A Shot in the 80% Dark: Book Blitz and Giveaway

A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 4
by
AMBER ROYER
Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery /Woman Sleuth
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: July 15, 2022
Number of Pages: 285 pages
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Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop is thriving. Despite everything she’s been through with the murders she’s helped solve, Felicity is ready to take on new challenges. So when a local museum offers her a contract to create a chocolate replica of a gigantic sailing ship sculpture for a gala celebrating Galveston’s history, she jumps at the chance to combine chocolate-crafting with art.
The project is fun – right up until there’s not just one but two dead artists on the scene, and Felicity has to change gears back to detective. Logan, Felicity’s business partner and previous bodyguard, and Arlo, Felicity’s ex who is now the cop investigating the case, are split on which victim they think was actually the intended one. Felicity may have to take some chances, both emotionally and in luring out a killer, to determine the truth.
Can she find out how Galveston’s history relates to the murders, unmask a killer, and prepare 2,000 chocolate desserts for the gala all at the same time?
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Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She is also the author of Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook for Novelists, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach.
Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs. If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.
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In Honor’s Defense: Scrapbook Page

IN HONOR’S DEFENSE
Hanger’s Horsemen, #3
by
KAREN WITEMEYER
Fiction / Christian / Historical / Inspirational
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Date of Publication: June 7, 2022
Number of Pages: 384 pages 
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He’s Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.
Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.
Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.
When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.
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Karen Witemeyer’s Scrapbook Page

The heroine from In Honor’s Defense enjoys needlework and has several cross-stitch samplers on display in her home. In fact, when she creates a special space for the hero during his recovery, one of the things that makes it feel like home to him is the stitched sampler with a Bible verse that she uses to adorn the wall.

I share my heroine’s love of needlework. I’ve been cross-stitching since my teen years and love to adorn my own walls with my needle art or give projects away as gifts. As most things do, the craft of cross stitching has evolved over the years. Back in the 1800s, most designs consisted of rudimentary figures (houses, trees, flowers) along with alphabets, special dates, and Bible verses or inspirational sayings.

In this virtual scrapbook, I’ve compiled photos of some of my modern projects that I consider to be most similar to those Damaris might have completed.

Sampler-type designs featuring Bible verses and inspirational sayings.

A hand-sewn pillow Christmas ornament with a design reminiscent of 19th century stitching – simple flowers and a Bible verse.

Damaris is also an avid reader, so I can picture her stitching this quick bookmark with the candle and mantel clock reminiscent of her era.

These designs are more modern than what Damaris would have likely stitched, but with her affinity for novels, I think she would have enjoyed stitching this pair of medieval maidens.

With Damaris’s dedication to family, I can easily picture her stitching a wedding sampler similar to the one I stitched for my son and his bride this past year. This mimics the nineteenth-century style of commemorating an important date with a piece of heirloom stitchery.

Voted #1 Reader’s Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.
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All three books in the HANGER’S HORSEMEN SERIES (US only; ends midnight, CDT, 7/8/2022)

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or visit the blogs directly:
6/28/22 Notable Quotables Chapter Break Book Blog
6/28/22 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
6/28/22 Review It’s Not All Gravy
6/29/22 Review The Plain-Spoken Pen
6/29/22 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
6/30/22 Guest Post KayBee’s Book Shelf
6/30/22 Author Interview The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
7/1/22 Scrapbook Page The Page Unbound
7/1/22 Review Shelf Life Blog
7/2/22 Excerpt All the Ups and Downs
7/3/22 Excerpt Reading by Moonlight
7/4/22 Review StoreyBook Reviews
7/5/22 Series Spotlight Writing and Music
7/6/22 Review The Clueless Gent
7/6/22 Excerpt Forgotten Winds
7/7/22 Review Book Fidelity
7/7/22 Review Rox Burkey Blog
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The Mischief Series: Excerpt

