Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Monique Gliozzi and her supernatural thriller novel, Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished.

Author’s description

When Hank Gild is given the opportunity to take up his dream job, he accepts the offer with excitement. As a tour guide at the historical imperial castle on Lake Starnberg, Hank delights his guests with stories of the late Bavarian emperor-his antics, his precious artifacts and the mystery shrouding his death in 1886. But it seems that not all the castle’s visitors are of pure heart. Before long, Hank is forced down a path of greed, deception and danger with no way out. A once happy and simple life unexpectedly becomes a treacherous nightmare. Who can he trust? Can Hank save himself before learning the ultimate lesson?

You be the Judge

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel.

Monique Gliozzi gave it some thought and decided she had one but the reader needs to decide how big a role her intruder got. It’s an intriguing response and one I’ve never gotten before. Read on to see what I mean.

Historically in my previous novellas, I’ve always had a main protagonist and created the plot around them, weaving different characters into the story line. Facets of the Past is no different. The main players are Hank, our hero, Karl and his niece, the evil villains and masterminds behind the treacherous deed that Hank finds himself embroiled in. Early in the piece we meet Helena, an official of the museum (imperial palace) who helps Hank become accustomed to his responsibilities as a tour guide. Initially, I thought of leaving it at that, but something told me to create a little more of a role for her, which would bring more depth to Hank’s character. So after some soul searching, her persona became more involved with the plot while still remaining in the wings of the story’s suspense. You might be asking yourself, is there a little romance between the two? Well I will let you decide and be the judge of the path I chose for them.

The Author’s Story

Born in Dublin, Dr Monique Gliozzi, a graduate from the University of Western Australia medical school, has a keen interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry. She works as a psychiatrist in Perth, with ties to the UWA School of Psychiatry, where she has had a role as a senior clinical lecturer. Her love for teaching granted her a nomination for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Monique also holds an interest in aviation. She trained at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, where she obtained a commercial pilot license. Following this, Monique completed her instructor rating and is now working on a casual basis as a senior flight instructor.

Monique rekindled her passion for writing starting with the fictional thriller Foresight, followed by Hunted and ghostly encounters in Vestige. Her latest book, Diversity, is a compilation of entertaining short stories of different genres.

Find the Author

WEBSITE  — https://moniquegliozzi.com/
BLOG — https://paranormalpsychiatrist.com/
FACEBOOK — https://www.facebook.com/moniquegliozziauthor
INSTAGRAM — https://www.instagram.com/monique.gliozzi/?hl=en
TWITTER — https://twitter.com/GliozziMonique

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228848903
INDIGO CHAPTERS — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/facets-of-the-past-no/9780228848929-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/facets-of-the-past-monique-gliozzi/1139129049
RAKUTEN KOBO — https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/facets-of-the-past
SMASHWORDS — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1076824
APPLE BOOKS — https://books.apple.com/us/book/facets-of-the-past-no-dark-deed-goes-unpunished/id1561052315

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Sliding behind the tapestry immortalizing the king’s coronation, then positioning my flashlight to take full advantage of its beam, I went to work. The old lock cracked within seconds. The click echoing around the room appeared loud to my already adrenaline-laden senses. With a heart pounding like a jackhammer, I reached for the handle, savoring the feeling of cold brass against my clammy palm. The little secret door was finally ajar.

Anyone familiar with old doors would know that they never open quietly, their hinges invariably will creak. This one was no different. A rush of cold musty air rushed past me. Shining the torch, I could see that behind this partition was a short narrow corridor leading to a set of steps. Glancing at my watch, I noted there was still time before a second security sweep would be needed.

Tentatively, I walked into the unknown, first tackling the corridor and steep set of winding stairs to another locked door. As I prepared to pick its lock, images of an archaeological expedition crossed my mind – Tutankhamen. The oppressive musty air, steep dark tunnels and unlawful intrusion were some similarities taunting with my moral compass. I hoped that there were no microorganisms in this space causing a mysterious and deadly affliction or, worse, a curse.

Sweat built on my brow, the tools slipped from between my moist fingers, but eventually I opened the second door, revealing yet another very long tunnel. The ceiling was arched and low, suitable for anyone of shorter stature than my six-foot frame. As I walked bent over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I calculated the approximate length of this tunnel to be eight hundred yards. Finally, reaching its end, another door beckoned to be unlocked. Putting my skill to good use, within seconds I found myself in a small underground room.

