#Review “Below the Fold (Clare Carlson Mystery)” by R.G. Belsky

~~~

5/5 Stars!

What a head-slammer! Every time I thought I had figured out who the murderer was, I ran right into a wall!

A woman is found murdered in an ATM vestibule in New York City. But she was homeless and just another anonymous lost soul living on the streets. Her death barely registers a blip on anyone’s radar and will never be solved.

But this story calls out to TV news director Clare Carlson. No one is born homeless. The woman had a life and Clare wanted to tell that story. Her news team puts together well-received segments on the tragic life of Dora Gayle—a college-educated woman who loved life and poetry, but for whom a broken heart and giving up her infant daughter for adoption were probably the early beginnings of the downward spiral that led to Dora being brutally stabbed to death by a stranger.

But Dora’s story is soon forgotten because life goes on.

Another murder occurs that’s sure to be high profile. A young, female investment banker is beaten to death in her toney apartment. She was involved in a major embezzlement and bank fraud case and had recently agreed to testify against her co-conspirators.

The story has Clare’s attention, but she’s floored when she learns what was found near the body—a note with five names which includes a media mogul (and Clare’s boss), a politician, a ruthless attorney, a cop involved in scandal… and Dora Gayle.

No one knows how the people on the list are connected, including the people on the list. Clare’s boss gives her free rein to investigate and report in hopes of finding some answers or at least clearing his name.

Clare Carlson is damn good at her job. Despite being a Pulitzer Prize winner, she’s about the story, not the glory. She dives into the investigation interviewing anyone on the list… and anyone else who’ll talk to her.

Clare’s also glad for the distraction because it takes her mind off the daughter she gave up for adoption. I liked Clare. She’s not smug and arrogant or annoying. She’s committed to her job and a true professional. But she’s not without her flaws. She has three past marriages under her belt and having the hots for a married cop was not a good look for her. But, she got her hand smacked and her feelings hurt and just has to get over herself. One day.

Suspicion surrounds everyone on the list and a few others, but it’s revelations from the past that open… and close the door on the case.

When Clare and crew take a step back and recalculate—sort of like Siri—they realize they went for the easy, and wrong solution.

She relaunches her investigation being more methodical, but as she digs deeper, the suspect list grows, and the plot twists are fast and furious!

Well-paced and detailed, the author does a great job in this read of baiting and distracting and heightening the suspense, only to smack the reader with yet another plot twist—I think I’m bruised.

Below the Fold must be read to the last page to have all those pesky loose ends tied up, and it is so worth it. There was only one guy I felt didn’t get his comeuppance, but there’s always book 3, right? Crime fiction and mystery lovers will read this in one sitting and I highly recommend you do.

Enjoy!

This is book 2 in the Clare Carlson series, and I wanted to get Clare’s full backstory and decided to purchase book 1, Yesterday’s News. Imagine my surprise finding out I already own it! (Don’t judge me—I buy a lot of books!)

~~~

Synopsis:

Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”

So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.

~~~

Book Details

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Oceanview Publishing

Publication Date: May 2019

Number of Pages: 357

ISBN: 978-1-60809-324-3

Series: Clare Carlson #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

 

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 01, 2019 and runs through June 02, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

PICT Button

 

#BookTour “Below the Fold (Clare Carlson Mystery)” by R.G. Belsky

Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky~~~

~~~

Synopsis:

 

Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”

