Tag Archives: Mystery/Thriller

Virtual Book Tour–Sunspots by Karen S. Bell

16 Sep

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Sunspots

by Karen S. Bell

Time-Travel Romance/Romantic Suspense

Categories: Comedy, Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: KSB Press

Release Date: December 12, 2012

Heat Level: Sensual

Word Count: 102,300

 sunspots-cover

Available at:

Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Sunspots-ebook/dp/B00ANBR4TQ/

Amazon (Print): http://www.amazon.com/Sunspots-Karen-S-Bell/dp/148230757X/

Description:

“One can never be, and should never be, smug about life,” says Aurora Goldberg. An aspiring New York actress who has never realized her dreams, Aurora keeps herself afloat by doing odd temp jobs where her rich fantasy life helps her get through the day. Aurora sees the world through the lens of characters in literature and film and these fictionalizations are woven into her interpretation of reality.

On one of her temp assignments she meets Jake Stein, a man who could “charm the skin off a snake” and she decides to follow her destiny as his wife in Austin, Texas. But Jake’s sudden death after two short years disintegrates her world and Aurora must reevaluate her life and let go of a love that has become an obsession.

With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home’s original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake’s true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.

 Excerpt:

My passion for acting surfaced as a young child when my so-called natural talent flung itself into the world full-blown and raw. Not wanting to attend pre-school one morning, I laid my arm over my head and “pretended” that my head hurt as I had seen my mother do many times before. That deceit uncovered a truth made known by philosophers of the ages, but of which I was certainly unaware. Pretending to feel and to really feel do not appear differently to the external world—if you do it right. Aside from being great fun, the stage was an obvious platform to hone that skill.

As Celeste Abbott, my alter ego, I spent most of my time as either a receptionist or data-entry clerk. It was not by choice, because I dreamed of being sought after by the best directors and to work continuously like Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman or have a great stage career like Patti Lupone.

I had several fits and starts on the roller-coaster ride of acting that kept me hooked and on the payroll of two temp agencies where I had accumulated so many hours that I was eligible for health benefits—a situation that pleased my mother but underlined my failure to get into Actors’ Equity, or make enough money that AFTRA or SAG allowed me into their health plans. My first paying gig was a commercial with five other girls that shot all day on location at the Jersey Shore.

“Okay, ladies,” said the director. “Try and pretend it’s not 40 degrees. Look like it’s summer. I know you’re quite cold in those shorts and tee shirts, so let’s get this done quickly. Chase each other. Laugh. Throw the ball. Have fun. Okay, good. You over there, go sit in the parked car.”

“Me?”

“Yes, but can you do anything about those blue lips?”

There it was. I was chosen to sit behind the wheel of a convertible and gaze sexily into the camera for a tight close-up—the money shot. I could taste the possibilities of fat residual checks or even better—being discovered by some producer who thought my look “perfect for the lead” in some mega-funded movie, but instead I caught a chill and high fever that kept me out of temp work for a week. When the commercial aired, I realized that the only close-up not on the cutting room floor was my foot sporting the running shoe I had been wearing.

My optimism, however, could not be thwarted because my real passion was Broadway and it was the dream that kept my juices flowing. My closest encounter with a stage career had been a part I landed in an off-off Broadway play downtown. Off-off Broadway is where any basement or falling down hotel can be a theater and anything can be a play. But more importantly, off-off Broadway meant there was no real money, so budgets were tight.

This gig was in the Meatpacking District in a storefront of what looked like a condemned building. The windows of the store were blacked out so that the streetlights wouldn’t interfere with the stage lighting. The audience sat in folding chairs and the house could hold about 60 souls who weren’t turned off by the lingering odor of the daytime businesses. The stage was a wooden platform that was long and narrow and made moving about a bit risky. I was chosen to play the “unnamed woman,” one of three characters. The other two characters were her “unnamed lover” and “death.” More performance art than a play, it had one act with one scene. As the unnamed woman, I wore a mask and gold body paint (that covered my exposed skin and bright-pink bikini) and sang two songs that had no set melody.

“Hey ho, hey ho. The setting sun sends swords of gold. Hey ho, hey ho. The light. The light. Please light my love.” Or some such nonsense was my opening number. My challenge was to improvise the music every night to a drum that was my sole accompaniment. One night, I believe I crossed into copyright infringement when this melody came very close to sounding like the song for the seven dwarfs in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the other song sounded like, The Sound of Music. I was paid a small amount of money that included cleaning up the stage and backstage afterwards. Unfortunately, the show closed after one week and ended my brush with stardom.

Review:

Tahlia Newland Awesome Indies

“SUNSPOTS is a moving, beautifully-written mystery about the devastating consequences of obsessive love.

