Showing posts with label Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Rotten Peaches" by Lisa de Nikolits


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Rotten Peaches
by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on The NearlyGirl and my blog post on No Fury Like That.

Description
Rotten Peaches is a gripping epic filled with disturbing and unforgettable insights into the human condition. Love, lust, race and greed. How far will you go? Two women. Two men. One happy ending. It takes place in Canada, the US, and South Africa. Nature or nurture. South Africa, racism and old prejudices - these are hardly old topics but what happens when biological half-siblings meet with insidious intentions? Can their moral corruption be blamed on genetics - were they born rotten to begin with? And what happens when they meet up with more of their ilk? What further havoc can be wreaked, with devastating familial consequences?

Book Video


Excerpt
I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man. I went too far this time, and there’s no going back. There’s no going anywhere, period. I nearly stayed afloat, but my luck ran out. Luck, that mystical mythical glue that holds the shards of despair together and makes life navigable. But fragmented despair, that’s what sinks you.
It’s the middle of the day and the ghost of a cat walks across my bed. I am hidden in the downy softness of bleach-laundered sheets, sheets ironed with starch and cleansed of their filthy sins by scalding Catholic water.
The bed is high and wide and the pillows are like clouds ripped from a summer’s sky. I bury my head in cotton balls, puffy meringues and whipped cream, and try to ignore the ghost of the cat that is walking the length of my back.
The cat settles at my feet but it gets up again and pads along my legs. When it first started its prowl, I sat up and reached for it but, like all ghosts, it immediately vanished and waited for me to turn away before settling in a warm, heavy lump against my side. Its weight is comforting in a way, like being massaged by the hand of God, but it isn’t God. It can’t be, because God, like luck, has left the building of my life.

Praise for the Book
“Wow. Just wow. Lisa de Nikolits' Rotten Peaches blew me away. A dark, compulsive, and addictive story in which the characters' secrets and needs conflict with each other and fold back in on themselves in an ever-tightening noose, Rotten Peaches will keep readers gripped until the very last page. Highly recommended!” ~ Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
“A noir page-turner that digs into the darkest corners of the human heart, Rotten Peaches dissects the lives of Leonie and Bernice, women who live continents apart but are linked by the attentions of a charismatic con man, JayRay. Leonie, a kleptomaniac chemist for an up and coming cosmetics company in Toronto, juggles her trade show junkets with a taste for petty theft and an abusive affair with JayRay. Meanwhile, in South Africa, JayRay's half-sister Bernice, author of a best-selling series of self-help baking books based on recipes she's appropriated from her black housekeeper, is in love with a man committed to returning South Africa to white control. Slowly the two stories begin to merge: as one woman struggles for redemption and self-knowledge, the other slips into a whirlpool of deception and violence. Lisa de Nikolits succeeds in creating a disturbing, mesmerizing tale in which the boundaries of good and evil, justice and punishment, are blurred by family secrets, racism, and sexual obsession.” ~ Terri Favro, author of Once Upon a Time in West Toronto
“‘I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man.’ In Rotten Peaches, two women grapple with Sisyphean circumstances, paralleled in the seeming inescapable strength of the demons they harbour. Lisa de Nikolits is a skilled craftswoman, gripping the reader from the first page, and suspends her there, brow furrowed, as each new disaster unfolds, highlighted always by our two heroes’ inability to turn away from the men they love and the dangerous plots they've been seduced into. With cons, political unrest, poison, sex, and murder plots, Rotten Peaches is an unflinchingly cinematic read.” ~ Robin Richardson, author of Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis
“In Rotten Peaches, Lisa de Nikolits has masterfully written two protagonists that are both thoroughly unsympathetic and utterly compelling. It’s impossible to look away as these two women do very bad things in the pursuit of love, happiness and meaning. And I do mean ‘very bad’ - which makes this book a wild, weird ride, but one that’s very worth taking.” ~ Stacy Lee Kong, Contributing Editor, Flare magazine

