Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride

The Missing and the Dead

by Stuart MacBride

on Tour June 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Published by: HarperCollins

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Number of Pages: 592

Series: Logan McRae #10, (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)

ISBN: 0007494602 (ISBN13: 9780007494606)

Purchase Links:



One mistake can cost you everything…

When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shoplifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.

Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them.

Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, Logan gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.

One thing’s clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s going to get out of this alive…


Author Bio:

I was born in Dumbarton — no one knows why, not even my mother — and moved up to Aberdeen at the tender age of two, dragging my mother, father, and a pair of wee brothers with me. There followed a less than stellar academic career, starting out in Marchburn Primary School, where my evil parents forced me to join the cub scouts (specialising in tying unnecessary knots in things and wearing shorts). Thence to Middlefield Academy for some combat recorder practice.

Having outstayed our welcome in Heathryfold we stopped thencing and tried going hence instead. To Westhill. To a housing development built over the remains of a pig farm. Sounds a bit suspect, but that’s what the official story was when all the householders found teeth and bones coming to the surface of their neatly tended vegetable plots. Pig farm. Right… Eventually I escaped from Westhill Academy with a CSE in woodwork, a deep suspicion of authority, and itchy shins.

Here followed an aborted attempt to study architecture at Herriot Watt in Edinburgh, which proved to be every bit as exciting and interesting as watching a badger decompose. If you’ve never tried it, I can wholly recommend giving it a go (watching mouldy badgers falling to bits, not architecture). So I gave up the life academic and went a-working offshore instead. That involved a lot of swearing as I recall. Swearing and drinking endless cups of tea. And I think I had Alpen every morning for about a year and a half. Can’t look at a bowl of the stuff now without getting the dry boak, sod how regular it keeps you. After my stint offshore I had a bash at being a graphic designer, a professional actor, an undertaker, a marketing company’s studio manager, a web designer, programmer, technical lead… Then last, but by all means least, finally circling the career drain by becoming a project manager for a huge IT conglomerate.


Anyway, while I was doing all that IT stuff, I wrote a wee book about an Aberdonian detective sergeant and his dysfunctional colleagues: Cold Granite. HarperCollins bought it, and overnight I went from a grumpy project manager caterpillar to a writing butterfly. As long as you can picture a six-foot-tall, pasty-white, bearded butterfly with no wings, that spends all its time hanging about the house in its jammies.

Stuart has recently been crowned WORLD STOVIES CHAMPION at the 2014 Huntly Hairst.

Catch Up:


Tour Participants:

1. 06/01/2015 Showcase @ Tales of a Book Addict
2. 06/02/2015 Review @ Its a Mad Mad World
3. 06/02/2015 Showcase @ Mommabears Book Blog
4. 06/03/2015 Showcase @ Fictionzeal
5. 06/04/2015 Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
6. 06/05/2015 Review @ Booksie’s Blog
7. 06/08/2015 Review & showcase @ Undercover Book Reviews
8. 06/09/2015 Review @ Lazy Day Books
9. 06/10/2015 Showcase @ Housewife Blues And Chihuahua Stories
10. 06/11/2015 Review @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
11. 06/16/2015 Review @ Vics Media Room
12. 06/18/2015 Review @ Maries Cozy Corner
13. 06/21/2015 Review @ Quirky Book Reviews
14. 06/22/2015 Review @ Brooke Blogs
15. 06/26/2015 Review @ Celticladys Reviews


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Stuart MacBride & Harper Collins. There will be one winner of 1 physical copy of The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride to a US recipient. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through July 3rd, 2015 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell



04_Inspector of the Dead_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL


About the Book:

02_Inspector of the Dead CoverPublication Date: March 24, 2015
Mulholland Books
Hardcover; 342p
ISBN: 9780316323932
Genre: Historical Mystery

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David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater, confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo

Praise for the Book

“Riveting! I literally thought I was in 1855 London. With this mesmerizing series, David Morrell doesn’t just delve into the world of Victorian England—he delves into the heart of evil, pitting one man’s opium-skewed brilliance against a society where appearances are everything, and the most vicious killers lurk closer than anyone thinks.” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Crash & Burn and The Perfect Husband

What the Victorian Experts Say:

“Even better than Murder as a Fine Art. A truly atmospheric and dynamic thriller. I was fascinated by how Morrell seamlessly blended elements from Thomas De Quincey’s life and work. The solution is a complete surprise.” —Grevel Lindop, The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey

“The scope is remarkable. Florence Nightingale, the Crimean War, regicide, the railways, opium, the violence and despair of the London rookeries, medical and scientific innovations, arsenic in the food and clothing—all this makes the Victorian world vivid. The way Morrell depicts Thomas De Quincey places him in front of us, living and breathing. But his daughter Emily is in many ways the real star of the book.” —Robert Morrison, The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey

“I absolutely raced through it and couldn’t bear to put it down. I particularly liked how the very horrible crimes are contrasted with the developing, fascinating relationship between Thomas De Quincey and his daughter, Emily, who come across as extremely real. It was altogether a pleasure.” —Judith Flanders, The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime


About the Author:

03_David Morell ©_Jennifer_EsperanzaDavid Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called ”one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013.”

For more information visit David Morrell’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, March 24
Review at Unabridged Chick
Excerpt at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, March 25
Review at Back Porchervations
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, March 26
Review at JulzReads

Friday, March 27
Review & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview at JulzReads

Monday, March 30
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at Tales of a Book Addict

Tuesday, March 31
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, April 1
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf

Thursday, April 2
Review at Build a Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Friday, April 3
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.

Monday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read
Excerpt & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, April 7
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, April 8
Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Thursday, April 9
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Friday, April 10
Review at Layered Pages
Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at Drey’s Library

Monday, April 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, April 14
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 15
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, April 16
Review at Editing Pen
Review at Luxury Reading
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, April 17
Guest Post & Giveaway at Editing Pen

Monday, April 20
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, April 21
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Books and Benches

Wednesday, April 22
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, April 23
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, April 24
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: The Fourth Amendment by SM Smith

The Fourth Amendment

by SM Smith

on Tour

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Camelot Publishing

Publication Date: December 3, 2014

Number of Pages: 299


Purchase Links:

Get Your Copy Today! From March 12-18th The Fourth Amendment is only $.99!!


