Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview featuring Austin S. Camacho, The Wrong Kind (a Hannibal Jones novel) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #mystery

The Wrong Kind

by Austin S. Camacho

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

A distraught woman hires private investigator Hannibal Jones to track down her daughter who has run away, trying to escape the homeless shelter life her mother has come to accept. When Hannibal finds Connie Blanco she is entwined in a gang war and somehow connected to a murder. The corpse is barely cold before a second murder follows and Hannibal finds himself entangled in a complex plot revolving around stolen drugs…but who is the mastermind of this twisted scheme?

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Excerpt Three:

Hannibal stepped inside and closed the door behind himself. A quick scan showed Sands to be a good housekeeper for a bachelor. There was a place for everything. The blinds were set to let the maximum amount of sunlight into the front room. Small knickknacks and figurines stood on display on bookcases and the end tables bracketing the leather sofa. A scattering of tiny roses made the wallpaper seem feminine, but the framed paintings of Civil War combat scenes counterbalanced that. The neatness was almost jarring under the circumstances. The only thing out of place in the front room was Quentin himself. He lay spread eagled on the hardwood floor. And with no carpet to absorb liquid, the pool of blood beneath him had spread quite a distance. 

Lying face up, Quentin looked more startled than pained. Hannibal stepped as close to the body as he could without touching the blood pool. There was no need to check for a pulse. The pencil-sized hole just above his left eyebrow was pretty definitive. Hannibal knew the picture would not be nearly as neat on the other side, and he had no desire to see it. Powder burns and stippling on the man’s forehead told Hannibal that this shooting was done up close. Despite Quentin’s final facial expression, he had to have seen it coming. 

So, what was your crime, Hannibal silently asked the corpse. Did you get too close to Connie for some other man’s comfort?

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Welcome! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself. 

All you really need to know is that I’m a lifelong mystery fan, That I’ve raised five kids and my lovely wife Denise is here for the long haul, and that I’m retired from a career in communications for the Defense Department so I can finally write full time.

Is The Wrong Kind a single title, or part of a series? 

The Wrong Kind is the seventh mystery about Hannibal Jones, an African American private eye working in Washington DC. I work hard to write the books so that you can read them in any order, and any one of them will keep you guessing right to the end.

What were your inspirations for the story?

I’ve given my detective a couple of previous cases that start with a missing person. I was driven to do it again but in a totally different way. Also, at a conference I was exposed to a method of murder I had never considered. I was inspired to find a way to use that murder method. And it was great fun!

Please share your setting for The Wrong Kind. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? 

The Wrong Kind is set in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. This is basically my home stomping grounds and I visit the streets, businesses and neighborhoods where the action takes place to insure authenticity. I love the discreet neighborhoods in The District, the historic grace of Virginia and the intriguing collision of urban and rural life in Maryland. And I want my readers to get to know those things too.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I started in high school, writing what would now be called fan fiction about my favorite comic book characters. Many of my fellow students got hooked on my stories and eagerly awaited the new ones. And I guess I got hooked on the joy of being rewarded for telling a good story.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series? 

My all time favorites are oldies but goodies. I love the prose of Raymond Chandler beyond anyone who has ever written. For story and plot, Ross McDonald is my all time favorite. And nobody creates characters like Elmore Leonard. I always want my work to be a combination of those three.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

They’d all be fiction authors, but I’d love to have conversation about writing different genres. So, maybe Jeffrey Deaver, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Nora Roberts, and Neil Gaiman. And if you don’t know what every one of them writes, you need to get to a library… stat!

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time? 

I do enjoy making glasses out of empty bottles. The process of using a glass cutter, then heating and cooling the bottle until the top separates from the bottom, then sanding the bottom piece until it’s a nice drinking glass… it become a detailed, zen activity. It relaxes me and frees my mind to work on writing challenges.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen? 

Strange is kind of subjective, isn’t it? At DragonCon last year I saw a woman in a very detailed Flying Spaghetti Monster costume – only her hands and lower legs were exposed – shuffle into the donation area behind me to give blood to the Red Cross. That was pretty strange. But was it stranger than the progress of American national politics in the last two years? As I said, kind of subjective.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

The most important thing for an aspiring writer to do is write. Write every day. This business is as much craft as art, sort of like playing a musical instrument. The only way to master the basics is to practice until it becomes second nature to you.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Austin S. Camacho is the author of seven novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008. He is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press.