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
The title (derived from the Elton John song of the same name) refers to outside beauty hiding the ugliness within. It’s an apt description for all four of the main characters: two ambitious women and the (wrong) men they fall for. Leonie, a chemist whose beauty cream promises more than it delivers, is having an affair with JayRay, a charismatic conman in pursuit of easy riches. He has his sights set on his half-sister Bernice, a self-help writer who is having an affair with political activist Dirk. They’re all hiding secrets and anti-social tendencies, and you never know what they’ll do next. The book is full of unexpected actions and revelations and, even though they are all despicable characters, you’ll find that you just can’t look away from this train wreck. It makes you wonder how much of an impact parents have in determining their children’s behavior as adults.
Check out the real-life version of Bernice’s book, Bake Your Way to Happiness, written by Lisa de Nikolits in association with psychotherapist Marilyn Riesz and food editor Gilean Watts. Below, you can find the recipe for Melk Tert as featured in Rotten Peaches.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, sex scenes, excessive alcohol consumption, infidelity, violence.

Some of My Favorite Lines
Leonie: “I owe a debt of gratitude to my pretty. It has perpetuated the outward lie that disguises the reality inside.”
JayRay: “I’m a rotten peach,” he says mournfully. “I never had a good heart. I’m rotten to the core. Even my father said so. He said, ‘boy, you may be the apple of your mother’s eye but you’re a rotten peach, just like me.’ He used to sing this song by Elton John, about peaches rotting in the summer sun. ‘That’s you and me, boy,’ he’d say. ‘Rotten peaches, rotting in the summer sun.’”
Bernice: “… here I sit, drinking to drown my sorrows, not that this is anything new. Sometimes I find my life ironic. I am, after all, a world expert on happiness and the state of the human psyche. It’s a good thing no one knows the truth.”
Leonie: “I can’t help but think that if my family had any idea how rotten to the core I am, they’d boot me out, brush the dust off their hands, and get on with their lives.”

Bonus
In addition to Lisa’s amazing new thriller, she’s also released a new cookbook, Bake Your Way to Happiness. Grab your copy today and start baking your way to a nourished body and spirit!

Bake Your Way to Happiness

To celebrate she’s sharing the recipe for Melk Tert, one of the South African desserts mentioned in Rotten Peaches!

Melk Tert Recipe

About the Author
Lisa de Nikolits
Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the USA, Australia, and Britain. Her seventh novel, No Fury Like That will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell'altro mondo, in 2019. Previous works include The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, and The Nearly Girl. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto and her very new book, Rotten Peaches. is hot off the press to reader and literary acclaim. Lisa is a member of the Sisters in Crime, Toronto Chapter, Sisters in Crime, Mesdames of Mayhem, and The International Thriller Writers.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or a print copy (US/Canada only) or one of three ebook copies of Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits.

Links

Books featured in this post:








Wednesday, November 7, 2018

"The Secluded Village Murders" by Shelly Frome


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Secluded Village Murders
by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Murder Run.

Description
For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fatal early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It’s labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions over Chris Cooper’s death. For Emily, if Chris hadn’t been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn’t fit.
As Emily heads across the pond for a prescheduled tour of Lydfield’s sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor, she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.

