On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Books’

Facebook or Face to Face | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 18, 2018:

FacebookI opened my Facebook account ten years ago when one of my friends sent me an invitation. I didn’t really know much about social networking, but my friend lured me in with the promise of pictures of her grandchildren. After looking at those sweet faces, I was hooked.

I was working on my first book at the time, and when I was told by those who know that it is imperative for the modern author to be active on social media, my future was set. A decade later, I am not only active on Facebook, but I also have a blog and accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and several other sites. (more…)

Book Review: Trouble in Tampa by Louise Titchener

Cover Trouble in Tampa

About the book:

 Currently a semifinalist for the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Award for Best Historical Mystery of 2018, Trouble in Tampa is a thrilling look at the Wild South of Florida in 1885. An easy assignment for sharpshooter and ex-Pinkerton investigator, Oliver Redcastle, turns deadly. A wealthy Baltimore art collector sends an employee to Florida. When that man goes missing, the rich man hires Oliver to find him. Reluctantly, Oliver boards Henry Plant’s newly constructed train to Florida. At the end of the line he gets off in Tampa to find a swamp load of trouble. He’s betrayed by an old acquaintance, and by not one, but two passionate women. Oliver is railroaded into one of old Florida’s infamous turpentine camps. There he must use his sharpshooting skill to escape certain death. But that means a harrowing trek through miles of dangerous animals, dangerous people, and shocking intrigues. In Key West he meets female Pinkerton operative, Hannah Kinchman. She got him into trouble in Tampa. But Oliver has a soft spot for Hannah. Together they fight their way through kidnapping, treasure hunts, intrigue, and the beautiful but treacherous Florida Everglades. Will Oliver overcome the many hurdles blocking his way home? It won’t be easy!

Buy the book at Amazon 

 My review:

The title, Trouble in Tampa, is definitely an understatement in this historical novel about life – and death – in southern Florida during the late 1800s. Private detective Oliver Redcastle reluctantly leaves his ailing daughter with a trusted caregiver to undertake what he hopes will be a simple missing person inquiry. He eventually solves the case, but not before witnessing an assassination attempt, being falsely imprisoned in a hidden turpentine camp, barely escaping a shotgun wedding, being adopted by a parrot with an extremely broad vocabulary, undertaking a forced treasure hunt in the Everglades, and much more. In the beginning of the book, I was a little distracted by a style that seemed a little terse and colorless, but as Redcastle stepped off the train into the barely civilized south of Florida, the story burst into a colorful collage of unusual characters and intriguing plot twists that made it hard to put down. This was my first novel by Louise Tichener, but it won’t be my last.

About the author:

Louise Titchener Head ShotLouise Titchener is the author of over forty traditionally published novels in a variety of genres including romance, science-fiction-fantasy, and mystery. She has two published mystery series. The first is set in Baltimore and features Toni Credella, a dyslexic young woman determined to defend her sex against evildoers. The Oliver Redcastle historical series is set in the 1880’s and features a sharp shooter and ex-Pinkerton protagonist. The first two Redcastle mysteries take place in Baltimore where Louise spent many years. Trouble in Tampa is set in the area where Louise now lives with her philosophy professor husband. In addition to writing and reading she likes to kayak, admire the beautiful tropical birds in her neighborhood, and take long walks.

Facebook 

 Twitter 

Blessings,

Linda

Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba – A #MysteryExchange Post

How do you call for SOS Twitter

Personal trainer Cassidy sails into the public eye while competing on a TV game show set aboard a Tall Ship. After she returns home and catches the attention of a stalker, her well-ordered life turns topsy-turvy. As Cassidy’s competitors disappear one by one, she teams up with Zach, the charming photographer tasked to record her personal moments for the newspaper.

Is Zach trustworthy? He shadows her as easily as the stalker. Despite the chemistry simmering between them, Cassidy fears he has a secret to hide.

She hates the bizarre rules in this guessing game, but when her stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy plays to win. . .this time for her life.

If you’re in the mood for a fun mystery that keeps you glued to the pages, then pick up your copy of Sink or Swim today.

