Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
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Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.
My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?
I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.
The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.
Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.
Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”
Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.
“Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.
The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”
Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”
This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.
Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.
Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.
I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.
“You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.
There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.
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Netflix — A writer’s inspiration for a cozy mystery series
Is it just me or is Netflix addicting? With an endless number of movies and television shows, and no commercials, us mere mortals don't stand a chance. And, I must say that I am happy they're around. In fact, there's one series of shows, I have enjoyed many a night. The show is better than warm milk (and doesn’t give me bad breath), but we'll have to become better acquainted before I give up what program I'm talking about. I also usually enjoy a bit of Netflix while I eat lunch, and during many of these, I was exposed to the television show Hart to Hart, which premiered in 1979.
Maybe you watched it on Netflix, as well, or know the show otherwise, but for those not familiar with it, Hart to Hart was about a self-made millionaire and his wife. They were both beautiful—inside and out—but murder was always around them. I fell in love with the couple and the interesting, yet light take on murder solving. This show inspired me to write the McKinley Mysteries—with twists thrown in, of course.
Meet Sean McKinley and Sara Cain. Two murder detectives working for Albany PD, who are partners on the job, but long to be far more than that. Unfortunately, love, it can complicate everything, and for these two, it's best they remain friends for the sake of their careers. But, what if, by some miracle they could both walk away from their day jobs... Would that be enough to change everything?
I’m tempting you to find out for yourself in The Day Job is Murder. Oh, and did I mention there’s a murder investigation sprinkled into this series introductory short story, too? Yep… Romance. Humor. Murder.
The bad guys aren't the only ones on his radar…
For Albany PD homicide detective Sean McKinley, catching killers is the easy part of his job. Working next to his beautiful partner, Sara Cain, is what’s difficult. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, though. Fortunately, she feels the same way about him. But she’s convinced they should just be friends.
If only there was some way to change her mind…
For more retailer links visit: http://carolynarnold.net/the-day-job-is-murder.
About the McKinley Mysteries:
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI.
About the Author
Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
The Day Job Is Murder features Sean and Sara, two cops who are secretly in love, but neither is willing to make the first move. Then Sean gets news that he has inherited a fortune. An entertaining read which was heavy on the romance factor and a good starting point for the series. I would recommend it.
Visit the author’s website here for buy links and a GIVEAWAY!
Genre: YA Historical/Romance
Published June 17th, 2017
Published by CHBB Publishing
He’s from 1892 England, she’s in a small library in 2017. And that's just the start of their troubles.
About the Author:
Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother's loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor's Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come. Check out her website www.christysloat.com Instagram http://instagram.com/authorchristysloat_writes Blog http://christysloat.blogspot.com/, Facebook: Christy Sloat Author www.facebook.com/christysloatauthor. Twitter: ChristySloatRead below for an excerpt from the book:
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The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Sting
Genre: urban fantasy/romance
Publisher: Te Da Media
Date of Publication: June 26, 2017
Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 88,000
Cover Artist: Damonza
50% boobs. 50% sarcasm. 100% new breed of hunter.
After a bumpy start as the only female demon hunter in the top secret Brotherhood of David, Nava Katz heads to Prague for her first undercover mission: unmasking a demon movie star. She'd be all kinds of thrilled if it weren't for the fact that her fellow hunter-with-benefits, Rohan Mitra, has reclaimed his rock star status and assigned Nava the role of groupie.
Rejecting her "be a good girl and follow orders" directive, Nava unleashes an alter ego guaranteed to hook their celebrity target and drive Rohan crazy. No downside-until she finds herself up against Rohan's past, the Brotherhood's antiquated thinking, and her own identity issues, turning her personal life into a bomb that could blow up the entire operation.
Sparkly and deadly; it's a plan.
About the Author:
A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. She is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. “It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.”
Website: http://blogspot.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=895b5c613a&e=4214e6cf1b (http://blogspot.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=97dfc3a564&e=4214e6cf1b)
The Thirteenth Gate
Date of Publication: June 26, 2017
Number of pages: 380
Word Count: 88k
Cover Artist: Damonza
Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who's interviewed their patient and isn't sure he's a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she's ever encountered.
As Jack rampages through London, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he's searching for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…
Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Sabelline's death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?
As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?
The Greymoor Lunatic Asylum made a grim impression even in daylight. It crouched at the end of a long, treeless drive, barred windows gleaming beneath a peaked slate roof. After her first interview with Dr. William Clarence, Lady Vivienne Cumberland had taken a hard look at those bars. She’d strongly suggested to the asylum superintendent that he move Dr. Clarence to a room with no window at all.
That had been just over a month ago. Now, in the darkest hour of the night, with rain coursing down the brick façade and thunder rattling the turrets, Greymoor looked like something torn from the pages of a penny dreadful, hulking and shadowed despite the lamps burning in every window. At the wrought-iron front gate, a black brougham drew to a halt. Following a brief exchange with the occupants, two officers from the Essex constabulary waved it through, immediately ducking back into the shelter of a police wagon.
“I told them to watch him,” Lady Cumberland muttered, yanking her gloves on. “To keep him isolated from the staff and other patients. Clearly, they didn’t listen. The fools.”
