Showing posts with label excerpt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label excerpt. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"Scream Muddy Murder" by Lesley A. Diehl


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Scream Muddy Murder
(Big Lake Murder Mysteries Book 3)
by Lesley A. Diehl

Scream Muddy Murder (Big Lake Murder Mysteries Book 3) by Lesley A. Diehl

Scream Muddy Murder is the third book in the Big Lake Murder Mysteries series by Lesley A. Diehl. Also available: Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed.

Dumpster Dying by Lesley A. DiehlGrilled, Chilled and Killed by Lesley A. Diehl


Scream Muddy Murder is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


More books by this author: Old Bones Never Die (read my blog post) and Killer Tied (read my blog post).

Description
Emily Rhodes does it again! This time she nosedives into a mud puddle at a Seminole War battle reenactment and finds she’s sharing the muck with a dead body. As usual the hunky detective she loves to aggravate, Stanton Lewis, cautions her against getting involved in the case, and as usual she ignores him. Emily’s sleuthing pays off, revealing disturbing information about the victim’s past. Is it the reason behind his murder? With the help of her family and friends, Emily sets out to uncover secrets kept too long and puts herself and the people she loves in the killer’s path. Too late she realizes Detective Lewis was right. Her snoopiness proves to be a deadly idea.

Excerpt
THE RAIN POURED down on the combatants as they took up their stances on opposite ends of the field. One side stationed their men behind the palm trees and live oaks, while the fighters on the other side positioned themselves out in the open, preparing to march straight at the enemy—a foolish strategy, but insisted upon by their commander.
Emily pushed wet locks of hair off her face and prepared to advance with the first wave of troops. She held no weapon for defense; her assignment was to beat her snare drum. She grasped her drumsticks tightly for fear she’d drop one and would be unable to beat out the martial tempo she’d been assigned. Emily’s daughter, Naomi, holding the American flag, stood beside her, the two of them dressed as boys from the early nineteenth century, shirts with long, full sleeves and knee britches. Naomi had been smart to tie her blond hair back with a leather thong. Their only concession to modern dress was that each wore a pair of rubber boots. Naomi’s sported a yellow duck pattern, Emily’s were a nautical blue with a thin red stripe around the top.
“How did we get ourselves into this mess?” asked Emily, attempting to lift one foot out of the mud. Her boot made a sucking sound. “This is as bad as quicksand.”
“It was your idea to take part,” replied Naomi. “You said it would be fun and a service to the community.”
“It would have been fun if it hadn’t been raining for three days. The field was so flooded the organizers cancelled yesterday’s performance. It’s not much better today.”
A shot rang out signaling the start of the reenactment of the Battle of Okeechobee, an event held each year at the site of the original battle fought in 1837, a military engagement in the Second Seminole War. Emily started at the sound of the gun and stumbled forward, almost falling to her knees. Naomi reached out and steadied her mother. The announcer thumped the microphone to determine if it was working. It gave forth a screech and again startled Emily, but this time she held her position. With a clearing of his throat and another squeal from the loud speaker, the announcer began his account of the military tactics used by the soldiers of the United States commanded by General Zachary Taylor and the Seminoles led by their chief, Alligator, often called Billy Bowlegs.
“Maybe all this water will shortcircuit the loudspeaker, and they’ll call off the event. We could get electrocuted, you know,” Emily said, but began marching, careful to avoid yet another hole in the soggy ground. She took up a steady drumbeat. The two women staggered forward, the thick mud making their advancement slow and difficult.
“Having trouble keeping up?” asked the tall man in front of Emily, slowing his pace and turning back to address her. How he managed to look dry and comfortable in all this rain was beyond Emily, but she always found Detective Stanton Lewis the other side of comprehensible in her mind. He was a member of the local police department, and the man who had arrested Emily for murder on one occasion, and on another, kissed her with passion.
“If I’d have known he’d be volunteering for this event, I would have stayed home,” Emily said.
“I heard that,” replied Lewis, “and I know you don’t mean it.”
Maybe she did and maybe she didn’t. Emily could never tell how she felt about Stanton Lewis. It seemed that whenever they got together two things happened: first there was the verbal battling, and then there was the warmth she felt somewhere south of her waist. He was about the handsomest man she’d ever met, and the most annoying. It seemed he knew the effect he had on her, and he loved to aggravate her by standing too close or smiling that annoying smile with his full, very kissable, lips.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“In the mood for a protagonist who just won't quit? Who won't let obstacles and naysayers dissuade her from her self-appointed rounds? Who has a strength of character and will power we might all emulate? I give you Emily Rhodes, the feisty and strongly self-determined heroine of Lesley A. Diehl's Big Lake Murder Mysteries. […] Scream Bloody Murder is compelling and heartwrenching, with never a dull moment throughout.” ~ Mallory A. Haws: The Haunted Reading Room Reviews
“This is a great read, with a suspenseful plot and a bit of romance thrown in. Diehl gives her readers a multi-layered plot. […] Of course to have a great book, you need great characters as well. This book, like the previous books, are packed with memorable characters. One reason I love reading a series is with each book, I get to know more about the main characters and even some secondary ones, and this book does just that. […] If you are looking for a great mystery, with great characters, and just the right of romance thrown in, you can’t go wrong with this book, and the whole series!” ~ Christie72
“Everyone seems to know more than they are saying and nobody is willing to spill the beans. Fun characters from previous books return to make things crazier. The tension and relationship between Emily Rhodes and Detective Lewis get more muddied than ever. Who enjoys aggravating the other more? […] Nonstop action as the danger mounts. Emily swears she is not going out of her way to interfere in an investigation. This is my favorite book of the series so far.” ~ Laura S Reading