When Kris Storm, the new manager of an elite cyber security team at Illuminate, a global internet powerhouse, receives an order to sift through web traffic to further the presidential ambitions of the mayor of New York, she stomps out the door in protest. But her staunch belief in the protection of an individual’s right to privacy is tested when her boss abruptly shuts down the project a few weeks later. By then, a disturbing trail of terrorist activity, albeit circumstantial, has emerged: Brighton Beach, Russian jingoism, freedom fighters, liquid explosives, jihad, Boston Marathon. Now, Kris must decide whether to digdeeper, or stay constitutionally safe on the sidelines. Her hesitancy, however, costs valuable time. When Kris and her partner, street-savvy FBI agent Jim Bright, finally identify the bombers and their target, Yankee Stadium, they must race to the Bronx. Will they arrive in time to prevent the carnage? Who is really behind the plot? Angry and now brimming with patriotic fervor, Kris plunges undercover as a hacker among the bright lights and party beaches of the Adriatic Sea to smoke out a global gang of cyber criminals.

From Edward Snowden’s revelations about our own government’s surveillance activities to the financial data breaches perpetrated by Russian hackers to the European Union’s sanctions against Google, cybersecurity arouses passionate controversy worldwide. The Fourth Amendment combines a multidimensional view of the issues with a compelling cast of characters to create a rollicking, contemporary thriller.

Read an excerpt:


“Let’s go Yankees,” twenty-year-old AnatolyTurken wisecracked. Standing in the compact kitchen of the cramped two-bedroom apartment that he still shared with his parents in the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, he anchored a sixteen ounce water bottle, displaying the familiar Poland Springs label, to the countertop with his left hand. Slowly, very slowly, he poured a clear, viscous liquid from a bright red container into a funnel that emptied into it. The spicy aroma of tonight’s dinner, roast chicken, garlic potatoes and borscht, normally would have distracted Anatoly, he adored his mother and her cooking, but not today. Anatoly’s blue eyes burned with the intensity of a true believer, while his hands, calloused from hours hoisting heavy crates on the loading dock of his father’s furniture store, never faltered. The work had sculpted Anatoly’s wiry, six foot frame, stretching taut his sleeveless, black Brooklyn Nets tank top. Mikhail Prokhorov – oligarch, politician, athlete, playboy, and owner of the Nets – was his idol. When the Poland Springs bottle was full, Anatoly screwed the green plastic cap on tightly, pushed down the drinking spout, fitted the plastic cover on top, and resealed it with clear plastic wrap. He grabbed a blue floral dish towel from the rack next to the sink and dried the sweat from his hands. The squeals of children splashing in the gushing fire hydrant rose from the street through the kitchen’s lone window, open wide to provide some minimal respite from the June heat wave. Anatoly rubbed his head, blond hair trimmed so tightly that he could appear bald at times, and surveyed his handiwork. He had assembled four Poland Springs bottles, all similarly filled, in a neat row.

VladimirUnchkin, two years younger than Anatoly, nodded approvingly, as he usually did whenever in Anatoly’s company. Vladimir was a full head shorter than Anatoly and much thinner. His gray “Brooklyn Basketball” tee shirt, another variation of Nets’ merchandise, hung loosely on his frame, while his baggy jeans sagged to reveal red boxers and an occasional glimpse of his butt crack. Vladimir’s mother had died of cancer two years ago, and his father was still drinking away his grief. Not surprisingly, Vladimir frequently rang the Turken doorbell near dinner time. Peeking through a shaggy mop of brown hair, his green eyes flickered between the bottles and the chicken roasting in the oven.

“What time does the game start? Do you think we can eat before we go?” he asked in rapid fire succession.

“I can’t fucking believe that you are thinking about food,” Anatoly replied, turning to stare down at his young friend. “Today is Russia Day – Independence Day for our country. Mr. Nakitov wants us to make a statement that the whole world will notice.”

“What’s for dinner? Can’t we eat first?” Vladimir persisted.

Anatoly just sneered in reply. “Help me load up,” he said, picking up one of the two blue and white pinstriped backpacks on the tiled floor. He grabbed a yellow bath towel from a stack on the counter, laid it flat, and then placed one of the bottles in the center. Then he gingerly wrapped the towel around the bottle and placed it in the first pack. Anatoly exhaled loudly when the bottle was at rest. “Two in each pack. We need to take them on the subway to the stadium,” he explained.

“Where did you get the stuff?”

“Never mind where I got it. We used it last night and it works,” Anatoly replied, feathering the second bottle into position.

“Sidney’s Cleaners?” Vladimir asked incredulously.

“Sidney’s causing trouble again. We did the job at 2AM so no one would get hurt. Mr. Nakitov just wanted to send a warning.”

“Shit,” Vladimir mumbled.

“I researched it all on-line too – FreedomFighters.IO. It’s based in the Middle East.” Anatoly added proudly.

“They got websites for this?”

“Mudak, the Internet’s not just porn, you know.”

“I like porn. Did you see the video of that pixie gymnast doing her balance beam split on the Ukrainian hockey player?” When his question did not elicit a response, Vladimir added, “She really curved his stick,” laughing at his own well-worn tagline.

“Your brain is porn-fried. ” Anatoly reached into a brown cardboard box and pulled out two coils of spaghetti thin yellow wire, each with a silver blasting cap, the size of a cigarette, on one end and an orange plug on the other. “These are detonators. I bought them on-line too,” he bragged.

“On Amazon?”

“No. On the FreedomFighters’ site. They label everything as mining supplies and ship all over the world.” Anatoly returned the detonators to the box. “Let’s finish up,” he said.

Vladimir reached for a towel with his left hand and a bottle with his right.

“No!” Anatoly screeched, recoiling a half step back from the counter. “Medlenno, slowly – one step at a time.” He locked his fingers around Vladimir’s right hand and returned the explosive-laden bottle to its place. “Just go to the stairs and look out for my mom. She should be coming home from Aunt Volga’s soon. I’ll finish up here,” Anatoly said, heart still pounding from his friend’s carelessness.

“OK,” Vladimir said, shuffling away.

Anatoly’s searing eyes followed Vladimir out of the kitchen before he returned to work. After storing the two loaded packs in the hall closet, Anatoly flopped down on the overstuffed living room couch to watch TV. Within five minutes, he heard the intercom ring from the lobby, Vladimir’s signal of his mother’s return.

“Watching TV? Don’t you have anything better to do?” Anatoly’s mother, Ariana, said as she bustled through the living room. She had been pretty but was starting to show the mileage of a hard life – graying hair, thickening waist, and worry lines encircling her eyes. Her grandfather had fought the Nazis at Stalingrad, and survived, but then had the poor judgment to agitate for more freedoms in Russia. Stalin had rewarded him with a one-way ticket to Siberia and his descendants had been out of favor with the Soviet government ever since. Ariana had immigrated to America with her parents when she was ten years old and never looked back.