Excerpt:

Cassidy straightened as Detective Sean Pierce returned with a Styrofoam cup of coffee and a Coke. He popped open the can and handed it to her. Nondescript in his gray striped button-down shirt and khakis, Detective Pierce scraped up a plastic chair beside her. From his retracting brown hair and the crinkles under his dark eyes, he looked as if he was in his early forties, but he had the trim build of a thirty-year-old athlete.

He shot her a curious glance. “You were on that game show. I recognize you from the newspaper. Must have been quite an experience.”

“That’s an understatement,” Cassidy said.

Detective Pierce emptied a packet of sugar into his coffee and stirred it. If he was attempting to help her relax, he wasn’t succeeding. Her mind wouldn’t shut off. “The dispatcher tells me you have an unwanted admirer.”

“Yes. I feel a little silly coming here when this person hasn’t even approached me yet, but he gives me a bad vibe. He’s really persistent, and if you read his letters, he’s not all there if you know what I mean.” Cassidy passed over the pile of envelopes and picked up Raggedy Ann from the floor beside her feet.

“He calls himself Miles,” she said. “He sent this doll to the studio in New York, then a letter came to my apartment. I found a half-dozen others in my fan mail from the network.”

Detective Pierce unfolded one of the letters and held it between his fingers. He read a few lines and frowned.

“What do you think?” Cassidy asked, dropping the doll onto his desk and leaning forward.

“Why Raggedy Ann? She doesn’t exactly symbolize romance.”

“On the show, I mentioned that I had one when I was a kid. My father gave it to me.”

He nodded and flipped the page. “This guy sounds like a real winner. He sure rambles. You don’t know anyone named Miles?”

“No.”

“Did he threaten you in any of these letters?”

“No, I’d call them obsessive, not threatening. But that doesn’t always matter, does it? Isn’t it true that stalkers can start out flattering and turn violent?”

“Yes, but I’m glad to hear you haven’t gotten any threats yet. How about ex-boyfriends? Could any of them be hung up on you and hiding behind this Miles persona?”

Cassidy pulled herself erect, balancing the soda can on her knee. She’d been the one to end most of her short-term relationships, but none of the guys had seemed overly distressed. They’d taken the hint and stopped calling. Unfortunately, the one man who made her toes tingle was engaged. “I don’t think so. It’s someone who saw me on TV. It has to be.”

“Give me the names anyway. I’ll run a background check.”

She scribbled a list of all her dates since high school, a deep flush coloring her cheeks. Four names, only one in the past year. Working her way through college hadn’t left much time for a social life and she’d turned down several dates at the gym to avoid awkward situations when the relationship soured. Cassidy had even less girlfriends – most of her high school pals had moved away, either getting married or accepting jobs out-of-state.

She reviewed the list before handing it to the detective. “This is a dead end. These guys would contact me directly, not use an alias.”

Detective Pierce trailed his finger down the short list of names. “You’re sure about that?”

“Yeah, and besides, none of them were serious. I dated them all a handful of times. They weren’t lunatics. I’m telling you, this guy is a stranger.”

Retailers:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sink-or-Swim-ebook/dp/B004GHN6CW/ref

Audible:

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_5?asin=B00CO9M4J0&qid=1367976480&sr=1-5

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/sink-or-swim-unabridged/id646216223

Also available in Kindle Unlimited as part of the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set

Author Bio:

Author PhotoStacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. Visit her website to get your free Mystery Lovers Sampler.

http://stacyjuba.com/blog/mystery-lovers-sampler/

Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stacy-Juba-100155471301/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

Blessings,

Linda

The Marquesa’s Necklace (The Oak Grove Mysteries, Book 1) by P.J.MacLayne – A #MysteryExchange Post

At the suggestion of Kris Bock at The Southwest Armchair Traveler, several authors are participating in a Mystery Exchange Blog Hop. Today I am welcoming P.J. MacLayne here at Life After Caregiving, and she is hosting me on her blog, Mountain Musings. Ms. MacLayne has written a cozy mystery series called The Oak Grove Mysteries. Today we’re highlighting Book 1, The Marquesa’s Necklace. I just finished reading it on Monday, and I loved it. I’ll post a review of it soon, but for now, I’ll let the author speak for herself. Welcome, P.J.