Bell’s elegant prose not only describes the events and scenery of this self destructive love story in riveting detail, but also skilfully evokes the atmosphere both internal and external. The structure of the story is very clever. At the beginning of the book, our empathy is aroused for grieving widow Aurora Goldberg. It appears that she had the perfect marriage to charming Jake, but as the story progresses, we and Aurora discover Jake’s secrets, so shocking to her that she is forced to re-evaluate their love. Through eyes opened by the truth—and helped along by the visions provided by a ghost—she sees that all was not as rosy as she had believed. Not only that, but the legacy he left her could be life-threatening.

Popular fiction tends to romanticise love where one looses themselves in the other, or feels completed by the other, or feels they cannot live or be happy without the other; Sunspots takes this kind of notion to its extreme to show how disempowering an obsession with the object of our love actually is. Obsession not only blinds you, it makes you weak, needy and boring. Your partner is likely to turn elsewhere to get away from your clinging, especially if you end up harping on at him that he never gives you any attention anymore. It’s dangerous to let your whole life revolve around one person, for when they leave you—by death as it is in this case—you are devastated. As the book progresses we come to see how much Aurora has brought her crippling grief upon herself. She literally looses herself in this obsession.

Bell brings a metaphysical element to the story with the addition of Viola Parker, the ghost of the sister of Aurora’s last incarnation. With her help, Aurora sees that this pattern of obsessive love and betrayal by Jake—in his previous incantations—has been repeated in past lifetimes that ended with Aurora’s suicide. Viola urges her to take a different path in this life and cut the cycle of self-destruction.

Bell deals with interesting themes here, that we tend to repeat patterns until we make a conscious effort to change them,  that the past can be changed by actions in the present, and that when someone ‘saves’ us with love, in a healthy, balanced relationship we also to some extent ‘save’ them.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes psychological depth in their romance. I give it 5 stars and a place on the Awesome Indies list.”

About the Author:

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Walking with Elephants was my first novel, although I am not new to writing. I was a theater critic and celebrity interviewer for a weekly tabloid in Jacksonville, Florida and I earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from Oklahoma State University. For 15 years I worked in Corporate America as a technical editor/editor/writer. I experienced first hand the politics and intrigue that goes with that territory and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother. I salute all those mothers who are the glue that holds their families together while pursuing the nine to five brass ring. And that is what inspired me to write that novel.

With my second novel, Sunspots, I continue to be in awe of the magical and wondrous phenomenon called life. As an observer and obvious participant in feminine values and approach to our human challenges, I bring this perspective to my work. Fascinated by the mysteries of the unseen forces that perhaps play a role in guiding our choices, I search for answers in the mundane as well as in the cosmic forces that surround us.

Connect with Karen S. Bell

Email: karen.bell@yahoo.com

Website: http://karensbell.com/KSB_PRESS/WELCOME.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenSueBell

PROMO BLAST–FULL THROTTLE by T. C. Archer

13 Sep

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Full Throttle

by T. C. Archer

Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Categories: Mystery/Thriller, Sports-Themed

Publisher: Etopia Press

Release Date: July 6, 2013

Heat Level: Sensual

Word Count: 95,000

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Available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Full-Throttle-ebook/dp/B0087PJ8YY/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/full-throttle-t-c-archer/1111325318

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fullthrottle-814094-149.html

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Full-Throttle/book-CI2fbRdumEO_IkDrQ90rLQ/page1.html?s=eU-nHH1xQU6BFmi6TRG9iA&r=5

Description:

Fast cars and a smokin’ hot passion…

Rex intends to own and drive his own car, but that will cost him millions up front. Last season was a disaster, thanks to a nasty break up, but it taught him a lesson and helped sharpen his focus on what he needed to do: Win every race. And stay away from pretty girls. The last thing he needed was to learn that his new head mechanic, Jimmy James, was the gorgeous redhead pin-up walking around his pit like it was some kind of dance floor.

Gail “Jimmy” James is the first female NASCAR mechanic. As if competing in a man’s world isn’t tough enough, her bombshell figure bellies her genius IQ, and the pit is no place for either. Nothing Jimmy knew about Rex Henderson the driver prepared her for Rex Henderson the man. But Jimmy has no time to dwell on her feelings as strange mechanical problems curse Rex’s car. Whether sabotage or her own mistakes, Jimmy must stay one step ahead of trouble if she’s going to keep her job, and keep her driver alive…

Excerpt

“Having a problem?” Rex said.

Jimmy whirled. Rex stood nose to nose with her and she leaped back. Her elbow caught the edge of the workbench and she cried out, dropping the keys.

“Whoa!” Rex grabbed her arm and yanked her into his arms.