“Hi ma,” Anatoly replied without turning around.

“Your cousin Joseph goes to school at night now, you know.”

“We’re going to the Yankee game tonight.”

“That’s in the Bronx.”

“Yeah, mom, we’re taking the subway.”

“Dinner’s almost ready. You should eat first.”

“I’m not hungry. I’m watching the news,” Anatoly replied, still fixed on the television where a reporter solemnly noted the escalating military situation in the Ukraine. A snippet of a video of the Russian President addressing the Russian parliament flashed on the screen.

“I’m hungry, Mrs. Turken,” Vladimir chipped in as he followed Anatoly’s mom into the kitchen.

Ariana fastened a blue apron around her once-white sleeveless sundress and grabbed two potholders to protect her hands as she removed the chicken from the oven. “Set the table. Get the milk. I can’t do it all myself,” she said, although she often did exactly that. Anatoly was her only child and she had always doted on him.

The pleasing smells from the kitchen finally lured Anatoly away from the TV. “We’ve got to eat fast, Mom,” he said, sitting down at the faux marble table in the front foyer that served as the family’s dining room.

“Never a problem with this one,” Ariana replied, nodding towards Vladimir who had already filled his plate. “Here, eat,” she said passing the chicken to Anatoly.

“What about dad?”

“He’s working late. I’ll fix him something when he gets home.”

“He’s always working,” Anatoly said, adding a large spoonful of potatoes to his plate. “What does he have to show for it? Mr. Nakitov just bought a new Mercedes. He’s got a penthouse apartment. Everyone in the neighborhood respects him.”

“I don’t want to hear about that gangster at my table.”

“He’s a businessman, mom, and a war hero. A new Russian.”

“The new Russians are just like the old Russians. Stalin, Brezhnev, Putin – they are all the same.” Ariana’s frustration bubbled to the surface. Countless times, she had described the realities of life in their homeland to her son, but he persisted with his fairy tales.

“You’ll see. Putin will make the Rodina great again.” And I will restore our family name after all these years, Anatoly thought, but dared not say aloud. Instead, he started to hum the Russian national anthem.

“Enough of that nonsense. Your country is right here. It’s called America. Now eat or you’ll be hungry at the game.” Ariana rose and began to clean up while the boys finished their meals. She wrapped two pieces of chicken in cellophane and headed to the hall closet. “I’ll put these in your packs for later.”

Anatoly spit up a mouthful of the purple borscht as he lurched to head off his mother. “I’ll take them,” he said. “Come on, Vladimir, let’s go. We don’t want to miss the first pitch.” He picked up both packs and held one out to Vladimir. Vladimir looked longingly at the leftovers on the table, but knew that he had to go. He sidled to the door, slowly placed the pack over his shoulder, and followed his friend downstairs.

Once they were on the street, Anatoly put his pack on the ground and pulled out two red baseball caps with the interlocking NY logo of the New York Yankees. He put one on his head, brim forward but cocked to the right, and then handed the second one to his friend. “Wear this,” he demanded.


“Because we’re supposed to. That’s why.” Vladimir did not need any further explanation.

Walking down the street, the boys had to dodge a gauntlet of youngsters darting in and out of the cold spray from the fire hydrant. Anatoly shifted his pack to his right shoulder, away from hydrant, and picked up his pace. Vladimir struggled, but stayed two steps behind until he heard a familiar voice.

“Vlad, Vlad – where are you going?” his ten year old brother, Nikolai, chirped. He was standing in front of the hydrant’s stream, soaked and smiling. “You need to cool off,” Nikolai said, jamming both hands into the mouth of the hydrant, trying to redirect the gusher to reach his big brother. Vlad jumped away from the curb, crossing his feet and almost tripping over the pack. He had to reach out with his free hand to steady himself on a metal pole bearing a streetlamp and a New York City sign with a red letter warning: No Parking, Tuesday and Friday, 9-11AM.

“Come here,” Vladimir squealed once he had regained his balance. Nikolai dutifully trotted over, the water dripping off his clothes and puddling at his feet. Vladimir hugged him. The cold water was refreshing. “Be good,” he whispered. “Look after dad.” Nikolai just shrugged, pulling away quickly to dunk himself once again in the hydrant spray.

Anatoly surveyed the fraternal scene with an air of indifference. “Let’s go,” he said impatiently. He had planned their route carefully: the B train to Grand Street in Lower Manhattan then a transfer to the D express that would take them to the Yankee Stadium stop at 161st Street in the Bronx. The Brighton Beach station was located high above the avenue, suspended just below the elevated tracks. Anatoly ran interference for Vladimir as they climbed the narrow stairway, jostling against the tide of commuters returning from the day’s work in the city. He cradled the backpack in both hands, tucked his shoulder, and barged upward. Once through the turnstiles, the boys had to climb another set of stairs to the platform for trains into Manhattan. They were virtually alone here. Vladimir peered down the tracks but could not see a train approaching. He stepped back to sit down on a bench, backpack on his lap. Anatoly remained standing, pacing back and forth. Both were sweating profusely from the heat, the crowd, and their payload. They watched a local pull in on the far track, heading to Coney Island, before their train to the city finally arrived. Since Brighton Beach was the terminus of the B line in Brooklyn, the car was empty. The boys sat next to each other near the center door, staring straight ahead, the seriousness of their mission finally sinking in.

Kings Highway. Newkirk Plaza. Church Avenue. Prospect Park. The train rolled through the various neighborhoods comprising the bulk of Brooklyn. To the outsider, Brooklyn might appear homogeneous, the fourth most populous city in the United States in its own right, but residents knew well that the borough was a polyglot of ethnicities, religions and economics. Russians, Jews, Indians and Chinese; blacks and whites; young families, struggling artists, and wealthy hipsters each had their own territory. Anatoly and Vladimir had ridden the subway to the city many times but had never ventured into the neighborhoods below the elevated tracks. They squeezed closer together as the car steadily filled with passengers. Three thickly bearded Hasidic men, dressed in traditional garb, sweat-stained white shirts open at the collar, grasped the rail above their heads. A black teenager, earbuds firmly in place and head bopping to his own beat, dropped down next to Vladimir, but Vlad’s attention was on the two twenty-something women sitting across the aisle. They were obviously dressed for a night out. The blonde wore tight black shorts and matching platform heels, while her dark-haired friend had squeezed into a white jersey that provided little cover for her cupcake-sized breasts. Vladimir stared intently as they jiggled with every lurch of the subway car until Anatoly’s sharp elbow broke his reverie. “We change at the next stop,” he said. Vladimir’s gaze remained on the girls as he followed Anatoly off the train at Grand Street, but they continued to chat away, oblivious to his departure.