MarquesasNecklaceCover

From the author:

When I started writing the book that became The Marquesa’s Necklace, it wasn’t supposed to be a cozy mystery. It was meant to be a paranormal romance, with a ghost at the romantic lead. In fact, the original title was The Ghost Who Loved Me.

Well, Harmony, the main character, wasn’t having it. And I’m glad I listened to her. I’m still listening to what she has to say as I write the fourth book in the series.

Book Blurb

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

Excerpt:

By the time Janine and Sarah arrived in the morning, Luke, Joe and I had already wrestled the easy chair out to the curb. Joe was straightening up the kitchen while Luke and I restored order to the explosion of books and put them back on the shelves. Being an ex-librarian, I’m picky in how my books go, so the job was taking longer than Luke liked. When they knocked, Joe, who had self-appointed himself as my bodyguard, rushed to be the one to open it. I didn’t know what he had planned if it was an intruder—would an intruder knock? —but since he was a retired Marine, I wasn’t going to argue. Sarah and Janine stood there with their mouths hanging open, shocked by the scene. Janine gathered her wits and said, “What can we do to help?”

Joe answered for me. “One of you can tackle the bathroom. The other can haul a load of clothes to the basement and wash them.” The defiled lingerie already sat in the garbage can next to the garage.

An hour or so later Detective Thomason arrived. I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor in the spots the mop didn’t reach, when we heard a knock on the door. Joe just glared at me when I started to get up, so I let him do the honors, and returned to my cleaning.

“What do you want?” Joe said, rather gruffly and I figured I better check it out for myself.

Detective Thomason held a vase with a bouquet of supermarket flowers. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt instead of a suit. Tight jeans, I might add, and the shirt did him favors that his suits never could. I thanked him and put the flowers in the middle of the kitchen table. Luke steered him towards the bedroom to figure out how to get the shredded mattress out of the apartment without knocking everything else over again. The bouquet proved to be a beacon of peace in the midst of the chaos that ruled for the rest of the day, and earned him back the name of Fred. He still didn’t rank being Freddie in my mind—not yet, anyhow.

I spent the night with Janine. I had to stay somewhere else because Luke, Joe, and I decided we would clean the carpet in the apartment before I replaced my furniture. The soil from the African Violets was ground into the rug. And there had been more foot-traffic through my place than normal for the past year.

The violets were wilted, but would survive. The footprints on the Grateful Dead tapestry vanished with a good beating and repeated vacuuming. Several of my books had their spines broken or their pages torn, but none of my first edition books were hurt. I had to go shopping for a new mattress, but Luke and Joe were going to give me an old loveseat they didn’t want anymore. Nothing seemed to have been taken. I got off lucky. Again

A not-so-tiny voice in the back of my brain told me I’d better start worrying about my luck running out.

The Marquesa’s Necklace is currently on sale for 99¢

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Nobles

iTunes

Inktera

Kobo

Author Bio:

pjmaclayne head shotBorn and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove series.

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:

Facebook 

Twitter

Google +

Amazon 

Blog:

BookBub

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 1!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: TOMORROW!

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide20

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

I cannot remember when I read a fiction book that moved me like this one. – Lisa Stillman

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Paperbook and Ebook available on BookPros and Amazon on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 2!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide19

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

Recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it. My hope is that Tatia’s Tattoo will increase awareness that the shameful tragedy of child sex trafficking really exists in small-town America. – From the Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Paperback and Ebook available on BookPros and Amazon on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 3!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide18

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

I loved it! Tatia’s story touched me to the core. It captures the intense struggles and tragic events confronted by the many victims of sex trafficking. The story is compelling and well written, and I had to dry my eyes many times. The dialogue is amazing, particularly in the courtroom. – Christi Palmer, Beta Reader and Fellow Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Ebook available on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

%d bloggers like this: