Excerpt, Giveaways, Spotlight

Book Blast featuring Once Upon a Lie by Michael French w/a rafflecopter #Giveaway! @mfrenchauthor



Once Upon A Lie

by Michael French




GENRE: Fiction / Murder Mystery






Once Upon a Lie  is about a smart, ambitious sixteen year old, Alexandra, who chooses to keep silent when she learns terrible secrets about both her father and her mother, whom she grew up adoring. The price of keeping her “perfect” family together soon unravels her well-planned future, and puts in jeopardy the life of a young stranger whom she befriends and ultimately falls in love with.  We learn how your life can end at any time, and it can end more than once.  And then it can be saved.




Excerpt Two:


Mom hurried to put in a load of wash and organize dinner. Her focus was usually like a laser beam, but on this afternoon, she had spaced out that I was in the house. When I picked up the kitchen phone to call Joyce, I overheard her talking from her bedroom extension.


“No, no, you’re not listening,” the man said in an upset voice.  I recognized the voice of Charlie Diggs.


“I am listening,” my mother insisted.


“Julia nags me, day and night, about her biological clock.”


“I thought you two agreed you weren’t having children.”


“We did agree. Isn’t that the point? She doesn’t even realize when she changes her mind.”


“I’m sorry she makes you miserable.”


“Louis doesn’t know how lucky he is,” Charlie added. “Jesus, what you have to go through with him. He should treat you better, Gloria.  Does he know how much I love you? Why can’t you get up the courage and tell him?”


“Oh, Charlie, poor Charlie,” my mother responded whenever his voice fell silent.


Mom was still on the phone when I burst into her room. She knew instantly that I’d heard everything. Charlie was still talking as she hung up.


“Mom, what are you doing?! What’s going on?!” My face was hot and cold at the same time.


All she could do was stare back helplessly, like a ghost haunting her own life.






AUTHOR Bio and Links:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_OnceUponALie


Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner.  He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.  He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family.  In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals.  He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family.   He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.


Once Upon A Lie Amazon Buy/Pre-Order:



Michael French Website:



Michael French Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFrenchAuthor


Michael French Twitter:







Michael will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Promo

The Sydney Rye Series (Books 1-3) by Emily Kimelman w/giveaway


Harlie here:  I apologize but my reviews are running late.  I will post them by Wednesday.  Again, I’m sorry but you will love this series.  🙂


by Emily Kimelman





Books 1-3, The complete Series Box Set (Value Pack)


The Sydney Rye series of mysteries features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!


This box set includes all three of the Sydney Rye Books.


UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)


When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller’s dog-walking business on Manhattan’s exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.


But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim–and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.


When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit–cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan’s elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.


DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)


At the beginning of Death in the Dark we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she’s made. Living this isolated life doesn’t last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye. To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney’s quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.



INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)


The third book in the series begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.


With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she’s not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn’t until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl’s trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she’s going to find the girl and keep them all alive.


New release!  STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)


STRINGS OF GLASS is the fourth novel in Emily Kimelman’s Sydney Rye Series of dark murder mystery novels. This series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!


Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.


Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will lose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.






From UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)





I packed the few items of clothing I had and put a leash on Blue. I picked up a bottle of tequila at the liquor store and then hopped on the subway acting like it was legal to bring a giant dog on the train.


Halfway there I opened the bottle of tequila and took a painful swig. A child watched me with big, glistening eyes. Her mother, without looking at me, distracted him with a colorful stuffed toy that had lots of legs.


I stumbled on the steps on my way out of the subway, scraping my knee on the filthy cement. Blue whined and licked my face. I picked myself up and walked to the Excelsior. The man behind the desk didn’t move as I walked by him to the elevator.


Once in my room I placed the bottle of tequila on the coffee table. I pulled my gun out of my bag and put it next to the tequila. I found my bullets and spilled them onto the coffee table. A couple of them rolled onto the floor. They were gold and pretty looking. I ran my hands over their smooth surfaces, pushing them around.


I woke up naked in bed with a big hangover. I walked barefoot into the living room and grabbed a $7 beer out of the mini bar and opened it on the bottle opener attached to my bathroom wall. I didn’t look in the mirror.



From DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novel, #2)




It was pouring rain, and my headlights barely cut the darkness when I rolled across the border between Arizona and Mexico. No one ventured out of the warmly lit hut serving as border control to check my I.D. They waved from the window at my RV to just keep driving. So I did. My relief was so intense that once the lights were no longer visible in my rearview mirror, I had to pull over. I climbed out into the storm, held my arms out to the side, and cried out into the void, “I made it!”