Shining the beam around the space, a sense of uncanny familiarity befell me. Then, at the far end of the antique wine cellar, I recognized a set of wooden steps. I was in the cellar of my cottage! Relieved at having completed this little adventure unscathed, I decided to retrace my steps back to the castle.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Hank!”

Startled, I spun around, my flashlight catching a dark hooded shape emerging from the shadows.

“Who are you? How do you know my name?” The harshness of my tone barely disguised my fear. The figure slowly stepped toward the middle of the room, his head bowed and face still concealed by the hood of what appeared to be a monk’s habit. He stood in silence.

“Who are you?” I demanded. Then, slowly lifting his head toward the light, revealing a sunken midface, sharply jutting jaw, a long beaked nose, and black penetrating eyes, the stranger answered, sending a chill down my spine.

“Call me the Handyman.”

Thank you!

Monique Gliozzi  — we appreciate your sharing your book Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Nuclear Power Nuclear Game

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Helen Huang and her political thriller, Nuclear Power Nuclear Game.

Author’s description

The year is 1950. Zoe and John, two young nuclear scientists from Berkeley, seem to have the perfect life, with promising careers and marriage plans. But their innocence is soon shattered when the Chinese Communist Party seizes power. Choosing to postpone the wedding and return back to her home country, Zoe finds herself locked in a political cage and separated from John indefinitely.

 

Caught in a complex web of revolutionary propaganda and forced to participate in dangerous research, Zoe must confront the looming question of where her true loyalties lie: with her country or with John back in America?

 

Set during China’s march towards nuclear power amidst the political turmoil of the Cold War, Nuclear Power Nuclear Game spans multiple decades and countries across the globe to tell the story of two nuclear scientists’ fight for world peace and a love torn apart by conflicting ideologies.

 Helen Huang’s Story

Born and raised in Shanghai, Helen Huang now resides in Melbourne, Australia. Nuclear Power Nuclear Game is her first novel, inspired by her own experience living under the Communist regime and working at a nuclear institute in China.

To be a novelist was Helen’s childhood dream. She started writing Nuclear Power Nuclear Game when she was a housewife looking after her four daughters. It took her sixteen years to write, as she raised her children and grew her house design and construction business. Helen hopes to finish a sequel to Nuclear Power Nuclear Game next year.

Find the Author

WEBSITE https://helenhuangauthor.com/
GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14688825.Helen_Huang

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228847176
AMAZON.CA https://amazon.ca/dp/0228847176
AMAZON.COM.AU https://amazon.com.au/dp/0228847176
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B091G4B12M
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/nuclear-power-nuclear-game/9780228847199-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nuclear-power-nuclear-game-helen-huang/1139180912
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Nuclear-Power-Nuclear-Game-Helen-Huang/9780228847175
KOBO https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/nuclear-power-nuclear-game
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1077359
APPLE https://books.apple.com/us/book/nuclear-power-nuclear-game/id1561834330

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Exclusive Excerpt

(Just for us!)

A stern voice interrupted her thoughts. “Comrade Meng, why did you not go to the rally?” Ma Dagui, chief of the propaganda team, poked his head around the open door.

Zoe jumped and nearly fell off her stool in fright. “Oh, I’m preparing for my class.” She gestured at the table. “Chief Ma, we really have to get more modern equipment. I’ve spent hours trying to set up this experiment and still haven’t gotten it right.”

He pushed the door open and strode in, looking down his nose at her. “Comrade Meng, we have more important things to think about than your experiments at the moment.”

“But atomic science is developing so rapidly! The success of the US nuclear bomb would not have happened without modern, sophisticated facilities. We have to catch up. The more we learn, the further we penetrate into these fields, the more complex the equipment becomes.”