So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.

~~~

Book Details

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Oceanview Publishing

Publication Date: May 2019

Number of Pages: 357

ISBN: 978-1-60809-324-3

Series: Clare Carlson #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

OPENING CREDITS THE RULES ACCORDING TO CLARE Every human life is supposed to be important, everyone should matter. That’s what we all tell ourselves, and it’s a helluva noble concept. But it’s not true. Not in the real world. And certainly not in the world of TV news where I work. Especially when it comes to murder. Murder is a numbers game for me. It operates on what is sometimes cynically known in the media as the Blonde White Female Syndrome. My goal is to find a murder with a sexy young woman victim to put on the air. Sex sells. Sex, money, and power. That translates into big ratings numbers, which translates into more advertising dollars. These are the only murder stories really worth doing. The amazing thing to me is not that there is so much news coverage of these types of stories. It’s that there are people who actually question whether they should be big news stories. These critics dredge up the age-old argument about why some murders get so much more play in the media than all the other murders that happen every day. I don’t understand these people. Because the cold, hard truth—and everyone knows this, whether they want to admit it or not—is that not everybody is equal when it comes to murder. Not in life. And certainly not in death. It reminds me of the ongoing debate that happens every time Sirhan Sirhan—the man who killed Robert F. Kennedy—comes up for a parole hearing. There are those who point out that he’s already served fifty years in jail. They argue that many other killers have served far less time before being paroled. Sirhan Sirhan should be treated equally, they say, because the life of Robert F. Kennedy is no more or less important than the life of any other crime victim. Me, I think Sirhan Sirhan should be kept caged up in a four-foot by six-foot cell as long as he lives—which hopefully will be to a hundred so he can suffer every minute of it. For God’s sakes, people, he killed Robert—freakin’—Kennedy! And so, to those who think that we in the media make too big a deal out of some of these high-profile murder stories, I say that’s completely and utterly ridiculous. I reject that argument completely. I won’t even discuss it. * * Now let me tell you something else. Everything I just said there is a lie. The truth is there really is no magic formula for murder in the TV news business. No simple way to know from the beginning if a murder story is worth covering or not. No easy answer to the question of how much a human life is worth—or what the impact will be of that person’s death by a violent murder. When I started out working at a newspaper years ago, I sat next to a veteran police reporter on the overnight shift. There was an old-fashioned wire machine that would print out police slips of murders that happened during the night. Most of them involved down-market victims in bad neighborhoods whose deaths clearly would never make the paper. But he would dutifully call the police on each one and ask questions like: “Tell me about the body of that kid you found in the Harlem pool room—was he a MENSA candidate or what?” Or, “The woman you found dead in the alley behind the housing project—any chance she might be Julia Roberts or a member of the British Royal Family?” I asked him once why he even bothered to make the calls since none of these murders seemed ever worth writing about in the paper. “Hey, you never know,” he said. It was good advice back then, and it still is today. I try to teach it to all my reporters in the TV newsroom that I run now. Check every murder out. Never assume anything about a murder story. Follow the facts and the evidence on every murder—on every crime story—because you can never be certain where that trail might take you. Okay, I don’t always follow my own advice in the fast-paced, ratings-obsessed world of TV news where I make my living. And usually it does turn out to be just a waste of time. But every once in a while, well . . . Hey, you never know. *** Excerpt from Below The Fold by R.G. Belsky. Copyright © 2019 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His newest mystery, Below The Fold, is being published in May 2019 by Oceanview. It is the second in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. The first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, came out in 2018. Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNECONNECTIONION, SHOOTING FOR THE STARS AND BLONDE ICE – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News. Belsky won the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville in 2016. He has finished as a Finalist for both the Silver Falchion and David Awards. And his first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, was named Outstanding Crime/News Based Novel by Just Reviews in 2018 and was a Finalist for Best Mystery of 2018 in the Foreword INDIES Awards. His previous suspense/thriller novels include LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD. Belsky lives in New York City.

Catch Up With Our R.G. Belsky On: rgbelsky.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

~~~

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 01, 2019 and runs through June 02, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

PICT Button

 

#BookTour “Bad Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery Book 3)” by Linda Lovely