THE MISCHIEF SERIES
Mischief in the Mushroom Patch
A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch
Spider Web Scramble
Stranger in the Mushroom Patch
by
AMANDA M. THRASHER
Chapter Book / Fantasy / Action & Adventure / 2ND-4TH Grade
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
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Mischief in the Mushroom Patch, 2/2013, 146 pgs
Where do fairies get their magical fairy dust? After leaving the mushroom patch without permission, two mischievous fairies find themselves in more trouble than they can handle. Boris, with a broken ankle and a bent wing, is unable to walk or fly, and Lilly must devise a plan to escort him safely back to the mushroom patch. As with all actions, there are consequences! Lilly and Boris have broken colony rules and wasted precious fairy dust. Sentenced to work in the dust factory, the two learn a valuable lesson about the production of fairy dust, but can they survive the foreman?
A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch, 2/2013, 162 pgs
Lilly, Boris, and Jack are back! The three friends are together again in this newest addition to the Mischief Series. A natural disaster has taken the elders by surprise, and the scientists are unprepared. Damage to the colony is inevitable! Can the Master Engineers devise a plan to save the colony before they lose their home? The fairies’ Kick-a-Berry Match has been postponed as well, and the fairies must find new ways to entertain themselves until the pitch dries up. Along the way, they make a new friend named Pearle, and though she cannot walk, she can fly with ease. Valuable lessons about friendship, teamwork, and perseverance will be learned as the fairies embark on their newest adventure.
Spider Web Scramble, 2/2016, 170 pgs
Every third year, on the fifth full moon, the Mushroom Patch holds a magical Spider Web Scramble. Excitement buzzes through the forest as the fairies prepare to scramble the magical webs in order to complete the course. As a special treat, the elders disclose that the stars will be coming down to join in and play. A wish will be granted for the fairies who are pure of heart and manage to beat the clock, locating the star that has their name etched on it. With the no-fly rule in place, teamwork is the only way Pearle can complete the course. But little do they know that possible danger is in their midst. Will the magical spider web scramble be postponed? Will the stars grant Lilly, Boris, and Jack their wishes? Find out in this delightful magical adventure.
Stranger in the Mushroom Patch, 2/15/22, 212 pages
Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA)
Lilly, Boris, and Jack Are Back! Get Ready for a Human Attack!
Who knew a slimy moss bomb war between friends would lead to an adventure of a lifetime! From strategizing with the elders for their playful battle to, of all things, escaping the clutches of a human! It doesn’t take long to learn the fairies shockingly have more in common with the child than they ever could have imagined. Broderick, everyone’s favorite spider, provides the goodies, and Lilly supplies the fairy songs and games. Filled with twists and turns, adventure, and fun, find out if the fairies and the elders can help the stranger reunite with her family. Or will there be a human attack?!

EXCERPT FROM

STRANGER IN THE MUSHROOM PATCH

THE MISCHIEF SERIES, BOOK 4

BY AMANDA M. THRASHER

Monsieur Pierre appeared out of nowhere and stood behind Boris as he released a slimy bomb. He grabbed Boris by the scruff of his neck, but it was too late. Boris, dangling a foot off the ground, watched his moss bomb rip through the air and splat all over Jack. Stinky slimy moss ran down the left side of Jack’s temple. Though Jack should have been expecting an attack, he’d momentarily let his guard down, and the stinky moss bomb took him by surprise.

The sting forced Jack to yelp out loud and jump right out of his chair. His eyes searched the room for Boris. Monsieur Pierre, though he dared not say it out loud, recognized the skill it took to pull off such a sneak attack while dangling in midair.

As soon as Jack spotted Boris’s predicament and realized Boris had managed such a hit, he mumbled a compliment under his breath.

“Nice one, Boris.”

Boris, a good-sized fairy, looked down at the floor he no longer touched with his feet and was reminded that Monsieur Pierre was quite strong indeed.

“How many times have you been told not to pelt moss bombs in the dining hall, Boris?”

Boris shrugged his shoulders. He wasn’t trying to be rude; he honestly had no idea how many times he’d been told not to do it. He hadn’t been keeping up and was trying to calculate how many times it had actually been.

“Whatever it is you’re going to say, don’t,” Monsieur Pierre added as he set Boris back down on the ground with a loud thump. “I would confiscate them,” Monsieur said as his eyes darted toward Boris’s pocket, where another moss bomb had already appeared and was ready to go, “but we all know there’s no point!”

Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas, and resides there still. She’s an award-winning author of Young Adult, General Fiction, Middle Grade, Early Reader Chapter, and Picture Books. Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA), earning the award in multiple categories, including Young Adult, General Fiction, and Early Reader Chapter Books. She is also a multiple Gold Medal winner of the Readers’ Favorite International Book awards, a New Apple Literary Award, and has earned a first-place North Texas Book Festival award.
Amanda founded and is the CEO of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, an independent publishing company. She shares her writing and publishing experience with others through school visits, book signings, trade conferences, and workshops for aspiring writers of all ages.
In addition, Amanda was contracted to write a graphic novel for the Driving on the Right Side of the Road Program. The publication is part of the Driving on the Right Side of the Road (DRSR) program, developed by the Law-Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas Law Focused Education, Inc., and the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center with funding from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Department of Transportation. The program’s purpose is to offer a preventive educational program to encourage responsible decision-making when it comes to obeying traffic laws and following safe practices. The graphic novel titled What If … A Story of Shattered Lives was adapted into a reader’s theater for as few as five speakers or as many as twenty-six.
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Betting on Love: Review

BETTING ON LOVE

by

MARY BEESLEY

RomCom / Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: March 24, 2021

Number of Pages: 193 pages 

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Tempest Swan is out for revenge. Billionaire Leonard Allred’s software program has put her out of a job. She makes a bet with a friend that she’ll get Leonard to take her on a date so she can get retribution, but a fortuitous accident with an adorable nerd might just derail her vengeance.