“They were hot,” Anatoly admitted nodding back towards the train as its doors closed behind them.

“Definitely.” Vladimir stammered.

“We will have all the hot girls we want after tonight. They love soldiers.”

“Hot girls?”

“They will suck your chlen like it was a giant lollipop.” Anatoly said playfully. Vlad’s eyes widened as he savored the possibility of pleasures that had only existed in his wettest dreams before tonight. Anatoly offered his fist and Vladimir bumped it with his own, sealing their pact for the evening.

The D train arrived quickly and was only half full, so the boys were able to find seats next to each other again. The subway, now submerged beneath the streets of Manhattan, gained passengers at every stop. Business executives and tourists shuffled in and out, while a boisterous coterie of fellow Yankee fans steadily crowded in. By the time the train left the 125th street station, its last stop in Manhattan before heading into the Bronx, it was packed like a giant jigsaw puzzle, arms stretching up to grab handrails, legs staking out territory, and butts bumping against butts. The train’s air conditioning, taxed to its limit, kept the temperature in the car bearable, although the air was thick with the dank odor of massed summertime humanity. Anatoly, holding his backpack securely in his lap, motioned for Vlad to do the same. Vladimir obediently followed instructions, lifting his pack from between his legs on the floor. At last, the train arrived at their destination, 161st Street in the Bronx, home of the New York Yankees. Almost the entire train emptied here, its passengers lining up to ascend from the underground station to the streets surrounding the new Yankee Stadium, shimmering in the twilight over the urban landscape.

In 2009, New York City had demolished the original Stadium, built in 1923, replacing it with a modern edifice at a cost of $1.5 billion, the most expensive stadium ever built at the time. Its white facade, encompassing 11,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, towered 140 feet capped by a replica of the original frieze of archways and balustrades encircling the upper levels of the grandstand. The stadium’s lights atop the frieze beckoned the boys like candles on a birthday cake.

“How many people will be here tonight?” Vlad asked.

“Fifty thousand – it’s a big game,” Anatoly replied, steering them towards the park just across the street. His friend, jostled by the surging crowd, could barely keep up.

“One dollar water – one dollar water,” the Latino youth with a pock-marked face shouted, holding up a dripping wet Poland Springs bottle that he had just pulled from the ice-filled cooler at his feet. “Five dollars in the stadium,” he added.

Anatoly hustled by but Vlad grabbed his shoulder from behind. “They look just like ours,” he said.

“Of course, you idiot, Anatoly replied. “That’s why I used the Poland Springs bottles. The cops and stadium security guys are so used to seeing these bottles that they will never even notice ours.” He sat down on a bench in the park. “Now we have to unpack our toys and ditch the towels.” Anatoly opened his pack, gingerly unwound the towel from the first bottle, and placed it on the ground at his feet. He repeated the task with the second bottle and then put both back in his pack. “Slowly. Very slowly,” he admonished Vladimir. When Vlad was done, the boys joined the throng heading towards the stadium entrance.

Bill Jones followed the boys with sniper’s eyes from his wheelchair a few feet away. Their bright red baseball caps stood out in a sea of Yankee blue and gray. Having grown up ten blocks from the Stadium in an apartment building on the Grand Concourse, Bill had always been a rabid Yankee fan. He could even afford to buy a ticket at the old stadium especially before the team started winning and all the suits and suites took over. The team built the new stadium for them, not the ordinary fan, Bill and his buddies on the Concourse would grumble jealously when they sat on the front stoop of their building, drinking Bud and listening to John Sterling call the game on the radio. Now, Bill often panhandled outside of Yankee Stadium on game days, usually floating in a pleasant fog of painkillers, booze and weed. Bill liked being part of the swelling, boisterous crowd and could always use the extra bucks. He wore his favorite dark blue Yankee T-shirt, sporting Mickey Mantle’s name and number 7 on the back, and a traditional Yankee cap, also dark blue with the interlocking NY logo. He would be laughed off the Concourse if he showed up with one of those red ones. Gray shorts and a thin, blue pinstriped blanket covered Bill’s midsection and what was left of his legs. A thick beard and weathered black skin camouflaged the jagged scar on his cheek.

Bill had tried a variety of approaches to asking for money, but found that honesty was the most profitable so he had pinned his sniper’s medals to a hand-lettered, cardboard sign on his lap, reading “War Vet Needs Beer Money”. In fact, he was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Watching the boys slip away, Bill’s thoughts drifted back to a patrol in Baghdad ten years ago. He was walking down a dusty street when he noticed two teenagers working on the engine of a beat up automobile, a black Mercedes sedan. He was young and stupid then, so he and his partner approached, looking to help. The teens sprinted away into an adjacent building. Bill could still hear the explosion and feel the burning shrapnel bite into his legs. But, as he told himself often, he was the lucky one, returning to the States in the hospital section of the military transport while his partner came back in a body bag. Bill snapped back to reality as he heard the rattle of loose change in his cup.

Anatoly stopped on the fringe of the plaza fronting the stadium. He pulled his phone out of his back pocket and handed it to Vlad. “Take a photo,” he said.

“With the stadium in the background?” Vlad asked incredulously.

Anatoly just nodded and smiled while his friend dutifully snapped the picture. He then tapped to send a SnapChat and jammed the phone back into his pocket. Vlad started to move towards the stadium, but Anatoly remained still. He swung his pack around slowly, unzipped a side compartment and pulled out a sealed envelope. Ripping it open, he found another cell phone and a set of instructions, written in Russian. Anatoly read them slowly and then read them a second time while Vlad looked on, unsure of what his friend was doing.

“A clean phone to get instructions from the boss,” Anatoly said, as he turned on the new phone and waited for service to connect. Then, he keyed in a ten digit phone number in the address line and the code “2.23.1922” as the body of his text message. It was the date of the first celebration of Defender of the Fatherland Day, honoring veterans of the Red Army. He waited two long minutes, before the reply, “6”, came in. Anatoly looked up and saw Gate 6 right ahead of them. He pointed Vlad towards the line heading to the security check there.