BOOK TOUR APRIL 1 – MAY 31, 2019

~~~

Synopsis:

Bad Pick by Linda Lovely

Vegan Brie Hooker lives and works with her feisty Aunt Eva at Udderly Kidding Dairy, a hop, skip, and jump away from South Carolina’s Clemson University. Brie’s fun farm outreach attempt backfires when religious extremists decide goat yoga is a form of devil worship. Believing one of the zealots might be persuaded to see reason, Brie’s free-wheeling friend Mollye convinces her they should call on the young woman. Big mistake.

Picketers at Udderly’s gates soon become the least of Brie’s troubles. Not only is she accused of murder, she worries the death might actually be her fault. Danger mounts when an old family friend’s visit ensnares Brie in a high-stakes feud between a U.S. Supreme Court nominee and the woman determined to expose his secrets. In her personal life, Brie’s still torn between the town’s two most eligible bachelors. While she’s edging toward a decision, she must first survive a cunning killer adept at crafting murders that look like tragic accidents. Will Brie be another “accident” victim? Pay a visit to Udderly Kidding Dairy and find out!

Praise for Bad Pick

“There’s such a lot to enjoy in Linda Lovely’s third Brie Hooker mystery Bad Pick. Of course, I came for the goat yoga and the religious extremists (I’m only human), but I stayed for the love triangle, the female friendships, the family members rubbing along so realistically, the sidelights on vegan cooking and the rich depiction of small-town life. And what kept me flicking the pages fast enough to cause a draft? The twisty, knotty, killer plot underneath all that charm. Bad Pick is a good’un!”—Catriona McPherson, Multi-Award-Winning Author of the Last Ditch Mysteries.

“Wow! In Bad Pick, Lovely wrote an amazing novel only to see one part of the plot come to life in headlines all over the country. A fringe religious cult, a Supreme Court nominee, and goat yoga combine together in a tale that fans of mysteries won’t want to miss. –Sherry Harris, Agatha Award Nominee and Author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries.

“The Brie Hooker mysteries from author Linda Lovely continue to entertain, this time with extremists who really don’t like the farm’s new goat yoga offering. You’ll find yourself muttering, “What the feta?” as you follow the action around not one but two murders from the edge of your seat. Fix yourself a chevre sandwich and sit down to enjoy a delightful – and suspense-filled – read.”—Edith Maxwell, Author of the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries.

~~~

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: Henery Press

Publication Date: April 16, 2019

Number of Pages: 270

ISBN: 9781635114744

Series: Brie Hooker Mystery Series

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

ONE