“What the fuck are you doing?” Mulberry yelled. He was pulled alongside me, leaning out of his open window, scowling. “Get back in the fucking RV. We’re not there, yet.” He rolled up his window and waited, looking straight ahead into the darkness. I climbed back into the sturdy old RV, and, soaked to the bone, started to drive again.


For three hours, we continued on the same road. Florescent-lit low buildings slid by in the darkness, advertising gas and tacos. My night vision made shadows into monsters, and the empty desert filled with motion. Part of it was the rain, so rare to that region that it seemed to delight in all the open space. Drops fell thick and straight, and then they came from the left, and suddenly from the right. My headlights, like a stagnant spotlight on a troupe of dancers, caught the movements in brief glimpses.



From INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)





Within 24 hours I was at the airport waiting for a man. We were flying to Mexico pretending to be husband and wife. The missing girl, Ana Maria Hernandez Vargas, was the daughter of a senator and a very successful businessman. They didn’t want anyone knowing they’d lost their precious little bundle so my new partner and I were playing a game of sorts.


People moved between the rows of seats under a soaring ceiling of metal beams and glass. Outside, planes taxied, took off and landed. The bright sun glinted off their wings making me squint.


Several times I saw tall men with sandy blonde hair and sat forward, but as they approached I realized it wasn’t my new partner. Blue sat on the floor, his head hovering above my knee. He kept his one blue eye and one brown focused on me. Every move I made he calculated if it was a request of him.


“Hello, darling,” a man said behind me. A light kiss brushed my neck. Blue stood and raised his hackles. With a small wave I told him to lie down. What kind of a wife has a dog that doesn’t trust her husband’s touch?


“I missed you, Peter,” I said, and smiled as the man stepped to my side.


“I missed you, too, Melanie,” he smiled at the alias. Peter Franks was really Blane Nichols, head of all operations in Mexico for Fortress Global Investigations. Blane was tall and well-built, his eyes were a murky green, the same shade as well-worn money. He was young for his position and I wondered what working with such an ambitious man would be like. I crossed my legs and he watched the slit in my skirt open and close.



From STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)


Excerpt One:


Mulberry laughed. “Come on, what are you doing here?”


“What do you mean? I’m living here.”


“I can see that,” he said, then looked around the cabin. I saw his jaw clench and then he asked quietly, “With Dan?”


“Yes, with Dan.”


“And that’s what you want to do?” He looked over at me again, glints of yellow in his eyes sparkled in the sunlight that streamed through a nearby window.


“What do you mean?”


“You want to stay here, not have any more adventures with me?”


“Your adventures usually involve Bobby Maxim, lies, and almost getting me killed,” I said, an edge of anger in my voice.


Mulberry frowned. “What are you going to do?” He stood up and stepped toward me, his broad shoulders blocking out the sun’s rays. “Stay here and marry Dan? Become a homemaker?” I felt anger rolling off of him like a wave of heat surges over blacktop in the desert.


His rage struck me like an unexpected blow and I yelled at him. “Why not Mulberry? Why wouldn’t I marry Dan? Because that might make me happy. Shouldn’t I be happy!”


His face paled and he shrunk away from me. I felt like a bull, huffing air out my nose, ready to charge. He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Sydney. Of course you should be happy.” The word seemed to die in his mouth. He ran a hand through his dark hair, the silver that peppered it shining in the light.


I squeezed my eyes shut and rubbed at them with my free hand. “God Mulberry, what are you doing here?”


“I don’t know,” he said, not looking at me. A moment passed as we stood there, the steam from my shower and heat of our emotions filling the room with a wet and heavy silence.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:Emily (author photo)




Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.


Her “Sydney Rye Series” are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!


The first three books in Kimelman’s series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, and INSATIABLE are available in the Kindle store individually and in a box set. The fourth book in the Sydney Rye series STRINGS OF GLASS is due out Mid-Summer 2013.


If you’ve read Emily’s work, and enjoyed it, please let Emily know. You can reach her via email ejkimelman@gmail.com








Buy links for all books at Amazon:




Barnes and Noble:






Emily will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter.

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Authors, Excerpt, Interviews

Author Interview of Dee Owens, Marjorie Owens’ daugher and Marjorie’s book Ladies of Class



Ladies of Class by Marjorie Owen

What inspired you to write your first book?

Mum was an avid reader, never without a book in her hand.  She loved murder mystery stories.  We do not know which of her four books was written first.  But the first book we presented for publication to Vinspire was a murder mystery.

 Do you have a specific writing style?

Mum wrote mostly murder mystery and romance books and stories.

How did you come up with the title?