Excerpt
Picking up speed, she passed the rows of Victorian houses with their pilastered front porches and attached shutters in homage to last century’s Colonial Revival. She’d grown up here, always lived here except for college and her transatlantic jaunts. But at this moment, her village might as well be a scattering of old photos.
Before she knew it, the rain was beating down harder, her wiper blades barely able to keep up. Among the nagging questions flitting through her mind was how could Miranda Shaw have suddenly gotten wind of her leaking roof? Or did somebody just put her up to it, to get Chris rushing pell- mell in the rain so he would . . .
Emily eased her foot off the pedal, barely able to see through the downpour. She switched the wipers on high and kept her eyes on the road, intent on avoiding an accident.
Minutes later, she pulled into Miranda Shaw’s place at a slow but steady crawl. As she reached the circular drive, straining her eyes through the thwacking blades, she peered up two stories above the stone archway.
There she caught sight of the familiar gangly figure climbing higher toward the peak of an eight-sided turret. At a point where the grayish-blue slate, copper flashing, and a mullioned window merged, the figure suddenly became a shuddering blur.
Emily honked her horn, blasting as loud as she could. But it was too late. The figure flopped over and slid down the turret, glanced off the aluminum ladder and toppled like a broken doll.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“The author had a great way of creating developed characters that felt like people you know and see around - which made the twist at the end all the more sweet. Especially with the dialogue! Those familiar with small-town Connecticut will appreciate the setting and find it familiar. All the right details are there to figure out the mystery - will you figure it out before the end? Highly recommend.” ~ Olivia Earnshaw
“I would call this an oddball mystery. The wit is dry and obscure. Clues are hidden in plain sight, if you are clever enough to notice them. I would not recommend trying to read this and another book at the same time. This mystery requires focus. I enjoyed it.” ~ Laura S Reading
“I really enjoyed this British cozy with the twist of having a young American as the amateur sleuth. The characters were well written, the setting sounded divine and the story had plenty of twists and turns.” ~ Mary Nickell
“If you prefer your murder mysteries to have more twists and turns than a steep mountain trail, The Secluded Village Murders is just what you’re looking for.” ~ R. V. Helms
“This is a classic British mystery in the great tradition of British mysteries. […] This had a very lovely setting, nice characters and a good plot. I enjoyed this new mystery and look forward to further work by this author. […] A enjoyable read!” ~ M. Davis

About the Author
Shelly Frome
Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance forAndy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on The Art and Craft of Screenwriting and writing for the stage. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Links

Monday, November 5, 2018

"Beyond the Truth" by Bruce Robert Coffin

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Beyond the Truth
(Detective Byron Mystery Book 3)
by Bruce Robert Coffin

Beyond the Truth (Detective Byron Mystery Book 3) by Bruce Robert Coffin

Beyond the Truth is the third book in the Detective Byron Mystery series by Bruce Robert Coffin. Also available: Among the Shadows (read my blog post) and Beneath the Depths.

Among the Shadows by Bruce Robert CoffinBeneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin


Beyond the Truth is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
In this latest enthralling mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.
When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to find the missing pieces.
And when an attempt is made on the officer’s life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.