Leonard has reasons for hiding his identity from the public. It’s worked well for him so far, until he starts falling for the honest and witty Tempest. But how can he destroy their budding romance by admitting he’s actually the guy she hates?


PRAISE FOR BETTING ON LOVE:


“If I could give Betting on Love more stars I would because 5 stars aren’t enough.” -Jacky, Goodreads reader

“BEST BEACH READ!! Witty and fun and it was super hard to put down.” – Katherine, Goodreads reader

“It had just enough spice to make you feel the sparks.” – Rebecca, Goodreads reader

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Betting on Love is a witty comedy with well developed characters and odes to sports and nerdiness mixed in. Awkward dating, bad job markets, tension filled holiday dinners, camping trips that no one is prepared for but ‘seem like a great idea at the time’. What a great recipe for book.

Tempest is passionate about her job and after five years, a meeting that she expects to be a raise turns into her life spiraling. I have to give it to her. She still keeps her head high and with a bit of savings, manages to still have some fun while looking for another job. What’s more fun then ‘not stalking’ someone outside their house on a bet to date then dump him?

In short, Tempest fumbles a word around her vivacious roommate and somehow makes her way into awkward romantic tension with a man she keeps running into.

The switch between our main character point of views was effortless. The author did a great job with making the story flow. It also added quite a bit of humor seeing both sides of the awkward and flirtatious encounters. Leo, or Arty, does live up to a few stereotypes though. Genius nerd that doesn’t know how to properly talk to women? Check! Though I did appreciate the nerd aspect, in both of them. But I had to agree with Blair sometimes:

“Is there anything you do like about him?

Blair smiled. “His money.” Her lips turned down. “But otherwise, nothing right now. He hurt you and didn’t fix it when I told him to, so he’s on my shit list.”

Honestly, I’d read a spin-off of Blair and her quest to open a sweet shop of some kind. Been there!

This was a great, comedy romance, that I could see on the screen one day. I’d definitely recommend this one for you to read.

Mary Beesley is a Whitney Award Nominee and received a Crowned Heart of Excellence Review and a 5-star Reader’s Favorite Award.

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1st: Signed copy of Betting on Love + $25 Amazon Gift Card;
 2nd & 3rd: signed copies of Betting on Love
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6/14/22ReviewBoys’ Mom Reads
6/14/22BONUS PromoHall Ways Blog
6/15/22ReviewRebecca R. Cahill, Author
6/15/22BONUS PromoLSBBT Blog
6/16/22ReviewThat’s What She’s Reading
6/17/22ReviewShelf Life Blog
6/18/22ReviewReading by Moonlight
6/19/22ReviewThe Page Unbound
6/20/22ReviewStoreyBook Reviews
6/21/22ReviewCarpe Diem Chronicles
6/22/22ReviewWriting and Music
6/23/22ReviewBook Fidelity

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The Stealing Time Series: Excerpt

THE STEALING TIME SERIES

Stealing Time

Shattering Time

Killing Time

by

KJ WATERS

Time Travel / Suspense / Romance / Alt History / Mystery

Publisher: Blondie Books

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Stealing Time, December 20, 2014, 319 pages

A devastating hurricane. A time travel betrayal. Will Ronnie survive the witch hunt or forever be lost in time?

Stealing Time is the first book in the “breathtakingly original” Stealing Time Series of time travel wrapped in a hurricane. If you like strong-willed modern women and gripping stories that transport you back in time, then you’ll love KJ Waters’s Books. As Hurricane Charley churns a path of destruction towards Orlando, Florida, Ronnie Andrews scrambles to prepare for the storm and seeks shelter at her boyfriend’s weather lab. What she finds there is more terrifying than Mother Nature’s destruction. During the peak of the hurricane, Ronnie is hurtled back in time to eighteenth-century London where she is caught in a web of superstition, deception, and lies in a life and death struggle to return to her own time. Her best friend Steph is thrust into the middle of the hurricane.

Shattering Time: June 27, 2017, 336 pages

A hurricane the size of Texas. Another time travel betrayal. Will Ronnie figure out how to return home or die trying?