She clutched at the front of his powder blue racing suit. Her gaze latched onto his as she shrieked and shoved away from him, barely stopping her backward free fall against the workbench.

She glared at him, breathing hard. “You shouldn’t sneak up on a person!”

He didn’t so much as twitch, but stood there in his new racing suit looking at her through those deep blue eyes. Six feet of lean driving muscle. Her stomach did a flip and her legs felt like motor control was about to give way. Rex grinned as if he knew she’d just melted like butter on a hot ear of corn. What she knew of Rex Henderson the driver hadn’t prepared her for the man.

“I still haven’t recovered from yesterday’s encounter,” she snapped. “I need at least twenty-four hours between assaults.”

From the corner of her eye, she glimpsed the men. They had stopped working and were staring at her—not Rex—her! A snicker came from the far end of the workbenches. She snapped her head around in time to see Alex duck his head. His hunched shoulders trembled, and she realized he was stifling laughter.

“What’s going on?” Rex demanded.

Jimmy squatted and scooped up a loose key and the broken key chain lying at her feet. She didn’t see the other key. Damned cheap chain broke and the other key had taken off like a Mexican jumping bean. She scanned the floor, then nearly froze when she saw her duffle bag. If Rex moved the bag and heard the plates rattle, her second week with Howard Motors would be her last. She swallowed and looked under the workbench. Sure enough, the key lay against the wall. Jimmy knelt and stretched an arm under the bench but couldn’t reach the key. She dropped her head between her arms. This wasn’t going well at all.

“What are you doing?” Rex asked.

He wasn’t getting the best of her this time! “Looking for my key,” she replied calmly, and scooted closer to the bench.

One fingertip touched the key. She flicked it closer, grabbed it, and got to her feet. She inserted the first key into the lower lock. The key still didn’t turn. What had happened to the lock? The key had slid in, but not with the same oil-slick ease she remembered yesterday. In her enthusiasm to feel the tools in her hands, she hadn’t noticed the difference.

The last time something like this happened was when her second oldest brother Justin cut off the padlock on her snowmobile trailer and replaced it with an identical model. Understanding struck. The crew had changed the locks on her tool chest. No wonder they beat her to the garage. She straightened, slowly swung her gaze around the room, and fixed on the men who were doing everything possible to keep from looking at her. Bastards.

Jimmy met Rex’s gaze. “Did you need something, Rex? I’m busy at the moment.”

“You want to tell me what’s going on?”

“Nothing is going on.”

He eyed her. “It’s not nice to lie to your boss.”

“Boss—” Jimmy bit her lip. Winston Howard signed her checks, not Rex.

He raised a brow and said with an exaggeration of his Alabama drawl, “All right. I want to get some more runs on the dyno before we load it on the hauler tonight for the trip to Daytona.”

Jimmy nodded. “Give me a minute.” She shot a glare at Alex and Red. “I need my analyzer. Go on ahead. I’ll be right there.”

“I’ll wait.”

Warmth spread across her face. Damn him. No car hood to hide under this time. Her freckled complexion had to be blazing. She fumbled with the keys, then stilled.

“All right.” She twisted to look at him over her shoulder. He stood, arms crossed. “I can’t open my toolbox. Satisfied?”

Confusion flickered in his eyes, but was immediately replaced by a smoldering fire. He flicked a glare at the men, one by one. “Give her the keys.”

Nobody said anything. No one moved.

“You’ve had your fun. Cough up the keys,” he ordered. “Now.

George fished in the pocket of his coveralls and pulled out a wire loop with two keys. He tossed them, avoiding her glare in the process.

Jimmy snatched the keys from the air. Quiet, agreeable George was the last person she’d expected to pull such a stunt. Maybe he’d been coerced. Or maybe he was angry because she’d taken the job she’d heard he’d been in line for. Her heart fell. Looked like she had a ready-made enemy.

“Grow up, boys,” Rex said. “We have work to do.” He turned back to her. “I’ll meet you in building two.”

She nodded and watched him stride toward the door. As Rex reached the door, he angled his head toward George. George dropped his gaze. Rex grabbed the doorknob, swung the door wide, and stepped outside. Sunlight flashed off his suit an instant before the door slammed shut.

Jimmy stared at the closed door. What just happened? Her stomach did another flip. She knew that feeling. Nights at Derrek Cole’s cabin in the Rockies, flying to New York to meet between hectic work schedules, picnics on Lake Erie. Derrek was the love of her life—until the day he told her it was racing or him. Five years, and she still remembered the feeling.

Her heartbeat pounded in her ears. Good Lord. Rex was No. 14’s driver—the man she was going to work side-by-side with for a very long time. It wasn’t possible that she was attracted to him.

