcy Flynn and her sweet contemporary romance ‘Double Trouble’. Welcome Darcy. What can you tell us about Double Trouble? 

I’ve always loved romantic comedies, especially mistaken identity stories. And what better way to confuse my heroine, then identical twin brothers. Some of my dearest friends have been identical twins, from my early childhood, until now. Six sets, to be exact. I’ve always loved being the one who could tell them apart, the best friend who shared their secrets and their pranks. I thought it was time to write a story for them.

Wow, six sets of twins! That must have been very entertaining, no wonder you wanted to write about it. Here’s wishing you every success with ‘Double Trouble’.

Darcy

From the first moment coffee mogul, Will Carrington, gazes into the fiery, green eyes of Clare Sullivan, he’s hit with the feeling she does not like him. Not. One. Little. Bit. Used to being the proverbial prize by some gorgeous gold-digging fortune hunter, he’s learned to be careful. But with his hunter instincts now on high alert, he’s determined to find out the why behind her stormy-eyed glances.

Top home designer, Clare Sullivan, wants absolutely nothing to do with arrogant, self-assured Will Carrington, especially after he called her half-sister a gold digger. When she gets the opportunity to design his multi-million dollar Miami penthouse, she arrives at his office ready to decline his offer, and to tell him exactly what she thinks of his cruel and un-warranted comments. 

While there, she overhears his one-sided phone conversation, which seems to further insult her sister. Assuming the worse, Clare makes the rash decision to accept the job and charge him a fortune in the process. Someone needs to teach him a lesson and what better way than with a swift kick in his wallet.

Since she and her sister have different surnames, Clare conveniently hides the connection to her sister. But while she works with Will, she discovers another side to this self-assured, woman-hater. A Jekyll to his Hyde. Charming and professional, he’s nothing like the man she’s heard about. What she doesn’t know is Will Carrington has a few secrets of his own.


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Friday Feature ~Stolen Secrets ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Another ‘first’ feature for me. Today I am very pleased to welcome author Elizabeth Alsobrooks and her new fantasy romance book ‘Stolen Secrets’. Welcome Elizabeth. I do not really know anything about fantasy romance please can you tell us a bit about Stolen Secrets…

EA:Stolen Secrets is a romance spin off from my Illuminati (Urban Fantasy) series, so is much more character driven and oriented than what is usual for me. It’s steamier, of course, and the hero is hot, hot, hot, if I do say so myself.  Here is who I pictured when writing this:

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I’m sure you can see how princely he looks? What English gal stranded in Cairo could resist such a persuasive hunk? Well, the heroine, Lady Isabella Valentine tries, but being a romance I guess you know how it ends . . . .

Emm…. maybe I can guess!!

Here’s how it begins:
        Everything about the shop was irregular, including the displays which projected at odd angles, supported by ornate wooden brackets and the occasional book case or other Egyptian artifact. Its merchandise had been collected and added to over a lifetime of adventures, and the result was vastly eclectic and often mismatched and even mysterious. The windows of the cluttered antiquities dealership, not yet shuttered, allowed slanted sunlight to illuminate dust motes, thick and insidious, seeking every crevice and ornate feature in which to drift. Brushing her hand across the table to clear it of its most recent layer, Isabella unrolled the map and traced the route with her fingertip.
She heard the bell above the front door jingle, waited for the expected greeting, and sighed. Five minutes later and Misha would have arrived to clean and bar the entrance, and then she could begin preparing for the dig of a lifetime.
Elizabeth_Alsobrooks ebook stolen secrets
Offered an enormous sum by an anonymous benefactor for the acquisition of an ancient ceremonial relic, a sum that would keep the antiquities shop in Cairo her father left her afloat while she continued her own archaeological pursuits, Lady Isabella Valentine was distracted rather than tempted, then suspicious, when the dashing young Bedouin slipped in just before closing and promised her a deal she couldn’t refuse–for the very same relic. Despite his sensual appeal, she did refuse him, sending him away.
 
Prince Mukhtar, son of Sheikh Abdul Kummel al-Rahman, leader of the Hassana, is on a sacred Illuminati mission for Queen Isis to retrieve something stolen from one of her temples over a thousand years ago. This mortal disbeliever though an enchanting English rose, however beautiful she might be, is clearly in the power of the Usurper and must be persuaded to help him, one way or another. But neither of them know of the evil power they are up against, or what hidden dangers await them in the tomb of the high priest.
Thank you so much for sharing about your new release Elizabeth. Here’s wishing you much success with Stolen Secrets.
Available on February 14th!
You can pre order here…..

Connect with Elizabeth Alsobrooks:

Elizabeth Alsobrooks Website

Facebook

Thursday Spotlight ~ Kara O’Neal ~ Love’s Redemption

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to author Kara O’Neal. Welcome Kara. What a great title ‘Love’s Redemption’, can you tell us a bit about your new book?

Love’s Redemption is a story of forgiveness and courage. I loved writing this book. Willa is someone I admire. She’s had a tough life and does everything she can to protect her loved ones. I enjoyed exploring her heart and watching her achieve happiness. And she deserves so much happiness. Lonnie is the man she needs, loyal, steady and kind. He is, without doubt, my favorite hero in the Pikes Run Series (So far), And while he has a calm nature, he can be just as assertive and determined as Willa. Together they make a wonderful couple, a model of true love. You will not be disappointed in their journey!

Blurb:

When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she had ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.

Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.

Snippet:

He paused. His chest tightened. He’d waited a long time to see her, had wondered if he ever would. Years ago, she’d wrapped him around her little finger, and he’d grown so attached to her, he’d thought about moving to Tennessee to be with her. But then she had stopped writing. To say it had hurt would be an understatement. But he hadn’t been angry. He could never be angry with her. Never. And now she was back and near. It was too tempting.

After taking a deep breath, he moved forward then went through the screen door. Even though it gave a loud creak, she didn’t turn. Did she know it was he who stood behind her?

 The light breeze ruffled her skirt. Her long, velvety hair grazed the small of her back. An ache centered in the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her. And now she was here. “Hello, Willa.”

Thank you so much sharing ‘Love’s Redemption Kara and here’s wishing you every success.

About the author:              Kara

Kara O’Neal was born and raised in Texas.  After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband.  He followed her to Texas Tech University and was proud when she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development.  Soon after graduation Kara followed her heart and became certified to teach Special Education. 

She married the love of her life in 1998 and had three children.  The happiest times of her life are spent with her family and friends.  Kara is fortunate to be surrounded by the best and most amazing people God put on this earth.

When she was pregnant with her oldest child, Kara wrote her first novel.  And then rewrote it.  And rewrote it again.  She did this while teaching, raising kids, and traveling across Texas with her husband.
Becoming an author was a dream she stumbled upon.  With the encouragement of her family and friends, she didn’t discard this risky adventure.  At this time, she would like to express her gratitude to her husband, parents, siblings, children, and friends for their support, love, and suggested revisions.

You can connect with Kara O’Neal here:

Author website: www.karaoneal.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Saturday Spotlight ~ Under Starry Skies by Judy Ann Davis

Please join me in welcoming author Judy Ann Davis today and her novel ‘Under Starry Skies’.

How did “Under Starry Skies” come about?

I had worked in adult education and understood the value of reading and writing for all adults, the story of school teacher Maria O’Donnell teaching Indian Two Bears to read and write in 1875 seemed plausible for a storyline. Two Bears was a minor but favorite and humorous character in my first book, “Red Fox Woman.” I felt I had to bring him back in the sequel because readers fell in love with him and his humorous and wily disposition. They also fell in love with the youngest Ashmore brother, Tydall, who’s the story’s hero.

Romance happens under Colorado’s starry skies.

Blurb:

Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.

Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.

When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she might be the target instead of the handsome rancher.

With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?

                                                                              UnderStarrySkies Cover Brighter2

Here’s a snippet:

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Wednesday Showcase ~ Alicia Dean ~ Haunting at Spook Light Inn

Continue reading “Wednesday Showcase ~ Alicia Dean ~ Haunting at Spook Light Inn”