“How many people did you con into trying this goat yoga?” Aunt Eva asked as she slapped two strips of cold bacon in a skillet. “No conning needed,” I answered. “Everyone’s looking forward to the class.” “You sure goat yoga’s a good idea?” I laughed. “I’m sure. People love it. Admittedly, a sense of humor’s required, but it’s caught on all across the country. Why don’t you join the fun? Class starts at three. We don’t have many Sunday customers this time of year. We’ll probably have the farm to ourselves by then. You up for some downward-facing dog?” “No.” Eva harrumphed. “Don’t go insulting our noble dogs. Bad enough you’ll expose our baby goats to human pretzels. It’s bound to confuse the poor kids. Won’t know which human end is supposed to be up. They’ll think all us two-legged beings are bonkers. So who’s coming?” “Jayla, our yoga instructor, wanted to limit the trial class to four students so it’s just Mollye, Fara, Mimi, and me.” I pulled out a bag of frozen blueberries I’d picked at the Happy Berry Farm last summer. While Udderly Kidding Dairy, my home for the past seven months, boasted dozens of blueberry bushes, our four-hundred goats called first dibs on the fruit. “Oh, and Paint’s shooting video to promote the class,” I added. Aunt Eva chuckled as she flipped her sizzling bacon strips. “Not a hardship for Paint, videoing young ladies in nothing but skivvies and tutus.” I glanced heavenward. “We don’t wear tutus. Our workout clothes show less skin than you do on the Fourth of July.” Eva cocked an eyebrow. “Could be you’re helping Paint select babes for the weeks he’s not your designated beau.” I opened the cupboard and grabbed a microwave packet of steel-cut oatmeal. “Paint sees a variety of ladies when we’re not dating, and he knows everyone in this class. No behind-the-camera scouting required.” “Maybe, but as far as I know, he hasn’t seen any of them with their ankles up around their ears.” “And he won’t today.” “If you say so, but I swear my old bones creak just looking at some of those yoga contortions.” Eva cracked two eggs in the hot bacon grease, while I used our microwave—a new kitchen addition—to thaw my frozen berries and heat the oats. My usual February morning fare. At Udderly, we didn’t chow down until the morning chores were done. That meant I was starved and in dire need of a caffeine injection. Eva glanced over. “So how’s that boyfriend-for-a-week plan working? Who’s ahead in the Brie Hooker heart throb race? Any close calls on the clothing discard clause?” I smiled. “Paint and Andy try to outdo each other in dreaming up ways to initiate a striptease. Despite their enterprising efforts, the nude- default clause remains unchallenged.” Last November, I’d agreed to this bizarre boyfriend pact with Andy Green, our veterinarian, and David “Paint” Paynter, an entrepreneurial moonshiner. Though strongly attracted to both thirty-four-year-old hunks, I’d sworn I’d date neither. Didn’t want to lose them as friends or come between them. They’d been best buds for thirty years, practically since they left diapers. The boys came up with an alternative. I’d date Paint one week, Andy the next, until either I selected a fulltime beau, one of them opted out, or a ridiculous nudity clause kicked in. If I disrobed on any date, the magician who assisted in making my clothes disappear would win by default. Both men swore the arrangement would not affect their friendship. Me? I felt like I’d been locked in a chastity belt. Foreplay’s a lot less fun when there’s no after. “You know it can’t last, don’t you?” Aunt Eva asked, giving voice to my own misgivings. “Yep, I do. But like today’s sunny warmth—way too early for mid- February—I’ll enjoy it while I can.”