About the Author:

T. C. Archer is comprised of award winning authors Evan Trevane and Shawn M. Casey. They live in the Northeast. Evan has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and Shawn is a small business owner. Their collaboration began on a lark with the post WWII film noir story The Pickle My Little Friend, and has evolved into over a dozen works, which includes their new series The Phenom League, and Daphne Du Maurier winner the romantic thriller For His Eyes Only.

Connect with T.C. Archer

Website: http://www.tcarcher.com

Blog: http://tcarcher.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCArcherRomanceAuthors

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TCArcher

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR–SPEAK NO EVIL by Tanya Anne Crosby

25 Aug

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Speak No Evil (No Evil #1)

by Tanya Anne Crosby

Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Categories: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Kensington

Release Date: March 7, 2013

Heat Level: Sensual

Length: 283 pages

speaknoevil-cover

Available at:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00AKI4IPU

B&N: http://bit.ly/1azcZk2

iTunes: http://bit.ly/17rjJcJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/135V3Yz

Description:

“Dangerously addicting. “-Sherrilyn Kenyon #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Crosby serves up suspense, secrets and Southern scandal like no one else! “ – Harlan Coben #1 New York Times bestselling author

Lifting the veil of secrecy on a grand Southern family in decline, New York Times bestselling author Tanya Anne Crosby explores the lives of Caroline, Augusta, and Savannah Aldridge, three sisters who share a dark past and an uncertain future…Caroline Aldridge was surprised by the number of mourners at her mother’s funeral. Evidently the newspaper heiress who had caused her children so much pain was well-loved by everyone else in Charleston. Now she was gone, leaving behind countless secrets–and a few demands: Caroline and her sisters must live together for one year or lose their inheritance. And Caroline must take over The Tribune. But a killer is making headlines, and Caroline may have unwittingly stepped into the crosshairs…

A series of kidnappings and murders resurrect the sisters’ memories of their brother’s disappearance as a child–and Caroline fears she may be next. Yet in the midst of her turmoil, she may be rekindling a romance she’d extinguished long ago. With Jack back in her life and the tattered bonds of sisterhood slowly mending, Caroline hopes the family can restore its position in Charleston society–unless a sinister force beyond their control tears them apart forever. . .

EXCERPT:

He took another swig of his Guinness and reached into his pocket to grab his cell phone. Three missed calls from Kelly. Zero from Caroline.

Then, again, he hadn’t expected Caroline to call. She was as prideful as her mother—damn her! Even ten years later, she wasn’t about to forget a stupid mistake. He set the phone down on the counter and drained his glass, eyeing the cell with some malice.

The bartender eyed him curiously. “Bad day?”

Jack shrugged. “Buried a friend,” he said.

And fought with the woman who somehow still managed to consume his thoughts even after all these years, but he didn’t offer up that part. It was nobody’s business.

Caroline was the sole reason he couldn’t settle down with Kelly, he realized. Every time he’d considered it, Caroline’s face popped into his head—like one of those annoying carnival games. He didn’t think that was the way it was supposed to be—married to one girl, obsessed with another.

There was nothing wrong with Kelly.

She just wasn’t Caroline. 

“I’ll take another.”

Kyle nodded and complied.

Okay, so maybe as a description of the past several years, “obsessed” was a bit of an overstatement, because he had pretty much managed to put Caroline out of his head—except whenever lifechanging decisions were about to be made. This minute, however, it was a full-on obsession, complete with phantom touches that were hijacking his body. Just seeing her had done that to him. It left him with a sense of longing that was acutely disagreeable, and he couldn’t shake it.

Eyeing the phone again, he considered calling her—just so he could stop thinking about her—and it dawned on him that she was probably the reason he had never changed his number. That thought had never even entered his brain before this moment, but he was pretty sure it was true. He wasn’t over her. Worse, he was afraid he was never going to be over her, and the thought of living his life in limbo made him feel like chain-smoking half a dozen packs of cigarettes right in front of her.

His cell phone rang and his heart thumped hard. Then he saw the number and felt the letdown: Kelly.

He couldn’t avoid her forever.

Draining his glass once more, he took out his wallet, paid the tab, grabbed his cell, and almost as an afterthought, reached into his pocket, digging out his last pack of cigarettes, still half full, and tossed them on the bar, then walked out. The phone stopped ringing, but he would call her back. Now that it was all clear in his head, he realized holding on wasn’t fair.

It was time to let go.

About the Author:

Tanya has written seventeen novels, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times and USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two dogs and two cats in northern Michigan.

Connect with Tanya Anne Crosby

Email: tanya@tanyaannecrosby.com

Website: http://tanyaannecrosby.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tanyaannecrosby

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TanyaAnneCrosby