Excerpt
Veteran Portland police officer Sean Haggerty trudged across the deserted parking lot beneath the bright sodium arc lights of the 7-Eleven. His breath condensed into small white clouds before drifting away on the frigid night air. The thin layer of ice and snow covering the pavement crunched under his highly polished jump-boots as he approached the idling black and white. Only two more hours until the end of his overtime. After four months in his new assignment as School Resource Officer for Portland High School, it felt good to be back in a patrol car, even if it was only one shift. Balancing a large styrofoam coffee cup atop his clipboard, he was reaching for the cruiser keys on his belt when static crackled from his radio mic.
“Any unit in the area of Washington Avenue near the Bubble Up Laundromat please respond,” the dispatcher said.
The Bubble Up was in Haggerty’s assigned area, less than a half mile up the street, but Dispatch still listed him as busy taking a shoplifting report. Someone had snatched a twelve pack of beer.
Haggerty unlocked the door to the cruiser then keyed the mic.
“402, I'm clear the 10-92 at 27 Washington. I can cover that.”
“Ten four, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Standby. 401.”
“401, go.”
“And 421.”
“Go ahead.”
Haggerty knew whatever this was, it was a priority. Dispatch did not send two line units and a supervisor for just any call.
“402, 401, and 421, all three units respond to the Bubble Up Laundry at 214 Washington Avenue for an armed 10-90 that just occurred.”
As Haggerty scrambled into the cruiser, the styrofoam cup tumbled to the pavement, spilling its contents. The coffee froze almost instantly.
“Dammit,” Haggerty said.
He tossed his clipboard onto the passenger seat, then climbed in. Allowing for the possibility of a quick exit, he ignored the seatbelt requirement and threw the shift lever into Drive. He powered down his portable radio and reached for the microphone clipped to the dashboard. “402, en route.”
“421 and 401 responding from the west end,” the sergeant said, acknowledging the call for both backup units.
Haggerty pulled out of the lot onto Washington Avenue, and headed outbound toward Tukey’s Bridge. He drove without lights or siren, in hopes of catching the suspects by surprise.
“402,” Haggerty said, his eyes scanning the dark sidewalks and alleys. “Any description or direction of travel?”
“Ten four, 402. We have the victim on the phone. Suspects are described as two masked males. Suspect number one was wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, carrying a dark colored backpack. Suspect two was dressed in dark pants and a red hoodie, with some kind of emblem on it. Unknown direction of travel.”
“Is the victim injured?” Haggerty asked, trying to decide whether to go directly to the scene, securing the laundromat, or take a quick spin around the area first to try and locate the suspects.
“Negative, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Just shaken up.”
“What was the weapon used?”
“Standby, 402.”
Haggerty caught a flash of red up ahead in the beam of the cruiser’s headlights as two figures darted from his right across Washington Avenue down Madison Street. He accelerated, flicked on the emergency lights and siren, and keyed the dash mic again.
“402, I have a visual on the two suspects near Washington and Madison. They just rabbited into Kennedy Park.”
“Ten four. 401 and 421, copy?” the dispatcher said.
“Copy.”
Braking hard, Haggerty spun the steering wheel left, making the turn onto Madison. He knew if he didn’t stay right on them that he would lose them among the project’s many apartments and row houses. The hooded figures sprinting down the hill were already several hundred feet ahead. He punched the gas and the cruiser shot after them. He was beginning to close the gap when they cut left in front of an oncoming car onto Greenleaf Street.
“Greenleaf toward East Oxford,” he shouted into the mic, trying to be heard above the wail of his cruiser’s siren as he raced through the built-up residential neighborhood.
The Ford skidded wide as he turned onto Greenleaf. Haggerty fought the urge to over-steer, waiting until the cruiser’s front tires found purchase on a bare patch of pavement and it straightened out.
The two figures were clearer now, about fifty feet ahead. He was nearly on top of them when they turned again, west, running between rows of apartment buildings.
“They just cut over toward Monroe Court,” Haggerty said.
“Ten four,” the dispatcher said. “421 and 401, copy?”
“Copy,” 421 acknowledged.
Haggerty accelerated past the alley the suspects had taken, hoping to cut them off by circling the block and coming out ahead of them on East Oxford Street. He turned right onto Oxford just in time to see them run across the road and duck between yet another set of row houses.
He rode the brake, and the pulse of the anti-lock mechanism pushed back against his foot. The black and white felt as if it were speeding up. Ice. Shit. The rear end started to swing to the right toward a line of parked cars. He eased off the brake and the Ford straightened out but was now headed directly toward a snowbank in front of the alley—an ice bank, really. Still traveling about five miles per hour, the black and white smashed into it with a crunch. Haggerty jumped from the car and gave chase, the door still open, the siren still blaring. He would have to answer for a mangled squad car later, but there was no time to think of that now. The snow piled against the apartment building walls seemed to dance in the flickering blue light of his cruiser’s strobes, making the alley look like a disco.
Haggerty could just make out the two hooded figures in the bobbing beam of his mini MagLite as he ran.
“Police! Stop!” he yelled. They didn’t.
He was gaining on them when his boot struck something buried beneath the snow, and he sprawled headfirst to the ground. Scrambling to regain his feet, he stood and quickly scanned the area for his flashlight, but it was gone. He turned and hurried down the dark alley, keying his shoulder mic as he went.