TWO

Jayla Johnson, our tall, willowy teacher waved as she walked toward me. Had to admit Paint would get an eyeful watching her stretch every which way. He was male, and Jayla was a stunner. As a shorty—I’m five four—I’d always envied long-legged ladies like Jayla. Somehow those extra inches made them look cool and sophisticated. Luckily, Jayla wasn’t in the running to join Paint’s off-week harem. She was happily married to one of Clemson University’s football coaches and had a darling three-year-old son. “Do we have a plan B?” Jayla glanced up at the Carolina blue sky. “It’s really warm for February, but the ground’s too muddy to put our mats down in a pasture. After five minutes, we’d look like we’d been mud wrestling.” “Agreed. It’d be a shame to get that outfit muddy.” Jayla looked like an Oreo cookie, her ebony skin a sharp contrast to her snowy outfit. “I did warn you baby goats aren’t potty-trained, didn’t I? Accidents can happen.” “Not to worry.” Jayla smiled. “My laundry room has one whole shelf devoted to stain removers for husband-son accidents. So where are we setting up?” “The horse barn. Plenty of room and it will be easier to keep Curly, Moe, and Larry contained.” “Who?” “Curly, Moe, and Larry are the baby goats—five-day-old triplets. We named the kids after The Three Stooges. Full of energetic hijinks. They’re also super cuddly.” We turned as Mollye Camp’s psychedelic van crunched down the gravel drive. Her van’s midnight blue paint job served as a backdrop for a galaxy of glittering stars, a super-sized harvest moon, and a broom-riding witch. Moll, my best friend since childhood, was a gifted potter who sold her creations along with an eclectic hodgepodge of homeopathic remedies, herbs, and astrological doodads in her Starry Skies shop. Moll jangled as she hopped down from her ride. She adored jewelry and had more piercings than a rapper. A vibrant purple streak adorned her white-blonde hair. She chose a new neon hue every month. Mollye hustled over. “Who we waiting for?” “Mimi and Fara,” I answered. “We’re keeping the group small for the test run. Paint’s shooting video.” Mollye checked the amount of cleavage revealed by her scoop-necked purple top and inspected the seams of her orange leggings as they meandered south of her shorts. “Glad I didn’t wear anything too revealing. Don’t want folks thinking I’d participate in some racy video.” Mimi and Fara’s arrival cut short Jayla’s and my eye rolls. Racy might not be Mollye’s middle name, but outrageous could be. I loved Mollye and her adventurous spirit though it sometimes landed me in hot water. Okay, in one case, freezing water. With rolled mats tucked under their arms, the class newcomers looked like an odd couple. Mimi, who’d emigrated from Vietnam at age two, stood four feet nine on tiptoe, while Fara, a busty blonde with long braids, topped out at five ten. Mimi was a pharmacist; Fara grew up in her family’s funeral parlor and was now the town’s youngest funeral director. Hard for this class to be more diverse. Paint would enjoy himself. “Hey, Fara, you boxing anyone up today?” Mollye joked. “Maybe you after class,” the funeral director quipped. “You want the deluxe mahogany coffin or a pine box? I’m thinking you and Brie have used up eight of your nine lives. Better not exert yourselves today.” Jayla clapped her hands. “Now children. Snarky is not the proper frame of mind for yoga. Think serenity. We want to clear our minds, be one with nature.” I chuckled at the good-natured kidding. “Follow me to our classroom. We have the horse barn to ourselves. The smell alone will remind you we’re one with nature. I evicted Rita and Hank. They’re grazing in the pasture. Figured Lilly’s mule and Eva’s horse were more inclined to nicker than meditate.” “Where are the goats in this goat yoga?” Fara asked. “Eva will bring Curly, Moe, and Larry in after we start. We need to leave the barn door open for the light. Jim, our Border collie, will keep the little goat Houdinis from escaping.” The triplets’ antics drove Jim nuts. Yesterday Moe pranced on top of a picnic table for five minutes taunting the poor herd dog. Jim ran circles around the table, barking in protest, unable to figure out how to nudge Moe back to her pen. After we placed our mats, Jayla led us through a series of simple warm-up stretches and breathing exercises. I’d been an avid runner and swimmer for years, but yoga was a new pursuit. I was pleasantly surprised to find its emphasis on breathing and mindfulness and its practiced movements helped me shed stress and fall asleep faster. Believe me, falling asleep quickly is a prized skill for anyone required to rise before the sun. At Udderly, one of my jobs appeared to be waking the roosters. Jayla announced the cat pose. I knelt on my mat and set my arms to provide four-point support. Then I arched my back like cats do when threatened. I lowered my head, giving my neck muscles a pleasant stretch. “Looking good, ladies.” With my head down I heard the man’s voice before I saw him. “Don’t mind me,” the newcomer continued. “I’m gonna wander around and take photos.” The sexy baritone belonged to Paint. It should be outlawed. “Have fun, kids—human and goat.” Eva laughed as she let the baby goats loose in the barn. Moe immediately darted under my arched back, executed a one-eighty, and raced back again as if she were playing a game of London Bridge. My concentration faltered as Curly discovered she had easy access to one of my earlobes and began to nibble with her lips. It tickled. Fara broke out laughing as Larry scrambled up her arched back and danced a little jig on his newly discovered perch. “I’ve got a miniature geisha doing a four-footed massage.” Fara giggled. “Actually feels kind of good, though very strange.” “No talking,” Jayla admonished. “Concentrate on your breathing, your muscles. Be one with nature.” Paint hooted. “Nature’s winning.” Paint obviously felt he was exempt from Jayla’s no-talking reprimand. The instructor began laughing, too. Moe had curled her body around Jayla’s legs as she attempted to hold the Big Toe pose. We were all bent in half, butts in the air, when a loud voice brayed, “Oh dear God, save us. They are bowing to the devil, mocking the Lord Jesus by thrusting their bottoms at heaven above.”

