An Affair to Dismember (The Matchmaker), Elise Sax {$0.99}

Certain to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Katie MacAlister, Elise Sax’s hilarious series debut introduces matchmaker-in-training Gladie Burger, who stumbles into a dangerous quagmire of murder and red-hot romance.

Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family’s matchmaking business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. What’s more, Gladie is also highly unqualified, having a terrible track record with romance. Still, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?

What readers are saying:

“Elise Sax’s new Matchmaker series is off to a rousing start! . . . Sax gives the comic mystery genre a new spin. . . . A fun read sure to entertain.”—RT Book Reviews

“Fans of laugh-out-loud romantic suspense will enjoy this new author as she joins the ranks of Janet Evanovich, Katie MacAllister, and Jennifer Crusie.”—Booklist

“Elise Sax will win your heart.”—New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis

“In the tradition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Elise Sax’s new novel is a funny, sexy ride.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Four of a Kind

“What a fun book! It will leave readers begging for more.”—Kim Gruenenfelder, author of There’s Cake in My Future

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.5 stars {55 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase An Affair to Dismember (The Matchmaker) for  $0.99 from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft), Kim Foster {$4.61}

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Kim Foster‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft):

Everyone has a talent. Some are just more legal than others. Cat Montgomery steals jewels for AB&T, the premier agency for thieves in Seattle. Career perks: good pay, great disguises, constant adrenaline rush. Drawbacks: the possibility of jail time…or worse. Now she’s taken on a lucrative side job—recovering a priceless Faberge egg for an alleged Romanov descendant.

Though Cat is working solo, there are plenty of interested players. Her FBI ex-boyfriend is nosing around, as is her former mentor-turned-nemesis. Then there’s the charming art thief helping—or is he hindering?—her mission. If her luck holds out, this could be the case that allows Cat to retire with her conscience and her life intact. If not, it’ll be her last job for all the wrong reasons…

 

Accolades:

If you are a reader who enjoys thrills coupled with well-developed characters, pick up A Beautiful Heist. Not only will it have you on the edge of your seat at times, it will also give you a character who promises to only get more interesting in future installments. (Tia Bach, Mom In Love With Fiction)

Kim Foster’s debut novel is an enjoyable, convoluted and action-packed caper. It’s a nonstop ride from the first chapter until the very end. Full of schemes and betrayals, human sacrifice and treasure hunts, this new but capable author captures her audience in a tightly-plotted and intricately set up first-in-series. A complicated plot, likeable but imperfect characters, and Foster’s clear style of writing lend for an easy, entertaining and fast-paced read. A Beautiful Heist is less than three hundred pages, but the author manages to contain an interesting, complex, and original plot within those few hundred pages. (Jessie, Ageless Pages Reviews)

Cat herself proves to be more nuanced than I expected…A Beautiful Heist is a fun read–light, fast-paced, yet with enough character development to deepen the reader’s enjoyment. It’s got a good balance of action and suspense with real-life choices and implications. It’s a great summer read. (Elizabeth, 5 Minutes For Books)

A Beautiful Heist is a satisfying caper novel, with lots of twists and turns in the plot and plenty of glamour in the settings and the characters. There’s enough romance and suspense for readers of romantic suspense, but the complexity of the story and the characters lifts it from the genre. It’s a gripping novel and would make a great movie. (Rebecca, More Than A Review)

Reviews:

A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft)  currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.8 stars from 11 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft):