 

https://www.facebook.com/austin.camacho.author/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Kind-Hannibal-Jones-Mystery/dp/1940758971/

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Austin S. Camacho will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Christmas Kiss (Back to Bluestone River #2) by Virginia McCullough w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #ChrKissTour @PrismBookTours @VEMcCullough @HarlequinBooks


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Christmas Kiss
(Back to Bluestone River #2)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

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I apologize again for the lateness of the blog post today.  As most know, I’m now working at an elementary school and by the time I get home from school, I’m toast.  Throw in Christmas time and the kids’ excitement while still trying to teach and I’m a zombie.  Do I read to relax when I get home?  You bet.  Do I remember to write the review?  Nope.  I have no shame and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So why the admission?  Because this is my last posted review of 2019 and I’m super excited that it is.  Ms. McCullough knew exactly what I needed to relax, rewind and just forget for a few hours.  This isn’t my first book from Ms. McCullough nor will it be my last.  Unfortunately, I didn’t read the first book in this series but I understood the secondary characters, Mike and Ruby.  However, I have since found out that Emma’s backstory is better explained in that book so, at times, I didn’t quite understand how she came about in the beginning.

Honestly, I didn’t care.  I just liked Emma.  She didn’t come off as self-pitying; instead, I found her endearing, funny and at times, self-effacing.  She mocked herself at times when it came to money and most people wouldn’t do that.  I also liked that she didn’t come off as weak when it came to Parker.  Their banter at times was funny but also poignant.  She was honest with him when she was describing her marriage. There was no real emotion (which I can understand given the circumstances) but she hadn’t given up on love.

Parker was kind of a jerk in the beginning.  But he is made to be that way when it comes to Emma.  He just views her as someone that throws money at things with no real emotional attachment.  Hence, the injured birds.  Oh, that owl.  That poor baby.  Even I prayed for its safe healing.  Those scenes gave Parker a much-needed eye-opener when it came to Emma.  He knew that she was different and could be trusted.

Trust is a huge issue for Parker given his ex-wife.  Not to mention that he is dealing with a college-age daughter that still doesn’t understand why her mother left and is now somewhat begging for them to get back together.  The ending of the book is spot on with Parker and his daughter.  In fact, if you are looking for that big black moment, you really won’t find it here.  Ms. McCullough writes about people that actually communicate with each other and deal with the issues at hand.  Oh…and did I mention that Parker and Emma are older characters?  Harlie LOVES it when authors write about older characters.  Yes, they can still fall in love, deal with older children and exes.  And they aren’t afraid to voice their opinions without the reader wanting to beat them over the head for the stubbornness that comes with younger characters.

Ms. McCullough wrote a book that I desperately needed with only two weeks left in school.  It showed me some things that I would have never thought about, characters that I grew to love and an ending that was beautiful.  Not to mention the birds in it and I learned a lot from Parker when it came to the care that wounded birds need.  I miss the owl already.

Other Books in the Series

A Family for Jason
(Back to Bluestone River #1)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s not home for keeps

Unless he proves first love is forever

Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?

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About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
– Open internationally for those who are eligible
– Ends December 18, 2019

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of See Me by L. Simpson w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @lsimpsonauthor

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L. Simpson will be awarding a $10 Boroughs Bucks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Architect Ethan James’s life is a mess. He’s juggling being a single dad while fighting his infuriating ex who’s trying to get full custody, while at the same time he’s barely keeping his head above water in the job of his dreams. When he meets Mia Sullivan at a friend’s engagement party, her bright spirit and kind heart shines a light into his life when he needs it most. With so much coming at him from all directions, he relies on Mia’s support but makes the heartbreaking mistake of not cherishing her love. Mia sees the writing on the wall and pulls back before her heart is shattered. Ethan can’t lose the woman who makes his life complete, and shows her he is the man she needs him to be.

Read an Excerpt

“Tell the others we’re going.”

She nodded, then winked. I grinned back as Ethan pulled me away. We hurried through the crowd, Ethan leading the way as he gripped my hand. His long legs were striding and I struggled to keep up.

“You in a hurry?” I asked.

He turned to me but didn’t smile. Instead, he kissed me, and my toes curled.

When he closed the door, he stood in front of me and pinned me to the car with his hips as he kissed me again. I could kiss this man forever. His strong, steady rhythm was demanding, and I willingly followed his lead. I put my hands in his hair, loving the soft feel of it between my fingers. Like on the dance floor, our kiss took on a life of its own.

When he buried his face in my neck and sucked right below my ear, I wondered if I would survive. “Ethan, honey, you’re killing me. I hope you have a lot of condoms.” He chuckled at my neck. “I’ll buy a box for next time.” It took me a moment before I realised he wasn’t moving anymore. “Ethan?” I whispered.