THREE

What the feta? I snapped around to see who was calling us devil worshippers. Was this a joke? Flipping out of downward dog, I body slammed the mat. A second after hitting the plastic, a furry comedian bounced against my side. Curly shook her head as she attempted an impressive four-legged hop. She’d taken my tumble to the ground as an invitation to play. The little goat butted my side again. “Lord Jesus, help us keep these devil worshippers from claiming more souls!” the stranger bellowed. I was flabbergasted. No other word for it. Then my shock morphed into anger. Who did this woman think she was, calling us devil worshippers? Who invited her to our private workout? How did she even find out about it? The plump leader held a super-sized wooden cross before her as if she were fending off a clutch of vampires. I figured her for mid-fifties. Gray streaks wound through her mousy brown hair. Light glinting off oversized spectacles lent her the look of an alien with round yellow bug eyes. Two cross-carrying acolytes hovered about a foot behind her. Were these people serious? I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. My heartbeat raced. Angry? You betcha. I almost yelled one of my old-time favorite curses. Years back, I cleaned up my salty language for dear old Mom. As a vegan, processed- meat-and-cheese exclamations had become my exclamatory substitutes. But Cruddy corndogs! didn’t quite express my outrage. Mollye, closest to the barn door, marched toward the scowling leader. “Susan, what in blazes do you think you’re doing?” she growled. “I got a restraining order to keep you and your looney-tune zealots off my property. Now you’re following me?” “I didn’t know you’d be here,” the intruder raged, “though I’m not surprised. Goat yoga! What blasphemy. At church this morning, one of our faithful told me you were planning this abomination. I prayed on it, and decided we had to stop the spread of this evil in Ardon County.” She waved her cross at us. “In the name of the Father and the Son we demand—” “You need to leave,” Paint spoke through gritted teeth. “The only evil here is you.” Susan closed her eyes and rocked back and forth on her heels. “You are Satan’s handmaidens duping people into believing Baphomet goat worship is fun.” Susan’s diatribe was accompanied by a murmur of “Amen, Sister, Amen” from her backups. The sidekicks still wore church-go-to-meeting dresses, nylons, and heels. They kept sneaking peeks at the ground. Worried their high heels might sink in goat doo-doo during their barnyard sortie? One of the acolytes looked to be Susan’s age; the other much younger, about my age. “Knights Templar worshipped Baphomet as a deity.” Susan’s tone changed. Her words flowed in a singsong chant. “These monsters with their snake eyes are his descendants.” “Are you nuts?” Jayla broke in. “How can you think these adorable babies are evil?” Susan’s rant hadn’t cowed my friends. The harpy wasn’t deterred. “Open your eyes. The Satanic goat is a source of evil.” Her yellow bug eyes flashed at each of us in turn. “You worship the Devil. We won’t allow your sickness to infect the pious people of Ardon County.” Aunt Eva appeared in the barn door carrying two pails of goat milk. “You’re trespassing and you’re scaring the baby goats.” My aunt’s face flamed red. “We’ll leave,” Susan said. “But this isn’t over. We will fight to the death for the soul of Ardon County. Goat yoga will not corrupt our world.” Curly made a break for it. The tiny kid ran pell-mell toward the barn door, which happened to be a few feet beyond where the intruding trio stood. Susan screeched. Did she really believe the Devil inhabited the itty- bitty creature? The woman raised her leg to kick Curly. Eva flung both buckets of goat milk, drenching Susan. The white liquid plastered her beehive hairdo to her scalp and her puffy blouse to her chest. Oh my, was she really wearing a flaming red teddy under her prim white cotton? A laugh bubbled up. I laughed so hard I doubled over. Susan shrieked like a storm-warning siren and ran. Though only a few drops of goat’s milk spattered her companions, they caterwauled like they’d been doused with acid as they scurried after their leader. The entire Udderly Kidding Dairy crew exploded in laughter. Eva halted her hee-haws long enough to imitate a cackling witch. “You’ve been baptized with the milk of Baaa-Phooey. Your souls belong to us!” Susan spun when she reached a shiny Chevy van. “You’ll pay for this!” she yelled. “Laugh all you want. You’ll see Hell sooner than you thought.” I quit laughing as abruptly as I’d started. It was Susan’s tone not her words that gave me the heebie-jeebies. We’d embarrassed the woman. Humiliated her. Perhaps she’d started this protest as some form of ecclesiastical theater, art for show, a way to rally the troops. Now it was personal. Susan had been scorned. *** Excerpt from Bad Pick by Linda Lovely. Copyright © 2019 by Linda Lovely. Reproduced with permission from Linda Lovely. All rights reserved.  

~~~

Author Bio:

Linda Lovely Hundreds of mystery writers have met Linda Lovely at check-in for the annual Writers’ Police Academy, which she helps organize. Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. She writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her new Brie Hooker Mystery series offers good-natured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. Bad Pick is her eighth published mystery novel. She served as president of her local Sisters in Crime chapter for five years and belongs to International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Catch Up With Our Author On: lindalovely.comGoodreadsTwitter,  &  Facebook!

~~~

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=289567

~~~

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Linda Lovely. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019 and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

PICT Button

#BookBlitz “Avoiding Matthew (International Heroes Book 3)” by Caroline Bell Foster

tour banner

~~~

Avoiding Matthew by Caroline Bell Foster

cover

A kiss. A promise. A mistake.