He stared at her for several long seconds with his brow furrowed, as if considering her argument. Then he launched into one of his standard propaganda speeches, like the political lessons he gave at the department meetings. “Comrade Meng, we are in a difficult period. During the Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War, the National government had no intention of promoting scientific research, instead allocating all possible resources to the army. That’s why our base is very low. Now that we are facing direct American aggression, our priority is to consolidate our socialist government and protect the new China. Imagine if the US were to take over China. If China became America’s colony …”

Yes, yes, I’ve heard all this propaganda before, Zoe thought, but science should not be bound by politics. She could not stand aside any longer. She had a strong urge to make her voice heard for once. “We have entered the nuclear age, Chief Ma. With up-to-date, powerful equipment, atomic particles are perceptible and measurable, so our physicists can study them, and China can compete. But we don’t have any kind of reasonable equipment. I can’t even do basic demonstrations for my students, much less the type of research I was doing in America and would like to continue here.”

Chief Ma’s eyebrows lowered ominously at Zoe’s blunt words, his mouth half open. Then he snapped it shut. According to Chairman Mao, enemies were everywhere, and his military instinct now told him Comrade Meng might be hiding more serious problems behind her constant grouchiness. “You mean you miss your life in America?”

“I don’t mean that, but I do miss the research I did there.”

“Why do you want to follow the Americans? We should do our own research.”

Zoe shook her head, wearing a bitter smile to cover her disappointment: You’re a military officer. You may know how to fight, but you have no idea what science is about. There’s clearly no point arguing with you.

Chief Ma masked his humiliation with an angry attack. “Comrade Meng, where is your political consciousness? You’re putting your personal ambition above China’s national interest. You had better think about where you stand—with the Chinese Communists, or the American imperialists?”

Thank you!

Helen Huang —  we appreciate your sharing your book  Nuclear Power Nuclear Game with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Critical Hit

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author W.M. Akers and his mystery/thriller novel, Critical Hit.

Author’s description

How do you win a game that’s trying to kill you?

 

A twenty-nine year-old clerk at a games store in the Appalachian hamlet of Jett Creek, Tennessee, Callie Myles lives for the weekly RPG sessions run by her beloved brother and gamesmaster, LB. Under his watchful eye, she and her friends wage war, harness magic, and battle evil. When the dice are rolling, they are heroes, and all of Callie’s anxieties slip away. The fun stops the night LB burns to death in a bizarre fire.

 

Asked by her friends to keep the weekly game alive, Callie does her best to set her grief aside. She puts on the monocle LB wore during sessions and finds herself sucked into a life-sized recreation of her brother’s game. Inhabiting the body of her beloved character, the legendary Arabeth, she thinks she has found the ultimate escape. Her paradise is spoiled when she discovers that something inside the game killed LB—and one of her fellow players was in on it.

 

To save herself, to avenge her brother, Callie Myles must pull on her armor and beat LB’s game from the inside out. If she gets killed along the way, well, at least she’s having a great time.

 

A fast-paced hybrid of mystery and adventure, CRITICAL HIT captures the breakneck joy of tabletop gaming, where life and death depend on the whims of a plastic die. It will be on Kickstarter from May 25 to June 25, and available on DriveThruFiction and Amazon after that.

About the Author

W.M. Akers is a novelist, playwright, and game designer. He is the author of the mystery novels Westside and Westside Lights; the creator of the bestselling games Deadball: Baseball With Dice and Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG; and the curator of

the history newsletter Strange Times. Born in Nashville, he spent a lucky thirteen years in New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2019. Learn more about his work at wmakers.net.

Find the Author

Personal: wmakers.net
Newsletter: strangetimes.substack.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ouijum
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wmakers?fan_landing=true
FB: http://facebook.com/ouijum

Kickstart Program

Book Kickstarter goes live on the morning of 5/25 at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wmakers/critical-hit-a-gaming-mystery

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Somewhere far from Blackbriar Keep, a barricade of empty beer cans and crumpled chip bags ringed a plastic castle. On the white grid that represented its muddy courtyard, four one-inch miniature Heroes were locked in deadly combat with the dozen figurines that represented a Horde of thousands. They were beautiful little figurines, but all eyes were on the other end of the table. Nothing mattered but Arabeth.

She had one leg raised, her bowstring drawn taut, and a look of extreme do-not-fuck-with-me on her face. I’d spent twenty-two hours painting her, deploying all my tricks to bring her plastic to life. From her forest green boots to the curls of her rich brown hair, every millimeter was perfect. Tonight, perfect was what it would take.

It was April 2003, when tops were cropped and pants were cargo, when fedoras and trucker hats still seemed like good ideas, when America was already getting bored with its new war. More importantly, it was a Thursday, which meant the back room at Critical Hit was ours. Stale beer and smoke polluted the air. Imitation wood paneling peeled from a drop ceiling that was nearly as stained as the pea green carpet. The walls were close, or I guess the table was too big, because you couldn’t shift your seat without banging into one or the other. Absolutely no breeze drifted through the little window on the far wall. Grimy lace curtains hid us from the rest of the games shop. It was a pit, but it had to be the happiest pit on earth.

The man who brought magic into that little room sat at the head of the table. One hand rested on his gut; the other twisted a beard flicked with red ale. His eyes—one bare, the other behind that ridiculous monocle—were slits. A playful smile drifted across his face as he tried to figure out what might happen next. He looked like a big, gentle grizzly bear. A stranger might have mistaken him for just another geek. They’d never have guessed that my big brother was the greatest gamemaster in the world.

“You sure you want to do this?” he asked.

“I think I already have.”

Thank you!

W.M. Akers — we appreciate your sharing your book Critical Hit with us! Best of luck with this on Kickstarter, and with all of your future writing.

I Can Still Hear You

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Nicole Black and her action adventure and women’s fiction novel I Can Still Hear You.

Author’s description

I Can Still Hear You is a powerful and deeply moving story which grapples with the universal pain of grief and the loss of a loved one. When Scarlett O’Connor loses her father at the age of 30, she’s forced to face the shambles that her life has become. With no money and no savings, the only thing that waits for her is a cryptic map and a mysterious letter. With nothing left to lose, she embarks on a trip to Maui for her father’s final adventure, to begin a treasure hunt which will force her to look deep inside herself and come to terms with her pain and grief.

 

Accompanied by her less-than-supportive fiancé, a close childhood friend, and an enigmatic man who was her father’s old acquaintance, Scarlett must decode the mystery and find the hidden treasure. But she knows she must face her fears alone, and calling upon the spirit of her father for guidance, she struggles to reconcile her emotions and uncover the treasure before her time in Maui comes to an end.

 

Perfect for fans of contemporary and women’s fiction, I Can Still Hear You is a gripping tale which will resonate with anybody who has struggled with the death of someone close. This book is a testament to the fact that even though we may have lost them, our loved ones stay with us no matter what challenges we face.

About the Author

Nicole Black is an author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur with a passion for sharing unique stories and helping people grow. For over 20 years, she’s worked in the business world as a corporate trainer in employee productivity and effective growth, where she’s helped some of the biggest brands in hospitality and entertainment grow sustainably through inspiring their employees. She’s been featured on platforms including TEDxWilmington, Jack Canfield Show, Santa Barbara News Press, The George DiGianni show and the Tom Barnard Show.

Through her writing, Nicole hopes to empower her readers and impart valuable lessons about grief, loss, and emotional growth. In her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her wonderful daughter in their home of Santa Barbara, California.

Find the Author

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/nicoleblack25
Instagram: @WriterNicoleB and @nicoleblackauthor
Twitter: @nicolebwriter

Buy the Book

The Book is On Sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Link to buy on Amazon for print book: https://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Still-Hear-You/dp/1732739706
Link to buy Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Still-Hear-You-ebook/dp/B08VR7SZQB

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I gazed up at the ceiling in quiet disbelief, as if I’d see my father looking down on me. Carefully, I removed the map from the box. It was yellowing and old, and the paper was as thin as tissue, so I took care in opening it. The map had some faint lines on it, some solid, some dotted, but no place names, no markings at all to tell what exactly it belonged to.

“Great, Dad,” I muttered aloud. “This is super helpful.”

But the second I said it, as had happened a dozen times in my life when I’d been presented with a puzzle, my father’s voice said, I’m not going to give you all the answers. Where’s the fun in that?

“This is one big party,” I muttered again. I had no idea where to even start. The only thing that made sense was to contact my dad’s friend living in Hawaii.

Hawaii.

He couldn’t possibly mean that he wanted me to go to . . .

No. That was impossible.

I read the letter, again and again. The more I did, the more it seemed as if, yes . . . that’s exactly what my father wanted.

Peering in the box again, I hoped that wad of cash would present itself. Or at least the stopwatch. But neither did. The box was empty.

Thank you!

Nicole Black  — we appreciate your sharing your book I Can Still Hear You with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Damsel in a Dress

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Kirsten Weiss and her cozy mystery, Damsel in a Dress.

Author’s description

Bridesmaid duties can be deadly…

Maddie Kosloski has more than wedding cake on her plate. She’s managing her paranormal museum, helping her best friend Adele with wedding plans, and trying to prove that Adele’s vintage wedding dress is most definitely not haunted. 

But when a bridesmaid turns up murdered, Maddie has to solve the crime to save the wedding. As her bouquet of suspects grows, and everyone’s alibis have the ring of truth, Maddie begins to doubt this wedding will go off without a hitch. 

If you love laugh-out-loud mysteries, witty heroines, and a touch of the paranormal, you’ll love Damsel in a Dress, book 5 in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series of novels. Read this twisty cozy mystery today!

About the Author

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Tea and Tarot,  Paranormal Museum, and Wits’ End cozy-mystery-series books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth, and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey suspense series might be for you.

Find the Author

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com

Feel free to follow her on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss – https://www.pinterest.com/kirstenweiss/
or on Bookbub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss,
get in touch on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/,
post a picture of this book to Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kirstenweissauthor/
and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
Email: kweiss2001@kirstenweiss.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.weiss/
Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kirsten-weiss

Find her Books

Book Series: Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/sensibility-grey-steampunk-suspense,
Tea and Tarot cozy mysteries – https://www.kirstenweiss.com/tea-and-tarot-mysteries
The Pie Town cozy mysteries – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/pie-town-mysteries,
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysteries – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-mus-1,
The Doyle Witch – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-witch-cozy-mysteries
Doyle Cozy – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-cozy-mystery-series mystery novels
The Riga Hayworth – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/riga-hayworth-paranormal-mysteries  paranormal mysteries

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The wedding gown ghosted into my museum on a slither of plastic and a shiver of air conditioning. Since it was a paranormal museum, I should have figured that was a sign, an omen, a warning.

But all I worried about that morning was stepping on the hem of my best friend’s newly altered dress. I carried it like it was an atom bomb, arms extended, treading carefully.

File that under the had-I-but-known category.

My assistant, Leo, looked up from behind the glass counter and slid one finger inside the collar of his Paranormal Museum tee. “Yo.” His black leather jacket was slung over the back of his tall chair. A shock of his ebony hair fell forward, obscuring his eyes.

The museum’s front door drifted shut behind me, and the bell jangled above it.

“Thanks for managing things.” I draped the dress over the counter. Unpeeling the staticky plastic from my jeans, I scanned the museum, alert for disasters.

Visitors wandered between the shelves displaying haunted objects and creepy dolls. Photos of long-dead murderers gazed impassively from their frames beneath the black-painted crown molding.

“How many decks did you sell?” I bounced in my low-heeled sandals. The museum was doing better, but we needed to increase our in-store sales.

“One.”

I deflated. Bummer. Still, I’d only been gone thirty minutes.

GD, the museum’s ghost detecting cat, rose from the haunted rocking chair in the corner of the main room. It swayed beneath the ebony cat’s weight.

“How’d you get stuck with dress duty anyway?” Leo asked.

“I’ll do anything for wedding cake.” Really, I will. Also, I was a bridesmaid, and one of my bridesmaidly duties was picking up the altered wedding gown. Cruelly and unfairly, I had not been selected for cake sampling duty.

Thank you!

Kirsten Weiss  — we appreciate your sharing your book Damsel in a Dress with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Trapped Daughter

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Jay Kerk and his psychological thriller The Trapped Daughter.

Author’s description

Have you ever been trapped somewhere? I have.

Have you ever found that the world does not believe you? I did.

 

I have been betrayed by the people I trusted the most. They coil around me like snakes, lulling me with whispers about protection and safety and for your own good.

 

They offer up pills like sweets, promising me relief. Just take the meds and everything will be fine, Belle – the meds, Belle, the meds.

 

Everything will not be fine, and it never will be again. Justice is gone from the world. I have been wronged by Gabe, the man I loved most, and when I turned to others for backup, they sided with him because he’s a star. When I ran to my father for safety, he locked me up in his great big mansion and threw away the key. Now I drift like the ghost Gabe pretended I was, my bare feet tasting the coldness of rich tiles, my breath turning to ice.