Shattering Time is the second book in the best-selling “Breathtakingly original” time travel series that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ronnie Andrews returns from 18th-century London shell-shocked from her first terrifying time travel encounter. Her boyfriend, Jeffrey Brennan, casts doubt on her sanity leaving Ronnie wondering if she went back in time or is having a mental breakdown. To add to the tension, Hurricane Francis, a storm the size of Texas, is barreling towards Florida and her fears of a repeat time travel experience mount. Ronnie’s best friend Steph, along with her friend Nick and Steph’s younger brother Ian, shield Ronnie from the dangers of Francis but cannot save her from traveling back in time. Unfortunately, their meddling brings Ronnie to the brink of destruction as they are caught in the throes of the hurricane’s wrath.

Once again, Ronnie is transported to dangerous places and desperate situations, while experiencing perilous cultures including one of America’s first mysteries — the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. A stunning conclusion brings Ronnie face to face with a dangerous ally who may hold the key to her past while offering salvation for her future.

Killing Time: August 27, 2021, 437 pages

When the Strongest Hurricane in Decades Takes Aim at Florida, Ronnie Tries to Escape its Wrath. Will she Die in the Storm or Be Lost in Time Forever?

Ronnie Andrews is lucky to be alive after a time travel glitch nearly took her life during Hurricane Frances. When Hurricane Ivan, one of the strongest storms in decades, sets its sights on Florida, Ronnie jumps at the chance to join Mike, her mysterious new boss, on a business trip to Puerto Rico. Sparks fly, but when a newspaper article surfaces with horrific pictures of a woman who may have died at Mike’s hands, Ronnie regrets the decision. Before she can confront Mike about what she knows, Hurricane Jeanne forms off the coast, trapping them on the island. Her doctors warned that another time-travel-induced illness may kill her. Mike may be her only salvation.

The storm strikes and Ronnie time travels to Texas in 1872 where she is taken by Comanches. A rescue party saves her life led by Jesse and Frank James, hiding under assumed names.

Will Ronnie find a way to make the time-traveling episodes stop before the dangers of the past, and the damage from the journey destroy her?

Timely Discoveries

Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Stealing Time

Book One in the Stealing Time Series

By K.J. Waters

  “Miss Regina,” Margaret interrupted Ronnie’s thoughts. “Are you feeling a mite brighter now that ye’ve had a bit of a rest?”

  “A bit better now,” Ronnie said, keeping up the fake English accent.

  “If I may be so bold, ma’am reckon I know what you need. Some of Mrs. Baird’s cake. Ain’t nuthin’ better.” Margaret walked over to the tray of food and filled a plate, poured a cup of tea and brought it to Ronnie.

  “Oh, thank you Margaret.” Ronnie devoured the second piece of cake. The tea was almost hot enough and did a lot to restore her.

Ronnie ate and thankfully Margaret quietly tidied the room while she continued her ruminations. Did she switch places with Regina like Freaky Friday? Would another hurricane bring her back? That was rather unlikely to happen in London. She eyed Margaret. Was this woman really from 1752? By all outward appearances it would seem so.

  As she took the next bite a glint of metal caught her eye. She lifted the white lace of her sleeve and saw rose gold. It was the watch—the one Jeffrey had given her! If she were in Regina’s body how was the watch on her wrist?

Was Regina already wearing it when she … what would you call it … arrived? Looking down at the strange hand she moved the lacy sleeve aside to look at it again hoping Margaret didn’t notice. It was new like the one Jeffrey gave her, and didn’t have the smooth edges of the antique she had seen in London. But it wouldn’t be an antique in this time period. Is that what connected her with Regina?

The shopkeeper said it was from the early nineteenth century, so that didn’t fit. Could she have brought the watch with her? An image of her body lying lifeless on the floor of the lab bathroom hit her. Is that where her body was?

If she could see the back of the watch she would know. Jeffrey’s watch looked completely different with the modern backing and waterproofing. Ronnie didn’t want to draw any attention to herself with Margaret nearby so she continued eating the cake.

The antique she had found was in London and here she was in London. Is that why she was here? She laid back down, head spinning with implications of time travel and being in 1752.

  “Miss Ingram, are you feeling a bit out of sorts, you’re looking as pale as a death. Shall I run and fetch the doctor?” Margaret headed towards the door.

  “No!” Ronnie was dreading seeing the doctor. “I’m just a bit tired.”

  “Well I never! Bless me if they’re not on their way here as we speak.” Margaret went out of the room. Ronnie touched the watch, and turned her wrist over. The clasp was complicated. Before she could figure it out she heard footsteps coming into the room. Pulling the sleeve over the watch she looked up. On first sight of Jack’s tidy figure Ronnie inhaled sharply.