Alec Lawrence gripped the cane resting across his knees. He had been present at the interview, had looked into Dr. Clarence’s eyes, a blue so pale they reminded him of a Siberian dog. The memory unsettled him still, and he wasn’t a man who was easily shaken.
“We don’t know what happened yet,” he pointed out. “Superintendent Barrett can hardly be faulted considering we withheld certain information. I rather doubt he would have believed us anyway.”
Vivienne scowled. “You may be right, but it was only a matter of time. I’ve known that since the day Clarence was brought here. The S.P.R. made a very bad mistake entrusting him to Greymoor.”
“We still don’t know for sure—”
“Yes, we do. The killings stopped, didn’t they?”
“That could be for any number of reasons,” he said stubbornly.
“Including that the creature who committed them is behind bars. Or was, at least.”
Alec Lawrence buttoned his woolen greatcoat. This was not a new debate. “Perhaps. But there’s not a scrap of hard evidence against him. Nothing but a single reference in a report by some American girl and Clarence’s own odd demeanor. Had there been more, he would have been locked up tight in Newgate Prison.”
Vivienne turned her obsidian gaze on him. With her high cheekbones and full lips, she might have been thirty, or a decade in either direction. Only Alec and a handful of others knew better.
“That American girl is Arthur Conan Doyle’s goddaughter and she seemed quite clever to me. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway,” she added quietly. “Walls don’t hold Dr. Clarence’s sort for long.”
“Look,” he said, softening. “For what it’s worth, I think we did the right thing taking him off the streets. I just....” He trailed off, unsure how he meant to finish the thought.
“You don’t trust my judgment anymore. Since Harper Dods.”
“That’s not even remotely true. I simply think we need to keep open minds on the matter. The signs aren’t there, Vivienne. I’m the first to admit Dr. Clarence is an odd duck, perhaps worse. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t human.”
Vivienne arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. “And yet here we are, summoned by Sidgwick in the middle of the night. I wonder if he’s regretting his decision?”
The note from Henry Sidgwick, president of the Society for Psychical Research, had arrived in the form of a small, bedraggled messenger boy pounding on Lady Vivienne’s front door in St. James an hour before. It was both vague and ominous, citing an “unfortunate incident” involving Dr. Clarence and urging all due haste to the asylum.
“I suppose we’ll find out in a minute,” Alec said, turning his collar up. He swiped a hand through chestnut hair and jammed a top hat on his head. “Off to the races.”
A gust of rain shook the carriage as it slowed at the front entrance. A six-story tower capped by a Roman clock and white spire anchored two wings extending on either side. Unlike most asylums, which had separate annexes for men and women, Greymoor’s residents were all male. The north wing housed those poor souls suffering from garden-variety disorders like dementia and melancholia. The other was reserved for the so-called “incurables,” a euphemism for the criminally insane. Violent, unpredictable men deemed unfit for prison.
Despite his doubts, Alec Lawrence would have happily had the lot of them over for tea rather than spend five minutes in the company of Dr. William Clarence. In his heart, he wondered if Vivienne’s instincts were correct. But he wanted her to be wrong because the alternative was far worse.
About the Author:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy series (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and the new Dominion Mysteries. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.
A great sequel that introduces some new characters as the hunt for the creature continues. I enjoyed the story and the expansion of this world. I would definitely recommend it.
10 ebook copies of The Daemoniac (Book #1)
A Warlock’s Secrets
Demon’s Witch Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 6-14-17
Number of pages: 332
Word Count: 83,485
Cover Artist: Kristian Norris
Tagline: In his darkest hours she is dragged into his magical world. If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock?
Years ago a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven, turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.
A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours she is dragged into his magical world. If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?
Tristan has had a lot of heartache in his life, but that is set to change when he meets sexy Hannah, a shifter. With everything going on in his life, does he have time for love?
This book expanded the world of the first book and I enjoyed reading about supernatural beings that weren't vampires. The author has created a wide and varied world. An enjoyable read. I would recommend it.
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He offered his hand to Hannah as she stood, wrapped an arm around her waist and guided her out of the diner. "How about a ride up the coast?"
"Sure as soon as you explain how you held those teens down without touching them." She smiled up at him knowingly. "And don't give me that crap about telling me or killing me."
A slight grin curved the corners of his mouth. "How about on an as needed basis and you don't need to know?"
A soft laugh bubbled up from her throat. "If I had to guess, I'd say you're a warlock with well-honed powers." She tilted her head up towards his. "Would I be right?"
HIs grin faded replaced with a stormy expression. "Where would you get that absurd idea? They merely tripped and had trouble getting up. I suggested they stay put until the police showed up. Simple as that."
"Right. Well on that note, I'll see myself home." She turned to her car and opened the door.
For a moment, he considered letting her go. Women are more trouble than they’re worth anyway. That's when the meddling voice of Birch wafted through Tristian's mind. She's moved on, so should you. Damn faeries anyway. I'm sure he's using some kind of magic to do this to me.
"Okay, you win. But only if you tell me why you are disguising your magic signature." He leaned against the car a smirk on his face.
About the Author:
Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, Tena sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their tales. Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.
Authors’ Secret’s Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/
My Say What Blog - http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler
Tribber - http://triberr.com/TenaStetler
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