Everyone breaks the rules eventually. It’s just that some of us make a career out of it.
Lingering by the bar, I sipped my Veuve Clicquot and, with the utmost subtlety, tugged at the short neoprene wetsuit concealed beneath my cocktail dress.
The warm September evening air swirled with lush jazz; the chime of crystal mingled with the laughter of socialites and millionaires. It was a graceful affair. But I, for one, was far from relaxed. My eyes roved the party restlessly and my nerves sizzled with anticipation. And fear.
My safety that evening hinged on my skills of deception. On my ability to conjure the illusion that I belonged at this party. Whether I got my assignment done, however, depended on an altogether different sort of talent: the particular skill-set I happened to be born with.
As always, I needed to keep my fear in check and stay focused on my goals. Do the job, Cat. Make it out of here alive. Don’t get arrested.
I tucked a short lock of my platinum blond wig behind my ear. A saltwater breeze teased the hem of my black Dolce & Gabbana gown. The party occupied the lido deck of a 280-foot luxury yacht moored in Seattle Harbor. Which should explain the wetsuit. Rule number one for every professional thief: always have as many getaway options as possible.
Now—before you judge too harshly, consider this: everybody in this world is guilty of something. Everybody has dirty truths they keep tucked in linen closets and shoe boxes, secreted away in diaries and letters and the dark alcoves of their minds. Maybe yours isn’t anything all that grievous. Maybe you just cheat a little on your taxes. Maybe you sneak into a different movie once you’re inside the theater. Or, perhaps your dark secret is something worse. The point is, sooner or later, everyone behaves badly. Some of us are just better at it than others.
I curled my way through multitudes of rich and beautiful people who were busy rubbing shoulders and sundry other body parts. My muscles were coiled tight as a librarian’s bun, my face was impassive. I watched for signs that someone suspected what I was up to. The people at this particular party—and their hired security staff—would not react well knowing someone like me was in their midst. Weapons would be drawn. Blood would be shed. This was a state of affairs I preferred to avoid. Just thinking about it made the hairs at the nape of my neck curl with sweat. My mouth felt dry; I took another sip of champagne.
Maybe this was a mistake. I glanced at the exit points. Should I really be attempting this tonight? It was risky pulling a job on the night of a gala.
But no–I was prepared. Besides, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity—it meant too much to me. I had to do this. I couldn’t back down now. This could be the job that would finally banish the shadow.
I selected a vantage point on the upper deck and wrapped my palms around the cold chrome handrail. Stars dazzled in a tuxedo sky high above, reminiscent of the shimmering gowns and sparkling flutes of champagne below.
I kept my face expressionless and methodically scanned the glittering party below me. Glamorous young things lounged on curved banks of white tufted leather sofas, orchids spilled out of crystal vases, hundreds of fairy lights twinkled along the sleek lines of the yacht.
I was scouting for telltale signs: the distracted expression of someone listening to an ear-receiver, unusual body language, a waiter or a musician who looked strangely uncomfortable. Markers of a person who could interfere with my ability to do my job tonight, be it security staff, FBI, or—worse—one of those damned concerned citizens.
Then my stomach tightened: was that red-haired man by the oyster bar watching me? I narrowed my eyes and slid to my left, concealing myself behind a post. There was something odd, something furtive about the small actions of his hands. He was standing beside a woman, his date or girlfriend, but he seemed to be avoiding her gaze. Very strange. The set of his jaw betrayed a degree of anxiety. I bit down on the inside of my cheek. Then, I saw him reach into his jacket pocket and a small Tiffany box appeared in his hand.
Ah. I rolled my eyes and focused my attention elsewhere. He was going to propose tonight. Fine. Not interesting.
I continued raking the crowd of partygoers. But as I did so, I must confess to a small twinge of envy. As they sipped their mojitos and nibbled their canapés, everyone looked so, well, relaxed. I glanced back at the couple by the oyster bar.
For a moment I considered stuffing this assignment and simply enjoying myself, perhaps trying my chances at meeting my own Prince Charming equivalent, of which there appeared to be plenty.
No, Cat. I scolded myself and pushed those thoughts firmly from my mind. That was not for me. I had to get this job done. Besides, the truth was, people like me were not destined for storybook endings. Dreams of the moon belonged to much worthier people; I’d abandoned those hopes a long time ago.
No. This girl didn’t deserve the fairy tale. It wasn’t usually the villain who got the happily-ever-after.
A white-gloved waiter approached and, after mentally clearing him as a non threat, I accepted a divine smoked salmon crostini from his silver tray. I smiled at him, confident in my disguise: the wig, of course, plus chocolate-browncolored contact lenses and painstakingly applied theater makeup conveying much sharper cheekbones than I myself, sadly, possessed. I took a mouthwatering bite of the crostini and allowed a small shiver of delight. Another fringe benefit to the job.
On the surface, becoming a crook is an ill-advised choice. I get that. Very few people would see the appeal and, fair enough, it’s not a way of life that would suit everyone. But let me assure you: it’s a thrill like no other. And isn’t that what we all want, ultimately? A life purpose that we’re good at, and that we love?
Of course I’m making it sound like I had a choice in the matter. As if being anything other than a criminal was an option for me. It wasn’t. The universe made it clear, long ago, that being a thief was my role in this life. Bucking that fate was not only futile, it brought dire consequences. I know. I had tried it.
At the party, I popped in one last bite of crostini and was on the move again. I buried myself in the crowd and wove my way to a less populated area of the party on the aft deck. I needed to choose my moment precisely. It was a matter of sharpening my awareness of other people’s attention. I needed to have a clear perimeter in my peripheral vision, to know there were no eyes directly on me.
But although the crowd here was thinner, there were still a lot of people. I experienced fresh anxiety about doing this job tonight. It was never my first choice to do the actual heist on the night of a gala. Too many potential complications. Most crooks will tell you: parties are better suited for reconnaissance.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have an option. Davis Hamilton Jr, the steel magnate, sailed the Elysia into Seattle this morning and he was staying one night only. The next morning he would sail down the coast for California and I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity. I had done that before; it would never happen again.
Then, I noted that in the nearby knot of people a man was entertaining the group with an anecdote. I readied myself–this would be my chance. As he wrapped up the story and delivered the punch line, the group was laughing and distracted. That was my moment. I made a sharp right turn, melted into the shadows, and dove down the steps leading belowdecks.
The corridors were dark, narrow, and quiet. The ceiling hung low. The layout of the yacht and its suites was firmly etched in my mind, memorized from the blueprint. Fourth door on the left, just after the corridor took a sharp right turn. I was skulking along when a large, lumpy man suddenly emerged from a doorway and lurched out, smashing into me. Damn.
I’d have to bluff it. “Oops!” I giggled, stumbling against the wall. “Where’s the little girls’ room?” I said with an intentional slur. The man possessed an unfortunate physique: slopy shoulders and barrel torso. His small eyes were too close together, his teeth tiny and spaced apart, like those of a third-grader.
Unfortunately, the man moved closer. And started leering. “Hey, sweetheart, what’s your hurry?” A hot cloud of liquor-spiked breath floated my way. And now I had a problem.
Memo to self: Take a moment, next time, to size up your audience before knee-jerking into drunk, giddy female bit.
“What’s your name?” he said, taking another step closer. I cringed. Even an expensive suit couldn’t minimize the impact of hair like a Brillo pad. Why, oh why, was it always this type? Why couldn’t this be that Hugh Jackman-lookalike I noted by the Jacuzzi upstairs? I was sure I wouldn’t have been quite so irritated.
This was exactly the sort of thing I was afraid of. I should have aborted the job, right then.
But I didn’t.

A Beautiful Heist (Agency of Burglary & Theft) is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $4.61

Connect with Kim Foster:

Website: http://www.kimfosterbooks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimFoster

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DrKimFoster

Dangerous Desires, C J Lyons, Debra Webb, Vicki Hinze, V.R. Marks, Peggy Webb, Regan Black, Kathy Carmichael {$0.99}

Seven bestselling authors…five full length edge-of-your-seat novels…two killer novellas…one thrilling ride!