Margaret followed Jack into the room wringing her hands. “Mrs. Ingram, sir? Is she unwell?”

  “Catherine is resting comfortably,” Jack said. He headed towards Ronnie.

The doctor opened the black case he had left on the table. He took out a sheet of thick paper and rolled it into a tube.

  “Miss Regina. Forgive me, but ’tis vital that I should listen to your innards and make a thorough examination of the rest of you.” His hot foul breath wafted towards her. She turned her head away and breathed through her mouth.

Jack moved to the other side of the bed to give the doctor room and to block her escape. “Regina. You will lay quietly while Dr. Wiggams attends to his duties with you.”

  What does it look like I’m doing? Ronnie thought, but kept her expression neutral, not wanting to see the wrath of Jack again.

The doctor brought the rolled-up paper close to Ronnie’s chest. What the heck was this quack going to do, give her a paper cut? He put one end against her chest and the other end to his ear in a makeshift stethoscope.

Click to continue reading chapter 7 of Stealing Time!

KJ Waters is the international best-selling author of Stealing Time, Shattering Time, and short story Blow. She is currently working on book four, Fracturing Time.

In addition to her writing, she runs KJ Waters Consultancy and is the co-host of the popular podcast Blondie and the Brit, and she provides author consulting services covering branding, social media, and publishing.

She has a master’s degree in business and over eighteen years of experience in the marketing field. Before quitting her job to raise a family and work on writing, she was the Director of Marketing and Communications for a national behavioral healthcare company.

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Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Card & signed copies of three novels in a swag bag

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5/31/22

Review Book 1

The Plain-Spoken Pen

5/31/22

BONUS Promo

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6/1/22

Review Book 1

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6/1/22

BONUS Promo

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6/2/22

Excerpt Book 1

The Page Unbound

6/3/22

Review Books 2

The Book’s Delight

6/4/22

Review Book 2

Reading by Moonlight

6/5/22

Playlist

All the Ups and Downs

6/6/22

Excerpt Book 3

It’s Not All Gravy

6/7/22

Review Book 3

Chapter Break Book Blog

6/8/22

Review Book 3

Forgotten Winds

6/9/22

Sneak Peek Book 4

StoreyBook Reviews

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It’s a Mad, Mad Murder: Book Blitz and Giveaway

IT’S A MAD, MAD MURDER A Maddie Montgomery Mystery by CINDY VINCENT

Cozy Culinary Mystery / Women Sleuths / Amateur Sleuths
Publisher: Whodunit Press
Date of Publication: November 15, 2021
Number of Pages: 303 pages
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Things are a little too hot to handle for famous culinary-mystery author, Maddie Montgomery, in her normally quiet neighborhood set in the Houston suburb of Abbott Cove. Especially after her neighbor, Randall Rathburn, has a heart attack and rams his vintage car into a light pole. Though his death is ruled an accident, another of Maddie’s neighbors insists that Randall was murdered, and he implores her to investigate. But Maddie isn’t on board with the half-baked idea, not until she attends the over-the-top funeral where she develops some suspicions of her own. That’s when she decides to take the leap from crime writing to crime solving. After all, she doesn’t exactly want a killer running around her cul-de-sac . . .
But the murder of her neighbor isn’t the only mystery she’s got cooking. When her publisher goes belly-up and her agent happily dumps her in favor of younger, dystopian authors, Maddie boils over into a full-blown career crisis. And while she tries to simmer down, her new role as amateur sleuth only stirs the pot even more. Then from car chases to stakeouts, and from a neighbor who owns a suspicious amount of spy gadgetry to a widow who seems a little too merry, Maddie’s first case has her head spinning like the beaters on her handheld mixer. And soon Maddie finds that solving a crime in “real life” is a lot more difficult . . . and a lot more dangerous . . .
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Cindy Vincent is the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers, and the Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., 1940s Homefront Mysteries. She is also the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines. Cindy is a self-professed “Christmas-a-holic,” and she starts the planning for her ever-expanding, “extreme” Christmas lights display sometime in the early spring.
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Signed copy of It’s a Mad, Mad Murder, a sweetheart-neckline apron, a set of multicolored, Farberware measuring cups, and a set of stainless steel, oblong measuring spoons.
2ND & 3RD PRIZES:
Signed copies of It’s a Mad, Mad Murder and novella, Yes, Carol…It’s Christmas!, which features a heroine trying to get back home to Texas (US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/26/2022)

Fatal Code: Interview and Giveaway

 