Twenty fans were on the queue ahead of them. The boys waited nervously, shuffling their feet and trying to peer ahead to see the nature of the search. They need not have worried much.

“What’s in the pack?” the security officer asked.

“Water – it’s hot tonight, man” Anatoly replied, taking out a Poland Springs bottle.

“Don’t I know it. What about your pockets?”

Anatoly pulled out his keys, wallet and phone, even turning it on to show his lock-screen, the picture Vlad had just taken in front of the stadium. The officer waved him through. Vlad followed quickly behind. They flashed their tickets at the turnstile where an usher scanned the bar codes.

At last, they were inside. The Great Hall, a broad, high ceilinged concourse, beckoned. Vlad looked in awe at its scale, huge photos of past Yankee greats adorning the walls down one side, and banks of escalators, elevators and stairs leading to the seats on the other. Shops hawking expensive Yankee merchandise cluttered the plaza.

“Yankee pigs,” Anatoly muttered, as he pulled the secure phone from his pack and texted the next code, “6.12.1990”, to the mystery destination. The inaugural Russia Day, June 12, 1990, marked the dissolution of the old Soviet Union and the beginning of the Russian Federation. “100” came the reply. Anatoly scanned the signs in front of them, and pointed Vlad towards the ramp to Section 100.

When the boys passed a men’s room, Vlad tugged on Anatoly’s arm. “I’ve got to go,” he said, pushing through the door before Anatoly had time to reply. Anatoly waited outside, surveying the crowd and thinking scornfully of his friend’s weakness.

“Your buddy’s not doing too well,” a bald stranger, flab spilling out from both sides of his Yankee tank top, said to Anatoly. Poking Anatoly’s pack, he added, “He’s puking all over the men’s room. Someone’s going to have to clean it up.”

Anatoly jerked around, knocking the man’s hand away from the pack but not even bothering to reply. He half ran into the bathroom. He had to get Vlad out of there before security arrived. A father holding the hand of a small boy pointed him to the second stall, where Vlad was on his knees bent over the toilet bowl. No other men even turned around from the urinals on the opposite wall. Anatoly grimaced as he saw the remnants of his mom’s chicken and borscht in the bowl and on the floor. He leaned over his friend’s shoulder and said, “We have to go.” Vlad just grunted and dry heaved. Anatoly grabbed Vlad’s pack off the floor with one hand, and yanked Vlad’s shoulder with the other. “Now,” he said, dragging Vlad up and towards the door.

“Here, man – clean him up,” someone said, handing Anatoly a handful of paper towels. Once out of the men’s room, Anatoly pushed Vlad to a corner and handed him the towels. Vlad curled on the floor and Anatoly sat down next to him

“What happened?” he said.

“I can’t do it,” Vlad sputtered, wiping the dribble from the corner of his mouth. “I can’t pull the trigger. I just want to go home.” He was almost crying now.

Anatoly wanted to slap his friend, but couldn’t attract any more attention from the crowd swirling towards the seats. Fortunately, no one stopped. “We are not going to pull any triggers,” Anatoly whispered.


“I left the detonators home. We are just delivering the bottles – nothing else. I didn’t pull the trigger at Sidney’s last night either.”

“You sure?”

“Yes. Let’s go. We’re late.”

Vladimir shuddered with relief and slowly staggered back to his feet. Anatoly pointed the way towards Section 100. They could see the outfield grass, glowing in the stadium’s lights, as they walked. At the top of Section 100 ramp, a vendor with a blue-pinstriped Yankee apron and a red Yankee hat waited, swiveling impatiently to look in both directions. The vendor was tall and stocky with sawdust colored hair, snaking out from underneath his hat in a ponytail, and a square jaw that appeared to sit directly on top of his powerfully muscled shoulders. He held a tray of a dozen Poland Spring bottles.

Anatoly tipped his own red Yankee cap, knelt down to remove the bottles from his pack, and added them to the tray. He motioned for Vladimir to do the same. The exchange took only a few seconds. When it was complete, the vendor returned the salute, turned towards home plate and walked away.

“Did you see his right hand. He was missing the last two fingers,” Anatoly said.

Vlad just trembled.

“Probably lost them in the struggle. A real geroy.”

“I want to go home now,” Vlad finally replied.
Anatoly nodded, pointing back towards the exit. They tossed their now empty backpacks in a trash bin on the way out.


Author Bio:

SM Smith has longed to write fiction since high school, but needed to “detour” through a career in the investment world first. As one of the first Wall Street analysts to specialize in the information industry, and then as the co-founder (along with his wife) of a successful hedge fund, Smith has researched and invested in the technology sector for the past thirty years. The Fourth Amendment is Smith’s debut.

Catch Up:


Tour Participants:

1. 03/02/15 Guest Post @ Writers and Authors 
2. 03/03/15 Showcase and Giveaway @ Deal Sharing Aunt 
3. 03/04/15 Showcase @ Ryder Islingtons Blog 
4. 03/08/15 Review @ Vics Media Room 
5. 03/09/15 Review @ For Life After 
6. 03/11/15 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews 
7. 03/12/15 Review @ Taking It One Page at a Time 
8. 03/13/15 Showcase @ Tales of a Book Addict 
9. 03/15/15 Radio Interview @ Suspense Magazine 
10. 03/16/15 Guest Post @ Our Wolves Den 
11. 03/17/15 Review @ Tea and a Book 
12. 03/20/15 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews 
13. 03/21/15 Interview @ Hott Books 
14. 03/24/15 Review @ Brooke Blogs 
15. 03/27/15 Review & Showcase @ FictionZeal 


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for SM Smith. There will be 2 winners who will each receive 1-$25 Amazon gift card. The giveaway begins on Feb 28th, 2015 and runs through April 3rd, 2015. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

The Strange Death of Fiona GriffithsBritish author, Harry Bingham, blew critics and readers away with his crime debut, Talking to the Dead. His second novel, Love Story, with Murders, established DC Fiona Griffiths as the most compelling heroine in crime fiction. With this, the third novel in the series, comes Fiona’s darkest, strangest and most challenging assignment yet . . .

It started out as nothing much. A minor payroll fraud at a furniture store in South Wales. No homicide involved, no corpses. Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths fights to get free of the case, but loses. She’s tasked with the investigation.

She begins her enquiries, only to discover the corpse of a woman who’s starved to death. Looks further, and soon realizes that within the first, smaller crime, a vaster one looms: the most audacious theft in history.

Fiona’s bosses need a copper willing to go undercover, and they ask Fiona to play the role of a timid payroll clerk so that she can penetrate the criminal gang from within.