Don’t miss the summer’s best collection of romantic suspense, mysteries and thrillers from masters of the genres!

Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons
Dirty by Debra Webb
Mind Reader by Vicki Hinze
The Informant by VR Marks
Witch Dance by Peggy Webb

With BONUS novellas!

In the Interest of Security by Regan Black
My Favorite Corpse by Kathy Carmichael

What readers are saying:

CJ Lyons – “Everything a great thriller should be–action packed, authentic, and intense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

Debra Webb – “A master storyteller.” Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestseller

Vicki Hinze – “A tense, action-filled story of suspense that will keep you turning the pages.”- Affaire de Coeur

VR Marks – “The best new romantic suspense voice of 2012!” ~Debra Webb, USA Today bestselling author of the Faces of Evil series

Peggy Webb – “Peggy Webb has outdone herself with Witch Dance. The fast-paced suspense kept me thoroughly entertained.” -Royt

Regan Black – The Shadows of Justice series is “A perfect blend of mystery, paranormal, and suspense to create a pleasure of a reading experience.” 5/5 stars from Johnna, Fallen Angel Reviews

Kathy Carmichael – “If you like cozy mysteries, you’ll enjoy this summer read.” -T. Spicer

Click here to read more about and purchase Dangerous Desires for $0.99 at Amazon

Dangerous Desires, C J Lyons, Debra Webb, Vicki Hinze, V.R. Marks, Peggy Webb, Regan Black, Kathy Carmichael {$0.99}

Seven bestselling authors…five full length edge-of-your-seat novels…two killer novellas…one thrilling ride!

Don’t miss the summer’s best collection of romantic suspense, mysteries and thrillers from masters of the genres!

Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons
Dirty by Debra Webb
Mind Reader by Vicki Hinze
The Informant by VR Marks
Witch Dance by Peggy Webb

With BONUS novellas!

In the Interest of Security by Regan Black
My Favorite Corpse by Kathy Carmichael

What readers are saying:

CJ Lyons – “Everything a great thriller should be–action packed, authentic, and intense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

Debra Webb – “A master storyteller.” Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestseller

Vicki Hinze – “A tense, action-filled story of suspense that will keep you turning the pages.”- Affaire de Coeur

VR Marks – “The best new romantic suspense voice of 2012!” ~Debra Webb, USA Today bestselling author of the Faces of Evil series

Peggy Webb – “Peggy Webb has outdone herself with Witch Dance. The fast-paced suspense kept me thoroughly entertained.” -Royt

Regan Black – The Shadows of Justice series is “A perfect blend of mystery, paranormal, and suspense to create a pleasure of a reading experience.” 5/5 stars from Johnna, Fallen Angel Reviews

Kathy Carmichael – “If you like cozy mysteries, you’ll enjoy this summer read.” -T. Spicer

Click here to read more about and purchase Dangerous Desires for $0.99 at Amazon

Hot Water (A Mossy Bog Book), Maggie Toussaint {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Solving Mossy Bog’s first fire fatality could net police officer Laurie Ann Dinterman the promotion she desperately wants. When the state arson investigator arrives to take over the case, Laurie Ann is assigned to give the man everything he needs while keeping him alive. The fact he’s the sexiest man ever to hit town shouldn’t make a difference.

Hot on the trail of a serial arsonist, Wyatt North demands justice for his partner, the arsonist’s first victim. He’ll find the murderer or die trying–no matter how distracting the tall, lithe figure of his local partner is.

As the investigation zeroes in on a suspect uncomfortably close to Laurie Ann’s life, her cop instincts conflict with her feelings for Wyatt. Worse, the arsonist will do anything to protect his identity. Can Laurie Ann accept the truth in time…or will she and Wyatt go up in flames?

What readers are saying:

“A terrific read. Highly recommended” – Polly Iyer

“A fast paced novel that will keep you guessing right to the end” – Nora Snowdon

“Couldn’t put it down” -Robin Covington

“Hot Water, a Mossy Bog novel, takes the reader to a new level of enjoyment” -Rising Star Reviews

The current Average Amazon Review Rating is 4.6 stars {24 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Hot Water (A Mossy Bog Book) for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Thirty-Nine Again, Lynn Reynolds {$1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Lynn Reynolds‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Get it now, here

Description of Thirty-Nine Again:

A “Chick Noir” novel from award-winning author Lynn Reynolds.

So what’s Chick Noir? It’s like chick lit, but with guns and dead bodies instead of shoes.

A portion of author royalties from the sale of Thirty-Nine Again will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

On her first thirty-ninth birthday, Sabrina O’Hara battled cancer. This year, she discovers her fiancé Scott’s leading a treacherous double life. Now she’s on the run – from Scott, from the Mexican Mafia, and from one dangerously sexy Homeland Security Agent. Thirty-nine the first time was horrible. But can Sabrina survive Thirty-Nine Again?


Accolades:

J★★★★. 4 Stars. A first-class mystery and . . . a first-class read.”
~ Cindy Himler, RT Book Reviews

5 Cups. Sabrina . . . has strength and tenacity in abundance. With the guns, bad guys, and sexy men, Thirty-Nine Again is a wonderful and exciting read.
~Coffee Time Romance

. . . a contemporary romance full of excitement and suspense. You will be rooting for Sabrina and Evan until the very end.
~Night Owl Romance

5 Ribbons. A Romance Junkies Blue Ribbon Book of the Month.
~RomanceJunkies.com

 

Review Rating:

Thirty-Nine Again currently has an average Amazon Review Rating of 4.5 stars {32 reviews}. Read the reviews here!

