Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

#Review of House of Ashes (A Haunted Bluffs Mystery) by Loretta Marion w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #mystery #suspense

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Loretta Marion will be awarding a $50 mazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

Read an Excerpt:

Present day ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod

September ~ three days since the disappearance

Back at home, I took a good look at my beloved Battersea Bluffs, with its towering widow’s walk, double chimneys, and impressive wrap-around porch. It had become part of Whale Rock’s lore that the majestic Victorian sitting high above the cliffs on the craggy northern end of town was possessed by the spirits of my great- grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, its original owners. The legend evolved from a rumor initiated by my father when he was trying to take back his rightful home. It had been a successful strategy, but he could never have guessed how prophetic his fable would become—or maybe he’d already sensed the mysterious aspects of the old house. To be fair, Papa and I had never discussed the lurking scents and sounds presented by the spirits sharing our home.

I unlatched the gate, to a warm greeting of soft whimpers and an exuberant tail.

“You’re missing them too, aren’t ya, buddy?” I reached down to stroke the German shepherd’s glossy black fur, those usually erect ears momentarily relaxed. I widened the gate.

I followed the dog to the ledge of Percy’s Bluffs, so named after my great-grandfather’s dramatic leap from the cliffs overlooking Cape Cod Bay. I stared down to where the waves were crashing against the rocks below. Through the years, this spot had become my refuge, where I’d come to contemplate decisions or brood over troubles. Exhausted and numb, I sank to the ground and idly fingered an abandoned champagne cork, probably left here the night Vince and Ashley moved in with me. We’d brought a bottle down to the cliffs to toast our new alliance and the home they were going to help me save. I closed my eyes to bring to memory the feel of the fizzy liquid against my tongue, the first I’d tasted in years. There’d not been much to celebrate in recent times. But that night, a sense of hope had returned to me.

So I went completely off the rails and read a mystery book.  Without all the romantic elements that I normally love in a story.  Shocked?  I was at first but once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down.  Yes, could.not.put.it.down.  Normally, I’ll put a mystery down, try to figure it out and then prove myself right.  Not this time.  Ms. Marion wrote a mystery that I just couldn’t figure out at all.  The ending was NOT what I expected and this is why I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I’ve never read Ms. Marion before but I will definitely get The Fool’s Truth, her debut, to read.  Plus, I’m hoping that Ms. Marion comes back to the cape for more mysteries.  I will admit that I live in Texas and have never been the Cape but I did have a great aunt and uncle that did.  I really felt like I was there and it is stunning.  Spooky even at night.  The world that she built is fantastic even to this Texan.  I love old houses so I could totally see myself visiting.  I really enjoyed how the house and the setting, itself played into the story.

Cassandra was a mystery to me at times.  Smart, then dumb.  Sure of herself and then needing Brooks.  Now, I really liked him but at times, he really needed to shake her.  Throw in Zoe, Cassie’s sister that to me was a PIA, the disappearance of Vince and Ashley’s and she had her hands full.  Cassie stuck to her beliefs and I really liked that about her.  The mystery is just awesome.  I can’t go into because, well, spoilers.  Again, I never figured it out and was blown away by it.

Do yourself a favor and if you are looking for a great mystery with ghosts, a haunted house, with a gothic feeling to it, this book is for you.  I highly recommend it.

About the Author:

A true bibliophile, Loretta Marion’s affection for the written word began in childhood and followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she crafted award winning marketing and advertising copy and educational brochures. She then applied her writing skills as a volunteer, establishing a Legacy Story program for hospice patients, which inspired her to create her own fictional stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, was a twisty mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador”.

Website: https://www.LorettaMarion.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorettaMarionAuthor
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-Ashes-Haunted-Bluffs-Mystery/dp/1683318439
Barnes&Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/house-of-ashes-loretta-marion/1128856330?ean=9781683318439#/
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/House-Ashes/Loretta-Marion/9781683318439
Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781683318439

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Excerpt, Giveaways

Excerpt from The Exene Chronicles by Camille A. Collins w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #youngadult #contemporary #debutauthor

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Camille will be awarding a lovely pen and notebook to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Camille A. Collins’s lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends “sharing with our teenage sons and daughters.”

Collins’s 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.

Read an Excerpt:

It was not the paper doll cutout, but Exene’s actual mouth that Lia imagined, twisted into a snarl, blaming her. ‘It’s you, Lia! It’s all your fault what happened to Ryan!’ Because Lia’s mother had woken her to say Ryan never made it home the previous night. Fraught with worry, Mrs. Green had already phoned the police, and Lia’s first thought was that Ryan must be dead.

Right away, Lia found the only way to deal with the worst possible scenario was to confront it head-on, to embrace it as though she were cradling in her arms a soft kitten. Lia’s rendition of the death of her very best friend was not especially morbid, or as gruesomely detailed as it might have been. It was the quixotic rendering of a burgeoning poetess.