Fiona will be alone, she’ll be lethally vulnerable – and her fragile grip on ‘Planet Normal’ will be tested as never before …

About the Author: 

Harry-BinghamHarry is currently writing a crime series, featuring a young Welsh detective, Fiona Griffiths. The series has sold to publishers in the UK (Orion), the US (Random House), as well as FranceGermanyItalySpain, the Netherlandsand elsewhere. The first novel was televised by Bonafide and broadcast onSky Living. The novels are notable mostly for the strong voice and strange character of their protagonist. The first three titles in the series are Talking to the Dead, Love Story with Murders, and The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths.

The books have had nice reviews in the BooksellerPublishers Weekly,KirkusNew York TimesNew York Daily NewsBoston GlobeSeattle Times,Washington PostDaily MailTelegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Western Mail (all behind paywall) Shelf Awarenesscrimefictionlover, and many more fine publications.

Connect with Harry Bingham:
Website | Twitter

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

February 2 Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
February 3 Guest blogging at What is That Book
February 4 Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews
February 5 Interviewed at A Little Bit of R & R
February 6 Guest blogging at I Heart Reading
February 9 Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
February 11 Book featured at The Zen Reader
February 12 Interviewed at Review From Here
February 13 Guest blogging at From Paperback to Leatherbound
February 17 Interviewed at Literal Exposure
February 19 Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
February 20 Book featured at Tales of a Book Addict
February 24 Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
February 26 Interviewed at Niume
March 2  Book featured at Voodoo Princess
March 4 Book featured at The Literary Nook
March 6  Book reviewed at Harlie’s Books
March 9 Guest blogging at Romancing the Darkside
March 11 Interviewed at Blirt
March 12 Book featured at Inkslinger’s Opus
March 13 Interviewed at Pimp That Character
March 17 Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
March 18 Guest blogging at She Writes
March 19 Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
March 23 Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
March 25  Interviewed at As the Page Turns
March 27 Guest blogging at Fiction to Fruition
April 6 Book review and Author interviewed at The Gal in the Blue Mask
April 7 Book featured at Lover of Literature
April 8 Interviewed at Straight From the Author’s Mouth
April 9 Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
April 13 Book featured at Blogher
April 14 Interviewed at Examiner
April 15 Guest blogging at Bent Over Bookwords
April 16 Book reviewed at Celticlady’s Reviews
April 17 Book featured at The Revolving Bookshelf
April 21 Book featured at The Dark Phantom
April 22 Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
April 23 Book reviewed at Review From Here
April 24 Book featured at All Inclusive Retort

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

image001Killer WASPs

A Killer WASPs Mystery

Amy Korman

Crime really stings in Killer WASPs (Witness Impulse e-book, on sale 9/16/2014, $1.99), a Witness Original from debut author Amy Korman. If you love cocktails, antiquing, parties, shopping and the occasional crime-lite thrown in amid vodka tonics and tennis matches at the club, then you’ll love Killer WASPs. The first installment in this modern and cozy series features crime, romance, and fun amid the classic estates of Philadelphia’s Main Line.

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, is a haven for East Coast WASPs, where tennis tournaments and cocktails at the club are revered traditions. Little happens in the sleepy suburb, and that is the way the Lilly Pulitzer–clad residents prefer it. So when antiques store owner Kristin Clark and her portly basset hound stumble upon the area’s newest real estate developer lying unconscious beneath the hydrangea bushes lining the driveway of one of Bryn Mawr’s most distinguished estates, the entire town is abuzz with gossip and intrigue.

When the attacker strikes again just days later, Kristin and her three best friends—Holly, a glamorous chicken nugget heiress with a penchant for high fashion; Joe, a decorator who’s determined to land his own HGTV show; and Bootsie, a preppy but nosy newspaper reporter—join forces to solve the crime. While their investigation takes them to cocktail parties, flea markets, and the country club, they must unravel the mystery before the assailant claims another victim.

Fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series will enjoy shaking up the Philadelphia Main Line. To learn more, check out the Killer WASPs Facebook page:

About the Author: Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Guide to Philadelphia. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. Killer WASPS is her first novel.

About Witness:  Witness is the new Impulse imprint from HarperCollins Publishers devoted to thrillers, mysteries, and stories of suspense. Debuting in Fall 2013, Witness will serve as a launch pad for a range of exciting titles, including new publications, previously self-published bestsellers, newly digitized backlist classics, and international books previously unavailable in the US.  For more on this and other Witness titles, please visit

Buy Links:
HarperCollins | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks

Book Junkie Promotions, Book Spotlight, Review Book

Book Spotlight: Misdirection by Austin Williams


Publication Date: June 22, 2014

Diversion Books

Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction

Series: The Rusty Diamond Trilogy (Book One)

Add to GR ButtonA street magician needs more than sleight-of-hand to survive getting embroiled in a murder case in this blistering novel of suspense, perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and George Pelecanos.

After years of chasing fame and hedonistic excess in the bright lights of Las Vegas, Rusty ìThe Ravenî Diamond has returned home to Ocean City to piece his life back together. When he finds himself an innocent suspect in his landlordís brutal murder, Rusty abandons all hope of maintaining a tranquil existence. Acting on impulse, he digs into the investigation just enough to anger both the police and a local drug cartel.

As the unsolved case grows more complex, claiming new victims and inciting widespread panic, Rusty feels galvanized by the adrenaline heís been missing for too long. But his newfound excitement threatens to become an addiction, leading him headfirst into an underworld heís been desperately trying to escape.

Austin Williams creates an unforgettable protagonist in Rusty, a flawed but relatable master of illusion in very real danger. As the suspense builds to an explosively orchestrated climax, Williams paints a riveting portrait of both a cityóand a manóon the edge.

Buy the Book

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo


About the Author

03_Austin WilliamsThe new thriller by Austin Williams, Misdirection, is now available from Diversion Books. It is the first novel of The Rusty Diamond Trilogy. Williams is the author of the acclaimed suspense novels Crimson Orgy and The Platinum Loop. He is the co-author (with Erik Quisling) of Straight Whisky: A Living History of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll on the Sunset Strip. He lives in Los Angeles.

Follow Austin Williams on Twitter and Goodreads.