FATAL CODE
The SNAP Agency Series, Book 2
by
NATALIE WALTERS
Fiction / Christian / Suspense / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: May 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 320 pages
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In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession–and a target on her back.
SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she’s his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.
As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she’s crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she’ll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.
Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.
PRAISE FOR FATAL CODE:
Fatal Code is reminiscent of cold war spy thrillers and riveted me to the page as I rooted for Kekoa and Elinor to expose secrets, survive danger, and fall in love.” — Elizabeth Goddard, bestselling author of the Rocky Mountain Courage series
“Warning: once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down!” — Andrew Huff, author of the Shepherd Suspense series
“Enough suspense to make you need warm milk and a cozy blanket to calm you down.” — Jaime Jo Wright, author of The Souls of Lost Lake and the Christy award-winning novel The House on Foster Hill

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INTERVIEW WITH NATALIE WALTERS



How does your book relate to your spirituality or life path?

One of the themes in Fatal Code deals with shouldering guilt and responsibility for things that were never ours to carry in the first place. Personally, this is something I have struggle within my own life, and I didn’t intentionally start with this theme when I began writing but as I started to see what was holding my character back it became clear and I loved being able to remind myself of the freedom that can come when we hand back to God what was always His. 


What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

Intially, it was discovering what my bubbly, fun-loving, Hawaiian hero was hiding. His personality didn’t give anything away and I really had to dig to find out what his backstory was. The next hardest part of this story and the thing that gave me nightmares was understanding the science behind pseudocodes, algorithms, cryptology. *shudders* still have nightmares about that.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved being able to share more of Kekoa’s heritage. My husband is Hawaiian, so it was really fun to include some of my favorite characteristics into the story. I also really enjoyed working with my brother and his love of comic books to come up with a top-secret weapon. 


In researching this book, did you learn any unexpected, unusual, or fascinating information? 

Yes! As I was researching the roles of my Los Alamos Five, I was really excited to learn about the African American contribution to the continued development of nuclear projects for our country. I also discovered that there was a top-secret design plan stolen from the Los Alamos National Laboratory…eerily similar. 


Which character from your book(s) is most or least like you?

I’m the least like Elinor. Science was my worst subject in school so I really had to lean into my experts to help me make sure I had all of that correct for the story. 


What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I would love to see the Northern Lights and visit Ireland. 


What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Her legacy was that she loved Jesus, her husband, and children more than anything.”






Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers.
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Turn to Me Blitz

TURN TO ME
A Misty River Romance
by
BECKY WADE
Contemporary Romance / Christian Fiction / Clean & Wholesome
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Number of Pages: 416 pages 
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His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.
Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.
Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.
As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?
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Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. Her humorous, heart-pounding contemporary romance novels have won three Christy Awards, the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award for Romance. Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.
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Outlaw West of the Pecos: Excerpt and Giveaway


OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
by
PRESTON LEWIS
Western / Humor / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing
Date of Publication: January 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 228 pages 
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Accused of cheating at cards on a Southern Pacific passenger train in far West Texas, H.H. Lomax is kicked off the train and finds himself at the mercy of the unpredictable justice of Judge Roy Bean, who calls himself “Law West of the Pecos.” After being fined of all his money, married, and divorced by the judge in a matter of minutes, Lomax discovers an unlikely connection to him.
Against a backdrop of a pending world heavyweight championship bout, Lomax heads to El Paso to interest someone in writing and publishing Bean’s biography. He winds up in an El Paso boarding house across the hall from Texas killer John Wesley Hardin. They despise each other, but Hardin fears Lomax’s straight-arrow Texas Ranger brother and treads lightly around Lomax. Because of Hardin’s crooked connections in El Paso, Lomax gets caught between him and corrupt constable John Selman.
El Paso is becoming the focal point of efforts to host a championship prizefight that everyone from the Presidents of the United States and Mexico to the governors of Texas, New Mexico Territory and Chihuahua have vowed to stop. Calling on his connections to his Ranger brother, El Paso officials and the promoter of the boxing match, Lomax uses his Judge Roy Bean friendship to pull off the oddest prizefight in heavyweight history.
Outlaw West of the Pecos stands as an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.

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EXCERPT FROM OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS

BY PRESTON LEWIS


“We the jury find the defendant guilty as charged.”

“This is the greatest legal wrong in the history of the State of Texas,” I cried.

“Another outburst and I’ll add a second contempt charge to your list of crimes. You best keep quiet for your own good.”

I sat there fuming, but silent.

“Okay, for carrying a concealed weapon, I’m fining you fifty dollars. There’s a seventy-five-dollar fine for contempt of court. I’m tacking on the five-dollar inquest fee I would have received from the county had you fallen from the high bridge.”