The original title was ‘Little Pigs’.  We changed to ‘Ladies of Class’ as the victims were all ‘Ladies’ with ‘classy’ backgrounds!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t think mum was trying to get any message to readers.  Maybe mum was saying something about Ladies and their birthright.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Mum’s father was an Irish Lord.  Perhaps part of her background crept into the story.

What books have most influenced your life most?

She loved Agatha Christie and Murder Mystery.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’m sure mum would have chosen Agatha Christie.

What book are you reading now?

She would have been reading a mystery.

What are your current projects?

The Poison Pen is mum’s next book in the process of being edited.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Well, mum never told anyone she had done any writing.  We only found her works after she passed away at 93.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

We think she did write a few articles related to her work.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It must have been quite a challenge for mum.  Most of her writings are hand written.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s) or do guest appearances?

She loved to travel to Ireland and Los Angles.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

We really don’t know.  It obviously gave her a lot of pleasure.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

If she were alive today, I’m sure mum would be able to give writers some good advice.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

She would probably say, ‘enjoy reading and read more’.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

I would expect that mum drew from her own experiences, people she met, and places she had been.


In the book Ladies of Class, Richard Hayward’s promotion and move from the big city life to the sleepy town of Burshill, England, has been shattered. Sir John Bury needs a murder solved. Clues take him from Burshill to California, Paris and London and back in time. As the story progresses the plot thickens.  Richard Hayward’s reputation as the youngest officer to be promoted to Detective Chief Inspector precedes him. Richard hoped his recent transfer and move to Burshill would allow him a quiet convalescence from a broken leg. But his peace was soon to be shattered by a phone call from Sir John Bury, the Chief Constable.


A murder had been committed that night and Richard’s ability to solve crimes, in spite of his unconventional methods, were needed before his duties officially began.

The results of his investigations and travels, in search of clues and answers to the apparently senseless murders are surprising.  Several ladies of a particular ‘class’ become part of the inquiry. As the facts begin to unfold, they not only amaze Richard, himself and the community of Burshill, but extends all the way to the top brass of Scotland Yard. In the face of adversity, Richard manages to outwit the criminal and emerges triumphant.


“Good Lord!  Look at that fog.  Hope it means another sunny day tomorrow.  Now off to bed and don’t forget to say ‘Rabbits.’  First of April in the morning.  In fact” – looking at the clock, “it’s almost that now.”

Richard disappeared upstairs to the bathroom, Ella to the kitchen.  While she was washing the crocks and tidying generally, a slight frown marred her usually placid face.  She was recollecting the recent conversation, dismissed out of hand Richard’s gloomy forebodings.  Of course Kate would return sooner or later, but better sooner than later.

For a moment she even considered writing to the girl herself; delicately hint that Richard was missing her; but she shook her head reprovingly.  “Don’t be an interfering old bag,” she admonished herself.  “They must sort out their own problems.”

Pity though that his first few weeks in Burshill should have begun under such inauspicious conditions.  She was tremendously proud of her son although wild horses wouldn’t have dragged such an admission out of her.  Following his father’s footsteps in the Police Force, Richard’s advancement had been nothing short of spectacular.  It was generally believed he was the youngest officer ever to have achieved his recent promotion to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector, and with his promotion had come Richard’s transfer to Burshill…

…So he’d come to Burshill but of course his reputation had preceded him.   There was a certain amount of antagonism to overcome – human nature being what it is – but Ella had no doubt he’d cope.  In a way, he became a bit more human to his fellows when he broke the bone in his leg, not from some heroic deed but slipping on a patch of hidden ice!  She smiled at the thought of his discomfiture over that episode, hung the tea towel up to dry, switched off the kitchen light and prepared for her own exit bed wards.

At that moment the telephone bell rang.  Ella nearly jumped out of her skin.  By official request the phone had been left from the previous owners, so probably this late call was from some friend who didn’t know of the change of an occupier.  Curiously she picked it up.


A man’s voice asked if she was Mrs. Hayward.

“Mrs. Hayward, senior,” she corrected him.

“Good evening, madam.  May I speak to the Chief Inspector, please?”

Ella was a copper’s widow and a copper’s mother but at this moment the mother came uppermost.

“He’s in bed asleep,”she lied.  The voice at the other end was polite but firm.

“I’m very sorry, Mrs. Hayward, but I’m afraid I must insist.  This is urgent.”

Ella felt like telling him to go to hell.  She knew she was fighting a losing battle.  “Who are you?” she asked crossly.

“Detective Sergeant Findon from Burshill Police.  Your son will know me.”

By this time Richard was at the top of the stairs in his pyjamas.  “What’s going on?”

“A Detective, Findon or somebody, insisting on a word with you.  I told him you were asleep.”

Richard frowned but came down to the phone.