 

Gabe isn’t real, they tell me. They insult me, they spit at me, then smile and pretend that they wish to help. Meanwhile, Gabe is out there, luxuriating in all that I won for him, and I suffer and burn.

About the Author

As a physician, I used my clinical background to keep the readers on their toes.  All options are on the table. Is Gabe real? Did Gabe ever love her? What was their relationship? Was he her husband, and did she kill him? Is Gabe her brother?

My name is Jay Kerk, and I am a 33 year old. I am a medical doctor, and I use my background to illustrate unlikely but realistic situations revolving around the alterations of the mind.  My first book A Predator and A Psychopath, self-published in July 2019, received five stars from Readers Favorite and 4 and a half stars from Self-Publishing Review.

Find the Author at

http://www.Jaykerk.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJayKerk/
https://www.instagram.com/authorjaykerk/
https://www.goodreads.com/jaykerk
Twitter: @KerkJay

Buy the book on Amazon

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HXQFHSB

Yes, there is a giveaway.

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Prologue

When locked up in my room, I can no longer imagine good things.

I take a piece of paper out of my notepad and cut it into small pieces. On each piece, I write: I am Belle. My father is holding me hostage at his home. I sign them all and fold the papers until they become small enough. I then scatter them around the room, under the closet, beneath the mattress, under the carpet, in the cabinets, and inside the drawers.

A few minutes later, I realize that all of the pieces I have hidden could be discovered in one sweep. If something happens to me, I want the police to know about my father. I start again. This time, I cut the paper into larger pieces so I can write a longer message.

My name is Belle Andresson. My father is holding me against my will at our home. My father is dangerous and unpredictable, and if something happens to me, he is to be blamed. Today is the eighth day, and most of the time I am trapped inside my room, with no means of communication.

I hide the papers in places they cannot be found easily: on top of the closet, taped to the curtain, and in a sealed bag in the toilet tank.

My fate is unknown to me. I can only think of escaping to survive, but before escaping, I must know why my father is doing this to me.

Hard Luck Girl

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Topshee Johnston and his mystery/thriller novel Hard Luck Girl.

Author’s description:

Hard Luck Girl is a mystery about prostitution in a location better known for gardens than gangsters — Victoria, British Columbia.

Rose’s life has never been easy. When she finds her pimp murdered it gets a whole lot harder. At first, she sees it as an opportunity but discovers the status quo has been disrupted and she’s not at the top of the food chain, not even close.

Avoiding psychopaths, police, and friends like thieves, there is no one she can turn to for help not once she discovers a pimps life is cheap, a prostitute’s even cheaper.

Stuck between the desire for a better life and holding on to hers, is a needle she’s not sure she can thread. But maybe Hard Luck is better than no luck at all?

“A gritty novel with a surprising and strong female lead. Johnston offers all the expected hard-boiled elements in this mystery—including shady characters, near misses with the police, rampant sex, drug use, and violence.” – Kirkus Review

My Review:

In Hard Luck Girl, Topshee Johnston tells the story of a young prostitute who finds her drug-dealing pimp dead on page one. More importantly, he manages to  keep the reader (or at least this reader) cheering for this unlikely hero as she deals with the body, the customers, the other girls, the rival dealers, the cops, the slimy hotel manager, the nosy cleaning lady and the real money behind the entire sordid mess. No small feat, Mr. Johnston. Well done.

I appreciated how this book contained enough description to make it seem as if I was there, riding on the ferry, or there, in the run-down lobby of the hotel, and yet it never bogged down. The initial characters were all believable and their actions made sense, giving the plot an urgency that felt like real life. Honestly, I had trouble putting it down.

The book stumbles when it nears the end, however. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll only say the major villains didn’t ring as true as the other characters, and their motivations remained murky to me even after the last page. Parts of the ending were were confusing, and threads that mattered (to me at least) were left hanging.

Yet, it was a heck of ride up to that point. So, I recommend Hard Luck Girl to to anyone who enjoys hard-boiled crime novels and to other mystery fans willing to be a bit morally flexible with their story’s hero. This book will also appeal to those who like novels about women finding inner strength they didn’t know they had, and to people who enjoy tales of the downtrodden triumphing over those with more advantages. That’s a pretty good market share, I think.