 

Thirty-Nine Again is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


An excerpt from Thirty-Nine Again:

Evan jogged around a corner and stopped beside me. “Hey, I thought maybe you decided not to come!”
I looked up, disappointed to discover his dark eyes were hidden by a pair of those Oakley sunglasses that are big with military guys.
“Ready to go?”
“Yeah, sure!” I felt my face heating up involuntarily and heard the perky little exclamation point in my voice. It made me ill. I charged up the steps next to the Harbor to cover my embarrassment, but I’d never finished with that whole shoelace-tying thing, so I got tangled in my own feet and stumbled. Badly. I stumbled in a way only I could stumble. I started to fall face forward right into Evan’s arms. That threw me into such a huge panic that I windmilled my arms wildly and tried to arch away from him. I flailed backwards, somersaulting down the steps and coming within a millimeter of rolling into the dirty, oily water of the harbor. The only thing that saved me was Evan, who dove down the steps with incredible speed and grabbed me by the arms. I wound up with my legs in the water but my clothes unscathed. He pulled me onto the steps, and I buried my face in my hands.
“Oh, that went way better than the gym,” I muttered.
Evan snorted, blatantly failing to hide his amusement. “Are you okay?”
“No,” I replied. “I am not. I have a bloody knee that’s probably been exposed to all sorts of mutant flesh-eating bacteria. And my pride is utterly in tatters.”
“Not to worry. Be right back.” He left me there and jogged over to the nearby tourist mall. When he returned, he was carrying two cups and a little plastic shopping bag.
“Water, bandages, and lemonade.” He knelt beside me.
“What good will all that do?”
He hooked his sunglasses over the neck of his t-shirt. Then he lifted the lid on the cup of water, put his hand under my knee, and poured the water over the wound. The water was warm, but it stung nonetheless. Still, I was impressed at the effort he’d made to get the water temperature right. I peered at him surreptitiously. His head was down, and the sun’s rays glinted off shoulder-length hair so black it almost seemed blue. He wore it tied back in a ponytail, which looked natural, not phony and pretentious. At my firm a couple of investment bankers with receding hairlines had adopted the mini-ponytail look in some lame effort to compensate. On them, the effect was comical. Not on Evan though.
The hard lines of muscle in his shoulders and back flexed as he leaned forward and blotted at my knee. To my surprise, he used the hem of his olive green t-shirt to clean the wound.
“Oh, Evan, don’t,” I protested.
“It needs cleaning.” He glanced up with a reassuring grin. His almond eyes were so black I couldn’t even see the pupils. But his smile was so open and honest, like none of this was the least bit of trouble, and there was no place he’d rather be.
“This is an old shirt,” he added. “From my Army days. It’s seen worse than this. Anyway, time to let it go.”
We both laughed, because when he laughed, I couldn’t help but join him. His eyes gleamed, and little crinkly lines formed at their corners. How could a woman not want to laugh with him? No wonder Scott had blown a gasket last night when I’d said I was going running with Evan.
Scott and I considered ourselves engaged, even though no ring had ever been proffered. He was an immigration lawyer at Homeland Security, and he came from an uptight, politically well-connected Southern family. They didn’t blow gaskets in Scott’s family, so his display of temper had come across to me as almost flattering. Making Scott a little jealous was one thing, and not a very classy thing. But I knew it was about more than making an indifferent lover jealous. Scott wasn’t even here to bait, yet I continued to sit, immensely enjoying the feel of Evan’s hands all over my leg. Guilt fluttered at the base of my skull, like a moth trapped in a light.
Evan pulled a couple of bandages out of the bag he’d brought with him.
“Where did you find those?” I peered over at the pavilion he’d just left. Baltimore’s big tourist Mecca was full of overpriced chain restaurants and gift shops. No drugstores in a place like that.
“I went to their first aid station. No big deal.”
He shrugged in that mellow way he had. Everything about Evan as my personal trainer was like that—laid-back, low-key. So unlike the other Evan I came to know later. He ripped open a packet of antibiotic cream and dabbed it all over my knee as I winced.
“That’s what this is for.” He handed me the lemonade. “To take your mind off the pain.”
“I’m sorry I’m being such a girl,” I said.
“I’m not.” His voice sounded uncharacteristically husky. When his eyes tried to meet mine again, I looked away.
“I should go.” I half-rose from the step, his hands still wrapped around my leg.
“Come on. First let me bandage this,” he insisted.
I sat back down. He laid a piece of non-stick gauze against my knee before fixing the big square bandage on top. His hands were broad with long, thick fingers, and they moved with swift confidence, like he’d done this a million times.
“Can you walk okay?” He rose with a lithe, animal grace and offered me his hand. As I took it, I realized I’d never remotely believed he was gay or bi. Except in a couple of really weird fantasies involving him and me and Matt Damon. I shook my head hard, trying to knock those embarrassing images out of my head.
“Does your head hurt?” Evan threw his arm around my shoulders, not in a romantic way, but like he was trying to steady me.
My head did hurt now, mostly because I’d shaken it so hard. I’d almost been able to hear marbles rattling around.
“It’s fine.” I squirmed out of his unexpected embrace.
“Where’s your car?”
Normally I wouldn’t even have my car with me. I can walk to my office from my condo at Harborview and usually do. But I’d driven to a client’s that morning and then left my car in the office parking garage. When I told Evan where I’d parked, he said that was a long walk with a sore leg, which it wasn’t. Then he offered to come with me. I don’t know why I said yes. Okay, I do know why I said yes. But at least I had the dignity to hesitate a bit.
We lumbered down the street side by side in silence.
Evan interrupted my private musings, laying a hand on the middle of my back as he guided me into the garage. We came to a halt in front of a bank of elevators.
I turned to face him. “I’m on the top level. Thanks for walking with me.”
And then I kissed him, just like that—a shy little girl kind of kiss, a geeky peck on the cheek. I slapped a hand over my mouth.
He froze, his golden-brown skin darkening slightly. This would be the moment where he would tell me he had a girlfriend in L.A. or wherever he was from. A girlfriend way prettier than me, who didn’t try to drop barbells on him at the gym or trip over her own shoelaces. He stared at me for the longest two seconds of my life.
“Hey, come on,” I joked. “It wasn’t that bad.”
He gave a peculiar little smirk and turned away, planting his hands on his hips as if he were angry or thinking hard about something. I was fourteen the last time I’d tried to kiss a guy first, and it had gone about as well as this seemed to be going. I looked down at the grimy concrete floor and opened my mouth to apologize.
Evan spun around with a fluidity that startled me. He caught me by the elbow and pulled me close. He pressed his other hand against my neck, so that his fingers were tangled up in my hair and his thumb teased at the corner of my lips. Then he ducked his head down and kissed me, long and hard. My hands slipped around his back as if they were used to going there. I staggered a bit as his tongue slipped into my mouth. When we stopped for breath, he pressed his forehead against mine and sighed.
“That was incredibly unprofessional of me,” he murmured.
He surprised me. I had suspected personal trainers were like tennis pros—that a fair percentage of them were in the job for the extracurricular benefits. I thought about Scott and how angry he’d been last night. He’d implied I was trying to bait Evan, and I’d denied it heatedly. Now here I was proving him correct. I’ve always hated women who try to make their boyfriends jealous.
“I should really go. Now,” I said. The elevator doors opened and I felt a childish tear steal its way down my cheek.
“Hey,” Evan protested softly.
He raised a hand again, as if he wanted to touch me. But then he drew it away, balled it into a tight fist, and clamped his other hand on top.
“I’m sorry,” I babbled. “Scott and I had a fight yesterday, and he left for his business trip in a really bad mood. He was so flustered he even took the wrong damned laptop, which is not like him. He never lets me touch his computer. Barely lets it out of his sight. He’s going to be in such a mess at his meeting in Mexico, and then he’ll be in an even crankier mood when he calls later.”
Behind me, the elevator doors whooshed closed again. Evan’s face twisted, a deep line creasing his brow.
“Do you have the laptop with you?”
Talk about a non sequitur.
“What, when I go jogging I should bring someone else’s computer? Not even my own?”
I laughed but he didn’t. His whole demeanor had changed somehow, like a panther sighting a wounded rabbit.
“Do you have it in your car?” He said it with a weird, disconcerting urgency.
“What do you care?” I was baffled and even a little alarmed. The kiss had obviously rattled us both way more than it should have.
“You know, I need to leave.” I thrust out a hand to keep him at bay and backed up a little. What did I know about him, except he looked hot in a muscle shirt and could probably wrestle me into submission with frighteningly little effort? As I stepped away from him, two silver-haired businessmen approached the elevator and pressed the call button. The doors slid open again.
“Sabrina,” Evan said, lunging toward me. “Wait. I need to tell you something.”
“Please don’t,” I said, backing away.
I positioned myself close to the two, fatherly businessmen, who eyed Evan with suspicious sneers. One of them moved to block the center of the elevator doors. He pushed the “close” button before Evan could follow me.