Lacy Dawson would rather spend her days experimenting with brownie recipes and trying on wedding dresses, than go on yet another secret mission to save her country. She needed a way out and found it.

Deaf, Special Operative Matthew Edwards, stumbled across Lacy where she wasn’t supposed to be, while on an enforced vacation.

They’d never been able to stifle their sexual attraction and indulged every time their paths crossed. However, Matthew knew Lacy was working a dangerous mission outside of the bureau. But what? She was too soft and needed protecting from herself.

Lacy’s secrets take her from America to Russia, to England, all the while with Matthew hot on her heels.

How could she avoid Matthew? Did she want to?

Available On

AMAZON

~~~

AM teaser

~~~

Lacy pressed the gas and the car surged forward. A powerful engine under the guise of a rusty exterior. With one hand she managed to button up three buttons on her shirt, before seeing Matthew in the middle of the road, pointing a gun at her.

No doubt it would be her gun, she thought, pursing her lips.

Frowning deeply and knowing he would move, she kept going. Flooring the gas pedal.

She did up another button.

His hair was shorter than the last time she had seen him, she thought, noticing the burnished red being picked up by her headlights. She went full beam.

He didn’t squint as she thought he would.

She watched as he spread his legs wider, aiming the gun at her head and she narrowed her eyes driving faster. He would move.

Please move.

Move!

Move damn it!

He didn’t.

Lacy gasped, skidded out of control for a split second before pulling up the handbrake, gripping the steering wheel and spinning the car in the opposite direction.

Matthew was lying motionless on his side in the middle of the road.

“You idiot!” Lacy yelled frantically, coming to a stop and storming out of the car.

Matthew had hit the hood hard, bumped up the windscreen to slide off the side. He’d frightened the life out of her. She watched as he lifted his head, shook it once then twice, before rolling over and hauling himself up.

She catalogued his slow movements. He’d be sore in the morning, but otherwise, he was okay she thought charitably. Stupid man.

“Matthew?!” Lacy yelled from a safe distance. If Matthew caught her now he would want answers. She wasn’t giving him, or anyone else answers, and that included their mutual employer.

“You hit me!” Matthew charged.

“You shouldn’t have been in the middle of the road!” Lacy shot back.

“You’re fucking crazy,” he wiped his nose with his arm, “do you know that? You could have killed me!”

“Running you over is not the way I plan to kill you.” She answered, noticing his small but gaining steps. She edged to the door.

“Oh yeah,” he smirked, he couldn’t see much of her, what with the headlights trained his way, but he could see enough. She’d buttoned her shirt up wrong and hadn’t got to the top buttons yet. He could see the golden slope of her breasts. Breasts he had held in his hands not half an hour ago. “And how do you plan to kill me?” he asked conversationally.She didn’t answer but was looking down at her phone in her hand before throwing it into the car.

“I’ll tell you another time,” she advised on a laugh. “Duty calls.” She told him, getting into her small car.

Matthew jogged towards her vehicle, but she was already driving off. Matthew watched her go with a smirk and the biggest hard-on he’d had in half an hour.

When she was at a reasonable distance, she stopped.

Matthew waited with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Have a hot shower babe!” she yelled at him on a laugh, before driving off.

Matthew laughed and laughed even harder as he picked her gun from the asphalt. She’d be back for it, he knew.

Until next time sweetheart, he thought with a smirk.

~~~

Caroline Bell Foster is giving away a
$25 Amazon Gift Card

Click Here to Enter

~~~

Caroline Bell FosterABOUT CAROLINE BELL FOSTER

Caroline Bell Foster is an internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning British author of diverse romantic fiction. She is named as one of the most influential people in culture & entertainment in the East Midlands and also listed in the Top 100 Most Influential Creatives.

Caroline spent her formative years in the Caribbean, where her thirst for exploring other cultures began. Ever the adventurer, she bought her first pair of high heels in Toronto and traded her pink sunglasses for a bus ride in the Rift Valley, Kenya at 18.