“402, 10-50,” he said, referring to his cruiser accident. “I’m now in foot pursuit of the 10-90 suspects. Toward Cumberland from East Oxford.”
“Ten-four, 402,” the female dispatcher acknowledged. “1 and 21, copy.”
Haggerty heard the distorted transmissions as both units responded simultaneously, causing the radio to squeal in protest. He rounded the rear corner of a three-story unit just in time to see the suspect wearing the red hoodie stuck near the top of a six-foot chain-link fence. The other figure had already made it over and stopped to assist.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled as he drew his weapon.
Neither suspect heeded his warning. Haggerty was at full stride, gun at the low ready position, about fifteen feet from the fence, when the first suspect finally pulled the second one loose. Up and over they went leaving Haggerty on the wrong side of the barrier.
Damn! Haggerty holstered his Glock, then backed far enough away from the fence to give himself a running start. He hit the fence, left foot out in front, reaching for the top with his gloved hands, and then vaulted up and over it with ease. The suspect in the dark-colored hoodie turned and looked back, giving Haggerty a glimpse of what seemed to be a ski mask made to look like a skull. Thirty feet now. He was closing the distance again.
If they don’t split up I’ll have a chance, he thought. He heard a dog barking frantically nearby, and the distant wail of approaching sirens. The combination of the cold air into his lungs and the adrenaline surge were beginning to take their toll, sapping his strength. His arms and legs were slowing, despite his efforts.
“What’s your twenty, 402?” the dispatcher asked. His location.
“Fuck if I know,” he said out loud and breathless. He keyed the mic on his shoulder. “Back yards. Headed west. Toward Anderson.”
“Ten-four.” The dispatcher said. “Units copy?”
“1 copies.”
“21, I copy,” the sergeant said. “The call came in as an armed 10-90. What was the weapon?”
“Standby, 21.”
Haggerty lost them again as they rounded another building. He slowed to a jog and drew his sidearm again. The alley was pitch back and he didn’t want to risk running into an ambush.
“Units be advised, the original caller was a customer who walked in on the robbery. I have the victim on the phone now. He says the male in the dark-colored hoodie displayed a silver colored 10-32 handgun.”
“21, give us a signal,” the sergeant said.
“10-4,” the dispatcher said. The familiar high-pitched tone sounded twice over the radio before the dispatcher spoke again. “All units, a signal one thousand is now in effect. Hold all air traffic or switch to channel 2. 401, 402, and 421 have priority.”
Haggerty stepped forward carefully, not wanting to trip again. His lungs were burning. He attempted to slow his breathing while waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He froze in place as he heard a banging sound, as if someone were striking a solid object with a bat. The sound was followed by shouting, but he couldn’t make out what was being said.
Peeking quickly around the corner of the building, he saw the figure in the red hoodie kicking at the stuck gate of a wooden stockade fence, while the other had scrambled onto the roof of a junk car and was attempting to climb over the barrier.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled, aiming his Glock at the dark hooded figure standing atop the car. Red Hoodie stopped kicking, but didn’t turn back toward Haggerty. The suspect on the car, also facing away from him, didn't move.
Haggerty approached the fence cautiously, making sure of his footing as he planted one foot in front of the other. His eyes shifted between the two figures, but he kept his gun trained on the suspect who was reportedly armed. “Let me see your hands. Both of you.”
Red hoodie raised his hands high above his head.
The dark figure on top of the car began to turn. His hands were hidden from sight.
“I said freeze.” Haggerty sidestepped to his left looking to regain some cover. “Goddammit, freeze!”
The dark figure spun toward him, bringing his right arm up in a pointing gesture.
Haggerty saw a familiar flash of light an instant before he pulled the trigger on his Glock.

Praise for the Book
“A gripping atmospheric thriller that finds the dark side of Portland, Maine. The Detective Byron mystery series is one of the finest to arrive in a long time.” ~ #1 New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston
“A superbly realistic, tense, and exciting novel.” ~ Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author
“Love this series especially since it's my favorite genre and the author manages to present a terrific read without the use of graphic sex and foul language ... Kudos. Coffin is an excellent writer and his story lines are based on current topics.” ~ D. Wooten
“Bruce Robert Coffin hits the mark with this John Byron mystery set in Portland, Maine. He knows the territory well from his years on the Portland Police Force and it shows in the development of his story and characters. Mr. Coffin is well on his way to becoming a legend among Maine writers.” ~ C. F. Clemons
“The author, Bruce Robert Coffin, is a retired police Detective Sargeant. He is able to provide an inside view of policing, their policies and procedures, the irksome political issues, and, at the same time the positive impact a good police force can make. The writing is deft and forceful, welcoming us into this world, dark at times, but for the readers, always enjoyable.” ~ prisrob


About the Author
Bruce Robert Coffin
Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement, from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive. His first two books, Among the Shadows and Beneath the Depths, were both Maine Sunday Telegram #1 bestsellers. He lives and writes in Maine.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Beneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin (US only).

Links