Misdirection Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 22

Review at The Bookworm

Tuesday, September 23

Review at Sitting in the Stacks

Wednesday, September 24

Spotlight at Tales of a Book Addict

Thursday, September 25

Review at Reading Room Book Reviews

Monday, September 29

Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, September 30

Review at The Librarian Fatale

Wednesday, October 1

Review at Any Good Book

Review & Giveaway at The Crime Scene

Tuesday, October 2

Review at The Discerning Reader

Friday, October 3

Interview at Any Good Book

Monday, October 6

Review at Me and My Books

Review & Interview at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, October 7

Spotlight at Layered Pages

Wednesday, October 8

Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, October 9

Review at Boom Baby Reviews

Review & Interview at A Cup Of Tea & A Big Book

Monday, October 13

Review & Giveaway at Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Tuesday, October 14

Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, October 15

Review at Book Nerd

Friday, October 17

Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Review at Beth’s Book Reviews


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Book Spotlight, PICT Book Tours

Book Spotlight: Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance

Remains of Innocence

by J.A. Jance

on Tour August 2014


Tour Info:

Book Formats: Print Only

Hosting Options: Review or Showcase

Giveaway: 1 Physical Book for each Reviewing Host

Series: Joanna Brady #16 (Stand Alone)

Additional Info:

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Detective

Published by: William Morrow

Publication Date: July 22nd 2014

Number of Pages: 400

ISBN: 0062134701 (ISBN13: 9780062134707)

Purchase Links:



Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.


Author Bio:

A voracious reader, J. A. Jance knew she wanted to be a writer from the moment she read her first Wizard of Oz book in second grade. Always drawn to mysteries, from Nancy Drew right through John D. McDonald’s Travis Magee series, it was only natural that when she tried her hand at writing her first book, it would be a mystery as well.

J. A. Jance went on to become the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family, and Edge of Evil. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Catch Up With the Author:


Tour Participants:

Please go here to see the list of tour participants!

Book Nerd Tours, Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: The Founders’ Plot by Frank Victoria



The Founders' PlotSynopsis 

Clarion Reviews – Five Stars: … an
intriguing and rich novel. The char-
acters, dialogue, and plot will
entertain readers…to the end.

Kirkus Reviews: … for a fictional
account of a contemporary political
dispute, this is a competent if not
inspiring option.

When California Governor Michael J. DiGrasso pushes through a tough immigration law, the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, but the decorated Vietnam veteran refuses to accept the ruling. This ignites a clash between federal, state, and judicial power that threatens to jar the country’s political and justice systems. And it leaves the governor’s long-time friend, President of the United States, Martin W. Ballard, with the decision of whether to federalize the California National Guard to enforce the Court’s order.

Tension increases when Elizabeth Stern, a savvy member of the opposition party tries to ram through a new immigration law that will pass judicial review. An expert in back-room legislative machinations, she’ll go to any length to force the governor to obey the Court decision, and her devious maneuvers throw DiGrasso’s personal and professional life into turmoil.

One subplot involves DiGrasso’s close personal friend, Congressman Manuel Mendoza, who is indicted for taking bribes. Another concerns two Mexican families in the country illegally and the tragedies that befall them because of the new immigration law.

The unfolding of these interwoven events creates a tense, fast-paced thriller that parallels the current tumult over illegal immigration and the on-going debate on Constitutional interpretation that will leave readers craving for the eventual outcome.

Giveaway Banner-2

Frank Victoria was born and raised in Chicago, a city rich in industry and ambitions and many of his ideas were molded by its brand of politics and immigrant culture. He served in the Marine Corps, which left an imprint of just how much he could do and helped create the persistence needed to earn his BA in Journalism from Northern Illinois University.

It took him nearly eight years to get the degree because he repeatedly had to interrupt his studies with full-time work to pay for his expenses. He toiled on the docks loading and unloading freight, moved furniture, worked construction, was a cabbie, a shoe salesman and a factory worker. The payoff: Time in the ivory tower setting balanced by a nitty gritty education in the real world.


2 winners will receive a copy of The Founders’ Plot + $20.00 Amazon Gift Card by Frank Victoria. Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Please be sure to stop by HERE to see the rest of the tour participants!

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: You’re Not Safe by Mary Burton

Today I’m spotlighting a book that sounds like a really good read, I only wish I had time to read and review it right now, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share some more information about this book with my readers. I have most definitely added it to my never-ending TBR list!

About the book: 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton lets loose an obsessed killer who’s granting the wishes of four former friends the only way he knows how—by killing them—in her latest suspense novel, YOU’RE NOT SAFE It joins Burton’s highly praised novels NO ESCAPE andTHE SEVENTH VICTIM to complete her Austin-set trifecta featuring Texas Rangers confronting multi-layered crimes of passion and deceit.

YOU’RE NOT SAFE is Ranger Tec Bragg’s and vineyard owner Greer Templeton’s story. Greer has had enough pain in her life and has worked hard to move forward, to ensure the fulfillment of her aunt’s dreams for her fledgling Texas Hill Country vineyard and to stay out of the limelight of her past.  Then Tec shows up on her doorstep questioning her about a suicide on the adjacent property, her relationship to the dead man and why her photo was found at the scene.

Tec, a no-nonsense, hardened professional isn’t sure what he expects to find when he heads to Bonneville Vineyards to question Greer.  A broken body has been found hanging from a tree and his gut tells him it wasn’t a suicide.  Greer is his best lead, and possibly his top suspect, and he’s determined to find out what she knows, despite her refusal to betray confidences of the past.

Soon, another death—also an unlikely suicide—makes it all too clear that something from Greer’s teen years ties her to the killer and his victims.  The question is what? And, as not one but two more murders are discovered, can Tec find and knock down the walls Austin’s elite are hiding behind before the killer gets to Greer?

Mary Burton, the “modern day Queen of Romantic Suspense”* brings readers characters faced with daunting challenges that take them to the dark side and back again, not simply in the pursuit of justice, but as they come to terms with themselves and the lives they’ve chosen.

About the author: 
MB2 author photo croppedNew York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton has been intrigued by investigative work and the people who do it since Virginia, her home state, was stung by a string of serial killings that spanned more than twenty years. Not surprisingly, many of her suspense novels are fueled by the acts of multiple killers and the people who pursue them, as is YOU’RE NOT SAFE, which completes the trio of stories set in and around Austin she began with The Seventh Victim and continued with No Escape.

The author of twenty-one novels and three novellas, her earlier work includes I’m Watching You, Dead Ringer and Dying Scream, set in her home town of Richmond, and Senseless, Merciless and Before She Dies, set in Alexandria.

Mary’s intensive research has led to meetings with key members of law enforcement, to seminars and classes, and to the firing range. She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy, and has attended Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina.