With themes of substance, Caroline’s latest novels’ defy convention and celebrate modern day Britain with several titles set primarily in the East Midlands, where she shares her love for the three main cities and the surrounding ‘shires’ with her readers.

Caroline has come full circle and lives in Nottingham, England just twelve miles from where she was born. Married to her college sweetheart husband, David, they have two children and they are all ruled over by 17 year-old, rescue cat Naomi ‘Nay Nay Boo’.

CONNECT WITH CAROLINE BELL FOSTER

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | PINTEREST | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

#AvoidingMatthew #CarolineBellFoster

~~~

honey magnolia logo

#BookTour “Forever Mine” by J.L. Campbell

tour banner

~~~

cover

Forever Mine by J.L. Campbell

Having loved and lost, can Scott and Shevaughn get things right this time?

After being betrayed by his fiancée, Scott Fine isn’t about to trust another woman.

Shevaughn Young escaped from her marriage to a control freak and isn’t planning to give up her independence a second time.

A mix up with their hotel booking throws them together and Scott and Shevaughn realize they want the same thing—an interlude with no strings attached.

That’s until their connection turns into something they didn’t anticipate. Now they’re hard-pressed to keep their passion from flaring out of control and into something that looks like forever.

AVAILABLE ON:

AMAZON | Free on Kindle Unlimited

CLICK TO ADD ON GOODREADS

~~~

FM teaser

~~~

ENTER TO WIN A $10 Amazon GIFT CARD
FROM J.L. CAMPBELL

CLICK TO ENTER

~~~

JL CampbellABOUT J.L. CAMPBELL

J.L. Campbell is an award-winning Jamaican author who has written over thirty books. She writes contemporary and sweet romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, as well as new and young adult novels.

Campbell, who features Jamaican culture in her stories, is fascinated with the island’s flora and has hundreds of photos in her collection. She is a certified editor and also writes non-fiction.

Feel free to join her mailing list for news and updates http://eepurl.com/n29ZH or join her Facebook readers’ group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/iarreaderssuite/ Visit her on the web at http://www.joylcampbell.com.

CONNECT WITH J.L. CAMPBELL

AUTHOR SITEFACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAMPINTERESTBOOKBUBGOODREADSAMAZON AUTHOR PAGENEWSLETTER

~~~

honey magnolia logo

#Review “Cultivating a Fuji” by Miriam Drori

cover

~~~

4/5 Stars!

Cultivating a Fuji is a moving and sometimes heartbreaking tale of one man’s lifelong struggle with social anxiety.

Martin Carter is that kid in school who’s just a bit smaller, not quite in sync and an easy target for bullying and harassment. And, there is no shortage of fake friends, classmates, and even adults who have no problem tormenting Martin because he’s weird, strange, silent… different.

When it’s revealed a family tragedy was the catalyst for Martin’s social anxiety, I felt the behavior of everyone around him was even more reprehensible. Including his parents.

Despite his issues, Martin makes it through college and gets a job at a small computer software company.

His analytical mind makes him a star employee but social anxiety relegates him to the odd sort. However, when a coworker is sidelined by an accident, Martin is the only one who can take his place and pitch a campaign to a company… in Japan.

Japan will be a turning point for Martin. It’s not immediate or all-encompassing, but there will be change.

This is Martin’s story but there are multiple POVs to show not everyone thinks badly or only want to ridicule him. People want to help… they just don’t know how.

Cultivating a Fuji is a good read lovers of contemporary and literary fiction will enjoy, and the twisty conclusion will linger long after the story’s end.

Enjoy!

~~~

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, coverMartin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Purchase Link 

mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

~~~

G I V E A W A Y

Win print copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (1 winner)

(Open Internationally)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

~~~

 

#BlogTour “Cultivating a Fuji” by Miriam Drori

tour banner

~~~

cover

~~~

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Purchase Link 

mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

~~~

Miriam DroriAuthor Bio
Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

Social Media Links

Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest

Instagram Wattpad Website/blog Social Anxiety Blog.

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon

~~~

 G I V E A W A Y

Win print copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (1 winner)

(Open Internationally)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

~~~

full tour banner