Guest Post by the Author
Writing in the Swamps
Scream Muddy Murder is a cozy mystery, or at least I think it is. The protagonist, Emily Rhodes, is a reluctant amateur sleuth, the kind of snoopy gal one would expect in the cozy genre. She was a preschool teacher until she retired but finding herself strapped for living expenses because her life partner died and left nothing to her, Emily decided she needed to update her skills. Her good friend and next-door neighbor was impressed with Emily’s mixology skills, so Emily enrolled in a mixology course and found herself seeking employment as a bartender in rural Florida, in a town whose bars catered to country dancing, cowboys, cold beers, giant steaks, and barbecue. Could Emily handle enthusiastic cowboys who had had too much to drink? Apparently not because she lost her first job and would have had to find another post retirement career if the manager of the restaurant and bar at the local country club hadn’t hired her to tend bar there. It was a perfect match for Emily who knew many of the golfers. The patrons tended to be older and the bar catered to an early crowd.
Bartender is not the usual profession found in cozy mysteries, but it’s a perfect blend of the traditional with the unusual and provides the reader with a one-of-a-kind protagonist in a cozy mystery. Let’s say Emily’s profession squeaks in under the cozy guidelines.
But what about the setting for the book? The community isn’t a typical cozy mystery village, but a farming and ranching community set on the edge of the largest fresh water lake in Florida. The swampland of south-central Florida as well as southern prairies creates an environment that is beautiful but somewhat deadly. Think large reptiles, I mean really big reptiles and swamps, lots of swamps. It’s not what we usually view as a “cozy” cozy setting.
Because of the large influx of winter visitors who come during the season to fish the lake, the setting has some advantages for a cozy mystery. It avoids the Cabot Cove problem of small village and too many murders wiping out the meager population. Outsiders provide both suspects and victims, and because the area includes wide flung ranches and farms that often employ migrant workers, an element of international intrigue works here also. Not far from the town nearer to the West Palm polo farms breed and raise horses for polo matches drawing hundreds of competitors and attendees. The community may be small and rural, but the surrounding areas attract people from Europe, Central America and South America. Emily quickly realizes that as isolated as the community feels at first, it is connected to the flashier life of the coast and international intrigue.
Regardless of how I have extended Emily’s life beyond the village to a wider community, I have tried to maintain the feeling of intimacy with the people Emily encounters. There are the folks in the retirement village she lives in, the people she meets at the country club and the locals who have lived in the town for years, sometimes generations. This latter group is most important in providing Emily and the reader with the flavor of the rural south Florida. Donald Green, the bartender she hires to work at the country club with her, fishes the lake in his flashy and fast bass boat, allowing Emily to learn about bass fishing. Winning fishing tournaments is more important Donald than bartending and he lets Emily know this at every turn. If the day dawns sunny, but Donald is scheduled to work at the bar, Emily is likely to find herself without a bartender as Donald takes off for the lake.
Fishing the lake is an everyday backdrop for the series, but special events make the setting unique. Everyone in the area loves barbecue and barbecue contests. What better place to locate a dead body but in a beer cooler truck at the local barbecue cook-off. Emily did just that in Grilled, Chilled and Killed. In Scream Muddy Murder, I bring the history of the area into play by opening the book at the annual Battle of Okeechobee, a re-enactment of a famous Seminole War battle which took place in the 1830s. It is the perfect place for Emily to find her third dead body. Lucky gal. Now she has another case to solve. As with all Emily’s snooping, the man who adores her, Detective Stanton Lewis, will find her interference aggravating. That’s perfect, too. What better an element in a cozy mystery than a little romance?
So, of course, I have written a cozy mystery. Ignore the alligators and swamps. They’re just there for atmosphere to get the reader in the mood for a little rural Florida spin on the genre. No alligators, cattle, cowboys or other innocent characters were harmed in the writing of these books, only a couple of bad folks brought to justice.

About the Author
Lesley A. Diehl
Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida - cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She’s presently interviewing for a coyote to serve as her muse for her books and stories set in rural Florida.

Giveaway
Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to have your name used in a future book OR to win an ebook copy of Scream Muddy Murder by Lesley A. Diehl (US only).

Links

Friday, December 14, 2018

"The Songs That Brought Me Back" by Mylissa Demeyere


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Songs That Brought Me Back
(The Songs Series Book 2)
by Mylissa Demeyere

The Songs That Brought Me Back (The Songs Series Book 2) by Mylissa Demeyere

The Songs That Brought Me Back is the second book in The Songs Series by Mylissa Demeyere. You can read an excerpt from the book and a guest post by the author. You can also enter the giveaway. My full review is coming soon. Also available in this series: The Songs of You and Me (read my blog post).

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere

This book tour is hosted by I Am A Reader.


Description
Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.
Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.
Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.
Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew.
They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.
Always together.
Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.


Book Video


Excerpt
AINSLEY
Beep… Beep…
Floating…I was floating. My body…weightless. For the first time in almost three years, the constant pain that had been pushing on me, threatening to suffocate me…lifted and was gone.
I felt…free.
Beep… Beep…
Finally, I was done and untied, drifting in this place that no longer held me in its terrible grip.
Beep… Beep…
I hovered near the edge, staring down at that empty shell as the doctor and nurses fought to save me. The scene should have sent more anguish through me. The ripped clothes, the chaos, but all I felt was peace.
The body left behind looked like me, but it wasn’t, not really. It hadn’t been me for so long. I had lost myself in that person ages ago.
Something tugged at me, pulling me down, away from the peacefulness I felt and back toward that cold, empty body. My prison. I grasped out around me but only caught handfuls of air. Nothing to hold on to. The pull got stronger. Dread washed over me as I realized what was happening.
I had to go back.
“Push a dose of ketamine, now!”
The weightlessness was out of reach, leaving me confused and exhausted. A new, heavy sensation pushed down on me.
No! I screamed, but no noise left my mouth. Even as the weight of my body and my illness pressed down on me, I longed for the weightlessness I’d felt, the brief glimpse of freedom. I wanted it back.
“Give me a laryngoscope.”
A sharp pain coursed through me, down my mouth, into my throat.
I tried to raise my hand, trying to yank whatever was there away. But it wouldn’t move. The weight was pushing on my hand as well.
No! I screamed again, but no one heard me. It was pointless.
I’m in. Tube her.”
Finally, I surrendered to the darkness as it closed in, and everything went completely black.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“A heartfelt romance with a powerful message about the sanctity of human life. If you’ve ever simply needed a friend, The Songs That Brought Me Back will resonate – and leave you thankful for the people in your life.” ~ Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies
“Another remarkable read by Mylissa Demeyere. Ethan and Ainsley had me laughing and crying as they face their own demons and fall in love while doing it. This book adds even more depth as it confronts suicide head on. Suicide has become an epidemic that some are afraid to address; Demeyere brings it to light from both the victims and the survivors giving us insight on the struggles of so many. It does not disappoint and I, again, am excited to see what comes next from this talented writer.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“A beautiful sequel to The Songs of You and Me that cleverly illustrates that there are always two sides to every story and that it is never too late for love to overcome any challenge.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“This poignant redemption story about second chances and forgiveness yanked my emotions all over the place. I cried, I yearned, I hoped. A beautiful story about what true love is and does.” ~ Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and The Ruled Out Romance Series


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


I really wanted to read The Songs of You and Me first, and I’m glad I did! However, that put me behind for reading this book, so I’m not quite finished. But I’m really enjoying it and will post my full review soon.