About the Author:

Topshee Johnston, author of Hard Luck Girl, writes because it’s the only way to get his characters to stop talking to him. He lets them tell their story and trusts their voice. Once a story is finished, he moves on to the next in line.

He lives in Victoria, B.C with his wife and daughter and when he’s not writing, he’s skateboarding, playing guitar, or fly-fishing.

Connect with Canadian author Topshee Johnston on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on his website.

Check out the book on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Indigo/Chapters!

Yes, there is a giveaway.

Topshee Johnston will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt:

As I closed the door, the squeaky wheels of the cleaning lady’s cart came around the corner. A sound I’d heard many times, disregarded until now. In my rush to get here, I’d forgotten to put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the handle of my room. To run back upstairs and take care of it would look crazy. Instead, I shut the door, because to neglect Linden Aubrey for a second was a second too long. The door’s latch clicked shut, extinguishing the daylight, my chance to make it back to my room before the cleaning lady, and a clean way out.

A Personal Note:

Besides enjoying this book, I got a kick out of reading Topshee Johnston’s reason for writing. I have a similar problem, and a queue of people in my own head, insisting their stories be told.

I hope he makes his way through all of his characters before he’s done, and I wish him and the stories he’s compelled to tell the very best!

Murder at Eagle’s Nest

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Pat Duggan and her cozy mystery novel, Murder at Eagle’s Nest.

Author’s description:

Murder at Eagle’s Nest is a gentle mystery novel set in a peaceful vacation resort in Apalachicola on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. The area is still reeling after Hurricane Michael made landfall only thirty-five miles to the west, on Mexico Beach. It uncovers fraud, driven by greed and arrogance. However, everything changes when a body is discovered. The police detective brought in from Tallahassee, quickly enlists the help of two women staying at the resort, who have unusual insight. They ultimately uncover critical evidence, which unmasks the perpetrator.

 

Pat Duggan Tells Us a Little about Herself:

Originally from Manchester, England but moved to the U.S. over 30 years ago.  I have an accounting background in both countries.  Several years ago, I discovered an interest in writing.  My two previous books, Finding God in an RV and The Power Within, document my spiritual journey.  However, as a longtime lover of murder mysteries, with a passion to follow plots and figure out the perpetrator, it was time for a new direction.  I decided to ‘try my hand’ at weaving my own story, and true to my character, I had to tie up all the loose ends.  Murder at Eagles Nest is my first mystery novel, and I am already working on the next mystery for my amateur detectives, Hazel and Anna to solve.

Find Pat Duggan on Facebook.

Buy Murder at Eagle’s Nest on Amazon.

Yes, there is a giveaway.

Pat Duggan will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt:

Hazel remembered seeing the Comfort Suites Inn as they drove through the outskirts of Panama City.  The Airforce Base was located on the main highway and although it had clearly suffered damage during the hurricane, it appeared to be operational.  They pulled into the hotel parking lot and made their way to the front desk.

They decided to continue with the story of trying to find a lost friend and approached the front desk manager.  Hazel began, “Good Morning.  We are sorry to trouble you, but we are hoping you can help us.  We are looking for a friend of ours who seems to have gone missing.  His name is Randy Jacket and this is his picture.”  Hazel held up the photo, then continued, “A young man out at Dugger Field seemed to think he may have stayed here for a couple of nights last week.  Do you remember him?”

The manager looked at the photograph and answered, “You say he is missing?  Because we don’t normally give out information about our guests.”

Hazel said, “That’s right. And it sounds like he did stay here.  Is there anything you can tell us about his visit?  We are just trying to gather information.”

The manager, realizing he had been caught by his own words, said, “Well, yes, he was here.  Interesting gentleman.  He was telling us that his company is going to rebuild Mexico Beach.  They are going to build a super new, high class condominium complex, it is going to be the flagship property for his company, he said.  He was clearly excited by the whole thing.  They have bought all the land and he was going to check it out on the Thursday.  Must have been a big property to inspect, because he left after breakfast and didn’t get back until about three o’clock in the morning.  I just happened to be working the nightshift and saw him come in.  He looked exhausted.  I don’t think he even saw me as he walked past the desk.  He looked a mess too.  His clothes were all dirty.  But I guess if you have spent your day on a building site, it is to be expected. “