At the very least, Ryan deserved the grandeur of theater. So Lia envisioned the most enchanted garden, a neat little knoll of green, green grass nestled beneath an elegant magnolia tree in full bloom. That graceful magnolia would weep its ripe, inflorescent tears down onto a grand mausoleum. Ryan’s body would lie inside, near the hollow mouth of her final abode, a structure built of the finest marble, festooned with chiseled hearts, and inside those hearts would be inscribed eternal valentines proclaiming, “Ryan we love you” and “Forever in our hearts,” all with floating cupids, their arrows shooting heavenward. Ryan’s body would lie cold, her skin luminous, enlivened by the candent glow of four flaming torches, bathing her heart-shaped face in a delicate nimbus of pale yellow light. Her body would be covered by a white linen sheet, and nestled against the slope of her shoulders and the tapering silhouette of her waist and legs would be flowers: orchids and white roses, failing in all their beauty to compare to Ryan’s infinitely ravishing, cold, dead grace. Lia’s short reverie was disturbed by her mother’s persistence—Mrs. Payne stood in the doorway of Lia’s bedroom with a hand on her hip. “Baby, you’ve got to get up. Don’t be scared now. The police just want to talk to you about what you and Ryan did last night.”

About the Author: Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The African-American National Biography, published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press; in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University, and other places.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B07HGLR7FN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vu00_tkin_p1_i0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4398269.Camille_Collins
Publisher Author Page: http://www.brainmillpress.com/the-exene-chronicles

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FB2MHT1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Promo

Excerpt from Serial Wives, Introducing Zero Zimmerman by Yvonne Walus w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #mystery #thriller @hotyve

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Yvonne Walus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why would a rich girl become a prostitute?
Three years ago Joy refused to sleep with an ex boyfriend. When he committed suicide, her guilt was enormous. To punish herself she opted to serve as a prostitute for three years.

How far would you go to protect your child?
Cora loves her convict husband despite – or because of – his bad boy ways. But now that he’s back in her life, she has their daughter to consider. Is a faulty father better than no father at all?

A serial killer…
A serial killer who murders women and displays their bodies dressed in a white sheet with a fencing mask covering the face. Who will be next?

 

Read an Excerpt:

Zero’s shared office at the police station looked bleaker than usual. Not even nine o’clock and the morning was already too full of coffee and too scant on breakfast. After three hours in bed, Zero had chosen an extra fifteen minutes of snoozing instead of muesli and shower. She was regretting the no-muesli decision.

“So,” Zero said. “I got that list of psycho reasons for wanting to kill prostitutes.”

Kath raised her eyebrows. “Thought you’d get too sucked into the TV to do any work.”

Of course she did.

“Didn’t even switch it on. Used the Internet. According to Dr Google, scenario one is we could be looking at a man who has issues with women as such. He hates women and wants to hurt them, and the prostitute is simply an easy option. We’ll call him Bitter Boy.”

“Right.”

“The second scenario is that he despises prostitutes specifically. The attacks could be his mission to rid the world of women who, in his eyes, are morally unacceptable.”

“The Missionary.” Kath got up, reached for a blue marker and printed the two nicknames on the whiteboard, right below the photos and names of the two victims. Rebecca Mahoney, also known as Raven. Stella Baxter, a.k.a. Sirocco.

Zero wondered if their department would ever get a Smart Board. Unless Smart Boards were so smart they helped the police solve crimes, the official line went, the department would stick to the status quo in technology, thank you very much.

About the Author:

You won’t believe this, but when I’m not a novelist I’m actually a Doctor of Mathematics. A business and data analyst. A wife and a mother. Most of all though – I am a writer (in several languages) hoping to change the world one book at a time.

My heritage is inter-continental. I was born and raised in Poland. When I was twelve, my family and I emigrated to South Africa. Your teenage years are usually your formative years, so it’s no surprise I consider South Africa my second homeland. For the past twenty years, I’ve lived in New Zealand, and people ‘back home’ tell me I’ve become a real Kiwi.

Crime fiction is my passion. My childhood hero was, predictably, Hercule Poirot. I’ve changed my mind several times since, and for a time I was totally into Harlan Coben’s super-rich super-able Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood), but my current favourite is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch… I mean, Sherlock Holmes.

My co-ordinates:

https://www.yvonnewalus.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Yvonne-Walus-author-206745219335573
https://twitter.com/hotyve
http://yewalus.blogspot.co.nz/

Here’s a link to the promo video for my latest book: http://stairwaypress.com/book/serialwives/.

Print version: http://stairwaypress.com/book/serialwives/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Serial-Wives-Introducing-Zero-Zimmerman-ebook/dp/B07B2RQHGW

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