Playlist


Guest Post by the Author
Why I Wrote Ainsley’s Story
Did you know that every forty seconds 1 person dies due to suicide? That’s close to 800,000 worldwide, each year. There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. That’s an estimate of 16,000,000 attempted suicides worldwide amongst adults. (Source: The World Health Organization).
Five days shy of my sixteenth birthday, my father’s body was found after he had killed himself. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sweet sixteen it could have been.
That event had quite an impact on my life and how I decided to face the challenges I meet.
When I wrote The Songs of You and Me, I delved into Jackson’s past. He got to tell his side of how Ainsley’s choices affected him. I never felt I could leave her tale untold. Each story always has at least two sides to it.
Why does a person make such horrible choices as Ainsley did? What drives them to such selfishness? And does a person like Ainsley have it in her to redeem herself?
My dad made the choice not to fight and right the wrongs in his life. It not only ended his life; it impacted many other lives.
Ainsley’s story is my way of showing you what can happen when people who make mistakes decide to try and do better. Because everyone deserves a second chance to right the wrong and start over again.
This is Ainsley’s story of what happens when you choose to not give up.
I hope that whomever reads this, will realize that we all, at one point in our life need and deserve second chances. When we take those chances, and turn our lives around, miracles can happen. I have seen it firsthand and the stories that follow are beautiful. Not perfect, but definitely worth living.
Even when life seems dark, lost, and like there is no other way than ending it, there is ALWAYS another option.
To everyone who has ever felt like there was never another way, this story is for you. My dad didn’t take the other way, but I hope you will find help. Life isn’t always perfect, but it is a wonderful gift. Definitely worth fighting for.

About the Author
Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.
The Songs That Brought Me Back is the sequel to The Songs of You and Me, with third book releasing in the middle of 2019.






Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

"A Me and You Thing" by Taylor Dean


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
A Me and You Thing
by Taylor Dean

A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean

This book blast and giveaway for A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean is hosted by I Am A Reader.


More books by this author: Girl of Mine (read my blog post), Chasing Fireflies (read my blog post), Jailbird (read my blog post), Hothouse Flower (read my blog post), I’m With You (read my blog post), and Violin Words (read my blog post).

Description
The deepest heartache is the one you don’t see coming.
Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family.
When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her.
She doesn’t expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything.
Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness ... and love.
But fate isn’t done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can’t be ignored: “What happens now?”
A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship.


Excerpt
SAWYER FACES ME as we lay in bed, snuggling the early morning minutes away before our eight-month old twin girls awaken. In spite of the background fuzz the baby monitor produces, the sound of the ocean and seagulls hit our ears through the open window. We love the fresh ocean breeze in our lungs all night.
“What are you doing?” I ask, wiping the sleep from my eyes.
“Watching you.”
“Is it entertaining?”
“Absolutely. The best thing I’ll see all day.”
He lightly brushes my lips with his own, and I scoot a little closer. Mmmmmm, five years of marriage and my attraction for this man has never waned. I never knew I could love someone so much. Even better, he feels the same about me. We’re far from perfect, yet we’re a perfect match for each other.
Frankly, that’s as perfect as love gets.
I bury my head in his warm chest, listening to the sound of his strong heartbeat. He hasn’t let himself go since we married. He runs every morning at unspeakable hours and, like a fine bottle of wine, ripens with age.
“Are you sure I should go on my trip? I’m consumed with guilt every time I think about it.”
I love our life together in our shingle-style two-story beach house on 5201 Beachcomber Lane. It’s a decent size home, even if it’s a little on the older side. No matter, I adore it. It might not be directly on the beach, but we have amazing ocean views from the second story. Close enough.
“You’ll be doing something important, Quinn, something that really matters. I love you for wanting to go, for wanting to help. Your passport arrived yesterday. See, it’s a sign. The universe just sent you a telegram.”
A light scoff emerges from me. He runs his hands through my longish blond hair. My brown eyes close while I enjoy his tender touch.
“What was I thinking? I don’t want to leave you or our babies.” “Hey, it’s only two weeks, sweetheart. In the scheme of things, that’s hardly any time at all. Besides, the Grandma Gang’s so excited, they’ve been ready to invade our turf for weeks now.”
His endearing term for our mothers makes me giggle. “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
He kisses my forehead lightly. “Hey, my knees are already shaking.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Wow! This heart-tugging romance blew me away. It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride of epic proportions … so prepare yourself. My heart soared up into the heavens, then was dragged into the bitter misery of hell, like being dragged behind a pickup truck for a mile or so. Ouch! But I got my happy (actually, glorious!) ending, so I loved it. The ending was so much more fulfilling because of what my heart went through to get there with the characters. This story is unique and refreshing - not your run-of-the-mill predictable romance that doesn’t stick with you when you finish. No! This one is made of super glue, and will be stuck in your heart forevermore. ~ Author Charissa Stastny


“This was a very emotional read. I knew it was going to take me on a roller coaster, but I wasn't prepared for all I felt as I raced through the pages.” ~ Mylissa Demeyere, Author
“Hang on to your hearts with this one, friends, because it's a doozy of a ride!” ~ Aimee, Getting Your Read On
“Here's my recommendation. Don't read the summary. Don't read any more reviews. Order this book now! Clear your calendar and plan to spend the day reading. You'll be thanking me if you do.” ~ Kathy Habel


About the Author
Taylor Dean
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense - you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.



Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win A $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Links