“Do you want a next time?” His voice was rough.

He shifted to look at me, and I didn’t know if it was a trick question. “Of course.” I smiled, although the protracted silence had my stomach starting to drop.

“Mia…”

Realization hit me like a slow-moving truck.

“I can only give you tonight.”

“Why?” I didn’t like the sound of my voice. It was small and fragile. He didn’t answer, but he looked haunted. He wasn’t going to answer me. “You only want tonight?” I still hoped I was reading this wrong.

When he nodded, I felt something break in me. Something I had pretended was strong and secure.

“I can’t do that,” I whispered. “Not with you.” My voice cracked under the weight of unshed tears. I couldn’t let it happen again. I wanted more.

“Mia…” He moved back, his hands still on my hips.

We were still close, but not.

“I don’t do well with one-night stands. There isn’t anything wrong with them, but I’m not built that way. Especially when I… care. I can’t turn my feelings off and I don’t think I should have to. I like you, Ethan, and I want to be with you like this and like we were today. I want more than sex, and I thought you wanted that, too.” By the end of my speech, any effort to hide my tears was futile.

“I can’t give you that.” He moved back, breaking our connection completely.

“You mean you won’t.”

“It isn’t like that.”

He reached for me, but I moved to the side.

“It’s exactly like that. I should’ve known better.” I righted my clothing and pushed off the car. I’d made it two steps before he grabbed my elbow and turned me around.

“Trust me. I don’t want to hurt you.” His expression was full of pain and grief.

“Too late.” I pulled out of his hold.

This time, he let me.

Ever read a book that just sneaks up on you?  What I mean is that you read the blurb, it’s interesting but you think, how is the author going to shake up some tried and true tropes that a lot of authors go to when they are writing a series?  Let’s talk about the tropes, shall we?  Single dad, horrid ex, cute child, cute meet with the woman of your dreams, lots of sexy times and family times.  Hero takes for granted what is in front of him.  The heroine has been down this road before and decides no more.  Tears, a runaway child and a hero that FINALLY gets his stuff together.  Heard it before, right?  Well, let me tell you what makes this book shine about the others.

The characters for one.  Ms. Simpson makes you care about every single character in the book.  No matter who they are.  I actually felt compassion for Miranda (Ethan’s ex) during the book.  Was she annoying at times?  Yes, but in the end, you will understand her much better and her motivation towards Ethan and all the hard times that they had to go through.  Normally I think the ex in a book is unnecessary but in this case, Miranda is very important not only for Ethan and Mia but also for Sadie’s (their daughter) relationship with Mia.

Mia could have been written as a carpet by just letting Ethan walk all over her but she didn’t.  Did it hurt?  Yes, but she knew that going in with Ethan.  What made Mia better than most other heroines is that she finally got some closure with her ex-boyfriend in the end.  She needed to go forward with her life after Ethan.  Even better was how her ex stood up for Mia in the end.

Ethan is messed up at the beginning of the book.  He could have come across as one of the biggest arses in the world but Ms. Simpson has you actually like him from the beginning.  Sadie is his saving grace in the end.  Plus, I really liked his relationship with his parents.  They are there for him and Sadie.  And Mia, too.  Plus, Sadie is an actual character in the book.  She is extremely important to not only the story in general but also Ethan and Mia’s relationship.

Ms. Simpson’s writing is crisp, fluid and I literally never put the book down.  It’s an easy read but one that is also emotional, heartwarming and swoon-worthy in the end.  I will warn you that the setting is Australia, some of the language is Aussie but I personally love it when an author writes a book in their native language and setting.  Plus, I’m a sucker for anything Australian.

I adored Mia and Ethan.  When it came to character growth, Ethan had to grow the most.  Did I understand what made Mia and Ethan tick?  Yes, I did.  Was it a hard road for them?  Yes, but it was necessary for the relationship to even work.  They both had to want it bad enough to even try.  Too bad that it took some tears to shed before it was all said and done.  There was never a dull moment in the book.

About the Author: As a girl growing up in Australia, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life. There had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair. Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes

Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.

While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has only got stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valleys of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, son, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse, or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.

Say G’day to Laura:

Website: http://www.lsimpsonauthor.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/l.simpson.romance
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lsimpsonauthor
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lsimpsonauthor
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-simpson-47278971

BUY LINKS:

http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/see-me

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/see-me-l-simpson/1133838822?ean=9781951055202

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YDL2SV6

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/960078

https://books2read.com/u/b5QBYR

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/see-me-28

https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1481621816

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