“I’ve got the money, so I’ll pay the fine and leave on the next train,” I offered.

“No, sir, I’m also incarcerating you for the next ten days to teach you respect for the laws of this great state.  That’ll be another ten dollars a day for a jail boarding fee.”

“What?” I sputtered. “Before I leave here, you’ll have all my money?”

Bean grinned at me. “That’s a good thought, Lomax. Now I want you to strip naked.”

I was as bewildered as a rat at a cat convention. This magistrate struck me as a lunatic, but I jumped down from the keg and unbuttoned my long johns.

The judge slammed his gavel against the bar top. “Not in here, not in front of Miss Langtry,” he shouted. “She’s a lady. Go out in the hall and throw your union suit and socks back in here.”

I hesitated.

“Move or I’ll tack another contempt charge onto your bill.”

Bolting out of the room, I did as ordered, standing in the hallway making sure that Lilly’s lifeless portrait eyes didn’t see my nakedness. Now I hoped not only that justice but also Langtry was blind as I questioned my future in Texas. I stood there maybe ten minutes before I heard Bean call me from the front porch. Slipping just my head outside the doorway, I saw him sitting on a burro with a double-barreled shotgun pointed my way.

“Come on out, Lomax. Let’s go for a walk.”

“Where?” I wanted to know.

“To the river to bathe.”

“I need my clothes,” I pleaded.

“I don’t have any shackles,” Bean answered.

“What’s that got to do with my clothes?”

“I’ve found I don’t need shackles for naked men. Now come on out or I’m fining you another hundred dollars.”

Damn if Bean wasn’t right. As soon as I stepped outside, my hands dropped to my groin and stayed there all the way to the Rio Grande. We walked past the tracks and beyond the more numerous buildings on the railroad’s south side, where folks had built their homes and stores to put some distance between them and the law west of the Pecos. As I ambled through town with the double-barreled shotgun pointed at my back, some men and women giggled, but most made the sign of the cross over their breast. “El camino de la muerte,” cried one woman.

Bean translated for me, “The walk of death.”

I suppose it was a half mile or less from his courtroom to the ledge overlooking the Rio Grande River, but it seemed like forever, me being naked and barefoot and trying to miss the cactus and thorns that littered the trail. At the canyon’s edge, Bean pointed me down a path that led a hundred and fifty feet to the water’s edge below. I followed it and Bean’s instructions to wade out to an island that appeared to be an acre or more in the middle of the river. Bean followed me; the shotgun always pointed at my back.

“This island is neither Texas nor Mexico. Nobody’s certain who has jurisdiction, so if I shoot you, I won’t be prosecuted by me as law west of the Pecos or anyone else. Now if I do shoot you dead, and you float away, make sure you land on the Texas side of the river so I can get my five-dollar fee for handling the inquest.”

I emerged from the water on the island and Bean came close enough that I could’ve grabbed the scattergun’s barrel, but I feared he’d earn five dollars if I did. He reached

in his britches pocket and tossed me a bar of soap.

Catching it, I asked, “What’s this for.”

“It’s soap. Don’t you know how to take a bath?”

“I do, but why do I need one?”

“Every man needs to be clean on his wedding day.”

“What?”

“You’re getting married when we return.”

Stunned, I looked from him to my naked flesh. At least I was already dressed for my wedding night.




Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 40 westerns, historical novels, juvenile books and memoirs. He has received national awards for his novels, articles, short stories, and humor.
In 2021 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary accomplishments. Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association.
His historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution earned a Spur Award as did his True West article on the Battle of Yellow House Canyon. He developed the Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series, which includes two Spur finalists and a Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for western humor for his novel Bluster’s Last Stand on the battle of Little Big Horn. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin and two of his YA novels have won Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
He began his writing career working for Texas daily newspapers in Abilene, Waco, Orange and Lubbock before going into university administration. During his 35-year career in higher education, he directed communications and marketing offices at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He lives in San Angelo with his wife, Harriet.
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Charleston Conundrum: Guest Post and Giveaway

CHARLESTON CONUNDRUM
A Liz Adams Mystery
by
STACY WILDER

Cozy Mystery / Female Sleuth / Cozy Animal
Publisher: Wild Hawk Press Series: A Liz Adams Mystery
Date of Publication: January 15, 2022
Number of Pages: 235 pages 

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A Cozy Mystery with a Twist…
Liz Adams never imagined when she moved to Charleston with her truth sniffing Labrador retriever, Duke, that she would use her skills as a private investigator to avoid winding up on Death Row.
Liz’s life is upended when her best friend, Peg, is murdered and she becomes a suspect. Liz’s gun was the murder weapon. Tensions flare between Liz and the cops as she rises to the top of their suspect list.
At the request of Peg’s father, Liz agrees to take on the investigation. Riding a roller coaster of emotions, Liz uncovers many secrets Peg kept from her despite being best friends. The suspects include a cast of characters: the ex-husband, the boyfriend, a coworker, several neighbors and family members.
Charleston Conundrum takes the reader from Charleston, South Carolina to Paris and back in the emotional unraveling of Peg’s life and death to a killer ending. It is the first book in the Conundrum series.