A Richmond native whose family roots run as deep as the nation’s, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She graduated from Virginia’s Hollins University and had a career in marketing before deciding to write full time. Her first manuscript, a historical romance, was published in 2000.

She is a member of Thriller Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She travels often for signings, speaking engagements and other appearances. She is a frequent speaker regarding writing and genre fiction, and continues to present her “Unraveling Romantic Suspense” workshop and her day-long program “Writing Your Book…The First Step.”

Mary is currently finishing work on her new suspense novel, Cover Your Eyes. The first of three thrillers set in Nashville, it is being published in November. In October her novella, A Ranger for Christmas, will be featured in the holiday anthology, Our First Christmas, along with works by Lisa Jackson, Mary Carter and Cathy Lamb.


As he approached the building, a woman pushed through the glass doors of the main entrance. She wasn’t tall, barely standing over five feet, but she held her shoulders back and her clear green eyes cut. Not more than thirty, she had gently tanned smooth skin that accentuated a high slash of cheekbones. She wore her light brown hair in a braid that brushed slender shoulders, a white Bonneville Vineyards T-shirt billowing over full breasts and tucked into faded work jeans hugging gently rounded hips. Her boots were dusty, well-worn. “Can I help you?”
Her voice had a rusty, whiskey quality giving this wholesome farm girl a seductiveness enjoyed by older more sophisticated women.
Elizabeth Templeton.
She was a far cry from the girl in the old image or the pictures Rory had taken. The last dozen years had leaned out her frame and face adding maturity and an appealing naturalness. But Rory’s picture images had gotten her all wrong. What he’d taken for as anger and bitterness in the photos, in person, appeared to be a fascinating intensity. He suspected this woman did no job halfway.
“I’m with the Texas Rangers.”
Elizabeth cocked her head, studying him close, as if sensing this place wasn’t his kind of place. However, even as her gaze catalogued his large frame and the scar on his face she showed no fear. “How can I help you?”
He managed a smile. “You Elizabeth Templeton?”
Mention of her name triggered waves of tension that straightened her spine and narrowed her eyes. Hesitation flickered as if she seemed to toy with a lie. “That’s right. But I go by my middle name now. Greer.”
Elizabeth Greer Templeton. Greer. The woman who’d offered his boy a job. “Sergeant Tec Bragg.”
He studied her expression closely. “I investigated a murder bordering your land yesterday.”
A hint of remorse darkened her gaze. “I heard about that. Some fellow hanged himself.” And then as if to head off his next question, “A cruiser came by yesterday and spoke to my farm manager while I was in town. I’m supposed to call him back but haven’t gotten to it. “
“You hear anything else?”
“No. I don’t have time for gossip and news. So if you’re here to ask me about the dead person I’m afraid I can’t do much for you. I spend most of my days here working. I don’t venture out much.”
And yet you’d made your way into town yesterday to talk to my boy. “I think you might know the victim.”
“Could be, but I only know a handful of people in the area.”
He studied her face closely. “The victim’s name was Rory Edwards.”
Irritation gave way to surprise. Pursing her lips she drew in a deep breath, letting it out so slowly he barely saw her move. “Is this some kind of trick? Are you trying to prod information out of me because I hired your nephew?”
“No trick. The medical examiner confirmed the identity of the body yesterday.”
She folded her arms over her chest. “I’ve not seen Rory in a long time. At least twelve years.”
“You’ve had no contact with him in this time?”
Her lips pursed. “I had a message on my voice mail a week ago. The caller said he was coming to see me. He was an old friend. I did not return the call.”
“Why not?”
Green eyes clouded before sharpening. “Some matters are better left in the past.”
“I get the impression he still cared about you after all this time.”
She shook her head. “I have no idea.”
“I searched his room last night. He had a box full of recent pictures of you.”
Her face paled. “I don’t know about that.”
“Can I ask how you two met?”
The grip on her biceps tightened. “I get the sense you already know.”
Apprehension rolled off her and all but slammed into Bragg. Rory Edwards and her past were sore subjects. “Answer the question.”
She glanced around as if making sure no one was around. “We met when we were teenagers. We were both in a clinic for troubled teens.”
“You both tried to kill yourself.”
The lines in her forehead deepened. “I’m not proud of that time, but what does it have to do with Rory’s death? Like I said, I haven’t seen him in a dozen years.”
Bragg unclipped his phone and scrolled to the picture he’d taken of the photo found at the crime scene. He held out the phone, coaxing her closer toward him. “You remember this picture?”
She didn’t approach right away but then moved closer. The soft scent of soap rose up around her. No flowery perfumes or exotic scents but simply clean soap. His body tightened, unmindful of logic or reason.
For a long moment she didn’t say a word and then she cleared her voice. “It was taken the last night we were both at the camp. Rory left the next morning.”
“How’d he end up with the picture if he left?”
“I sent him a copy from camp. I didn’t want him to forget me.”
“His brother said you wrote to him several times a week but Rory’s father threw out the letters.”
Her jaw tensed, and he suspected an old wound opened. “I guess one letter made it through.”
“Rory never forgot you.”
She stepped back. “I wish he had.”
“Why’s that?”
“Really, do you have to ask? It was a painful time, and I’ve done my best over the last twelve years to forget about it.”
He locked his phone and tucked it back in its cradle. “Were you really able to forget?”
She cleared her throat. “Rory’s family did us a favor by keeping us apart. But the rest? No, I have not forgotten that I wrecked a car and killed my brother and his girlfriend. I ruined so many lives. I carry that with me every day.”
“That why you tried to kill yourself?”
Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann

Today I’m spotlighting a book that sounds like a really good read, I hope it sounds as interesting to you as it does to me.

About the book: 

Cover-Lay-Death-BuhmannTwenty years ago, Kate Cranbrook’s eyewitness testimony sent the wrong man to prison for rape and murder. When new evidence exonerates him, Kate says that in the darkness and confusion, she must have mistaken her attacker’s identity.

She is lying.

Kate would like nothing better than to turn her back on the past, but she is trapped in a stand-off with the real killer. When a body turns up on her doorstep, she resorts to desperate measures to free herself once and for all from a secret that is ruining her life.





About the author: 

EbuhmannElizabeth Buhmann is originally from Virginia, where her first novel is set, and like her main character, she lived several years abroad while growing up. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. For twenty years, she worked for the Texas Attorney General as a researcher and writer on criminal justice and crime victim issues. Elizabeth now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, dog, and two chickens. She is an avid gardener, loves murder mysteries, and has a black sash in Tai Chi.