 

Thirty-Nine Again is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $1.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Lynn Reynolds:

Website: www.lynnreynolds.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlynnreynolds

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Dance For A Dead Princess, Deborah Hawkins {$2.99}

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Deborah Hawkins‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Get it now, here

Description of Dance For A Dead Princess:

  • Historical fact: In January 1997, Princess Diana received a phone call telling her she would be assassinated.  In response she made a video tape, naming her killer and gave it to a trusted friend in America for safekeeping.  It has never been found.
Fiction:  Wall Street attorney, Taylor Collins, has something Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham, has been searching for since the death of the Princess of Wales:  Diana’s January 1997 video tape.  Determined to avenge Diana’s death by exposing her killers, Nicholas lures Taylor to England with his promise to sell his ancestral home, Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls. But Nicholas, who has dated American actresses since the death of his beloved wife, ten years earlier and who has vowed never to fall in love again, is immediately overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in the estate of Mari, her long-time friend and client, and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish and is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York. But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the Tudor-era love story of Thomas, the first duke and founder of the Carey family. As she reads Thomas’s agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine. But just as Taylor’s own feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she is confronted with evidence Nicholas may be responsible for a double murder. When Nicholas is arrested and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth once and for all about Nicholas Carey and the death of the Princess of Wales.


Accolades:

“A debut romantic mystery that spans centuries, with a modern love story at its center. . . It’s a great book for a long journey, as it’s both easy to read and intellectually gratifying. . . . British history and contemporary conspiracy collide in this satisfying novel.” – Kirkus Reviews“This is one of the first romance novels I’ve read in a while and it is definitely the best one I’ve ever read. . . . Both of the main elements of the plot, the romance between Taylor and Nicholas and the mysteries, are tied together to create a well-written book that I couldn’t put down.” Alex

“I just finished reading “Dance for a Dead Princess” and I was sad to put it down! The author has a great story and tells it very well. The book truly engaged me – I highly recommend it!” Kathryn

 

Reviews:

Dance For A Dead Princess currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars from 4 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

The Lydecker Mysteries is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99


An excerpt from Dance For A Dead Princess:

PROLOGUE

Mid-April 2010, Paris

In the gray spring rain, he stood in the Place d’Alma staring down at the tunnel where she had vanished from his life on the last night of August 1997. He came here whenever he was in Paris. He counted the pillars until he reached number thirteen, the one that had taken her life. Tears formed behind his eyes, as they always did in this place. But he refused to let them overflow. Instead, he took a long breath of fresh rain mixed with the exhaust of cars speeding through the tunnel.
When the big black Mercedes entered its skid that horrible night, his last living link to Deborah had been taken from him. Diana and Deborah, West Heath girls, friends forever. Deborah had been dead since 1994, but he had lost her long before she became his wife, three years after he met her at Diana’s wedding to the Prince of Wales in 1981. How many nights had he spent talking to Diana about his marriage, about her marriage, about his guilt over Deborah, and about the impossibility of being in love? Too many to count. He ached to tell her now how empty his life had become without either of them.
He stared down the long, gray tunnel, wondering as always what she had felt as she had slipped away from everyone who loved her. Had she struggled against it, as Deborah had? Or had her torn and broken heart quietly accepted its fate? No, he doubted that. She’d have fought to stay with her boys. Diana hadn’t gone into death quietly. That January, she’d had a warning of what was coming. She’d recorded a video tape naming her assassins and had given it to someone in America for safekeeping. But she would never tell him who it was. Too dangerous, she always insisted. If you had it, they’d come after you, too. Leave it alone, Nicholas. The tape is safer out of England.
His phone abruptly interrupted with a text message from his assistant. He was late for a meeting of the Burnham Trust at the Trust’s Paris headquarters, and everyone was waiting. Well, they could wait. All day and all night if he wanted. He was the Eighteenth Duke of Burnham and the second richest man in England after the Duke of Westminster, and he’d be late if he decided to be. He hadn’t wanted to be a duke but having been forced into the job, he was going to enjoy every possible perk.
As soon as the news of Diana’s death reached him, he’d vowed to find her tape and make it public. No luck for the last thirteen years, but his latest operative had just come up with a stellar lead at last. It was so stellar that not only was he pretty sure he was going to find the tape, he was also going to have the opportunity to unload the decaying family seat in Kent and exact his well-deserved revenge upon his father, the Seventeenth Duke.


Dance For A Dead Princess is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Connect with Deborah Hawkins:

Website: http://dhawkinsdotnet.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DanceForADeadPrincess?fref=ts

Twitter: @DeborahHawk3

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Still Waters, Misha Crews {FREE!}

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Misha Crews‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Still Waters:

A tragic death… A disturbing photo that can’t be explained… A woman drowning in an ocean of secrets… 

In 1950s Virginia, Jenna Appleton seems to have found the life she’s always wanted. But underneath the shallow gleam of her bright suburban world, murky truths are waiting to surface.

On the morning that her husband dies in a tragic accident, Jenna finds a shocking photo of him in the arms of a beautiful woman. And before she can ask him about it, he’s gone forever.

Five years later, Jenna has buried her questions and remade her life. But the reappearance of an old love stirs up guilty questions, and she realizes that some secrets aren’t meant to be kept. The deeper she dives for answers, the darker the water gets. How will she find happiness for herself and her family, when every move she makes toward the strange and awful truth seems to lead her right back to her own home shores?

Accolades:

“I read probably between two to four books a month. This one stands out as a great read and one of the best all-round/mainstream books that I’ve read in ages. It’s a romance with a bit of mystery stirred in, but mostly it’s about family and love. What will people do for happiness, and what will they do to protect the ones they love?” – E.A.

“I like the way the author wrote the story like a Russian Matryoshka doll; open the doll and there is another doll inside, open that one and…well you get the idea. The tale rolls along, gaining mystery and suspense until the ending which is quite the eye opener.” – R.E.J.

“Misha Crews creates a book that keeps revealing different layers of truth under the lies and misconceptions. Her heroine is a flawed woman trying to make the best decisions as life presents its choices. Crews writes compelling scenes that kept me wanting to know what happens next – an entertaining work of women’s fiction.” – D.T.


Reviews:

Still Waters currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars from 5 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

Still Waters is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!

 

Connect with Misha Crews:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MishaCrewsAuthor

Pure and Simple, Patricia Ryan {$3.99}

Ally Turner is shaken by the death of her childhood friend, starlet Willow Scott—and horrified when devilishly charming Tom Proctor starts digging into Willow’s past for a tell-all bio, threatening to unearth a scandalous secret that must be kept hidden at all costs. “Ms. Ryan enthralls readers…with the power of her characters’ emotions…” RT BookReviews

What readers are saying:

“Tom couldn’t be sexier, Ally more appealing and the track their relationship takes more involving. One other thing about Ryan–her craft of writing is absolutely the best…. This book is steller! A must read!”

“This story drew me in from word one. I adore Tom–he’s sexy, brainy and buff, the perfect challenge to Ally, who’s torn between her attraction to him and protecting her family…. This story has great emotional depth, and the the icing on the cake is the touches of humor throughout. VERY highly recommended!”

“Unforgettable characters with real emotions kept me glued to the pages…”

“Deft humor and poignant reality. This is Reward Reading!”

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 5 stars {2 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Pure and Simple for $3.99 from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Woman, David Bishop {$3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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David Bishop‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Woman:

There are approximately one-hundred-and-sixty million women living in America. This is a story of just one woman. As the story unfolds Linda gradually learns that some people do deserve to die, but that she is not one of those people.

Linda Darby is a seven-year divorcee, living quietly in a small let-the-world-go-by beach town on the coast of Oregon, who day trades for a living. Her only close friend is a widowed elderly woman who manages a small consulting company, which, as is later discovered, never has visitors, sends and receives its business correspondence only by courier, and is not listed in any phone directory. No one in town knows what kind of consulting the company does, but the rumor is that whatever they do is done for the government.

Linda doesn’t date local men. When her celibacy grows intolerable, she visits nearby towns to frequent the watering holes of successful men. Her motto: No relationships. No second dates. No use of her real name during one-night stands.

Then one evening, Linda goes for a walk and nothing for her is ever the same. She is dragged into an alley by two men, but saved by a third, a stranger who disappears as suddenly as he appeared. The next day she finds out the two men in the alley had been killed, the town’s first murders ever. The following day she learns that hours before she had been dragged into the alley, her close friend was tortured and killed. The next night, she awakens several hours after going to bed to find a man sitting in her bedroom, watching her.

In the days that follow, events stretching all the way to the nation’s capital change who Linda is, what she thinks, and how she will live the rest of her life.


Accolades:

Great Thriller!: You might be a little tired of James Patterson and if you are seeking a new storyteller, you just found him! Wonderfully drawn characters, descriptive locations and very convoluted situations. . . . all in a very good mystery.

This is a story I looked forward to every night as I got ready for bed.  The Woman is smart, somewhat damaged from her past and seeking peace and solitude in a small town on the Oregon coast. As she interacts with a few of the locals, she becomes tangled up in murder and questionable politics. In the race to escape her identity and follow the instructions of her now deceased best friend, she begins a new identity and flight for her life. . . . I enjoyed this very different story immensely and think you will too.

The Woman: David Bishop spins an intriguing and exciting tale, one that mystery and thriller lovers will enjoy! This book was fast-paced with non-stop action and a plot to really sink your teeth into. I would definitely recommend giving this one a read!

Believable: This is the first novel I read from David Bishop but will not be the last. I enjoyed it because it was believable. The characters are well drawn out and the author ties everything up nicely and sensibly at the end. Cudos to David Bishop!

The Woman: I found a favorite new author. Love his writing. Will be reading him from now on.

 

Reviews:

The Woman currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars from 40 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

Jailbird is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

An excerpt from The Woman:

Preface


The woman marked for death was prettier than most, but otherwise, in many ways, an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in a quiet let-the-world-go-by beach town on the coast of Oregon. For Linda Darby, Sea Crest was a retreat, an escape, a place to hide. She had grown up knowing only that she did not want to become her mother: housedresses, housecleaning, and a butt too wide. That mindset had led to her present state, an ex-husband and enough one-night stands to have stopped counting.

Linda jogged on the beach most mornings. There was nothing better for maintaining trim legs and a tight tush. She dined alone most evenings before returning to her computer to enter any day trades she wanted executed upon the next opening of the financial markets. She had positioned the desk in her oceanfront condo so she could watch the comings and goings of her neighbors, whose lives seemed more exciting than her own. She was good enough at day trading to have bought her condo with cash, and several jumbo CDs that provided a steady living income.

Day trading was flexible work and Linda appreciated the insulation from the questions of coworkers: Do you have children? What happened to your marriage? She just wanted to be left alone.

Then Linda Darby went out the door to go for a walk, and nothing for her would ever again be the same.

 

Chapter 1

 

The mild beach town night air cooled Tag’s arms. Despite being well muscled, his arms felt chilly. He considered asking his partner to hold their position while he drove back to the motel to get his windbreaker. He could be back in fifteen minutes. But he knew he couldn’t chance it. The call could come at any moment, letting them know Linda Darby had settled in for the night. They were ready. The drop cloth and dental instruments were in the back of the rented van. Tag’s partner would have her talking nonstop in no time. No one resisted the dentist for long.

* * *

Linda Darby did not believe in the supernatural, yet tonight felt different somehow, as if gods long forgotten were whispering just beyond human hearing. She worked her tongue against the roof of her mouth. It felt dry and tasted metallic.

Her fortieth birthday was fast approaching. Perhaps her premonition had been born of that and nothing more. The days came and went, the seasons repeated, and all of it merged into history. Another year spent without any real change. The only constant, the horizon at sea always looked close enough to reach out and trace with her fingers. But her life remained just as she had made it, a mire. Every day aged her, gradually but definitely. Her body had never screamed, you’re getting old at least not in any meaningful way, but her mind knew. Men still noticed her. Thank God. She hoped they always would, but one day they wouldn’t, at least not in the same way. Time remains the true enemy of us all.

Her sense of foreboding had started just before dusk, but Linda had forced herself through her routines. She entered her stock trades for the morning. Then called Cynthia Leclair to confirm they were on for lunch tomorrow. Her friend had sounded distant and preoccupied on the phone. Perhaps Cynthia also sensed whatever was crawling along the edge of Linda’s consciousness.

Her neighbors were home, but she was too restless to spend another evening watching others. She decided to go for a walk. The pleasant evening, along with the easy breeze carrying the sounds of the tossing surf might just blow away her sense that something unseen was on tilt. She had not jogged on the beach this morning, so all this second sense could be nothing more than her body craving some activity. If so, the four-mile-roundtrip walk into town might be just what she needed to trim the crust off her mood.

She would stop in at Millie’s Sea Grog. Millie’s was mostly about drinking, but the place had the town’s best clam chowder, not to mention a nightly crowd of area hunks wallowing in the town’s bawdiest bar talk. Millie’s also meant getting hit on, but, by now, the message on the boys’ boner network said: Oh, sure, Linda Darby puts out, puts out rejections. She had heard the rumors: Linda is a lesbian. Linda has a secret lover. Linda is an old-fashioned girl with a steady guy overseas. Whatever. She could deal with those guys, and she’d enjoy the laughs.

After drawing her hair back into a ponytail and strapping on her fanny pack, she paused at the mirror. She didn’t like the plumpish look that came with the pack, and neither would the fellas in Millie’s. She unhooked the pack and dropped it on the chair in her bedroom. When she glanced at the ocean through the back slider, she saw low clouds on the far horizon moving horizontally, a mist more than a fog. She’d seen this pattern many times. There were no white caps out beyond the breakers which meant mild wind off the ocean. Her prognosis, she would be home before the dampness reached the shore. She grabbed her purse and headed out the door.

* * *

“Linda Darby’s on the move,” the voice said into Tag’s earphone. “She walked up Ocean Road and angled onto Main Street, on the inland side. It looks like she’s heading into town. I’ll let you know if she changes direction. If you don’t hear from me, you know where to take her.”

* * *

Linda brushed back the strands of hair the breeze had swept across her forehead and eyes, and angled onto Main Street. In the next block, a local couple came toward Linda, rollerblading their way home as they did each night after closing their glass blowing shop in town. They coasted across Main and began laboring up the only street cut into the hilly inland side. They lived on that side street, their property cut out of the tangled wild berries that crowded in wherever man had left the local land to its own devices. About one mile up, that side road deteriorated into a gravel trail fit more for deer and four wheelers than passenger cars.

The lady rollerblader wore a lightweight sweatshirt about the color of a blouse Linda had tried on last week. The top had a cowl neckline. She had liked the fabric, just not the price. Over the years she had tried on a lot of clothes that she liked at the moment, but soon forgot. This top she had remembered. And it had fit her just right. What the hell, she’d stop in the House of You. Besides, she thought, the new top might just be the ticket to shake off my funk—therapy. She smiled, thinking that maybe her doctor would give her a prescription for the top. The young doc liked to look at her, but she dated no local men, no exceptions, not even for doctors.

Downtown Sea Crest was like a morgue after dark, shrouded by a billion living stars. Linda had never understood why this one clothing store stayed open until nine. She stepped off the curb into the intersection that began her favorite stretch of downtown. The air here tasted of donuts from the nearby shop, and there had been no scientific studies claiming you could get love handles just smelling them. On Sundays, she often walked down to get one glazed and one cream-filled bismark. Nothing beat donuts, hot coffee and the Sunday newspaper on her deck overlooking the ocean.

The House of You was just past the hardware store on the other side of the alley. She quickened her pace toward the store, its light reaching out across the sidewalk.

Then, just as the pungent odors from the alley pushed the heavenly donuts from her nostrils, Linda stopped smelling everything.

 

Chapter 2

 

A strong hand clamped over Linda’s mouth and nose, a wide hand, a man’s hand, a suffocating hand. His strength coiled around her shoulders pinning her right arm. He wore a short-sleeve shirt, his arm carpeted with tattoos of snakes coiled around a busty topless woman. His other hand gripping her left elbow, allowed him to steer her deeper into the alley.

Oh, God.

She staggered, twisting her head in a desperate attempt to free either her mouth or nose. She fell back against his head and shoulders. He was clean shaven. His height nearly matched hers, five-eight, but he was powerful. She needed to remember all she could so she could tell the police. But for now her attention was riveted not on staying alive, nothing that long term, but on her desperate hunger for one more taste of air.

This is only a robbery. Only a robbery, she kept telling herself as each erratic step pulled her deeper into the darkness between the rows of two-story brick buildings.

Linda’s attacker abruptly jerked her arm, navigating her around a filthy puddle in the trough gutter that centered the alley, the action momentarily easing his grip.

She sucked a mouthful of air through his smelly, tobacco-stained fingers.

He smokes. All right, that’s something else I know about him.

Just as quickly, his hand retightened and the two of them went back to stumbling as if their clothes were sewn together. An idea had come with that quick breath. Her right arm was pinned against her side, but she controlled her hand. She opened it letting her purse drop to the pavement.

There’s my purse. Take it. Leave me alone.

The tattooed man ignored the purse.

Desperately she searched for another idea. Something. Anything. Nothing more came.

Take my purse. Let me go. Please. Please.

Linda could no longer see the brightness from Main Street. The meager light finding its way back this far had been frayed by the century of grime coating the twists and turns of the buildings lining the alley.

Her holder suddenly jerked her to a stop. The foul-smelling trough water penetrated the canvas uppers of her walking shoes. His breath slithered down the back of her t-shirt. “I’m going to let you breath. If you scream, I’ll hurt you.”

* * *

Tag knew the assignment was not a straight hit. First they needed to talk with Linda Darby to learn what she knew. If the woman resisted, the dentist would start with his gum pick and battery-operated drill. No one resisted for long, but someone would hear the screams. Tag had worked under the field leader for this mission before. The man was competent, one of the best, but Tag did not agree with his decision to use the alley for this interrogation. The woman would have been home in an hour or so. They should have waited.

* * *

Linda breathed, heaving breaths, again, and again. The damp, salt-rich air raced through her body. She considered screaming. But she had been warned. Instead, her voice scratched out from her dry throat. “What do you want?”

His hand moved from her arm to the top of her shoulder, his fingertips burrowing into her collarbone like a carving fork piercing a roast turkey. She buckled some hoping to alleviate the pain, but he increased the pressure.

A second man stepped out from the shadows, his belly waging war against the lower buttons of his dress shirt. His tie loose at his neck, the collar unfastened.

The near electrical punch of her adrenal gland stunned Linda. Her legs buckled. Her head felt light. She didn’t recognize this as a panic attack. But labels didn’t matter. Escape mattered.

I’m a jogger. If I can get free, I’ll have a chance.

Suddenly, the man holding her from the back jerked upward onto his toes, exhaling a loud painful grunt. From the corner of her eye Linda saw the outline of a third man fully in the shadows.


The Woman is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with David Bishop:

 

Twitter: twitter.com/davidbishop7

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