Link to the YouTube Video


Recipes for foods found in

Charleston Conundrum

By Stacy Wilder



Liz’s King Ranch Chicken

Ingredients:

1 can cream of mushroom soup 8 oz. (2 cups) cheddar cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup 1 package corn tortillas

1 can Rotel tomatoes 1white onion diced

1 cup chicken stock 1 green bell pepper diced

rotisserie chicken 1 Tsp ancho chili powder

9×12 baking dish ½ tsp garlic salt 

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place corn tortillas in a bowl and cover with chicken stock. Soak until soft.

Shred chicken. Fine dice onion and bell pepper. Combine soup and cheese in a separate bowl. Use half of the tortillas to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Layer half of the chicken on top followed by half of the onion and green pepper. Follow with half of the cheese/soup mixture.  Season. Repeat. Pour can of Rotel on top.

Bake for thirty minutes. 

Enjoy!

Liz’s Oops Salad


Ingredients:

1 bag of mixed spring greens

I cup of strawberries diced

A few handfuls of blueberries

A few handfuls of raspberries

A few handfuls of blackberries

Wash and dry fresh produce. Toss and serve with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. Garnish with toasted almonds.  


Charleston Conundrum Cookies

This recipe is compliments of Chef Amber Griffin, Vermont. Chef Amber baked these during When Words Count Pitch Week Competition XXI. She is an amazing chef. Thank you Amber for allowing me to share this recipe.


Ingredients:

2 sticks butter (softened) 1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup pepita seeds

1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups flour

2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 bag shredded coconut 1 bag Lays potato chips (crushed) 

1/2 bag heath bar bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the eggs. Mix well.

Add coconut, heath bits, chocolate chips, pepita seeds, and vanilla. 

Mix and add flour and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Mix in crushed potato chips. Drop on a baking sheet and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes.

Enjoy!

Lou’s Favorite Egg Salad


Ingredients:

eight hard-boiled eggs

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 Tsp. dijon mustard

4 Tsp. chopped celery

4 Tsp. chopped red onion

2 Tsp. dill

garlic salt to taste

pepper to taste

¼ tsp. smoked paprika

fresh dill as garnish


Finely chop the eggs, celery, and red onion and place them in a bowl. Stir in mayo, mustard, dill, garlic salt pepper, and paprika. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve on your favorite bread. Enjoy!


The Conundrum Cocktail

This recipe is compliments of the team at Hugh O’Connor’s Irish Pub, Houston, TX. Hugh O’Connor’s served the cocktail during the book launch party for Charleston Conundrum. Thank you Hugh O’Connor’s team for creating the cocktail and allowing me to share this recipe.


Ingredients:

1 ounce orange vodka

.75 ounces vodka

.75 ounces St. Germaine

.25 ounces Malibu rum

.25 ounces lemon juice

.25 ounces lavender syrup (add more to taste)

Splash of grenadine


Pour ingredients into a martini shaker. Mix, add ice. Shake multiple times. Strain and pour in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!


The Charleston Conundrum Playlist

Available on Spotify – Charleston Conundrum Playlist


  1.  Fire and Rain, James Taylor

  2. Dancing Queen, ABBA

  3. S.O.S., ABBA

  4. I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye

  5. I Second That Emotion, The Miracles

  6. If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher

  7. If I Were a Rich Man, Robert Merrill’s version

  8. Hello, Adele

  9. Edge of Glory, Lady Gaga

  10. Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi




Stacy writes mysteries, children’s stories, short stories, and poetry. Her debut novel, Charleston Conundrum, is the first in the Conundrum mystery series.
Stacy’s mission is to deliver a delightful story to readers of all ages while benefiting a larger community. She donates a portion of the proceeds from the sales of her books to causes that support wildlife conservation, and the homeless, both people and pets. A portion of the proceeds from Charleston Conundrum are donated to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
As well as writing, Stacy is passionate about her faith, family, Labradors, the causes that she supports, the beach, art, and reading books.
She and her husband live in Houston, Texas, with a totally spoiled Labrador retriever, Eve.
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Autographed copies of Charleston Conundrum (US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/06/2022)